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Chris' Biography

Chris' Biography

Chris as a child with beloved rabbit Cocoa As long as I can remember, animals have been my true love. I grew up with a wonderful family menagerie of two cats, two dogs, two rabbits, fish, frogs, and a turtle. I started my lifelong involvement with animal care and rescue for abandoned dogs and cats when I was a child and it has been my passion ever since. I began my first pet-sitting service at age 12, one of the first and youngest pet care entrepreneurs in my area. My business flourished and became a wonderful part of my life. I continued my pet care business until I started college.

I attended college at California State University Northridge, (CSUN) and majored in Psychology. During my college career I worked in a variety of clinical and mental health settings. I worked as a Resident Advisor at the Northridge Campus Residence for three years and provided counseling and crisis intervention for students. During that time I also worked as a Mental Health Counselor at the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center and volunteered as a Crisis Counselor at the CSUN Crisis Intervention Helpline for 5 years. I also served as a volunteer for the San Fernando Valley Child Guidance Clinic and tutored emotionally disabled children.

I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology (Cum Laude) from CSUN and then pursued a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) in Northern California. I started Chris' Pet Care & House Sitting Service in the Bay Area during my first year of graduate school. During the six years of living in the Bay Area I cared for 100 wonderful pets who I loved and cherished. While working on my Doctorate degree I became involved in a variety of animal advocacy causes and pet rescue efforts including volunteering countless hours in helping homeless, lost and injured animals. Additionally, I volunteered at the San Francisco SPCA as a foster parent and provided loving care and socialization for abandoned, orphaned and special needs cats and kittens.

Fueled by my deep belief in the human-animal bond, my enhanced knowledge of clinical psychology, and my desire to introduce animals into the therapeutic process, I created and implemented a very successful Pet Facilitated Therapy program at CPC Walnut Creek Hospital. The program provided patients with the therapeutic benefits of pet companionship. I recruited, trained, and supervised volunteer pet owners and their pets in their interactions with patients.

To measure the effectiveness of the program I conducted a research study that became my Doctoral Dissertation. The study was titled "The Effects of Pet Facilitated Therapy on Depressed Institutionalized Inpatients." Specifically, the research concluded that inpatients who received Pet Facilitated Therapy were significantly less depressed than those who did not. During this time I was hired as CPC Walnut Creek hospital's "Pet Facilitated Therapy Coordinator" and worked at this "dream job" for over three years.

Upon completing my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, I married and moved to Seattle, Washington. In 1995 my husband Todd and I bought our first home and I opened Chris' Pet Care & House Sitting Service. During the 12 years of living in Seattle I lovingly served over 50 wonderful clients and their 120 beloved pets. In 2007 we relocated from Seattle to Bellingham to buy our "historic dream home" in South Hill. Over the past couple of years I've had the honor of continuing to provide house sitting services for my special Seattle clientele.

My husband is also an animal lover and has assisted me every step of the way in my endeavors to care for and help animals. We share our home with a wonderful family of three senior rescue cats and three senior feral cats that we are currently rehabilitating. Our cats are our "children" and our lives revolve around making them happy, healthy and peacefully content. Over the years our home has also been a refuge for numerous rescued animals and other needy cats and dogs.

Throughout my 20 years of providing professional pet care, the pets entrusted to my care have always become my extended family and many clients have referred to me as their pets' "second mom." Chris' Pet Care & House Sitting Service has always been dear to my heart and truly the light of my life. I love and adore the precious animals under my care and have developed strong bonds with each and every one. I work hard to make sure each and every pet I care for feels loved, protected, pampered, nurtured and well cared for! I care for each pet as if they were a member of my family! In 2010 Chris' Pet Care & House Sitting Service is delighted to begin providing its premier pet care and house sitting services to family pets in the Bellingham neighborhoods of South Hill, Fairhaven, Edgemoor and surrounding areas. I strive to build strong, long-term relationships and friendships with Bellingham neighborhood pets and the guardians who love them.

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