Rachel joined our staff in 2021. Effervescent, positive, engaged and intuitively connected to dogs, she brings years of experience and a learning mindset to our talented team of professionals. You will recognize her by that ready grin at the gate in the morning!
"I’ve been a dog trainer for 14 years and never cease to be mystified by the infinite behavior, emotions and language of dogs! My more human related pursuits involved earning a B.F.A. from Boston University and an M.Ed. from Emerson College. All those years ago, I thought my chosen path was to educate the wild, wonky and wonderful human teenagers of the world within the public school system. However, I frequently found myself reminiscing about my own childhood and teenage years spent in a household where the number of dogs and cats ALWAYS outnumbered the six humans who loved them. So, after a stint in the two-legged educational system, I changed course. I plowed head first into the world of dogs (not entirely unlike the way many dogs approach their own life changes)!
I worked as the operations manager for a dog training, daycare and boarding facility in NH for several years and then became an independent trainer for a renowned Boston based dog training company. During those 5 years, I honed my craft working one-on-one with people and dogs in their home environments and neighborhoods. I also discovered that teaching training classes was not unlike and in fact highly complimentary of, my former expertise in orchestrating a classroom full of young humans. Soon, I couldn’t help but refine, reconstruct and coin my own canine pedagogy. I eventually founded my own boarding and training business in 2015 that operated out of my spacious home as well as the securely fenced-in 3 acres of my land. Life was full of bliss, benevolence and bonding…until the pandemic hit.
As it did for so many, Covid offered an opportunity for change. I pivoted and sold the business, trading the bustle of Boston city life for the tranquility and community that Western Massachusetts offers. When The Grinning Dog and I found each other, I enthusiastically embraced my new human family of exquisitely experienced, intelligent and intuitive colleagues! I’m extremely grateful to be traveling on my next educational and “canine calling” path along side all of the amazing dogs and their loving humans who embody the very reason why we *smile* everyday. I humbly and wholeheartedly continue to stand at the vast intersection of human/canine communication, relationships, learning and growth … enjoying every moment of being outnumbered."
What Our Clients Are Saying
"Alison and her staff provided exceptional care to not only my dog but also to me..." A. B.
"The best. Alison and her staff are terrific. My dog, Rem, hadn't spent any time boarded before we got here and he loved it there. I don't know how the dogs are all so calm, but they are. I'm lucky this is near by me. " Betsy N.
"We miss him, but we never worry about him when he's there. Wonderfully competent crew. Beautiful surroundings." Bruce K.