Live in Ohio? Click Here



I Feel Fear When My Pet is Ill. Is It His Time? (Seiki’s Story)

Please support us in creating Seiki’s Recovery.  Read the story below.  Then if you are willing donate money to support his health.  Even $1 is helpful! Click here to donate.

I wake up in the morning to get ready to hike with my dog, my daughter and my wonderful friend.  I am also excited for dog training.  Salt Lake City has many dog hiking options! My friend helps me get everything ready so that I can easily get out the door before my daughter’s nap time! We are all so excited.  Seiki is pacing.  He cannot wait!  When we hit the trail at Neff’s canyon Seiki jumps and I hear him whine.  I check him over.  He looks fine and encourages me to let him run.  So I let him go 🙂  His behavior is very normal and he seems so happy.

Because I see my dog as my son, and I am the owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC Dog Training, Salt Lake City, I take the health of my dog seriously.  He is a part of our family.  I take him into the vet to find out why he whined and to see if joints are bothering him.  Since he is older, I also do a CBC (complete blood count).  Turns out his ionized calcium is super high.  Our vet at Healing Hearts, believes that it is probably a result of his parathyroid malfunctioning or cancer. Fear rises in my body!  The vet takes more blood to run more tests. I have to wait 7 to 10 business days for these blood results to be completed by the laboratory.

We wait.  I watch my dog slowly decline in health. He stops eating unless I have canned food in his healthy dry kibble.  He is drinking up a storm and then as days go by he changes to hardly drinking at all.  He begins to have trouble walking. He is dragging his back legs.  His nerves are degenerating due to the high calcium. As a result, he is loosing feeling and control in his back right leg and a little in his left back leg too.  I begin to have to carry him up and down the stairs to potty outside.  I watch as he no longer listens or performs any obedience commands. Is his time nearing?  What will happen next?

I dive into the abyss.  I am not able to see the future and I have no idea what it might hold for Seiki and I.  At first, I felt much fear and was loosing sleep.  What if his time has come?  Is rainbow bridge around the corner? It can’t be time yet!  I am not ready!  I begin to feel guilty about the past two years.  After I got pregnant, the amount of hikes I took Seiki on significantly decreased.  Have I failed as a doggie parent?  I didn’t do a good enough job.  I want to fix the past and spend more time with him now.  Iris is getting older, we can hike more easily now!  So I am asking Seiki to stay a bit longer.


My best friend and of course Salt Lake City dog training’s best friend, Seiki!

Then it dawns on me that all I have control over is the “now”.  All the tests in the world, fear and waiting are all future oriented.  What if I just let go and look at what I have in front of me?  I breath and connect with spirit.  I lay down with Seiki as I am giving him his IV.  I reminisce our wonderful times together.  As a Salt Lake City dog trainer, Seiki and I have many training memories.  The camping and hiking was amazing.  Of course with my spiritual connection, there were the times we spent meditating every day!  What a joy he has been.  I open up and cry. I tell him how much he means to me. I let go.

We move to my bed to meditate together.  Before I meditate, I share with him my deep subconscious fears of failing and not being good enough to him.  I complete this feeling inside me. I let it unravel to treasure the moment of the “now”.  As I am meditating, I fall asleep.  When I awake Seiki is still by my side. I tell him how much I love him.  I decided he will sleep with me on my bed during the nights .

It is the now that I have to treasure with him.  Yes he is sick and yes he might pass soon.  I can’t control that. I can control the time I still have with him. The “now”.  So to the “now” it is!

This morning I took Seiki into the vet again.  The test results are here and they are negative!  There are no problems with his parathyroid and no cancer!  Yahoo!!!!  Today he will get an ultrasound and we will run some tests to determine if he has Addison’s disease.  Lastly, he may receive some X-rays.  Our vet at Healing Hearts, believes if we can lower his calcium he may walk again!  It would be wonderful to be able to take him to work again to support our Salt Lake City dog training clients!  Of course hiking is even more fun and bonding in my mind!

Please take sometime in your day to stop and pray for Seiki.  Send him love and healing light.  May he truly feel the angels around him!  He is so loved!

Then if you are willing clicker here to donate some money to support Seiki’s health Even $1 is helpful! 

Your turn, please post your answer in a comment below!

What fears have you felt with your dog in regards to behavior issues, health issues, etc.?  How can you get back into the now and stop thinking about the past and the future?


Johanna Teresi, Professional Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC Dog Training, Salt Lake City

Blog Archives

Britnie Sorensen
Britnie Sorensen
18:11 06 Apr 24
This is our second round of training with Johanna! Our Bullmastiff Abbi is different from our previous dogs, and we knew Johanna would be able to help us. We reached out and were in excellent hands! Johanna was able to redirect our training efforts, majority of sessions were held virtually and supported with videos of us training Abbi. We will keep using Johanna no matter where life takes us. Her love and compassion for our puppy, and us, come through in every interaction. We are in a much better place and understanding of Abbi after working with Johanna!
Roberta Bonnell
Roberta Bonnell
01:37 24 Mar 24
My Australian Shepard had moderate separation anxiety and Johanna was able to help me get him to a point where I can see him being able to be home alone before the end of the year! Very grateful for all of her training expertise.
Karen Mara
Karen Mara
21:19 21 Jan 24
I recently met with Johanna for help with my rambunctious teenager, Roger. We worked on coming when called, leash walking, and staying calm around other dogs when on leash. After two sessions, Roger made huge improvements, and he continues to improve as we practice on our own. Johanna really understands dogs and is very good at communicating with people. She knows how to make dog training fun. I've worked with other trainers, and Johanna is by far the best.
Wendy Nighswonger
Wendy Nighswonger
18:47 08 Jul 23
I have known Johanna for 13 years. She has helped me with several dogs, but she recently helped me train my new black lab puppy, Raven. I have moved to another state so all of my training with Raven was done online via Zoom. I believe that the one-on-one training I received through Zoom was more personalized and thorough, especially with the way Johanna placed every ounce of training and recommendation on a board through an app that I can refer back when I need. Johanna is very intuitive and knew when stress was on overload for me, therefore tailoring my training for that day around making Raven feel good while simultaneously taking my stress load down. Johanna has years of experience and while her knowledge is a gold mine, it is her gentle patience and love for her clients that make this training so perfect. I would hire her again and again. She is a true canine whisperer. Thank you Four Legged Scholars and thank you Johanna!Wendy N. ~ Oregon
Christina Richards
Christina Richards
18:13 10 Feb 23
Johanna at Four Legged Scholars is great. She tailored my program to fit my needs and was easy to work with. My puppy responded very well to what she taught us together over Zoom. She's patient and understanding. We're still utilizing the things we learned and he's a well-behaved puppy. Thank you!
Karyl Bennion
Karyl Bennion
19:49 05 Feb 23
I adopted Frida as a companion that I could travel, walk and hike with. She loves to hike and walk but pulled on the leash and jumped at distractions. I learned how to be calm and talk in a non threatening way to her. She responds to this much better than yelling at her. The click and treat method that I learned works so well in getting her attention as well as the "target" training. Frida has improved greatly with these methods. I will continue the knowledge I have learned with her. I did the live on-line training and it was very successful. I am so happy we signed up.
Rachel Giddings
Rachel Giddings
02:57 12 Dec 22
My dog was abused in his previous home and has always been afraid of strangers. I wanted to train him and help him to be more confident, but I didn't know how to do that if he was afraid of his trainer.Doing online training with Joanna was perfect for both of us! Joanna helped me learn how to read my dog and understand his triggers. We then worked together on BAT training, which taught him self-soothing behaviors and showed him how to confidently and safely handle difficult situations. I never thought I would have fun doing homework with my dog, but he and I benefited from it tremendously. Working with Joanna via Zoom was perfect for my dog and me.
Shawn McMillen
Shawn McMillen
02:09 24 Oct 22
My 2 year old doodle was struggling with people walking by the house, barking incessantly, tugging on walks, improving recall when off leash and , for me, how to be a better more engaging human for my buddy. The personalized, online sessions exceeded all my expectations. The review of video homework sessions was awesome. We saw improvement in each of the priority areas and I developed real, tangible, lasting skills/tools to be a better pet person. Thanks Johanna!
Courtney Daniels
Courtney Daniels
19:59 12 Sep 22
12 years ago I got a puppy and quickly realized I was in over my head. I wanted to have a good, well trained dog, but I was overwhelmed by methods and my puppies behavior.I joined the four legged scholars puppy training with my little 4 month old puppy Bowie, and saw immediate understanding with the clicker work. It gave us this incredibly ability to communicate and she excelled.We went on to take several courses that established general obedience, helped me turn a STRONG leash puller into a loose leash master (I took that course twice because it was a huge issue for us and I NEEDED help and reassurance from Johanna that I could do it) as well as skill class, that helped solidify a beautiful relationship between us. Learning clicker shaping allowed me to confidently teach complex and unique commands on my own as well, like waving hello and closing kitchen cabinets.My Bowie has climbed to the top of mountains for me staying right by my side never pulling on her leash. I've targeted her off trails to protect her from startling a mama moose and her baby. She's loved on my kids without jumping on them and knocking them over. She's allowed the neighbor girl who has always had a fear of dogs to walk her without pulling at whatever pace she was comfortable with. She shows off with all her fun little tricks Johanna gave me the tools to train my dog into an amazing companion.I feel so lucky to have found your training program and to have the relationship I do with my Bowie girl. These courses have a profound and lasting impact on the lives of families and their pups, thank you for that gift.
Megan Pond-Maxwell
Megan Pond-Maxwell
16:02 18 May 22
I am so grateful to have found Johanna. She was with us every step of the way as we tackled separation anxiety training and reactivity training with Daisy, my Mini Australian Shepherd. As a first time dog owner, I felt at a loss about how to manage my very vocal, scared, stressed, yet loveable dog. She had all of the typical puppy behavior, such as jumping, nipping/biting, leash pulling, as well as barking. On top of that, she was also not able to be alone without feeling terrified, as well as vocally and behaviorally reactive to other dogs, adults, and kids. I felt completely overwhelmed and Johanna created programs that felt manageable and doable. Each training session, I felt understood and empowered working with Johanna. Over the course of our programs, I felt that we accomplished the steps of the training process, strengthened the dog-human relationship, and increased my own awareness of my dog's emotional cues so that I could better work with her. My dog can now be on her own feeling relaxed and playful, her problematic puppy behaviors have significantly improved, she can walk on her leash loosely, listen to commands, and she can better tolerate other adults, dogs, and children as compared to where we first started. Our online experience was very positive. I look forward to continually implementing the tools and skills we have learned along the way to move forward in a positive direction that strengthens our human-animal bond and reduces distressing behaviors and emotional stress and overwhelm. Thank you Four Legged Scholars! I highly, highly recommend working with Johanna.
Emily Harward
Emily Harward
03:36 24 Apr 22
Our rescue dog is sweet and playful with us, but her behavior around other dogs and people could be unpredictable. She would act aggressively around adults (lunging and barking), and would sometimes be aggressive toward other dogs. We chose to do online training with Johanna. I was skeptical that online training would work, but it ended up being very effective. Johanna taught me the skills I needed to train my dog, and provided resources that I could use throughout the week as I worked on the assigned tasks. I was also able to send her videos of me working with my dog, so she could provide feedback and help me improve. Johanna personalized the program and made changes as needed to ensure that I could meet my goals. Since working with Four Legged Scholars, neighbors have commented on how much better behaved my dog is, and I don't have to worry about her lunging and barking at people or other dogs when we are out for a walk anymore. We still have a lot of work to do with our dog, and I feel like doing the personalized online sessions with Johanna has given me the knowledge, and resources to continue training my dog.
Angel Lanoy
Angel Lanoy
15:22 16 Jun 21
We have a large family, including three big dogs. So when our biggest dog Obi, the Rottweiler, started showing aggression we panicked. The vet suggested we put him down after an experience in the office. He then said we could also try training and gave us Johanna's business card. Just a phone call with her made us feel like there was hope. We signed up to do the online sessions with FourLeggedScholars. The process from the first contact to the last was well oiled and very helpful. Obi gets to stay with our family now and we feel like meting with her has given us the guidance and knowledge we need to keep our family, friends and him safe. I was a tad worried about doing the training online, but it really worked out great and we were able to fit such a big task into our busy schedules. I feel like she set us up for success from the very beginning. Thank you.
More reviews

You May Also Like …


  1. Claudia

    I just read your e mail. My heart goes out to you and Seiki, I know how much he means to you, he has been your companion for a long time and has brought you so much joy. It is nerve recking when our 4 legged companions get ill.
    Our adopted son Mr. Churchill was diagnosed with kidney cancer in June 6th of this year. I was crushed he has been with us for 1 year only. My heart sank and had so many questions.. What to do next… How much time does he have left, is it painful, etc. I realized that he had no idea, even though he is sick, he is Happy in the now!!!! We treasure him every day as if it was his last. Amazingly he is still with us, losing a lot of weight, but his apetite is great. I feed him small amounts of food every 4 hours. When we take him to memory grove his walks are short, but he is enjoying other doggies stoping to say hello, the water, flowers, smells, he is not ready to leave us. I meditate and always ask to stay present to his needs in spirit… To help me know when the moment comes to say good bye. It will not be easy, however each day I walk in gratitude with him for sharing his beautiful strong will to live and his example to us, for being here and in the now…
    This experience has also taught me to grieve in the process and to accept that nothing is permanent. It gives me joy that he finally found a forever home and he is so loved by Henry our Sharpei and us his parents.

    • fourleggedscholars

      What a joy it is hear from you!! I love so very much!!!! I feel blessed to still be in contact with you! You have warmed my heart in so many ways and I a forever connected with you and your family! Send Henry so much love from us!
      I appreciate your compassion and ability to relate to our situation. Your authenticity is a joy!
      My heart aches for you as well. I am so sorry to hear about Churchill. How difficult after just one year! I am so sorry. However, you know as well as I do with pain come gifts. Thank you for meditating with him and for your presence. Animals are the best teachers!
      I love all so very much and I really appreciate you reaching out during this difficult time.
      Please call me anytime if you need any emotional support as well! XXXXXOOO Johanna, Seiki and Iris!

  2. ling wong

    Thanks for sharing your story, interaction with our pets can definitely become an opportunity for reflection and personal growth opportunity. I hope Seiki gets better soon!

    • fourleggedscholars

      Thank you for considerate reply 🙂 Unfortunately Seiki is terminally ill so his health will slowly decline again. He has stage 4 Lymphoma. I will write more today so you can read it get updated on the new story 🙂 Namaste!