Pet Connections: Teachers And Students Together.

Life is kinda cool when you’re a dog in the Pet Connection program out at the Ontario Arc.

You get your own bones to chew, lots of attention and people to brush out your fur. Which is what happened last Friday when I went out to visit Brutus volunteer.

Friday was one of those weather-perfect spring days when there was no better place to be than outside, especially if you’re a dog with a double coat that needed to be brushed.

And brushed.  Before Brutus’ dog trainers-in-training had finished, there was enough Brutus fur to help a lot of birds feather their nests.

Ah, the beauty of recycling is a wonderful thing!

Even better was listening to all of Brutus’ trainers talk about how much they want Brutus to find his forever home.  They’ve spent a lot of time with him and they’ve all had a hand in how well he’s doing.

Brutus came into the Pet Connections program with some great characteristics of his own. He’s a happy, high spirited guy who has never met a stranger.  He’s not quite two years old and that makes him an adolescent. If I was still teaching high school English and Brutus was a 16 year old boy in my class, he’d be the kid who would love to trade jokes with his friends and me, who wouldn’t be shy about offering his opinions, and who would keep the rest of us on our toes.

He’d know just how far he could push the envelope before quickly dissolving into laughter. On the days when he wasn’t in class, the room wouldn’t sparkle as much.

I think that Brutus’ Pet Connection trainers know that if they’re patient on Brutus’ behalf, the right family for him will show up. They know they’ve done their job of helping Brutus to be the best dog he can be. And, they know that he’s going to be a work in progress for the family that adopts him.

But, that’s not such a big deal when you stop to think that dogs and humans are all works in progress. And, even though the work doesn’t stop, it can get easier over time.

Which is what’s happened for Brutus. He’s learned a lot of good stuff with the Pet Connections program. Even better is what his dog trainers-in-training are about to discover:  that the best teachers see the good inside of their students and find ways to teach to that.

And, if they’re really good (and these dog trainers-in-training are excellent), the lessons they teach will carry their students out into the world with confidence.

The hardest part of that is opening the door so that the student gets to walk through it without you.

The best part of that is knowing there are other students other dogs still to come.


Some housekeeping reminders:  As a volunteer for the Pet Connections program, all of the content in this post belongs to me and represents my own ideas and opinions.  If you are interested in finding out if you and your family are the right match for Brutus, you can find out more about him by contacting Happy Tails.   [gplus count=”true” size=”Medium” ]







  1. says

    How is it that you have such a gift with words that you can capture what has been really happening with the “Pet Connectors”? These ARC folks have done the most awesome job in training and loving Brutus. They have taught him how to love and trust and he is so ready for a forever home! The magic is our folks who come to Brutus with pure intention and Brutus who has learned to forgive and trust again. I just know the forever home is around the corner. Thank you again for putting words to our work……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *