I am fortunate to have been working directly with animals since I was 15, beginning my animal training career with Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins and African Penguins for 8 years at West Edmonton Mall. In 2005 I moved from Edmonton to Nanaimo and decided to expand my love of teaching and public speaking into the dog training world, so my first dog Rudy and I attended a dog training school. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, a Dogsafe Canine First Aid Instructor and I am a graduate of the Animal Care Aide program at Vancouver Island University. I am offering Powell River Dog Training and Vancouver Island dog training as well and am happy to discuss tips on raw dog food options if interested.
It was the late sweet Rudy, a miniature schnauzer, that was the inspiration behind my business Best Paw Forward Dog Training, which I started in 2006. A few years after that Rudy and I adopted Ty, a border collie mix who was just over a year old, but had already had 6 homes! For 16 years, Rudy, Ty and I taught a variety of puppy and obedience classes, private lessons, and led countless off leash dog hikes in Nanaimo. We had a large training center and hundreds of clients a year.
Best Paw Forward was an incredibly busy business, adding more staff and new classes each year, and with 9 staff and 26 classes a week in 2019, it felt like we were training all the dogs in Nanaimo! 2020 was a difficult year for a business owner, I took time to reflect on what I had accomplished and what I wanted to do next. Ty and I worked hard for many years, and ultimately we decided to sell the business in early 2022 and we relocated full time to Powell River BC.
While I no longer own a very busy business, I am happy to continue to help people with my Vancouver Island and Powell River Dog Training services. Coaching new dog parents with puppy training and showing them how to be great trainers for their dogs is so rewarding to me. Teaching kids how to play with and train their new puppy is something I am great at and love to do as well. In-home family lessons, as well as training walks in the neighbourhood are my most favourite, along with teaching Dogsafe Canine First Aid.
I am blessed to still share this life with Ty, my semi-retired 15.5 year old dog. I say semi-retired as he still has a little work to do being the demo dog for our Dogsafe Canine First Aid classes, allowing students to check his vital signs, learn how to give the dog heimlich manoeuvre and how to check and deal with injuries all over. He says no to CPR, so we have the canine manikins for that lesson. Please see the Dogsafe Canine First Aid tab for more information and upcoming course location and dates.
I am also proud to be a Director on the board for PACTA BC (Professional Animal Care and Training Association) which is a provincial initiative to create unique collaboration and peer support across animal care professionals throughout the province.
In addition to dogs, some other loves of mine are traveling, live music, reading and watching hockey - big Oilers fan here! I have close family in England and visit there often. I have traveled to 18 different countries so far, with hopefully more to come. I work part time at Terra Nostra Farm, which I love very much. We have a great team of people growing food for the locals. I am on the board for the Sunshine Music Festival and I've also joined a baseball team. My partner Christian and I like to go paddleboarding, camping and disc golfing, and Ty and I enjoy our morning walks down on the seawall. Be sure to say hi to us if you see us, Ty and I like meeting new people.