Jim and I traveled to Rochester this weekend for the Moriarty family reunion. We had a wonderful time and I had a lot of fun doing an impromptu training session with our hosts’ Cairn Terrier, a ten years young lovely lady who is fearful of splashing and people jumping in the pool.
Unfortunately, Mokie had a hard time this weekend. This was her first weekend home without mom, dad, or Monte, and she was fairly anxious. Needless to say, she was very glad that our hosts elected to send her some Dinosaur BBQ leftovers as thanks for my training session with Chelsea.
I am trying desperately to catch up on everything, emails, phone calls, writing obligations, etc. Tonight, I checked my email for the first time in a few days and, when checking the Dogster’s newsletter, The Ruffington Post, I discovered that Monte is, to the best of my knowledge, the site’s first ever Dog of the Month!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the site, you must check it out. I love Dogster. Through this site I have met many dog parents who have become dear and close friends and a number of my most respected behavior colleagues..
When Monte came to live with us, life was a struggle. There were many days and nights I cried, thinking Jim and I had bitten off more than we could chew. I was frustrated and overwhelmed. I felt things I’m almost ashamed of now – Jim and I certainly had more than one conversation about whether or not we could take on a dog with such intensive needs and problems. I said, more than once, “I don’t know if I can live with this dog.” I didn’t know if I could give him what he needed, or if I had the courage and fortitude to continue alone the path we started on.
I am a dog lover. I never would have imagined I’d ever consider returning a dog to rescue for any reason, but I thought about it a lot with Monte at first. I thought his problems were too big for us to handle. At the same time, I knew that sending him back to rescue was as good as sentencing him to death. During these turbulent times, I reached out to and was supported by the dogster community.
Dogster friends gave me support and encouragement to try harder, learn more, challenge myself and Monte to be better together as a team. I received my first encouragement to try modern, dog-friendly training to deal with Monte’s aggression, and continuing support on our journey as we traveled that path together. I met friends and dog parents who inspired me and gave me the courage to try new things, and tried to return the favor when given the opportunity.
Today, I have the privilege of authoring Dogster’s Behavior and Training blog, one of my most enjoyable writing endeavors. It feels good to give back to a community who has given me so much knowledge, support, fostering my transition both to positive training and holistic health care and species-appropriate nutrition to heal dogs that are behaviorally and physically unwell.
I just wanted to offer my sincerest thanks to dogster – for providing me years of support as a pet parent and professional, for making such a wealth of information on dog health, behavior, and nutrition available to a broad spectrum of international pet owners. This wonderful tribute to my boy confirms what I had already expected – that dogster members and staff love all dogs as their own, and that Monte meant as much to the dogster community as all of you have meant to the Lomonaco family since we brought Mokie and Monte home.
Thank you, dogster friends, for this wonderful memory. You can view Monte’s dogster page here.