When Will I Learn?

When will I learn?Brownie’s first week filled me with so much doubt.She wasn’t listening.  Would barely look at me.I kept seeing other trainers posting about eye contact and how important it was.Let’s just add more to that big ol’ pile of doubt!I could tell she wasn’t comfortable being around me.I’ll be honest.I like when dogs like me.There.I said it.And she wasn’t into it.After about seven days, I saw a major change in her.It may have been those high value treats that Amazon dropped off,But I think it was more than that.She trusted me.Training can really challenge some dogs // and the trainer as well // while others just go along for the ride.Brownie’s world was getting rocked and she wasn’t happy about it.This giant human // I assume she would say that with a very loving tone // is taking me on scary car rides!  Making me walk close to her!  Telling me no!  Who does she think she is?!She was super sassy in the beginning.  A tough nut to crack.  Even tried to bite my foot on multiple occasions.As I was working with her this morning, I had one of those happy trainer moments.And not just because she was listening to the commands or walking nicely with me.I was happy for her.  This tiny little dog has gone from scared of everything and lashing out as a result,To a much more confident girl who can relax while the world passes her by.When will I learn?This training works.

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Raise Your Standards

RAISE YOUR STANDARDS
Higher.
Surround yourself with people that make you feel good.
Those who lift you up and support you along the way.
Expect more from your dog.
“He’s just a dog” is not an excuse.
Write down some goals and do something every day that moves you closer to achieving them.
Focus on where you want to go.  Not on what you fear. – Tony Robbins
Believe in yourself!
Envision the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Write your biography from the future // I got this idea from @danikabrysha at The Brunch Series //
And,
You become what you believe – Oprah
So believe in the good.  The amazing.  That people are kind and not out to get you.  That you deserve success.  Love.  And a well behaved dog ❤️ 

7 Years

I’m terrible at giving relationship advice.
There was a time in my life that I would listen to a friend’s complaints and find reasons to give the guy another chance.
‘Maybe he didn’t mean that!  You know how guys can be.  They say one thing, but really mean something else.’
Then I met Bobby.
And he set that expectation bar SUPER high.  Like, no more bullshit kind of high.
My friends are AMAZING!  They deserve the BEST!  There’s no time to waste on men that don’t make you feel adored and beautiful and everything else you want to feel.
This is what comes out of my mouth these days.
And then I actually start to think,
Am I being fair?
I mean, I’m married to Bobby and some of my friends refer to him as the unicorn because he is just so good.
// seriously.  he is. //
I spent most of my life dating “okay” guys.  Probably perfect for someone else, but not for me.
One would make me laugh, but also made me feel stupid whenever I stated an opinion.  Another was handsome, but wanted to hang out with his friends more than me.  Then there was that one guy,
Who lived in his brother’s closet.  That example will never get old.
I spent my days making excuses and tricked myself into believing that I didn’t deserve better.
And then I met Bobby.  A week after dating I told my mom that I was going to marry him.  It just felt right.  Every part of it.
It was the first relationship when I never had to ask,
I think I can put up with that…right?
He was kind.  Sexy, but didn’t know it, which made him even sexier.  Laughed at things I said.  He was thoughtful.  One time he drove me to buy my favorite candy canes that you can only find at one store.  Even though it was out of the way.  No complaints.  Just wanted to make me happy.
Today marks 7 years that I have been married to this dream boat of mine.
He is still just as dreamy, supportive, hilarious, handsome, hardworking and loving as ever.
Bobby, I love you so much and I feel so lucky that you set the expectation bar so high.
I wish that everyone could have a love like ours ❤️
Happy Anniversary!!!

Theo, The Replacement Baby

Sometimes I’m unsure of what I really want and it scares me.

What if I wait too long and regret not trying?
For the past few years I have convinced myself that I don’t want a baby.
‘Nope!  Not for me!’ I say jokingly as the crying baby rolls by.
And then I’ll catch myself staring at a little girl sitting across from us at a restaurant.
Her cute little fingers trying to grasp the grapes that keep slipping out of her hands.
And then I fear the worst.
A baby would cause a lot of stress, right?
And what if my hormones become crazier than they already are?!  I don’t think Bobby could take that.
I think I got Theo as a baby replacement.
I know this sounds crazy and I don’t even think I was aware of it at the time.
I was so busy convincing myself that babies are NOT FUN.  Just SAY NO.  And all that wonderful anti-baby talk.
He distracted me and was something to take care of.  A little being that needed me.
If I had a therapist, I’m pretty sure she would agree.
I’m still unsure of what I really want.  Sometimes it scares me and other days it feels okay.
And I guess that’s what life is all about.
Twists and turns.
Experiences that lead you to where you are meant to be.
I’m a dog trainer because of Theo.
I’ve met amazing people and made some great friends.
Nothing happens by accident.
Now THAT is something I know to be true ❤️ 

Unhappy Client

I’m sweating already.
When I first started training dogs,
I had a client that was not very happy with me.
Even though my inner freak-out Bethany is yelling at me,
Don’t share this!  People will think you suck!
// and I’m already sweating as I type //
This story taught me SO MUCH about working with PEOPLE
// just call me the Dog Owner Trainer //
And why COMMUNICATION is numero uno.
I was so proud of the work I did with her dog.  She was the first that I fully trained off leash, great on the walks, would fly over to place when I told her to and was awesome inside the house.  This was a big deal for me.
// notice how I said ME and not the client //
That sounds great, but I was forgetting something very important: the owner’s concerns.  She had mentioned some very specific things, but I thought what I was doing would make everyone happy.  This was also back when I didn’t have a go home packet and wasn’t sending information/homework to the owner throughout the program.
// or insisting that they watch my IG stories //
One of the biggest problems was that she would go potty in the house.
If someone messaged me with this as their main issue today, here’s what I would say:
She needs to be in the crate when you can’t supervise and shouldn’t be allowed to walk freely around the house anymore.
Boom.  Simple.  You don’t need a board and train for that.
But, back then I assumed too much.
I’m sure they will LOVE that she is off leash reliable and knows place and can walk nicely on leash.  Right??
Wrong.
A few days later I got an unhappy phone call.
‘She peed in the house.’
What??  How??
Communication was lacking.
I failed.
And learned so much.
Working with owners has become my favorite part about what I do.
I used to think it was all about the dog, but oh boy
I was so wrong.

He misses her, but loves his dog

Sometimes I get this strange urge to take pictures of older men and their dogs.

They would tell me stories of war and first girlfriends.

The daughter he wished would talk to him.

How beautiful this life is, despite the messy stuff.

How I should be a model.

// this is my story after all //

What his wife was like.  He misses her.

His dog’s name is Leonard.

Lenny for short.

He found him by his favorite park bench.  The one by the lake with the big yellow trees.

It was Betty’s favorite spot.

He saw Lenny walking around two days in a row.

On the third day, he brought some hot dogs just in case.

He loves spaghetti with hot dogs.  Betty used to make it all the time.

He waited for Lenny to show up.

All of a sudden, he felt a wet nose pushing his hand.

Lenny was scraggly.  Looked like he had been through some stuff.

They would get along just fine.

Today marks 4 years of friendship between the two.

Lenny is a good dog.  Lazy most of the time, but loves their morning walks.

‘Keeps me young!’  he says.

He thinks that his wife sent Lenny to keep him company.

He misses her, but loves his dog.

Where dreams are crushed and anxiety is Queen.

I’m a master story-maker-upper.

I mean, the made up scenarios I go through are SO STRESSFUL.  Why I can’t send myself into the land of Harry Potter or the world of amazing dog owners that do everything I say,

I have no idea.

My mind ventured into crazy town recently when I decided to pursue my love of photography.  Initially I had visions of beautiful pictures, capturing the magical essence of humans and their dogs.

And not before long, I was ripped out of that world and dragged into What If Town.  Where dreams are crushed and anxiety is Queen.

Why is it so easy to think of everything that can go wrong instead of believing that so much can go right?

I mean, I’m a happy girl!  Glass half full kind of gal!

Until I feel afraid.

Then all that shit goes right out the window.

I used to believe that if I found my passion, I would know it right away.  It would feel effortless.  Comfortable.

But, I think it’s actually quite the opposite.

If you feel nervous, fearful or afraid of screwing up,

It’s probably worth pursuing.

When I first decided to pursue my love of photography in addition to dog training, I was terrified.  The pressure of succeeding at something I really enjoy scared me.  

But as I was taking pictures of my friend Meg yesterday, it all made sense.

We’re supposed to be a little bit scared.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t feel so amazing once we realize what we are actually capable of ❤️