My training partner is my rescue girl "Nova", who came into my life in the Spring of 2011 while I was volunteering at my local BC SPCA shelter.
When I met Nova at the shelter I sensed she would make an excellent 'role model' for my client-dogs and, in no time at all, Nova showed herself to be an invaluable training partner. Even the most over-stimulated and reactive of my client-dogs are able to calm and relax in her presence.
The fact that Nova is a large Doberman with a calm disposition has also helped many of my clients (and even complete strangers on the street) to overcome their fear of Dobermans and other large breeds for the first time in their lives.
"Charlie" is my girlfriend's dog, so I suppose that makes him Nova's step-brother. Ever the enthusiastic Golden Retriever, Charlie also goes by the names "Mr. Personality", "Prince Charles" and "Good-Time Charlie".
While the trend seems to be towards smaller, refined and blonde Golden Retrievers these days, Charlie is a throw-back to the breed that I remember from my youth: 80 pounds with a stocky build and quite a bit of red in his coat.
If there's one thing that's almost as important to Charlie as food, it would be playing ball. And it doesn't matter what type or size of ball... it's all great fun and games for 'Prince Charles'!
"Jet" is definitely the biggest 'dog' in the family. A registered Quarter Horse mare with AQHA Hall-Of-Fame blood-lines from both her sire's and dam's lineage, Jet has the wonderfully steady mind and stocky build of a cow-horse, so that means she's a great fit for me.
You see, while my daughter has a suitcase full of ribbons from her years of equine competitions, my interest in horses is much more recreational in nature. I refer to it as a "smell the roses" type of riding, whereby I get to enjoy the partnership of the horse while also enjoying the sites and sounds of the trail at a decidedly 'leisurely' pace uttering words such as "Easy..." and "Whoa..."
(Rest In Peace) "Groucho" was our smallest dog. Some people referred to him as a 'cat', but outward appearances can be deceiving (to have known him is to understand).
My daughter and I first met Groucho when he we were living on a farm property in South Langley back in 2006. He was a feral cat that was slowly starting to trust humans and, unbenounced to me, my daughter was enticing him towards the house using a trail of tasty treats. One day Groucho walked into the house... and never left... until he passed in 2015 at roughly 18 years of age. We miss him dearly, and I haven't the heart to remove him from this page.