I changed breeds and bought my first Golden Retriever in 1980 and have bred, showed and trialled Golden Retrievers for the past 30 years. From my first Golden, I went on to raise Show Champions and Obedience winners as well as many litters of pups.
In 2000, I set up my own business as a Dog Behaviourist, doing ‘in home’ training for problem dogs, as well as running a successful puppy preschool and adolescence dog group training class. My clients mainly came from recommendations from local veterinarians and dog training schools.
I was asked by a client to help train a dog for a child in a wheelchair with various disabilities. Seeing the difference an assistance dog made to the independence of this child, I was on a mission to train more assistance dogs!
To learn as much as I could about training assistance dogs for children, I went to the USA to join 4Paws4Ability and worked a 6 month internship. Seeing for myself the amazing success of dogs helping children with disabilities, I was convinced the internship was well worth it to have this knowledge and train these dogs back in Australia.
Smart Pups was launched in 2011.
Being the daughter of a a dairy farmer I have grown up with a deep appreciation of animals. Having been surrounded by dogs all my life I have seen the positive impact they have in people’s lives both physically and emotionally. I was keen to explore this as a career change and was fortunate to gain employment at Guide Dogs Queensland where I spent the next seven years. During this time I undertook my Masters in Human Services majoring in Disability and became qualified as a Orientation and Mobility Specialist as well as an International Guide Dog Trainer.
My passion has always been to work with children and I couldn’t believe my luck when in 2016 I was offered a position with Smart Pups! It is my dream job working with children, the families and or course the gorgeous dogs. Having the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing organisation, great team and seeing first hand the positive changes these dogs make in their lives is such a privilege and one I don’t, and never will, take lightly.
I really look forward to the years ahead!
Of course animals are at the top of the list. I grew up with them and have had a variety of jobs involving them including zoo keeper, stable hand, research scientist, park ranger and vet nurse. This really just means I have experience with all kinds of manure and also have a few useful qualifications.
I am a qualified veterinary nurse, working in the industry for thirteen years during which time I was recognised by the Australian Veterinary Association for my role in mentoring many junior nurses. I extended this role by becoming a qualified TAFE teacher and now use these skills in a most unexpected but rewarding way, teaching inmates to train Smartpups in the prison system.
I like writing too, and once even won the Victorian Premier’s award for literature. Now I enjoy writing our newsletter, Smartpress.
After so long in nursing I tired of learning about the internal biology of animals, when my real passion was the behaviour of the whole dog. I ran puppy preschools and attended workshops on dog behaviour before hearing about Smartpups.
Don’t tell the other trainers, but I have the best job. I find and meet wonderful foster families and deliver cute pups to them. I get to share in the joy as the pups grow, not just in size but in confidence and ability.
I am perhaps a little prone to sentimentality and I am a lifelong animal lover. I believe that if we can live happy, healthy lives without hurting others, why wouldn’t we!
I am truly proud to be part of the Smart Pups team, a team that shows so much compassionate and dedicated in helping children with special needs and their families. I couldn’t think of a more rewarding job.
After completing a Diploma in Business Administration, I have worked in Office Administration for over 25 years. I was fortunate to join Smartpups in 2015 as Office Manager, and have never worked in such a rewarding job as Smart Pups.
These adorable, puppies arrive to commence our training programme at 8 weeks of age, and then go on the be the most amazing support, and loving companion in part of a very special child’s life, it’s indescribable and life changing!
It’s an honour to be part of these family’s inspirational journey, and to work with such a wonderful, passionate team at Smartpups is not a job, it’s a privilege!