Blog, Non-fiction

Gone to The Dogs

Recently I’ve decided to follow my greatest passion when to comes to my career, working with animals. I’m also going full steam ahead with attempting to self-publish my short story/poetry book, because nothing quite says poverty like following your dreams.

That’s right, it’s me, your friendly neighborhood writer dog walker.

I have a degree in criminal justice, a forensic practice certificate, and a victimology certificate. You may be wondering, why work with animals? If you listen close enough you can hear my mother’s heart break in disappointment.

This is a lie, I did it for the dry humour. Truth is my mother is actually quite supportive in what I do. Caring for animals, in whatever capacity, is similar to my drive to study crime. I want to help those who can’t speak for themselves, or don’t have the resources to do so. This includes groups that people consider vulnerable; children, disabled, elderly, and you guessed it, animals.

I’ve always loved animals as a kid. My first pet was Nibbles, a teddy bear hamster. I have a rabbit (Cinnamon Bun, currently 11 years old), a hedgehog (Sgt. Pepper Quill, currently 3 years old), both are cool as hell badasses that don’t take no shit.


I regret to say my family didn’t have a dog while I was growing up, but I still had a dog – plus a second family and a fridge to raid. I met Avery in drama class in grade nine, and she’s pretty cool – we’re still friends, but this is about another sweet girl (sorry Avery). My dog was Wiggles (Avery’s dog) because I’m selfish and greedy like that.

At a slumber party she tried to hump me, and I politely declined, then we became friends. I’m still talking about Wiggles here, not my lifelong human friend.

I used to work as a pharmacy assistant and one day we got a prescription for a dog, so I doodled a little dog on the bag. I did this often until one day I thought, “wtf am I doing with my life?” and decided to look into a career change. I chose happiness and personal growth. I decided to take my love for all the animals in my life and take care of the fur babies of others. I do this for every animal I’ve ever loved that has made my life a little less lonely. When it comes to dogs I try my best to make Wiggles happy through my work.

I was hired as a Pet Care Specialist at Above and Beyond Pet Care in Ottawa. It’s one of the best companies I’ve ever worked for and is led by a fantastic owner. I knew I was in the right profession when I met with my very first A&B Pet Care puppy, Riley.

Be still, my beating heart.

If I could describe Riley in one word, it’d be Riley, because she is that unique. As my first puppy with the company I wanted to make a good first impression. She is a bit of a weirdo, a little trouble maker sometimes, absolutely loves trying to eat everything, and quite hyper. One day she had a weird looking stick in her mouth, turns out it was a little animal leg. She has brought me a bird’s wing and a dead rat. I mean she doesn’t let me have it, she just makes sure I see it before she tries to eat it. To this day she hasn’t brought me a human foot or anything, so there’s that.

Above all else, and much like Wiggles, she’s such an awesome puppy who is deeply loved by her family, and you can tell just by looking at her. That’s when I realized that animals are family, and the furry babies that I care for will baffle and annoy me sometimes, but I’ll never stop caring for them. I feel honoured that I can watch them grow up safe and happy. It’s one of the best feelings in the world.
I will continue to learn more about animals, keeping up on my pet first aid, pet behaviour, and information about dog breeds. Don’t tell my teenage self this, but I find fulfillment in a career that allows me to continuously learn. Animal care is that career.

Honestly, dogs are a lot easier to understand than serial killers.


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