Maggie Cook prepares to graduate.   James Snell/The Free Press

Maggie Cook prepares to graduate. James Snell/The Free Press

Puppy School holds graduation

The Fernie Puppy School held its graduation in the SOAR Studios courtyard on October 24th.

Cathy Smith-Clark, who owns The Fernie Puppy School and has been training dogs for 30 years, was happy to see the results of this year’s graduating class, which contained the several rebellious students who were eventually brought in line by caring parents and a competent school principal.

Pet owner Crystal Cook got her dog, Maggie, in July.

“It’s been going pretty well since we started coming to class,” she said. “She’s progressed really well. When we first started coming she was running all over the place. She wouldn’t listen at all. Now she sits and we can get her to lay down. And she is starting to walk better. Cathy is phenomenal. I would recommend this to other dog owners.”

In a phone interview, Maggie Cook, who is part golden retriever, said that her journey to obedience has been worth it.

“When my mom brought me home from Jaffray, I was a bit crazy,” she explained. “There were so many new smells that I just had to check out. It’s hard to ignore good smells. So my mom is right. I was running around all over the place. At first, I paid no heed. I even visited some of the neighbours. In time, though, I learned one of the great truths of dog life, which is – if you listen and be good, you get tummy rubs and treats. It’s hard to ignore treats and tummy rubs. School principal, Cathy, is the nicest human I know, other than my mom. Cathy taught me to not pull on the leash while walking. I’m also learning to run through kiddy tunnels. That’s probably my favourite part of puppy school.”

Cathy Smith-Clark is a seasoned dog trainer, specializing in puppy education. She offers individual lessons at home and puppy classes. The Fernie Puppy School can be contacted at 250-423-7257.