Before Christmas I visited Alena’s Pawsitive Dog School for a business photoshoot - a special for two reasons: It meant I got to swap of the comfort of the rolling Leicestershire hills and my familiar locations with the rugged landscapes in the South of Ireland for a few days. I also got to document a remarkable story of determination, perseverance and a girl that pursues her dreams.
Now, I may or may not be a bit biased here as Alena also happens to be one of my oldest friends, but stories like hers are the reason I love working for and with other small business owners to tell their stories.
When we were children we had had so many dreams. For example, I wanted to write a bestselling book, study law, work as an actress and be a champion rider (yes, all at the same time). Alena wanted to move to Ireland. The difference is that she is the kind of person that does things she has set her heart on.
After she graduated from high school, Alena moved to Cork to work as an au pair. Volunteering at a local animal shelter, she met a little scruffy greyhound that went unwanted for months. I’m not quite sure if Alena decided Jack should be her dog or if it was rather the other way around and he actually picked her to be his human, but Alena once again showed she is a determined lady. She got a job, a house and a car so that Jack could move in with her.
Inspired by Jack and a TV documentary show on a dog trainer that she had watched growing up, Alena decided to undergo training with the reputable dog behaviourist Nanci Creedon to become a fully certified dog trainer.
As the name suggests, Alena’s Pawsitive Dog School takes a positive, relaxed and cruel-free approach to teaching both dogs and their owners to live together in harmony. Apart her behaviour training with young and old dogs Alena is also a huge fan of agility, which is why we decided to focus purely on this aspect of her business during this session. Jack is of experienced with all the obstacles by now and showed us how to execute them to perfection.
Alena is based in Youghal, Co. Cork but is mobile and teaches regular classes at Lee Valley Equestrian Centre near Crookstown. You can also keep up with Alena’s Pawsitive Dog School on Facebook, where she shares a mixture of insights into her client work, interesting facts about dogs and inspirational quotes and images.