When I was 11 years old my biggest wish came true – a puppy joined our family! Since then, nearly always there has been a dog by my side. I’ve also had the pleasure of being the guardian of cats and horses as well as chickens. Currently I share my home with three rescue dogs – Marvel, Lenny and Henry.
My professional life has been diverse. I’ve worked in the people world for a long time, switching to the animal world in 2015. I’ve been employed as admin in offices, had my own acupressure clinic, and was a coach for personal development. I also worked in landscaping, as a relocation consultant and in market research. When I became a dog trainer I was hired by a big boarding and training kennel. I’ve been an instructor with three puppy and dog training schools until I decided to open my own business in 2017: The Dependable Companion – Dog Training for Everyday Life.
I taught obedience and manners via in-home private lessons as well as group sessions. I shared my passion for trick training in workshops and classes. I was a foster carer, taking in difficult dogs, helping them rehabilitate and then successfully rehome. I volunteered with my certified therapy dog, Louie, at a primary school as part of their literacy program and I was hired with Louie and my other certified therapy dog, Enzo, to support clients and staff at a Salvation Army program for homeless people. I started my doggy daycare as well as doggy holidays – like boarding, just better.
My area of expertise expanded when I became a Trust Technique practitioner to include more animal species, not just dogs. My focus shifted from the human timeline to the animal’s pace. The latter was just the perspective I needed to provide hospice care for my dying dog, Louie. That experience initiated me into supporting people who choose the same for their animal’s end of life.
I’ve always felt drawn to the groundbreaking and I never stop learning. Consequently, the services I offer evolve and transform. 2020 – this extraordinary year – reshaped the core of my business, strongly influenced by two change agents – The Trust Technique and the death of Louie, the dog who dreamed The Dependable Companion into being with me. The tagline of my business name changed from Dog Training for Everyday Life to Learning between Animals and Humans. When I started out, it was about turning dogs into dependable companions, a one-way agenda. I started to see things differently: We have much to learn from each other – the animals in our lives and ourselves – as we navigate the joys and challenges of interspecies living.
Both, the Trust Technique and animal hospice care, have apprenticed me to the quality of unhurriedness. Unhurried means neither rushing nor dawdling. It’s meeting each moment we find ourselves in with our animal companions with a witnessing presence. There we find the way forward. This is not some abstract or new-age concept but a mindful and easy to learn practice.
Unhurried has a quality of spaciousness and allowing which is not the same as no boundaries and permissiveness. Unhurried might seem slow in our era of instant fixes, yet it is the fastest way to heal and learn/retain. Slow is the new fast.
I am passionate about advancing people’s understanding of animal intelligence and consciousness as well as helping rehabilitate and restore peace and trust in animal-human relationships where needed.