Welcome to the 4-Legged Friends blog page! 4-Legged Friends will be celebrating 9 years of providing top notch dog training & pet sitting services this year. Since this is my first time ever writing a blog I couldn't help but feel that I should begin with a post on why I chose to become a professional dog trainer & pet sitter. Through the years of operating my business I have been provided the opportunities to learn from top leaders in the dog training & pet care industry, acquiring both knowledge & expertise, and most importantly have met the most amazing people & pets. Through my articles I hope to provide valuable information to my readers.
It was in 2006 and during my 5th year of working in corporate America that I was really ready to make a huge change in my career path. I wanted more than the satisfaction of a paycheck and wanted to feel passionate about what I was doing everyday. Animals had always been a big part of my life and it was shortly after graduating college that I intensely explored the option of going to veterinary school after the lifelong goal of becoming a veterinarian. It wasn't until after my pre-vet orientation at Cornell and seeing first hand of what my studies would entail that I had second thoughts. I began to explore what options were available in pursuing a career working with animals where I could utilize my business and psychology degree . As a volunteer for several years I really enjoyed taking care of animals and training them but the question of "Can I make a career out of doing what I really love" echoed in my mind. I really loved the college courses geared towards animal learning, attending seminars on dog behavior and training and of course the thought of opening my own business. How could I turn this passion into a reality?
It was 10 years ago that I made the definitive decision to leave the comfort of my job and travel to a land unknown. Despite the doubts and what-ifs, I embarked on a journey that not only has changed my career path but the person I am today. In March 2007 my husband, Bryan, myself and our fur kids moved from Long Island, NY to Hagerstown, MD to begin a new chapter of our lives. It was official 4-Legged Friends Pet Services was born!
From day one I put my heart and soul into making 4-Legged Friends Pet Services a success. Looking back into the past when I first opened the doors I never quite fully imagined where this new journey was going to take me. It went beyond the original expectation of the joy and satisfaction I would experience when I opened the door to my client's home to be greeted by 4-Legged kids happy to see me each time I came for a visit. There is no doubt that being greeted like you are their newly founded best friend is one of the many perks to being a professional pet sitter but for me I also realize that it is also the incredible relationships I have built with so many of the fur kids we have in our care. I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to take care of and connect with so many pets, learning about each and everyone of them. It provides me the opportunity to develop a close, special relationship with many animals that otherwise would not be possible. I have also learned that not every pet is going to be thrilled with my company and have learned ways to help them earn my trust and connect with me. We have one daily client whose dog sits in the window in anticipation of his walk and visit. It really melts my heart to see him in the window especially given he was a little shy and unsure when I met him 8 years ago.
One of the main reason's for choosing Hagerstown as the 4-Legged Friends Pet Services headquarters is so that I could focus on a year long apprenticeship with world renowned dog trainer, Pat Miller. I learned so much invaluable information and conquered one of my biggest life fears, public speaking. I love being a professional dog trainer as much as being a professional pet sitter. As a dog trainer I love helping dogs and people connect and build strong relationships by teaching them how to effectively communicate. I love watching both the owner and dog grow through the entire process. It is incredibly rewarding to provide people the tools they need to fully understand and enjoy their canine companions while also helping dog's understand what their humans want & expect from them.
The past 9 years have flown by and I can't imagine where I would be if I didn't chose 4-Legged Friends. I am so happy I took that leap out of my comfort zone to find out. It has been an incredible journey thus far and I for see it continuing into the future as 4-Legged Friends continues to grow and provide exceptional service.