Thank You

Dear clients and colleauges,

‘Tis the season to be grateful. We wanted to send out a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone for the best year yet. Honestly. 2011 has been a dream come true and 2012 is looking even better.

This year was started off by connecting with some pretty incredible positive trainers here in Toronto and forging wonderful friendships. People often think that this industry is highly competitive and while there will always be that edge in any industry, to be honest; the bond that positive trainers have to each other is much stronger than any competition. We support each other, practice on each other, share our successes, our failures, our doubts and fears, our beautiful moments, our pride, our stories and even our clients. The bottom line is that we’re all in it for the same reason; to better the lives of dogs in our city (even around the world as far as we can reach) through education and force-free methods.

In 2011 we welcomed hundreds of new pups into our various programs, one of which has become a fast favourite and the cause of many a wait-list. Cranky Canine. The first and only class of its kind in downtown Toronto; a partnership of Whatta Pup! and Mindful Behaviors. We work with four reactive dogs in an intensive program that prepares each handler for “real life” with their feisty friend. By the end of the series, dogs who were sometimes labeled “aggressive” or “firecracker” or “short fuse”, are walking past each other on sidewalks, gazing lovingly at their handlers. All of this while proudly using force-free, humane techniques.

We spent countless hours/days attending seminars, conferences, workshops and classes in order to ensure we’re bringing the right information to the table when we’re dealing with you and your dogs. We would never want to pass along outdated or inaccurate information, so we’re constantly upgrading our skills for you.

In November 2011, Caryn Charlie Liles was named Executive Director of the IAFPP: International Association of Force-Free Pet Professionals (formerly IPDTA – International Positive Dog Training Assocation). This great undertaking means that we can share knowledge with other trainers and pet professionals around the world and encourage everyone who works with animals to use force-free techniques.

Near the end of 2011, we started making plans to expand and on October 25th, we signed a lease for a space of our own where we can offer classes, a place for private lessons, workshops, courses, playdates, and much more. This new space is in our favourite part of the city – Leslieville. Located just slightly north of Dundas Street East on Carlaw Avenue, our 950 sq.ft. space is soon to be called home.

The holidays will be spent with family and friends, and then we jump straight into minor renovations so that our space is ready for our Grand Opening on January 7th, 2012. (Stay tuned for your invitation!)

What strikes us most about 2011 is the amount of love and support that has come our way. Not just from family, friends and colleagues, but from you. Every day that you welcome us into your home to help you better communicate with your dog, every email that you send with questions and feedback, every card that comes in the mail with a thank you for “helping change a life”, every picture of your dog that is sent and cherished…every day is a good day.

There are few people who can say that they wake up in the morning in anticipation of the day ahead; that they cannot wait to get to work, that they have the most wonderful clients imaginable…but we know how that feels because we live it every day and it’s because of you.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything in 2011; for your support and encouragement, for laughing at our corny jokes in class, for liking our posts on Facebook, retweeting us on Twitter, sharing your lives with us and allowing us to become part of your family too. Every day you help make our dreams come true.

Happy Holidays and warmest wishes for 2012. We (as always) can’t wait to see you again.

Caryn Charlie Liles and the incredible team here at Whatta Pup!