A little background… I came to working with dogs from the law. I know, it’s a round-about path. I was living in Denver, CO for the past eight years with my husband, and practicing immigration law (actually, I had my own law firm). Working with people through their legal issues was incredibly fulfilling, however my specialties within immigration law meant that I was working with people through very difficult issues, including asylum applications, sexual assault, and domestic violence. My escape on the weekends was to volunteer with shelter dogs. My husband and I volunteered at the Denver Animal Shelter, getting dogs out for walks on the weekend, and fostered puppies through Colorado Puppy Rescue. And, of course, we had our own fur babies: Luna (our 6 year old black lab), Nugget (our six year old orange and white tabby) and Neko (our four-year-old orange and white tabby).
When my husband and I made the decision to move back to the east coast, I started playing with the idea of leaving the practice of law, and following my other passion: working with animals. So… we packed our house into a moving truck, and our animals into the car, and drove cross country!
My first eight months here on the east coast, I had the honor of volunteering at the SPCA of Westchester, located in Briarcliff, NY. The SPCA is incredibly advanced in the level of enrichment programs they provide to the shelter animals. After completing the volunteer program and one-on-one mentoring, I was able to participate in and help coordinate programs such as: dog play groups, socialization walks, behavioral assessments, and individualized behavior programs. My husband and I also were also able to take in a couple particularly stressed pups for a period of fostering. It’s amazing how much this can help lower the stress level of a shelter dog.
This experience was incredibly transformative for me, and I knew I had found my life’s work. Upon arriving in Connecticut, I enrolled in a top-notch, positive reward based dog training program, Catch Canine Trainers Academy. Having completed the program, I am now privileged to be mentoring with dog trainer Dawn Lowery, of One Smart Dog in Milford, CT. She is an incredible trainer, and a kind and calm presence for dogs and owners alike!
And finally… I launched Sandy Paws, LLC offering dog walking and pet sitting services to Branford, East Haven, Guilford and the surrounding communities (including New Haven). Although we just launched in May 2014, I have been walking and pet sitting the pets of the shoreline communities since January. This is just the first of many posts! So check back often for tips on keeping your dog safe in summer weather, allergy issues, dog body language, socialization tips, and many more topics! Please also feel free to contact us if there is a topic you would like covered!