I vividly remember my first time walking into AYP’s new facility. I came to attend a trick-dog workshop with my dog, Tucker (and to hopefully get on the good side of the owner, Dee). Little did I know, that from that moment on, my life would change forever.
I officially joined the team at the end of 2014 and will be onto a new adventure, joining my (soon-to-be) husband in Boston, MA at the end of this coming March. I’ve grown so much as a trainer and as a person while working here.
As I reflect on my time here, I can’t help but think of all of the amazing people (and dogs!) that I’ve gotten to know.
When I first met Leo, he was a spunky little puppy who didn’t want to be held still and thought he was the toughest puppy in playgroup. He’s always struggled with being comfortable around strangers, but over the years I’ve watched him grow through the ups and the downs. I was able to explore a new tactic of getting a dog comfortable with handling called the “bucket game”. With lots of patience and practice, I taught Leo how to communicate with me whether he wanted me to touch him in specific places or not simply by lifting his head up or putting it down. This eventually led to me being able to handle any part of his body on his own will. Leo and I have a special bond and understanding unlike any other and I’m looking forward to hearing about his continued progress from my fellow trainers.
Petie the schnauzer was the cutest puppy I ever met! I remember going to his house and telling his mom “you don’t see schnauzers as service dogs very often, but we will see what he’s got!” I love all breeds of dogs but Petie sure did prove me wrong. He now works as a service dog for his mom who is now a very close friend of mine. I am so lucky to have them in my life and am so glad I was chosen to be their trainer.
Mia and Clayton are two of my most special clients (along with their pet parents of course!). I’ve been training Clay (and his mom) for several years now. When first training Clay, we discovered that he was deaf and he taught me how to approach things differently. I learned so much from training him and was thrilled when his pet parents found a new project for me. Mia started off as a timid little girl but has flourished into the most out-going and joyful dog I know. Both Mia and Clay make me proud on a daily basis and are amazing ambassadors for all bully breeds.
There are so many more dogs, people, and stories that have special places in my heart, but since I’ve trained hundreds of dogs, it would be nearly impossible to share all of them. Luckily, I get to keep these memories and friendships with me forever.
One of the greatest things about Applause Your Paws is the fact that each member of our team deeply cares about our clients, both dog and human. We’ve been so blessed to be able to form these special bonds and make a difference in the lives of our clients every single day.
I will miss you, AYP! To my clients, my colleagues ,and all the doggies I’ve gotten to know, if you’re ever in Boston look me up. I’d be so happy to see you.
Amber Oliver, CPDT-KA, CTDI