Hi, my name is Lydia! When I was 14 years old I dreamed of becoming a dog trainer. I offered to watch my neighbor's dogs, and practiced my training skills on all the good boys and girls that lived in my neighborhood while my neighbors were on vacation. Yes, I was pretty weird and my parents worried about me constantly. But thankfully, I grew up and turned my passion for animal training to good (and less weird) use. After being certified as a Certified Professional Trainer in basic obedience, advanced obedience, behavior modification, utility, breed identification, puppy development, scent detection, personal protection, police k-9, tracking, and retrieval when I was 18, I started my work as a Professional Dog Trainer in my hometown of Atlanta, GA.
However, I wasn't quite the trainer I wanted to be yet. I had come to realize that many people who are survivors of domestic abuse and sex trafficking also develop PTSD to the same severity that many veterans do, but that there weren't currently any organizations in the United States specializing in training service dogs for the victims of abuse. Once again to my parents' dismay, I took a break from college to take an opening as an intern training PTSD Service Dogs for veterans, with the plan to adapt that training for abuse survivors. I received my training as a PTSD service dog trainer and moved to Indianapolis, IN to start The Freedom K9 Project.
I love dogs, and I love helping people. If you had told me when I was 14 years old that this is what I'd be doing, I'd probably say "yeah, what else what I do?" The healing gift that canines bring to us is something that a trainer could never take responsibility for. Dogs are awesome on their own, sometimes they just need a little bit of help learning what to do and what not to do. I'm not here to teach your dog to sit, though that is a byproduct of the training. I'm here to help them become the best version of themselves, and set them up for a long happy life of being your companion.