What I’ve learned, where I’ve come from, who I am, and where I’m headed.
Who Am I?
For the past 20+ years, I’ve been involved with animals in some way. My first job was as a veterinary technician at a local small animal practice, and I was involved with 4-H growing up. I went to Kentucky twice for 4-H Nationals in 1999 and 2000, and went to school for equine animal science. During my teenage years, I worked with a classical dressage trainer who showed me how my energy affected my horse’s energy, and how all of the body parts are interconnected.
Growing up, I was the “ADHD kid.” My mother refused to put me on conventional medications, so we managed my symptoms through a combination of diet and holistic medicine. This showed me again, how our body and mind are interconnected, and how we can manage our mental state through our diet.
I’d been involved with German Shepherds since 2004 when I had Maddux, and I became REALLY interested in canine nutrition, body language, training, and communication when I brought home two German Shepherds in 2011. I’d just gotten my condo, and I knew I wanted working-line German Shepherds. I brought home a 9-month old rescue (Arya) in November 2011, and an 8-week old puppy (Desmo) in February 2012.
My Introduction To Dogsport
In the mid-2000s, I went to a local Schutzhund club, and was immediately hooked. I loved the controlled drive, power, and aggression of these badass working dogs who were totally calm off the training field, but could turn on at a moment’s notice.
From 2004 to the present, I’ve had a number of German Shepherds; each one has taught me different ways to be a better dog parent.
Learning To Play The Game Of Self
I went on a journey from 2020-2022 to learn how to sculpt my identity, and live into my ideal self every day. As a result, I’ve become more calm and centered, and my anxiety has lessened considerably. I’d love to be your guide on your own journey.
Bringing It All Together
In December 2022, I attended Maryna Ozuna’s Canine Movement Markers workshop; this catapulted me to an entirely new level of understanding. This workshop took all of my knowledge of energy work, biomechanics, nutrition, conformation, and bodywork, and integrated it. I FINALLY had the missing puzzle piece that showed me how it all works together!
My love of German Shepherds started back in 2004 when I met Maddux. His intelligence, heart, and personality won me over, and I fell in love. We tried our hand at obedience and bitework with the Baltimore Schutzhund club, which he enjoyed. He was a sweet dog, and didn’t have a mean bone in his body. Originally from Shiloh shepherd foundation lines, his temperament was more laid-back and cuddly than aloof and wary.
At the time, I was living in an apartment, and made the choice to give him back to the breeder, as I was not in a place to give him the best life possible. The breeder then successfully placed him in a home that could better accommodate his physical and mental needs.
I bought my condo in October 2011, and right away I started looking for a GSD. I’d missed having a dog — went 2 years living on my own without one as I sorted myself out. However, I always knew that dogs would make their way back into my life. I went through a number of rescue applications, but was turned down every time. I then saw her as a 9 month old female GSD on the animal shelter website, and knew that I wanted to bring her home. Her former owners had dropped her off because “they were moving into an apartment and didn’t want her to be bored.”
I started my committment to her the day I brought her home — took her to basic obedience at K9 Koncepts, and she passed in 6 weeks! The trainer said that our trajectory was one of the fastest that he’d seen.
She’s been with me longer than her brother Desmo has — she’s still going strong at 12 years old!
He was my first working dog. When I got him, I knew it was going to be a learning experience for both of us, and boy was I right.
I picked Desmo up on February 12, 2012, and immediately began shaping him into my IGP prospect. We worked on tracking, obedience, and protection for months. On September 27, 2014, I titled Desmo to his BH.
Once I got his BH, I continued to work with him in IGP for the next 2 years (2014-2016). In late 2016, I moved to Alexandria, VA, and began working with him in APPDA. We went for our EL1 (entry level 1) title on August 12, 2017. He passed the obedience portion, and came off the bite in the backtie. We then continued training for the next few months until I transitioned to RV life prep.
From March 2019 – May 2020, he was by my side as we traveled across the US from VA > NC > SC > GA > FL > TN > MO > OK > TX> NM > CA > NV > UT > WY > NE > IA > IL > IN > OH, and back again.
Desmo crossed the Rainbow Bridge in May 2020. His transition from this world to the next was the catalyst that spurred my puppy search.
When Desmo crossed over, I was reasearching breeders within a week. I had a list of qualities that I wanted my new puppy to have, and a spreadsheet of possible breeders. I looked at factors such as inbreeding coefficients, whether or not the breeder rotated studs & bitches in and out of their program, drives & temperaments of the parents, titles (on both parents and offspring!), the environments in which the dogs and puppies were kept, and early puppy raising protocols. Ultimately, I settled on Von Goedehaus Kennels, as Cheryl checked all of the boxes I was looking at.
Once I settled on a breeder, I sent her a deposit, and we were off to the races!! She put me on the list for a male puppy, and then the REAL fun started!! She gave me the inside scoop on all of her dogs’ personalities and drives, and I worked with her to determine which pairing would be best for my lifestyle and skill level. I ultimately settled on a puppy from Buck vom Hundepit (IPO3, HD Normal, ED Normal) and Anarchy vom Goedehaus (BH, HD Good, ED Normal). Seabee is the result, and I often say that he was the Best Birthday Present Ever. He was born on July 4th, which is my birthday, and is from Haven’s final litter.
We are exploring obedience, detection, and bitey things together as we travel across the Lower 48.