Training through a challenging behavior can take weeks, months, or even years. Frustrated dog trainers can be heard saying “My next dog!”
More accurately, it is "My next dog won’t…"
Sometimes it is said in a grumble under their breath. Sometimes it is hollered out as a sworn testimony. Sometimes it is even said in a resigned laugh.
I have said it over the years. As different K9 partners have come into my life and I have faced training challenges, I have created a personal "my next dog won't list".
Redden has been gone for a little over a month now. When I think back to when I picked him out as an 8-week-old puppy, I know that my next dog won’t list never including things like
My next dog won’t make it to his third birthday.
My next dog won’t grow up to be the great search dog I know he could be.
But I also know that I never said
My next dog will garner such love in his short life that people will donate almost $10,000 to support search dogs through the K9 Redden Memorial Disaster Dog Training Scholarship.
As I look to the future, I know there will eventually be a next dog. My next search & rescue K9 partner. I will take all I have learned from Redden and honor his memory by being a better trainer and by continuing the work of search & rescue.
But this time things will be a bit different.
The next time you hear me say “my next dog” it will sound more like this
My next dog gets my best efforts as a trainer.
My next dog will be appreciated for the dog they are, not how they compare to others.
Most importantly, my next dog will be treasured and appreciated and loved every single day. Because you just never know when the time will come and you have to look for your next dog.
Join us in honoring Redden's memory by donating to the K9 Redden Memorial Disaster Dog Training Scholarship.