Mild Stress Overload

I train dogs.

I LOVE training dogs. I would train dogs for free if I had a magical inheritance and didn’t have to actually earn money. My dream job is going to work at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, but the hubby’s not so much one for the middle-of-nowhere living. But seriously? A place where I get to play with dogs all day and make a noticeable difference in their lives? And I can bring my dog to “work”? And the whole town is full of dog lovers? I’m there! Never happening, so other dream jobs include running a non-profit training service dogs and helping people train their own, and..well…training dogs as my only job. That last one is most likely. I’m working towards it. That would be heaven.

But currently there’s a bit of a problem.

See, I run Companions Dog Training. I LOVE running Companions. It is so. Much. Fun. Talk about making a noticeable difference in the lives of dogs! I have worked with dogs and helped them go from lunging and barking aggressively at other dogs to calmly greeting them when on walks. I have taken dogs so out of control they were written off as “un-trainable” and helped their people learn how to work with them so they actually listen to cues. I have met people literally at the end of their rope ready to give their dog up, and helped them get things back under control. Most rewarding “job” ever.

I have only been doing it for about 6 months now. So my business is still VERY MUCH in the “growing” phase.

My main steady source of income are my group classes. Anywhere from 1-4 people at a time, I shoot for 3. Right now I have 3 classes, two with 3 dogs, one with 2. Eight people at once. Pretty awesome.

Two classes end next week. With those two classes, 4 students leave.

I have another two classes which start next week. There is 1 person signed up. The same person who’s in an advanced/tricks class now and is continuing on. And I love love love working with her. But..uh…where are all the new dogs? I kind of need people signing up so I can..you know..pay rent.

So I am now in mild panic attack mode. It doesn’t help that today 1) the one person who was signed up for my basics class realized that I was in Edmonds and she didn’t want to drive that far, so dropped out 2) someone who wanted to set up private lessons realized they probably couldn’t work it out with my schedule (since I do still work ft during the day with an hour commute on each end and have classes 3 nights/week that I take or teach), and 3) the private client I was supposed to see on Saturday just called and postponed. For a month. A month. Which is fine, they like to work with me Saturdays and Saturdays are busy. But I’d sure like that income right ’bout now when everything’s dropping and I may have to cancel a class due to lack of students.

I do not want to do that. I want things to continue growing. They were growing so nicely.

*breathe*

So here’s to hoping a group of Edmonds residents suddenly take in new dogs and decide they want to get them trained.

By next week.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Mild Stress Overload

  1. Start breeding dogs and then leave them as puppies on doorsteps, you know like they did with babies way back when. And then in a few months send out flyers for your dog training services.
    Just a thought, ok maybe a sick thought but you have to do something right?
    In all honesty, have you though about boarding? You could do a little training with the dogs and then people might me so impressed that they would sign up for your classes.
    This sucks and I’m sorry. Good luck!

    • Hahaha, well that’s definitely a creative idea! :-)

      I’d love to do boarding, but I work ft right now at a day job so..not so much. Plus I don’t have the setup for it. If I get to the point where I can train ft (in a year or so when we’re ready to get rid of that nice, steady income) then I’d love to add in some boarding, or even some “doggie daycare” w/training. Once my days are free for training there’ll be LOTS more options open to me. For now I’m pretty limited, so I just make do! :-) It is still definitely growing overall, a few months ago I had one paying student/week in class…now it’s 8. Even if it drops to 4 that’s an improvement!

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