Background and credentials
From an island in Maine... to clicker junkie... via the South Pole
It started with horses. From the age of 10, I was hooked on them. When I was 13, I was given a colt to raise and train. In the nearly 30 wonderful years I had with Diablo, I learned about the futility of force and the power of cooperative learning.
After graduating as valedictorian from Deer Isle-Stonington High School in Downeast Maine, I studied Equine Science at Lake Erie College in Ohio. After just a year, I switched majors and colleges, graduating with honors from SUNY Purchase with a BA in Language and Culture. I speak fluent French, some Spanish and a dollop of several other languages. I spent nearly 2 years in France as a student, au-pair, traveler, employee and photographic assistant.
From 1994 to 2001, I worked for the United States Antarctic Program at the Geographic South Pole, holding a variety of jobs including heavy equipment operator, radio operator, supervisor of logistics, inventory specialist and housing manager (this last job was at McMurdo Station).
Back home in Maine in 2001, it was high time to get a dog. I’d always loved and wanted dogs, and when my husband Drew and I finally found ourselves in one place for a while, the moment had come. We found Dory ('01-'16), a lovely Standard Poodle puppy. She started me down the rewarding path I find myself on now.
I grudgingly signed Dory up for classes when we first got her. It was unnecessary in my opinion, but the breeder required it. I felt that if I "knew" how to train a horse, I could train a puppy. How hard could it be? After just a few minutes in that very first class at Tails-Up! with Leslie Whitney, my world was blown apart. It was clear I had a lot to learn and unlearn. I was simultaneously deflated and enthralled.
From that point on, I ravenously consumed all the information I could get. I started my own successful pet sitting business in 2004, took classes, assisted Mallory Hattie, CPDT-KA, in her training classes, boarded dogs in our home, went to seminars, workshops, read, got lots of hands-on experience and worked towards getting my certification as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. When I reached my goal in 2006, I was just the 7th CPDT in Maine. I taught puppy and foundation classes, tricks classes and workshops, RallyFree and Freestyle workshops and classes and have done many public performances.
I have been writing the monthly "Training Tips" segment in Downeast Dog News since 2011.
Dory was a star at agility and tricks and died just a month shy of her 16th birthday. Standard Poodle Astro ('09-'21) became a fabulous performance dog, reveling in entertaining crowds of tens or hundreds with tricks and freestyle. Canine Musical Freestyle had become my new passion. Astro was just the 5th dog in the world to earn his Grand Championship title in RallyFrEe. We went on to earn several titles in Musical Freestyle, too. We lost our beloved boy before we were able to complete our advanced title. He was a Puppy Influencer at PupStart, dayschool for puppies, helping raise hundreds of puppies over the years. Now Standard Poodle Skipper ('19) is just starting out on his freestyle career and shows much promise. His first competition was in Feb '22.
“No matter what you think you already know, what you have yet to learn will surprise you.” Diana Logan
Continuing Education is not only important to me, but required by my certification board. I am committed to learning as much as I can on an ongoing basis. We are still learning about our best friends and am eager to share my knowledge with you.
APDT conferences (5-days): Portland, OR 2007; Louisville, KY 2008; Oakland, CA 2009; Atlanta, GA 2010; San Diego, CA 2011, Hartford, CT 2014. Clicker Expo (3-days) Providence, RI 2007, Stamford, CT 2013, Dearborn, MI 2015, Stamford, CT 2017. IAABC Lemonade Conference 2020, Pet Professionals Guild Summit '21.
Other seminars/workshops with: Julie Flanery, Dr. Patricia McConnell; Dr. Nicholas Dodman; Bob Bailey, Leslie Nelson; Brenda Aloff; Pia Silvani; Kathy Sdao; Sarah Kalnajs; Chris Bach; Debbie Jacobs; Jean Donaldson; Emma Parsons, Carolyn Scott, Michele Pouliot and more..