Hi, I’m Michelle and I’m an alcoholic.

I don’t often speak publicly of my recovery from alcoholism, but the other night, when sitting in an AA meeting, something hit me…living life in active recovery from alcoholism parallels maintaining balance in dogs after training.

I know this sounds a little crazy, but stick with me!  Both require continuous work on a daily basis and need to become a lifestyle in order to maintain the progress you’ve achieved.  Without this level of continued commitment, you’ll soon find yourself slipping back into old habits and before you know it, you (and your dog) will be back to the same old problems.

All of the little slips along the way can very easily lead back to old ways once again.  One day you wake up and wonder what happened, how you got back to situations you didn’t want to experience  again.  This may seem more dramatic than needed to explain what can happen when slips in training happen with your dog, but it’s not far from reality.

Instead of consciously maintaining what one has learned along the way, slowly but surely they let their sobriety slip away more and more.  This is akin to allowing more unearned freedoms for the dog who needs to be held more accountable for their decisions.  Before they know it, the owner of the once trained dog is seeing more of the entitled and bratty behaviours that required them to seek out a trainer in the first place.

Be aware of the little moments you let slip by that seem insignificant…they all add up to a much bigger consequence when left unattended.

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