Meet Neika Smessaert

Meet Neika Smessaert

Why did you choose to become involved with Family Paws Parent Education programs?

1.  I chose to become a presenter after attending an educational conference focusing on the increase in dog bites in our country.  I was so moved by some of the statistics that I knew this was an area of training that I could make a difference in.  I, not only had children but I taught puppy classes where I encouraged child attendance.  I’ve always put a lot of focus on education and had an interest in getting children involved at their ability level.

2.  The most helpful thing for me in the organization has to be Jennifer Shryock.  She has recorded videos, written very effective handouts and has always been available when I have questions.  The videos are a great way for her to make that personal connection with me, letting me in to her personal experiences as well as professional ones.  The handouts are a perfect addition and a very welcome asset to the program.

3.  I enjoy helping people.  Going into their homes and really showing them areas of concern, areas that we can make work better for their home so everyone can live with less stress.  Going into the dog owners homes is so much more effective than trying to educate them in the veterinary hospital about what they should do.  

4.  What I would like everyone to know about dogs and babies is simple.  Even if you think your dog would ‘never’ hurt anyone, it is possible for dogs to become stressed with the addition of a new baby, or with the newly toddling child.  With that stress can come reactions that no body would expect. I love the idea of prevention and education before there is a problem.  I have worked with dogs most of my life and now being a mother myself I know how important this information is.  I want to educate families about prevention so that these little babies are never put in a situation for injury to occur and so that dogs do not lose their happy homes or worse, their lives.

You can find Neika  in Lakeville, IN  Website

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