I was born and raised in California and grew up in a small town 30 miles from Sacramento. My family always had animals. We had dogs, cats, a lamb, canaries, parakeets, hamsters, and I think that’s it. We didn’t have them all at the same time, but I’ve always loved being around animals.
I went to Sacramento State, with the thought that I might major in some type of biology. That didn’t happen. I met my husband there I went to work as a stenographer for the State of California. My husband Neal, is a Mechanical Piping Detailer. We had our daughter 3 years after we were married. I then was fortunate to become a stay-at-home mom. Our son was born 2 years later.
When our children were old enough, I went back to college and became a pre-school teacher. I taught pre-school for 5 years. During this time, I enrolled in a sign language class, thinking that this would be really fun to teach the preschoolers. My instructor, educated us about the deaf, and also introduced us to the fascinating world of sign language interpreting! This was what I wanted to do! I took many sign language classes, went through a pilot program at San Jose State that was specifically focused on Educational Interpreting, and became a Certified Sign Language Interpreter for the Mount Diablo Unified School District. I spent the next 29 years as a Sign Language Interpreter. I interpreted for students from pre-school to 12th grade. In 2020, the District offered me the “Golden Handshake” and I retired. I still substitute for the District.
We had a few dogs through the years, but we got our first Bulldog in 2010. Her name was Sweet Bailey’s Irish Creame. She was the color of Bailey’s Irish Cream. We needed training. In 2013, we signed up for an obedience class with Mount Diablo Dog Training Club, and we immediately saw an improvement. I was the one that needed the training! We began to compete in the obedience ring. In 2013 we also became members of MDDTC. I became the secretary of the Club and continued until 2020.
I left the position of Secretary so that I could devote more time to a therapy dog organization named LAPS – Loving Animals Providing Smiles. This organization is located in Napa. I am currently a Board member for this organization. We have been members since 2015 when Bailey became certified. Bailey did regular visits to Memory Care facilities, Assisted Living facilities, and the Maritime Academy. Sadly, Bailey crossed the rainbow bridge in 2018.
Benson (Sir Benson Wiggle Bottoms) who we got in 2016, is also a certified Therapy Dog. He does regular visits to Memory Care, Assisted Living, the Maritime Academy, and he also participates in the CAPERS program at the Cordelia library, where children read to him. Benson has also made appearances at public events such as parades and walkathons. He loves people and the crowds! Our newest addition to our family is Little Princess Bloomie. We got Bloomie in 2018. She is currently in training to also become a Therapy Dog. We continue to take classes. Benson is working on Open, and Princess Bloomie is working on Beginner Novice.
We have been members in good standing with the Bulldog Club of Northern California since 2010. Neal and I organize and run the Run Throughs for the MDDTC. We have been doing this since 2014. We also have been ring stewards at AKC Trials. I have been an assistant trainer for the MDDTC Beginner Obedience classes from 2018-2020.