Have you caught your breath yet? I know I’m still in awe after an amazing week at Animal Care Expo 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. World-renowned dog trainer Victoria Stilwell kicked things off with an inspiring keynote speech at the welcome session, celebrating the deep emotional bond we share with pets—oh yeah—and we watched a dog fly a plane! If a dog can pilot a plane, what can’t they do? And this was only the beginning of the conference.
The holiday season can be a time to look back, as well as set our intentions for the upcoming year. Regardless of the myriad of belief systems and traditions that influence the way we experience this time of year, the calendar dictates both reflection and future planning. Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but must be lived forwards.” Whether we’ve had the best year of our lives or a year filled with struggle, it’s likely all of us have had highs and lows.
Anyone in animal welfare remembers that turning point in which their lives changed forever. Kenny Lamberti recalls how he got started in animal welfare, with a dog named Yoyo and a dog trainer turned mentor that recognized something special.
In 1999, a stubby little brindle dog followed me on a 5-mile run through my neighborhood in Boston. He had no collar, tags or manners, but he made me laugh and was a great running companion, so I took him home. This 45-pound ball of energy needed a name, and because he bounced up and down incessantly I thought Yoyo was a good fit.