I love people and dogs and now that I have moved into a new phase of my life, I focus my energies around these two treasures. I worked in corporate America for 40 plus years, wearing white shirts and ties and suits for far too long. I now live in Atlanta, Ga., and volunteer extensively with the American Red Cross, frequently participating as a responder in disaster situations. I also help train and socialize service dogs with the Canine Assistants organization in Milton, Ga. I am totally humbled when I see a dog I have worked with being placed with a person with mobility or other medical issues. Knowing that the close bond I helped create is transferred to this recipient and that this person's life will be forever changed is truly heart warming. I am a member a non-profit group called Hope Animal Assisted Crisis Response where I partner with my specialty-trained dog to provide comfort to people in highly stressful situations such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, shootings and wildfires. I am also a member of several animal therapy groups including Pet Partners and Happy Tails where my canine partners and I regularly visit hospitals, children's centers, retirement homes and adult day care centers. I dapple with landscape, people and pet photography. I am also licensed in ham radio, and I volunteer frequently at large events where there is a need for communication.
I have been attending the APDT conference for eight years. I joined the conference task force as a volunteer and have been leading the Border Collie Brigade for the last six years. I absolutely love this highly rewarding work! My team and I have the opportunity to help volunteers increase their conference experience by supporting conference attendees, speakers and staff. The BCs interact with other trainers and network and enjoy a fuller conference experience resulting in an enhanced conference for all attendees.