We could sniff each other’s butts, but humans would argue their more civilized then that (I might argue differently) so we can skip that embarrassing step and go right into the introductions!
My name is Erica and I’ve trained, shown and bred dogs for over 2o years. I got my passion and start from my mother who showed dogs even as I was a small child; I grew up with dogs alongside the show ring and it was something that got under my skin and would define me later in life.
My first dog was a Golden Retriever named Cassie and I got her at the age of 13. I immediately launched into the dog world myself working with her. I also joined 4-H at that time which introduced a new world of different dog sports to me and I dove in head first into all of it.
I earned an AKC and CKC CDX on my gal Cassie, was the first junior in the US to get a title in Agility (in the new youth program), and earned many Best Junior Handler titles with her by my side. I went on to have two other Goldens in my life (not counting my mom’s goofy male Cazz who I loved like a furry brother) and continued working, showing and even breeding one of my females. Every weekend I could be found at a show or fun match and during the week I attended training classes and worked with my dogs. I couldn’t have asked for anything more!
As I got older I drifted a bit away from the heavy show and training schedule. College, marriage and kids will do that to you! I never fully exited and instead turned my time to running a 4-H club and passing my knowledge onto the next generation. I still did fun matches and training; including teaching our French Bulldog agility – a spot which she took to immediately and beat out many dogs much to the crowd’s surprise and delight.
A divorce and two kids later had me wondering what the future would hold for me and my insane love of dogs. I didn’t have to worry because my current husband loved (and still loves) dogs as much as I do and much to my surprise is absolutely amazing with them. In him my dream had come true; a true partner in our relationship and dog showing! We spend almost every weekend at shows and would be support for one another. We made it a family event and the kid’s would show in junior showmanship as well.
Here we are now, about to celebrate our three year anniversary and out love for dogs is just as strong as ever. Our household is anything but dull. We have three children, 11, 8 and 16 months with another one on the way. I’m work full-time and I’m finishing up my PhD. Folks have said I’m crazy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. You would think with three children (soon to be four) that you wouldn’t add a puppy to the mix but that’s exactly what we did! This blog is about passion, love and a life that never seems to stop moving. If you’re interested in hearing the unedited truth about dog ownership this is the place for you! I plan to give an intimate look at this aspect of our family while giving advice, hoping that you can learn from the paths I’ve taken.
One loose end to tie up: Why “BarkCulture”? Oh… I forgot to mention. My PhD is in anthropology and I always have an interest in the connections that people have with their animals, especially dogs. While not the focus of my past research don’t be surprised to see some cultural musings slip in now and again!
Play hard, take time to sniff everything, and sleep like there’s no more alarms in the world!