I have worked with animals all my life. When I was a teenager, I lived and worked on an exotic animal farm in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We had thirteen dogs in addition to a wide variety of exotic animals including: llamas, alpacas, buffalo, wallabies and pot-bellied pigs, but horses were always my primary love.
I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Science from Colorado State University. After graduation I opened a stable where I boarded and trained horses and gave riding lessons for eighteen years.
Living and working on twenty acres in Colorado allowed me to have many dogs including: Doberman Pincher, Rottweiler, Husky, Shar-Pei, Schipperke, Australian Shepard, Bernese Mountain Dog, Pomeranian, Pembroke Welsh Corgi and a variety of mixed breeds from the Humane Society or who just showed up at my stable.
I also opened Animal Wisdom, a consulting service for pets and their people. I helped people: resolve their pet’s misbehavior, deal with trauma, fear, injury, illness and death and deepen their relationship with pets through private consultations, workshops, speaking at expos, publishing articles and doing radio and television interviews.
After twenty-seven years of caring for numerous animals I moved to Marathon, Florida, with my three dogs. My childhood passion for swimming was rekindled but, my dogs did not share my love of water. In fact, they were very reluctant to swim, which prevented us from sharing this activity together. It was also dangerous since we were surrounded by water and the very real possibility of flooding that exists in Florida.
Using my life-long experience training animals, I began teaching my dogs to swim.
I now have dogs that swim with confidence and enjoy being in the pool or the ocean. They also surf on boogie boards and are comfortable wearing a dog life vest. One of my dogs is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, a breed that has a reputation for being unable to swim or only swims with great difficulty.
I now live in Orlando, Florida. It is my pleasure to help dogs and their people enjoy water activities together safely.
Gretchen is trained in Pet CPR & First Aid.