I’d like to introduce you to Amanda Brothers, who shares her life with five incredibly diverse dogs. Amanda is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and owns her own business, Sidekick Dog Training in Seattle, Wash. Connect with Amanda on Facebook!
What is your background? How are you involved with pets?
My first exposure to dog training was as a pet owner, when I adopted my first dog Molly in 1997. Over the years I became more and more involved in dog behavior and training, working and volunteering at animal shelters, attending workshops and seminars, and assisting a professional trainer. I am now a Certified Professional Dog Trainer with my own business, Sidekick Dog Training. I offer group classes and private lessons. I am also an avid agility competitor and enjoy lots of outdoor activities with my dogs (hiking, dog park, etc.).
Do you have pets of your own? What are their stories?
My husband and I share our home with five canine companions.
Sasha, 9 years old, “Chiweenie.” Sasha was rescued from death row in a CA shelter by Ginger’s Pet Rescue. When we first adopted her she was very quiet and reserved. Four years later she is the life of every party! Nicknamed The Rugged Chiweenie, she does everything the big dogs do.
Lucky, 8 years old, Chow x. Lucky has a remarkable story. He was rescued in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. My husband was the volunteer who rescued him, and they ended up together in WA state months later!
Foghorn Leghorn (Foggy), 5 years old, Australian Shepherd/Lab x. Foggy and his litter were released to Homeward Pet in Woodinville when he was seven weeks old. We fostered him, and he soon became a permanent addition. He’s got the wonderful qualities of both his breeds and is an agility super star as well as an all-around good guy.
Poe, 4 years old, Rat Terrier. Poe was found as a stray at the age of one year and ended up with a small rescue group in Montesano, WA. I had fallen in love with the breed and found him on Pet Finder. He dabbles in agility and excels at trick training with the clicker! He is also a master snuggler.
Wren, 2 years old, Terrier/Shepherd x. Wren was abandoned on the side of the road in Yakima and picked up by a passing ambulance. We adopted her from a group called Rez Dog Rescue when she was three months old. She is an amazing athlete and we are training for agility as well as Frisbee and dock dogs! Wren adores every person she’s ever met, especially children.
What is your favorite dog breed and why? Cat breed?
Well, I am obviously a fan of mixed breeds due to their unique looks and personalities. It’s fascinating to see the personality traits emerge, especially when you know what to look for. Of the purebreds, I’ve always been a fan of Chow Chows due to their aloof nature and leonine appearance. And I am in love with Rat Terriers – sweet, smart, athletic but not hyper and all-around great dogs.
Do you tend to give your pets human names (i.e. Sophia, George) or pet names (i.e. Bandit, Shadow)?
Pet names, it seems!
If your dog/cat was a human, what do you think his/her profession would be?
Sasha – school marm
Lucky – crocodile hunter
Foggy – Olympic athlete turned game show host
Poe – King of a small country
Wren – personal trainer
Who is your favorite TV/movie animal (i.e. Snoopy, the Geico gecko, Lady or the Tramp)?
I don’t like the way a lot of animals, wild and domestic, are portrayed in movies. They tend to be anthropomorphized in unfortunate ways. I recently saw John Carter and really liked the “dog” in that movie.
Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, newborn son, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and volunteering with Italian Greyhound Rescue.