my story

ElaineAnimals have always had a part in my life. At birth I came home from the hospital to a wonderful dog who taught me of his unconditional love. When I cried, Fleckel, our Border Collie mix, was at my crib before my mother.

Growing up by Washington, D.C., I watched as the neighborhood dogs ran free with no fences. I don’t remember there ever being a dog fight. Fleckel and his son invented their version of running bases with a ball in our back yard. We were amazed because my brothers and I never played ball in the yard!

My final memory of Fleckel was returning home from Girl Scouts and being told, “He was old and died.” Earlier in the day, Fleckel earned his “angel wings” at the veterinary’s office with my father at his side. This was my first experience with death.

As I grew up, other dogs come into my life.

In high school, I was very upset about the neighbor’s dog —a five-year old poodle who was tied out in the hot, humid weather and kept knocking over her water dish. I boldly talked to the mother. I gave her the ultimatum to “Give me Tootsie or I will report you to the pound tomorrow.” The next day Tootsie joined our family. Tootie, “the untrainable dog” was house broken in days. She and our poodle, Pierre, lived long lives with my parents when I left for college and beyond.

While living on my own after college, I even hand raised and bottle fed a litter of four abandoned kittens. When they were ready, the growing kittens went to loving homes.

Animals were almost always in my life.

Then I was swept off my feet by love and moved to Minneapolis. Both John and I were raised with shedding dogs and decided that because of my allergies we needed to find a non-shedding dog. I started searching for a dog that met our life style and fell in love with Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers. Hobbes is number three and his predecessors each had their impact on us – Teddy Bare and Boomer.

After several “careers,” I settled into the corporate world. I realized building and maintaining relationships was a cornerstone of my life. Little did I know my love for animals and relationships would become my life’s work.

A few years later, my husband told me a co-worker was ready to euthanize her dog until she talked to an animal communicator. The dog said he was not ready to die. I was intrigued and had the communicator talk to Boomer who was adjusting to our newly remodeled house.

And so it began. I took animal communication classes. I practiced my skills with friends and co-workers’ pets for years.

Then I took Boomer to the vet for a physical. As the vet looked into his eyes, Boomer made a guttural growl from his belly. He sounded like something from the “Exorcist” movie! Yes, the exam ended, but Boomer needed to return for some blood work.

A few days later, I tried a technique I had recently read about that helped dogs with the fear of vets. The results were amazing. Boomer’s next vet visit went so well, the vet wanted to know what I had done. It was my nudge to start training for my new career!

Eventually, I was so happy to leave the corporate world by way of a lay off and start a new career in this wonderful, new emerging field! In 2007, I founded Animal Bridges and haven’t looked back.

Daily, I am amazed with the lessons these pets teach me, and how the wonderful relationships with pets and their pet parents (the humans) grow. I am living my life’s work.

I look forward to helping you “bring out the best in your pet.”