I grew up with animals and since 2001 have worked as a groomer, trainer, adoption counselor, and daycare manager. In 2014 I opened my own daycare and training business. Despite growing up with Golden Retrievers I was bit hard by the Border Collie bug in 2003.
My first Border Collie, Fly (ARCHEX BonniDune’s Wanna Fly Dawn RA CD-C RL1X4 RL2X4 RL3X2 RLVX25-AOE CGC HIC) is the dog that sparked my passion for training and behavior. In our almost 12 years together we participated in obedience, agility, rally, tracking, and conformation classes. I also handled Fly in the conformation ring and we earned 47 titles together including multiple Rally Championships, a Novice Obedience title (CD-C), a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and Fly’s Herding Instinct Certificate (HIC). Fly remains the highest titled Veteran Border Collie in WCRL Rally Obedience and second highest Veteran titled dog overall. In her last 3 years of competition she was nationally ranked in multiple categories including Veteran Champion: 5th place 2012, 2nd place 2013, and 1st place 2014. She was ranked the #10 dog overall in the Level 3 Division for the 2013 rankings, and #9 dog in the Champion Extraordinaire division in 2014. Sadly, Fly was lost to Hemangiosarcoma on February 22, 2015.
In 2003 I graduated cum laude from Becker College with an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology. I passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam in 2003 and am a Certified Veterinary Technician. In 2010 I returned to school to finish a Bachelor’s Degree and graduated summa cum laude from Fitchburg State University earning a B.S. in Psychological Science with a concentration in Cognitive Science, and a minor in Art. Eventually I hope to pursue graduate degrees in Applied Animal Behavior Analysis.
During the first year I was attending classes with Fly I began to develop an interest in dog training. I found the use of the clicker and positive reinforcement fascinating and wanted to learn more. In the Spring of 2004 I was approached by the Senior Trainer at the former Gemini Dog Training about becoming an Assistant Trainer in their program. A few months later I began working full time in Gemini's Dog Daycare. I remained there for 2.5 years developing my skills of reading body language and learning everything I could about behavior and training. My pursuit of knowledge was aided by studying under some of the top trainers in the area, along with access to some of the top seminars on behavior and training.
I bred my first litter in 2006 and produced 5 lovely boys who were wonderful companions. Regretfully Hemangiosarcoma rampaged us and within 3 years Fly and 3 of her sons were lost to it. Catcher has had a splenic mass since 2016 but we have not done testing to see if it is HSA or benign. My biggest regret is being responsible for people enduring the devastation that comes with HSA.
Over the last 20 years my goals and interests have changed so in 2020 I decided to change my kennel name from Taklimakan to Terrasen to reflect the new journey that Valor and I are on.