A lot of people are fond of dogs, but Jennifer Digate -- the owner of the dog training business "Wild Canine" -- has a special connection with these four-legged friends.
"What I appreciate the most about dogs is that we co-evolved with them and that makes us more similar than different," says Digate, 37. "I love that they are born able to read our body language and watch our faces for cues. I appreciate how forgiving they are of our mistakes."
Wild Canine’s tagline is "training the canine brain" which accurately describes Digate’s work.
"All my training practices are based completely in sound learning theory /science," she says. "I have an extensive knowledge of canine ethology -- body language and behavior -- and have 10 years experience helping dogs learn new ways to interact with their environment."
Digate teaches puppy classes at Central Bark in Mequon and she makes in-home behavior consultations for fearful, reactive and aggressive dogs. She also offers professional help for caregivers with new puppies, advice for dog selection and temperament testing for shelters an rescue groups.
Group classes range from $105 to $205, depending on the length of the class. The duration of the classes range, too, from 30 to 55 minutes.
In-home, 70-minute behavior consultations are $125 or $150 for aggression prevention training. In many situations, in-home training is more successful and / or convenient for pets and their caregivers.
"Anxious or fearful animals often learn better in their own environments," says Digate. "Sometimes people with busy schedules simply want someone to come in-home to work at their convenience."
In 1997, Digate started training her family dogs. Later, she started working for the Wisconsin Humane Society in multiple roles, including as a class instructor. In 2004, Digate started Wild Canine. It was difficult for her to juggle both jobs.
"I was so busy I had to make a choice about which path I wanted to continue on, so I chose training / behavior, although it was a difficult choice," she says.
Digate adopted her first dog at the age of 9. She researched breeds and picked a cairn terrier named "Mac" for her family, which ended up being a great fit. Today, she often brings her dog -- 6-year-old cattle/corgi mix, Piper -- with her on location.
Today, Digate has years of success under her belt and she feels fortunate to be able to work in a field that she truly loves.
"I adore all animals and do train other species, but the bond between people and their dogs is unique - emotionally and biologically," says Digate. "This has been my passion and my only job for the last seven years."
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.