When I started studying at FetchFind Academy just about a year ago, it seemed like it would be forever before I actually started training dogs. There was so much to learn. I was being taught by so many fantastic dog trainers who I admired a great deal back then, and even more so now.
But I’m actually doing it. I’m actually going to be training dogs.
It’s hard to believe, but I have my first clients. Just before Labor Day, an old friend asked if I could watch the two dogs she and her husband have over the holiday weekend. On top of that, she mentioned she would be interested in having someone work with them on their leash walking while they were gone.
There was my opportunity. I was busy over the holiday weekend, but I said if she wanted, I could work with her dogs when she and her husband got back. I didn’t expect her to, but she agreed.
And just like that, I had my first client.
But it was just the start. Now that she’d officially asked me to work with her dogs, my work was just starting. I had to meet her dogs and really figure out what she wanted to get out of me working with them. I had to put together a lesson plan. We had to work out a schedule.
But it all worked out and everything is all set up. The first lesson is going to be October 14 and I’m a fantastic mix of excited and terrified. This is exactly what I want to do, but that’s scary. This is the first time I’ll be teaching a dog (other than mine) on my own. It’s a daunting task.
In spite of that, however, I’m ready. I have a good lesson plan. I’m not trying to do anything complicated or beyond my abilities. And I know if I need advice, I have a wonderful community of dog training pros at FetchFind I can call on.
That’s honestly the best part about being part of the FetchFind world. It’s a community. We have each other’s backs. And while my teachers won’t be there to watch me as I train my friend’s dogs, the things they have taught me and are still teaching me will guide me every step of the way.
So even though I ask you to wish me luck with my first clients, deep down, I’m confident I don’t need it. I know I’m ready for this.
And that might just be the best feeling of all.
After five years as a newspaper reporter in western Illinois and two more as a freelancer in Chicago, Bill Mayeroff‘s life has gone to the dogs in the best way possible. These days, Bill lives in Chicago with his terrier mix, Chester, and works at a small, no-kill animal shelter while he studies to be a professional dog trainer at FetchFind Academy. Bill also blogs about his two favorite things – dogs and beer – at Pints and Pups.