Cathy Masson – “Kaycee”
Let me just start by saying if it wasn’t for Bev, my beautiful Border Collie (Kaycee) would have probably been put to sleep. I adopted her from the humane society 3 1/2 years ago not realizing the depth of her aggression toward strangers. Of course, being the exceptionally smart girl she is, Kaycee was all sweetness with me when I met her! The first two trainers we went to for help with this behavior suggested I have her put down or take her back to the humane society so they could do it. Luckily, the second trainer knew Bev and recommended her kennel when I mentioned I had to go away and couldn’t leave her with anyone because she was too much to handle for most. I was also told she was a trainer and had a lot of experience with aggressive dog behavior. After my first phone conversation with Bev and for the first time since adopting Kaycee, I actually felt hope for us. She was attentive, asked the right questions, patient, and even funny. No doubt she heard the stress in my voice! When we first met Bev, I expected the typical Kaycee aggressiveness, but was shocked when Kaycee walked in and slowly made her way toward Bev as she ate up the treat trail Bev had laid down. Within one minute, Kaycee was loving on Bev. Over the course of the next six months, Kaycee and I traveled to Cuyler for training, more often at the beginning, and Bev was on my speed dial for those times I needed a pep talk. What I learned quickly was the training was more for me than Kaycee! I have to be honest, in the first year of having Kaycee, I would have given her up to a really good Border Collie savvy home because she was a lot of work and I was stressed. Now, 3 1/2 years later, I am in love with this Border Collie and there is no way I would give her up! Bev told me from the get go Kaycee would never be perfect, but she could be made more reliable if I was willing to do the work. We did do that and we did it with love and praise, not punishment. Bev was and still is worth the one hour 15 minute drive from my house. Kaycee adores Bev, as do I!
It was almost a year ago that we were struggling with a beautiful Black Lab that had a mind of his own. He did what he wanted, went where he wanted (except he understood the Invisible Fence and would never cross the line) and was basically unresponsive to any directions or commands. We called Bev Warner and she guided our dog and ourselves into a great relationship. We learned how to provide assurance and direction, he learned how to listen, wait, and respond. Her leadership and teaching has made him into a wonderful dog who now uses his energy, mind, and spirit to please us and relate with us. We can’t thank her enough for changing his attitude, and helping us build a trusting and loving relationship with this gentile giant.
Bob & Gigi Sherburne
Manlius, NY 13104
“I met Bev when I took the Pet-Assisted Therapy courses (2 sequentially) in 2007. During that year, I worked intensely to train shelter dogs in basic obedience so that they would be more adoptable. I did that for well over a year, but had to stop when I began graduate school at Binghamton University. I continued to show up and contribute whatever I could at the training classes Bev was teaching.
On October 31, 2009, I brought home a poor little dog, “Shadow,” (Miniature Schnauzer). He had been abused for some time. The grandmother of the youth who was being abusive took the dog into her home to spare him. Unfortunately, she was too ill to care for him, leaving him terribly neglected — as well as being at the bottom of the pecking order with 4 other dogs who were already in the home. After cleaning up the physical problems, it was time to do some serious work on his behavior. Shadow needed confidence and the ability to interact with others, both two and four legged. He had never been on a leash and was afraid to move when it was attached to his collar. He did not know how to go up and down steps, even if it was only an inch or two. When I would hand him a treat, he might not take it until I had given the same one to him several times. He was too afraid and did not seem to believe it was okay for him to have it. I was very glad that I had been working with Bev doing the training classes for 2 years to be able to use the motivational reward training to build a strong, trusting relationship with Shadow and gradually teach him more appropriate behavior than he knew. I was able to help him grow more confident and self-assured. As it turned out, he loves the training and the interactions we have during those times! He turned out to be a great little dog and I am blessed that he came into my life. He has enriched it greatly.