Canine 101

For most of my life I grew up wanting to be a veterinarian. Science ended up not being my favorite thing in the world, but I still absolutely adore animals. I was quite the sweet talker at home and successfully persuaded my parents into owning dogs, cats, horses, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, geese, fish, hermit crabs, and rabbits. They still live with most of them and my trips home are always enjoyable. As a young camper, I even elected to have double horseback riding classes just so I could be down at the stables more (unheard of, I know). In college I spent numerous hours at the local animal shelter volunteering and fostering dogs and cats, and I also spent a year working for a vet clinic.

During my volunteering time, I fell in love with a little pup coincidentally named “Hannah” at the shelter. As she sat calmly in my lap, I knew it was meant to be. She was thought to be a German Shepard puppy but only grew to be 27 lbs! She goes by Rory, like Gilmore Girls, and is one of the sweetest most gentlest mutts I’ve ever met.

Her brother, Charlie, came to me at the vet clinic I worked for. THE cutest 10 lb, maybe 8 week old, Australian Shepard puppy was found on our doorstep in a kennel covered in pee and poop when we opened in the morning. He got three baths before coming home. Knowing I probably didn’t need another dog at the time, I took him home to see if Rory would like him. They instantly loved each other. I took him back to the clinic the next day because the receptionist had also shown interest in owning him. She quickly declined, and my vet said, “If you don’t take him, you can take him to the shelter. He will get adopted quickly.” We owned a tricolor Australian Shepard growing up and they looked very similar. I couldn’t take this adorable-puppy-that-looks-like-my-childhood-dog to the shelter! So I kept him.

Rory and Charlie are loving being camp dogs. We hike the hills every day and normally end up splashing in Whale’s Pool before heading home for the evening. This summer I am going to teach a new Activity Class, Canine 101. Only offered to S’midgets, we will walk my dogs around camp and learn about the responsibilities of owning a dog. Feeding, brushing, training, and playing all will be covered. My goal is that your daughter will come home ready to take care of your pup without being asked to. I’m looking forward to hearing the stories of animals from home!


Rory’s “mugshot” in the shelter. Too cute!


Charlie loves to get dirty. When he was a puppy he was small enough I could bathe him in my kitchen sink!


The best snugglers around!

About the Author

Hannah Kearney

Program Director at Heart O' the Hills. God fearin', dog lovin', coffee drinkin', kinda gal who loves a good adventure.

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