Pawsitive Dog


Cricket Mara
    Cricket Mara, Owner

“I did then what I knew then, and when I knew better, I did better.” – Maya Angelou

"Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart give yourself to it." - Buddha

Pawsitive Dog
My first doggie kiss

I grew up with dogs... and cats, rabbits, mice, fish, you name it. I never thought much about it as a kid, but animals have always been a part of my life. When I was five years old and hospitalized with pneumonia, my Dad carried me down to the front door of the hospital to see our new dog as an inspiration for me to get well.

Pawsitive Dog

I only remember a few years in my twenties when I didn't live with an animal. As a young adult out on my own I found cats to be better suited to my life than dogs. They were easy to care for and were good company, although I could swear that one of my cats was really a dog in a cat's body. I'm pretty sure he saved my life at one time.

I had a cat, in 1989, when I married a man who had never had a pet of any kind and really disliked cats. It wasn't long before I realized that the cat and the husband were not going to make it together. So the cat went to live with my brother and my husband and I discussed getting a dog. After all, how could I survive without an animal in my life? He said he had always liked the idea of having a dog so he was willing to give it a try.

Pawsitive Dog
Astro - Halloween '94

We did as much homework as we knew how to do at the time and chose a red, female Doberman puppy. Her name was Astro. Call it dumb luck but she was a wonderful dog. She tolerated a lot from me as I went through my learning curve. I tried to do everything right, beginning with enrolling us in a local obedience class. I was a good student and learned all sorts of ways to "correct" a sweet dog that just wanted to have fun. She took the brunt of that early traditional training phase — the choke chain, prong collar, and other means of punishment. She never lost her composure, but was unwilling to work for me under those terms. Our relationship was never what it could have been due to that early antagonistic beginning. She died of leukemia just before her eighth birthday.
Lesson One: Love is patient and kind.

Pawsitive Dog
Rio at 5 1/2 months

When Astro was three we added a second red Doberman; a male named Rio. He was a cuddly puppy but he was all boy and full of himself too. During this timeframe I was switching over to positive training, but still had not quite let go of some old attitudes. I misinterpreted some of his behaviors and I believe that contributed to his aggression problems. Fortunately, he never bit anyone outside the family, and his bite inhibition was excellent, such that he only left bruises. I loved him dearly and at the time felt that I was willing to go to the ends of the earth to help him. My efforts included learning about alternative veterinary medicine and animal communication, attending many behavior seminars, changing the way I fed my dogs, and ultimately to the TTouch program. My search and TTouch changed my life. Sadly however, I was unable to find the answers I needed for Rio, and faced the most difficult decision of my life in 1999 when I chose to put Rio to sleep at 4 1/2 due to his aggression problems.
Lesson Two: Be willing to let go of old ideas.

Pawsitive Dog
Tego at 20 weeks

Tego joined my life in 1999. From day one she was my joy. She was a petite girl who loved life, other dogs, and rolling in the grass. We refered to her outdoor leaping and romping as 'dancing with the fairies'. She'd befriend any human with food and wasn't above doing some tricks to convince the person she earned it. We competed in conformation and agility together and dabbled in canine freestyle, but mostly we enjoyed going for walks together - especially in the woods. She kept me on track by reminding me to keep life fun and not to get too serious about things. She could be a bit of a diva at times, but always in a good-natured way. Her favorite place was a soft bed in the sun — I could totally see her point! If she had a bad habit it was whining to tell me it was mealtime. She died suddenly during a game of fetch; one of her favorite things. It was a huge shock for us all. She was 8 years old.
Lesson Three: Have fun; enjoy eating & do what you love!

Pawsitive Dog
Solo's 13th birthday

Now Solo, he was a different story all together. He was born on July 4, 2000. Getting him was a leap of faith, and I took little leaps of faith with him each and every day. Everything about him made me regularly think about and re-evaluate what I was doing. He started out with lots of physical and emotional issues. He developed into an amazingly handsome fellow but his emotional stuff proved to be a lifelong project. Homeopathy, TTouch, Healing Touch, acupuncture, and other modalities were all helpful for him. Our work with Bridge and Target training was what finally got us to the point of trusting each other fully and helped him develop his confidence and self-control such that he was MUCH easier to live with and we enjoyed more activities out in the world. He even made some dog friends! The silver lining in Tego's death was that Solo did much better 'solo'. I discovered he had quite a sense of humor. He always believed that I was the greatest thing in his world. He pushed me to the edge of my knowledge and understanding to his very last day. He solidified my belief that every dog comes into our lives for a reason. I'm greatful to have had his company and council for over 13 1/2 years. The lessons he taught me continue to echo throughout my life. Pawsitive Dog
Lesson Four: Be willing to listen with your heart and trust what it tells you.

Pawsitive Dog
Smooch at 7 months

I needed a full year to recover from losing Solo. But in 2015 the time was right for the Universe to bring me a new gift. A joyful, energetic, sweet and silly Whippet I named Smooch. It's been 15 years since I raised a puppy, so I am, in many ways, back at the beginning of my life with dogs. I have a strong foundation from all those years of experience, but Whippets are different than Dobermans so I am also learning many new things once again. This also includes letting go of what no longer serves me. I just adore him and so far I find him to be happy, brilliant, social and everything I wanted. I look forward to playing many fun games (aka dog sports) with him. His story is just beginning, but we are deeply immersed in creating a strong relationship based on trust and fun while still living life one day at a time.
Lesson Four: It's okay to just be happy and enjoy life.

My husband has become a full-fledged dog lover and even has a business selling raw food for dogs. My passion for dogs has rubbed off on him. He's even learned to accept cats… although I'm not sure he's ready to live with one yet Pawsitive Dog

I continue to attend training and behavior workshops and take on-line training classes because I believe that we are never done learning. Every dog I meet teaches me something!