Don spent a combined total of 32 years in Alaska before moving to Florida (it’s just around the corner) to be closer to family. Part of his family has been in the Sarasota area for 4 generations and he is super excited to be close to them now. As far as dogs go, Don has been around them since he was a baby and cannot remember a time without a dog in his life. He has been told over and over that he has a special connection with dogs and bonds with them quickly. His first dog was Lolly, a Brittany spaniel, that became his best friend and helped teach Don to walk. Don has never been without a 4-legged companion in his life. He loves big dogs, small dogs, abused dogs and of course the just goofy happy out of control dogs too. It is without a doubt his passion!
While Don had experienced some successes in the corporate world in a variety of fields ranging from logistics to real estate to retail, he proudly states that he has never had a deeper level of job satisfaction than he does today. “To see a problematic dog display confidence when returned to their amazed owners is maybe the greatest gift I can receive! The emotion is repeatedly, clearly displayed on the faces of owners and their gratitude for these big transformations confirms my passion and is the reason I do what I do”!
Don’s past experience as an instructor combined with years in management enable him to communicate quickly and effectively to dog owners so that this new language is clear and the process seamless. “It is really a process of teaching a dog a new language and then teaching the dog’s owners that same language that enables our long term success”
He has a couple of great sidekicks, Hendrix, who he rescued from a hoarder in Manatee County (One of the Napier Dogs) and Ellie. Hendrix is a lab/pit mix and has permanent scarring on his ears from months of neglected fly bites but is living large in The Dog Wizard world today and aides Don with many of his dog socialization projects. Ellie is mostly just a mouthy teenager but has a great heart and LOVES to be in structured commands. She loves to work and snuggle!