Dog’s Eye View: A promise and a pink evening sky
We finished the last (sixth) lesson of our Head Start Puppy Training Class in Craig a few days ago. It was so warm and still outside that we decided to set up class on a basketball court at Colorado Northwest Community College’s Bell Tower Building. The building sits on a hill overlooking Craig and the Yampa River.
As instructors, we become more fond of our students and their dogs with each class, so it’s hard not to share some part of their personal lives, as well. Their pets are an integral part of their lives, and attendance is often a matter of serious scheduling and effort on their part.
This particular night, it seemed, each family had a story to tell, and in those stories are some of the reasons we admire our students.
One couple’s puppy had become seriously ill and was hospitalized for several days early in the class. The responsible owners continued to come to class without him in order to obtain the knowledge they needed. Their puppy was able to make the last class with them.
Another student had missed the previous week and confided in me she had a family medical emergency. Additionally, her son’s family had narrowly missed serious injury when the camper they were towing home from a vacation was blown by high wind in Wyoming. The entire top of it was ripped off and scattered along the highway. She had to drive to the scene and help them recover their things and get back home.
One owner had just driven home from a workshop in Denver. Weary as she was, she picked up her puppy and made it to class.
A stalwart student brought his puppy to class, even though he had to leave a bit early due to another commitment that same evening.
Talk about priorities and commitment. Each of these owners took a puppy into their home and made a promise to him/her that, by their stewardship and ongoing education, that puppy’s life would be safe and full of family fun.
All of the puppy/owner teams successfully accomplished the class goals. Each puppy got to choose a gift from the “toy bucket,” and everyone got to play and investigate the special enrichment elements of a tunnel to run through and a child’s swimming pool full of plastic bottles, among other things.
It was 7:30 p.m., and evening was becoming night. Just before the sun disappeared beneath the horizon, the entire sky turned a vibrant pink. We all stopped and took in the beauty of the Yampa Valley laid out before us below. It was one of those unique, silent, shared moments. It seemed to complement what had transpired there.
The future does indeed look rosy for these wonderful families and puppies.
Sandra Kruczek is a certified professional dog trainer at Total Teamwork Training with more than 25 years of experience.
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