Live in Ohio? Click Here



I experience the emotion of deep sorrow and ultimate gratitude simultaneously.  Seiki has been a member of my family for 8 years and we traveled through many spiritual times together.  This past Wednesday, Seiki requested to go to Rainbow Bridge, and I listened. The memories and time we have spent together have been some of the most precious times of my life.  As a little girl, I dreamed of letting my dog run free in nature with an awesome recall.  With Seiki, I made that dream a reality.  We hiked the simple mountains of Millcreek Canyon to the depths of Goblin Valley where one wrong decision could result in death.  He was my beloved companion and enjoyed every minute of our outdoor excursions.  Ultimately, he taught me to let go. The times that stick most in my memory were the times where trusting and surrendering were my only choice unless I wanted to experience an ultimate panic attack.

It is time to remanence and share these ultimate experiences, and yes it involved dog training. Salt Lake City was where part of this occurred but in the middle of nature when it was just the two of us is where the deeper learning really occurred and the bond between us ultimately grew.

It began with simple recall training on walks and in the mountains.  Eventually, Seiki learned to explore and experience the wildlife around him.  It only took one occurrence of him being gone for almost 20 minutes at Red Butte Gardens that resulted to on-leash mountain hikes for an entire year.  Proactivity and his safety was important to me as we experienced dog training.  Salt Lake City is where we stayed during this time of his life.  Training in the mountains on-leash. Obedience training with “come” also occurred in soccer fields, school yards, and fenced locations.  My ultimate goal was to experience the freedom of the wind and air around us in this beautiful city.

Once his recall became pretty stable in the above areas we progressed to off-leash time in the mountains with dog training. Salt Lake City is again where we stayed.  Obedience training mostly occurred in Millcreek Canyon. Elbow Fork Trail became our ultimate favorite hike. This trail was frequently vacant. Most of the time it was just the two of us here. I was persistent and committed with his obedience training. When I called him for his recall, I would turn around and run in the opposite direction to kick in his chase and herding drive.  Tons of treats and praise exploded and our bond and trust grew from here.  There were many times when he chose to chased birds over coming to me. I would keep running in the opposite direction to pulled him to run to me.  Sometimes I would hide to get him to look for me. He would feel just a enough fear to wonder where I went and begin searching for me.  His recall became top notch for a border collie that had a huge chase and herding drive in nature.

However, there was one place where he never seemed to master it and that was in wide open fields.  This of course is where we experienced flyball practice, a dog training, Salt Lake City sport.  Seiki had a blast running off.  He was in complete bliss as he herded planes and birds in the sky.  It was a laughing stock at fly ball.  At times, I was in ultimate embarrassment since I was a dog trainer myself. Then other times I was fuming in anger because I was so attached to having him come and do awesome in flyball.  As time grew, I learned to just let it go and see the humor in the situation. Seiki had brought me to a family that I will never forget and that was my flyball family, Thunder Paws.  We experienced numerous training times together.  My team watched Seiki grow from knowing nothing about flyball to eventually becoming the dog that had to wear a long line to prevent the his bird chasing at practice.  Tournaments for us were few due to the dog classes I held on the weekends but the ones we experienced were a very high of euphoria.  These were held indoors so no need for a long line for Seiki there.  We attended the ones in Hurricane, Utah.

The spiritual and energetic realm began with Salt Lake City dog training and gradually progressed to camping in many desert and mountainous areas.  Yep our recall training paid off but any dog that loves to herd is going to herd.  So there were the times I called him and he didn’t come,  I was alone sometimes and other times with friends.  In the beginning my heart would drop.  Then NLP (neurolinguistic programming) would set in from the coaching programs I attended. I would breath and  begin to relax into my intention, “Seiki is safe and is coming now”.  I firmly believed he always felt my energy because EVERYTIME he always came back to me. I never had to go to him.  I mostly stayed put,  I would breath and meditate with my intention. It worked everytime and of course no matter how long it took he was greeted with treats and praise.  It amazed me how our training and my experience with the energetic realm paid off. Panicking and staying in fear did nothing,  Breathing, believing, feeling him, staying connected to him and focusing on what I wanted to create did everything to keep him coming back.  Of course our Salt Lake City dog training and obedience training paid off.

The trueness of the situation really set in when we were in the ultimate desert.  Yep Seiki and I traveled and camped at Goblin Valley.  No GPS and no friends with us.  Just the two us and our strong intentions.  He taught me to let go, to believe and to surrender. That I did.  He ran to the edge of the cliffs.  He chased deer and lizards.  We walked trail after trail with little visual discriminations between the trails.  I knew one wrong turn could result in dehydration and death.  That didn’t stop us.  We kept going.  I kept believing in safety and a loving connection of fun and presence.  Ultimately that is what we created.  Hiking for hours and not running into a soul rejuvenated us.  I couldn’t control Seiki anymore. He would make his choices.  All I could do was let go and believe our bond and obedience training was strong enough to keep us together.  I experience gratitude because it was enough.

I loved the times we hike at the Unitas and Seiki ran off herding cattle and horses.  Each time knowing he could die.  My heart dropping and then again going to my intention setting, breathing, believing and using my training tools.  He came back everytime.  The bond we had was unbearable.  What amazing times we had together!

Fear set in during a road walk in the Unitas, and an angry mule came toward us. Seiki wanted to run toward him and bark at him.  I put him leash and at this time I was grateful for dog training.  Salt Lake City was simple training.  This was not Salt Lake City. This was dangerous and in true nature. I was extremely proactive and begin requesting commands to keep him quiet so that we could walk past the mule without triggering him further.  We made it past and Seiki remained quiet.  Wow what a team we were!

The freedom and safety this dog had with me was beyond my imagination as a little girl.  As an adult, I was not ignorant.  I took the training steps both energetically, spiritually, and physically with positive reinforcement dog training tools. The gratitude I experienced with him was huge and my heart opened to receive his love.

From Bear Lake to Mirror Lake to Goblin Valley to Kodachrome, to East Canyon….  We experienced Utah’s beauty and our bond kept growing.

Then everything changed.  My ability to let go and surrender was surrounded by ultimate bondage as I made the choice to have a relationship with an addict.  At first Seiki and I still had strong bond.  Then I saw it break.  We experience the fear of fighting and chaos around us.  I lost touch of spirituality.  My trust began to leave me and fear began to consume me.  Maybe this was the start of Seiki’s health issues with Lymphoma.   I will never know but as I much as I would have liked to skip this chapter of our lives it was a part of our experience together.

Then I unexpectedly, I became pregnant and yep the father was the addict.  My daughter’s father was definitely a functionable addict which created much confusion for me.  My mind would get wrapped into his recovery only to see that it was never happening. I was in ultimate denial.  My bond with Seiki was strong but changed.  I wasn’t able to hike like I used to.  My soon to be daughter’s father hike with him frequently. Pregnancy was hard on my body and I became exhausted.  The result of my addict relationship was emotionally draining.  Seiki stayed.  What a loyal dog.  He was there through it all.

I married my daughter’s father while I was pregnant.  The wedding was beautiful and it was a special day.  Seiki attended the wedding and was in the ceremony.  He wore a cute turquoise tie and a turquoise leash.  It was wonderful to have him there.  We have many gorgeous pictures of the wedding experience together.

Iris, my daughter was born at my apartment and I experience an in home birth.  Both my daughter’s father and Seiki were present at the birth.  It was calming to have him there and I believe gave him a sense of peace to watch the process rather than just seeing a baby walk through the door suddenly after a hospital birth.

After the birth of Iris, my fears became larger.  Seiki was not around many children in the past, and he was uncomfortable around Iris.  Iris’s father wasn’t capable of learning the dog training tools I knew and didn’t have the emotional awareness that was needed to create strong intentions.  So the first day that Seiki snapped at Iris, I knew we were in for trouble.  I knew what to do and how to create peace again.  The problem became clear that her dad might not be on board.  In fact he would get into so much fear that he wanted to just get rid of Seiki.  I was scared to leave my husband, and the chaos became larger and larger.  One day the energy exploded, and I left my husband with Seiki and Iris.  We were taken in by a awesome lady with an amazing heart.  Those days were surrounded with fear and yet much love and support.

Seiki’s off leash hikes became on-leash strolls around the neighborhood mostly with Iris on my back and in a stroller.  Eventually, I lost myself and became really depressed.  These dark times were hard.  I left my relationship with my daughter’s father and chose divorce. As a result, I was to continue raising Seiki and Iris myself.  I did it.  We got to the other side.  Unfortunately, the distance that I felt with Seiki never left.  Guilt was there. I missed our 2-6 hour hikes in nature and the bond the two of us felt there, but Seiki stayed.  He was loyal.  I learned how resistant he was to go through the trauma with all of us and still be able to have so many happy times.

Eventually, Seiki and I did much counter conditioning and training with Iris, and they became great buds.  Seiki’s time hiking decreased, and his time indoors with a toddler increased.  It was his turn to learn that safety was his.  He learned to trust that I had his back and that I wouldn’t let my daughter hurt him.  Iris learned how to properly interact with dogs.  Seiki learned that he could approach her and that he would be rewarded with peanut butter and other yummy snacks.  As time went on Seiki would solicit time to be close to Iris.  It warmed my heart to the see the two of them spending time together.  Of course as the trauma of my past relationship left my soul, I began hiking with the three of them.  It was more wondering, and they were short hikes in the mountains.  We experienced much laughter and bliss together.  Of course I experience much stress with the two of them as well, but we always made it through to the other side.

The bond Seiki and I hit hard.  The biggest shift happened when he was diagnosed with Lymphoma in October of 2015,  We were blessed by Healing Hearts Animal Hospital with a treatment that would buy more time together. I jumped on it.  It was at this time that our hikes and outings became more frequent again.  As a single mom, it felt hard for me to take the three of us out. I decided to move through the fear. I would have loved to have created more mountain time but time was limited with now.  We started with once week outings and ended to 2 times a week of off- leash times.  He taught me that we could do it and be a team!  Our times at Millcreek lessened and times at Neff’s Canyon grew. It was a shorter drive and was off leash everyday.  So Neff’s Canyon became our hang out place.  I hired a dog hiker from Everyone N’ THeir Dogs once a week too. Seiki got out 3 times a week.  Once a week he was guaranteed time away from Iris.  Time to just run and have a longer hike free from toddler energy.

Then toward the end of May of 2016 symptoms of the lymphoma returned.  Even though his blood work appeared to be normal I could sense that it was almost time.  We only had a short time left.  I kept taking him out and he began walking slower.  Eventually his symptoms were so clear I knew something was off.  Then it hit me that his time was here NOW.  It was now.  In the admits of 104 degree fever with my daughter infected with a UTI, I was still able to take Seiki out.  Iris had time with her dad, so Seiki and I went up with a friend to Neff’s Canyon.  It was a Sunday.  When Tuesday, April 12th hit, I decided to allow him to have a great day.  He went on a hike with our dog hiker. I canceled my dog class that evening and took him out again.  Just the two of us.  He wasn’t up tor eating, but I got him to eat a decent amount of hamburger that evening.  The next day was Rainbow Bridge.  He was greeted with many of his friends (old and new) that joined us at the Healing Hearts vet clinic.  His ending was happy.  He was still able to walk and wagged his tail with an open mouth saying “hi” to all of his friends and at the same time saying good bye.  He laid down on a blanket with his head on me.  I had one hand on him and one on my friend.  He transitioned and I cried.  Many of us cried including  our vet. He left on a good note.  No need to wait until his symptoms progressed even more.  That lucky dog had a happy ending.  Man I love him.  He will forever be in my heart always!

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

    Dear girl , I admire your courage by sharing your whole journey with Seiki, your ex and your beautiful daughter. So many people are to scared to share their deepest feelings, specially fears. Your ups and your downs. Life throws a lot of groundlesness and how we are able to deal with difficult situations, only makes you stronger even though we may not feel it at times. You have had a beautiful journey with all of it. It only helps us understand our humanity and to bring compassion to ourselves, so we can keep moving forward even though our hearts feel so broken and tender. By sharing this you create openness and authenticity and invite others to do the same. May your heart continue to heal at it’s own pace and take one day at a time. My most sincere condolences for your loss. Much love. Claudia ❤️

    • fourleggedscholars

      Thank you Claudia! I love you so very much and I fully feel the love you have for myself and my family. I appreciate it so very very much!!! I am glad to inspire others to be authentic. It is definitely something that brings us closer to others and ourselves!! My love to all of you! Namaste!