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It is Better to Journey Together

Posted on 06/29/11 32 Comments

Thank You

I am grateful and excited that so many of you are going to be on the PuppyPeaks journey with Swagger and I.  First I am excited because I am looking forward to showing off the Swagamuffin. Doesn’t every proud momma want her puppy to be the center of attention? Second, to be able to share my thoughts and ideas on Swaggervision is going to be fun and rewarding. People have asked me “don’t you feel any extra pressure knowing the world is watching him grow?”.

The answer is a resounding “no,” for two reasons. 1) I look at it as no different than when I wrote the monthly column “What’s the Buzz” when Buzz was growing up. I know people may judge what they see but that is their journey not mine. 2). I know that Swagger is going to help so many people and dogs I don’t even think about “putting myself out there.”


Knowing you are on the journey with me influences my training more than I thought. While very little of the methodology will change, I do feel an added responsibility to you as viewers to have my training methods be more visible.  By that I mean, I need to be mindful of your view, the angle of the camera to see Swagger and me.

Swagger won’t be on view 24/7 but I wonder what the impact will be on him?  He certainly won’t be camera shy! I am certain he will be a great benefactor as I focus even more intently to create a puppy that has a balanced training program.   Thought not even close in scale, this program reminds me of  Jim Carrey in The Truman Show

Even though I have been super busy with seminars and webinars and training and courses, and agility events and travel, I appreciate the moments to stop and reflect and appreciate.


I’ve done some introspection while working on the training videos with Swagger for PuppyPeaks.  Maybe you could answer these for yourself for fun.

  1. If a camera was on me 24/7, would it change how I act?
  2. If a camera was on me while I trained my dog(s), would it change what I do/say?
  3. How do you properly thank the person holding the camera? 😉

Ok that last one was just silly.   I look forward to your comments and to sharing my journey with so many wonderful people.

Today I am grateful for technology, and the way it transforms my life.


  1. Mary M says:
    Saturday, July 9, 2011 at 6:29pm

    Answer to #3 – It depends on who’s holding the camera Susan…..eh?

    😉 LOL


  2. George 'n Milo says:
    Saturday, July 9, 2011 at 10:48am

    Thank you for the video. It reminded me of the special dog in my life, how we met at exactly the right time, and how much he has taught me. We don’t learn much when things go right. It’s the challenges that make us who we are.


  3. Barktender says:
    Saturday, July 9, 2011 at 4:27am

    Thank you for the video, Swagger Man and those great questions. For the first time in to long I am enjoying my dogs. Playing, working and just plain being with them. Rent does sometimes get in the way……..
    Looking forward to more Puppy Peaks and the Swagger.


  4. Janet Parker says:
    Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 11:19am

    I’m so disappointed to have missed being a founding member of Puppy Peaks (I was away on holiday). When can the rest of us join in Susan??
    Janet Parker


  5. Christine says:
    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 1:11pm

    It does not change how often I have seen this video by now it is always touching and reminding me a lot of many woulderful lessons with the Pappnasen Company (how I call my dogs).
    Puppy Peaks and Recallers are fun for all from young dog, middle age and our very old dog. There is noone not benefiting.
    Looking forward meeting you finaly in Parma in person.
    It is great that there are people in this world enjoying dog sport and still respecting dogs they way they are and sharing their knowledge so openly.
    Thank you


  6. Lindsay King says:
    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 1:34am

    This is the first time I have watched this video and now my make up is smudged and I look like C%#P. What a powerful message. It has made me look back at the dogs who have shared my life and the lessons I have learnt from them. You have changed my life and in turn their lives and I am so so grateful. Very excited to watch Swagger’s puppy peaks. Thank you for sharing.


  7. Debbie M says:
    Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 1:05am

    Actually that wasn’t a silly question: how often do we thank the person videoing. If it wasn’t for that person further lessons would be lost.
    Love that video and truly believe every dog is sent to us for a reason.
    I’ve always said and believed that dogs teach us so much about ourselves.


  8. Krista says:
    Monday, July 4, 2011 at 9:46am

    The more I re-read & re-watch blog posts, recallers, puppy peaks the more I find myself repeating….thank you Susan!


  9. TawnyHill Shepherds says:
    Sunday, July 3, 2011 at 5:42pm

    I love this “Jouney” video so many precious pictures and memories. Recently I was at an agility trial and inbetween runs I was taking my almost 14 yr old GSD out in her wheels. Later a woman I know from trials looked at me and said I hope they get it meaning Skyler in her wheels and I asked her what she meant. As tears filled her eyes she said I hope they look at Skyler and you understand that this is what it is all about not the run that just went wrong or the agility we all love to do. She made me feel really good because yes for me the relationship I have with my dogs is what it all means to me and how I want the journey to continue as long as possible. here is Skyler still enjoying life http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-seYdXiQWc


  10. Sarah says:
    Sunday, July 3, 2011 at 11:18am

    Just wondering what supplements you put into your dogs water at competition? Do you use it daily?


  11. Jane Harding says:
    Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 6:59pm

    Oh, I am looking forward to this, I have a now 12 week old that’s a BEAST… she has a short attention span,, she spits out the food cos she wants to get onto the next thing… oh, she’s keeping me on my toes. FUN,, is she FUn,, yes, I just can’t wear her out yet! Oh, we are working on a name too.. right now she’s puppy….UGH!


  12. Lori Kline says:
    Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 3:22pm

    Thank you Susan for that beautiful video, The Journey. I find myself struggling to figure out what journey I am on with one of my dogs. She has taught me so much, but is not an easy dog. I so wish I could take away her fears and show the world what a happy, goofy starlet she really is. I find myself questioning what I am asking her to do, is it for her or me? I had hoped it would be for us but no, it’s for me. That is not fair to her. She is with me forever, that is the promise I made when I adopted her, for the good and the bad. So she will continue to show me what a special dog she truly is and I will love her for who she is.


  13. Mary Lou says:
    Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 8:27am

    Thanks for posting that video again. Just hearing the first couple of piano notes gets my eyes watering. You’ve done many wonderful things but this video is one of my favorites!!!!!


  14. Sydney says:
    Friday, July 1, 2011 at 5:23pm

    My all time favorite inspirational video! it is bookmarked and viewed or sent to others. Knowing about many of Susan’s dogs who have since traveled to the rainbow bridge it pulls at my heart strings even more and reminds me of my journeys both past and present. It always brings tears to my eyes but also a warm feeling in my heart. Thank you Susan for making it and helping me with my journey.


  15. Gretchen says:
    Friday, July 1, 2011 at 12:23pm

    To answer question #2 above, I think it would really work on me to sit down and carefully plan out each session…..knowing what I wanted to achieve, and then figuring out (in advance) how to handle things that aren’t headed in the right direction. I’ve always felt having my agility runs taped offered me very valuable feedback, and it something crops up “later,” I like to be able to go back and review……..and see where it first started to appear (and I missed it). 🙂


  16. Valerie says:
    Friday, July 1, 2011 at 12:11pm

    Ah, bummer. I missed PuppyPeaks! 🙁 How Swag-man enjoys his camera time. ^_^


  17. Sherry Moore says:
    Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 11:21pm

    I watch this video often. I’ve been led to learn many lessons from the dogs in my life. I have many more to learn. Your video is a wonderful reminder to enJOY the journey. Thank you!


  18. Sharon says:
    Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 4:13am

    2. If a camera was on me while I trained my dog(s), would it change what I do/say?

    This is a seriously good question. First thing I would do is record keep every single session. I would make sure my timing is spot on. I would have planned the session well, including transitions. I would make sure I was organised with everything I needed.

    Hmmmm …. should be doing all this anyway, from now on will pretend that the camera is on for every session.


  19. Sarah Kevin says:
    Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 12:26am

    OK what’s the link to the video?


  20. Sarah Kevin says:
    Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 12:18am

    WOW – can’t stop sniffling after the video, I think I lost the joy in my journey a long time ago, and now am figuring out why dogs are now in my life, and why at 48 am I finding meaning and joy. Without sounding too maudlin although maybe too late, I think that I am finding my joy and I hope to bring joy to my dogs on our journey.


  21. brittsdeux says:
    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 10:21pm

    Yes Teri! I watch this video often and I share it often (even with non dog-training friends). The message is universal and timless!


  22. Teri says:
    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 9:21pm

    Wow, that is kinda freaky. I shared that video link today with a frustrated friend and then now I log on here it it is on today’s blog. Seems the universe is speaking loudly today :o).


  23. Shannon says:
    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 6:25pm

    Would be looking forward to Puppy Peaks, but I have to pay the rent when I would rather be playing with my doggies. I know Puppy Peaks will be fantastic!


  24. Shelley says:
    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 5:41pm

    Mine to Debra!

    Swagger man is going to rock this new puppy course…..can’t wait! Thankyou for sharing him with everyone.


  25. Connie Macchione says:
    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 5:40pm

    I am currently reading and re-reading “Shaping Success” and it is truly one of the best training books I have ever read. I am finding so many valuable lessons in it, so bring on Puppy Peaks–can’t wait til it starts!


    • Susan says:
      Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 8:59pm

      It’s really exciting. To go from writing a column about Buzzy to sharing videos of Swagger! A whole nother level of technomagic! This will be a unique and challenging experience for all of us. Thanks for being part of it Connie.


  26. Debra says:
    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 3:41pm

    I have watched that video multiple times, Susan and it always brings tears and smiles to my face. Excuse me…I have to go hug my puppy…. :o}


  27. Marsha says:
    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 2:11pm

    Thank YOU Susan!! I am so happy to be riding “shot gun” on this journey with you and Swagger. Learning from you and LOH and your staff during recallers has made a huge impact on how I train and I do want to thank you for that. I am excited to watch Swagger grow up with you and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next for us for online courses – I am LOVIN’ them!! Keep up the fabulous work you are doing!!


  28. Alaska says:
    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 1:44pm

    Proud to be a founding member of Puppy Peaks.

    One thing I think might make PP even better would be some way for participants to ask questions about Swagger’s training, perhaps a “group” called Questions about Swagger’s Training. The purpose of this group would be to let you know what people are wondering, so you can decide whether and when to address these questions in the videos you are already planning to do.

    I don’t think it would be necessary, or even a good idea, for you to respond directly to these questions in the “group”, but as a participant I would like to know you are reading them and can expect that you will address them in the videos…if you think they are of general interest. As it is now, PP lacks a feedback loop for you to know whether your messages are getting across, and this would be a way to create that feedback without requiring extra work for you (other than periodically skimming the questions that people are posting).

    Also, you should hold a contest for who can come up with the longest list of nicknames you have used for Swagger, with documentation required of which video, blog post, FB entry or whatever that each nickname was used in 🙂


    • Susan says:
      Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 8:57pm

      You will be able to say anything you like in the comments section under each video. Lots of opportunities for feedback and I am sure the Recallers will be happy to participate in those discussions.


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