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"I stumbled upon the saving mazy project while trying to find help for my 4 year old German shepherd, Max. He was poorly socialized as a puppy and as a result tended to consistently act out around animals and people he did not know which is very dangerous living in a small town with lots of people. I signed up and immediately Joanna from Connecting Spirits was there to help. When we started training I was not very optimistic and had little to no hope for Max. However after just the first 2 training sessions I already saw improvement. She not only was helping max improve but also helped me understand why he was doing the things he was. The next 2 training sessions, along with things that Joanna told me to practice on my own, brought even more improvement and hope. By the 5th, and that's right I said 5th, 1-2 hour long training session, Joanna and I had 2 people that max had never seen before in his life, sitting in our my living room. He was content, panting and laying on the floor just as happy as he, and I, could be. If I were to even try to do this before training he would be pulling with all his weight trying to bite and growl at someone before they even entered the door. I continually make progress every day and for everyone involved in making this happen, especially Joanna and the donors involved in creating this program, I thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Jason Christopher and Max
"This pretty boy is my baby, Deku. He has stranger aggression (growling, threatening to bite) when people get in his space. Deku is just fine unless someone he doesn't know/trust attempts to pet him or comes into our home.
JoAnna helped teach me tools to work with him on these issues. We have made a lot of progress over the last year thanks to her and the Saving Mazy Project. We are very thankful!"
"Thank you so much for all of your help! I don't know who is going to miss the sessions more, me or Jiro. I'd stay in Athens just to keep training with you if I could! Again, thank you again for all of your help, patience and support. Emily"
"Thank you so much to the donors! Our dog went from threatening many people who approached her kennel, to wagging happily. And she went from lunging crazily at any other animal to being able to tolerate close proximity with several other dogs at a time - even sharing space with them while eating. Thank you!!"
"I thank you so much for the time and knowledge you shared with Tank and I. He is doing so much better than previous to your individual assistance. Before helping me with Tank he was anxious, easily upset and therefore acted aggressive. He is now relaxed and enjoying experiences that he would have never been able to participate in before his lessons. Your lessons, time, and love have helped us both achieve companionship. He goes most places with me. He no longer yanks on the leash (unless, of course, he sees a squirrel), barks, chases cars, and seems much more at ease with normal happenings in his surroundings. We are happy.
Thank you to the donators to this wonderful Saving Mazy Project! And, to you JoAnna."
*Photo by Rouxby Photography
"JoAnna did a great job. She not only gave us the tools we needed to take care of her, but she also made practical suggestions, like getting a seatbelt for her because she was reactive in the car. Her reactivity to everything has significantly improved and she takes treats outside and will even sit and lay down. Where we haven't been able to totally control her reactivity, we've been able to manage it. She answered any and all of our questions (and we had tons of them). We plan to continue working with Maple and are confident that she will only get better.
We have a lot of work to do, but we think it's only going to go up from here!"
"When I began training through the Saving Mazy project with Joanna, I felt like it was magic. During my dog's lessons, she was an entirely different animal. All of a sudden, I knew how to command the attention of my dog, and my dog looked to me for guidance, which is something that owners of problem dogs rarely feel. It was amazing-the change in my animal once she knew that I was in control of the situation.
Joanna was incredibly patient and accommodating. She never showed frustration, and went out of her way to make sure that the lessons were as effective as possible. You can tell the powerful extent of her connection to animals upon first meeting her.
Unfortunately, my little min pin Lola still has a long ways to go before she is the friendly, sweet dog that she is to my immediate family to everyone else she meets. This is in no way due to a failure on the project's part, but rather due to a revolving door of roommates and circumstances to which she must acclimate. However, there is one major difference now: I understand her. I feel empowered as a dog owner because I better understand my dog's triggers and psychology, and am more prepared to guide her through difficult behavioral situations.
Thanks, Joanna and Saving Mazy, for shedding light on what makes problem dogs tick, and for giving me some guidance into what triggers them as well as what encourages them. I greatly, greatly appreciate this project."