By Ava Olsen, Brand Consultant for Gott Pet Products
More than 25 years ago, Charlee Bear was an idea for a dog treat: a treat that would reinforce the incredible bond between humans and canines and add to the love in the world.
Charlee Bear has worked on this goal one little treat at a time, creating millions of positive interactions and hopefully adding to the love in the world.
As ABC alumni and mentors, you deeply understand the bond we have with cats, dogs and other animals. You have spent time, money and energy, and invested your heart to help pets (and their people) be their best.
Especially at this time of crisis, we need to take care of each other. Many of us are alone, trying to stay safe and keep others safe. I am home, not seeing my kids or grandchild. My little dog is with me and he is my wonderful friend and companion. I must admit that I talk to him quite a bit. My best communication with family and friends has been virtual for some time now.
This is an opportunity for us to find ways to connect with and help people in a safe way. If you are a dog or cat trainer, this is a good time to send an extra email to your clients, post training videos online and/or even host live-streaming classes on social media that clients and friends can do with their furry family members. You could also share some just-for-fun games and useful exercises, and/or reinforce important training lessons. While we may be physically separated, we still have the “electronic” power to build relationships and community. Videos and photos can be fun and uplifting; contests with treat prizes could encourage participation.
Every day, I play games with my dog to make us both happy and lively and active. My dog, who is 15, is still overjoyed to get a Charlee Bear Treat. Some of your clients might think of training as work, but if you asked my dog, I am sure he would classify it as fun. If a family has kids home from school, this could create opportunities for creative ways to interact with their furry housemates. If you are a groomer, you could take time to ask your clients how they are doing.
Even as stay-at-home and social-distancing rules begin to ease, we still need to use every available tool to reach out to each other safely, to show we care and to build our bonds and community. I believe that ABC graduates and mentors are people of creativity and heart. Let’s work together and hope that when we come through this crisis, we will be stronger. Each small act of kindness and creative outreach, works just like each little Charlee Bear Treat: to bring us all closer together.