A Dog’s Life: 20 Years, 24 Dogs, and Me.
It all began in 1996 when I decided to raise my first Seeing Eye puppy. After that, I never looked back. He was a gorgeous and goofy Labrador Retriever named Justin. He stole my heart from the minute he arrived. Raising Justin was such a rewarding experience, I continued to raise more puppies for The Seeing Eye. Twenty-four to be exact.
Five years after Justin, I was offered a full time job at The Seeing Eye as an Area Coordinator in Puppy Development—a liaison between The Seeing Eye and its volunteer puppy raising families. For the next 15 years, I supported and guided thousands of families who were fostering Seeing Eye puppies from 7 weeks through 15 months of age. Each puppy I placed had his or her own distinctive personality. It was my charge to mentor families and help them find that balance between celebrating each puppy’s individual spirit while teaching them basic obedience, house manners, socialization and most importantly, to love and trust people. From the very shy puppy to the puppy that would rule the roost; from the always on the go-go puppy to the puppy that was happy to lay by your side; I had the privilege to work with them all!
When I made the move to beautiful NSB I knew I couldn’t give up my love for dogs. That’s how Dogs Out and About with Vicki got its start. I wanted to continue my passion for dogs while at the same time provide pet owners with a top-notch option for pet care services. In addition to providing in-home loving care for your pet the way you want it, I specialize in getting dogs out and about--to help provide them with positive experiences through recreational outings and socialization. I am licensed, insured, and bonded. I also have extensive practice administering medications (including injected insulin).
I am cat-friendly, too. Murphy, my 15-year-old orange tabby cat, made the move to NSB with us. He rules our roost and we recognize his role in keeping the last 20 (or so) Seeing Eye puppies in line. I love all animals! Ask me about providing exceptional care for your other pets.
Vicki with GSD Iggy, one of many Seeing Eye pups-in-training
Murphy hanging out with GSD Rocky
Wheeler's Walks and Training, LLC
Much like Vicki, The Seeing Eye was a strong catalyst for my career in dog training. I have always dreamed of working with animals for a living. From childhood, I took a strong interest in training our pets, everything from birds and rats to dogs and cats. At Rutgers, I started out as a Pre-Veterinary student but soon fell in love with The Seeing Eye puppy raising club on campus. I actively puppy- sat for the raisers for 3 years until I became a raiser myself. I gained additional skills volunteering at The Seeing Eye’s veterinary clinic and breeding station, along with several local shelters. through these experiences, I have very happily worked with dogs at all stages of their life. At Rutgers, I also spent a year in behavioral research with mustangs that further drew my attention to training techniques. It was truly a dream to become a Guide Dog Mobility
Instructor 1 year after graduation.
I spent 5 years working in the Instruction and Training department at The Seeing Eye Inc. training guide dogs and their handlers. It was always fun to figure out how to get the behavior I wanted from a new dog. I loved getting to help the handlers form intricate bonds with their guide dogs through training. This helped develop my training style, which is characterized by thinking outside of the box to come up with practical solutions for each dog’s individual
personality. Seeing something click between a dog and their handler is what drives my passion and motivation for training. My goal is to teach you to get the behavior you want from your dog
in a way that both you and your dog are comfortable with. This means I prefer to use positive reinforcement. I believe that if you and your dog are enjoying what you are doing, you are more likely to keep doing it making it less of a chore and building your bond with your dog in a constructive way.
I have 3 pet dogs of my own who love to practice training with me; A Labrador named Freckles, a German Shepherd named Briana, and a Pit/Lab mix named Roland. I practice training regularly with them using force-free training styles. They were always willing to help me find a new training solution when I was stumped by a dog at work. When we made the decision to move to NSB I knew I could not leave behind the dog training world completely and was thrilled to find that Vicki was in the same town! I am well-versed in basic obedience training as well as trick training. As a pet owner, I know how important it is to feel confident that your best friend
is in good hands. Whether I am caring for your pets while you are away or establishing a training plan that works for you and your dog, your satisfaction and peace of mind are my top priority!
"I've known Vicki for 8 years now, and she's taught my dogs a lot. Thanks to her expertise they are both socialized pups as well as crate trained angels."
"Vicki is simply the best! Knowledgable and experienced with socializing pups. She's helped prepare hundreds of puppies for guide work. You won't find anyone better to care for your pet."