Achieving Balance and Harmony

COMMUNITY

Emily, Mabel and Malcolm

I have watched Dog Whisperer for ages, though I have never had a dog of my own. My husband and I adopted two dogs that were rescued from a puppy mill last year - Mabel and Malcolm. Using the techniques I saw on the show, it took two days for me to get the two dogs to walk beside/behind me without constantly being distracted, three days to get Mabel to stop stealing Malcolm's food, and three days to get Mabel to stop interfering any time I give Malcolm, my husband or daughter any affection. They rarely bark now, even when watching our gerbils play. We're two days accident free in the house. Malcolm is also able to climb stairs though he'd never seen them in his five-year life. But, best of all, Malcolm, who is terrified of men, will now snuggle up next to my husband on the couch.

I don't believe any of this would have been possible had I not learned how to assert myself as pack leader, how to not let my feelings about their past taint our present, how to respect their feelings while building new, healthy ones, and how to address inappropriate behavior before it escalates.

And the idea that "you don't necessarily get the dog you want; you get the dog you need" absolutely applies to us. Mabel and Malcolm have taught us so much in just one week, and we can already feel positive changes in ourselves as individuals and as a family. I can't imagine our home without them.

I know we still have so much to learn, but I have to extend my thanks for getting us off on the right foot with our new family members. Without the show, I don't believe things would be going as wonderfully as they are. Two months ago, these dogs were set to be euthanized as they were considered to be no longer useful as breeders. Now, you've helped give them a brand new life as much-loved pets.

Many thanks,

Emily Kuksin
Guelph, Ontario Canada

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