The LJK9 Story
Journey at the beach
Katie Breslin, Owner & Trainer
With an extensive background in rehabilitating dogs and a passion for creating a more balanced life with dogs and people, I have spent the majority of my life training dogs through freelance rescue and volunteering. I am an avid German Shepherd lover and I have worked with many of the local K9 units and other trainers to expand my horizons and experiences. I am also currently training my youngest German Shepherd in Schutzhund/IGP and Personal Protection. I believe a good trainer never stops learning or wanting to learn, all while holding on to their core values and morals. I also believe a truly good trainer puts the needs of dog owners right up there with the needs of the dog. As someone who loves people and respects dogs, that will always be my top priority!
Now, on to the real story.
“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime”. Last Journey K9 is focused on exactly that... guiding humans to become the handler and human companion their dog needs to live the best, happiest, safest, and most harmonious life possible.
With an absolute passion for helping dogs stay in their homes, I have 12+ years of experience in training and rehabilitating dogs. I am both an avid supporter of rescues and also ethical, responsible breeders. While I own purebred dogs now, I have also owned shelter dogs and mixes in the past.
In fact, Last Journey K9 was named after Journey: a 16-year-old mutt I adopted from the county shelter in July of 2017. Journey looked like she was knocking on death’s door when I saw her on a Facebook post. I went to the shelter as soon as they opened on Monday, introduced Journey to my 2 German Shepherds, and a “freedom ride” followed. Journey waltzed into her new home, slept for a full day, and woke up acting like she’d never lived anywhere else.
I had Journey for 9 wonderful months. Journey grew all her hair back and her nails were trimmed down over time to where they no longer curled around under her feet. She saw the beach for the first time, and she ate 3 times a day (that was her favorite). But over time, Journey’s mind grew weary. She wandered around the house, seemingly lost, and her hearing and eyesight went. Despite her ailing health, she never once acted old. She was a puppy at heart.
While on an 8-day vacation to visit family in Florida in February, Journey passed away. It goes without saying: I was devastated. After returning home, I swore I would never go through that again and was done taking in dogs.
Fast forward to September of 2018. Calhoun County shelter called me with an urgent case: a male German Shepherd turned in for “aggression”. They asked if I could do an evaluation of him to determine if he was adoptable or not. Low and behold, I recognized the dog... I had watched him grow up on Facebook as he belonged to a friend of a friend. I set forth a plan to get this dog a great and capable home. His name was Jeter.
For a little over three weeks, I went to the shelter almost every day and walked the dog, trained with him, and pushed him to his limits to bring him back to a better mindset. Within a month of being dropped off and slated for death, Jeter found his permanent, forever home.
This triggered something. As a young lady in my mid-20’s, searching for purpose: my purpose had been found, right in front of me all along. Hundreds of people congratulated me for changing Jeter’s life, but the truth is: he changed mine. I rediscovered a love and passion for saving these animals from death row, keeping dogs in their homes rather than being surrendered or euthanized, and offering help to people who are otherwise tapped out and lost.
Hence, Last Journey K9 was born, symbolic of being the last journey these dogs and owners have to take on the road to “happily ever after”.