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Teacher By Day, Dog Trainer By Night

Camella Stpierre, Staff

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      Ms. Andrews is a teacher at Diegueno Middle School. She has four dogs, one is a corgi named Prince, one is a miniature poodle named Ivy,  another is a border collie called Sadie, and last but not least a rescued Chihuahua mix named Cha-Cha! She also has two adorable cats that she rescued, ones name is Mittens and the other is Kiba, named after an anime character ! Lastly, she has four chickens which only 1 of 4 has a name, Clyde. (Even though Clyde is a girl.) When I asked Ms. Andrews what made her want to train dogs, this is what she said; “ I actually adopted a middle aged golden retriever  from Rancho Coastal Humane Society and I decided when I got there, she was pretty undersocialized and under educated so I decided that I should take her through some training and really do a good job with this dog and help her be a great dog. So, I took her to a local training class and ended up falling in love with the whole process and with the results that you can you get when you actually train a dog!” She was then offered a mentor volunteer position with that trainer, which she took and now, she has trained dogs for a whole 17 years!

       After realizing that she loved to train dogs, she had participated in many events and has done lots of volunteer work! Here are a few of the MANY volunteering events that she has and still is, participating in; “ Prince is a certified therapy dog so he does therapy visits at retirement homes, at the library where I’m a supervisor, and where the children and the kids read. Sometimes the kids read about adorable cats and dogs which they actually read to the dogs! I do that twice a month, I have also been to many different pet expo’s and set up volunteer booths! I specifically go to one every year in Irvine, A really huge one that I run a booth for is Corgi Rescue. I foster those dogs for them, and have rescued several of them every year! She has also helped foster dogs in A local dog rescue called Canine Connection Rescue! One last event that she had repeatedly gone to, is the semi weekly events in Petsmart, which she still attends.

        Miss Andrews is a certified dog trainer and can train almost any breed of dog! She is in a large association called the association of professional dog trainers and had to get quite a bit of education and work to be able to train dogs. Miss Andrews had to work with a mentor for at least 250 hours, which she did, she also did three years of volunteering with a certified trainer, to finally earn certificate. What she loves so much about this association is that it uses positive reinforcement to train their dogs. She has worked with so many different breeds which of the many have been very difficult to work with, but she still was determined to help them.

        This summer she had worked with her first diabetes detection dog ever which was very meaningful to her. The dog was purchased for $15,000 and was A black lab. Even though this dog was supposed to be a purebred she believes that the dog was a mix. The reason why the family but this dog was for it to work with their adorable 5 year old daughter that has type one diabetes. The problem was that the dog had behaviors that were causing problems and making it difficult for her to work with the little girl so they called miss Andrews in. She did three separate visits, in three separate places, to retrain and realign the dog to make her a really good working dog. They worked in environments that the little girl would need the dog to behave nicely in. The reason why this was so meaningful to miss Andrews was because she was helping a dog that could help save the little girl’s life. Ever since, the little girl’s mom has been emailing Miss Andrews to give her feedback about how their dog is so much better and how it is helping the little girl so much!

        It is a lot of work for Miss Andrews to attend so many conferences, renew her certificate every 3 years which means having to do another 150 hours of education every time she needs to renew her certificate, and renewing her membership every year, while also teaching in school for most of the day!  But she loves Her position as a teacher, she loves her students and she loves her job as a professional dog trainer! We are so lucky to have miss Andrews at Diegueno Middle School!

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Teacher By Day, Dog Trainer By Night