No, really. The beginning.
Most of my earliest childhood memories are filled with dogs, cats, and small, large, and exotic animals. No matter the subject or activity, if an animal was involved in some way… I was hooked.
I was that kid who was dubbed the animal fanatic, the kid who immersed herself in the Animal Kingdom and dreamed of working with animals when I grew up. Zookeeping, Marine Biology, Conservationism, Veterinarian… the list goes on, but I think you get it.
So I was animal-obsessed… I must have had a lot of animals growing up, right?
I had a childhood cat, McKenzie, and two guinea pigs at a time until I was twelve years old when I got my first dog. His name was Buddy – Original, I know. It took ten years of persistent harassment before my parents finally let me get a dog.
Before the age of Social Media and the rise of Google, pet care/animal-related books and Animal Planet were all the rage in my world. I learned basic hands-on training concepts with my guinea pigs before I got my first dog… and the rest is history. Ha! Kidding… Not really.
It’s been a wild ride in the decade I’ve professionally worked with dogs, working in the following fields:
- Kennel Tech in a Veterinary Office
- Dog Daycare Attendant
- Rescue Volunteer
- Professional Dog Trainer
- Behavior Modification
It’s been wild, uplifting, rewarding, heartbreaking, nerve-wracking, and everything in between. The dog biz is f#&%ing hard – mentally, physically, and emotionally. I’ve been beaten down by colleagues, people who don’t know me, and entitled dog owners who preferred to listen to what their neighbors had to say and didn’t value my time.
I’ve been bitten, dragged, scratched, pissed, and sh*t on. I’ve had to break up group dog fights. I’ve had to break up personal dogfights.
I’ve ended up in horrifying situations that could have killed me if I didn’t know how to properly handle the situation.
Lots of blood, sweat, and tears have been poured into the dog industry… and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve saved the lives of countless dogs, I’ve set owners up for success, and knowing I’ve made such a positive impact on so many families kept me going.
But I’m not here to talk about my life and career.
Over the course of my career, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve learned a lot. I don’t know everything, and I never will… But I’ve noticed a very common trend over the years with the rise of social media:
There is a ton of terrible misinformation out there that is reaching millions of pet owners, and pet professionals like me have seen the worst of those results.
As a trainer, I have helped hundreds of dogs and their owners find a balanced, harmonic life, and a lot of those times, it wasn’t only by hands-on training… in fact, that was only half of the equation. It was also by teaching them how dogs think, how to properly communicate, read body language, and fine-tune the details to their specific needs.
I’m here to help educate new and seasoned dog owners and set them on a more informed path to all dog-related topics, from informative posts to product recommendations that my colleagues or I use as professionals and more.
While I’ve been on this exciting journey of content writing and marketing to build my brand, I’ve learned a thing or two that can help other businesses grow, and I want to share my insights with the dog pros out there hustling to gain new clients.
Meraki Dogs, once just a dog-training business website, is now a dog database for dog owners, lovers, hobbyists, and businesses.