Heather’s journey in becoming a dog training professional is similar to many others: it all started with a dog. In Heather’s case, it was an English Springer Spaniel named Bandi and a 4-H project. By the time she went to college, Heather decided to receive her degree in dietetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the meantime, she trained and competed in dog sports with her Flat-Coated Retrievers. But the sudden death of Larkin, her 3-year-old Flat-Coated Retriever to autoimmune kidney disease in 2005 led to her decision to leave the healthcare field that December and pursue her first love of working with dogs. Just weeks later, Heather opened emBARK, aka “Midwest Wisconsin’s hippest hang out for hounds” in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The business, which has grown in the past 15 years from a single proprietor (Heather) to employing 26 dog care professionals, offers daycare, training classes, grooming, massage, and behavior consulting. It didn’t take long before Heather racked up dog training credentials: CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, Living and Learning with Animals Applied Behavior Analysis course certificate of completion, and is a certified level II Canine Sports Massage provider. She is a member of APDT (premium professional), IAABC, Upper Midwest Flat-Coated Retriever Club vice president, and has served as a Learning Theory and Behavior guest lecturer at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and presented a lecture on body language to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.