We experienced an incredible amount of growth in 2019. I’d just like to recap for those readers who may be interested. (This post has exciting news)
2019 was the first year Stevens Family Kennels and Dog Language Center opened and it was an education for us. We were incredibly blessed/successful in the operation of the business and we were able to serve many dogs and people. I’m sending out a huge thank you to all our staff members (all members of the Stevens family) for their amazing hard work, and dedication, and for getting down and dirty in our kennel. You guys make our work on all fronts fun for me and terrific for those we serve. You guys truly care about people and dogs and make life a joy for anyone that spends time with you. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your professionalism, your work ethic, and your people skills, and for your excellent animal husbandry!
For a decade and a half I’ve been working with crazy dogs and their owners (sometimes the owners are equally or even more crazy than their pets 😉 it makes life fun. In 2019 we accomplished several big goals. Opening Stevens Family Kennels was one of my long time dreams. It is always a joy to accomplish a big life goal. Another giant goal I’ve had for the past several years was to find and educate a worthy apprentice.
My apprentice would have to be curious, intelligent, ambitious, hard working, highly observant, physically fast and strong enough for the nature of the work (a human-aggressive mastiff is something one has to be prepared for and physically strong enough to handle!). I was seeking someone willing to take direction and do precisely as I say, because dog language is precise, and I was seeking out someone that was able to see past the lures of a status quo lifestyle. For years I’d been kindly rejecting requests via emails and calls from would-be apprentices that were looking for a way to enhance their own life and find a meaningful career that forever impacts, for the better, many people and animals like our company is fortunate enough to do. They were all very sweet people and yet something in me held off. Looking back over the years I am so glad I did wait because now Jesse Stevens, my own cousin, has become the apprentice trainer at Alpha & Omega dog training and he has a real talent for our unique work and for the specific methods I’ve discovered and refined over the years. He is doing a superb job with both people and the dogs (balancing both client and dog is a real skill that some pro trainers sadly do NOT possess) and Jesse is just beginning to rise in the world. As valedictorian of his class he won scholarships to attend college and was half way through his formal schooling when he left all that, and moved across the country, in order to begin his education in the real world of work and business and of course with the dogs. Jesse joined our apprenticeship program and began shadowing me daily and studying (researching and reading whatever books I’d assign concerning dogs and business) as the apprentice. He worked overtime for many months on end in training sessions and in our kennel. Jesse has demonstrated his commitment to our company, to all our clients, and to the dogs. Currently he is the only trainer in the world certified under the Garrett Stevens Method of dog handling/training. In my opinion (which is professional and even more important than just being professional my opinion is based on year after year of real world results) Jesse already knows more about dogs than many dog trainers will learn in a lifetime because he’s already handled and experienced hundreds of serious dogs during our round the clock training and boarding sessions. Over the past several months he’s interacted with hundreds of dogs and people and because we purposefully keep an open and curious mind whenever we interact with a dog his skills have grown. This curious mind, this open and questioning mind, is very valuable when one is in the problem-solving industry like we are.
BIG NEWS…We are edging ever closer to our own professionally produced TV show! As some of you know, we were approached by an executive TV producer from Hollywood and Seattle about a year and a half ago that was interested in showcasing the Garrett Stevens Method of dog training in an episodic format on a major network. The director had seen me work with his parent’s dogs two years prior to this and he became an instant fan of our techniques, our rhetoric, our business, and a fan of the results the dogs experienced during the session. Over the past year or so he has been working on getting us a television show! Recently we met with him (the director), the executive producer and his wife, and a PR professional in order to go over all the options. Currently we are moving forward and the producer and director both agree that a show featuring our unique behavior mod. has the ability to reach and influence a very large audience and help many people and dogs in the process. Exciting stuff to be sure. We’ll see what 2020 and 2021 holds!
I am almost finished with my next book and it is NOT a book about dogs. (Although I do weave some of my story throughout the book) The next book I plan to release in 2020 is a book that goes into the personal development and leadership category in the bookstores. My original idea for this book was sort of in reaction to the best selling book entitled “The subtle art of not giving a f*ck” You see, I don’t really like that title (it’s a bit crass and in today’s world we need less of that, because this crassness and these common callous and lazy attitudes that surround us on all sides (even in our vernacular) are already too prevalent and certainly do not contribute to a healthier society or an encouraged family group or individual). To be clear, for all I know the book with the crass title is a decent book about not caring about the wrong things in life – which is good advice – but my book will be called something quite contrary to books like those. I am undecided on the precise title but it’ll go something like “The highly noticeable art of truly Caring!” or maybe “The Not so Subtle Art of Actually CARING!” The point of my upcoming book is that those who CARE More end up with great results in any endeavor and they also end up influencing more people.
Another exciting thing about this upcoming book is that each concise chapter is one that will greatly aid the reader in further personal development within his/her life and place them on the path of excellence and success. Each chapter in my book on leadership and life is finely illustrated by a great person from history that we can all emulate. From people like the founding father, Benjamin Franklin to the world’s best cartoonist, Bill Watterson, this upcoming book has stories about a shepherd turned warrior from the Middle East who lived thousands of years ago, to stories about a floppy-haired, sagging-socked basketball machine who revolutionized the game in the 1970s, this upcoming book will entertain and inspire you to believe more, achieve more, and to genuinely care about who you are, and what you are doing with the limited time you have left on the planet. This book will help you care more about all those fine people that you come into contact with every day of your life. I am thoroughly enjoying the writing process on most days and am looking forward to sharing more about this upcoming book with you all in the future!
Here’s to a marvelous 2020. Semper Paratus and Carpe Diem