About the Book
I Was Raised and Loved by Dogs – The story of an abused child whose life was enriched and saved by the Dogs she met.
Who am I? Whose child am I to walk this earth Orphaned and alone? Whose child am I to take the blame in a prison known as home? Ahh Yes, 'tis I, some sixty odd years later that now can see and understand the child in me, who left her footprint in time's shifting sand, and who, by some cruel twist of fate, was churned out from a mother's womb to a father's world, where parental love had long since curdled. Whose child am I? Loved and cherished By the Dogs I met Until my sorrows I'd forget. Canine hearts with Love so mild Uplifted me that little child They listened to my every word. And in each Dog's heart I knew that I was loved and heard.
I Was Raised and Loved by Dogs, is dedicated to all of the Dogs that I have met throughout all of the years of my life.
Each and every Dog I met along life’s journey has blessed me so richly with healing love and gifts that money could never buy.
Thank you for all the canine love and understanding that I have received throughout my life helping me to live and heal and love again.
This book is also dedicated to young people the world over who have suffered abuse at the hands of a parent, family member, or close friend.
It’s okay to feel angry, it’s okay if you are at this moment in time so numbed by life that you are feeling nothing at all. It’s okay if you have forgotten how to feel or even what you feel- wherever you are at, in this particular moment, it’s okay, because it is enough that you are here and alive and able to read this. You are not alone, and above all, you are not at fault or to blame in any way for the actions of your abuser.
It’s never too late to reach out for help, even if, like me, the abused child within you is now in his or her mid-sixties.
Don’t be scared to hope at the dawn of each new day that today things will be different, because one day everything WILL be different, and the abuse WILL end.
Last but not least, this book is dedicated to my human friends who have walked a mile or two with me, along life’s journey, encouraging me to write about and to share my story.
To all of you, I extend heartfelt Thanks!
About the Author
F.P. Trainer began her Dog training career as the much-loved pupil of the Dogs of the village in the rural setting in which she grew up as a child. These Dogs, for the most part, were farm Dogs who somehow reached across the canine/human divide of the species barrier to tune into a frightened and lonely child’s heart, helping her cope with anger, pain, and abuse. Later, at age 9, F.P. Trainer became the pupil of one Dog in particular who taught her much about life, how to survive, and how to live and love again. The book entitled “I Was Raised and Loved by Dogs” is all about this wonderful learning experience where Dogs were her primary teachers, educating her during her formative years, and teaching her some of the most important skills and lessons that she would ever learn in life. Later, F.P. Trainer served an apprenticeship as a Service Dog Trainer, and upon completion she embraced an international career in Service Dog training, training both Service Dogs and Service Dog Trainers for a 501c3 nonprofit. Now, in retirement, F.P. Trainer only takes on a very small number of select clients with cases that interest her. She enjoys writing and plans to write another book soon, however, her focus, first and foremost, are her Dogs and Parrots. She enjoys many hours each day in their company, marveling at their extraordinary ability to learn, and also learning from them anew, because her Dogs and Parrots too, always have something new to teach her. F.P. Trainer believes that if we take the time to listen to them, encourage them, and offer them the opportunity to communicate with us, our Dogs, our Parrots, and any other creature that we happen to share our lives with, will, (provided we permit a mutual learning process to occur by creating the correct learning environment that enables such a process to take place) teach us a whole new perspective on life, as well as assisting us in educating our Dog or Parrot. F.P. Trainer, from years of experience as a certified trainer, knows that Dogs and Parrots are always listening to us, endeavoring to understand and learn from us. According to F.P. Trainer, training should never be solely about cues, commands, tasks, and work, instead, she believes that the bond of true partnership is key to success when educating any species, and with a Dog the success of the journey we call, “training” (for want of a better word) begins with the Human Partner’s willingness to open their mind and heart, to listen, to learn, and also to develop the ability to hear. These days, listening to her Dogs and Parrots and being open to what they have to say is among F.P. Trainer’s favorite pastimes.
Qn 1: Can you tell us more about your book, I was Raised and Loved by Dogs, What is it about?
It is the story of a child growing up in a home where physical abuse was a daily occurrence- it is also the story of the Dogs the child met and one Dog in particular who saved her life – it is a story of Hope, the story of Love, and the story of a Survivor.
Qn 2: Who do you think would be interested in this book, I Was Raised and Loved by Dogs, is it directed at any particular market?
Dog lovers everywhere, abuse victims and survivors of abuse, as well as those who suffer from a disability and are in need of a Service Dog
Qn 3: Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors, which are your favourite and why?
Lelah Sullivan’s “Training Your Own Full Potential Service Dog” TM is my all-time favourite book because it taught me the ABC of training a Service Dog, afforded me the privilege of meeting and being mentored by the author prior to my completion of an apprenticeship that led me to become a certified Service Dog Trainer
Qn 4: What guidance would you offer to someone new, or trying to enhance their writing?
Write about your passion in a way that is authentically true and familiar to you
Qn 5: Where can our readers find out more about you, do you have a website, or a way to be contacted?
Get your copy of I Was Raised and Loved by Dogs from Amazon:
Qn 6. Your book, I Was Raised and Loved by Dogs, involves the very serious matter of abuse but also that you gained strength and courage through the friendship of the many dogs you met, what piece of advice would you give to those who are living through or have suffered from abuse?
It actually might surprise you to know that while I was being abused as a child and teenager I did not view what was happening to me as abuse nor did ai feel that my abuser was wrong. In fact, I felt that I was the one who was wrong and that I was the one to blame for the beatings I received. It is only with hindsight that I am able to recognize that I was not to blame for my abuser’s actions and that what happened to me was wrong and should never have happened.
Abuse is violence and violence perpetrated by an abuser in any form at any age to any species, is wrong, period! To the person who has suffered violence in this manner, I want to say, “You are not alone! You did not cause this to happen. You are not responsible for what an abuser does, and you are in no way to blame for your abuser’s actions”.
There are so many folk (both young and old) out there, perhaps feeling ashamed (because shame is something that many victims feel). There are many who need to hear somebody who has lived through the experience help them to acknowledge their own personal story, give a voice to their inner child and to assure or reassure them that they are in no way to blame for the actions of their abuser.
In a nutshell, I would say, be kind to yourself and don’t blame yourself or view yourself as being the cause of your abuser’s actions. There are other things that I mention in my book too that will help those who are still suffering at the hands of an abuser or who have in the past suffered abuse and still have issues that they need to come to terms with – healing is a journey upon which we can all help and support each other.
Qn 7. You must have met many canine friends over the years. Can you tell us of any particularly memorable dog and story about it?
Yes, I have been blessed to have many Dogs touch my life in so many positive ways, both as a child and as a Dog trainer. One very special Dog is mentioned in my book – this particular Dog, a Border Collie named Laddie, was a stray who found me as a young nine-year-old child in the act of attempting to take my life – Laddie at that moment as he jumped into my life saved my life. Many times after that incident, this amazing Dog (whom you will read about in my book) not only saved my life but taught me coping skills, and his timely intervention by pawing me or performing other similar behaviours would be enough to stop me each time I reached the edge of the abyss of despair. Laddie even knocked a knife out of my hand when I held it up intending to slit my wrists. I just wanted to end it all so that the hurt and pain would stop- Laddie understood what the human world around me neither understood or even wanted to see. I was dependent on Laddie for my very existence because without him I would most probably be dead.
Now I have another wonderful Dog in my life, (Pax, a Service Dog), who not only attends to me when nightmares or flashbacks occur (that might cause me to feel anxious and frightened) by performing similar behavior to what Laddie did all those years ago, except that Pax, my current Service Dog, because of my disability (I suffer from multiple sclerosis) also helps me in and out of bed, helps me get my clothes and my socks and shoes, on and off me, as needed, he even pulls the bed cloths up around me at night time and tucks me in before I go to sleep ~ no human I know, could ever do for me all the things that Dogs have done for me over the course of my lifetime. I owe so much to my canine friends and all of them have been special in their own right.
Each and every Dog I met has helped me and made me feel good to be alive. Laddie the Dog in my book was my very first psychiatric Service Dog in an era when a Psychiatric Service Dog did not even exist, and he was my first teacher along the road to becoming a Service Dog trainer, for that fact alone,apart from all the other amazing things he did, including saving my life umpteen times, Laddie has earned a place in my heart forever as my very first extra special Dog.
Qn 8. Animals are so important, as a trainer what guidance can you give us on how we should treat and respect our animal friends?
We are often brought up to believe that our Dog should do as he or she is told, and we are fed theories about why we need to be dominant and a pack leader, etc – Id like to upset that applecart a bit if I might because if you truly want a good bond of friendship between you and your Dog, you will throw the dominance and Alpha theories out the window. The dominance of the alpha theory was founded on a false premise, to begin with and was the result of a flawed study on wolves by Shenkel that began in 1934, Shenkel’s study was later proven to be flawed and the results of the study were found not to be factual, however, the dominance and Alpha theory lingered on in many Dog training circles and resulted in torture devices like shock collars or e- collars and choke chains and other such tools and devices being unnecessarily and violently used on Dogs in the belief that this was how they needed to be trained~ the practice of this sort of violence still exists in some dog training circles, even to this present day, sadly.
Take my advice, as an experienced trainer when I say, these tools only serve to abuse your Dog and to make him fearfully obey you rather than encourage or motivate him to positively enjoy learning to learn, They do not build a relationship where your Dog can grow in love and friendship with you. Furthermore, it has been proven in recent studies that these tools increase stress causing welfare issues for your Dog, and even causing him to begin displaying aggressive behaviour.
My advice is, please provide enrichment for your Dog. Provide him with ample opportunity to choose and make his learning experience a positive and pro-choice path. Never force him to do your bidding, but instead, encourage him to learn.
Don’t punish him, instead be kind to him when he makes mistakes and encourage him to choose the correct way to do things. Remember that mistakes are all a part of the learning process.
Dogs are wonderful communicators with a lot to teach us if we are open to learning it. Amazing and wonderful things begin to happen in our relationship with our Dog when we make ourselves available and are ready to listen to our Dog with an open and understanding heart that is humble enough to want to learn. If we truly learn to tune into our companion pet, (though I prefer to view my relationship with my Dog as a partnership) we stand to benefit and gain so many gems and pearls of wisdom from our friend the Dog- incidentally the same goes for cats, birds, rabbits and hamsters- in other words for whatever creature you share your home with even a fish ~ they all have something of value to impart to us.
Qn 9. Many people dream of connecting more or understanding their pets and animals more. What would you suggest to people to help them better understand the connection with animals?
Agency is just as important to the sentient creatures we live with as it is to us. Agency and the ability to choose are most important in the life of any animal we choose to bring into our home as a pet, and it helps make them feel that you, their Human friend, are a safe person to be with and that nothing bad will happen to them while they are with you, because they know that you will always offer them a choice. Teaching your pet that you will offer them the choice is the very first step along the road of interspecies friendship.
Build a positive bond by making yourself available to him – give him your time – he has feelings and emotions and needs just like you have, so try to insure that you learn about, and meet, your pet’s needs, in as much as possible for you to do, so that the atmosphere in your home is a pleasant one for both you and your pet
Qn 10. Now that you have completed, I was Raised and Loved by Dogs, What will you work on next? Do you have plans for more books or anything else?
I am currently in the process of writing a book about understanding Dogs in relation to Dog training, what it’s all about or should be about, and explaining why it is so important to choose the proper learning path for each individual Dog – this will be a book that I hope will help people before they adopt a puppy or a rescue Dog, preparing them, guiding them and helping them to understand and meet the needs of a new puppy as well as being a resource and help for those who already have a puppy and who feel that they need a little assistance. ❤️
I Was Raised and Loved by Dogs – Author Interview