I’ve been a self-proclaimed dog nerd my entire life. Yes, I will be the one at a party in the kitchen talking to the dog instead of socializing with the humans.
In addition to the three years I spent working the front desk at the Shelter, I spent seven years as a foster home for Siberian Husky rescue. Every few weeks I brought home a new dog, nearly 100 in those seven years, and all of them needed training. I have also spent several years as a member and instructor for a local training club.
Currently, I am a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, I am certified in pet first aid and CPR, and I train and compete in a number of sports with my dogs.
I want to help you and your dog communicate better. It is my goal for you to have a dog that you can live with so that it does not end up in a shelter or foster care.
Southpawz Elf Queen, CGC, TDI, RN, RATN, PKD-N, TKN, AKC Achiever Dog
Avery is my second in command. Just don’t tell her that because she thinks she’s in charge; it’s better for everyone if we let her think that.
Avery came to me as a foster dog who had been through several homes that wanted her because “she’s just so cute”. Nobody took into consideration the physical and mental needs of a young, untrained husky/terrier mix. She was a wild child from the get-go and even now, at over ten years old, still has her wild and crazy moments.
Most of our students won’t meet Avery – she feels any dog breathing her air must be punished. She only helps with class when we have equally crazy dogs that won’t be intimidated by her exuberant personality.
Southpawz Mystery Man, CGC, TDI, PKD-T, TKN
Brogan is my helper dog and a rather serious fellow who doesn’t really want to interact with other dogs, their handlers, or even me most days. He idolizes Avery, though, and would follow her to the ends of the Earth.
Brogan was adopted to provide Avery a little competition for my attention. Instead of teaching her that she isn’t the center of the universe, Brogan became her little disciple (aka the first of her minions). Because he missed out on socialization during his formative weeks/months, he isn’t the most outgoing of dogs but he’s come a long way from the days of not letting me touch him.
Brogan will sometimes come to class and help students with meeting a new dog. He won’t socialize with others while he's in class and that's what makes him such a good helper.
Southpawz 4 Yawkey Way, RN, CGC, RATN, PKD-N, PKD1-FF, TKN, CA, AKC Achiever Dog
Fenway’s main purpose in life is to serve as a bad example. And, as her second minion, to be the muscle to Avery’s brains.
Fenway was brought to the shelter as a stray at six months old. He was completely out of control and had little hope of being adopted. I brought him home “just for the weekend” to see how he would do outside of a kennel setting. It must have been one long weekend because over eight years later he’s still with me.
Always the class clown, Fenway rarely makes appearances in class. Unless it’s to show people that no, they really don’t have the worst dog in the world, but I do. You will hear a lot of Fenway stories in class, though, because he provides great examples of real world problems and solutions.