Last night was the final night of my canine musical freestyle class. This is the class I have waited 3 years to teach and the first class I have ever taught. It was an amazing 8 weeks. There was not a single night that I didn’t come home after class with an enormous grin on my face and a happiness in my heart I haven’t felt in years. I felt challenged. I could see the progress in the dog/human teams. And the positive feedback I got from my students was so uplifting. Three of my seven students have already signed up for the class again. 🙂
Each team was unique and each made great progress throughout the course. My students had great questions and they challenged me to think on my feet. Each of their dogs was different yet they all eventually began to understand what their handlers were looking for. It was a joy to watch the light bulbs turn on for both dogs and handlers.
I didn’t realize how much of an impact I was making, however, until one of my students emailed me last night before class. Her dog is a rescue. A fearful dog who was skittish and not well socialized. She has done a lot of training over the 2 years they have been together using various methods. She told me she made the biggest breakthrough with her dog using the methods I taught in my freestyle class. My student truly feels her dog is beginning to trust her in a way she didn’t before. This warms my heart. I know that freestyle helps create a strong bond between dog and handler. I have experienced this with Risa. But maybe I needed a little reminder that it’s more than that. It’s a way to build trust and security when the world can be a scary place. I’m glad I was able to help my student and her dog on their journey towards greatness. I have no doubt they are already there. 🙂