Sidestreet Kennel is the culmination of a lifelong belief that a dog’s most important role is that of companion; a role which takes on many iterations and interpretations. For some, it is that of jogging partner, guardian, best friend, service animal, confidant, surrogate child; for others it is competition partner, breeding stock, fellow athlete. The dog fills a transient role in the life of its human, evolving and adapting as dogs do; ever present and attachable.
My involvement in dogs began secondary to an equestrian career. In the beginning, dogs were horse show staples, an accompaniment to the main attraction. I grew up surrounded by dogs of many breeds, both of our own and in various barns. I became enamored with the Australian Shepherd at a young age for its intelligence, loyalty, quick witty way, complication, and undying devotion. As I grew more involved with competing in obedience and agility, I became interested in dogs professionally as well as in the conformation venue. I started handling classes and showing dogs for others at any opportunity I could. My experience with horses provided a natural segue into the professional canine world, and after an apprenticeship I began teaching training classes and conducting private consultations. An undergraduate education from Mount Holyoke College with an emphasis on neuroscience and behavior provided the scientific background behind much of my training practice. I have a balanced approach to training with an emphasis on timing and an appropriate blend of both positive and more traditional training methods.
As I taught puppy class, I was oft struck with the frustration of trying to help clients who had puppies that were either completely unsuitable for their lifestyle, or had been bred by unscrupulous breeders or adopted through disreputable rescue. I came to the sad realization that what should have been a delightful experience of relational bliss was for these people becoming a miserable undertaking. This sparked my interest in breeding, and thus Sidestreet began.
At some point, I felt a need for a smaller breed in addition to the Aussies. Something smart, athletic, short coated, but less complicated; something a little more “pet friendly” for the average individual. So began my love affair with the Boston Terrier. Over time, my focus shifted from the Aussies and to the Bostons, and I am no longer breeding Australian Shepherds, though they will always have a place in my heart. In 2014 I began showing pugs and slowly have begun to have Pugs as my secondary breed. The Bostons and Pugs are a lovely compliment to each other. Fun loving, goofy, and most importantly…companion animals who have no purpose other than to bring us joy. What more could you want from a dog?
My education continued as I determined that becoming a veterinarian would open more doors to the work I strive to do; breed healthy, sound pets that provide years of blissful connection for their owners. I graduated from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in the Class of 2016 and am now officially a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. My post graduation plans include further exploration into the role of the small scale breeder to influence the culture of dog ownership and recognition of this as the key vector to developing a healthier, happier dog in addition to work in community medicine.
I believe strongly in the necessity of proper socialization and exposure to ensure a dog who is balanced and resilient to the world we live in. I aim to breed a dog that is sound of mind, structure, and movement. My emphasis is on breeding for companionship, for this is the first and most important job of the dog. The ribbons, titles, and awards come secondary. That said, I am fiercely competitive and enjoy handling and showing dogs as an art and sport in which that connection can be showcased.
My dogs and I enjoy life on our 15 acre farm in rural Granby, Massachusetts. A spring-fed pond, miles and miles of trails, and the company of horses, goats, and chickens provide many opportunities for exposure. Regular off leash hikes, swimming, and frequent trips to town to socialize are an integral part of life here at Sidestreet. I expect my dogs to fit in and adapt to whatever life may bring us, and this is a job they do well. I invite you to come visit, walk with us, meet the dogs, and learn more.