Marlene and Sami, Ellicott City, MD

My story begins with an adorable puppy saved from a puppy mill in the middle of the night.  Her name is Sami and she is now four years old.  When we adopted her we knew she was one of a liter of six, extremely timid and often was not able to get enough to eat because of her siblings.  We also knew that she was taken from her mother at a very young age and crated without much human interaction. 

As a mother of three, it was only natural to take in this young pup and “nurse” her back to health.  And while I was successful at doing that physically, I found out I was not meeting her emotional needs.  That is, the emotional needs of a dog.  After many conversations with Mike about my dog and reading his suggested books I learned of the injustice I was imposing on Sami.  At the time, I too was traversing through difficult times and my emotions, anxieties and fears were transposed unfairly onto our dog.  Sami was an extremely timid dog, very territorial in the home, and a persistent barker whenever someone new approached us.  And, if you happened to be a male over the age of 12 she was unapproachable. 

After meeting with Mike and his two awesome dogs Sami quickly learned to “fit in” and be a dog.  Mike pointed out many behaviors that Sami was displaying, both good and not so good.  Mike educated me one what a dog needs from his owner, with the main focus being a leader.  Now, after owning two horses I knew this to be the case, but when it came to Sami it was clear I was not the pack leader. Working with Mike and his dogs gave me the tools I needed to provide that crucial element that this dog needed in order to feel safe, secure, and happy.  

Today, I am Sami’s pack leader.  She has become a more secure and happy dog.  Although some of her issues may always reside I have at least learned what I need to do to encourage her to reach beyond what she is comfortable with.  She knows she is safe with me (as a leader) which in turn gives her the confidence she needs to explore new situations.  Sami is still my “fourth” child and I continue to give her affection; now it just happens to be a healthier affection. 

If you are reading this then you are half-way there.  Mike takes every situation and applies what he sees and knows.  He won’t sugar coat a situation just to make a dog owner feel better.  It is clear Mike’s passion is with the dog.  From his passion Mike will give you the tools you need to be the pack leader and enjoy your dog in an entirely new way!