The last thing we needed was a puppy. My husband and I already had our hands full with demanding careers and a feisty two-year-old. Our dear friend decided, however, that an 8-month Miniature Schnauzer would be just the thing to help us move on from grieving the death of our much beloved Buster. So here came Sadie for a trial weekend with her dancy eyes and spunky little prance. Little did we know that we were being placed under some kind of crazy magic spell. The dog was absolutely perfect that weekend. How dare her previous owner insinuate that she was annoying and lacking in intelligence. We were seeing the real Sadie – the Sadie that only needed the loving environment of our home to allow her best self to emerge.
By say, Tuesday, the honeymoon was over. We were now the proud owners of a yapping, chewing, jumping, pooping-all-over-the-house monster. I knew when my husband commented that Sadie could stay but he was considering moving out of the house, it was time to get help. Luckily, I found Kristyn and Sean. We opted for the Three Week Drop and Train program, because we were honestly giddy at the idea of having Sadie out of the house for a month. Heck, we were kind of hoping it might go badly, so they’d need to keep her a few extra weeks. Lest you feel sorry for the little devil, keep picturing in your mind shredded toilet paper, chewed up baby toys, and barking nonstop at a pitch so high it raised concern about permanent damage to one’s eardrums.
At the risk of seeming overly dramatic, Sadie was really a different dog when she returned from her time with Kristyn and Sean. Not only had her behavior improved, but she had a new sense of calm and (dare I say?) politeness about her. I’ve never really been sure how they did that part. Kristyn came over for the follow-up sessions and taught us (with lots of patience and kindness and humor) how to apply at home what Sadie had learned. As a psychologist, I was immediately impressed that the training methods being used were based on well-established, scientific principals (as opposed to our methods which had consisted mostly of yelling and repeating the same commands over and over again). We also loved Kristyn’s ability to keep modifying her recommendations until we had the most ideal solutions for our particular household.
I can’t say strongly enough how great these guys are. While Sadie has not quite made it to sainthood, she is now a very well-mannered (and still vivacious) dog. Maybe the best thing is that now, thanks to Beyond the Dog, we have a number of gentle, effective tools we can use to manage any undesirable behavior. It’s like she’s been to “finishing school.” We’re wondering if Kristyn and Sean will take our toddler next