About the Trainer
In 2011 I was given an unexpected Christmas present; the beautiful dog you see to the left. Her name is Sasha and she started it all.
As welcome as Sasha was however, an unexpected puppy can be quite the hardship to raise through the critical periods of development, even with the support of family. There were many times I did not think either of us would survive those first few months without going insane.
Sasha learned at an incredible rate and was the best first companion a young woman could wish for, but I knew that as an owner I was failing my dog. With a good natural instinct for training I worked Sasha through all of the basic and advanced skills that I could and accepted the mistakes I created along the way as an unfortunate lack of knowledge. Inexperience cost both myself and my dog a great deal that first year, but the adventure taught me something important.
I Loved working with dogs and longed to learn how to train a well behaved companion properly.
The First Step
In May 2015 I took my first step into the world of professional dog
training by enrolling in the Basic Obedience and Master Trainer courses offered at the Canada West Canine Center in Salmon Arm BC. The 6 Weeks of intensive training went by in a flash and I found my true passion when I learned how amazing the world of dog training could really be.
The Basics Obedience course covered everything I had hoped to know about training a personal companion through the basic and advanced commands. More importantly though I also learned a great deal of theory behind different training methods as well as techniques that could work with fearful or aggressive dogs; the ones that need the help of a professional the most.
The Master Trainer course then opened my eyes to a whole new level of dog training. The working dog is capable of so many important jobs, and handlers have the ability to change the world through the love and training of what used to be a personal pet. In this course I discovered the path that I was the most interested in; the detection of cancer cells in the human body.
Verge of Dawn Canine Training
In January 2016 I launched my business, Verge of Dawn Canine Training, in my local community of Clearwater, BC.
A trainer should never stop learning and while I may have gained a solid foundation through my certification I learned a great deal in the time following as I worked with each new dog and owner. While I started by offering Basic Obedience and Private Lesson services my business quickly molded to fit the needs of my community. In the summer I added a separate Puppy Foundation class to get people started working with their dogs as early as possible and soon found that I was doing a great deal of Behavioral training instead of Basics.
I also found that there was truly a need for a dog trainer in the remote areas and I feel that there is a real honor in offering people a true understanding and bond with their pets. If a dog is unbalanced then a family is unbalanced, often the neighbors feel it as well and in fact the whole community is impacted by the quality of the relationships between a pet and owner. I loved watching people grow in confidence as their dog calmed down and responded lovingly to commands. I loved how happy my clients were when their pet became a source of joy rather than stress. And I loved knowing that one more family had a bond built of trust and respect with their canine companions.
But while I loved my work with household pets I retained a desire to work with highly trained dogs toward the goal of Canine Cancer Detection and in between my regular research I continued to seek out information on others already working in my desired field. I also decided to purchase my first scent dog potential, the beautiful pup you see to the left Rakki, ラっキ, at the end of January 2016. He turned out to be a wonderful experiment on Foundation and Basic work for my business, an excellent source of experience to build my skills as a trainer and an ambassador of all I stand for with my training techniques.
The Next Step
I started research into Cancer Detection Dogs in the spring of 2016 and consequently contacted Dina Zaphiris of the In Situ Foundation of Chico, California regarding her work in that field. In June she contacted me with the most wonderful news; beginning in October 2016 they would become the first in the world to certify medical detection dog trainers. Thanks to her patience, a handful of hometown supporters and the generosity of Team Gloria of Revelstoke, BC I raised enough money to attend class in November 2016 and became the first in Canada to be certified as a Bio-Dog Medical Scent Detection Trainer by the In Situ Foundation.
Since returning home I have focused on the Awareness Campaign of 2017, sharing the news of Cancer Detection Dogs as far as I can to build support for the science itself and to seek out a passionate team of people to help build a Not-For-Profit Organization and begin our own research into the Cancer Detection.
That focus remains, now on the Awareness Campaign of 2018.