I’ve been involved with the rescue and training community since the Spring of 2014, which, ironically is the last time I had a pet of my own! My last pup was a special-needs dog, inherited after my father passed, coming to me anxious and becoming entirely blind not long after her arrival. Well, what is a woman with no pets or parental caregiving to do with all that time she has? Easy! I decided to ‘take a break’ from caregiving and volunteer at my local shelter. (Seems I’m always the last to know when I’m about to change the course of my life.) The volunteer work soon filled my days to overflowing as I realized how much I needed to learn about working with dogs who had found themselves between homes. And let’s just say, I was naive as they come on all things ‘dog’ and had basically zero leash skills. Turns out that ‘But I’ve had dogs my whole life!’ isn’t the resume builder with canines that we like to think it is. Happily (mercifully), the shelter’s volunteer trainers took me under their wings. That was how I found out about A Sound Beginning.
One thing led to another as, with no dogs of my own (i.e. no compatibility issues) I realized I could bring any dog I could handle to my house for mini-shelter breaks and short term fostering. After 32 dogs had visited, requests for pet sitting started to come in. I was actively working on adoption campaigns so everyone knew I was available as a pet-free home to board…quirky…dogs. I accidentally became a pet sitter specializing in high-need dogs. Life sometimes has a way of leading you right where you need to be.
Along the way, I worked for our parent company (A Sound Beginning) for a couple years when they needed extra hands on deck until they could get permanent administrative help. I spoke with many people who had dogs with issues I was becoming quite well-versed in with my own little cast of characters parading through my home. I wasn’t a trainer (and have no plans to become one) but I was learning a great deal that helped me understand some of the challenges clients were facing while also learning more and more that was helping me learn how to manage the dogs in my care.
Fast forward to the summer of 2022 when Steve Frost called and asked if I might be available to join the ASB Chicago Team. He had me at, “Hey Laura, have a question…”
I am delighted to be back in the ASB family, fielding all the emails, answering your questions and getting everyone scheduled. Now you have a face for all those emails I send you when we get you set up with our excellent team.
And no, before you get your hopes up, I’m not able to add any pet sitting clients. I’m full as full can be on that front but I’ll sure be happy to help you with your ASB Chicago needs.
Fun fact: (I don’t know it for a fact, I just know it’s true.) I have played the A Sound Beginning CD more than any human alive. It’s been played in my home nearly every single day for the last 8 years.
What I most want you to know: I’m with A Sound Beginning because they have given me the skills I have needed (along with the soundtrack) to care for 83 different dogs in my home. From 4lbs to 90+, so many different breeds and so many different issues and some quite severe. From rescues, to pups from breeders, from dogs that are easy as a summer day to some whose psychological issues led to necessary but painful decisions…I’ve cared for the full range. I understand. I’m glad you found us here. This was my go-to team long before I knew I would work for them. That’s why I’m here.