I'm the Founder and President of The Canine Stars, so I'm involved in all aspects of this business. I've trained my dogs to perform in all segments of our shows, but I also do ALL the behind-the-scenes administration... bookings, scheduling, pay the bills, dog care, driving/towing, setup and teardown labor, audio, emcee, plus perform in the shows! My main part in our shows is usually as Emcee, plus performing with my dogs in freestyle disc, dock diving, agility, and dance tricks like jumping rope.
Together, Ethan and I currently have 14 dogs in the family! They are mostly rescues, about half of them are dogs that we saved and intended to just foster, and try to find them homes. But they ended up staying in the family...which just means it was "meant to be!" I feel like fate is the best way to find a dog, I don't spend years researching pedigrees (but I used to!), I feel like the perfect dogs for me show up at the right time in my life.
My main performing dogs right now are Layla, Zapp, Chick Pea, Whisp, and Opal. They perform in Dock Diving, Tricks, High Jumping, Disc, and Agility. My retired superstar is Power, a Belgian Malinois, who got me started in Disc and Dock Diving, and she also was awesome at Flyball. My past superstars are Kaya, my first rescue mix (who was the greatest all-around athlete of all time!), and my Great Danes: Mega, Morgan, K8 and Tango.
Of course my favorite adventure was BERMUDA! In 2019, The Canine Stars flew to the Ag Show Bermuda. The shows were a blast, and the country is unbelievably beautiful - I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to visit.
I also really enjoy the crazy adventure of driving to Mexico City every year, since 2016. The Canine Stars perform there every year at ExpoCan, Mexico's annual national championship dog show. Alaska is always a fun trip, and the Calgary Stampede DOG BOWL always tops the year for best overall show, plus nearby Banff area is gorgeous!
My favorite part of every show is enjoying the new experiences and adventures with my great teammates.
Because my dog training background was initially influenced by Agility and Flyball, my default foundation training tends toward encouraging drive and speed. Fetch and Tug games are a priority, and off leash recalls. I also always train the main travel necessities, which makes our road trip adventures more enjoyable. A positive crate experience is a major foundation skill requirement, as well as pottying in different environments.
A necessity for a thrilling stunt dog show is big air jumping dogs. It is much more exciting to see a dog catch a toy way up in the air, as compared to watching a dog catch a toy with all 4 feet on the ground. So my top skills to encourage in my dogs are high jumping, catching toys in the air mid-jump (applies to disc), and catching toys in the air over water (applies to dock diving).
Growing up, my favorite books were "Champion Dog Prince Tom" and Steven Kellogg's "Pinkerton" series. I dreamed of having a Great Dane, and competing in dog shows and earning titles.
So of course after I graduated from college and started adulting, I got my first Great Dane, Morgan. I bought a camcorder for the day I brought her home, and started up her web vlog (in 1999!) Morgandane.com.
Our vet clinic had an agility course open to the public, so she got started on the agility equipment at 10 weeks old. I was instantly hooked, and we spent the next decade competing across North America in Agility and Flyball, where Morgan became famous as the most athletic and most titled Great Dane in the history of the breed.
I graduated from the Art Institute of Colorado with a degree in Visual Communications and Multimedia, and started on a career path of being a digital media designer and developer for websites and CD-ROM / DVD authoring in Los Angeles. As founder and President of The Canine Stars, I still use these skills in the day to day marketing and design of the company.
As hobbies...I enjoy hiking, beach walks and mountain biking (with my dogs), and studying health and nutrition (for my dogs). I think the perfect human pedigree would be Oprah Winfrey x Michael Jordan. My daily inspirations come from Tony Robbins, Marie Forleo and Dave Asprey.
I love Starbucks, going on cruises with my mom, I love fabricating custom kennels, and I am fascinated by lava. I haven't been too close to lava but I did get to fly over some in a Helicopter in Hawaii!!! Someday soon I will be on SURVIVOR. Mark my words.
Truthfully, I feel like I am the luckiest person on earth...what amazing adventures and experiences I've had with my dogs and my friends! And there's more to come, wow!!!