Comet is now four-and-a-half years old, and calling him a faithful companion doesn't do justice to the absolute loyalty and cooperativeness of this dog. I took him to be my demo and distraction dog at a private lesson this afternoon, and he made me look like a genius trainer. He snapped to attention at every command, pranced through every exercise with pizzaz, charmed the client with his manners, and played with the other dog like a gentleman. He even held his stays while the client and I were making silly noises and throwing treats at the other dog twenty feet away.
I'm a good dog trainer. I'm not the best or the most experienced or the most versatile trainer, not by a long shot, but I do OK. My communication is sometimes garbled, my consistency is mediocre, and my timing is only decent, but I'm patient, kind to my dog, and creative in finding ways to motivate him. Comet has made me a better trainer by showing a loyalty and a willingness to work that far, far outstrip my abilities as a handler. He inspires me to be a better human, even if I'll only ever be half as good a person or a trainer as he deserves.