Passion or Burden?

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Being a good dog trainer ,whose specialty is aggression ,fear and anxiety , involves becoming quite intimate with the owner (s)
It is very similar to entering into a therapeutic relationship, with a  social worker or therapist.
I work with people that consider their dogs their children. Just like I do.
And their child is acting up aggressively, violently, anxiously, fearfully .
and they do not know how to make it right.  I do.  I have the ability now after many many years of honing my skill- to see, feel and grasp what can be done to right the dog, in most circumstances.  There must be said that there are some innate drives in dogs that will override even the strongest hand and correction.
Their dog is a reflection of them, just like a child. And when that reflection is a violent one – it’s full of shame, guilt, doubt, frustration. Everyone looks at an aggressive dog and wants to run the other way.

And then I am called . This initial phone call to me is usually  wrought  with great emotion and fear . I want to help because I understand.

I hear their stories and their  stories were my story ,many years ago. I feel empathetic. I understand the worry, the stress, the anxiety.

And I say yes to being their dog trainer
And then begins very interesting, often intense process between dog, owner and I.

I become intertwined in their lives for weeks, months,  sometimes  years.
There  have been numerous miraculous shifts  that inspire me. The combination of intuitive understanding, patience, deliberate correction, and encouragement within a program.
These all  become this miraculous recipe that leads to transformation. Those programs I will celebrate forever. There have been many and those owners often become my dear friends. We are kindred souls. We have been through the fire together. We understand what it takes to shift an  aggressive violent dog and they dive in wholeheartedly. I bow to them.

Yet then there are many more times where I am taxed, emotionally drained and exhausted from the process of working with the human. I’m supposed to be their savior. I’m supposed to make everything right in their world yet  they have very little understanding that this is an intuitive process that requires an extreme discipline of action, leadership and introspection.  and they are unwilling, unable and resistant to truly change

They are too vulnerable to hold themselves accountable,  so they  blame the dog or they blame me.

I’ve been doing this almost 20 years and as much as was born to do this.

In so many ways, it’s starting to take a toll. How do I keep doing what I’m doing and not feel my life force dwindling when someone is not satisfied. When someone is not realistic. when someone is irrational ,when someone makes me the savior that can’t save them??

This is why I contemplate a serious life changes. When does one’s  passion become a burden?

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