This is Dino Antonio, a Miniature Pinscher.
Dino had been brought into a vet facility where Marie was working to be euthanized. The story is familiar, childless couple get a dog to be their baby. Then "mom" becomes pregnant. Dog becomes jealous of human baby, and starts biting. Dino jumped into my lap, and curled up. Marie didn't have the heart to euthanize him. She talked the owners to letting her adopt him.
Dino was great with Marie, but hated the rest of the humans in the world. Which would have been fine, except Marie had a man in her life-Glenn (who would become her husband). Dino tried to bite Glenn and his son repeatedly. Dino would bite whenever food or toy was present, or he was near any piece of furniture. He even bit Marie a few times, when she tried to take inappropriate objects from him.
Dino also suffered from severe separation anxiety, and would chew holes in the bedroom door when left alone. (Yes, a 10 lb min pinn can chew through a wooden door if motivated enough). Dino was placed on medication for his separation anxiety-unfortunately medication that made his aggression worse. Stopping the medication (yes, "cold turkey") made Dino not only more aggressive, but unpredictable.
After seeking help from professional trainers, and veterinary behaviorists for more than a year, Marie ran out of options. Everyone wanted $200+ an hour, not an option on a vet tech's salary. No one would work with her or Dino.
After trying to bite Glenn's 88 year old father, Glenn's son and then Marie all in one night, the difficult decision was made to euthanize Dino. As many of you know, it was a horrible and very painful decision. For 4 years, Marie questioned her decision.
In that 4 years, Marie decided that there had to be an option for people with aggressive dogs who genuinely wanted to work with their dogs but had limited funds. Marie also believed that other options besides prescription medications had be available. Marie, while continuing to work as a veterinary technician, toke a course in dog training and behavior. She attended every seminar she could and read everything she could get her hands on.
Canine Behavior Counseling officially opened its doors on November 2, 2004. Her goal was to provide training and behavioral services, especially for aggressive and anxious dogs for affordable prices. She determined to work with anyone who wanted to help their dogs regardless of their financial situation. We still offer options for those with limited finances.
In 2008, Marie adopted Isaac Newton, a Saint Bernard/great Pyrenees mix with aggression issues. Isaac's aggression was very unpredictable. After extensive research, Isaac was diagnosed with Rage Syndrome, a seizure disorder which caused extreme and unpredictable aggression. This condition is rarely treated due to the concern for human safety. Marie determined to do everything she could to help and try to save Isaac. Marie learned about complimentary medical techniques including acupuncture/acupressure, aromatherapy, herbal treatments, dietary and nutritional supplementation, aromatherapy, and everything she could about prescription medical treatments for behavior.
Unfortunately, in 2010, Isaac had a severe seizure and bit Glenn badly. Euthanasia became the only option. What Marie learned from working with Isaac has helped save dozens of other dogs.
Read more about Isaac's treatment
In 2010, Marie began working with cats more, and Canine Behavior Counseling became Canine/Feline Behavior Counseling. In that same year, Marie returned to college and completed her bachelor's degree in veterinary technology with a minor in animal behavior. She graduated in 2013.
In 2016, Tyson Harriger joined the staff as an apprentice trainer. He became a full time member of our staff in 2017.
We continue to attend continuing education, and learn everything we can help to help our human and animal clients.