Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Wilmi and I am what they call a junior behaviorist at Dogtown. It’s a BIG title which I carry with GREAT pride! But let me back up for a moment. My life wasnt always filled with wagging tails and wet noses. When I look back on it now, my life was actually pretty dull before Dogtown. After school I studied accounting (what was I thinking) and I then landed myself a tiny roll in a tiny company where I spent a few years learning as much as I could about numbers and figures and all things accounting. I can’t say that I was unhappy, but I definitely did not feel like that was my life calling!
So long story short (too late, right?)…. I found myself at Dogtown in Midrand in 2012 to do some volunteering. I must say that was not something I had ever done or ever thought I would actually enjoy, but I did and it was life changing!I was officially employed by Dogtown in January 2015 as a caregiver and thinking back on it, that is where it all kind of fell into place for me. I started off as a caregiver and just tried to learn as much as I possibly could. Some of you might recognize me from Best Friends Pet Lodge. For a while I managed the lodge which was pretty amazing but my only objection there was that I really only worked with behavior issues / Dogtown dogs on a very limited basis, which was not really ideal as that is where my big passion lies. So after a few discussions and some pIanning sessions I was moved from the lodge into a more hands-on trainer role at Dogtown where I get to physically help our dogs overcome their issues.
I have been given amazing learning opportunities at Dogtown which is why I was able to take on this new role I was given, Jnr Behaviorist or as I like to call it, Mr G’s right hand (wo)man. My day pretty much consists of doing assessments on our dogs and helping our caregivers to give the dogs what they need to overcome their issues. I also spend a lot of time shadowing our Head Behaviorist, Gordon, and just absorbing as much of his knowledge as I possibly can.
I recently passed my IMDT assessment with merit, this is a huge achievement and I am incredibly proud to have an international accreditation!
I am very grateful that I am in a position where I get to do what I love and what I am passionate about and at the same time, help our dogs go from misunderstood to good! Life is pretty great all round, even if I have to say so myself.