One of my favorite quotes is "teach children to be kind to animals and they will grow up to be kind to people too." From an early age, I knew two things, I loved animals and I was going to be some kind of teacher. I was lucky enough to be able to do both. After completing my master's degree in education, I started workig as a school counselor and theatre director in my native Minnesota, where I adopted my first dog, Shiloh. After moving to Virginia, I began volunteering at a local rescue group until I decided to launch my own non-profit organization, The Shiloh Project, named after you know who!
The Shiloh Project paired shelter foster dogs with juvenile offenders and other kids at-risk. The students worked on training and socializing 'their' dogs and preparing them for adoption. After The Shiloh Project, I started a summer camp, Camp Underdog, where kids of all backgrounds got to learn about the plight of homeless dogs and interact with number of them from various local rescue groups. Along with Camp Underdog, I ran an after-school group called Club Y.A.A.P. (Young Animal Advocates Program) where students learned about a wide variety of animals, wild and domestic.
Needless to say, kids and animals, are my thing!
I've also had the privilege of being a guest lecturer for the Smithsonian Associates Lecture Series "It's a Dog's Life" in Washington D.C. and the Animal Welfare Committee/Omega Tau Sigma Veterinary Service Fraternity in Blacksburg, VA, and a featured presenter at "The Tangled Web of Abuse" Conference, in Greenville, S.C.
In addition to working with kids and dogs, I love doing outdoor projects, running open mics and songwriting and hanging out with my wonderful and talented husband Bill and our ever-evolving menagerie of rescued dogs.