One of the coolest things about carving out a career as a professional dog trainer is the potential for diversity and the sheer fun of it all. The longer I do this work — going on 10 years as a paid professional — the more experience, contacts, knowledge and opportunities crop up. Certainly running one’s business has to include a sense of recklessness and fearlessness, especially when coupled with the costs associated with raising 3 children as a single parent. But the payoffs can be oh so cool. Interspersed between the private trainings and organization for the upcoming “by invitation only puppy class” which starts in a little over a week, I had a chance to zip out to the shores of Lake Erie earlier this week beginning in the wee hours of a hot sunny almost summer morning to perform as a handler for a dog I worked with for a client who said “sure, take my dog, have a great time” on a photo shoot for a catalog cover where good ol reliable stable funny as hell laid back yellow lab Boomer was going to endear himself to a beautiful young model who was showing off for the advertisers’ buck a nifty black knee brace. I showed Boomster the ropes and handed him over to Shelly The Model, cute and perky and a real dog lover. Poised to fetch, lapping waves behind and stretch of beach under his paws, Boomer posed over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. I watched with pride as he did take after take. Unruffled and highly food motivated, Boomer won the hearts of all and earned me a couple hundred bucks. He earned a swim in the Lake and a new argyle martingale collar! And a big hug and a kiss. Not a bad way to spend a morning!
I love my job!