We always had a dog in the house. My very first dog was a Dachshund named Sassey, that was re-homed to us by a family that could no longer care for her. My Shepard-Collie mix, BeBe was 'legally' my neighbors dog. The neighbor's son was supposed to take care of him, but tied him up outside from morning till night. I didn't think he should spend his life tied to a rope. It started with just taking him for walks. Then, after school, I would pick him up on my way home from the bus stop and bring him home for dinner. Eventually they just let me keep him since the son was no longer interested and they saw how much I loved BeBe. My rescue days didn't end there. A year after I took ownership of BeBe, a neighborhood gas station went out of business. They had a black lab mix in the back of their property and I suspect they didn't treat him well. When the Gas Station closed, they left the dog tied to his dog house. With a pocket full of hot dogs, I went down to the station and brought him home. Black-Jack never trusted anyone but my mother and me. He would never come inside the house and I could never place a collar on him. He was very reactive to strangers approaching the house, so we kept him on the back porch. Black-Jack lived on our back porch for many years and eventually started to act like a real dog with BeBe and Sassey as his teachers.
He taught me a lot about trust and how hard it is to regain that, once it has been damaged. I realized at a young age, that force and fear is not the way to train a dog - it almost destroyed Black-Jack.
After getting Black-Jack, a stray Husky followed me home one day. After advertising in the paper - that's what we did in the 70's - no one came forward to claim him. Of course I wanted him too, but 4 dogs was a bit much for my parents. We found him a great family who had just lost their Husky. It was bittersweet to let him go, but that's what we do in rescue.
Here I am today, doing what I was doing when I was 10 years old - rescuing and helping dogs find their forever homes.
I have been a volunteer at Animal Friends for over 12 years. In those years, I became serious about furthering my education in the animal behavior world. Many webinars, seminars and online classes have been taken - many hours of mentoring with the best dog trainers in the Pittsburgh area - have gotten me where I am today. Training and managing behaviors with shelter dogs can be challenging. I have helped many shelter dogs develop into well behaved family pets.
Looking forward to helping you solve YOUR dog training issues.
Call or email me today.