What do you think your job says about you?
I think that my job says that I’m patient, and organized, that in all this chaos, the dogs are happy and having fun, and I didn’t forget anyone’s meds.
But more importantly, I think it shows that I’m loving, and accepting, and diverse. We don’t discriminate between breeds or size, male or female. We love them all, and the personalities that come with them. My job is fun, and I think that says that I am too. I wouldn’t trade anything for my kiddos, and people know that. I think it shows that I have so much to give each and every one of them, and my love is never spread thin.
When did you know that you wanted to work with dogs?
I’ve always loved dogs. I’ve always felt I had this special dedication to taking care of them. I remember when I was in just grade school, about 8 years old, we had this dog named Aaron, she was a blind and deaf English Springer Spaniel, she was quite old, and we had only known for for a little while. Aaron used to come into my bedroom to wake me up in the middle of the night, every night, and I would get up, let her outside to go potty, and bring her back into my room to go back to bed.
A couple months later, we had gotten this Basset Hound puppy, and he was just so cute, I loved him right away. Duke was just a little puppy, so at night, we would put up baby gates in the kitchen, and lay down newspapers all over the floor in case he messed in the house. I would get up before anyone else in the morning, take the little guy out, clean up the newspapers, mop the floor, and put fresh ones down. I would play with him for a little while, give him a little attention, and then when he would fall asleep, I would head back to bed with Aaron until my mom got me up for school.
When I moved out to Edmonton, AB from Kingston, ON, I decided to take a break from serving for a little while, branch out and do something else, because I had been serving for years.
I got a job interview at a dog daycare in NW Edmonton, and started right away. I would go to work, and play with puppies, and have so much fun, I knew I would love this job. But then we got our first behavioral case, we had a Pitbull with a high prey drive. She was amazing with average or large dogs, but small dogs she would lunge at and bite. We began by getting her used to the sights and sounds of daycare for a few days, then we introduced her to our most outgoing average sized dogs, she made some friends and started to loosen up, and began focusing on the little dogs less. We got to a point where we were able to walk multiple small dogs past her fenced area, without her reacting or paying any mind.
So we thought it was time to begin introducing her to smaller and smaller dogs everyday. We would let her play with her friends, and then we would use the treadmill for about 10 minutes to burn off any extra energy. She was always a little more well behaved when we burned off her energy levels. We would start with one dog, and introduce her and them, and everyday the breed got a little smaller. Eventually, she did so well with multiple small dogs, that she began playing with them instead. She would let them chase her, and play on her while she took a nap, we just needed to show her that they weren’t as scary as she thought they were.
The first time we brought her into the general population of daycare pups, that’s when I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to help dogs to be happy.
What is the best piece of advice you can give to someone looking to get a dog?
If you’re looking to get a dog, first and foremost, do your research. You will absolutely find a dog that fits your lifestyle choices. I chose a Border Collie because I wanted a dog to motivate me to exercise more, and this isn’t a bad idea necessarily, but make sure the breed you get matches realistic goals in your life. I grew up a cross country runner, and stopped because of a car accident that damaged my spine. Having been a runner for the majority of my life, I knew it was realistic for me to be one again.
Secondly, if its possible, borrow a friend’s dog for a week. Get a feel for the routine, a puppy is always the best for this test! You get a true taste for their needs, and you’ll be able to see what type of time and skill you can dedicate to this furry pal.
Don’t ever look at someone else’s dog and say, “I want one like that.” You will be sorely disappointed if your new puppy doesn’t turn out the exact same way. Every dog is different, from their intelligence levels, learning capacity, or stubbornness. Every breed was bred for a different thing, in a different part of the world, just like you and every one else in this world. Even siblings are different, just like us!
That person, with that amazing dog, put in a lot of hard work. They did their research when it came to training, or got help from a professional. They socialized their dog and spent the majority of their time with it, teaching it everything they wanted it to know.
Dogs are hard work.
Lastly, adopt. You won’t regret it, and everything you do for that dog, they will give it back tenfold. They might be a little more work, but there’s nothing more worthwhile than saving a life.
What does being a pet owner do for you, on a day to day basis?
My pets support me every day, especially now that I’m pregnant. Every day is an emotional roller coaster that I can’t control, and if I wake up and my head hurts, they want to snuggle and make me feel better. When I’m happy and dancing around the living room, they’re right there beside me, barking and having a blast. Sometimes I’m just in a snuggly mood, and all I want to do is wrap them up in hugs and love, and they never stray from my reach on those days.
Being a pet owner, means I have these amazing animals around me every day, that I know will always love and support me, and they know that I will do the same for them. It’s an unspoken bond, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
That doesn’t just apply to our own fur children, it’s the daycare and boarding kids too. As soon as they get here, they’re family, that’s why I call them my kids. It’s all of the dogs, I love them each so very much, and I love spending my days with them.
What was your first emotion after discovering you were pregnant?
Joy. I was so happy. I was scared, of course, because of our last experience, but I was determined that if I hoped enough that it would happen, it would. If I told myself and the baby everyday, that everything is going to be okay, then it would be. I was not going to let fear and stress keep me from having a family, no way, no how.
How did that change at the 12 week mark?
All that changed was that I was allowed to say it out loud! Everything was okay, just like I said it would be, and all that came from our 12 week appointment was more joy!
To be fair, now that we know for sure, there’s this added tidbit of, oh crap, what is going to happen in August? “I’m not prepared, are you prepared?” “No way, I don’t have a clue about anything.”
What are you most looking forward to during motherhood?
Being able to teach this human being about all the important things in life. Instilling good values and morals, so that they can grow up to be the cutest, most kick ass leader of the free world. I’m also really excited to see Thomas literally melt from the inside out, from the happiness of being a daddy. Oh and being able to drink coffee again.
What are you least looking forward to?
The ramifications of pushing a whole other person out of my whohah, plus never sleeping again.
What pregnancy side effect has been the hardest for you?
Well the heartburn was a real kicker there for a while, but I’m on an amazing maternity safe prescription. Other than that, I would say I’m just frustrated at the emotional ups and downs, because I can’t control them, so it’s hard.
What is your favourite part about pregnancy so far?
I don’t have to lift ANYTHING heavy ever. Yes! Also, the pups have been in this super snuggly mood because of my hormones, so that’s cute as hell.
What is your least favourite part?
Well, my pants don’t fit, my boobs hurt, and my skin is dry, what’s not to love.
What do you think motherhood is going to change about you?
I think I’m going to be more patient, both with the baby, and Thomas. I think throughout our child’s life, I will be forced to question why I believe the things I do, and why I think that they are important, and then finding a supportive way to pass those things on.
About your relationship?
I think that it will force us to communicate better, and even though we’re already a pretty good team, I think it will make it so that we work even better together. I think that it will cause us to have more appreciation for each other, and who each of us as individuals are.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from Thomas. He is very modest, almost to a point where he is in denial about who he is and the things that he does. He works very hard for the things that he wants, and his focus and drive is unparalleled. You can ask him a hundred times, what he wants out of this life, and he will tell you he doesn’t know. But then you take the time to watch his workouts, see his perseverance, and watch him conquer everything he encounters, and you know that it isn’t true. He knows what he wants, but to challenge himself means to not expect that he will succeed. His entire journey is going to be fight, because that’s what he wants. He wants to earn it. He wants to know that he is worthy.
That is my favourite thing about him, and that is what inspires me to be the person that I want to be.
In 5 words, describe your partner the way you perceive them.
Extraordinary, dedicated, thoughtful, fair, loving.