Staff member: Ashley (trainer)
I've had dogs for my whole life, and I was always intrigued by how they communicate. They're so aware of our emotions and tend to sense how we feel. I have had many occupations in my 33 years, from law to dental and now training. My training journey began with a special dog named Coot.
I was unaware when I met her of how severe her fear actually is. The first day I met her, she was cowered under a table in a kennel, shaking. While I was unaware of it at the time, she was communicating a ton of avoidant behavior. I spent any day I could with her, brought her tons of treats, and took her for walks out back of the facility. She didn't seem to have any dog friends at the time, and I knew we'd have some work to do for her to be successful.
We set up a meet and greet with Ike (my extremely anxious dog) and my husband. She was okay with Ike, but she was terrified of my husband. Fast forward to a month later, and she was at my home. She was glued to my side and had severe separation anxiety, breaking out of 3 different crates in a matter of a day. Then to add I found out I was pregnant.
I contacted Katelin, the owner of K9 Turbo, immediately. She came to the house, and our training journey began (later leading to my career with the company). It's taken a long time to get Coot to a point at which she is living pretty comfortable life, though it takes a lot of management. She is still reactive to most men, fearful of things that vibrate and static (I suspect as a result of someone in her past using a shock collar), but we have many protocols set in place to keep her happy and comfortable.
Coot now has a relationship with my husband and loves to play with him. She trusts us, her people and her dog friends. We have a great understanding of each other, and I can read her like a book. She's not a lover, but if she senses any sadness, she is immediately at your lap and providing comfort. She loves puppies, her kids, and to make her crazy coot noises. She has always remained optimistic despite her past negative experiences. I now realize that I may have been her last chance, but we love and appreciate every single one of her silly quirks and are so grateful to have her in our lives.