Every once in a while, a dog enters your life and changes everything.
I love this saying. Maybe because it really hits home. With so many new people to my blog and newsletter, I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell my story a little bit.
I’ve been an animal advocate for over three decades. I became vegetarian as a teen and have championed animal welfare, as a rescuer, transporter, shelter worker, foster, volunteer and trainer. But life changed forever when BooBoo arrived.
My husband and I arrived to meet her transport van from Kentucky, excited to meet our new girl, who was supposed to be *just* a foster. The driver took her out and she escaped into the thick woods. For 9 days we searched, doubting we’d ever catch her alive. But we did! Once home, it was clear BooBoo was a fearful dog. She hadn’t been abused (we knew her entire backstory) but she also hadn’t been socialized. Not a professional trainer at the time, I knew needed to learn more about training fearful dogs. This wasn’t my first experience with a scared dog – our previous dog, Bandit, was aggressive and had bitten 7 people, including me, in the face. But back then I didn’t know how to help him and everything I tried, just made him worse. I knew I owed it to BooBoo to do better.
So I embarked on my journey. I earned a scholarship to The Academy for Dog Trainers, the “Harvard” of dog training, graduating with honors and devoted to positive-reinforcement, science-based, kind training. My passion for fearful and aggressive dogs deepened and I committed to focus my practice on helping these misunderstood dogs and the people that love them. I empathize with clients who are struggling with the hopelessness, anger, fear, anxiety, frustration and heartbreak that I once had.
BooBoo is no longer a fearful dog. She’s 13 years old now. She’s an AKC Good Citizen, a certified therapy dog and alongside Barbo, helped us foster over 50 dogs. She’s my helper dog for training and she changed the trajectory of my life. We were even one of the stories featured in the book Rescue Dogs: Where They Come From, Why They Act The Way They Do and How To Love Them Well. On tough days, I look at her and remember both our lives could have ended very differently and that compassion, understanding and kindness always overcome adversity. And I strive to live by that as I help dogs and their people. I’m here to help you if you need it. Book your session now.