It isn't the first time, but it really just makes me happy to hear my trainer talking about how Leia has turned out with the protection training. He often tells some of his clients who have dogs that are a little distracted or nervous when he first assesses them that you don't always know what you can get, but when the dog gets it, the way that they turn around is always wonderful. He has used my girl as an example for people who have dogs that are distracted, new, little timid, to show that they can overcome that with the right work and time.
Today there was a couple out with two 8 month old white shepherds. They are looking to rehome the female because they're convinced she's fear aggressive and she nipped one of their nieces or nephews on the rump when they were running around. It's clear the female is more bonded to her brother than the people, and both of them seem very distracted and insecure around them. She was definitely nervous, barking when they first saw us come walking over, but after a time she did come up to me and my roommate and sniff our hands. No growling or snapping. She's still a baby, she can still learn and we are planning on fostering her for awhile. I have a feeling when the trainer dropped to my roommate about these people, he had me in mind in hopes I'd take her on. He loves Leia (even if her opinion of him is vastly different) and he has high hopes for my male and this little female. He's been doing this for longer than I've been alive, and I know he has had champions, worked with military/police dogs. Many different breeds, though GSD are his favorite.
But it just really means so much to me that he's as proud of her accomplishments as I am. Leia was insecure and uncertain when I first had her. Just so many changes, such a different life from what it had been. She was a friendly girl, she wanted to be a good girl. She had no trouble with meeting new people, ignored other dogs. Ignored the trainer for her instinct test. But after 4 sessions of working in the car, she turned around and all of the confidence she got spilled into everything. The bond we've achieved, the way that she feels she can take the world on. It makes me so proud of her and makes me so happy that he not only sees it but he loves to talk about what she's done. Watching her in action speaks for itself now.
But I have heard him use her tale to inspire others not to give up so soon and push through.
I never thought that we'd be where we are now. I definitely have never been prouder of my Princess Leia. <3