The dog world lost a legend today, and I lost a friend and mentor.
Over the course of 10+ years, I logged hundreds, maybe even thousands, of hours with Bill Gibbons on the phone, as well as in the field. He demonstrated the simplest but most subtle techniques, evaluated my progress as well as my missteps, encouraged me to keep trying, and consoled me when I made errors. Post-training breakfasts were my version of a dog being put back in his box; I thought about the morning, connected dots, and asked questions which he readily answered.
Bill didn’t just train dogs, he trained people. Watching him train dogs was like watching magic, but the true magic was that Bill had a way of explaining things to people that made training simple to understand and implement.
I will miss Bill, but I know that he wouldn’t want anyone to wallow in the loss. As he said about 𝙝𝙞𝙨 mentor, Bill West, “I’ll never be able to repay you, but the only thing that I think I can do, is to try to be as good as I can.” So rather than wallow, I thank you, Bill, for helping me strive to be the best that I can be and for the faith you have always had in me.
Tomorrow, we go train dogs!