top of page

skdt blog

The Animals of SideKick Dog Training

It's been a really busy couple of months at my house and that's because my husband and I brought home a new addition to the family at the end of October! Her name is June and we love her to bits and pieces already! We had been talking about getting a second dog for SO long and Ruby can be a little particular; we were dedicated to finding someone who would be a good fit for Ruby, us, and our lifestyle. That led us to another herding breed doggo and the Heart of a Border Collie Rescue a friend recommended to me! In the span of a week and a half, we applied, chatted with June's foster, made plans to meet June, introduced her to Ruby, and brought her home - it was a whirlwind in the best way!

Bringing June home had me realizing, however, that we've never actually introduced any of the animals of SideKick Dog Training properly! So, this month's blog post provides you with an official introduction to the seven animals of SideKick Dog Training: Jenn's two dogs and Leann's two dogs and three cats!


This is Ruby (aka Toot, Rubah Tuba, Ru-bean, etc.)! She's a six-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix, who we (myself and my husband, Cody), adopted when she was just 10 weeks old! Ruby is a sweet and sensitive gal with some "fun" quirks, so she has taught us lots about being pet pawrents!

Ruby loves any kind of carbs (bread, tortillas, chips, pretzels, etc.); she loves playing frisbee and spending time in the yard (or really anything that involves jumping or running); and she's a fan of nesting in her blankets to create the best possible bed for napping!

Ruby loves a lot of things, but she doesn't like thunderstorms or other loud noises that startle; she's not a fan of nail clipping or unfamiliar handling; and she can be leery of strangers or folks she hasn't seen in a while!


This is June (aka June Bug, Juniper, Juney-looney, JuJu bean, etc.)! She is the newest addition to the SideKick Dog Training team! We drove all the way to Minnesota to meet this gal and fell in love, bringing her home to join the family on October 31st! We thought she was a Border Collie mix, but just found out that she's actually a German Shepherd mix (along with English Springer Spaniel, Husky, and Rottweiler)!

In the month and a half that we've had her in our home, we've learned that June LOVES chewing (doesn't matter if it's the living room pillows or a Benebone); she seems to love ALL food - she has yet to turn her nose up at anything she's been offered! And she loves cuddling (when she's not trying to chew on her humans)!

We've been focused on getting her settled in and slowly getting her out into the world comfortably; with that said, we haven't found much that June doesn't like! She's pretty well-adjusted, seems excited about all dogs and people, is interested in training and working with her humans, and appears unfazed by novel things (sounds, sights, places, etc.)!


This is Skiff (aka Squish, Squishy Bear, Skiffers, etc.)! He's a nearly six-year-old Golden Retriever, and a small guy at only 50 pounds! Leann and her husband, Ben, fostered Skiff when he was surrendered to HAWS at 10 months old, and the rest was history after only 24-hours with him. Even though Skiff's original family thought he was too high energy for them, Skiff has always been a laid-back, peaceful, and gentle dog. He can hike for hours, but then be sleepy and content for the rest of the day, and half the next!

Skiff's main loves in this life are food (any and all), hunting small critters and birds, being an incredible foster kitten-raiser, and training with Leann. The joke is that as much of a "momma's boy" as Skiff is, he would leave Leann in a heartbeat if someone bribed him away with a hamburger!

Skiff is the stoic, loyal, friendly and carefree pup of the household, and makes friends easily with all Leann's Board and Train client dogs. He loves partaking in those training sessions too, and helps to model appropriate social skills, especially for puppies. He is told daily that he's the best dog ever!


This is Mergie (aka Mergalicious, Mergs, Mergatron, Mergasaurus Rex, etc.)! She is a four-year-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and Leann and Ben's (mostly Ben's) hunting companion. For how laid back and calm Skiff is, Mergie is the complete opposite. She is the reckless, athletic, high-octane dog of the house, and her intelligence and drive are both outstanding.

Mergie's passions in life are hunting, playing disc with Leann and Ben, and doing any training - especially if the task is physical. Some of her favorite cues are spinning as fast as she can in a circle while barking, play bowing, racing backwards, and most recently, orbiting around Leann's body. She can catch absolutely anything tossed or chucked at her, and she will only stop fetching when she is physically at the point of exhaustion. Oh, and how could we forget to mention - food is also a favorite for her, too!

CHOWDER, TOBY & HOOT (left, middle, right)

The three cats in Leann's and Ben's household are Chowder (male, long-haired cat, 5 years old), Toby (male, orange tabby, ~8 years old), and Hoot (female, black shorthair, 4 years old). All of the cats are completely dog savvy, and impeccably tolerate the Board and Train dogs and puppies that rotate through their home! All of the cats are just as food motivated as Leann's dogs, so the cats regularly "join in" training sessions with any and all dogs! They scavenge any dropped treats they can, and have stolen treats directly from dogs before, too!

The cats' favorite activities include stealing human food whenever possible, resting on their numerous cat trees and shelves around the house, watching birds outside at the bird feeder, and playing with their interactive enrichment toys with Leann and Ben. But, right up there in importance with food is laying next to the warm, wood-burning stove. All three cats flock to the carpet next to the wood burner, and will have a grooming and napping party as they all curl up together.

We hope you enjoyed learning a little about the animals in our houses - we sure enjoyed taking the pictures, writing up each of their bios (felt like we were putting together Tinder profiles - ha!), and sharing them with you!

BLOOPERS (Or just more photos because they're all so freaking adorable!)

Enjoy! (We certainly do!)

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page