All my life, from as long as I can remember (about 18 months to 2 years are clear early memories for me) I have been passionate about animals, all animals. I would find cats and have them as a pet for an hour or so, or collect caterpillars and wait for the butterflies, I had an imaginary dog, with a real lead and collar, named Gawks. I could draw him right now. A large Dachshund , deep brown with a dark muzzle and a smile, who sat next to me wherever I was, we chattted, he heard and we shared our life, I “lost” him on holiday aged around 4.
A children our television time was very limited but one of the programmes I was allowed to watch , and became my favourite, was Animal Magic, filmed at Bristol Zoo with the wonderful Johnny Morris voicing the views of the animals as he went about his fictional role as zoo keeper. I gained a “reserve” in a competition for story writing from an animals point of view, a Polar Bear I recall.
During this formative time (aged 10 +) I was convinced my adult life would be as a Vet. I worked hard at school and did well. However as I entered the High school years, although my written subjects were high level, and my science understanding was at the top of the year, my mathematical understanding was poor, I now know I have a learning issue known as Dyscalculia, where numbers can mix up and digits become disorientated. Although I was diligent in my studies, the system for allocating exam level courses prevented me from continuing high level science studies, because my maths did not reach the required level and my dream was stunted, at just 14 years old.
I chose a career in teaching and have been very successful, for almost 40 years I committed more than my full time life to the vocation.
During the years from 14 I have been privileged to share my life with a multitude of animals, including those of my parents and son, always learning from them.
Most recently my lives journey, destiny, the workings of the Universe, brought me to a Facebook Group of like minded animal lovers, albeit very specifically breed related. Here I have been privileged to learn from people who have immersed their lives in the dogs, their temperament, personality and health needs. A steep learning curve at times. Through these wonderful friends I have been guided to other places in the wonderful world of the internet and been provided with a substantial book list. I have read and researched and asked questions and striven to learn. In the past 18 months my animal knowledge base, particularly canine has taken a steep learning curve. As a result I have been asked to share this knowledge amongst this group and other groups I now belong to. Teaching others (my lives training) is how we learn best, how we discern our knowledge, passion. Finding the gaps in understanding is how we develop this knowledge and understanding further, researching and reading and trying out. I am privileged to be asked to help others with my knowledge and share my experiences, making it clear I am not “trained” as a specialist but have specialist knowledge and understanding and more importantly deep experience, from applying the research in my own work with my own dogs, whilst every dog is not the same, many routines, techniques and resources can work in a multitude of situations.
My book shelf is burgeoing and growing daily. My online and paper learning time is becoming more like a Uni timetable. I am loving every minute! I have collections of articles and research papers on such diverse subjects as aromatherapy for dogs and vaccination and worming. The common thread is Animal Care and Welfare, particularly Canine. I have a list of the accredited courses I wish to attend after I have completed the 4 I am currently involved in. I am adding people therapies to the list. I realised very quickly that domesticated pets are deeply affected by the needs of the humans around them, their disease or emotion can be a reflection of their peoples needs.
I am so excited to be attendeing a conference in December dedicated to Natural Canine therapies and new and exciting techniques and research
So my journey is coming full circle, almost 50 years after it began.
I truly believe this is because I now have the life experience to bring the best to this learning and its imparting in supporting so many other people and their animals.
The plan was there all along, I just needed to be the right person at the right time. That time is almost now, not quite, I feel there is a little more to do before I can meet my life’s desire .
Watch this space!