All my life I have been fascinated by animals. I think my true passion, however, was sparked at Lehigh University where I took a course in animal behavior with Dr. Murray Itzkowitz. Although I majored in biology, the courses I always found to be the most interesting were those regarding animals, behavior, and psychology. Even my great dislike of fish (I know it’s weird, but there you have it) could not deter me from taking an animal behavior lab where we studied fish patterns and mating behavior. During my senior year, I spent my first semester abroad in Australia where I studied rainforest populations and communities and completed a study on river turtles. This was an amazing experience! When I returned, I was determined to become a veterinarian and shadowed several vets in my local area. I realized, however, that I had no passion for medicine. Although I liked the animals, I just didn’t have the interest in the various medications and I mistakenly thought that perhaps it was just because cats and dogs were too boring for me. I really wanted to be a wildlife veterinarian.
Unfortunately, I’m always very practical and with my mediocre grades (physics was not my thing) and my student loans accumulating interest, I determined that I needed to find a job – and one that paid pretty well. Ten years later (how the time flies), I find myself a happily married home-owner with a full-time desk job. Then Cooper came into our lives. As it turns out, dogs are not as boring as I thought – Cooper at least has an extensive repertoire of behavior. Although my husband and I already had two wonderful cats (Lucy and Socks), getting a puppy absolutely re-ignited my passion for animal behavior and I have decided I can no longer ignore my roots and my love of animals. I am working towards going back to school for my PhD in animal behavior where I hope to be able to study animal behavior, conservation and population genetics. This blog, however, is a tribute to Cooper who has re-inspired me to follow my dreams. I plan to read as much as possible on the subject of dog training and animal behavior and hope to pass the wisdom I acquire on to others along the way.