1. When and how did you come to work at your practice?
I started work Here in 2008 after a friend told me they had openings for jobs, I was looking for a change of pace from the desk job I was working.
2. WHY did you become a veterinarian / veterinary professional?
I started working here because I enjoy animals, and was looking for a more active job; I am not someone who prefers to sit at a computer all day doing data entry and finances. I went into the training aspect because you can help people and their pets. A well trained dog has a family for life. A very well trained dog will have not just have a family but a job for life.
I enjoy training and daycare because you see the healthy happy active dogs. I like being able to see people who have a dog with issues that others have not been able to help, some of the clients I worked with for a long duration were at the point they felt no one could help them, And after time and dedication to fixing the problem they would practically glow with enthusiasm to see their dog be one people and other dogs would be able to come up to and see them be a picture of good behavior. I like being able to help, and see the results of hard work and dedication.
3. Tell me a STORY about one specific animal or event related to animals that inspired you.
Lily was a senior Great Pyrenees who when she first came to me with her mom and dad, they had already been through a handful of trainers who not only didn’t help but caused more issues for the family and the dog. They came to me seeking help because she did not like other dogs and would become destructive and got bad enough she had bit her mom to try and get through to other dogs. Her evaluation she had issues and would be worked up at even the smells from other dogs. After her first month we introduced her to one of my dogs, a five pound Pomeranian. She was not trying to go after him she was more curious about him and what he was doing more than trying to go after him. Gradually we did safety walks so Lily understood what her mom and dad wanted from her. She began to become more interested in sniffing and greeting new dogs she was even able to deal with all of the daycare dogs charging the fences in a group to greet her. I remember the day that her mom seen her wanting to play and doing well off leash when dealing with other dogs, she cried and hugged me. Swearing she never figured she would ever be able to see her do the things she was able to do after she had worked with me. She was even talking about getting a little dog like mine that Lily would like. Working with Lily and her family really reminded me why I love the job , and how my abilities can help people who truly want their dog to be everything they want them to be.
4. HOW did you become a veterinarian / veterinary professional?
I started my first trainers’ course in 2008 in spring, I began group classes and agility and tricks classes shorty after I finished the course. I began donating time and teaching kids and dog safety classes .Rick and I began visiting senior centers, and long term care facility’s soon after. Spaghetti and I began teaching kids and dog safety in schools and daycares. I furthered my education at National K9 in Columbus Ohio I was part of the graduating class in 2010. At National K9 I learned to train service dogs, SAR dogs, Drug detection, personal protection dogs, puppy development, as well as behavior modification.
After I graduated and continued work at Muttessori doing classes and working more with behavior modification cases I also started to offer more classes. I also try to get out for conferencing and seminars to further my education and to be able to better offer my services to help others. I love being able to see people work with their dogs and watch them develop as a team. To see owners wanting to show off their dogs, instead of apologizing for bad behaviors. It truly makes my job worth while.
5. What do you enjoy most about your job and WHY?
The things I love most about my job are, when I start working with someone who seems like they have lost hope but after the first lesson are ready to come back and work, and want to see their dog succeed in becoming the dog they always wanted them to be. I also enjoy doing my daily routine with my daycare dogs, there is something to be said for having my pack fun up to greet me every morning when I get in. One that always makes me happy Is when My dogs and I go to do kids and dog safety. Seeing kids who have a million and one questions, and usually having one or two kids who are shy or scared of dogs start to open up and want to meet my dogs after seeing how good dogs can be. When they see me in public and ask how my dogs are and ask when we will come back to see them is always a great feeling for me.
6. What are your personal origins? Where did you grow up, who was in your family, what were your interests and influences?
I grew up in California with my brothers( 3 at the time) and my mother. We couldn’t have pets in most of the places we lived so I would donate time even if it was scrubbing kennels with friends at local shelters/rescues. I always enjoyed animals, something about them always made me feel a bit better. They love you without restrictions. They will show you unconditional love, some even after being through traumatic events in their lives. If people learned more from animals life would be better for everyone. I didn’t have so many positive influences in my life but my interest in animals showed me a lot about the kinda person I wanted to be. My brothers and I were not typically found inside, we played a lot of sports and spent a lot of time perusing various interests growing up.
We moved up to Alaska from California with my brothers and my mother, I was quite the change to our lifes, but we also added more members to the family, 2 new siblings and my mother remarried. I finished out highschool and started working, I found options to donate time and be around animals around even when I had places that didn’t allow pets.
7. Who is in your family now and what are their interests (including pets)?
My mother is now an RN at a local clinic , my siblings and I are almost all out and on our own, in various areas of the world. Ones is currently serving in the navy, one is a welder in Seattle, Another works for Doyon in human resources, one is in his final year of high school and will start school in California after graduation, and the smallest of my family’s pack will be starting high school next fall. When we are all home for the holidays we have our family football game.
I have a boyfriend and “kids” of my own now, much to my mother’s disappointment all are furry and walk on all 4 legs, or eight in Elvis’s case. I have 2 rescue dogs, and a tarantula. My tarantula I have had for over 8 years now, a rose hair that most people prefer he just stay in his little house. Elvis has made appearances in Boy Scout troop meetings and other school visits to help educate kids on how something are not what they appear. My monsters are a 11 year old 55 pound tiger stripped mix breed named Spaghetti. She loves when we visit schools, when she comes in to show off her tricks in one of her many outfits. She loves to have her nails painted and show off so everyone will give her all the attention she can handle. Lastly is my little fluff, Rick James a 5 pound Pomeranian. I honestly never figured myself for a small dog person, But this little man has stolen my heart, He goes to visit all the people in the long term care and senior centers locally, He is happy as long as he is with me and more than happy to give high fives and be a great example of how even little dogs can have great manners.
8. What are your personal interests and achievements?
My personal hobbies are typically art and athletically involved. I am currently working on finishing out a few more paintings to do a first Friday even in a local shop. I have donated several pieces of my works to various charities and have helped raise hundreds for them. Most are animal related but have donated to other fund raisers for various other causes I support. I also draw and sell tattoo art. I am also currently learning how to do Gaelic Hurling and may be playing and coaching a children’s team this year.