Growing up I was always that kid you could find around animals and it helped when you grew up around dogs, cows, horses and wildlife. You can say that I loved animals before I could even comprehend what love was. I would tackle someone right before they were about to squash a spider or a cockroach and then quickly scoop it up and put it outside in the garden. I didn’t have a choice of being born human and neither did that animal for being born into that species but I did have a choice of how I could treat animals and influence others, and I made it my mission in life to help them, so that is just what I did and continue to do.
When I finished school I studied marketing, advertising and business. I was always the creative type so I thought that this direction would give me the inner satisfaction I was looking for. I also needed to support and set myself up to live in Sydney and this industry would pay the bills. Once I finished studying I joined an advertising agency but soon realised that it wasn’t all that it cracked up to be. The ridiculously long hours and tiring work only made me feel terrible for leaving my dogs, Hope and Shep, and my lorikeet, Honey, alone for long periods and then being too exhausted to do anything with them.
It is funny how life works though. I can honestly say that I believe things happen for a reason, and for me, that was when I became very sick with a rare bladder disease. I spent a lot of time in hospital and then when I was at home feeling lousy, my dogs and lorikeet were there to get me through it - they knew what they needed to do at just the right moment to make my day bearable and even enjoyable. When you are unwell and spend a lot of time in hospital you have a lot of time stuck in your head with your own thoughts. For me, I was constantly asking myself “what am I really doing with my life?”. Yes I like what I am doing and I am good at it, working in the advertising world, but I don’t love it… I love animals, particularly dogs. Being unwell really makes you appreciate the gift of life and not take any of it for granted. It really opens your eyes and see things for their true importance. I always wanted to work with animals but never thought it would be a viable option but this was my chance and I wasn’t going to miss out on this opportunity life was handing me. My passion is dogs, so why couldn’t I turn my passion into my everyday "job". So I went back to study and became a qualified dog behaviourist. I am also currently undertaking studies to become one of the very small handful of Certified Nose Work Instructors in Australia.
My animals gave me love, patience, acceptance, loyalty, respect, and so many more things when I needed it the most so now is my time to show my gratitude by helping dogs be better understood for the intelligent and sentient creatures they are and by helping people understand their dogs. It is not just about us teaching our dogs. I am here to help educate you and show you how to open your eyes and hearts and let our dogs be our greatest teacher. Nothing makes me happier than watching person and their dog’s relationship flourish and bloom into a positive and fulfilling friendship. So that is the story of how Goin’ Muttz was born.