I am compelled to write to share with you the impact Steve at A Better Dog has had on our family. In October I underwent quite unexpected open heart surgery. As in integral part of my rehabilitation of cardiac fitness I needed to walk at least every day.
My wife, a long time hiker, suggested I incorporate hiking in my efforts to add some diversity and spice to my routines. We live across from Dreamy Draw Mountain Park with a plethora of trails available, so it seemed like a no brainer.
When I began it was fine but on the days my wife could not hike with me I felt a need for companionship.
We have had dogs in the past but either they moved out with the kids when they did or they had lived out their long lives. We decided it was time to find a 4-legged hiking companion for me.
We searched the shelters, we searched the web sites, and we talked about what size, age, breed and temperament we wanted. One day Maddy appeared on Pet Finders.com. She looked to be a golden lab mix, listed as 1 ½ to 2 years old with a sweet temperament. She was found stray on an indian reservation.
A few days later her foster mom brings Maddy to us. She is all as advertised. A sweet face and a quiet, calm disposition. We fall in love at sight.
Maddy is housebroken, kinda, she walks on a leash without pulling but likes to walk a bit in front, she never barks but wants to run through a door when opened to let guests in. Our daughter had been meeting with Steve for help with her dog Basil.
Basil was a dog with many issues and was at risk of being put down for dangerous behaviors. Steve was her last chance and he had helped our daughter turn Basil’s life around. When we decided we wanted some help in learning how to work best with Maddy, calling Steve was an obvious choice.
We enjoyed Steve’s knowledge, methods and his calm personality from the start. We began working with Maddy and learned how to use the leash more effectively with her to help her enjoy hikes and walks. Steve trained us not Maddy.
The results were immediate and significant. Maddy loves to walk and hike with me and run with my wife. We often get stopped and asked how we get our dog to behave so well and be so happy. We of course say Steve.
She is the most wonderful addition to our family we could imagine and Steve is a part of that.
An example of Steve’s work:
I agreed to walk in the Heart Association 5K walk and of course brought Maddy. A young boy of about 9 years old saw Maddy and just fell in love with her, how could you not?
As we begain walking he asked if he could walk Maddy. His mother was there and agreed, so did I. I lost them in the crowd but never worried, I trusted Maddy to walk with him and cause no problems. He and Maddy were waiting at finish line sharing a bottle of water.
She walked beside him the entire 5K with tail wagging. Without Steve’s work I would never had allowed this nor would Maddy have been so wonderful helping create a memory for this youngster.
Maddy sent him a picture and thank you note when she got home.
I am writing this on vacation in Northern Colorado about 6 months after Maddy joined our family and we met Steve. We drove here over week, hiking in many different beautiful locations in Colorado. Maddy rode in the car, slept in the hotels and hiked the hikes with us. She is perfect, not one problem.
As she is now under voice control, she hikes off leash when allowed. A result of Steve’s guidance. We have hiked as high as 11,400 feet, we found she loves to run in the snow drifts and splash in any water, anywhere. She is always respectful and appropriate with other hikers and/or dogs.
We believe none of this would be possible if not for Steve’s guidance. He trained us. His kind and patient ways helped us bring great joy to Maddy and our lives. I believe I would not be hiking mountains in Colorado today if not for Maddy and Steve.
If you have a dog, hire Steve! It does not matter how well “trained” you think they are, hire Steve! You will be amazed how happy you and your dog will be. If you do hire Steve, take his guidance, he knows what works. He knows dogs! He knows people!”
Scott, Diana & Maddy in Phoenix