I have a passion for Dogs. I have lived with large breed dogs literally since birth. Irish Setters, Golden Retrievers, Mutts, Boxers and Labs: they all have a piece of my heart. I grew up with my Family in the Navy and from the age of 7 I moved around the United States extensively. At 33 I finally made the decision to come back home to Michigan where I was born and surrounded by family and plant roots.
I started my journey with Leader Dog in 2013. Fresh after completing both Chemo and Radiation for Breast Cancer and filing for divorce, I was living with family for the first time since I was 18. While they were an amazing support system, I needed an outlet outside the house and became an On Campus Volunteer with Leader Dog. I spent one hour every Sunday cleaning kennels, running dogs and washing bowls and toys. I worked along side an absolutely amazing full time employee, Jennifer, who without likely even knowing it was an amazing help. Being around dogs, venting about life, looking for work and the struggles I was going through with my health had me talking her ear off.
Fast forward 7 months later and I was employed full time and forced to quit on campus volunteering due to my travel obligations with work. I was devastated. In the time I was able to volunteer on Campus I had met such wonderful people, from employees to other volunteers, but especially clients. Client stories are amazing and each client has a story about how a Dog helped completely change their life. It was after hearing only a few of these stories I knew I wanted to raise a Puppy.
I had to wait out this goal until I purchased a home of my own, which I did in July 2015. At the beginning of August I was laid off from my job at a local bank and August 24, 2015 I brought home my first Puppy, Future Leader Dog Murphy Fox. His name was a compromise between myself and my daughter, who at the time was 3 and insistent we name him Fox, so he received a middle name. Being unemployed gave me the time to spend every waking hour with him and I LOVED it. I realized then, I was likely a “forever” Puppy Raiser.
FLD Murphy Fox was returned to start Leader Dog University July 30, 2016. While this was an incredibly hard day for me, I was happy to see him start his journey to become a Guide Dog. I picked up FLD #2, Jaxson Bear, August 19th 2016. (Yes, we continued the tradition of a animal theme middle named given by my daughter)
Puppy Raising is truly an adventure filled with love, fun, frustration, challenges and most of all opportunity. I have the opportunity to teach a Dog who could truly change someone's life and in return they change mine. I have become a more patient, calm and understanding person and have made some of the most wonderful friendships in the process. Raising multiple Future Leader Dogs takes a special kind of person and the community Leader Dog has created for Raisers is filled with support and people I now truly consider family.
As I embarked on a somewhat new career path in March 2016, I was committed to bring in my passion for Dogs into my business. I have been involved with Real Estate (on the mortgage side) since 2003 and was first a licensed Realtor in Tennessee in 2008. I obtained my Real Estate license in April 2016 in Michigan and immediately approached Leader Dog in how I could donate a portion of my earnings.
I am so happy to not only be doing something I have a passion for with Real Estate, but have a career that will allow me to keep raising Future Leader Dogs. Helping families find homes, raising puppies to become guide dogs and truly being involved in the Community where I live are all things I love. My goal is to have regular events benefitting Leader Dogs and supporting other Local Businesses from Restaurants to Retail Locations while helping to grow my own business in Real Estate.
You can often find me around town training my Puppy while working in Real Estate. I am a self proclaimed Garage and Estate sale addict, Jeep Freak and Sarcasm Junkie. I don't take life too seriously anymore and have learned to be successful while having fun. My daughter and I meet lots interesting people and we have a ton of "adventures" with our puppies I document on Instagram. You can view my FLD page here: www.instagram.com/AdventuresInPuppyRaising.
If I can help you in any way – Real Estate, Dogs, Life – please don't hesitate to contact me.