You can learn a lot from a dog. They don't hold grudges, love without bias, miss you when you're gone, forgive, listen without judgement, are unbelievably loyal and could teach us a thing or two about making friends and having fun.
I love watching them, observing how they interact with each other and their humans. From the shyest rescue dogs to the bravest of police and military dog, to the devoted service dog. They fascinate me. Each dog is unique unto themselves. Just as no two people are the same, no two dogs are either. Like people, they learn things at their own pace and are motivated by different things. So why should the way we train and care for them all the same?
It all starts with compassion. A positive, punishment-free approach is what I believe brings out the best in our pets. Science has debunked the old theory of dominance and being the alpha leader. Shelters, pet stores, the military and zoo's, to name of few, have all turned to positive reward based training in past years.
I am a life long advocate of animals, especially the underdogs. According to the ASPCA over 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters in the US each year and many of those don't get adopted. Even though this is a declining number, it's still way too many. Training, exercising and enrolling the help of pet services greatly reduce the chances of an animal ending up homeless.
Meet Nealla (Nee la)…….
Somehow this little girl on death row found me and together we never looked back. Nealla is proof of what patience and a positive approach can do. Abused and then abandoned, she was left tied to a fence in the middle of winter. With no program to help her at the shelter that she was brought in to, she was put on the kill list within 3 days-for being fearful. One of my greatest joys has been watching her o name become the happy, confident, loving dog that she was born to be. Watching all of her firsts has been unbelievably rewarding and everyday she never ceases to amaze and teach me.
Maybe Love is All You Need. That, a lot of patience and some really yummy treats.
Nealla, pulled from the kill list at the Brooklyn ACC, now living her best life.