My reflections on 2021

My Reflections on 2021

The best and the worst personally and professionally


  • Very successful year in business
    • We tested 78 dogs for Therapy Dog International
    • Certified 45 Pet First Aid Clients
    • Trained/Coached over 200 class, lesson and board and train dogs
  • Attended some amazing professional development workshops
  • Boarding was really popular this year. I am so glad people trust me with their dogs and were able to travel and visit family and go on vacation. We only keep a small number so we can provide that personalized service that clients deserve.
  • Got to visit family at home!
  • Installed a gate opener
  • Really built trust and training with Rusty and started therapy visits at the nursing home
  • Met some amazing clients and dogs this year
  • Puppies in clothing
  • Survived my first colonoscopy and no issues
  • Dogs and owners bonding. Clients becoming friends. That is the best


  • My Mother-in-law passed away. She was my biggest fan and cheerleader!
  • Had to install a new septic system
  • Had to put in a new sump pump after our old one broke on Christmas Day and had to clean the basement (this was also a positive since it needed to be cleaned and organized)
  • Some of my long-time client dogs passed away
  • When we make good progress with a dog and then see it a few months later and it has regressed and not retained anything we taught it
  • Rain and mud!

Best training advice

  • Start grooming and handling early and schedule your appointments out (as soon as you get a puppy that needs to be groomed, start looking for a groomer).
  • Realize that this is experience may be hard for your dog and what can we do to help them
  • Be firm but fair. Your puppy will still love you even if you correct them.
  • Teach your puppies restraint exercises
  • When a trainer makes a training tool recommendation, we do it for a reason
  • Thank your groomers and vets
  • Feed a high-quality dog food. This is so important. It affects health, behavior and ability to learn and retain information.
  • Movement can tell a lot about a dog’s issues-if they are sore, if they are dog or human aggressive and the best body work exercises for them.
  • Don’t make excuses for your dog’s bad behavior-take action and make changes
  • I can’t be more invested in your dog’s behavior than you are!
  • Have your dog/puppy drag a leash in the house
  • Practice the Settle/sit-on-the-dog exercise
  • Go slow and practice daily.

Goals for 2022

  • Have Personalized Pet cots and slip leads made (already in progress)
  • Offer more Community Canine and Urban Canine CGC tests
  • Get some picture with our AKC Fit Club flag!
  • Work on healthy habits (sleep, eating, setting boundaries, taking time off and mindfulness)
  • Take Rusty swimming
  • Organize my shed and the basement (and then my computer-in progress)
  • Try our hand at an obedience or rally competition
  • Finish our Client Management system and put it in place-this has been a LONG work in progress
  • Continue my professional development
  • Get another dog
  • Plan and save for a new building in 2023

It’s important to share the good and the bad with everyone. We all need help now and again and we need to be REAL and let people know life isn’t perfect all the time.

As long as we are trying, moving forward with a positive attitude and learning from our mistakes, we will be that much closer to reaching our goals, dreams and visions!