Smiling older woman holding small red Havanese

I’m on a lifelong journey with dogs. I’ve been owned by a Brittany spaniel, an Irish setter, a beagle, an English setter, two dachshunds, three Havanese, and five golden retrievers. That’s fourteen dogs and counting, not to mention several black labs and a gorgeous standard poodle who left their (figurative) marks on my life.

As a Certified Family Dog Mediator® (C-FDM), I have specialized training enabling me to understand what makes our dogs do what they do.

And the answer is never the same.

Our dogs are individuals whose learning, environment, genetics, and inner world make them unlike any other dog. As a Family Dog Mediator®, I’m versed in knowing each component of Learning, Environment, Genetics, and Self (“L.E.G.S.®) and how these factors contribute to our pups’ unique behavior.

Looking at the whole dog, rather than going in with a cookie-cutter approach, ensures we understand the “why” behind behaviors. Often, that knowledge is the key to better and longer-lasting results. This comprehensive approach provides more efficient and effective behavior management rooted in science.

In addition to my decades (upon decades ;) experience with dogs, I am a nationally recognized Coca-Cola Scholars Distinguished Educator. I bring over twenty-five years of experience in teaching high school English, where I honed my skills in learning theory, student engagement, and adult education. This background translates seamlessly into my work with dogs and their families, helping pet owners understand and nurture their pups’ behavior.

Phoebe Badger Izzo

I’m the dignified one in this whole operation. I’ve often been called “an old soul,” and I can often be seen staring wisely into the distance, thinking deep thoughts. That’s what I lead the humans to believe, anyway. Usually when I look like that though, I’m just concentrating really hard on making one of them get up and get me food.

I’m nine years old, and I’m happiest on an adventure – I can walk miles in the woods, but my favorite place is the beach. It puts a smile on my face that lasts for hours.

My parents take me everywhere, because I’m so impressively behaved (I’m humble, too), and my only bad habit is barking at golden retrievers. No other dogs, just golden retrievers. My humans think it’s because I miss my big brother Romeo, and they’re right.

I’m a public figure, and I’ll work for treats: bully sticks or turkey jerky are my only forms of accepted payment. If you don’t have a treat on you, it’s highly unlikely I’ll work. I’m a pay for play kind of girl.

Scout Izzo

I’m the one who keeps these people on their toes. Life is an exploration, and I intend to live it well.

While I do enjoy hiking with my family, blah, blah, blah (I love them, but really, they can be so predictable), I prefer climbing. Forget to push in a dining room chair, or leave your paper on the built-ins near the window seat, and I’ll be up on the table or the shelves tossing things to the floor so Phoebe and I can both inspect them closely. I’ve been suspected of having mountain goat DNA in my ancestral lines.

My most favorite activity is racing around my yard at breakneck speed and flying down the walkway. I get pretty good hang time.

Weird fact about me: I have a ridiculously long tongue.