I want to share with you two specific moments in my career so far. I hope you enjoy them.
For two main reasons, I avoid to publish situations we humans persist in calling behavioral problems. First, for respect for the privacy of the human family and get them free of possible (virtual) social exposure and criticism. Second, because over these years, I deal with different cultures and professional experiences that make me publish only satisfying situations.
That is my (virtual) approach. Yes, I know how works with the current tendency of advertising serious problems for commercial purposes. I respect and, somehow, understand it, but I don’t want to do it. I show some of the cases in my seminars and courses only.
However, I will always share this specific situation (cover photo on the left), because it is an excellent example of how human family’s dedication saved this 9-year-old dog (in 2013) from the “killer” tag and removed him from the death row. This situation confirmed what I defended since I started my professional career, almost two decades ago: Changes go through the family itself. There are no magic formulas without the commitment of the family, and each case needs to be treated individually, without guarantees of results, turn-key training, “quick fix” or other illusions.
No, we are not heroes or seers with easy solutions. We are technicians, with a sound scientific and empirical knowledge, both in theory and practice, with a lot of professional investment and personal sacrifice. When we are communicating with a different species, we are translators who try to transmit the message to the members of our species, so we understand that a different species communicate differently.
With almost two decades in this work, I am convinced to confirm that it is much more than training. We are permanent students.
I am almost sure he is no longer among us, but he will always have his human family and me that will make him eternal. Every day I witness complicated situations, and in these situations, it is still he who comes to my mind.
When I joined the Air Force, 14 years ago, I already had a few years of working with (civilian) dogs (the so called ‘old school’), and I thought I knew everything. I was wrong.
Holly (cover photo on the right) was one of the best teachers I’ve had in my life. One of ‘advices’ was the need to learn more and more to understand him.
After leaving AF and returning to the civilian world, new teachers remind me of Holly’s teachings.
We don’t know everything. We will never know.
But there is one thing I’m sure, they leave us a little of them, and they take a little of us.
This photo makes 11 years at this date, and I still have a little of you, Holly. I miss you wherever you are.
I also miss all my previous canine teachers and their families. All of you have a little detail I missed in others, and a new learning with your human families. I hope all is ok with you.