Have you heard of the dog whisperer? He’s real and his name is Tommy Meyerhoeffer. My daughter’s recent move into a third-floor garden apartment presented an unexpected problem: her perfectly perfect lab of 7 years wanted nothing to do with the open-riser stairs one must climb to access their home. We tried every trick we could think of over the course of the past few weeks and had no luck. Enter Tommy. We set up an appointment to meet at the apartment building. Spoiler alert: by the end of our session, Tommy had Duke up and down those three flights of stairs, no hesitation in his movement. Tommy moved purposefully and calmly from the moment he met Duke. He simultaneously led Duke and responded to him, adjusting along the way as he observed Duke’s behavior. He pointed out Duke’s subtle behaviors to me and highlighted what they meant. He was patient and resourceful, and Duke responded accordingly. In addition to helping Duke to meet this challenge, Tommy then guided me as I accompanied Duke up and down stairs, pointing out ways in which I and other family members could ensure a safe and stress-free continuation of Duke’s new skill. Happy to report that Duke is happy as can be to be reunited with his family and is a pro at those scary open stairs. Thank you, Tommy!
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