It is said that when you do what you love it’s not work. Dogs truly are my passion. So spending my days working with dogs is a dream come true for me. After getting my BA in Broadcast Journalism and spending 30 years working in television and video production, my desire to work with dogs finally took over. I spent a year studying and working to become a certified dog trainer. Once certified, I made a career change and became a full time dog trainer and never looked back.
Dogs are brilliant and I learn something from them every day! Probably the most important thing that I’ve learned working with them is that one of the best ways I can help dogs is by helping the people that love them understand them better so they can all live a happy, harmonious life together. Besides the knowledge I gain working with them, I also continually spend time educating myself and learning about them. I enjoy reading books, watching videos and attending seminars where I continue to learn about these wonderful creatures.
Like people, dogs are individuals and learn differently. It’s my job to help each and every dog I work with by figuring out how best to help them and building a relationship with them based on mutual trust and respect. Once a dog knows that you understand them and can communicate with them in a language they understand it opens up a whole new world for them. And it’s been my experience that this is when they really shine!
My goal always is to enrich the lives of both the dogs and the people that love them through the humane and thoughtful use of relationship work, environmental management and training. I’ve heard from many, many dog parents after working with their dogs what a difference they see in their dogs and how much training has improved their home life. But the very best compliment I can get, which I’ve gotten on three occasions in my years training dogs (yes, I’m counting,) is when a parent says to me, “You saved my dog from being returned.” Nothing feels better than that. That is the essence of why I do what I do.
I was privileged to have been the parent/partner/handler of a very special dog named Gumbo who spent more than half of her 16 years as a Certified Therapy Dog. We visited hundreds of patients at Northwest Community Hospital during her 9 years of service. I saw first hand every single time we went to the hospital what a profound difference a visit from a therapy dog makes to patients in a hospital.
Currently I have two dogs of my own; 7-year-old Cattle Dog mix Cayenne and 12-year-old Terrier mix Buster. Both have had their share of rough times before landing with my husband and me. But both are now happy, active and immensely loved. They make us laugh every day. Most importantly, they are both in their forever home. And this is my wish for every dog out there; to have a happy life living with a family that treasures them. I will do whatever it takes to make that happen for every dog that is brought to me looking for help.
Certifications / Achievements
- Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer
- Animal Behavior College Mentor Trainer (I help teach Animal Behavior College students in training with practical experience working with dogs)
- AKC CGC Certified Evaluator (American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen)
- Pet Tech CPR and First Aid Certified