• Lori Nanan

Success! A New Start with Nailed It

Updated: May 12

Every day, I check the discussion sections in my course Nailed It: A Course in Canine Nail Care to welcome new students and see what’s happening with others who are working through the program. Some days, it’s quiet, some days I have lots of welcoming to do, sometimes I help troubleshoot an issue and some days I get to do my favorite thing of all: congratulate someone for their success in completing the program with their dog. Such was the case a few weeks ago, when I spotted a comment from a student named Erin.

After months of desensitization, working on just paw and leg handling- we are finally using the Dremel and making real progress!! I am thrilled- I considered throwing in the towel plenty of times, but we kept at it. We’re not at the goal yet, I still need her quicks to recede, but I’m so proud of our progress! Here’s a before and after- when I started actually using the dremel 2 1/2 months ago, and now.

As always, this type of report was thrilling to me. I went back through Erin’s activity in the course and though she hadn’t asked for one, I emailed her a certificate of completion because she and her dog Frankie were so deserving of all the kudos I could give. Honestly, I’d throw my students a parade when they successfully complete the course if I could. Because for most of them, getting there was no easy task.

Success with Nailed It is no small feat

I was gonna get all punny there and say no small feet, but decided against it. (I just thought you should know that. ) Here’s why Erin & Frankie really stood out to me: Erin admitted that she almost threw in the towel several times, but she stayed the course. That says something (really wonderful) about her and about her commitment to her dog. It says things about her willingness to learn, to process, to take her time, to see things through and believe it will be worth it in the end. I am also deeply grateful because I think that says something about what she thought about my course: that it was good, worthwhile and could help her achieve her goals. And it did. That makes me feel really good, because I have been thinking about my mission a lot lately (the holiday season is always a good time for some self-reflection, IMO). I’ve boiled it down to this: I want to put things out into the world that make people and dogs live happier lives together because of what we here at do.

I had to take this pic because I never thought she could be so relaxed while I did her nails. Not just handling her feet, but actually grinding her nails. This is our spot for nails, and lately she likes to thrust her paws into my lap, with enthusiasm! It’s a beautiful thing.

Marathon, Not Sprint

Erin joined the course back in 2018, after finding out about it in an interview I did with Zazie Todd of Companion Animal Psychology. This confirmed something to me that I suspected and had seen a few times before: even if it seems like some folks sign up and aren’t active in the course, they are actually working in the background. And some of that work may be on themselves: taking the time to process the information, reminding themselves that they can do this, pepping themselves up at some times and giving themselves a break at others. Not to mention that they are often learning something completely new – and so is their dog! 

This is one of the things that I love so much about Nailed It – that it kind of forces us to slow down, it makes us look at what we need to do differently and recognize that things like canine nail care – and achieving success at it are a process, not an event.

A New Start in the New Year

Nailed It has changed the lives of hundreds of people and their dogs. I’ve seen it, heard it and feel so lucky to play a part in it. Even if you haven’t gotten to the finish line yet, it doesn’t matter. You signed up. It’s on your mind. You’ll get there when you are ready. And in the meantime, I’ll be cheering for you in the background and ready to offer some helpful tips. Pssst….that’s a teaser….we’re adding some content this year that could be the jumpstart you need.

Erin and Frankie reminded me of why I created this course. And why I was so mindful of making sure people felt safe and knew they weren’t alone. For me, the lessons I take away from Nailed It are less about the actual nail care at this point. I am reminded that most things are processes and not events (Yes, you are working out daily now, Lori, but you aren’t going to be bikini-ready tomorrow and that’s okay).

I am reminded almost every day of the deep commitment people feel to their dogs and how lucky I am to get a little window into their worlds. I have learned that when a person achieves something they previously thought they could not, it opens new doors and gives them more insight into themselves. And that is super empowering. It gives them the courage to try more new things. How cool is that?

So, here’s to a new start in 2020. Maybe it involves being able to trim your dog’s nails. Maybe it involves any number of other goals for you and your pooch (might I interest you in a course or two...). Maybe it involves sticking to working out because you actually start to enjoy the process and believe in it (maybe that’s just me, but I suspect not).

And maybe, just maybe at some point in the future, you’ll have a dog with gorgeous nails or even one who just finally lets you touch their feet (again, no small feat for some!) or who sits nicely to be greeted – or both! Or you’ll notice that you have more strength and endurance, even if you don’t quite look like Brooklyn Decker just yet and that is good enough for you.

This was about 2 1/2 months ago, while we were still working hard on paw handling and desensitization. Her nails had begun to get pretty long, and I was feeling quite self conscious about it. So a picture like this, I’d feel the urge to crop out her feet so people wouldn’t see her nails! I know it sounds silly, but I was feeling pretty low about her nails, and wondering if she’d ever be comfortable with nail maintenance.

And maybe your story will help other people see themselves in you. And they’ll be inspired to make their own new start.

And maybe you’ll ask yourself….”Who Dat?”and the answer won’t actually be “The New Orleans Saints”. It’ll be “that’s my dog, who I am super proud of” or “that’s me, who has worked super hard to get here.”

Or both.

My deepest gratitude to Erin for allowing me to share her story. It’s also no easy feat to be vulnerable and open. But I have no doubt, literally none, that someone, somewhere will read this and think to themselves “I can do that, too.” And I can’t wait to read your story as well.

Happy New Year, all.

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