Lillian received her ACAAB (Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist) certification in 2018. She has an MA in Animal Behavior and Conservation from Hunter College, and a BA in Psychology from Emory University.
Lillian’s career in animal behavior has focused on improving the welfare of animals in captivity. Her master’s research on individual differences captive California Sea Lions was published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology. She has worked in a many fields of animal behavior, including primate research, wildlife rehabilitation, and canine physical rehabilitation. Most recently she worked as an apprentice behavior consultant at Dog Willing MA in Massachusetts, and as a pet rehabilitation aide at MSPCA Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston.
The thread that connects Lillian’s varied career in animal behavior is a passion for translating animal behavior to people in a creative and positive way. She has seen firsthand how much understanding why an animal behaves a certain way can change a person’s perception of that animal. While this understanding is important across all fields of human animal interaction, the home is where trainers and consultants can have the greatest impact on individuals. Even the littlest pointers and explanations had positive impacts in the way people viewed and interacted with their pets.
“I had no idea that I could have such a thriving and fulfilling career with dogs. Some things come into your life and you just know they are right - this is how this business has been. I feel connected to community and self and am fulfilling my childhood dream of befriending and helping animals on a regular basis!”
Amy started Native Dog Wellness in 2008. She is a CPDT-KA - Certified Professional Dog Trainer (#1143559) and a CSAMT - Certified Small Animal Massage Therapist from the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy (2012). Amy has a M.A. in Writing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from UT - Chattanooga, and a BA in English from Lee University.
Amy has been a dog trainer at New England Dog Training Club in Cambridge since 2012, and a massage therapist at FlowDog in Waltham since 2012. She led a massage workshop at the Animal Rescue League with Julie Polvinen of Zen Animal Massage in 2013, volunteered at the Animal Rescue League in 2012, participated in CLASS training at the Animal Rescue League in 2012, and completed the Dogs of Course Instructor Training Course in 2011.
Amy had a passion for animals from a young age. After working at a non-profit for a while, she ached for a job that would allow her to be outdoors, doing something she loved. She met a woman who had her own dog-walking business and agreed to help her out for a short time while the woman was short-staffed. After a few months of working with dogs, Amy began Native Dog Wellness. In the beginning Amy's services included walks, boarding, and playgroups. But soon she wanted to do more. Amy felt a need for positive training and wellness to be incorporated into the dog’s lives to help them and their families be happier. After becoming a CPDT-KA trainer as well as a Small Animal Massage Therapist, Amy now feels she has the tools to help families raise dogs that are physically and emotionally mature and able to live in harmony with their family and community. In her spare time, Amy loves traveling to exotic yoga retreats, practicing yoga in Somerville, cooking, reading, and hanging out with her Catahoula Rory.