I bought Brisbane in a barn in 2005, before I knew better than to purchase puppies from barns in rural areas. He developed separation anxiety within the first hour after leaving the cattle ranch with me, and spent several weeks screaming hysterically whenever I left the house.

As a puppy, Brisbane was overstimulated by everything including being touched or petted. He was also completely uninterested in people, and unwilling to engage or make eye contact. With years of training and dog behavior education on my part, Briz became a very people-oriented dog with an incredible amount of charm and charisma.

Brisbane was my heart dog, my sun rose and set on him for eleven years. He was an amazing teacher, so very good at communicating when he was uncomfortable or overstimulated. His lifelong spinal disc issues, and tendency to develop a new phobia after any bad experience, taught me to prioritize his both his physical and mental comfort over my own desires.

After a decade of learning, researching, and discussing training with various people, I took a look at the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers' exam and realized I knew everything on there. Keeping Brisbane happy had literally been an education in dog training and behavior. I took the test without studying at all, and passed with flying colors because the information had simply become a way of life.

I lost Brisbane to bone cancer on August 6, 2016. My life is still filled with dogs and dog training and dog stuff, but Brisbane was the most important dog. Someday all of my gear and equipment will simply be "that thing I use to train paw targets", or "that thing I made for filing nails". Right now though, everything is still "that thing I used to teach Brisbane paw targets", and "that thing I made for filing Brisbane's nails". No dog will ever be as influential in my life.


  1. Sad to hear of you loss. Brisbane was a great dog.

  2. What a special relationship. What a lucky dog to have you!