My Dog Spot is my dog's spot | Business
In February 2011, my husband and I decided to stop at the Harbor Humane Society in West Olive on our way home from Holland. We've always liked the shelter and always enjoy being around pets. We already own a lab/shepherd mix who we named Reese. And a cat, whose name has changed about a billion times and has most recently gone by the name Pantherrazzi (think Panther and Lady Gaga). Both of these babies were rescues from our local Muskegon Humane Society.
Anyway, this particular evening as we strolled through the "big dog room", we came across a kennel with a very interesting dog in it. This dog was TERRIFIED - Terrified of EVERY little thing.
I said to my husband, "this dog looks like some kind of a hound."
I looked at her information sheet and sure enough, she was an adult (estimated at 7 years old), black and tan coonhound. She was just skin and bones, oh... and nipples! She obviously had puppies. We had NO intention of getting another dog, especially since Reese already wanted to attack any other dog she came into contact with. Despite all of our concerns and best judgment, this dog melted my heart and a week later she came home with us. I saw her fear and knew, at her age, the odds of her being adopted were slim to none. This dog has had a rough first 7 years of her life, so let's give her a shot at a spoiled next 7 years. We named her Cleo.
Reese adjusted eventually and will always be the "pack leader". Cleo took a lot of time, and a lot - I mean a LOT of patience. The first few months, Cleo wouldn't even come near my husband or me. We cared for her, fed her, and walked her, but in the end we knew everything would be on her terms. If she wanted to be near us, she'd do it when she was comfortable.
Not long into Cleo's new life with us, we met our miracle workers. We were walking through Petsmart one day with Cleo and found out that their obedience trainers were giving free consults to people considering putting their dogs in classes. We met with trainer John Stevens who Cleo was of course terrified of. He on the other hand thought there was hope for Cleo.
He was soft spoken which we figured was exactly what Cleo needed - A low key, soft spoken trainer. We thought it was crazy when he suggested that we try Cleo with the other trainer, Jennifer Tenhove. John described her as high-energy, loud, and blonde. I thought, "Is he crazy?! Cleo will be scared to death of this woman!" Despite our fears, Cleo did end up in Jennifer's class instead.
After Cleo's graduation, John and Jenn opened their own "Doggie Daycare" named "My Dog Spot". They told us they wanted to continue to see Cleo and work with her. By this time Cleo had become more comfortable at home with us, but I’ll admit neither of us was really succeeding with training her. We couldn't even get her to sit! Training a dog who is not motivated by food is NOT an easy task.
On one of Cleo's first days of daycare, I received a text photo from Jenn of Cleo sitting on command. The next week, I received a photo of her laying on command. The next week, shaking! Jennifer and My Dog Spot was our miracle. Cleo really didn't know how to just “be” a dog, but going to My Dog Spot weekly, being around other dogs and certified trainers really showed her how to be one - how to play, sit, lay down, shake. And most of all to us, how to be loved and give love.
I love my dogs. They mean the world to me. I don't think I could ever give one up, but Cleo really pushed our limits. Without My Dog Spot and their patience, understanding, and compassion, I don't know where we would be with Cleo right now. I cannot recommend My Dog Spot enough. If you have a dog that needs training, they will do it. If you have a dog you don't want to leave home alone everyday while you're at work, check out My Dog Spot. If you just need some advice of being the best doggie-parent you can be, get in contact with My Dog Spot and check out their facility. There's been a lot of compassion and hard work put into their business and I wouldn't feel comfortable having my dogs go anywhere else.
My Dog Spot is located at:
5232 Airline Rd
Muskegon, MI 49444