My response to Katya's review

I remember Katya and Sheba very well. She was one of my earlier clients when I was starting out. Katya worked for In Defense of Animals and could not afford my services. I offered her a discount and payments at her pace in return for introducing me to the people at her Organization so that I could try to form a relationship with them and perhaps volunteer there. Even though I asked her about it several times, she never set up any introductions.

However, I nevertheless helped her with her dog. Sheba was not only scared, but very aggressive. She had nipped several people at her work place and was very threatening in her own home. She would pace and growl and stand in assertive stances, ready to lunge. I would ask Katya to please put her on a leash for safety, but Katya would insist there wasn't a problem. It was literally the ONLY time I have had a client refuse to leash their aggressive dog. The combination of an aggressive (pitbull) dog and an owner in denial IS dangerous. It is also a situation I will not allow to happen ever again.

I worked with Katya in her home several times and spent a good deal of time with her on the phone, walking her through the details of the exercises again and answering her questions. We got Sheba to be much more friendly at work with treats and praise. We also worked outside - specifically on fears such as men, umbrellas, etc. Sheba made good progress. However, Katya kept asking for more help, including tricks and advanced work. Seeing as I had already: 1. risked my safety, 2. got the dog to be safe at her workplace, 3. worked on all of her outside fears, 4. was underpaid and did not get the introduction I requested in return for my work, I told her that I would meet with her one last time. I asked her to make a list of the specific things she would like to accomplish so that we could make sure we had a concrete plan that would make her satisfied that her training was completed. She asked if there could be more lessons, and I replied that we should have the next lesson and see how it goes. If there was indeed more work to do, I would be happy to continue to help. But I needed to know what else specifically she wanted, since her original list had been completed. She agreed to do that, but then never called back to set up an appointment. Now, literally over 3 years since our first meeting, she is writing to say my training did not work. She had made no contact since our last phone call to say she was dissatisfied in any way.

If she chooses to contact me directly, I can still try to make things right by her. However, I do feel like I went to extraordinary efforts to help her, and am very saddened and upset to see her review.

-Beverly, The Pooch Coach

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