Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Year in Review

2013 Year in Review:

Sweet Fanny Pants
In January, Aaron and I sadly laid our sweet old Fanny Pants to rest. It was a hard time for all of us and not a single day goes by where I do not miss her and start to tear up when I think about the life we shared together.

February was pretty low-key. I had the opportunity to do a few private coaching calls with Kathy Kawalec, which provided some much needed personal reflection and direction that helped me push through some struggles I was having.

In March, together with Ms. Holly Lewis, I co-founded the Force Free Trainers of Wisconsin; an initiative to help bring together other like-minded, force free animal trainers throughout the state. We started with just over 10 members and tripled in size by the end of 2013.

I passed my birch ORT and behaved like
a gentleman in public!
Right around the corner in April was another significant event for Oscar and I. His first official Nose Work test - an ORT (odor recognition test). The day was awesome - he behaved so well and made me so proud. Oh, and he found the correct box in 18 seconds, which was a land speed record for him :)

Not Photoshopped - that is ME with Kathy Sdao!!

In May I had the pleasure of attending a 2-day Kathy Sdao seminar. It was AMAZING and inspirational. Kathy is such an invigorating presenter and an absolutely fabulous trainer!

June led to some serious fun for Oscar - he got to go lure coursing - which he LOVE, LOVE, LOVES!!

Aaron and I took a much needed vacation in July, which meant Oscar got to spend some 1-on-1 time with his two favorite people, Shana and Julianna! Having not one, but two wonderful ladies be able to care for him while we are away is wonderful!

Don't we make a cute couple?
In August my very dear friend Kristin came back from a year away...which meant one thing for Oscar - he would have a new girlfriend, Laika Bear! He loves Laika and watching the two of them play is oh-so-therapeutic!

September was pretty ho-hum...steady with training and a few more girlfriend visits for Oscar Handsome Pants.
Learning nosey dog skills
from the uber awesome
Jeff McMahon.
October was a very busy month. I embarked on a 13-week long e-course to become a licensed presenter of the Family Paws Parent Education Programs (Dogs & Storks and Dog & Baby Connection). Who knew dog and baby/toddler safety would be so much fun to learn?! Oscar and I had the opportunity to do a private nose work training session with Jeff McMahon - that was WAAAY fun! I also got together with a good friend and colleague, Cheri, and her pup, Bagley, for a much needed doggy walk.  And we had a house guest stay with us for about 2-weeks who, thankfully, loves dogs and enjoyed spending time with Oscar :)

November was another steady month of teaching and training with Oscar. Oh, and Oscar turned 4! Where has the time gone? Seriously, it seems like just yesterday we brought the little stinker home!!

Capping off the year, in December, Oscar and I were able to have another nose work session with Jeff and I graduated from the Family Paws program. The year has been full of excellent learning opportunities and I cannot wait to see what 2014 brings!