Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Having never heard of Thanksgiving before I came to the States I wondered why it was such a big deal, but over the years I’ve come to really appreciate the message that it sends – giving thanks for the good things in your life, connecting with family and eating lots! (It took me a while to get used to eating roast turkey in November since traditionally in England we only eat it on Christmas day, but I’m not complaining now.) Fortunately, my family is very understanding when it comes to my lack of cooking talent, so I am never asked to do it. Who knows, though - maybe one year I will surprise them and pay them back for all of the delicious meals they have cooked for me over the years.
This time of year I like to look back and think about what has happened throughout the year both in my personal and business life. I’m now home for a while having just finished filming the third American series of It’s Me or the Dog in New York City and am happy to be home with my husband and daughter again while connecting with friends that I haven’t seen for a long time. The new shows will start airing in early January and I’m excited because I think this is going to be the best season yet. I have been challenged and tested by the situations I have encountered, but every new experience, however hard, forces me to improve my skills as a trainer and allows me to think outside the box while coming up with new and creative solutions that will benefit the dog and the family. Hopefully there's a little bit of entertainment that happens along the way as well. I love being challenged, and when I started filming the show six years ago I certainly never thought that after 120 episodes I would still be able to come up with new ways of doing things. That just goes to show how flexible and workable positive reinforcement techniques can be.
So as I’m giving thanks this Thursday I thank God for my family, for having the chance to work with amazing animals and for giving me the opportunity to help show people in fifty countries the power of force-free training through my show. And I thank you all for watching because your support helps to spread the word and improve the lives of dogs and their people around the world.
A blessed Thanksgiving to you all.
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Articles from Victoria Stilwell
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- Becoming a Dog Trainer
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