Where it all began
It seemed only fitting that I would kick of my new series of blog posts by talking about the boy who has brought me to this moment, and just how that happened. This is a brief overview of how we got here, but there are many more stories to share.
Theo, a black working labrador, was (and is!) my first dog. We had family dogs, I walked and cared for dogs belonging to friends and family. But Theo was the first dog that way mine, my very own. He was not what I expected.
Firslty, I had never owned or cared for a puppy and I was not prepared for the whirlwind that is a labrador puppy. I realised quite early on that I knew nothing. Despite some years of experience, I really did not know how to tackle many issues. He was constantly needing attention, stuggled to settle and did not sleep through the night.
Though I quickly learned about enrichment, and how to train, I found the dog world confusing. Many people wanted to tell me how to train my dog and not how to meet my dogs needs of support his emotional wellbeing, a lot about how he should be expected to behave adn little about what his behaviour meant. We got a lot wrong. We never stopped learning.
In his first year Theo had a dog walker. And though well meaning, there often seemed to be issues with his behaviour. He came back more hyper and unsettled than he left. The more I learned the more I realised that this service was not meeting his needs and this was likely creating the issue - behaviours are not problems, they are how the dog communicates they are having a problem. He was an active dog, but he also needed support and attention, a walker who was able to stop and engage when he needed. I found it difficult to find services that offered this.
All I wanted was to put Theo first, and to use all the skills I had learned. To be able to help other people with active dogs, who might have struggled like we did. Realising I was miserable in my job that is what I did. Because I wanted to help others like Theo, I named th business 'Theo & Friends'.
Once you begin to learn about dogs, you truly realise how little you know, and so I vowed never to stop learning. I read, attend seminars, conference, work with experienced trainers, but the biggest teachers are the dogs. When you watch them, and begin to really think about what is going on, you begin to realise how truly amazing and incredilbe dogs are. And that is why my service has changed and I will continue to develop my services to meet our dogs needs the best I can.
This has been a very quick run down of the last 5 years! I'll be sharing more indepth learing, fun dog walking stories and helpful knowledge very soon! Thanks for reading.