Monday, March 12, 2012

Katrin & Tom, Niche, and Monty

Who is in the photo at right?

Hi. I’m Katrin and dog trainer in Massachusetts. I own and operate Maplewood Dog Training, where I teach private and group classes in agility, obedience and pet manner, give behavior consults, run a boarding and training service and train the occasional assistance dog.

I currently share my life with 3 dogs: Tom, who is in the photo with me, Niche and Monty. Tom is my 2 year old guide/service dog from the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind; he’s a Labrador x Golden retriever cross and a complete mushy sweet heart. Niche is my nearly 8 year old flat coated retriever and go-to performance, decoy and demo dog. And Monty is my 7 year old cardigan welsh corgi who is a bit of a control freak.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I needed to run some errands so Tom and I took a trek up town.

What's brewing?

No coffee for me or the boys -- Bit of water or cranberry juice will suffice.

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

Tom got some salmon Zuke mini’s for a job well done.

How were you and your dogs united? How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Niche is the nephew of my 1st flat coat, Regal, and is from the same breeder on the west coast that I have gotten other flat coats from. I wanted my next competition dog, so he was named with that in mind--he filled the niche as my performance dog.

Monty came from a breeder friend who I had been on the wait list to get a puppy. Monty was returned to her for a food aggression problem when he was 2.5yrs old and he came to live with me for a “short while” and never left. He knew he was staying after about 2 minutes from coming home, it took me an entire week to admit it! Monty’s name in his previous home was “Spike,” which I really did not appreciate, so I renamed him Monty, short for Vermont, my favorite state.

Tom I got last May, after my 1st guide/service dog retired and passed away from bone cancer. I had wanted to owner train my next assistance dog again, but had an impossible time finding a suitable prospect. I applied to the Guide Dog Foundation on Long Island as my back up plan, and am so glad that I did. Tom is an awesome dog and the perfect dog for this time in my life. Tom was a puppy sponsored by a Long Island Lions Club and they named him Tommy, I’m assuming after a Lion’s member.

Do your dogs have a favorite place to go for an outing?

Niche loves going anywhere with a pond. Monty likes going anywhere that has something dead and smelly he can roll in and Tom likes going anywhere that is not the grocery store! He thinks shopping is the most boring exercise on the face of the planet and I’m inclined to agree with him!

Squirrel, postman, cat...?

Monty caught a squirrel once. Squirrels don’t hang around in my yard anymore…

Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?

Niche will fetch anything you throw. Monty loves his Planet Dog Earth Ball on a rope and Tom’s not really the retrieving type though he will play a bit if Monty isn’t around.

What is each dog's best quality?

Niche and Tom’s work ethic. Niche will do anything I ever ask of him and never question it. Tom, I love how much he enjoys his job as my guide dog and I also love how much of an old soul he is around the house. Tom never has a bad word to say about anyone. Monty’s best quality is that when he is in a good mood he is in a very good mood and is a great dog to be around.

If your dogs could change one thing about Bay Staters, what would it be?

Their driving. Tom would very much appreciate it if people got off their cell phones, quit texting and paid attention to pedestrians (and dogs!) when driving. Traffic checks are stressful!

What is each dog's proudest moment?

Niche loves it when I tell him he’s done a good job and is “The Best Dog on the Face of the Planet! Good Boy!” Monty is pretty proud when he’s being a snot rocket and steals a toy or bone from one of the other dogs. And Tom is too much of a humble guy to really get proud, though he does get pretty happy when he masters a new route.

Visit the Maplewood Dog Training website.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Katrin!!
    I know you.... Well sort of!! We have never actually met.... But I know you!! ;-}
    Great Q&A!! I am so happy that you were blessed to be on Coffee With A Canine!! ;-D
    Who can blame your squirils? If I were caught by some dog, I'd never return, either!! Hee, hee, hee.... ;)

  2. What great dogs you have! I visited your website and took a brief tour. You do such wonderful work. Thanks for your dedication!