I started my journey with dog training and dog care in 1987 as a vet assistant at Northbrook Animal Clinic. I learned about the care, treatment and handling of cats and dogs and enjoyed working their for 4 years.
I had a crazy border collie, named Crystal, who needed some way to focus her energy into something besides driving me bonkers. That started my decades old love affair with canine performance sports. Agility and Flyball were her games and they made Crystal, and me, happy girls.
I became a member of an active, competitive kennel club, and between my three dogs, have earned both AKC and UKC titles in agility, obedience and hunt. My pointer went on to be a certified therapy dog. We visited our local library to read to children, hospice facilities to comfort the dying, Veteran groups to hear war stories about dogs that aided in the war. I also taught Novice Agility and still keep in touch with several of my students.
I studied canine behavior and training techniques with Chris Bach, founder of a method called “The Third Way” . It is a method that is considered a balanced method of training that prioritizes engagement and positive reinforcement to shape preferred canine behaviors.
I am a volunteer for the Illinois Bird Dog Rescue and have fostered dogs and transported adopted dogs to their new homes. I have also volunteered at the Homeward Bound Dog Rescue near South Bend, Indiana, from where I adopted my current dog, Sunny.
Sunny has earned several obedience titles since I adopted him, and I continue with his education working toward the next level. We also do agility for fun and exercise and hope to do a bit of competing next Spring.
I have also worked with day care dogs in a group environment, and, besides encouraging friendly interaction between them, I incorporate the development of focus, and the maintenance of appropriate behaviors. I endeavor to make learning a game. I love watching dogs think.
Learning new methods of training and relating to dogs is a continuing passion of mine and I always strive to find new solutions to make the dog-human relationship more compatible.
I am also certified in pet CPR and first aid.