Every story has a beginning, our beginning was the loss of my wife's dog Molly. She was basically my wife in dog form and the loss was hard on us all. After a period of time, we decided the house was too quiet and we needed to make a change. It was at this point we had decided we would foster for a rescue agency to help some pups while also bringing some joy into the household. We went to an adoption event to discuss fostering with the agency that we had fostered cats for in the past. There was a line at the registration table with three individuals in front of us. Only minutes after getting in line, my wife saw a pup sitting very near the registration table, she asked me if she could go pet it and I told her that we needed to stay in line. She completely disregarded my opinion and thankfully decided to go say hi to a pup named Bert. The next time I looked over, Bert was laying in her lap and I knew it was done.
There are two things I have always been strict on, no animals that frequently use the restroom in the house, and no puppies or kittens because they frequently go in the house. I don't know how to potty train and puppies have seemingly never-ending energy banks. Bert was a puppy. Regardless of my stance on puppies, I knew the moment I looked over at him that he was coming home with us. Luckily, he was potty trained, but no other real training that seemed to have any lasting effect, and it turned out he was a little rapscallion. A loveable little shit that needed some guidance, problem is we didn't know how to provide that guidance. We knew we would have to get some help with training and began the search. Company after company would either not be a good fit, or not show up on day of training or worse yet, take all of our money and repeatedly cancelled the appointments (true story). We were beginning to lose hope and think that we would have to settle for some Petsmart obedience class that barely does anything helpful and would not accomplish the tasks we felt were important. We were interested in basic obedience, but also wanted off leash training for peace of mind on our part and for the safety of the pup if he were to ever get out. Bert had none of this. He knew his name, but actively ignored it when being called. Just when we were about to give up, Rachael found a card for G&S at the Banfield in Sterling. We decided to schedule a consult and am incredibly grateful that we did.
During the consult, George and Sarai told us what to expect and what would be expected of us, as well as how the training would go and what materials would be used throughout the course. They were very clear in their capabilities and incredibly knowledgeable in their field. Even still, I was very skeptical. I remember telling Rachael, "If Bert can do half of what they say he will be able to, I will be amazed." Beyond that, the price was not cheap. We decided that the investment in the safety and security of one of our family members was worthy of the cost, so we enrolled. I am here to tell you that after his graduation last night, he can do every single thing they told us he would be able to. He was afraid of loud noises in the beginning and was in a state of paralyzing fear when they would occur. He absolutely hated cars and car rides. Would pull as hard as he could in the other direction, but G&S got him into the real world and did practical training in noisy environments and Bert shined. One of those noise was the large saw at Lowe's that Bert patiently sat through without missing a beat. It is worth noting that this training is actual training, not a show up for class and pass situation. Sarai and George take their work very seriously and want the best for the dog and the human. There is homework, there is working, there is repetition, and George and Sarai check in regularly to see how the weekly training is going.
Before G&S we were worried Bert may slip out the door and take off into the world, now not only can we leave the door open to retrieve the mail or food or converse with visitors, we can walk him off leash to the mailbox without any concerns. The training provided by Sarai and George was nothing short of remarkable and even though I have a compromised immune system and had to reschedule trainings, they were extremely patient and responsive to all our questions and provided assistance with anything that we needed help with. They are always there to help and while the training for the pups and the humans can be in depth and even challenging at times, we knew they were in our corner rooting for us and Bert, and both us and our pup came out better on the other side as a result. The pup is more confident in everything he does and so are we. We graduated at Caboose Brewing in Merrifield and he just sat on the patio living and loving life. We could not be more impressed with how far we and he have come and can assure anyone wondering if they should take the course that G&S is absolutely the real deal. We are so impressed with the results; we are actually going to further advance his training in another program with G&S. Great people, great results. Looking forward to the next session.