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Your time: It’s PAWSible Dog Training Center, Westhampton

  • Scott Hogaboom, Zoe
  • Kay and Kevin Barbieri, Maddie, Erin Carr
  • Play time
  • Adelheid, Zoe, Maddie
  • Wanda Garvey, Brooklyn
  • Gay Goodwin, Dante
  • Scott Hogaboom, Zoe
  • Beth Ostrowski
  • Slaede
  • Adelheid
  • Gay Goodwin, Dante
  • Pam Lohr, Slaede, Laurie LaValley

Photos and text by Jerrey Roberts

Adelheid, Dante, Brooklyn, Zoe, Slaede and Maddie — six puppies with so much to learn.

Along with their owners, they spent four Wednesday evenings recently in a puppy training class at It’s PAWSible Dog Training Center and Day Camp in Westhampton. The class was led by Beth Ostrowski Parks, founder of the center and a nationally certified trainer. The class is one of more than a dozen offered there.

Each class began with a chance for the pups to socialize with each other as their owners watched. After that came the hard work of learning and practicing all those commands for sitting, staying, lying down and coming when called. Near the close of the class, staff members approached the puppies, as strangers might on a walk, so that the puppies could start learning how to greet the people they’ll meet out in the world.

Wanda Garvey of Holyoke said she brought Brooklyn, her 3-month-old black German shepherd, to the class “so she can be smarter than my other dogs. I want her to be well-behaved.” Garvey and her husband, James, also own a rotweiller, a bloodhound and a Chihuahua-cocker spaniel mix. Scott Hogaboom of West Springfield, who was there with his puppy, Zoe, said he was interested in going on to learn more about dog agility competitions. Zoe is an Australian shepherd, he said, and the breed is known for its abilities in that area. Mary Loftus-Rooney of Granby said the class had helped her long-haired German shepherd, Adelheid, overcome her fear of other dogs.

And two of the owners, Kay and Kevin Barbieri of Easthampton, pointed out that the class was as useful to them as it was for their puppy: “It’s given us tips we didn’t know or remember.”

To suggest a subject for Your Time, email Suzanne Wilson at swilson@gazettenet.com.

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