I still talk about this dog today, the story is an inspiration. -Pete
My name is Leeanne Nicholas – not sure if you remember me but I had brought my dog Diamond to you for help and training right after I adopted her. She had just been rescued from a puppy mill and I was at my wits end as to how to get thru to her because she was so shut down. She was terrified of everything and everyone and no life in her eyes. I had gotten your name and you told me to bring her over. We came and you were able to get her to walk on a leash. You started dragging her across the floor by the leash and half way across she got up and started walking. It was the first breakthrough and the from that point on her life started to turn around. I remember you telling me that there wasn’t much hope of turning her around since she was already 3 years old and the psychological damage that had been done to her was probably not something that could be fixed from what you had seen in your experience. You wanted to give it a try though and suggested bringing her to you for a basic training class which we did in January of 2010. She ended up being a star student and you were sooo proud of her. You had said that she proved you wrong in your thought that puppy mill dogs cant be rehabilitated and you told your other classes about what she had achieved!
The reason I am bringing this all up is that my little Diamond is now gone at only 10 years old. We lost her earlier this week to what we were told is the most aggressive form of cancer that a dog could get-oral melanoma. Memories are flooding my head and you keep coming into my mind. I just wanted to tell you that the memories of the work you did with her was one of the most significant memories that I have and I owe you so much for giving us the guidance that gave us the tools we needed to teach her how to have a real life. I chuckled when I remembered calling you back a few months after she graduated basic training when Diamond developed a new habit –when my mother would come to babysit my kids Diamond would hold her hostage in a chair and bark and growl at her if she tried to get up. You laughed and said “Leeanne, don’t you see whats happening? Diamond is becoming a real dog!!!!!” LOL – I will never forget those words and realization of what it meant. You then told me how to get her past it.
We haven’t seen you in quite a few years but wanted you to know that she ended up coming much further than I ever dreamed and became a very happy and secure dog…no more the scared little dog that cowered in the corner of the room – the dog that didn’t know how to walk up steps, the dog that didn’t know what grass was and above all, the dog that didn’t understand that a humans touch would be a source of love, comfort and security. We just moved to a farm in Wrightstown and for whatever reason Diamond absolutely loved the farm – almost like a final switch had been flipped for her. She never used to run around the yard with such an exuberance before we moved here and I am glad she got to enjoy it for a few months. She had a buddy in our dog Diesel (3 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback) and they would tear around the farm together. I thought you would enjoy seeing how far she finally came. The video below shows the two of them at our farm which was only one month ago – I think you can see how truly happy she was! Thanks again for playing such an important role in her life in getting her started in becoming a real dog. I also attached a photo of her – she is wearing the pink bandana but I am sure you will remember her.