Lori got her BA from the University of Colorado in 1992. She went on to be the inventory control clerk at a Nissan dealer for eight years before leaving and deciding to follow her life long desire to work with animals. She started as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic in Highlands Ranch where she was soon trained on the job as a veterinary assistant. After three years of wrangling pets for nail trims and blood draws, Lori decided that she would much rather train animals than work in the vet clinic so she started volunteering at the Dumb Friends League in the Behavior deptartment in 2003.
Within a few months, Lori left the vet clinic and become an adoption counselor at DFL. As soon as a position opened in the Behavior department, Lori took it and stayed for 6 years. At DFL, Lori worked with unadoptable animals in an attempt to make them more adoptable. She also worked on the Behavior Helpline as a counselor and attended multiple seminars from some of the top behavior experts in the country. She also taught classes and suggested adding agility classes. When she got the approval, she wrote and taught ‘Agility For Fun’ classes for several years. Additionally, she taught several classes specifically for small dogs since the smaller dogs seemed so nervous in classes with rowdy large dogs. While at DFL, Lori took and passed the test to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT).
She also became a member of the Association For Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and became certified to administer the Canine Good Citizens Test. DFL decided to discontinue the training classes, and since that was Lori’s primary interest, she left in 2009 and joined a private dog training company where she continued to write and teach agility classes. Lori currently runs Duck and Goose in agility trials several times a month and attends seminars given by some of the country’s top agility instructors in an effort to stay current on advancements in course design, obstacle performance and handling skills. She also strives to stay on top of the latest information in behavior modification and family dog training.
Lily was rehomed to Lori when she worked at the vet clinic. She was just over a year old and the people had basically neglected her for that first year. She was fairly well socialized, but was 20 pounds overweight and had no training or manners. Lori and her husband Dave were going to foster her since they already had two dogs, but they decided to keep her to try agility. There were serious problems introducing her into the home, she and Luna had multiple fights ending in injuries to both dogs and both humans. With training and time, the two dogs were able to live together peacefully for several years until Luna died. Lily had all of her paperwork and Lori was able to contact her breeder.
Lily earned several agility titles before retiring at the age of 8yrs due to elbow problems. She was a mascot dog for The Dumb Friends League and she even appeared in a few commercials for them. She was a great demo dog and she loved dancing classes. She even ran agility with Lori’s husband Dave for several months right before the elbow problems were diagnosed. Lily and Dave are now active in the sport of K9 Nose Work. Lily and Dave earned their NW1 title at Colorado’s first trial in June 2011. Lily seems to have found her true passion at the age of 11! She is now completely blind and adapting amazingly well. Lori is learning the ins and out of living with a blind dog and Lily is learning lots of verbal cues to help her get around.
Duck was fostered and then adopted by Lori and Dave in 2004. She was about a year old at the time and she had shown aggression towards people in the shelter. She would growl, bark and snap, but never made contact. She wouldn’t come near anyone in the shelter until she met Lori, at which point she crawled under Lori’s desk and went to sleep. She would jump in Lori’s lap and wag her tail, so there was no way Lori was going to let her be euthanized for aggressive behavior. It took about a year of intense work to get Duck to be OK in public at which time she started agility classes.
Agility training really did save her life because she had so much fun that she forgot that she didn’t like people. With time, she even decided that people were actually OK. She started trialing after six months of official training and she qualified in 6 out of 7 Novice runs in the first few months. She has been fairly successful, even coming in as the #25 Cattle Dog in AKC agility in 2009 and she was the #15 ACD in 2010. She has her MX and MXJ and is working (slowly) towards her MACH. In DOCNA, she won the 16" class at the 2010 Nationals held in Grand Junction, CO. She also earned her DOCNA Merit Of Excellence (MEX) in Feb of 2011 and she continues to hold the position of #1 ACD in all of the DOCNA categories. Duck earned her DOCNA Bronze MEX in Dec 2011. At 9 yrs of age she is still fast and happy! But, her biggest accomplishment to date was passing the Canine Good Citizens test.
Goose was brought in to DFL as a lost and found puppy. He was adopted out for a few weeks and then brought back because he was fearful and barked at people. He was going to be euthanized for the behavior until Lori fostered him. Lori and Dave then decided to adopt him (see a trend here) when he was about eight months old in 2007. He was very sensitive but very energetic.
Lori started agility training with him right away to build his confidence and burn up some energy. He loves training! He is very honest and he tries really hard and his confidence continues to increase. In his first year of agility competition, he went from his first trial in Novice to having five double Q’s. He won the 20" class at the 2010 DOCNA nationals in September, then he earned his DOCNA MEX in October 2010. He qualified for the 2011 AKC nationals, but didn’t get to go. He is qualified for the 2011 DOCNA championships in September of 2011. He earned his MACH in March 2011 and is also qualified for AKC nationals in 2012. Goose earned his DOCNA Silver MEX in Dec 2011.
In his spare time, Goose likes to swim, go herding and learn tricks. He has joined his sister Lily in Nose Work classes and he also earned his NW1 title in June of 2011. He is a multi-talented dog and he has a great future ahead.
Sidekick’s Rekindle The Fire has joined Lori and family. She was born 7/6/11 and came home on 9/11/11. She was bred by Linda and Jeff Jaquish of Sidekick ACD’s in Washington state. Ember has big plans to train and compete in many disciplines. Of course she is working towards learning how to do agility, but she will also potentially be doing conformation, herding, rally and nosework. She is a very motivated and eager student so we are enjoying the journey and surviving puppyhood for now! To follow some of Ember’s training progress, visit our YouTube channel.
At the Bridge
Luna was Lori’s first dog, adopted from the Dumb Friends League at an estimated age of 6yrs old in 1997. She was a pretty easy going dog but it was obvious that she had a history because when x-rays were done on her hips, it was clear that she had been shot with a BB gun multiple times. She had noise phobias and was very anxious when there were fireworks or thunderstorms. She was great with kids and people of all types.
A very smart and very opportunistic dog, she loved to get on counters (literally all the way on) and search through the cabinets for food. She had back problems so she went to physical therapy, first at VRCC and then at CRCG when they opened. She got her Canine Good Citizen award but didn’t participate in any dog sports since Lori hadn’t learned about them when Luna was young and healthy. Luna died suddenly eight years later in May of 2005 at the age of fourteen.
In November of 2010 Astro didn’t want to eat one day, so he was taken for a checkup. It was discovered that a lump previously diagnosed as a lipoma was in fact cancerous and the cancer had spread to his lungs. At that point, it was too late to do anything other than chemo, but his kidneys were already too damaged to even try it.
He was put on medications to make him comfortable. Everyone was amazed that he made it for another 6 weeks. He passed away on 12/27/10. A fundraiser was created on the National Canine Cancer Foundation page, a great organization working towards fighting canine cancer. That website is www.wearethecure.com.