Jennifer grew up on the southwest side of Chicago and moved to the north side in her early 20s. She didn’t have the pleasure of growing up around dogs because she was a competitive figure skater, and that took up most of the time that would have been needed to take care of a dog. Jennifer finally realized she had a love of dogs because of a friend’s dog, Gabby. Gabby was the first dog that she really had the opportunity to spend quality time with, and it showed her how awesome the relationship between humans and dogs can be! Shortly after falling in love with Gabby, Jennifer got her first puppy, Sweetness, a cute-as-can-be puggle who instantly stole her heart.
Jennifer spent about ten years in the salon industry as an esthetician, massage therapist, and hair stylist, and worked on the side in bars and restaurants. It was fun and she enjoyed it, but she never really felt like it was what she was meant to do. After having Sweetness for about four years, she decided it was time to get her a partner in crime. That’s when Bellaboots, a lab mix rescue puppy, came into the picture. Sweetness and Bella took to each other right away, but Bella eventually presented with a variety of behavioral issues. It was new to Jennifer, because Sweetness had been such an easygoing pup. She had never encountered a dog with fear-based issues before.
After a period of soul searching, Jennifer decided to take the plunge and change career paths. She found CanineLink, and enrolled in their Behavioral Fundamentals class. Shortly after starting the program she realized that she was headed in the right direction and continued with their Essential and Advance Training Skills courses. It opened her eyes to so much in the dog world, and provided her with the knowledge and understanding to help Bella with some of her behavioral issues. The progress she saw inspired her to help others with their own dogs. She thinks that it is amazing to see the transformation in these dogs, and beautiful to see the bond between dogs and owners grow. Between her dog training education and her volunteer work with the Morris Service Dog Program, she finally feels like she is doing work that she enjoys.