Thank You For All You Have Done. We'll Do Our Best To Take It From Here.

I posted this today on the NEDTC Facebook page. 

It's with a heavy heart that we report the great Dr. Sophia Yin has passed away, "suddenly and unexpectedly". 

I use her website and posters more than any other resource for students with dogs who have a bite history, or kids who need help with the family dog. I use her videos almost exclusively when dealing with leash reactive dogs, including my own.

I remember having the quickest of chats with her at IAABC when I was pregnant with Aislyn, and then I watched her speak. She engaged the entire room with hands-on examples, and made us all partner-up. She got an entire room of mostly strangers, 300 people, to work together and solve problems.

She "got" people and dogs in a way more people need to understand both species. I was looking forward to her coming to talk to the NEDTC community, our local vets, our local trainers and our local students next year, and though that takes a backseat to everything else, it's still so sad that she isn't here, and won't be coming specifically here to help this group of people in the way that she's been helping communities all over the world. It's so sad that she won't be helping people and their dogs anymore, not just selfishly in Cambridge, but everywhere. She was great at her job, she loved her job, she loved dogs, she loved people, and she has left a huge hole in the heart of the dog-community.

I'm so shocked ----- I can't believe it or imagine what her family, colleagues, patients, and friends are dealing with right now. She was a light for dog trainers and veterinarians as well as the positive reinforcement movement - and I can only imagine what she was like in real-life, and the hole she's leaving those individuals with.

What we can do is carry that torch on. Treat all animals and people with honesty and compassion. Use her posters to illustrate good interactions and bad interactions to educate handlers what each looks like from the dogs perspective. We can make an effort to learn low-stress handling techniques (something she was famous for in her veterinary clinic). We can advocate for good relationships between all people and their pets, and lead by her example that we don't need harsh devices to accomplish trust.

I don't want to say Rest In Peace, because that seems so final. I think instead, I'll say "Thank you for all you have done. We'll do our best take it from here."