Sharing Her Story

One of our students, Jennifer Burgoyne from Alberta Canada completed her Top Tier K9 Pet Trainer and Foundation Dog® Trainer Certifications this month. She took a 4 day drive down from Alberta to Madison Florida to spend 4 weeks with her Foundation Dog® "Chaos" proving that she was proficient in teaching dogs to track, find specific odor, perform advanced obedience tasks and, what has turned out to be the most important part of their journey together as a team; to protect her and make sure she is safe. She started her drive back this Thursday and ran into a problem at a hotel north of Atlanta Georgia, a criminal tried to break into her hotel room at 2am and her Foundation Dog® "Chaos" saved the day by chasing the bad guy off! Here is Jennifer's back story, what brought her to Top Tier K9 from 3,500 miles away.

Having spent my career as a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer up until this point has provided me incredible experiences, but those did not come without a price. The changes crept up without me noticing, and the coping mechanism proved to be short term solutions. After a series of traumatic events building up, both in my professional career & personal life, my health forced me to take some time off. During this time I should have been recovering, but instead I found myself barely surviving with no support. I had put everything into my career & there was no support to be found. I found strength in a small network of friends & pushed to return to work, even though I had not faced any of my demons. I found a love for my career again and as I returned to full duty, but then forced to return to an environment that I now understand as a “trigger.”

I was met with resistance and quotations of policy when I tried to express my concerns. Shortly after I found myself spirally out of control again: not sleeping without self medicating, experiencing anxiety attacks & panic attacks, unable to get out of bed for days when off duty, unable to eat & throwing up on my way to work & at work, losing my temper at those around me for no reason at all, avoiding people … I tried reaching out knowing I was slipping away and was met with words of warning: if I went off duty any transfer opportunities would not be explored until I returned… and reminded that they need members on the road working and reliable, not off on medical.

So, I endured… until my body could not handle anymore. Breathing difficulty, black outs, uncontrollable hand tremors, and more, I was forced to address my demons.