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12 May

Prepare Fido For Your Return To Work

If this picture reminds you of how you’ve been working for the last two months, you’re not alone.  Many dogs (and cats!) have been our co-workers recently and as things look like they’re beginning to move towards returning to a new normal, now is the time to help prepare your dog for this and to help stave off separation anxiety.  Here’s some ideas!

  1. Leave your house, without taking the dog.  I know this seems like crazy talk, but Fido needs some alone time too.  Get the mail, walk around the block or sit outside and read a book for a while, all without your dog.
  2. Stick to a routine, as closely as possible to your pre-Covid-19 routine.  Obviously you’re not going to work but try to keep mealtime, walks and other things as predicable and close to your normal routine as possible.  This means that unless Fido is going to 10 walks a day when you go back to work, then he probably shouldn’t be getting that many now. This will help Fido transition back more easily when it happens without causing another abrupt change in routine.
  3. Practice separation now, even if you’re still working from home.  We all love to have our dogs near us when we’re working, but try some planned separation, having your own dedicated work space and set Fido up with a long-lasting chew, frozen, stuffed Kong or another enrichment toy for a few hours while you work.
  4. Reach out for help if Fido is showing signs of anxiety or distress. Often separation anxiety manifests in vocalization, destruction, potty accidents, anorexia, self-injury and other alarming ways.  If your dog exhibits any of these, get help quickly.  While I am not (yet) a separation anxiety specialist, I can guide you and connect you to someone if I can’t help, including helping you get a meds consult if needed.

For more on this topic, have a listen to some of my amazing colleagues who did a very informative Facebook Live.

Stay safe.

–Kate

09 Apr

Times Are Hard. How Can I Help?

Times are hard.  I want to help.  Please tell me how.

Everyone is struggling in one way or another right now.  I’ve been hearing from clients, friends, family and colleagues and nobody is unaffected.  We all know of someone who is sick, has lost their job, is going stir-crazy not seeing friends, had hours reduced, has lost a loved one or who is struggling to just see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I’m right there with you.

I got into dog training to help people and to help dogs.  And that hasn’t changed with this pandemic.  If anything, it’s strengthened my resolve to make good, quality training accessible to more people.  I’ve used some of my quarantine time productively and have recently obtained a new certification credential and am now only one of 12 certificants worldwide to have earned this prestigious title.  I’m incredibly proud to add the letters PCBC-A (Professional Canine Behavior Consultant) behind my name.  This designation, from the Pet Professional Accreditation Board, is the only certification for professionals who believe there is no place for shock, choke, prong, fear or intimidation in canine training and behavior practices.  I’m also currently enrolled in a Canine Nutrition course, so I can begin to add some non-veterinary nutrition counseling as a service.

What has changed is how I’m able to provide services has changed but my expertise and the information you get is still all the same. As I explained in my last email, I’ve moved all services to remote to be able to provide consults, one on one private sessions and some group offerings.  And people love it!  While it seems counterintuitive to not have a trainer there, in many cases, it’s actually easier for the dog to work on training remotely.  Once people get over the initial worry about how it works, everyone has loved the experience.  I’ve been working with clients on basic obedience, pre-baby prep, leash reactivity, puppy training and socialization and more!  I’ve posted some clips from recent sessions on social media, so check out my Instagram if you want to have a peek at what it looks like.

We’re going to get through this, together.  But I need your help to tell me how I can best help you right now by taking this short survey for me.  Once I get results, I will implement the top ideas to best help you right now.

Some of the best moments for me these days is seeing your pictures or videos of your dogs, especially if you’re training them (please, please tag us in those posts!) or getting email updates.  I was having a really hard day yesterday and received an update from a long-time remote client from upstate NY checking in and sharing a wonderful progress update.  It made me cry happy tears and was the bright spot that I so needed in that moment.  You and your dogs are why I do what I do.  Please don’t be a stranger.  Even if you were a client 5 years ago and haven’t checked in since then, please check in, send an update and let me know you’re okay.  And if you’re not okay, that’s alright too.  It’s okay to not be okay right now.  But you’re not alone, even if we’re all social distancing.

Stay safe.  Keep me posted on how you’re doing and let me know if you need help.  And please fill out the survey to let me know how I can best help right now.  And be sure you’re following me on social media for updates (links below)!

I can’t wait to see you, remotely or eventually, in person.

Kate