Summer grew up with dogs. During her childhood in rural California, her family had Australian Shepherds, toy Poodles, and Golden Retrievers running around the property.
She moved to Washington State to attend the Evergreen State College, where she earned a BA in Fine Arts. After college she worked for years as a chef, until her interest in deaf dogs was kindled by Malcolm, a very dog-reactive pit bull mix. Owning Malcolm allowed Summer to appreciate the unique challenges of working with reactive and deaf dogs.
After Malcolm passed away, Summer enrolled in a Puppy Perfectors class with her new dog Jeff, a deaf pit bull mix puppy who welcomed any and all training Summer threw his way.
Jeff and Summer attended every class they could, learning activities like Agility, Nose Work, and Rally. They eventually figured out that Agility wasn’t Jeff’s true calling and focused their efforts on the more controlled sports of Rally-Obedience and K9 Nose Work. They just finished up their Rally-Novice title and Nose Work 1 title, and continue to train for future titles. Summer and Jeff work hard to provide a positive counterpoint to pit bull and deaf dog stereotypes.
In 2016, Summer agreed to foster another deaf pit bull mix puppy, Jawslin, who had quite a different personality than Jeff. Energetic and engaging, Jawslin ended up staying with Summer and continues to provide new opportunities for both learning and patience.
Puppy Perfectors founder Nancy Hansen saw promise in Summer; she hired her as a trainer in 2015 and eventually as a substitute instructor later in the year. In 2017, Summer bought the business and became the new owner of The Puppy Perfectors.
Summer has completed the Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid course and is currently working on her CCPTD-KA certification. She has also completed the Aggression in Dogs workshop with Trisha McMillan Loer and Michael Shikashio. A lifelong student, Summer continues to expand her knowledge base through workshops, classes, and competition.