I took my first Fenzi Dog Sports Academy class last August. At the time, I didn't realize what an amazing community was behind the online dog training center, but with additional classes, I discovered the support and encouragement of other people embarking on the same training journey to improve the lives of their dogs (and themselves). I have online, R+ dog-friends from other corners of the internet, but something about the people in FDSA has been incredibly inspiring and uplifting to me. Reading others' stories and successes with their own dogs - some with very similar issues as Ida - has been been very encouraging for me and I am incredibly grateful everyday for having found a community that focuses on using R+ as much on its people members as on its canine ones.
But there has been something else that I didn't expect from joining such a large online community. Even though there are thousands of people, it is quite tight knit, and the increase in support and motivation and encouragement has also come with heartache, as people who I previously had no connection with say goodbye to dogs that have taught them so much about themselves and the way they view the world.
Sometimes it feels like I've known the dog personally. They've become fixtures in my online world, seemingly infinite and ageless, even as I see the numeral marking their years increase in online posts. Others I have never read about until their owner posts a heartfelt goodbye that reminds me how little time we get with our dogs. It doesn't matter if it's one year or ten, it's never enough.