Hi there, Selina McIntyre here from Dogs Best Friend, a Dog Behavioural Consultancy I operate from the beautiful town of Matamata in the Waikato.
So, what’s my story?
Funnily enough, early encounters with lion cubs at the age of 12 had a major influence on my life and career path.
I worked as a lion cub attendant and tour guide at Paradise Springs and Wildlife Park in Rotorua, between the ages of 12 and 19.
This was a truly fascinating period for me. The bonds I developed with the seven different cubs I handled were just amazing. I became extremely close with one cub, Toby, before he was moved to Christchurch for breeding purposes. Toby became my best friend at the park and would follow me around the lion pen, even when all around, the rest of his pride was embroiled in the excitement of feeding time.
During this intensive period of animal relationships, I began my study of dogs – starting naturally enough with our family’s Border Collie, Patch. Patch and I also developed an extremely strong bond and he taught me so much about the dog world.
I then went on to complete a successful year at Otago University studying for a Bachelor of Science (Zoology). However, I developed a niggling restlessness that led me to follow my heart to a more integrated and practical approach to work with animals.
This then saw me completing a Bachelor of Applied Animal Technology (B.A.A.T.) at Unitec New Zealand. It was during the second year of this degree that I set up my consultancy (2004), after substantial work experience with dogs both professionally and in the voluntary realm, keeping me busy in the field.
I now have a beautiful family in the mix, as well as two truly character-filled Border Terriers, by the name of Trev and Lily, with a tolerant mostly ;-) black and white moggy named Isobelle.
*My aim with Dogs Best Friend is to bring long term happiness to each and every dog I encounter and thus improve the overall pack dynamic also, that he or she lives in.
When out and about, keep an eye out for me and my number plate SPKDOG :-)