Our animal involvement began much as every other animal person--from our earliest childhood days, we were always bringing home strays, rescuing baby birds, saving toads and gophers and cats and dogs. We each had understanding parents who allowed us to turn our bedroom into menageries. As soon as we were old enough, this obsession became a determining factor in life decisions. We each worked during our scholastic careers in vet hospitals, stables, wolf havens, rehabilitation centers, aviaries, and kennels. In each of these ventures, we excelled, and found ourselves surrounded by knowledgeable people who taught us.
It was really the next step where we began to distinguish ourselves from other animal people. We began with a deep love of animals and their behavior, and never wavered from that first principle. We did not believe that a few years passion was enough to call ourselves experts. Nor did we believe that a vocational degree from Moorpark College was enough. We wanted to devote our lives to the pursuit of training animals, and to achieve a depth of excellence that is simply not possible without years of careful work. We each attended excellent educational institutions and pursued studies that would further our knowledge of animals and would provide a broad liberal arts foundation for learning ant thinking--Animal Science, Psychology, Physics, Philosophy, Vet Med, Canine Nutrition, Physiology, and Immunology. We began attending every seminar, lecture, or class we could find on behavior, training, psychology, psychobiology. and ethology. We found every expert we could and learned whatever they could teach. We trained numerous animals, and trained in just about every animal sport we could find.
Soon it became clear that our unique methods were creating something special-- our animals were consistently remarkable. Not just in their training, but their personalities, their ethos. They excelled not in one activity, but in just about every activity available.
We began receiving requests to teach classes, give seminars and lectures, write articles, etc. We were excelling in every facet of animal training. We had animals in every animal sport we could find, and everyplace we went our training was successful and people would quickly begin asking us to help them achieve similar results. We taught Search and Rescue, Obedience, Agility, behavior, etc. We developed unique methods for maximizing neural development in mammals which will soon be published.
One day, a friend asked us to bring our dogs and use them in a movie. We quickly discovered that training animals for the entertainment industry was our calling! We had a great time--teaching them countless tricks, coming up with creative techniques to get each shot, ensuring that the animals were happy and healthy and enthusiastic to work--it was a blast! Even after many straight days of exhaustion and frustration, we went home certain that this was what we wanted to do!
We found the people in the business who were reputed to be excellent, and spent hours talking to them, watching them, and learning the tricks of the trade. We soon realized that most of these people did not have a strong background in training, and that we knew far more about the actual animal training portion of the business. So we focused on learning the production side of the business. Here we discovered that our prior experience was also very useful. Having been a manager for many years at HP, I had learned how to effectively manage a team. How to motivate people and how to work with upper management to meet their needs. Soon, these skills were refined to work with production, and we began working in earnest...