About Me

My photo
My name is Lesli Hyland. In my fifty one years on this earth, my home and my heart have been graced with the company of twenty four dogs. Many came to me as seniors. All of them taught me something and helped determine the course of my life. I became a dog trainer because of them. I met my friends because of them. My husband and I are are forever bonded by our mutual connection to them. Currently, as a Dog Walker I have access to other people's dogs and I am allowed to experience their unique personalities. The dogs make me a better person by forcing me to closely examine my motivation, my actions and my choices. Everything I do affects their behavior, safety and happiness. It is an awesome responsibility. The dogs keep me honest.

Friday, July 4, 2014


I am a control freak, especially when it comes to my dogs. So when I realized that I was going to be bringing a new puppy into our family 3 weeks before leaving for vacation for 8 days...I started freaking out.  The first 4 months in a puppies life is such an important time!  How could I possibly give up control over a whole week?!

I have no shortage of friends who were willing to take Goose for me.  I am lucky that all of my close friends are dog people.  But understandably I had a stiff criteria for where I wanted Goose to spend the week.
1.  I wanted his careful socialization to continue.
2.  I didn't want to chance any scary experiences.
3.  I needed someone who didn't work all day.

My closest friends were eliminated one by one due to household dogs that were "iffy" with puppies...limited social exposure accessibility...work schedules...too many other commitments...or vacations themselves!

Enter Caroline and Cassidy Albert of The Grateful Dog in Manchester, VT. Caroline and I are colleagues and have become friends since meeting a few years ago. Her daughter Cassidy helps with the dogs at work and I have had the pleasure of having her in class with her dog, Enzo.  She is a really good dog trainer.
Though Caroline said she would be hesitant to take  a pup of Goose's age into her home boarding program due to concerns about being able to give him enough individual time...Cassidy offered to take point and be responsible for Goose.  Cassidy basically cared for Goose as if he was her own pup - she fed him, exercised him, supervised him with the other dogs and he slept in her bed.  Goose was carefully introduced to dogs, cats, kids, horses, new locations and even some basic training! I could not have asked for more!!! So...rather than Goose missing out on a whole week's worth of positive exposure, he got extra socialization!

It was hard to leave Goose, knowing he would grow and learn and do new things without me to see it, but I had such complete confidence in Cassidy and Caroline, that at least worry played no part in my concerns. We had a wonderful trip thanks to you!