Okay, I’m going to say the thing you aren’t supposed to say. If it were up to me… we probably wouldn’t have adopted my dog Kit. She came to the Marin Humane Society as a stray who was running loose in Fairfax in late November 2014. She was under socialized, on the timid side and slightly aloof. When we first met, I didn’t feel a connection to her, but my husband did.

Emily snaps a selfie with a camera shy Kit.

Emily snaps a selfie with a camera shy Kit.

Having the privilege of being able to bring my dogs to work, I strive for them to be well behaved. To me, a well behaved dog means that they can walk politely on leash and have their attention on me when I ask for it. So even though I didn’t feel a connection to Kit, I wasn’t going to give up on her. I had faith that if we worked together we could have a very fulfilling relationship.

Since we adopted her in December of 2014, we completed classes including Family Dog 1 (twice!), Obedience Tune Up, Loose Leash Walking and Recalls, and we have had three behavior consultations with MHS Behavior & Training staff. And, oh yeah, we had a baby in between.

For me, dog training classes is a lot like going to the gym. There are countless other things that I would rather do, but it is needed. And in the long run, it’s worth the time you put in.

Currently, we are in Family Dog 2. The other day in class we were working on “hidden recalls.” The handler goes to hide behind one of a variety of partitions and calls their dog. I’ll admit, I got a little nervous. Would she come to me? Would she be distracted by the bone that the Golden Retriever was chewing on? I do know that if given a choice between running toward a deer and running toward me when I call her… I will lose to that deer, always. And I know that from experience.

I went and hid behind a partition and called her, “Kit – Kit Come, Kitty come!” I heard her nails tapping along the ground, so I knew she was on the move. When she found me I “threw a party.” Gave her some treats and said “Yay Kit-Kit! You are SO smart!”

The class instructor was close behind Kit and said “That is a dog actively seeking her guardian.” In Behavior & Training speak that means, she has come a long way.

That statement is a total triumph for me. All the work I am putting into Kit and my relationship with her is paying off.

Stay tuned to the MHS blog Marin Pets for more “Training Triumphs” with Kit and Emily and other staff member of MHS. Emily Robledo is the marketing and communications coordinator at the Marin Humane Society. She has two dogs, a new son and a husband to keep her on her toes while she isn’t at work.