The first meeting of Lilly (and "mom" Sheryl) with Miss Marie consisted of barking and running from Marie. Lilly hid beneath the table, barking violently. Every person was a horrifying monster. Lilly bit at ankles and feet when visitors tried to move throughout the house. With herbal treatment, nutritional support and lots of acupressure, Lilly began to settle down. The next step was to teach Lilly to wear a Gentle Leader and to walk without lunging at every dog that came near.
After meeting Enya and Ranger, and several of Miss Marie's staff and students, Lilly began to understand that the world did not exist just to frighten her. Gradually Lilly began to trust and accept strangers. After trying to bite Miss Marie repeatedly, Lilly finally realized that being nice was much more productive. Eventually, Lilly was able to join Socialization Class and graduate with honors. Lilly was voted the most improved dog in her class. Lilly is now a happy, mostly well-adjusted source of pride for her "mom".
Loved to run into the street and chase other dogs. His folks called Miss Marie, and Kingston tried to lunge at Ranger during his first lesson. After much hard work, and "re-education" with Ranger and Mara, Kingston finally learned his place was not with the big dogs. He stopped lunging at other dogs on leash just in time to graduate from Good Manners class. Kudos to his folks, Edith and Scott, for being persistent.
Most Improved Cat of 2014-Merlot
Merlot hated everyone except her "Dad" Evan. She charged and bit pet sitters, friends and even Evan's parents. Merlot would not allow anyone to touch her. She spent time around visitors hiding under the bed, hissing and then attacking their ankles as they tried to leave. After a year of hard work by Evan, her pet sitter Lauren and Miss Marie, Merlot will actually come into the living room with guests. Some, including Evan's family, can even pet her. But she still hates Miss Marie.
Rescued from an Indian reservation, and placed in her forever home in 2013, Roo liked to challenge her new mom. She did not come when called, pulled violently on leash and generally ignored every command. After mom was educated in dog language and expectations, and Roo was counseled by Miss Enya, forever is looking pretty happy. Roo now walks beautifully on leash, comes when she is called and no longer obsesses over squirrels and prairie dogs.
Arrow and Jupiter
Arrow (the Great Dane) had a happy family life and then Jupiter (and his human) moved in. Within months, Jupiter and Arrow were fighting. Of course Jupiter's size (as a Shiba Inu mix) did not deter him from "getting it on" with 100-plus pounds of Great Dane. The dogs had to separated at all times. Then the humans decided to call Miss Marie. She helped the humans understand each dog's needs and body language ("and that I wasn't starting it," says Arrow!). Miss Enya demonstrated proper greeting and interaction. Within one month, Arrow and Jupiter were able to share their home with their humans — at the same time, without fighting. Each dog learned to respect the other's boundaries. The humans learned how to be better dog parents.
Bailey thought that jumping on people, nipping at heels and barking at big dogs was great fun. After receiving some private tutoring from Miss Enya, Bailey decided that bowing to the Malamute princess was a much better idea :) Bailey now has lots of doggy friends (of all sizes) , including her classmates from Canine Good Manners. Bailey says, "Playing with other dogs is so much more fun than barking and lunging at them." Pictured here receiving her Most Improved in Class Award.
Gary & Egon
Our first Cat Winner's Circle members Gary and Egon. These cats routinely defecated and urinated on the furniture, including their human's beds! Egon spent most of his life hiding under the bed. After aromatherapy, enriching their environment with more scratching posts and toys, these kitties thought their litter box was just grand. No more "accidents". Egon is beginning to think that visitors are pretty fun to watch, and on rare occasion rub up against.
Salami-Most Improved Dog in Class. He began class pulling on leash, jumping on everyone and barky barky barky! Aced his Canine Good Citizenship test!
Eva enjoyed chewing circular holes in the furniture, and had a complete meltdown whenever mom left. She lunged at other dogs on leash, and dog parks were not an option. After changing her diet, aromatherapy, and behavior modification, Eva can now join her friends at public events and yes, dog parks. Although she is still learning to be alone, she improves every day. Eva has become a joy for her human "parents" instead of a nightmare. Eva is pictured here being voted "Most Valuable Participant/Most Improved Dog" of her February 2014 Canine Socialization class.
Honey began Good Manners class, hiding behind Tyler and bolting from anyone approaching her. In just six weeks, she was in the front of her class. Honey can now enjoy her walks, without being frightened and barking at every dog she past. Voted Most Improved in her class.
Named after a brave dragon, Mushu was anything but brave. His first impression of Miss Marie was to bark and run to the back of his yard. With the help of herbs, acupressure massage, and lots of work on his "mom's" part, in two months Mushu went from scaredy dog to novice therapy dog. He is still a little unsure about tall men and wheelchairs, but braved out his first nursing home visit one recent weekend. Mushu aspires to becoming a therapy dog and help his "mom" help people overcome eating disorders.
A definite little punk when we began training in March 2014, Punky lunged at every dog passing by on leash and could not go to the dog park. This photo was taken when Punky graduated from Canine Socialization class in June 2014. She loves walking with mom now on her Gentle Leader and can actually play with many dogs. She is still learning to be play nicely with smaller dogs; but is not longer considered the neighborhood bully. Punky was actually invited to join the seasoned therapy dog on a nursing home visit (but had to decline due to scheduling conflicts).
Most improved in class, Leah came to class a headstrong, very bossy little bulldog. She nipped at her humans and terrorized her "big sister" Ava. In class, she learned to be respectful to her family members and other dogs.
Timon and Pumba
Timon and Pumba were "busted" for escaping their fence and attacking a smaller dog in March. After three sessions with Miss Marie (and Enya), these dogs avoid smaller dogs. Pumba actually ran from a barking French Bulldog. The dogs know how to stay within an open gate and turn away from both large and smaller dogs. As soon as they are off probation, Timon and Pumba will start learning their dog park manners.
Lexi, Most Improved Dog in Therapy Dog Academy April 19, 2014. Lexi's first greeting for Miss Marie was lunging at her face, snapping. Lexi was terrifed literally of shadows, humans, dogs, and anything that moves. Lexi began behavior modification in February, and completed Therapy Dog Academy two months later.
Duchess (husky) and Denver (cat)
Photographed three weeks after beginning behavior modification with Miss Marie. Dutchess' favorite game used to be chase the cat through the house, climbing on furniture and tearing down blinds. Now the two can watch each other from a distance — but off leash- calmly! Dutchess and Denver hope to be spending some unsupervised time together very soon.
Tundra loves people but hated other dogs. Tundra thought greeting consisted of bark, growl, lunge and snap at faces. Tundra was voted the most improved dog in March 2014 Canine Good Manners class. After being corrected by Miss Enya repeatedly, Tundra finally learned that turning his head to the side was a more appropriate greeting. Tundra has moved on the Therapy Dog Class and hopes to play "Easter Bunny" in April.
Tundra's (AKA Easter Bunny) debut as a therapy dog, under Miss Enya's guidance (of course). Tundra started her training by trying to attack Miss Enya (never a smart move). Tundra barked and lunged at every dog that entered class and was a demon on a leash around other dogs. After Good Manners and Therapy Dog Class, she got to "hop through the nursing home" alongside her mentor, Miss Enya.