One paw in front of the other

The hardest things are worth fighting for. Cliché as can be, but something that’s clearly getting hit home for Ian and myself this year. And from everyone else that I’ve been talking to, it seems we’re not the only ones effected by this (something I’m never shocked by).


Those of you that know us and know where Ian and I want Mantra Pet to be headed in life, as well as where we know we’re supposed to be headed, are pretty aware that we had planned to be back up in the NYC area as of June 1st. However, three trips up to the NYC/NJ area later, we fell in love with Jersey City, and specifically a little place off a park on Garfield Ave (an area I wasn’t trying to continually look at, but keeps throwing apartments my way).


And one of the real selling points? One of Jersey City’s leading pet rescues is a mile from the location we’re fighting for, which would mean they’d be getting an email from yours’ truly the moment we know our move in date asking for volunteer paperwork and letting them know what skills I can lend to them (on site behavioral and training assistance, home visits for their foster pets in need, etc). One of the core reasons Mantra Pet exists: helping shelters for no or low cost when possible.

Being a mile walk/bike ride from my house would make that more than possible, wouldn’t you say?


Multiple realtors later and three apartments applied for, and we’re still in limbo. After being told we would be approved for the first two apartments and then having that denied due to Bowie’s size (after being told, yes, having a 60lb hound would not be an issue), we were feeling the pet-owner burn pretty heavily that renters everywhere know. As always, it doesn’t matter that our pooch is amazing with people, kids, other dogs, doesn’t bark, isn’t destructive, etc. So we’ve been soldiering on.


Currently we’ve been approved for a place exactly where we want to be, but we’ve been getting pushed back on a move in date repeatedly – to the point where it may not be worth it to wait it out due to concern over if this is really a company we want to continue working with. I’m hoping they are, and this snag lets us get go so we can move onto the next thing.


By this point, I think life has gotten a bit silly and we’ve paid our dues. I’m a firm believer that you have to go through a lot of trials and tribulations to get to where you know you need to be in life. However, taking the plunge into making the dream of a low cost training and behavioral counseling service real (that donates free help to rescues in need and has a certain allotted pro-bono time towards clients who cannot pay for help), was a huge decision, and I didn’t expect life to not expect a massive amount of stress and suffering back from us to get this rolling.


Richmond has been good to us. While we’ve been here longer than planned, I’ve watched dogs that used to not be able to even go outside become well-mannered pups on excursions to VMFA and Stony Point after putting in the work to make them feel confident and keep training safe in such high traffic areas. And through this, I’ve seen owners change – not just in how they look at their dogs, but how they look at life.


But now these pups have graduated their own gauntlets (at a much more managed and rewarding game of trading a little stress for big payoffs), and it’s time we graduated our own.


Our current realtor hopefully will pan out. If not, we’ll move onto the next and maybe fourth time will be the charm. I know however this ends, it will end how it has to. We’ll get our place, I’ll find rescues and clients, it will all come together. I look forward to the now two month hunt for an apartment to be over.


After all, this won’t get easier (not for a while, at least). After the move we’ve still got permits to file, paperwork to complete, advertising to keep on top of, generating a regular clientele pool and managing it, hiring in PA, meeting and working with other trainers and behaviorists in the area, doing a few classes at local pet services, the list goes on. But we’re ready for that now – so how about we get some traction?


Over the next few days, expect new posts of all the amazing photography Ian has been doing, our Instagram to get updated, and the like. I’ll be making this blog start getting updated weekly with tips, info, etc instead of waiting for the move to happen (which I’m currently guilty of).


Always striving, always thankful

-          T