A Soon-to-be-Famous Dog Trainer Makes a House Call

 |  Apr 19th 2011  |   4 Contributions


I have no doubt that Alecia Evans, right,will be a household name very soon. She's amotivator in Cesar Millan's league. As reported here, the Colorado-based dog trainerhas invented a new, no-pull, harness-and-leash combo called Walk in Sync that isswiftly turningincorrigible K9s intowell-behaved dogs.

Don't believe me? Check out her "Five Minute Makeover" videos on YouTube.Or take a look at mysweet Cupcake, a champion puller if there ever was one.

Or check out my dog Magnus. I made a New Year's resolution to stop letting this giant puppy drag me down the streets of my neighborhood. And, well, let's just say I haven't been so good about keeping that resolution.

Until two days ago, that is. That's the day Alecia Evans kindly paid us a house call visit - all the way from Aspen to our humble brownstone stoop.

Onthis bright, sunny Palm Sunday in New York City, Alecia had Magnus eating out of her palm. It didn't hurt that she paid him some extremely nice compliments. "He's a beautiful soul," she said. "It's not often that I meet a dog that I want to take home with me!" With all that sweet talk, she had my dog's full cooperation as she patiently fitted her signature harness on him - the red looks so dashing against hisblue coat -then came along with us for a walk. And that walk literally changed our lives for the better.

I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to have this gorgeous dog walking calmly by my side, instead of several feet ahead of me. There were times when I've dreaded leashing him up for an outing, because it took all my strength to keep up with him. No longer.

It may take a couple extra minutes tosecure the quick-release fastenersof the harness. But Magnus has been very good about waiting while he's suited up. He knows the walk will be less of a struggle for us both.

Alecia is a great coach. "Be an exclamation point!" she kept telling me, as she encouraged me to walk tall. She explained that Magnus felt insecure on our walks because I wasn't being the leader, and he wasn't leader material. Thanks to her harness-leash system, I felt confident -yes, like an exclamation point! - and that confidence rubbed off on Magnus.

We are nowone confident couple, Magnus and me.

For proof, Alecia snapped this photo.I daresaywe dolookpretty confident, don't we? I love howweare literally walking in sync, our rightfeet lifting off from the pavement at the very same time.

It's quite possible that I injured my leg while out walking Magnus - such is thepower of this large beast that scrambling to keep up with him could have easily resulted in repetitive stress to my left leg. It's also quite possible that Magnus injured his leg by pulling too hard on his leash and having me pull back. Perhaps he stepped in a holeand twisted his leg the wrong way.

Who knows? Now that we're Walking in Sync together, we have a much better chance of avoiding future injuries. And soon, to maximize our fitness potential and tone up our winter-softened muscles,Magnus and Ican go running together side-by-side with confidence and, with any luck, grace. I can hardlywait.

After our session, Alecia kindlysent methis motivational text: You did awesome work today!!! Be proud of you and be an exclamation point.

For Magnus's sweet sake, I will. Thanks, Alecia!

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