Animals have always been a large part of my life. My earliest memories include a much loved family dog. I don’t think I have ever breathed air that was not infused with animal hair or the sweet perfume of hay. I am now 31 dogs old.
In my early teens, I worked as ‘strapper’ for a well-known Australian trainer. When one of the horses, was ridden with a piece of barb wire in his mouth by some ‘fun loving’ teenagers, my life direction changed.
I left the racing stable with the horse (who was now nicknamed ‘Bub’), having decided ‘all horses’ deserved a better life than this. I gained a job, taught dressage after work hours and acquired my own horses so that I could give them a brighter future. I ‘broke in’ (prefer the term ‘educated’) my own horses and have ridden horses to a high level of competition.
I became involved with The Community Dog Training club, becoming Deputy Training Co-ordinator and I have attended many seminars and workshops.
My thirst for innovative training options was further inspired by my Wire Haired German pointer, Dolce. Having been told by the local dog club she was ‘a problem they did not know what to do with’ as she was ‘too big’ for puppy class and ‘not good enough’ to go into beginners class, I left in tears like a mother whose child had failed sandpit! I joined Kay Lawrence’s IDTC online course in 2012, having to pause studies briefly due to illness. I converted to her TAKL course in January 2015. I am an ardent fan of her methods and philosophies and hope to graduate from her course in 2017.
In my 31 year role as an educationalist, I mentored and trained teachers in Learning Theory and Practice. Much behavioural theory is universal and the principles can be applied to any species including humans but I now find I have to remember to say ‘children’, as opposed to ‘species’ or ‘dog’, when giving presentations…
I am also responsible for the ‘Dogs in Schools Program’ running in our school. I enjoy sharing my office with “Tallulah” the school beagle and together we assist many children to cope better. Tallulah is also a ‘nose work enthusiast’ in her spare time.
My children have now left home, so I presently live with two rescue ponies, Harvey, a Clydesdale, my two dressage horses and Dolce, my six year old who failed puppy class!
In2016, I decided I would take leave and pursue the NACSW Certified Instructor’s Training Program. It enables dogs to be dogs and enjoy themselves in a very safe environment…even environmentally sensitive dogs, like Dolce. No dog should have to spend their entire life in exile because they do not fit the human breed of ‘do not behave like a dog’.
K9 Nose Work NACSW style, fills a very needed outlet for all dogs and their handlers.