Back in December I posted about the difficulties I was having with my current semester of Lad Lake students. The PETS program is designed to have boys from the school for at-risk kids learn about and train shelter dogs with the goal of instilling empathy, teamwork, patience and inspire them to be interested in learning.
The first semester of the school year just ended and I'm pleased at how things really turned around for the program. The boys became very excited to work with the dogs and train them to do new things, and I saw many of the boys become more respectful both towards myself and the other students, and they were enthusiastic about the learning portion of the program.
The last day of the semester the boys gave me notes they'd put together thanking me for allowing them to particpate in the program. One of the boys was grateful that he'd learned about puppy mills and promised never to get a dog from one. One complimented me on being a great trainer and teacher. Another drew pictures of myself and my dog. Getting thanks from the kids I work with really makes my job worthwhile, and I always hope that I've made an impact even in a small way on their lives.
One of the gifts I give to the boys on completion of the semester is a video that I put together from footage shot over the course of the semester of their work with the dogs. The latest video is below.