I’ve been a dog lover all my life. My first dog was a black cocker spaniel named Captain Midnight. The next dog was a mixed breed named Tipsey, she lived to be 15. When I was 14 my parents bred their miniature poodle and I got one of the puppies. That was my first exposure to obedience. I wanted to learn how to train my dog to sit, down, and come but I never thought about competing with her.
The first dog I showed in obedience was a silver standard poodle named Fraggle. I then showed two black standard poodles named Taylor and Dune and now have a white miniature poodle named Casper. Somewhere along the way while competing for obedience titles I decided that I would like to become an obedience judge so I contacted the AKC, asked for the forms and requirements, and proceeded to work obedience trials as a ring steward, judge workshops and sanctioned matches, apprenticed under several certified obedience judges and took the test. I’m now an AKC Novice, Beginner Novice, Grad Novice and Non-regular classes judge and have submitted my application to become a provisional AKC Open judge.
Even though I spent a considerable amount of my time with my dogs, I also had the opportunity to volunteer at the San Francisco Zoological Garden. I taught nature classes for the Zoomobile program and was one of several surrogate mothers to a 4- month old gorilla who broke his arm. I helped train a number of birds of prey (Great Horned Owls, Barn Owls, Turkey Vultures, Red Tailed Hawks, Kestrels, Harris Hawks, Bald Eagles and Burrowing Owls), helped raise a grey fox, an arctic fox, and a bobcat. I worked with various other animals and reptiles for the education program as well. I also served as president of the Zoological Society Docent Council and sat on the Board of the Zoological Society.
Through my interest in birds of prey, I volunteered at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area trapping and banding migrating raptors to help understand their migrating habits and the health of that bird population.
When I moved out of San Francisco to Contra Costa County, I joined the Mt. Diablo Dog Training Club and soon found myself serving as president of that club for two years. I was very involved in the club activities until I retired and moved to Henderson, NV.
I also compete in Agility and am training Casper to achieve his Tracking Degree. I believe that dogs are capable of learning new skills and need “a job” to keep their minds busy to avoid being bored. Training your dog not only makes him a Canine Good Citizen but it develops a bond between you and your dog that is priceless.