I recently took a little stroll myself, mostly looking through old photos, and I realized that I have always been on the path to be a dog trainer. I remember wanting to train animals from the earliest age, and would always try to find ways to interact with all types of animals!
I didn't get my first dog until I was 11, but I did have a few cats, which I of course trained! I was also very active in the horse world (my family got a horse when I was 6), whether riding in the mountains or in a jumping competition.
I decided to share this journey through photos. Enjoy!
First off, a big Thank You to my wonderful parents who supported their crazy animal obsessed daughter growing up!
My mom put together a wonderful scrapbook for me, with this part showing how much I was always finding animals (real or stuffed!) to cuddle and love.
When I was 5, my father was working on a TV show that happened to have a guest baby chimpanzee on! Knowing how much I loved animals, he asked the animal trainer if I could meet the baby chimp. Lucky me! I am so happy in this picture!
Training my Grandmother's dog. I was around 8 years old.
With my horses, Smoke and Driftless. I was around age 10.
At the age of 12, I was volunteering for a local animal rescue, and ended up in an article in the local newspaper. I started volunteering for the rescue when I was 11, spending my Saturdays helping to get dogs adopted, and also fostering dogs until they found forever homes.
At age 13, I had adopted my first dog and begun taking agility classes. This is Joey and I at our first Agility Fun Run.
Joey and my horse Smoke. I was about 14 here.
At 16 I was working as an exercise rider for a horse trainer.
I continued to advance my skills, working on different elements of jumping and dressage.
I trained ALL of my animals!
From left to right:
Opal, Jack, Bernie, Joey.
Sheep herding with my Border Collie, Opal.
An outing with the dogs, 2005.
With my family, and dogs, at my college graduation.
Working as a trainer at Petsmart.
Became a Canine Good Citizen evaluator in 2008.
Competing in Agility with my Dachshund, Hayden.
Training on the beach!
Competing at the 2013 AKC Rally Obedience Nationals with my Dachshund, Hunter.
Competing in Conformation with my Pyrenean Shepherd, Winecup Andreu de Bien Aime.
Training on vacation.
Earning 3rd place in Steeplechase at the USDAA Southwest Regionals in 2016.
Well, there you have it! I tried to keep it short, I hope you enjoyed it!
As always, thanks for reading!