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For the curious pup

"My sister says that I can’t call Norman “special” anymore, which is big, because when I adopted Norman (1.5 years old, lab cross, former stray), he bit her and put a good puncture in her arm within a few weeks of arriving in our home. Growing up, we never put an animal to sleep, but that was the advice I received from almost everyone about how to handle Norman’s anxious personality, and tendency for snapping and biting when triggered. Needless to say - I have worked with a lot of dog trainers. A few of them told me to see a veterinary behaviorist, but that was out of my budget. Others coached me through various levels of control and restriction of behavior. Some of their advice worked, but I wish I would have found Emily sooner. She has given me insight on trauma, patterning, and tons of evidence-based training work to do and I am seeing real differences in Norman’s reactions to his normal triggers. Emily has in many ways, helped heal my relationship with this fearful dog, and helped us build trust in one another again. Norman is doing so much better because of Emily’s coaching. Even now that we live in Vancouver, BC, I still work with Emily to handle new behaviours that come up. I hope anyone who has a dog with a trauma history can have an educator as intuitive, informed," and specific as Emily. She has really made a difference in both Norman’s, and my lives.

- Kira Johnson, msc

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