I have owned, loved, and work with dogs my whole life. I seemed to have a natural talent working with canines from the earliest age I can remember, beginning with my dog “Baby,” who was a pure bred mutt. “Baby” had puppies when I was a small child of about 7 years old. It was the middle of the night when I watched “Baby” give birth to her puppies. I sat patiently and watched the birthing process in amazement as she brought each of her babies to me after she birthed them and cleaned them off. I spent the next 8 weeks with her in her whelping box, working with her and her pups. I named one of the puppies “Princess,” and she struggled from the start. “Princess” didn’t like the other pups in the litter, and she didn’t like people other than me. Through patience, intuition, and work, “Princess” became a great dog who learned to love other dogs and people, and wound up in a really great home. I knew then what I wanted to do with my life: Help humans and their dogs learn how to live together and improve their relationship. This experience is what began my love of working with dogs and their humans.
As a young college student studying Business Administration, I got a part time job working as a Veterinary Technician at a local Veterinary Hospital. I was blessed to work for a very ethical Veterinarian, Dr. Plumb, who prioritized the well being of the dogs before money. He taught me a lot about how to educate dog owners on pursuing the best interest of the dog above all else. I am so grateful for Dr. Plumb and Valley Veterinary Center for everything I learned.
I got my first dog, “Rosie,” out on my own as a young adult during my time as Veterinary Technician. I rescued “Rosie” from being euthanized at the local pound, and it was love at first sight. “Rosie” came to me when she was about 8 months old and already had a lot of problems. “Rosie” had been beaten and starved nearly to death, and suffered from such terrible separation anxiety that she annihilated everything in my house by destructive chewing when I wasn’t home- she chewed up and destroyed an entire couch! I didn’t know what to do, so I got a referral from Dr. Plumb to the best Dog Trainer in my area, Sallie Palmer of Well Mannered Mutts. She helped me address “Rosie’s” difficulties, and “Rosie” became the most wonderful dog I ever had as a direct result of working with Sallie. I continued practicing what I learned with “Rosie” to help her and other dogs like her as much as I could.
A few years later I got married to my husband, Michael, who was an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army at the time. Michael wanted a German Shepherd puppy, so we added “Ally” to our family in 2008. Once again, I called Sallie for help. She came out and started working with Ally and me, and I started my formal apprenticeship to become a Dog Trainer at that time. I spent a year apprenticing with Sallie and “Ally,” and other dogs and their humans as well. When I finished my apprenticeship, I pursued my formal education to become a certified Dog Trainer, formally opening my own Dog Training business at Fort Hood, Texas in 2008. To see Sallie’s website, click here.
My husband left for his third combat deployment that year, and I dealt with it by fully investing myself in my business and education. I was blessed to be living in a military community during his deployment because there was plenty of work to keep me busy helping military service members and their families while Michael was away. Thank God, he made it home safely, and I continued to work with dogs and their humans.
I began to see opportunities to grow my business by expanding on the services I offered, and so began the growth and expansion phase of Rhodes to Success Dog Training. I quickly moved into working with service dogs and their handlers, emotional support dogs and their humans, and therapy dogs and their owners. I saw a need in my community for additional pet services, so I also started offering grooming services, pet taxi services, pet sitting services, dog walking services, puppy play and socialization services, and board and train services. My calendar filled up quickly!
My husband retired from the Army with honors in 2012 after 20 years of service and 3 combat tours. We moved our family and I moved my business to Lubbock that year, and have been going strong here ever since.
I love working with dogs and their humans so much so that I have dedicated my life to it. Call 806-778-0422 today to find out how I can be of service to you!