Veteran founder, Katie, grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York. Her grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles all fostered her love and respect for all animals, from the dairy cows who provided for the family to the wild bunnies needing a little help to survive. Her inspiration came from many!
At just 19 years old, Katie started her career at a commercial pet store. She quickly excelled with teaching friendly dogs basic obedience and fun tricks. But time and time again, she found herself having to refer more challenging dogs to independent trainers that could handle more than the basics. Katie's lifetime goal was to be able to help all dogs.
In 2016 Katie graduated class Valedictorian from Highland Canine School for Dog Trainers. This education was the key to helping dogs with behavioral problems. In school, she was awarded for her success in the service dog program and invited to complete an additional 3 month internship, further developing her experience. After completion, she attended Bergin University of Canine Studies and graduated with a Masters of Science in Canine Life Sciences, 2018.
Katie learns something new each day from each of the dogs she works with. She says they never cease to amaze her, from their incredible sense of smell tracking lost children to their natural ability to heal the human soul. As long as you are learning, you are living!
Megan Thrasher, Trainer
Megan has had a love of animals, especially dogs, ever since she can remember. She grew up on a cattle farm in VA, raising everything she could convince her family to let her get. She remembers childhoods full of summers spent in the backyard with her farm dogs. She built obstacle courses out of buckets and other barnyard equipment and spent hours trying to train them based on pure instinct, one of Cesar Milan’s books, and luck. They happened to be Border collies, and more than enthusiastic for some learning, which helped her confidence tremendously.
As the years progressed, she became a resource for friends and family for various questions about their dogs, which she loved answering or seeking the answers. The idea of becoming a dog trainer took root. The true turning point, though, was when she got her own dogs. Her interest in training quickly developed from something she did as a fun side hobby, to genuine interest and motivation to plan the next steps in accomplishing that.
Her motivation comes from the dogs. Partly, because she’s now owned by 2 cattle dogs who have made it a necessity; but mainly because she thinks it’s inspiring to have a part in teaching them to like to learn, gain confidence, & truly thrive.
Morgan Dale, Trainer
Morgan had a love for all animals at a very young age. Her absolute favorite movie growing up was 101 Dalmations. She loved watching all those little puppies running around and having adventures. Being around all those dogs felt like it could be a dream come true!
To make her dream a reality, she set out to gain experience and education in working with dogs. Morgan began her career as a kennel assistant in a prestigious veterinary/daycare facility and quickly moved her way up to veterinary technician due to her dedication, expertise, and incredible work ethic. She loved caring for the animals and making a positive difference in their lives.
Morgan has been working with dogs professionally for over 8 years. She has worked with many breeds in kennels, as a veterinary technician and now as a full time trainer! Her experience in invaluable to our Appalachian Team!
Working outside and with dogs every day is something that Morgan is very passionate about. Unfortunately she has not been able to have a dog of her own yet, but she looks forward to adopting one in the near future!