Get The Inside Scoop About All Things Doglando, Straight From Your Play Professor, Victor
A day in the life at Doglando. That’s the picture I’ve been given the opportunity to paint with words for you, the reader.
Let’s start with a bit about myself. My name is Victor Rodriguez and I’m 22 years old. I’ve been with Doglando for about six months now and in those six months I’ve seen tremendous growth as a person and a trainer. We’ll touch on that a bit more later, though!
Before working with dogs I was working with kids. Middle school children had my heart. They are in the most developmentally intense time of their lives, and I loved getting to play a part in their personal growth and wellness. I enjoyed getting to help connect them to their life calling; the thing that only they could do to leave their impact on the world.
I also worked simultaneously as a lead custodian over a youth building, so I’m no stranger to fast paced and ever-changing environments.
Getting to manage events with thousands of people really keeps you on your toes. I learned a lot of useful skills while working here, like how to manage a small team and how to coordinate and plan events in the smoothest way possible.
Working with dogs should be straightforward enough… right?
Bringing these various experiences to Doglando made me think that work here would be easy… Boy, were my eyes opened!
I didn’t know it then, but when I took this opportunity to work as a trainer I wasn’t expecting to develop or grow in character as much as I have:
- I’ve faced adversity and have had to teach myself a lot.
- I’ve learned from those around me.
- I’ve been frustrated.
- I’ve been scared at times.
- I’ve been stressed and pushed to my limits.
But, you know what? Ultimately, all of these things have made me grow as a person and as a staff member at Doglando.
Learning about the importance of play in dogs’ lives
Being in the yard with the dogs is a very physically demanding thing, and part of the process we use to work with the dogs involves a huge deal of play.
Running around with the dogs and playing with them every single day can really become exhausting. The sun and humidity beat us up, too. What I believe is most taxing though is the level of attention you have to pay in order to keep the yard a safe and fun environment.
When in the yard we always try to be proactive and not reactive. Most times we’re interacting with our dogs by playing group games, like soccer, or individual games, like tug or fetch. This keeps our dogs engaged and learning, while also keeping the yard safe.
That means we have to constantly stay in motion and push ourselves to keep up!
Dogs & Kids: They have more in common than you think
It never occurred to me how similar working with dogs and kids would be. There’s a lot of relationship building involved in both. Through play, we develop awesome and unique relationships with each of the dogs. It helps us teach and train them.
When working with kids, a large part of what I got to do was play and lead different games. This helped to build relationships with some of my students so that I could be a better mentor to them.
There are so many crossovers between the two fields, and I’ll definitely talk about this more in depth in the future.
Check back every week for more updates and insights!
I’m looking forward to writing weekly for the Doglando blog! My goal is to bring you different perspectives (my own and from other staff members) on what life is like at Doglando so that all of our readers have a backstage pass. Think of it as a peek behind the curtain of what we do so you guys can be informed too! You’ll learn about some of our other staff and even what we all do when we’re not at play with the dogs. I can’t wait for you to read more!
Is there something you want to hear about from Victor? Let Team Doglando know by posting your questions and curiosities in the comments!