Beaufort Dog celebrates the life of its canine founder

The story of “the Beaufort Dog” is a heart-warming human interest tale of a regular family adopting a not so regular dog that changed their life. Beaufort Dog remembers the story this week as it says goodbye to its canine founder and mascot.
The Blackstons adopted Abbey, a three-month old golden retriever, 12 years ago. She quickly taught the family that if they did not train her, she would train them. The mother, Kelley, was a school teacher at Lady’s Island Middle and the father, Jason, was a coach at Beaufort Academy.  Knowing little about teaching and training, they sought out the help of Best Behaviors Dog Training.  After becoming addicted to the training field and learning a lot about canine behavior, Kelley and Abbey became assistant teachers and then started their own classes.  The duo trained out of their home on Lady’s Island for years while Kelley and Jason still taught full time. Slowly, Kelley expanded services in dog behaviors and cut back on school teaching. Abbey became the mascot to several local businesses and performed agility and obedience at conventions and schools. She taught a summer course at Whale Branch Elementary on pet care and visited Lady’s Island Elementary Career Days. She took part in all of the parades and was on local TV shows more than once representing our pet community.
After several years, the Blackstons saw the need to expand their love of pets and knowledge of training to a full service facility now on Boundary Street, later they opened up another boutique for pets in Habersham. Abbey continued to meet new customers, both two and four-legged, at the door.  She served to calm owners and pets, provide an example of what can be done, and teach canine behaviors that only dogs can teach other dogs.
Abbey passed away this week at the age of 12. She worked right up until the end, participating in Beaufort’s Tricentennial Parade. As Beaufort Dog continues to pass on the love for all of their community pets, they will not forget Abbey, and celebrate what she has meant to all of us.

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