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Just another day

Rufus's 4 weeks Board + Train program had finally ended! We brought him over to his owner's place to start lesson so that they could follow up what was taught during his stay with us. It was a memorable journey as we spent a lot of time bonding and teaching him necessary skills, will never forget how he looked forward to the play sessions, his nudging on hands for a pat and the happy prance he does during walks. Some of the owners opting for the program do go overseas from time to time, so we get to see them regularly, others have family and friends to help take care of their dogs, which we understand but still misses them at times.

During the car ride, Rufus rested on my lap and licked my arms a couple of times, it suddenly became an emotional journey. We had our last off leash walk near the estate before bringing him up, upon reaching and guiding on his commands, he kept staring at me as if waiting for me to command him even though the treats were not in my hands. During walk practice he hesitated and wouldn't move much without me following beside him. It was tough to hold back emotions, nevertheless I still maintained a strict attitude and ignored all of his attention seeking reaction throughout the lesson. Upon ending I resisted and did not even give him any last look before leaving, he whined really loudly for attention and I heard he did not sleep well on the first night.

Our job after Board + Train is to pass the ownership back to respective families so that dogs will enjoy working with them instead of relying on trainers, but it can be really heart wrenching when it's time to part. Some might feel that we are numb from seeing so many dogs everyday and have no emotions, to be frank we treat all of the dogs like our own no matter if it's correction or affection, when a dog comes for long term training the bond would be even closer due to the amount of time spent on training. Unless one does not love dogs, being firm to them is not easy, it takes a lot of personal sacrifice and many will never understand, there was a period of time when I thought of stopping Board + Train service for good, there isn't any benefit for us, an additional $10/day for training just doesn't add up to the disadvantages that we are experiencing - lack of sleep, overworking, isolating of slots for cases of aggression, I would almost always find myself feeling sick or moody after ending each course and it's not hard to figure out why. But due to seeing more and more dogs suffering with owners requesting such service, we started offering them again after a period of time.

Nevertheless, the sacrifice usually pays off when owners appreciate and start cherishing the lessons and skills that their dogs had learned. Last I heard, Rufus had been sleeping really well from the second night onwards.

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