Many years ago, my dog Que became my first real teacher of dog behaviour. Que kept me company while I was tree-planting in Northern BC, and was never far from my side. But she had experienced trauma from aggressive dogs that led to her own behavioural issues around any other dogs and strangers. Back in Vancouver, walking her and watching her constantly, I began to pick up on the subtler signals of dog communication and understand better how she and the other dogs would interact. At first, I adapted her environment so that she would be safe and comfortable. In time, I realized that both I and the other dogs understood her role in the “pack” better, and that by listening to her needs, I had made it possible for her to join other dogs without incident. In doing so, I had learned a world about the mind of a dog.
In 1998, I was at a crossroads contemplating a career move. Que and I spent hours walking through the neighbourhood every day while I tried to decide what to do. I loved this time I spent outdoors with her, being on the move, and interacting with her and other dogs – eventually, it dawned on me that this should be my career, and that dogwalking was the most natural thing for me to do with my life.
It’s been 15 years now, and I still love what I do. I’m immersed in dogs, surrounded by them, and their ways have become second nature to me.
When I bring your dog home after a day’s walk, my goal is for him or her to be happy, tired, and content. I want to make sure their needs are all met for exercise, socialization, and of course, fun!
I understand every dog in my care is an individual, with their own particular needs and quirks. I’m careful to study and understand each dog, and make sure I am doing what is best for your dog at every moment.
I also ensure that the dogs learn healthy, respectful pack behaviour when they are out with me. I introduce a new dog carefully and slowly to the other dogs and let them learn from how the rest of the pack listens to me. This gives them a confidence boost at the beginning that carries over throughout our walks each day. Many of my clients have reported that their timid or defensive dogs have gradually become more calm and confident and better socialized in their own neighbourhoods as well. It’s gratifying to see these changes happen over time, and to watch each dog thrive.
All water provided to Paws For Thought dogs is 100% filtered city water by Water Matters, the best high-quality water filter.