What is your earliest memory/ experience with dogs?
Oh wow… literally my earliest memory! I grew up on a two acre ranch out in Temecula CA and have had dogs, cats, ducks, goats, turtles, bunnies, chickens, geese and horses around me my entire life. When I was just a little toddler we had a fantastic black Labrador Retriever named Monte who used to follow me around the yard and keep a watchful eye on me. I really owe my love of all animals to my upbringing, I can’t imagine not having a dog in my life.
If you were a dog, which type would you be and why?
I would say a Rough Collie. Firstly, the long hair is a dead giveaway. All joking aside though, I LOVE to work and sometimes can take my job a little too seriously. In feel like deep in my soul I belong in Scotland, fun fact: My husband and I eloped there because of a dream I had about a wedding in the countryside when I was 19. Being that I am a Gemini, I feel like I easily embody the duality of both gentle and protective and I am definitely friendly but have a killer RBF.
When did you decide to make your life mission about dogs?
March 2012. I had just left a job working in sales, let’s just say cubicle life was NOT for me. I was depressed, I weighed 250llbs and was having a hard time finding direction for my life. I was lying in bed, something I did a lot during this period of depression, with my little rescue Dog Tallulah who I had adopted 2 years prior, binge watching “Shorty’s Rescue” ( the show about little people and pitbulls) when it struck me. I knew that I needed to get back to the animals. I needed to be surrounded by the little creatures who had propped me up throughout my entire childhood. I volunteered and acquired a job at a rescue in one Saturday, I have worked with Dogs every single day of my life since that Saturday in March 2012 and I will never look back.
We imagine your life is pretty awesome being around dogs all the time. What does your day-to-day look like?
Well given the current circumstances, I am missing all my babies. But on a normal day: I get up to care for my two little bugs and anywhere from 1-3 extra dogs in the house (depending on the day). My husband and I can sometimes share our queen bed with 6 little doggos…. I dunno how, but we make it work. Then it’s off to start my day of sessions with private in home training, some days a couple of dog walks get sprinkled in there and then I do my group training hike everyday with anywhere from 4-10 dogs with me. It’s literally my favorite part of any given day. Wednesdays I have the honor of teaching a super fun Scent Works class for some dogs who go to Fit Dog Club and then on weekends I teach puppy classes, and private sessions and attend dog events/ conventions. Somewhere in those days I throw in a workout or two and a date night with the hubby (self care is very important) and there is a whole lot of puppy cuddling going on.
What’s the first rule when it comes to dog training?