Thank you to those that have guided me down the path to what is known as Canine Academy…
To My Parents
Thank you for giving me a long leash, yet always holding the handle tightly. My parents always expected me to be successful in anything I pursued. They frequently reminded me that occasional discomfort and even failure is a part of the path to success.
Thank you for demonstrating the benefits of a solid work ethic. As an entrepreneur himself, my Father employed me from a young age to “work” in his business. This “work” not only gave me the ability to earn and manage money at a young age, but also gave me time to work at his side and see first hand, what pride in a job well done looks and feels like.
Thank you for supporting my passion for animals. Endless trips to and from the horse barn so I could ride and care for my equine companion that was my partner and best friend. Hundreds of weekends spent ringside as I competed, building my resilience and determination to succeed. Thousands of hard earned dollars spent on lessons, shows and animal care so I could experience the love, pride, responsibility and excitement of horse ownership.
Thank you for sharing in my excitement and believing in my ability to turn my passion of animals into a career. Leaving a career in the automotive industry to enter into an apprenticeship with an Applied Animal Behaviorist may have seemed crazy to many, but your support and encouragement helped assure me that my vision was possible.
Thank you Mom and Dad
To My Horses
Thank you Duke
For being my first horse, so very gentle and patient. Purchased by my parents for $700 and given to me for my Eleventh birthday, you taught me responsibility and the benefits of a true partnership. You gave me the confidence necessary to take risks in life.
Thank you Chester
For being my brave and adventuresome young horse. The first horse to be trained by me and the first horse to ride cross country with my dogs at my side.
Thank you Argos
For being my “horse of a lifetime”. The horse that carried me through training with some of the greatest riders in our country. The horse that carried me over obstacles, and through trails from Michigan to Florida and back. The horse that taught my best friends children to ride. The horse that will forever be my “horse of a lifetime”.
Thank you Kezastronia “Kess”
For being the horse that completed my “horse family”. The horse that borne and raised Franklin. The horse that kept the boys in line.
To My Dogs
It all started with you. You were the dog that led me to dog training. You were the dog that although very well trained, still would not listen when distracted. You were the dog that had me seeking professional help with training and started me on the path of modifying animal behavior. I thank you for your persistence. I thank you for being my first company mascot. Most of all, I thank you for teaching me what is possible for both dog and owner as a result of training.
My protector. A professionally trained Personal Protection Dog, you taught me to have great respect for the working dog. You showed me another world of dog training that I had never experienced. You gave me the opportunity to train with the best in the industry. You watched over me as we travelled the country with horses in hand. You never took your eyes off me until the day you closed them to rest in peace.
My big boy. You came to me as a 3 year old bully. Bred to intimidate… that you did. Once trained, you became my gentle giant. Overseeing the farm and greeting the guests was your favorite job. Always impressive and always willing, you were amazing.
A legend. A true Jack Russell Terrier. At the age of one, a biter, a fighter and unadoptable is what they said when they brought you to me. You lived up to your reputation. Once trained, you became the mascot of Canine Academy and remained the “Big Dog” for 17years. You taught me so much. Aggression comes from many places and experiences. Some aggression can be extinguished and some managed. You led us in parades, you lavished the cover of newspapers with your photos, you demonstrated our training at so many events, I could not count. You are the perfect example of a “Bad dog with the potential to be a GREAT dog!” Thank you for all the thrills, smiles and laughter you brought for so many years.
Today’s face of Canine Academy. Surrendered by three families before arriving to me at 8 months of age, you are right where you belong. Your enthusiasm, curiosity and tenacity are the “then problems” that now make you the GREAT dog you are today. Training has given you the opportunity to share your “now strengths” with thousands of people and dogs. Now a Registered Therapy Dog, you are bringing smiles and laughter to everyone you meet. Your confident and playful behavior is helping me with the training of client’s dogs every day. Thank you for being the GREAT dog you have become.