I am in my late 30s and I have been involved with shelties since 1997. Before that, I was chasing strays down the road and returning them to their owners, training neighborhood dogs, and begging my parents to get a dog. I have worked in animal-related jobs since I was sixteen. These include: Pet Supplies "Plus" (a pet supply store, not a pet shop; employed almost three years), Animal Medical Center of Wyoming (as a Pet Attendant/Kennel Assistant; employed over a year), The Animal Clinic Inc (as a receptionist; employed one year), Chicago Drive Veterinary Clinic (as a veterinary assistant/technician; employed about a year), then, in 2003, I made the move to Lansing, Michigan so my fiancé could attend Michigan State University.
In Lansing, I found a position at Petco part time for a couple months before working for Mt. Hope Veterinary Hospital as a veterinary assistant. I took a year off of the animal field to focus on training and showing my females while working part time at Celebration Cinema. I have since returned to the animal field by obtaining a position at Cedar Creek Veterinary Hospital (& Exotic Bird Clinic) in Williamston, MI as Kennel Manager for a couple years. I have worked as an assistant instructor/volunteer for Diamonds In The Ruff Dog Training, who works very closely with For Better Independence Assistance Dogs (see link page). I was thrilled to have the opportunity to assist in getting these dogs socialized & trained for people who really need them. Currently, I am working as a web site designer, amateur photographer and soon-to-be starting up dog classes. I am also working full time at Waverly Animal Hospital, Boarding, & Grooming as the Assistant Manager, and Pet Obedience Instructor.
I graduated from Michigan State University with an Associates and Bachelors degree in "Genomics & Molecular Genetics", and an unofficial concentration of "Animal Behavior & Science" in 2015.
I belong to the Shetland Sheepdog Club of Greater Detroit as a Board Member, and the United Shetland Sheepdog Association. I feel that shelties are the best all around type of dog - "agile, obedient, affectionate/loving, independent thinkers, gentle, playful; you could not ask for more in a dog in my opinion." It is also very hard to own just one, so that is how Sympatheque Shetland Sheepdogs came about. I am also an AKC Evaluator capable of testing dogs for the Star Puppy, Canine Good Citizen, and Trick Dog Titles. Those tests are available following any classes I teach at Waverly Animal Wellness Center, or independently!
MY PARENTS CONTRIBUTION
John & Jan Thompson
(as told by my Dad, John)
"Jan and I live in Wyoming, Mi., on the west side of the state. We have lived in the same place since 1975 where we raised all three of our daughters, Kelly being the youngest. During the years the girls were growing up we didn’t have any dogs, although we heard how much we needed a dog from the time Kelly learned the word, “doggie” , and it continued until Kelly was in high school! Most conversations with Kelly always seemed to get around to talking about a dog! Jan and I had owned a beagle for a while before Kelly came along, so we knew life with a dog was a responsibility that we didn’t want added to our family at the time of the girls growing up. Our decision not to have a dog was also because one of Kelly’s sisters had allergies that were triggered by dogs, so we didn’t own any dogs or cats.
After Kelly’s sister moved out of the house, Kelly went to work on getting a dog! With both Jan and I working and Kelly going to school, it just didn’t seem fair to a dog to be stuck home alone all day, so Kelly didn’t make much progress bringing a dog into the family! Our opinions of a family dog also were different, I always said if we ever got a dog it would be a Siberian Husky or a Malamute, Jan said no way, they are too big for our house, Kelly just wanted any breed that would fit in!
In 1997, Jan had surgery and was going to be off work most of the summer. At that time while on vacation all of Kelly’s life long work to get a dog into the family finally paid off! Finding Traverse, the perfect fit for our family, seemed to be the right timing with Jan being home for a few more weeks before returning to work.
Jan and I didn’t know much about the breed, heck, we knew nothing about the breed! So the way it worked was Traverse learned from Kelly and Jan and I learned from Traverse! Because shelties are so much a family dog, it didn’t take long for us to begin to admire the breed, and as it turned out, we have kept adding to the family since meeting Traverse!
Since adding shelties to our family we have included them in all of our activities, we take them with us on our camping trips, and they love it as much as we do! They have helped keep us healthy by making us stay active! We think they need to be an important part of the family. Unless you have a sheltie in your life there is no way to understand how much love and joy they bring into your life!
We leave the breeding and the showing up to Kelly, she is the one with all the knowledge of dogs, especially shelties. Jan and I just reap the rewards of having all the shelties in the family!"
* My mother passed away March 2018, but she was very much a large part of what made Sympa Shelties!