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My dog and I just got back from our morning appointments and are taking a break to write this article before our next client arrives at “the ranch” for a consultation. Of course, it’s not only Banksie and I who just got back but “Moty”, “Reba”, “Isabelle” and of course, Lizzie!!

I was just thinking as we all piled out of the car how lucky I am to be able to take ALL of my dogs with me as I travel around the country. And that includes my “guests” who are here for a learning experience.

It is not enough to simply train your dog to “sit” or lay down. In order to get the “Full Monty”– you should be able to run into Krogers or go for a quick walk on the lawn at Carnegie. My dogs also have to be sociable and polite with new dogs and all people as well as wait patiently while I am teaching a lesson. They have to NOT bark at passers-by when my car is parked on Washington Street and NOT eat my seatbelts or rifle through the shopping bags while they are waiting. They also have to be prepared to be working dogs if I need them to interact with an unfriendly or unpredictable canine client or show a shy dog how to be sociable.

This however does not happen overnight and certainly, I did not start with a “pack” to train…but added each new member slowly until I had a core group of ‘seasoned’ travelers who could teach any newcomers or youngsters the ropes…and even then, new inductees must be guided and supervised until they are comfortable with the routine.
Now routine may be the wrong word to use, as my “routine” changes every day but there are certain protocols that go with our adventures and those have to be put in place over time with a bit of patience.

I also believe that, along with the “traveling” commands we need every day, there are important “static” requests that will save a dog-owners sanity. “Settle Down” is a great Mother’s Helper as is “Place” and “Stay” These will allow us the much needed time to relax and have lunch before the next challenge appears on the horizon and I must admit to really enjoying seeing my dogs and my clients’ dogs all stretched out on the deck for an afternoon snooze – despite the odd cat wandering by…aaahhh peace!!

Questions or comments welcome…

– Janine Lazarus, LBSPY 57 (August 25-September 29, 2014)


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Publisher/Editor in Chief at HashtagWV | + posts

HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.