Recently, I met Yvonne and Knoll - Yvonne being a first time dog owner and Knoll being her incredibly challenging first dog.
Knoll is what we in the behavior world call "leash reactive" - when she is attached to a leash she shows aggression towards any dog she encounters. It looks and sounds ugly usually, but in extreme cases like Knoll's, it can turn ugly. It was Yvonne who was usually on the receiving end of the ugliness, receiving multiple bites from her own dog while her dog was in fits of rage and blindly biting at whatever she could get her hands on.
Yvonne had worked with several trainers, some which had performed an "intervention" to tell her that she needed to put her dog down because it was the responsible and kind thing to do. Yvonne refused to accept that and eventually found her way to a trainer friend of mine who has recently moved.
When I first met Knoll, she was one of the most leash reactive dogs I had seen and was potentially dangerous to her handler and any other dog she might have a chance to encounter. Today, I saw Knoll on a path to a different life and an owner who was getting to see what it was like to have a dog that was ready to put her weapons down.
Few people will understand the magic of this photograph (unless you yourself are living with an aggressive dog), but it is proof that perseverance and determination can change your life and the life of your best friend.