I am so proud of my wife. Here’s one of the reasons why.
Five years ago, my wife and I had a pivotal conversation about her future. We had just
officially become empty-nesters. I said, “For so many years you have done everything for everyone else: you’ve raised our kids, even homeschooled them, ran our household and even held down a part-time job as a bookkeeper. I think it’s time you started doing something you really want to do. If you could do anything else for the remainder of your working years, what would it be?”
Without hesitation, she said, “I’d like to go back to school and become a certified dog trainer.” Great, I said. Let’s find the best school. So we did.
A year later, Cindi graduated from the Animal Behavior College certified in 2 different areas of dog training with a 4.0 GPA.
A couple of months later, she volunteered at our local Humane Society and suggested they let her to do some dog training classes to show them how a well-trained dog will better serve their goal to make sure the dogs that get adopted stay in their new homes. The forward-thinking CEO, Miguel Abi-hassan, already believed in this idea and wanted to hire someone for their shelter. He just wanted to make sure Cindi was the right someone.
By the end of the second class, he was thoroughly convinced and offered her a job. She’s been working there now almost 4 years as their Animal Behavior Manager. She does several group classes on the weekends and private lessons during the week. She’s written a number of training brochures and also manages several in-house programs for them.
Her reputation as a dog training pro has grown dramatically in the past few years. She’s successfully trained several hundred dogs and has been asked to speak on local public television and radio programs, as well as provide advice and counsel to our local prison, which has a wonderful program training dogs to help serve our military veterans. Many of our area veterinarians recommend Cindi to their patients.
Recently, she was surprised by an award that makes it official — Cindi is the best dog trainer in the entire greater Daytona Beach area. Each year our local newspaper conducts a program allowing citizens to pick out there favorite stores, restaurants and service people.
Cindi had nothing to do with this and didn’t even know she had been nominated. She was not only nominated in all three of our biggest towns (Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach and Port Orange), but she received the most votes in all three cities and won the “Reader’s Choice Award” as the best dog trainer in all three. Here are the certificates to prove it (click to see it bigger).
Cindi’s exciting news actually ties into my writing career. In my last few blog posts, I’ve mentioned my newest novel is about to release, called Rescuing Finley. Finley is a shelter dog who actually winds up rescuing the female inmate who trained him and the Afghan war vet who adopts him. Cindi has provided invaluable input and advice as I wrote this book and even helped me put together the concept for this book and the rest of the books in the new series.
And as you can see, I haven’t just asked for her help because she is my wife. I asked because she is, quite literally now, the very best dog trainer in town!