By Matt, Trainer

“I started having panic attacks when I was 25 years old. It felt like I was having a heart attack and a stroke at the same time. Chest pain, shortness of breath, sharp head pains—I thought I was going to die. They became more and more frequent and intense and doctors, meds and therapy really didn’t help. I gave up, withdrew from friends and family.

My now ex-fiancé was the only thing that kept me going. She suggested we volunteer at a local shelter walking dogs on my good days. I got hooked very quickly. I started watching positive reinforcement training videos and reading books. I found my therapy. We adopted Daisy, and she has completely changed my life. Daisy got me up walking every day and talking to other people with dogs. She gave me back my confidence and got me ready to go back to work.

I knew I wanted to work with dogs and applied for the overnight position at the PetsHotel. When I switched to days, I told them that I was interested in being a trainer. When the opportunity came up to go through the process of becoming an Accredited Trainer, I jumped at it! I’ve learned so much since I became a trainer, and Daisy has progressed so far because of it. She really is my best friend, and I'm so grateful that I get to bring her to PetSmart with me. She loves to work and show off. She's helped scared and nervous dogs find their confidence, just like she did for me.”

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