Stephanie Colman

Writing and PR with a passion for non-profit.

Category : Dog Training

“Q2″ Opts for a Career Change

Q2 Adoption

After nearly two years majoring in a future as a guide dog, “Q2″ was released from the training program and was career-changed to that of a beloved pet companion.

As they say in the guide dog world, the dog has to “want it” in order to thrive under the very demanding conditions for which they are trained.  For “Q2,” life as a guide dog was just not meant to be.  Instead, she’ll enjoy her early retirement in the home of friends of her puppy raiser.  Her puppy raiser shared the following message:

“Ultimately, she decided that it was time to change her major and find new ways of spreading the Love. Now a smart dog knows what they want and need and it took only a second for Quiz to make her choice. Quiz has chosen a new life in the local area as a sidekick with a kind and loving person! In fact, upon seeing each other they were both crying with joy! The staff witnessing the connection said there was no doubt it was the right match for Quiz. Quiz now has an opportunity to educate even more people in the meaning of love, just as her name sake, the original Quiz did.”

All of us who played a part in sponsoring “Q2,” and who loved her namesake are disappointed that we won’t get to cheer for her and a partner at a future Guide Dogs of America graduation, but we are happy she has found the perfect Forever Home.

Happy Retirement, “Q2.”  Here’s to a long and happy life.

Sponsoring a Guide Dog puppy

Q2 Jacket


In 2013, my dear friends came together to raise the $5,000 needed to sponsor a Guide Dogs of America (GDA) puppy for the full 18 months  of puppy raising.  This act of love followed the very unexpected loss of my Golden Retriever, “Quiz,” whose registered name with the American Kennel Club was “Tanbark’s Number Two Pencil.”  Our sponsored GDA puppy is a beautiful, Black Lab.  We opted to name her “Quiz” in my Quiz’ honor, though we jokingly refer to her as “Q2.”  “Q2″ recently grew large enough to earn her first “official” puppy-in-training jacket, shown above.  What an honor to have her representing the original “Quiz” on her adventures about town.  We look forward to the day she goes in for formal guide school, and even better, when she goes on to graduate as a working guide for a visually impaired partner!  Go, Q2, go!

To learn more about volunteer puppy raising with Guide Dogs of America, click here.

July 4 Quiz


Fourth of July can be a scary holiday for our four-legged friends, and July 5 and 6 are some of the busiest days in city shelters, as dogs turn up lost after escaping, unattended, in a panic.

Consider these tips to help keep your pets safe during the holiday.

This morning I had the pleasure of logging into my Facebook account to discover that an article I’d written more than a year ago has been re-shared by the publication and is being passed around the social networking site by interested readers.

It’s the first time I’ve had that experience.  It’s pretty cool!

You’ll find the article here.  It’s about how training a dog can be frustrating, and it offers some tips on ways to manage that frustration that don’t involve taking it out on the dog by way of leash corrections or angry verbal reprimands.  The good news is, if you ever find yourself getting frustrated, you’re completely normal!

Happy training!


Coming Soon in Whole Dog Journal

Think you want to be a dog trainer?  I tackle the ins and outs of working like a dog … with dogs … in the Feb. 2012 issue of WDJ!

New Articles in Whole Dog Journal

Ever find yourself feeling frustrated while training your dog?  I sometimes do, so I decided to write about it.  See what came togeter in “The F Word,” available online and in the September issue of WDJ.

I also did some research on Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy (say that three times fast!) or SLO for short.  It’s a somewhat rare autoimmune disorder that attacks dogs’ claws (nails).  While considered rare, I know of at least two clients whose dogs have been affected.  You can view a promo here, but the full article is available to subscribers only.