Meet Our Dogs!


Liz Palika’s Bashir is the playground supervisor of Kindred Spirits. An 11 year old Australian Shepherd, Bashir has a strong sense of what is right and wrong and doesn’t hesitate to talk about it. If a student’s dog is having trouble in class, Bashir is the one who will bark to let that dog know he’s making a mistake. In his younger years, Bashir loved doing demos in class, agility, trick training, herding, Frisbee and flyball. Now that he’s getting a little older, he still does therapy dog work with hospice and demos in class but the other activities have been faded away gradually so as not to hurt his feelings. Bashir enjoys road trips, camping, running and playing, and fetch games.


Liz Palika’s Bones is a four year old English Shepherd. Bones is a happy dog who loves to run and play yet is serious beyond belief when it’s time to work. He likes having a job to do, no matter what it is, and wants to do it right. He is a certified therapy dog and visits as a day care for children where he is wonderful at figuring out what each child needs. Perhaps a certain child needs a snuggle and kisses while another would like to run and play. Bones enjoys obedience training as long as it’s a challenge and not repetitive, fetching games, lure coursing, herding, trick training, and will soon be introduced to carting. He loves camping and road trips.


Petra Burke’s Keely, a ten year old Pomeranian, is the princess and the boss of all of Petra’s other dogs; hence her nickname, “Wolverine.” She is loving and affectionate with Petra but not so much with other people. Keely enjoys doing agility, tricks, and demos in class.


Petra Burke’s Rio is the black tri Australian Shepherd with the big grin and wiggling back end. When happy, Rio’s grin is so huge he wrinkles his nose and has trouble breathing. Plus, his rear end shakes so hard it’s difficult to see. Rio, who is Petra’s sixth Aussie, is a silly, busy, happy dog who loves to do demos in class, enjoys road trips, and camping. He’s also earned his CGC.


Petra Burke’s Poncho is a 1 year old English Shepherd. A half brother to Liz’s Bones, Poncho is smart, gentle, and loves to work for Petra. He’s learning agility, likes trick training, and is happy to do demos in front of class. When he lies down, he stretches his back legs out behind him like a frog, which of course makes Petra giggle. Poncho earned his AKC Puppy STAR from puppy class and Petra is looking forward to him earning his CGC.


Kate Abbott’s oldest dog is Walter, an 11 year old Cocker mix. Walter is, ummm, infamous for throwing the longest temper tantrum in Kindred Spirits history. All because Kate was training with her other dog and four month old Walter was jealous. Fortunately, his drive has since been channeled into more constructive ways and he’s a wonderful trick training dog with more than 100 tricks in his repertoire. He is also a certified therapy dog, enjoys running agility, and lure coursing. His daily obsession, however, is playing with his Planet Dog red ball. Walter occasionally does demonstrations in the basic obedience and therapy dog classes, but is the primary demo dog in the trick training classes.


Kate Abbott’s youngest dog, Qwill, is a four year old Jack Russell Terrier. Having a terrier was a new training challenge for Kate; especially teaching Qwill a reliable ‘come.’ As Walter has gotten older, Qwill has become Kate’s primary therapy dog and he enjoys visiting the local nursing homes. He also does demonstration in class; especially when students don’t believe terriers can learn obedience skills.


Dawn McMahon’s chocolate Labrador Retriever, Sierra, is ten, going on 11 years old. She is a certified Love on a Leash therapy dog, has her Canine Good Citizen title, and enjoys performing tricks. She has been a demonstration dog for the classes but is semi-retired now. Her goal in life now is to love and be loved.


Dawn McMahon’s one and a half year old black Labrador Retriever, Finn, is a smart, energetic, boy who loves to work and play hard. He enjoys doing demonstrations in front of the classes. When not working, he likes to swim (and has been known to take a dip in the Kindred Spirits pond).


Melissa Duffy’s Toby, a six year old English Shepherd, is a sweet boy. He is very soft-hearted and his top 50 priorities are all about being a ‘good dog.’ After that, he’s toy crazy, loves to fetch, and to swim. Going to the beach gives him great joy. Toby is very smart and sometimes that works against him. He can be anxious in new places, situations or around new people. Outings and training is planned to expand his comfort zone but he’s made great progress so far and he enjoys life. Toby can often be seen in the basic obedience classes.


Melissa Duffy’s three year old English Shepherd, River, is a ‘fixer.’ As a proper working English Shepherd, when she sees things that need fixing, she does it! Including calming Toby when he’s upset, letting Melissa know the dryer’s bell has gone off, and when belly rubs are overdue. She loves work, but can be very silly, too. River enjoys playing with her canine friends at Kindred Spirits and soliciting snuggles and cookies from trainers. River can often be seen doing demonstrations in classes.


Tamara Harvey’s Doberman Pinscher, Alister, was rescued by Tamara at the age of 9 months. He was rowdy, out of control, and a problem dog at that point but is now, with guidance and training, a calm, trusted family member. He has earned his CGC, loves agility, and does demos in the basic obedience classes. His favorite toy in the world is the flirt pole.

We care about pets of all kinds! Training and communication matter to the whole household.

Meow! Most of us, being animal lovers, have cats as well as dogs. They can also be trained using some of the same tools–interrupting unwanted behavior, rewarding behavior you’d like them to repeat. It’s wonderful to have a cat that will come when called or even play fetch! Shown here is Kirk, one of Liz’s cats, currently a growing kitty. He can be quite silly and playful!


Sue Dewar’s German Shepherd, Sophie, is a kind gentle soul who is patient with the cats and Miniature Pinschers at home. She has a true maternal instinct for younger animals. Sophie can be seen doing demonstrations in the classes.


Sue Dewar’s Miniature Pinscher, Tanner, is Sue’s most recent rescue and rehabilitation effort. A genuine wild child when Sue took him in, she wasn’t sure how much he’d turn around but turn around he did. He’s a social, well behaved if active little dog at Kindred Spirits and can be seen doing demonstrations in the classes.