Sitter for your Critter is so lucky to have a TEAM of expert certified trainers!
Each member of our team has their own specialty and talents that you will have access to. Check these guys out!!
Renee Mack, AS, BS
Renee Mack has been involved in animal rescue and rehabilitation since 2005 when she adopted her first shelter dog Kodee. Kodee was an extremely intelligent, very large, highly anxious Great Dane X – and he proved to be Renee’s greatest teacher. She dove into the world of animal behavior and training and left the corporate world to pursue a career in animal welfare. Renee soon began working as a rescue trainer, specializing in socialization and behavior modification. Renee became the manager of an animal shelter in the summer of 2016 where she was responsible for the care and enrichment of many different species of animals. She earned a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of New Hampshire in December of 2016 where she focused on the areas of animal behavior, animal disease, and biosecurity/sanitation practices. Her passion is teaching humans how to better communicate with their dogs. Renee lives in Barrington, NH with her adopted dogs; Harley, Pinky, Dillinger, Minnie Mouse, and Winnie. She lost Kodee at the ripe old age of 13 in February of 2018. She enjoys camping, hiking, and any activity that her dogs can be a part of.
Confession: I have conversations with my dogs. I say inappropriate things in sweet tones and whisper “bless you” when they sneeze. I celebrate their joys with whole body wiggles that match theirs and my heart bursts with happiness watching them “just be dogs” without an ounce of direction on my part.
I also love using body language to communicate instructions wordlessly, impressing fellow hikers with their trail etiquette, and learning new activities like weight pull and workout routines that keep them healthy and engaged.
Together we have hiked New Hampshire’s highest peaks, made nearly all of New England our home, whether it be for a night of camping or a couple years at my husband’s newest duty station, and fostered dozens of rescue dogs. My relationship with my dogs is deep and weird and I’m proud of it.
It may be obvious by now but being around dogs comes as naturally as breathing to me. I began walking shelter dogs as a teenager, before I had any preconceived notions of what “pit bulls” were or what made an animal “unwanted.” After my freshman year, I transferred home from a wonderful college so that I could continue volunteering with animal rescues and begin working with dogs professionally while earning my B.S. in human resources. I was up to my eyeballs in fur at the first dog daycare in my hometown and loved every crazy, noisy minute of it, as did my dogs, both of whom I adopted while working there. They have helped me foster probably about 50 other rescues from a small handful of dedicated organizations throughout the last eight years and are now “retired,” entertaining only the occasional house guest and instead enjoying the company of their canine buddies out on the trail. My decision to return to working with animals is as much about what’s in my soul as it is about being closer to them.
Liz Newman has had all kinds of animals all her life. I’ve always been interested in animal’s behavior. My first professional experience was 25 years ago when I got a job working in a cageless doggie daycare and boarding business. I was trained by a professional trainer who specialized in aggressive dogs. That helped a lot with monitoring 20-30 dogs. Knowing what to watch for, observing the dogs themselves probably taught me the most. Having had that training, I realized I needed some work with my own dogs, so I went to him privately as well. My original training was in correction-based but I’ve kept up with things on my own and have incorporated reward-based, distraction and dog’s body language into my repertoire of tools. I’ve used Sophia Lin’s method in trying to get a dog over “stranger danger.” I’ve taught basic obedience and canine good citizen classes at Petco and privately as well as private consultations on problem-solving.
I had a short stint at the Animal Rescue League in Kennebunk. I was mostly assigned to the strays. I loved it because I could work my training skills. There was a giant schnauzer that wouldn’t let anyone near him. So, I got a little bossy with him and eventually he was running to bring me a toy every time I walked by. So, satisfying. I’m good at working with shy, anxious dogs and aggressive dogs. My original trainer told me the more aggressive the dog, the more relaxed you must be. I’m cautious and aware but I’m not afraid when faced with a situation.