Many of my clients have heard me refer to my experiences with India. I do not think a dog could teach me more than she has. She is the reason I started Wagline Dog Training.
She was a challenging however, so when I adopted Blue, I made sure he was more easy going. India was 10 when I got him, so I figured the two of them would have a few years together. I didn’t know that they would only have nine months.
India was diagnosed with lung cancer that metastasized to her rib. Prognosis was not good and chemotherapy could help improve her quality of life, but would not cure her cancer. She initially responded well to the treatment, but after the first round, it became clear that it wasn’t working. She was in pain, and her chest continued to fill with fluid. I had to let her go.
Everyone who works with dogs has had a dog that was particularly special. For me, that was India. She was an easy dog to love. Someone once remarked that she was the most honest dog in the world – she felt every emotion 100 percent. Her joy, exuberance and sweetness were evident to anyone who met her.
Other emotions like fear and nervousness were often on display too. It was dealing with those emotions, and the behaviors that they caused, that helped me to become the trainer I am. My work with her allows me to relate to the feelings of frustration, anxiety and being overwhelmed that many of my clients feel, and it lets me tell them with confidence that it can get better.
I miss her pointy head, and her wiggly butt, and the way she would curl against me when she was excited or wanted some physical contact, but she lives on for me in every dog I am able to help because of my experiences with her.