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Trainer Loves Women's Best Friends

It's easier for Jody Rosengarten to imagine living without legs than without dogs and she has not lived a day of her life without at least one dog by her side. Today, she has five—all rescued. That lifelong passion for animals is what brought her to where she is today.

A "dog trainer behavior therapist," Rosengarten has run her own company, The Bark Stops Here , since 1980. She went to college to study psychology, but when the time came to decide on a graduate school, training dogs—and their owners—was the path she chose.

"Animals in general and dogs in particular have been my life for all of my life, so that is kind of how I got into it," said Rosengarten while Mabel, one of her five parrots, squawked in the background.

Rosengarten hosts obedience classes for puppies and older dogs at the Southport Veterinary Center. And for those looking for a little more one-on-one help with their pets, she makes phone consultations and house calls tailored to each family's needs.

With some dogs, Rosengarten says she can teach them to walk nicely on a leash, sit and stay and stop jumping in one session, but it is working with the two-legged friends that is the biggest challenge.

One of the families that she worked with had a dog that seemed to only be disobedient to the mother. After spending time with the woman and her pet, she was able to coax out of her that she had been depressed and the dog had singled her out. "She was frightening the dog with her depression," she said. "Not all dogs would do that, but this dog did that." After the discovery, the client reported major changes in her attitude and her dog's.

"I love the fact that I can get results, but I love teaching the people how to get the results, she said. "I love that I facilitate people's ability to enjoy their dog, to keep their dog, to appreciate their dog. I love the psychological aspect to trying to decipher behavior on both the dog and the person's part."

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