For me, being a Handler means: Quite simply the love and admiration of a pup. I am at my happiest when I see a pup romping at a mosh. I agree with Charles Schwartz when he said, “Happiness is a warm puppy”. I get excited and feed off of the pure energy that pups give.
What does a pup want? To be loved and cared about and for. Pups are amazing creatures that are capable of unconditional love. That is a great reason to be alive. I enjoy reaching that part of a pup that makes them want to bark, wag, lick, and nuzzle. I am a protector of puppies, allowing them to grow.
As a Handler, you have to think on your toes. Pups can be mischievous - and trust me - they have a sense of humour. Pups are just as smart, if not smarter than, Handlers in many ways. They can tell what is going on and when to give extra cuddles and attention. There is nothing better than when your puppy cuddles your tears away and begs for scritches. Can you stay sad after that?
I like making puppies happy. It gives me joy to know that I helped a pup or made a pup happy, from scritches to cuddles to playing or moshing. I enjoy moshing as well as keeping pups accountable for their actions.
I also love the community. We are all here for one reason. Puppies! I have not felt myself anywhere else. The world does not matter to me when I am with pups, they are my reason for happiness.
Similar to bio dogs, you make a long lasting connection that they will never forget. I spent time in the military and with the military working dog teams. I have always loved the connection I had with my companion.
I enjoy introducing pups and handlers to this community and its fluid ways. Whether the pup is a beginner or advanced, I learn and train with them all the time. Training takes time and patience, which is something I have been forced to learn. I like taking what I know and sharing it with other Handlers, Trainers and Owners. I enjoy helping pups figure out who they want to be or where they fit in.
I have noticed that there are not many Owners/Handlers/Trainers in this community. Handlers have to take care of more than just their pup (if they have collared one). They are a Handler for the community. I feel that there is an implied responsibility for Handlers to take care of all pups, especially those in need of mental health. As Handlers, we help our pups come in and out of headspace. This is something that we should be very familiar with, but it does not stop there. It goes deeper than that. There is a good number of members of the community that have mental health issues. We don’t have special training, per se, but we should educate ourselves and others about issues like depression, suicide, and event drop. We need to keep and open and supportive mind. We need to be there for pups and show them we care.
“Happiness is a warm puppy”
—Charles M. Schultz
Written by Sir Wolf