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March 2024 - Buddy's Rehab through the eyes of a Rehab Volunteer

Updated: May 2

This is a reprint from the March 2024 newsletter.

Abbey Martin, who has been volunteering to help with Buddy's rehab exercises, tells us in her own words about her experience:


Hello Buddy’s Dream supporters!


I am so happy to be sharing my experience of working with Jill and Buddy for Buddy’s rehabilitation exercises. I have been working with Jill and Buddy since March of 2023 and Buddy has made such great progress. If you have had any hesitations about helping Buddy during his exercises, I hope that my experience may inspire you to give it a try.


Before I even arrived for my first session with Buddy, Jill arranged a phone conversation for us so I knew exactly what to expect when I arrived. Jill had me sit in the kitchen (with a gate at all entry points) and Jill brought Buddy from the bedroom into the living room. I simply sat at the kitchen table, looking into her backyard, while not making any noise or any movements. Since I wasn’t looking in Buddy’s direction, Jill talked me through everything that she and Buddy were doing - even letting me know if Buddy was appearing curious, scared, calm, etc. For the first few sessions, that was the extent of my part. As we did more and more sessions and Jill could tell that Buddy started to feel comfortable with having me there, we gradually progressed forward with our exercises. Jill had me start to move my hands a little bit, then my feet. Then, I simply turned my chair so I was facing Buddy directly, instead of him seeing me from the side. It was Buddy’s favorite day when I was able to toss him celery over the gate…there is nothing Buddy loves more than his celery! At my most recent session with them, I was able to sit in the living room on the couch, while Buddy had a muzzle on and Jill had control of the leash. We simply sat and chatted while Buddy just took it all in - and eagerly waited for more celery to be thrown.



As far as having the time to help Buddy and Jill…please do not feel as if Jill is going to hold you to a schedule and only allow you to volunteer if you dedicate a set number of hours a week, or month, etc. Whenever I know I will have a free evening or a free morning on the weekends, I will email Jill a few days before to let her know I can come over to do a session. At one point I was able to go just about once a week, at other points I would be lucky if I made it there once a month. Jill and Buddy appreciate any help that they can get!


I have learned so much from Jill by being a participant of Buddy’s exercises…the proper way to give commands, properly reading the body language of a dog, how a dog interprets rewards, and even the proper food to feed dogs! It’s a win-win-win situation for me - helping Buddy progress on his journey so he may be able to live a life free of fear, learning more about dogs, and gaining a friend in Jill and Buddy in the process.

-Abbey Martin


Would you like to volunteer to help with Buddy's rehab exercises, or with any other aspect of Buddy's Dream?

If so, contact us!


Want to learn more about training your dog?

Check out this great resource and get a full month of free access to all the dog training information and videos there! What a GREAT way to start 2024 off right!

If you would like to support Buddy's Dream and our mission:

You can feel good knowing that every cent of your purchase goes directly to pay Buddy's rehabilitation expenses.

If you don't want to make a purchase but still would like to help, you can make a donation here. Any amount helps!

Note and disclaimer: All information in the blog posts on this site is my opinion based on my own experience rehabilitating an aggressive dog. I am not a professional behaviorist or otherwise involved in the Veterinary profession. If you are dealing with an aggressive dog, I recommend you seek the advice of a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist.

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