RUFF TRANSLATING RUFF RANTS
Brought to you by the Ruff Translating team!
The thing is, sometimes your goal works too well, the vision of success comes to the forefront and you are struck with “well now what?”.
When I founded Ruff Translating, it was really just about making sure I had a safe and reliable place to work in the dog industry, after years of working in challenging environments or as an independent contractor. RT has been my business in two other states before we landed (and settled) here. I extended my goals in Boston to help further my trade, and support other young professionals in their career development. Over the last two years, RT has graduated 2 apprentices (Sam and Michelle) and moved the very first apprentice I worked with in Boston (Cara) into a leadership position. Now, two of these professionals, Cara and Sam, have decided to take their show on the road and though we are deeply sad to see them go, we are so impressed by who they are and what they will bring to the world within our trade or not.
It’s hard to say now, wow, this really worked well, and at the same time realize that there are drastic changes to your own day to day operation as a result of being successful. This separation is absolutely what happens when mentoring goes right- but that doesn’t mean it’s not also a challenge to envision what RT looks like without these crucial people.
As many of our clients know, RT has had several big changes this year, in part because I have gone through several health changes that have impacted how I work. I also have turned my personal focus to specifically growing our service dog program as part of my professional development. It has long been a dream of mine to refocus my career to partner specifically with folks with disabilities in their journey to become service dog handlers. This year, I can proudly say that I achieved the goal, and nearly all of my appointments are with service dog clients mixed with a smaller few of my beloved behavior client babes. As this year has progressed, I also now have to face heavy decisions on how my health impacts how many hours I can work, how many staff we can take on, train, and provide support , to name a few considerations. This also means that as trainers with other specialties move on, we have to decide how that impacts our own shop and the services we provide. All of this is to say: it is a bit unexpected, but RT is changing.
We will be slowly winding down our more intensive behavior modification work and focusing our business on recently adopted dogs with behavior shaping (growth and development of puppies, building confidence, resolving lower level anxiety) rather than modification (aggression, severe anxiety, long term management needs), general training, and primarily: service dog training. This is not at all what we saw happening in two years of opening, in fact my business plan draft didn't even include SDITs as a primary program- but as with most things in our pandemic era, we absolutely have to be flexible and change based on the realities of each current situation. We anticipated behavior modification at the highest level would be a program we continued with, but life has handed us other plans and we have to be realistic about what that means for our small business when our two incredible behavior modification specialized trainers are moving on.
So let’s get to the questions you undoubtedly have.
If you are a current client of RT, including those dogs who are currently using more intensive behavior modification services, we are more than thrilled to continue offering Private Lessons and Muttessori Academy to your pups. We will still have open lesson spots for existing clients but are also happy to provide you with Cara or Sam’s contact information should you wish to continue private lessons with them. Muttessori spots are not contingent on training with RT specifically if you are an existing client. We see Cara and Sam each as individual preferred referral providers moving forward with new inquries with those specific more hands-on intensive, aggression potential, behavioral health needs, and appropriate trainers to still have their clients in our day train program.
As Michelle has now graduated from her apprenticeship, we will be opening up her schedule with additional time slots. Michelle is seeking to have her speciality also grow into the service dog program, so as RT continues that will remain a thriving part of our work. Her experience also makes her a great trainer for our existing behavior modification dogs who wish to stay within RT. We also will continue to be so appreciative of referrals to RT with new adoptions, shy dogs, fearful dogs, puppies, and fundamental training.
Please join us in wishing Cara and Sam all of the best in their careers, Cara’s final day with RT will be June 10th, and Sam’s final day will be July 8th. They are working on their individual next steps, and in the meantime you can contact them with the information we provided below. We are currently in the process of interviewing additional trainers to join the team with Ejay, Michelle and Kim to continue to provide as many Muttessori spots as we can!
If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Ejay, Cara, Sam and Kim are all happy to answer any questions and truly reiterate that this is a collaborative separation, and are all in support of each other’s success moving forward.
Cara's email address post 6/10:
Sam's email address post 7/8: