~ Dog Trainer Mendham, NJ ~ Jennie and Her Sisters

If you spend enough time with Sarah, from sleepydog training, it will quickly be revealed that no day is ordinary.  She finds magic and purpose in every waking moment; in every living thing.   As Sarah drives, with her dog Cozy in tow, to Jennie’s training, the day becomes nothing less than extraordinary.  With a little faith, love and devotion, all things are possible.

Meet Jennie.

Jenni was rescued from a shelter in the south. She is a sweet, but fearful dog.

Jennie lives with a family who loves her very much.  They wanted the best for her, so they hired Sarah, also known as sleepydog training.

Meet Cozy.

 Cozy enjoys a peaceful, winding drive, past glorious old buildings, on the way to Jennie’s home.  She is happy that Sarah chose her, out of all the dogs in her pack, to go on the training today.  Sarah knows that Cozy’s energy will work beautifully with Jennie’s.

Cozy enjoys the ride as she prepares to help sleepydog‘s Sarah with her training.

When Sarah walks into the room where the training will take place, Jennie greets her cautiously and happily, as her masters, also known as sisters,  look on with interest and delight.

Jennie’s home is a convent! Her masters are also her sisters!

The nuns watch, with an intense love in their eyes and pride in their smiles, as Sarah begins to work with Jennie. Jennie is sweet as can be, but she is fearful.  Sarah slowly and gently works with Jennie to establish trust.

Sarah and the nuns participate in a question/answer session as the nuns chime in and ask questions about how to handle various situations with Jennie.  In the video below, the sisters express how they believe Jennie may have Border Collie in her mix, and that she can be protective when she needs to be.

Sarah sits down to show fearful Jennie that she is not a threat. Body language is essential in communicating with animals.

The sisters look on as Sarah demonstrates how to encourage Jennie to come.

Sarah explains how to get at the dog’s level for owners who may have a hard time kneeling.

Sisters volunteer to work with Jennie.  Although the “come” command is new to her, Jennie is able to obey, even when her master is nowhere to be seen.

Jennie is so silly! She finds a stick near the fireplace.

The stick, Sarah explains, is a resource for Jennie, and can be used to reinforce appropriate behavior. Love,  toys, and even sticks are considered treats!

Jennie is loved. She travels from sister to sister, with a new confidence and a steady loyalty. The nuns take this opportunity to practice with Jennie.

Sister works on “Stay” and “Come.” It can be difficult for a fearful dog to stay, but Jennie obeys!

Jennie’s confidence in her self + trust in others = beautiful eye contact!

Sarah continues to establish a trusting relationship with Jennie. Sarah’s movement, voice, body language, and facial expressions are all reassuring to Jennie.

Before long, Sarah has gained Jennie’s trust and affection, and she hangs on every word Sarah says, as do the sisters!

Jennie is gradually becoming another sleepydog! It happens every time.  😉

Jennie reaches out to Sarah in every way possible.

Sarah suggests that changing the location, and working with Jennie outside, will be an appropriate challenge for Jennie. Sometimes it takes more effort to hold a sleepydog‘s attention outside.

There is beauty all around us here…

The sisters take a 5 minute break, while Sarah gets her assistant, Cozy, ready to work.  (For a German Shepherd, work is fun!)

Cozy gets ready to meet Jennie! Cozy is a sweet, compassionate dog who has a way of bringing relief to fearful dogs.

A plan is discussed….

Sarah and the sisters walk Jenni outside. Sarah explains that she will bring Cozy out when Jennie is comfortable.

The sisters take turns practicing the commands with Jennie outside.

Sarah says, “Jennie’s ready to meet Cozy!”

Sarah places Cozy in a relaxed down position so Jennie can approach Cozy when Jennie feels ready. (It doesn’t take long for Jennie to be ready!)

Cozy retreats to the sleepydog mobile for a water break. Jennie begs her to come back and play! This is remarkable progress.

Before long, Cozy, and Jennie, and Sarah and the nuns are cooperating like…well…SISTERS! 😉

Warm hearts and warm smiles are everywhere!

Even Jennie is smiling!

Cozy seeks reassurance from her pack leader, and then gets permission to play!

Cozy checks in with Sarah.

The dogs play & play & play.

Everyone stops for a group shot!

This is it! Jennie IS a sleepydog. (If you’ve followed our blog for long enough, you know where this is going.) A sleepydog is a happy dog…

…and a happy dog makes a happy family.

Everyone is a little happier, and a little more at peace, thanks to Sarah and Cozy.

Stay here, Cozy & Sarah! 🙂

Goodbye, Sarah.

Cozy is back in the sleepydog mobile. She’s ready for a good meal, and a good rest…and then, another sleepydog adventure.

How remarkable is it  that Jennie found her sisters, and the sisters found sleepydog?  When compassionate souls find their calling, and then join forces and share a little faith, love and devotion, the outcome can be almost…well…miraculous! 

Special thanks to you, for following our story, to the sisters of  The Community of St. John Baptist, for sharing this special day with sleepydog, and to Elise Campbell Photography, for capturing it. Please click FOLLOW to receive notification when new blogs are presented.

Please click “FOLLOW” to be notified of new blog posts. We’d love to read your comments, as well!



    G-d was there with and in all of you that day. Beautiful post! I look forawrd to the day I meet Sarah. Her gift is like yours Elise, a present from G.d.

  2. Terrific story in words & photos!

  3. Alex Zander

    This is so beautiful. I’m truly happy to have had a part in making this joyful connection. You have all made this a wonderfully happy day. I can’t wait to meet Jennie.
    Alex Zander

    • Alex,
      Please email me your mailing address. I’d love to send you a photo from this blog to thank you
      for connecting the sisters and I!
      Lots of love and gratitude,

  4. Mimi

    Wonderful story and post – and fantastic photographs! This was a work of art as well as being a testament to Sarah’s training skills!


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