Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Apprentice Trainer's Blog

I know this is supposed to be the trainers blog, but I figured since I am recovering from knee surgery I would give a little insight on my roles, and experiences working at Triple D. For those who don’t know me, I’m Justine Hayes and I have been with Triple D now for the last ~2 years now, and don’t plan on going anywhere.

My roles and experiences have greatly increased from the time I started to today, as I am sure that’s how it goes with any line of work. When I first started this journey, my primary job was feeding, making sure the animals are all healthy, happy and making sure that their houses are cleaned daily. You see, this isn’t a job where once you are done, you’re done and you don’t necessarily have to worry about what you just did. No, this is a job that never ends. You don’t clean once and go okay well that’s done for good, or for awhile, because I kid you not, 2 minutes after you put all your cleaning stuff away, one of them has made a mess of their house. It is worth it though. I would imagine it is a lot like having a toddler and your are trying to clean, do laundry etc. what you just accomplished is now being destroyed J You are never done and there are always things to do. All day, everyday! The job is messy, and smelly. You leave work everyday smelling like you haven’t bathed in a few days, but once again the messiness, the smells, the long days, early mornings, all of it, is completely worth it.
The longer I have been working here the more my roles and responsibilities have increased. Now mind you, I still do my primary jobs such as checking on the kids, feeding, and cleaning, but I am now also the main back up to our head trainer and I am currently a trainer in training. Both are daily tasks. Being the main back up comes with a lot of responsibility in itself. There are so many different factors that I need to take into account as a back up. Each session and animal is different, so I am constantly on my toes. I’m on high alert all the time, to make sure Heather, the clients and myself, and the animal are safe. I don’t and can’t get complacent. But I am also the attention getter, so I have to be safe but also get the animals attention to look at the cameras, which is not an easy task sometimes. Let me tell you, I have whipped out some serious dance moves and they still wouldn’t look my direction. Haha!

Being a trainer in training takes time and so much patience. I haven’t always been good at being patient but I am learning. Luckily I have a pretty patient and amazing mentor/teacher. If I am being honest, I really thought training would be easy and that I would pick it up super fast, but in reality it didn’t come that easy. I still to this day struggle with it. I’m not a fan of failing, but who is? In this field you are going to fail, you’ll fail often, but that is what is going to make you better for next time. You can’t give up after a few bad trials. You just have to pick yourself up, dust off a little and get back to it.

It isn’t easy finding the balance between doing all those, but luckily we are a team and help each other out when it is needed. We have each others backs at all times. All in all this isn’t a one man show, it can’t be. We all have our roles, strengths and weaknesses. Another thing I have learned is that this isn’t a job, it is definitely a lifestyle and I am truly grateful and beyond blessed that I finally found what I want to do for the rest of my life. Doing what I do has given me so much confidence, that up until now I lacked. It has taught me that hard work pays off, not in ways that some people might want, but for me to see these “kids” happy, playing, being able to bond with them and just watch them be them, has been one of the most eye opening experiences ever. I would never change what I get do everyday for the world. I see all of them totally differently than I did just two and a half years ago. They are my 4 legged babies!! I love them beyond words.

Justine and CK (wolf pup)


  1. We find it very interesting that the Head Trainer uses the same techniques for the four legged kids and the Trainer in Training - both work for treats!