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Not "Just" a Dog


According to the 2017-2018 APPA (American Pet Products Association) survey, 80% of total pet owners derive happiness and emotional support from their pets. Over half of those surveyed reported that their pets provide stress relief or reduce their anxiety or depression. I don’t think most people would find that surprising.


I can honestly tell you that if I did not have pets, I’m not sure I would still be alive today. There was a time in my life when I was not the happy (most of the time), fun-loving, hard-working business owner I am today. A little over two years ago I was lost, lonely, in pain and almost went to extreme measures to end it. I was feeling desperate and hopeless, working in an extremely stressful dead end job. I had isolated myself in a major way, even from the people with whom I shared my home. I felt guilty, ashamed and worthless – trapped in a black hole with no way out. I really believed that the world would be better off without me. I even had a plan to make the world a better place.


It was the thought of my dog Coco laying beside me, licking my face and not understanding why I wasn’t waking up that changed my mind about taking my own life. She has never been “just a dog” to me - we have a special connection. This is the dog that won’t eat for days if I’m not around. She waits in the living room for me to come home, refusing to sleep with anyone else. She literally gives hugs at the exact moment that they are needed.


Dogs are highly intelligent, compassionate animals. They sense things that others can’t. Sometimes they speak to us in ways that are more understandable than words spoken in our own native language. Coco communicated that she needed me, that the world needed me, that my time was not up, and that things would get better. She was the reason that I got out of bed every morning. She showed me that love really does exist - you just have to be open to receiving it. She told me, in her own weird little dog way, that the love that was missing was the love for myself.


This changed everything. I decided to change everything. This is how Fuzz Buckets was born. I returned to the one and only thing that ever brought me joy and fulfillment – working with animals. The love of (and for) a dog literally saved my life and put me on a path to true healing. I am grateful for my silly little dog, who encouraged me to turn my life around and continue on this beautiful journey.


I've decided to become the kind of dog trainer that helps people to better communicate with their dogs and understand their needs on a deeper level. I want to help others experience a life changing relationship with their furry companions. Because they are not "just" dogs.








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Fuzz Buckets GR | Grand Rapids, Michigan | 616.649.2689