My introduction to dog training began at age 13 with the arrival of a much longed for family dog. I taught "Ranger" to commando crawl, count fingers by barking, jump over objects, sit pretty, beg and countless other tricks. He was my best friend for many years.
My professional training career waited until much later in life. An engaging hobby that began in 1990 with my first Ridgeback "Kimba", turned into a passion that allowed me to leave a management career with ToysRUs and follow my heart
In 1995 I was looking for a way to put some fun back into my working relationship with Kimba, my 5 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback. We'd been doing obedience for a few years and the zest was fading. Agility was the answer for us. One year later she had earned a few agility titles, finished her UD and was the #1 Ridgeback in AKC Agility that year. She kept on going, first Ridgeback to earn an AX and the first to earn an MX. She was a great gal, always willing to try.
Thanks to Kimba's success I was talked into starting an agility class, nothing fancy, just some friends that wanted to learn how. One class became two, then three... in 1996 I left my Store Manager career with ToysRUs to became a full time obedience/agility instructor and trainer.
Over the years, my one Ridgeback became several and then I added in a few different breeds. I currently share my home with Ridgebacks, a Whippet, an Australian Cattle Dog, a Cane Corso and one foster failure Labx that just needed a safe place to live. Several of my dogs have been rescues, the Ridgebacks and Cane Corso are AKC registered dogs from performance/conformation lines.
My training/competition experience and club affiliations include:
Obedience instructor and trainer since 1992
Competing with my own dogs and clients' dogs, I've trained for and earned: more than 25 Obedience titles, over 50 Agility titles and 25 Conformation Championships.
Higher level titles include 4 MACH’s, 2 UD’s and 9 CDX’s
Owner/Trainer of Nationally ranked Obedience and Agility Ridgebacks
AKC Eukanuba Agility Invitational twice with a Ridgeback and once with Australian Cattle Dog
More than 200 Alchemy students have entered competition and earned agility or obedience titles with their dogs since classes began in 1996
Past President of 4 Paw Performance Club of North Georgia
Obedience and/or Agility Chair for Atlanta Kennel Club, 4 Paw Agility Club and Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the US
AKC sanctioned Match judge, Obedience and Conformation
Certified Obedience Judge for Australian Shepherd Club of America
AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
First VP of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States
When I began this journey with Kimba I never imagined I would be where I am today. We have a wonderful training building for our classes and private lessons, and students that make me eager to go to work every day. I love my job. I love seeing students and dogs “get it” and learn to communicate with each other. I love helping owners and their dogs find a new sport to share together and improve the bond they already share. I am honored to be able to make such a difference in their lives.