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About Jess

My name is Jess Gomery and I am the sole owner/operator of Canine Compassion GP.

Before I could even drive a car, I was helping take care of family friends' pets. I would ride my bike to their houses to make sure that no animal was left too long without a bathroom break or a walk. In high school, I upgraded my services to include overnight care for those family friends once my driver's license was acquired. I established myself as the go-to pet care provider within our social circle.

It took several years after graduating high school for me to really figure out what I wanted to do for a career. Being the hard-working, stereotype-breaking woman I am, I aimed to become an equipment operator. It's always been in my nature to prove that women can be successful, no matter what field they're in!

 

The one thing I always looked forward to while working in road construction or as a tow truck driver was seeing strangers' dogs! Whether they were driving by our construction zone with their heads hanging out the window or waiting at a pick-up/drop-off location for a tow request, the dogs have always been the highlights of my days. 

 

In the summer of 2021, I realized that working on-call and not knowing my schedule was too stressful to handle anymore. With the motivation to work for myself and the realization that being around dogs has always been what I look forward to the most, it finally clicked with me- I was born to be a full-time pet care provider!

My history of working jobs in road construction and as a tow truck driver might not seem relevant to walking your dog, but it's exactly what led me here. Those jobs taught me how to be resilient, work independently, and to be prepared for anything! With my passion for animals (dogs, especially) and a plethora of applicable skills, I turned my pet care hobby into the reputable business you trust today- Canine Compassion GP!

From the day Canine Compassion GP was founded, I had the foresight that dog training services would be offered someday. Not only do I strive to give dog's enriching experiences while in my care, but I also want them to be the best versions of themselves! I've made valuable connections with other trainers over the years who have helped educate me further, allowing me to confidently offer behaviour modification services (specializing in dog reactivity) in my community since 2023.

About Asuma

Asuma is my heart dog and a huge part of how I became knowledgeable and confident enough to jump head first into owning a business as a pet care provider.

In December 2020, I spent weeks scouring through endless Facebook posts and shelters' websites to find the perfect new addition to my family. It wasn't until my eyes caught the intake photo of a handsome, blue nose bully dog, that my heart jumped out of my chest.

I reached out to the facility, Pawsitive Haven Animal Rescue in Carstairs, AB, and desperately awaited a response. After conversing thoroughly with the wonderful rescue attendants, this 4.5 year old Cane Corso x American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) would be coming home with me in just a few weeks time.

With little to no information about "Boomer" being given from the rescue, I had to figure everything out about him through my own experiences. At that time, I did not know what "reactivity" was, that "pitbull" is not an actual breed (unless referring to the APBT), or that you couldn't just buy the cheapest plastic muzzle from a pet store, strap it onto your dog's face immediately, and call your problems solved.

 

Owning your first dog as an adult is one thing, but being responsible for one who has extreme reactions to other dogs and carries around the "pitbull" stigma is a whole other ball game. I was immediately motivated to begin educating myself as much as possible so that I could give this dog the best new life and make sure that those around us stayed safe, too.

Throughout our reactivity training journey, I learned about proper muzzling, stress thresholds, mental enrichment, and probably the most important thing of all- having the confidence in myself to advocate for my dog's space/safety. Once I dropped my fears and insecurities about what other people were thinking about us when they saw Asuma having reactive episodes, what our training regimen looks like, or when I confront them about their uncontrollable off-leash dogs, our progress surpassed my expectations completely.

With the trust that we have in each other, Asuma and I have been able to successfully visit places like public stores and an elementary school classroom. We've even been able to participate in a canine obstacle course, dog sport seminars, and official dog sport trials! Not only that, Asuma has achieved having positive, one-on-one interactions with several dogs; I never thought I would get to see him joyfully playing with another dog and it's a milestone I will always cherish.

Participating in dog sports has actually helped Asuma's reactivity to other dogs so much more than I ever thought it would. You would think that being in close quarters with dozens of energetic dogs would be counterproductive, but it's been just the opposite. Being part of Grande Prairie's own GP Working K9's dog sport club, the other members have gotten to know Asuma very well and understand that he needs space. In these controlled environments, I have been able to safely expose Asuma to other dogs at his pace, all while associating their presences to doing something that he considers incredibly entertaining and valuable (the sports themselves).

At almost 8 years old, Asuma has achieved his RATI (Instinct) and RATN (Novice) titles from the Barn Hunt Association (BHA), as well as his TL-1 (Trail & Locate), UL-1 (Urban Locate), and SD-1 (Shed Dog) titles from the North American Dog Sport Association (NASDA). Our goals for 2024 are achieving our RATO (Open) and TL-2 titles!

Many messages in my inbox pertain to people's own struggles with their reactive dogs and I've inspired so many just by transparently telling them about my journey with Asuma. Because of this, I created a social media platform tailored to being open about what real life looks like with a reactive dog. On Instagram, you can find Asuma living his absolute best life- and inspiring others to do the same- at @reactivedog.doingthings.

All dogs deserve to enjoy (safely) just being a dog, doing dog things.

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