Zoe has been fascinated with the idea of working with animals all her life. So, naturally, she started on the journey to become a veterinarian. But, after an internship in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, (2012) working alongside the local dolphin vet and trainers, she realized that her real dream was to work on animal behavior. She stayed in her Animal Biology (pre-vet) program at McGill University for one more year before finally switching to Wildlife Biology.
(Picture: Zoe gets ready to catch a ring that will be thrown by the dolphin.)
Not knowing which amazing animal she wanted to work with, Zoe decided to try them all. Each year, she interned in a different place across the world that worked with varying animal species. In 2013, Zoe became a working student for Nita Jo Rush, a 4-star Parelli Natural Horsemanship in Minnesota. There, she was taught the Natural Horsemanship ways and even reached level 2++ in the span of two months. The internship gave Zoe her first look at what being an animal behavior consultant looked like. Although she has since learned that there are more force-free ways to train than Parelli, it gave her a first look at including animal consent in training, as well as a look at how different personalities of the animals can affect training plans.
(Picture: Zoe is teaching a horse to make its own decisions, even when her back is turned. The horse is allowed to either go around the log, or over the log.)
In 2014, Zoe worked for a company that trained exotic animals for film in Villemer, France. Zoe enjoyed the ability to train and interact with a wide variety of animals (from wolves to bears to hawks to cats and dogs) and so, in 2015, she interned as a zoo-keeper for the Ecomuseum Zoo in Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue. Despite working with all of these amazing exotic animals, Zoe never forgot her experience working with horses and what it felt like to help people with their animals.
(Picture: Zoe had the opportunity to interact and work with some wolves while in France. Here, she is being greeted by a young wolf named Chopin.)
That's why, after graduating from McGill in December 2015, Zoe signed up for the Animal Behavior Apprenticeship at Dogue Shop in Montreal (2016). Here, she learned about the latest in scientific discoveries on animal behavior and animal training, as well as how to be an animal behavior consultant. She continues to take classes, to always know about the newest ways to train animals. She hopes that she can help everyday people with their pet problems, and improve animal communication and welfare along the way.
Zoe has now been working as an animal behavior consultant since June 2016, when she founded Zen Zoomies.
(Picture: Zoe is teaching Willow to stand on a colored target at Dogue Shop, Montreal.)
Since Founding Zen Zoomies
Zoe is continuing to grow and take classes.
In 2017, she took classes on Social Learning, Advanced Aggression, and Canine Language, as well as a lecture on Mirror Neurons, all by Gaby Dufresne-Cyr.
In February 2018, she got certified in Pet First Aid by Walks 'N' Wags. She also watched and participated in a variety of webinars on Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, including "Consent Matters" by Sarah Stremming and "Building Canine Confidence" by Julie Daniels. Zoe also signed up for a class membership on Tawzer Dog.
2018 is when Zoe also received her acceptance letter to the Academy for Dog Trainers! She will begin this new educational journey in 2019, showing that the learning is never done!