Cherish animals & embrace nature – SJR

I have embarked upon multiple career paths on this journey called ‘life.’ I served eight years in the U.S. Air Force, including tours during Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom, as a member of AF Security Forces. After the military, I obtained a degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and worked in the social services sector with juvenile delinquents. After a few years, however, I felt a calling to pursue my passion: working with dogs. I went back to school and obtained a technical diploma in Advanced Canine Nutritional Sciences, after which I worked in private practice as a canine nutrition consultant and health coach, in addition to working as a freelance writer for a pet magazine and manufacturing my own product line.

Eventually, the consulting business was transitioned into an elite retail store for dogs. But a year after opening, the ailing economy took its toll upon my businesses, so I closed the store and went back to school, again. I obtained a Nursing degree from the prestigious Bellin College. And it was during the six months of applying for my first nursing job that the legend of the Cyokiana came alive in my heart and mind…over five-and-a-half-years ago! I have worked as a Gastroenterology nurse, a CVAD nurse, and I currently perform pharmacology review for a large healthcare organization in Aurora, Colorado.

I have deep roots in Pocatello, Idaho and Green Bay, Wisconsin. I am passionate about animal welfare, am an outdoor adventure enthusiast, and love signing and playing my guitar! In the summer, I enjoy spending time at our mountain retreat in historic Grand Lake, Colorado with my husband and Golden Retrievers, Aspen & Goldie (Goldie in loving spirit). I can also be found kayaking, biking, hiking, paddleboarding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing throughout the mountainous western states, but Redfish Lake will always be my favorite place to visit, and a place of wonder for me. My husband maintains a blog of our outdoor adventures: http://www.basecampgrandlake.comMOOSEBASECAMP

Through the future sales of my books, I dream about establishing a college scholarship fund tailored specifically for single parents and returning/older adults seeking a career change. And I’d love to become heavily involved with Rescue + Freedom Project (formerly Beagle Freedom Project).

There are many charitable organizations that are near and dear to my heart, and many that I have supported over the years. However, I am particularly drawn toward Rescue + Freedom Project, Heartland Farm Sanctuary, Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary, and Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies.