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Hi everyone!
First I'd like to say thanks in advance for reading my post. I'm looking forward to being a member of this community, even if I don't get the answers I'm hoping for.

My name is Anita. I'm 21 years old and I was a proud owner of a pure bred GSD for 10 years. When I was 8 years old my parent divorced and I lived with my mom full time afterwards. I took the divorce very hard and when I was 9 my mom bought me a dog hoping it would keep my mind away from the constant sadness I was feeling. It worked completely. I spent every waking minute with my dog, whom I named Wolf. He was such a great dog and I was constantly told not only how handsome he was, but he had this intelligence I've yet to see in another dog, and would regularly hear 'he has such intelligent eyes!'. I didn't get him fixed until he was 7, which I regret now, but I had always intended to use him as a stud, which never happened. Again, I would have done things differently another time around. For 2 years I put him through dog show training with the breeder my mom had bought him from (who was a wonderful woman and actively encouraged my commitment to my dog, just like my mom). Unfortunately, this woman died of leukaemia and I was devastated. I never took him to a dog show, something else I will always regret especially considering all the work Blanca (his breeder) and I had invested. A couple of years went by and I kept up with his training, mostly doing cute little tricks, and some useful ones, as well as practically mastering recall (1 kilometre). He was good with other dogs, even being in tact, and when we went to the dog park he'd be more interested in the training that was sure to come because he was so advanced it was the only place that offered enough of a 'distraction'.

When I was 16 my mom had a stroke. I moved in with my dad, but he hated dogs and wouldn't let me keep Wolf. Since he was the only thing I had ever committed to I decided to move into town and make it on my own. Wolf adjusted to living in the city very well, even though I worked 12 hours a day. Still every waking moment I had I spent with him. I was totally devoted walking him for an hour before and after work. Eventually him and I got bored doing the same old tricks and I decided to enrol in agility training. We went through 2 seasons and loved it. Unfortunately he slipped a disk during his 10th year and I had no choice but to put him down. It felt like the end of my world and I lived in my room for a solid 2 weeks before going back to work. After a couple of months I couldn't bear the pain anymore and I left. I just left my job, my family, everything. First I started hitch hiking, then after a scary experience, train hopping. I've been travelling Canada for 2 years now and I'm ready to settle down. My family wants me to go to school, and I've looked into it- but strictly for dog training. The thing about choosing dog training as a career is its really people training. I'd much rather work with dogs. I looked into a school in Vancouver called dogstars. I called one of the people who had taken the course and he advised me of trying to apprentice with a reputable trainer instead. I'm just really unsure of what to do next and was really hoping someone could offer a couple of suggestions. Again thanks for reading this, if you've made it this far, it really means the world to me.
 

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wow

your post is like the summary of a good book.

I'm 19, and I don't know how good my advice will be, I would probably get another dog If I were you, and I bet you would make an awesome dog trainer/breeder.
I don't think you really need school for that though, you could try to find a mentor, you will never be able to replace the great one you had, but maybe you can find another great one who can teach you even more!
If you want to go to school I would go for something else that you like, or just a general education. Dog training certificates don't seem that impressive to me. Something that you need to work at a place like pet-co isn't going to help you follow your dream ( in my opinion) If you get another dog and train him really well/get him titled that would be all the proof I would need to hire you!

I really hope your time traveling was not bad for you, and I really hope that your life is going good, you have a great story.

I have always wanted to travel like that, this might be a weird question but - would you recommend it?
 

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I'm sorry to hear your sad story about you and your dog. Your dog sounds like a lovely dog, and I know they're hard to lose. Just remember the good times and he will be waiting for you on the other side running free and happy. :)

The only thing I have to offer is that if you want to train dogs, go for it. Don't let anyone talk you out of your dreams. Trying to apprentice with a reputable trainer sounds like a very good start. Make some calls to some trainers and/or breeders and ask what they think about your next step. Go watch some trainers do their work and make a decision on what you want to do next.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
wow

your post is like the summary of a good book.

I'm 19, and I don't know how good my advice will be, I would probably get another dog If I were you, and I bet you would make an awesome dog trainer/breeder.
I don't think you really need school for that though, you could try to find a mentor, you will never be able to replace the great one you had, but maybe you can find another great one who can teach you even more!
If you want to go to school I would go for something else that you like, or just a general education. Dog training certificates don't seem that impressive to me. Something that you need to work at a place like pet-co isn't going to help you follow your dream ( in my opinion) If you get another dog and train him really well/get him titled that would be all the proof I would need to hire you!

I really hope your time traveling was not bad for you, and I really hope that your life is going good, you have a great story.

I have always wanted to travel like that, this might be a weird question but - would you recommend it?
Life is going great now that I'm back home, I'm just feeling lost as to what to do next. As far as traveling how I did, I would NEVER recommend it. I learned a lot, I've seen a lot, but I've become hardened. I've learned that there's a lot of WONDERFUL people out there, but there's also a lot of really scary people. I hitch hiked an area of bc they call the highway of years. Officially a few dozen women have gone missing, but talking to a police officer I was told they suspect its more like hundreds. And train hopping isn't any safer. You're less likely to be raped and murdered, but more likely to call and have your legs severed or be crushed, or be thrown off and die in a derailment. Not to mention rail gangs. Especially if you're in the states, you could be beaten by these gangs (or even the police that patrol the railways) and have all your gear stolen.
I'd suggest buying a train ticket :)
 
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