Today I got an email from my friend, colleague, founder of the Fenzi Dog Sport Academy, Denise Fenzi.
She sent me a message asking if I had read an article.
Here is the link.
I read clicked on the link, and didn’t initially take note of the name. As I read through the article, it appeared strangely familiar to a blog that I had recently written. The more I read, I assumed that the author had ‘copied’ or adapted the blog post I had written…. So I just dusted it off, and took it as a back handed compliment… after all, its not the first time this has happened with ideas/methods I have put out into the world. As a professional dog trainer, its kinda par for the course. Its what happen when you put your ‘stuff’ out there.
So I asked Denise, when had it been written…. to which she said… ‘About 20yrs ago’! LOL. The author is the brilliant Suzanne Clothier.
Although I have been training dogs for close to 3 decades (geez that makes me sound ancient!), I think it would take some feat only achievable through the pages of science fiction or Doctor Who, I definitely wasn’t writing a blog 20yrs ago… in fact, did ‘blogs’ even exist?? Did the internet exist?? How ever did we manage!
So the assumption could be drawn that I ‘copied’ what the author had written. Don’t get me wrong, of course I am familiar with Suzanne Clothier’s work, she is fantastic! And my passion is dog training and behaviour, so of course I know her work! Her book ‘Following Ghost’ is a must for anyone interested in nosework, and her principles to dealing with dogs and horses with behavioural issues are fantastic, there are so many parallels to my own ethos and principles. I have referred others to her work. However I have not ever come across THIS particular article before. Its plausible to conclude that I had copied what Suzanne had written as passed it off as my own. However given that the blog post I wrote, was completed in my lunch break on a seminar I was teaching, after a conversation with some of the attendees. I flippantly used the analogy of jumping on unsuspecting members of the public, as we all compared our experiences…. Inspiration comes from many places.
So what does that mean? It means that there is someone else who sees the world of dog training and behaviour as I do! I’m not sure the world is ready for two of ‘us’…. But it also says that there is plenty of room for us all, and many more like you rather then different. If you adhere to a particular approach to training, you will naturally gravitate to those that share your perspective. This perspective should sit with who you want to be as a dog trainer, and dog owner.
The universe works in amazing ways, and send you the people, dogs and lessons you need irrespective of whether you are aware or even know you need them. Choosing a certain path of training your dog, will be reliant at times on the universe sending you the right people at just the right time. Especially those of you that are in isolation, either through geographical position or knowledge. I know that at each juncture of my career, I have been fortunate to have the right person/s come along at just the right moment. I am fully aware of walking a path laid down by many more before me. And I have always acknowledged their contribution.
There is no shame and it doesn’t detract from your own shine, to beam the light on others. This applies to business, work, sports, dog training and much more.
With information being more readily available, everyone is trying to carve their own niche and make an impression on the world of training dogs and behaviour. Outlandish stunts, dynamic video clips and eye catching marketing are like shiny buttons to a magpie. I include myself in this, as I am currently working on a my own online project. My two biggest source of advise were in fact two people Denise Fenzi and Susan Garrett, who both have their online communities! Why would they give me advice and allow me to ‘glean’ from their experience? Because, they know that facilitating others success and joy, doesn’t detract from theirs… in fact, it contributes to it. Raising others up, sharing their work and acknowledging the achievement of others doesn’t take anything away from the light that already shines on you.
This could be acknowledging how well behaved someones dog is, unbeknown to you the struggle they have gone though to get to that point. This could be competition, if you see someone do a fantastic round, or run… tell them. Even if they are in the same class as you, it doesn’t mean you weren’t great, it just means that you aren’t afraid to let others know how great they are. And you know what, the Universe is listening. When you need a pick up or some acknowledgement, it’ll come your way.
Sometimes we all need assurance and acknowledgement. Reading Suzanne’s words, made me realise that my own words may have merit. The similarities may be pure coincidence, but it was the universe affirming my thoughts and perspective. And in return, without even knowing it, her work from 20yrs ago has been echoed. The universe at work again.
I know that in my journey to follow a path of training based on certain principles, it has directed me to those that share my views and attracted others wanting to embrace a new perspective. Indeed, I became involved with the Fenzi Sports Dog Academy because of this want to share this perspective on a platform which I believed in. The more we shed light on those who share our beliefs, the greater the chance of us ‘all’ succeeding. There is no need to be afraid to share that light, or take it away from others, whether they share your beliefs or not. Focus on the energy you project and let the universe do the rest.
‘In our togetherness as a team, castles are built’. Irish Proverb.