Welp that’s a wrap! Today is our official step down as current International Puppy and Trainer Contest titleholders. What an amazing adventure it has been. I have been a title holder for the past 2 years and I can honestly say, I am ready to step down and give way to the new titleholders. Also, I need a vacation! For many of us, being a titleholder is more than taking selfies at events with other titleholders, more than posting daily rants on Facebook, and yes even more than being in the spotlight. It’s about giving time, love, passion, and energy to somehow shape and influence for a stronger, more diverse-stigma-free community.

One of the most rewarding experiences of being a title holder is the personal growth that manifests during the adventure. I have met so many incredible individuals along this journey that have shaped my growth and influenced my perspective. Thank you from the bottom of my giant dog heart!

Being a title holder not only takes a personal sacrifice, but it also requires a sacrifice from family.

Ryan – thank you for being my rock, my guide, and my Lion. Thank you for listening, laughing, and crying with me. You inspire me everyday to be a better man and dog through your wisdom, leadership, and patience (and you remind me to be a good Panda and not kill anyone). Thank you for giving up our time, money, and vacations so that I could go out and focus on the community. I hope my growth on this journey has had a positive impact on you and our life. I love you so much!

Roscoe – It’s been a bumpy year for us, but the common thread that weaves us together has remained at the core, and that is the love and bond of brothers. Having you at my side shaped the Dog I am today. You have been there working right along side of me and the word Proud doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling I have inside watching you teach classes with me and growing V.A.C. together to become a truly working pack devoted to the community. Thank you for being my brother. Baa broovv bruu dog!

Turbo – We have been at this for 2 years and I have had the pleasure of watching you grow into the dog you are today. You have earned a very very special place in my heart and will always be family to me. Thank you for the growth you brought out in me. Thank you for trusting me and allowing me to handle your headspace. It has been an absolute pleasure having you with me on this journey. I’m looking forward to our retirement of weeknight hangouts watching Star Trek on the couch.

Justin – I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better producer, mentor, and friend. You enabled me to go out and represent the best version of me, and had my back from the start. Thank you for all that you do for your titleholders and for our community.

There are so many people I want to Thank, and I could spend the rest of the day doing so. But instead I have decided to take a more personal approach to those over the next few weeks.

There is so much conflict and hurt in our community and it is honestly going to IMPLODE. Implode – to collapse or cause to collapse violently inward. It has to stop. If we spend all of our time waging word wars within our own communities, with our friends, and with our allies — how do we expect to be united and strong enough to fight off the war that the President and his Allies are bringing to our doorstep? Be kind to one another. Assume positive intent. Have meaningful conversations. Ask more questions than statements. And most importantly don’t lose sight of the common threads that bind us together in this wonderful community.

It has been an absolutely pleasure serving you as a Titleholder. My Pack and I have a lot of plans for V.A.C. so my work is not done!

And as always -Puppy is what YOU make it. Be the best version of you!

Sir Pounder
IPTC International Trainer 2016
V.A.C. Pack

Original Post can be found on Sir Pounder’s Facebook Profile

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