How KARE Opened an Entire World Up to Me
Recently, a friend came to me asking about how I was able to take my dog Joey, who was extremely dog reactive, on walks around other dogs. “What trainer did you hire?”, she asked me.
And it was 100% the truth. I learned how to listen to him, and when I understood him, he had a lot to say.
As much as I always loved my Joey, he was a difficult dog. He was reactive to dogs, people and anything that spooked him. Taking him on walks was so stressful and scary, I was almost panicked the entire time. I started walking him late at night, when I knew no one would be out.
Thing is, Joey was a very well trained dog and a pleasure to have at home. I just had absolutely no idea how to deal with him outside. At home, he was polite and lovely to me, protective and loyal. He was my best friend. He loved me as much as I loved him and I found myself frustrated that I couldn’t figure out how to “fix” him from his issues.
KARE taught me how to talk to dogs without saying a word. How to listen to dogs that were not talking. It was amazing. For weeks we studied the dogs, worked with the dogs, and taught ourselves how to “listen” to them with our eyes.
That’s when I started taking behavior classes with KARE. It was a several week course offered at the humane society to the volunteers, to help us understand and work with the dogs there in an effort to help find them the perfect home to fit THEIR needs.
My mind was blown. An entire world opened up to me. These women not only understood dogs and how they operated, they could basically “speak” their language. I was hooked.
It was a lot of information! Well not really a lot of information, but just a different way of receiving and processing it. I found my self doubting my skills with dogs and wondering if my actions have caused the issues my Joey had. When I told Dianne (founder and President of KARE) this, she said, “Joey loves you. Listen to him.”
I went home and did just that. I wasn’t going to fail him any longer. Dianne taught me how to listen to his body language and read him. She taught me that I didn’t have to “fix” anything with Joey, I just had to help him maneuver through this world and be the best friend he deserved.
I watched my dog relax and handle things better than he ever had. I never pushed him to be around other dogs because he just couldn’t handle it. I never walked him down crowded streets or let people pet him because he didn’t want that. I learned how to listen to my dog and give him the best life he deserved and he thrived because of it.
A couple months ago, Joey passed from congestive heart failure. He passed at home, with his family around him while asleep on our king sized bed. I lost my best friend and my greatest teacher that day and I miss him terribly. I will never be able to thank Dianne and KARE enough for giving me one of the greatest relationships in my life and for teaching me how to help dogs and people find their great ones, too.
Once you start really listening to your dog, you’ll realize they never stop talking.