I’m probably a lot like you. My home, my family and my heart would never be complete without an animal in my life.
My story started in 1998 with a chance encounter with a pet parent facing the death of her beloved pet. I remember the day like it was yesterday. A woman. Her dying dog. And no support.
It was the beginning of a vision of how to best meet the needs of pet parents in their desire to mourn, memorialize and pay tribute to their beloved pets when they die. When Mico died, I knew I wanted to devote my heart and my life’s passion to helping other grieving pet parents when their precious pets die.
It’s been a journey. I started the nation’s first stand-alone pet funeral home, Pet Angel Memorial Center. I’ve been blessed with so much support! However when Kates-Boylston’s Pet Loss Insider deemed her the “most well known pet funeral director” and a true “pet loss pioneer” my heart was so full.
I realized quickly there was such a need in the space of pet loss and grief resources and education. Two Hearts Pet Loss Center was founded in 2009 to be just that organization to guide people who wished to do the same in providing meaningful pet death care services in their communities. I knew I needed to learn from the best, Dr. Alan Wolfelt with the Center for Loss in Colorado. To tell you I was honored when in 2009 I received the first Death and Grief Studies Certification specializing in Pet Loss Companioning from Dr. Wolfelt. Beyond honored!
After that, there was no stopping the fire in my belly to be a companion for veterinarians, animal nurses, loving pet parents and other pet care professionals. My first book, a true labor of love, Pet Parents: A Journey Through Unconditional Love and Grief came out in 2011, with my next two books dedicated to children, Forever Friend, hitting the market in 2022.
I believe in education and am a consummate learner. I am Certified in Thanatology and is a Certified Pet Loss Professional. I read anything and everything I can get my hands on to help me in this space I proudly reside.
My journey has been unbelievable. Blessed to be sought out as a speaker has taken me around the world, sharing with other pet lovers in what we can do to walk with those experiencing pet loss. Blogging, sitting on podcasts, creating more resources and learning opportunities rock my daily task list.
Mico’s death truly breathed life in my “why.”
My life is full. From the work I do with pet lovers I love spreading my wings to find those other organizations doing this loving work too. I am proud to be the founder and past co-chair of the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance and past president of the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care, where I currently serve as Executing Director. I love where I grew up in Western Kansas where I graduated from Fort Hays State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. I sit on the Board of Trustees for Fort Hays State University, and about lost my mind when I was chosen as a recipient of the 2018 Alumni Achievement Award, the college’s highest recognition for graduates.
My amazing family and I live in Dallas, TX. My house is full with my incredibly supportive hubby, Chris, and the fur-kids Albert, Rudy and Beulah.
Join me here for all of this:
- A direct link to our Facebook page where you can join us for resources and posts I know you’ll relate to as a pet lover.
- Share your story. Journaling is such a huge part of the mourning work we need to do to mend our broken hearts. Tell me all about that love on our Memorial Wall
- Are you looking for an amazing speaker and educator to address your clinic, or possibly be a guest at a memorial service for pet lovers? Oh my! I”m your girl! You know what I hear? My energy and my ability to take this difficult subject and cry together, and then share in a laugh that only pet lovers will understand.
- As a pet lover and pet care professional, having resources for grieving pet parents is so necessary to help them navigate the darkness of their grief journey. You can see all we have right here (Pet Loss Grief and Companioning)
- For anyone looking to further their skills as a companion for grieving pet parents, have you seen all of my on-demand learning modules? The perfect learning: courses to be taken at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home. For veterinarians and veterinarian technicians looking for RACE approved as well as wonderful learning opportunities, these are PERFECT for your journey to being the best YOU you can be when it comes to walking with a grieving pet lover!