Tyler Was born and raised in Western Massachusetts, where most of his family still resides. His love for dogs and really all animals’ stems back to his first memories. Over his life he has had a range of pets, dogs, cats, hamsters, snakes, guinea pigs, fish, and gerbils. His connection with dogs however, was always the strongest and outweighed any relationships he had with people. Although he is young, his inspiration to follow what he loves comes from a few very meaningful life experiences. Having a father diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis for the last 7 years, the loss of his last two dogs, and a quote from his father pushed him to quit his job and follow his passion. “Health is everything, money means nothing, and life is short” -Robert Pagnoni
Tyler’s history with dogs started on the first day he was brought home and placed in his crib, the family dog Pepper laid herself down under it and kept a watchful eye on him every single night. Tyler being the only child quickly bonded with Pepper and adopted her as his sister. They spent 13 amazing years together before Pepper moved on to a better place with Tyler holding her as she went.
Shortly after the loss of Pepper the family adopted a Beagle/Lab mix Coco. Tyler attended every puppy class with Coco and continued her training in the backyard after she graduated. He helped her bring out her beagle instincts and trained her to use her nose to find all sorts of hidden things. The two were inseparable!
Six years passed and the family realized they needed a second dog in their life. His aunt working at the local animal shelter as a Animal Control Officer brought a litter of four Doberman/Mastiff pups to the house for the family to foster. Two weeks later they adopted out the smallest of the litter to Patty Richardson and took the largest named Brutus for themselves. Brutus, Coco, and Tyler quickly became a tight knit pack.
Unfortunately in April of 2013 Brutus woke up extremely ill, while preparing to bring him to the vet, Brutus at the age of four gave his last breath while resting his head in Tyler’s arms. Brutus had a tumor that had gone un-noticed and ruptured. Heart broken, Tyler focused all of his attention to Coco and their bond grew even stronger. In December 2013 Tyler noticed Coco wasn’t her normal self. She was brought in for blood work and diagnosed with bone marrow cancer, in January 2014 her blood count was at 8%, the vets called her the super dog. Tyler spent the last 12 hours of Coco’s life laying by her side and not leaving her for anything. The family finally decided to bring her to the vet and let her return to her brother Brutus. She went peacefully while resting her head in Tyler’s arms.
A very lonely and heart wrenching month had passed when the family decided they needed another dog to channel their love to. Gracie was adopted, a 3 year feral dog from Alabama who spent the first 3 months in a single room of the house. She now explores happily throughout the whole house although she still finds the backyard to be a challenge.
Unfortunately this wasn’t enough for Tyler. He felt he needed to honor his lost pups and do something to change the life of any and all dogs in need. He remembered the bond, excitement, and love that training Coco and Brutus had brought him and wanted to make that his entire life. He knew that Corey Richardson had been following his passion for dogs for the last two years and decided to contact him.
Tyler contacted Corey Richardson a family friend and trainer at the Charlotte Dog Wizard and started asking questions. Two weeks later he was packing his bags and moving his entire life down to Charlotte, NC to start The Dog Wizard Academy, where he instantly felt a gratification in life that he had never experienced before.
“Being able to help dogs, and their families live a happy, free, and social lifestyle is the best and only way I can see myself making a difference in the world.”
His whole life he was surrounded by many dogs and was taught how to act and react to specific behaviors of dogs. He grew up in a small neighborhood with 10-12 kids to each class up until middle school. At first Luke was quiet and shy, but after middle school he started to become a responsible man. At the ages 16 & 18, he went to El Progresso, Dominican Republic to build a school/church for the children with his missionary team. Those trips changed Luke’s life and made him appreciate what he had and to never take an opportunity for granted. He believes that life is too short to not be smiling 90% of the time or at least make someone you meet smile. The rest of his life has been shaped by these experiences and really lives by the old cliché , “life is short, and I am going to be happy”.
Dogs have always been most important to Luke, but he never dreamed you could build a career out of it. When asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” , dogs seemed like what he spent his free time with, so he would always answer with something like “accounting”. So for one semester he went to college while working at a fast food restaurant and towing company. Completely unsatisfied with his career choice, he decided to make a drastic change and join the United States Navy just like his father and grandfathers before him. He carried his military police service to the real world and was a town special police officer. All the while his strong desire to work with dogs kept nagging and nagging at him and would NOT go away. After returning from the Navy Luke learned his best friend Tyler was getting ready to attend The Dog Wizard to start his dog training career. WHAT?!?! This is what Luke had been searching for his whole life! After contacting The Dog Wizard, he was packed and on his way to NC to start training in a blink of an eye. They both headed south to pursue the greatest adventure towards a lifetime of happiness and changing people’s/dog’s lives.
Ever since that day Luke has been working diligently trying to help dogs live happier lives. The only regret he has is not doing this sooner. The Dog Wizard is helping change the way people and dogs exist on this world. They were created to co-exist peacefully and The Dog Wizard has that solution. Luke is one happy dude now!!