Jackson of Jefferson
Smooth Collie Gemma
Copyright 2013 Grasshopper Pet Sitting
I have loved nature all of my life... both plants and animals. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an ichthyologist (fish scientist), and I collected and bred all kinds of tropical freshwater fish. To complement my 7 aquariums, I also kept finches, parakeets, gerbils, chinchillas, snakes, anole lizards, toads, turtles, insects, and of course dogs.
After graduating highschool, I became involved in animal husbandry and worked for 11 years at the University of Pittsburgh Animal Care facility. I was in charge of many types of research animals from mice to horses. I still hold a certificate in Animal Technology.
But being around animal research can be hard on a person and at the end of 11 years, I called it quits. I also had developed severe allergies to the rats and mice anyway, so it was best to change my field....
And thus began my pursuit of horticulture.
I attended college in Pennsylvania and received a degree in Horticulture, specifically, floriculture which is basically greenhouse growing. Then I branched out into landscaping. I managed greenhouses and worked in garden centers before starting my own garden and landscaping business in Pittsburgh
All of this time though, I still loved animals and had sheep, a goat, 2 dogs, an african grey parrot, a conure, fish, and many orphaned birds. I also rehabilitated a few snakes.
In 1999, I decided to move to northern Virginia to continue landscaping and to pursue the field of pet care. I have now settled in the beautiful Pleasant Valley area of western Maryland and I couldn't be happier...with my 2 dogs, cat, finch conure,fish,greenhouses and of course...my husband, Dave. :-)
In 2011, I earned my certification as Personal Fitness Trainer from the International Sports Sciences Association, so along with pet care, I will also provide personal training for people.