Gideon was a beautiful brindle Pit Bull rescue. While working at VCA Animal Care Center in Norfolk, Gideon (my name for him) came into the clinic as a 4-month-old puppy with Parvo. The owners couldn't or wouldn't pay for treatment and I had already euthanized three other dogs that day (one of them with Parvo). My heart was very heavy and I just could not do "one more." So I paid for this puppy's treatment while he remained at the clinic in the Isolation Ward until cured. I then adopted him and brought him home. For several months, I did obedience training with Gideon and weekly Pet Therapy visits to the JCC in Norfolk. When he was about 1-year-old, I placed him in a loving home with five children. Gideon lived a long happy life with his new family.
1995 -- Won 2nd place in a local Obedience Class final test.
1997 until he died in 2003 -- Pet Therapy at the JCC in Norfolk & Norfolk Senior Center
1998 -- Partner in training for the master training program at National K9 in Columbus, OH.
He successfully completed the following allowing me to earn the Master Training Certification:
1999 -- Canine Good Citizen Certification from AKC
2000 -- Obedience Demo at the K9 Carnival in Virginia Beach
2002 -- Therapy Dogs International Certification (TDI)
2002 -- Founding Canine Member of the K9 Therapy Strike Team SEVA, a division of the Virginia Task Force
I purchased this imported live-wire of a Belgian Malanois at six months of age to replace my working dog Jax whose health was failing. However, Sacha never became a "working dog" nor a "competition dog" because I got married and started a family. On this one dog alone I could write a book and share hundreds of tales (one day I just might). Any client in training will hear multiple references of this loving, carefree, very devoted, high-spirited, high energy dog. He was so full of life until three days before he died at age 12. Sacha taught me more about training than I could ever learn from any instructor, class, course, workshop, or book, and for that I am eternally thankful. I could not have asked for a better dog to start my family with. He was the most patient and tolerant dog with fingers down in his eye-socket when my first boy was learning to walk. Each of our boys could handle him with no problem once they were walking confidently.
A few of his accomplishments were:
Cali (rhymes with "Sally") is a Rottweiler-mix puppy that we got from a pet rescue. We are looking forward to her being a hiking companion for our family. Already her calm temperament has had a positive effect on the family over Sacha's boundless energy. February 2015, my son (age 6) and Cali (12 months old) earned their AKC Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog Certification. On our move to Wyoming, Cali now resides with her pet sitter in Virginia.
Theodore is a Great Pyrenees/Great Dane mix and a constant shadow of Linnea. He earned his AKC Canine Good Citizen in Oct 2017. Due to large size he is a huge help climbing up and down Wyoming and Colorado's mountains.
Zjef (pronounced "zef") is an imported KNVP Belgium Malanois that I co-owned with Cavalier K9 until my first son was born; I was his care-giver and handler. He went on to win 2nd place in PSA Nationals! He was truly an amazing dog.
Philly was a Golden Retriever-mix puppy that I rescued from a very abusive situation. She was EXTREMELY afraid of men and had already become aggressive when she got scared. I took her to work with me every day while I was working at Kabler School for Dogs, to give her great social exposure. After her obedience and behavioral modification training, I then re-homed her with a single mother where she thrived beautifully.
Ziggy was a nine-month-old Boston Terrier rescue who came with several behavioral issues, the top two being not housebroken or crate-trained and dog-aggressive. After six months of obedience training, behavioral modification, and pet therapy visits, he was re-homed with a young couple in Georgia who were thrilled to have him and kept in touch for many years.
This imported Belgian Malanois puppy had a rocky start with his owner getting arrested and the girlfriend dropping him off at my place. I loved this little guy! He had such great potential. I immediately started his obedience training, prey drive development for protection work, and of course, weekly pet therapy visits. When he was ten months old, he was purchased by a Police Department in NC and continued his training to become a Patrol K9.
Left: Theodore & Declan at the top of Guernsey State Park.
Right: Hiking Pawnee Buttes, CO
Connor and Cali
Abby is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi who was born with "swimming puppy syndrome" (splayed legs and flat-chested) and was originally not for sale. Since this dog was to replace Jasper on the K9 Strike Team, I needed certain character traits in the dog. When I got to the farm and temperament-tested the puppies, Abby passed the test but not the dog I had "paid for." So I reassured the breeder I would take good medical care of her both in puppyhood and in her geriatric years. She is now 10 years old and can beat the socks off any Lab in retrieval games at the park. A few of her accomplishments are:
Jax was a German Shepherd imported from Germany. He was given to me at four years of age by my then-current employer because he wanted a "harder working dog." I had worked with Jax every day for two years before he came to live with me. Due to known and unknown health issues, and thousands of dollars in unsuccessful medical treatments, Jax was my introduction into holistic and raw diets, alternative medicine for animals, animal chiropractic care, and pet therapy with amazing results. His accomplishments from 2000 - 2004 include: