About

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It all started when…

Pawsible Angels is the brainchild of Michele Frank. Having dealt with chronic pain for years, and the comorbid conditions of PTSD as well as suffering from Bi Polar Disorder II, she and her doctors knew that she would find great value and assistance in having a service dog. However, after a year of looking at service dog programs, she got very frustrated because she could not find one that met all her needs. In addition, they all required travel and extended stays to the training facilities, as well as a huge cost. She also realized that she would have to bring the dog home and retrain it to her environment, as well as continue intensive training for the additional tasks she needed that it was not trained for.

After much talking to her therapist and doctors, as well as internal introspection, she decided to commit to raising her own service dog with the help of a trainer. She brought Sarge home on November 11, 2015 as an 8 week old puppy, and began his training program 2 weeks later. By the time he was a year old, she, as well as her doctors and therapist, recognized not only the value the dog had to her, but the therapeutic benefits of training him. After talking with her husband, and getting his backing and blessing, Pawsible Angels was born.

Pawsible Angels provides service dogs to those in need due to mobility issues, hearing issues, psychiatric issues, and more.

Pawsible Angels also provides therapy dog services to Riverdale Schools, Arlington Schools, Marathon, Blanchard Valley Hospital, The Heritage, Fox Run Manor and others as needed on a case by case basis.

Currently we have over 50 working service dog teams throughout the United States.

Our Training Methods

Our training methods are proven in science based methodology. We are, and always will be, a no choke, no prong, no e-collar organization. This sits at the very core of our beliefs in The Dog’s Bill of Rights. Pawsible’s training plan for any dog is founded upon the Hierarchy of Dog Needs developed by Linda Michaels.

In developing a plan, we recognize that each dog, and each client, is an individual, and bring different skills and struggles to the table. That is why there are no cookie cutter training plans at Pawsible. While Pawsible service dog teams and therapy dog teams do have tests they are required to pass before they can be officially called a team, much work, blood, sweat and sometimes tears goes into what is seen out in public.

Should you like to purchase the manual that started it all, it is available here.

Purchase our step by step basic obedience manual here.

(Note from Michele - You want them both.)

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Where do We Get Our Dogs?

Pawsible will first utilize every option available to us to rescue a dog for a potential client. Should a suitable rescue dog not be found, we will then and only then look to known and responsible breeders. We do not have a breeding program. We do not keep dogs standing and waiting in a kennel for clients. Each dog is hand picked and chosen specifically for each client’s needs. Depending on the client’s situation, the distance from Pawsible, and the needs of the dog, we may place the dog directly in the client’s home or we may place in a Puppy Raiser’s home for a while. Pawsible will also work with a dog you already have, provided it passes our evaluation and is deemed a suitable candidate.

Do I Have to Rehome My Other Pets?

Short answer: probably not. Word of Warning - if a problem arises between your Pawsible dog and your other pet(s), and behavior modification and management fails for any reason or safety is an issue, you will be expected to rehome your other pet(s).

 

Meet the Trainers

 

Michele Frank - Lead Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, CEO/President

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Michele started training dogs over 20 some years ago with her first heart dog, Sam. Training dogs back then was much different than what it is now, as science hadn’t really entered into the picture yet. Friends and family recognized that she  kinda had a knack for communicating with dogs, and would occasionally as her for help with theirs. She never really intended to become a full time dog trainer, as she holds a MBA and historically has worked in the marketing field.

Michele’s training philosophy is “First, Do No Harm”. She is always researching and learning new methods and tools, so one should not be surprised if she suddenly changes the way she is training your dog on you! It just means she learned a new and better way! She does not believe in ever using things like e-collars, choke chains or prong collars. She does believe in using the prolific use of Nudges (her treat of preference and commonly known as “doggie crack” by her clients), lots of love and toys. Michele is also a recognized Behavioral Consultant for Dogs and Working Dogs by the International Association of Animal Behavioral Consultants.

When Michele isn’t training, she is probably spending time with her two children, Keaton and Autumn, her husband Brent and his son, Carson. She also enjoys reading, writing the occasional blog, drinking lots of coffee, and just sitting outside with her own three dogs.

Memberships/Certifications


 
 

Kimberly French, Chief Financial Officer

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Kimberly…what does one say about Kim?  Kimberly is a lover of coffee, dogs, and dog hair.  A little bit of a bird of a different color from the rest of us, she prefers the numbers over the people.  In addition to her full time day job, Kimberly keeps Michele on her toes constantly with reminders, lists and general notifications about things within the company, sometimes even throwing in perplexing questions about her dogs.

Kim has four pugs at home, all rescues-Rocksy, Pugsley, Poppi(her service dog), and Pablo (Therapy dog in training), and a husband, Rob.  You can often find her taking care of other’s dogs on the weekend through her Rover.com dog sitting business, and playing with her niece and nephew when not catching Pokemon.

 
 

Jen Fulton, Marketing and Public Relations

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Jen Fulton comes to us with years of marketing, public relations and event planning experience. When not busy at her shop, Buggy Whip Cake Studio, she is actively planning our next move, meeting with donors, and working on marketing campaigns.

As you may notice, Jen’s profile is the only one of a cat. She has 2 dogs, Brian and Gary, but also has cats, and generally walks around with this expression when Michele says “Hey Jen!” Between all of that and her husband, she stays amazingly busy!

 
 

Kym Soderholm - Training Center Guardian

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Kym is the kindest, gentlest soul you’ve ever met. Her love for all things knows no bounds, and it is readily apparent in her day to day actions.

Kym serves as the training center guardian, living on site and providing our dogs that may be temporarily (or in some rare cases permanently) housed at the center the care, love and attention they need to feel safe and secure. She assist with implementing training plans and behavior modification protocols, and oversees that the facility is kept up to our strict standards (oh, let’s not lie - she taught us everything we know). From using organically sourced materials to ensuring that we have earth and dog friendly chemicals, Kym is the brains of it all. And she does this all while running her own kennel, K9 Retreat and Spa Findlay. Kym is always ready and willing to help with whatever Pawsible throws at her, and has yet to meet a dog she couldn’t charm the hairs off of.

 
 

Melissa Schroeder - Trainer EXTRAORDINAIRE

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Melissa has been a service dog trainer for over 13 years specializing in guide dog mobility. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and another Bachelor's degree in Zoology. While in college earning her degrees, she worked her summers on a remote glacier in Alaska as a sled dog handler learning about pack behavior. The summer she graduated college she was offered a job as a guide dog trainer at Leader Dogs for the Blind where she underwent a three year apprenticeship and earned her certification as a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor. Upon completing her apprenticeship, Melissa was offered a very exclusive job as a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor at Guide Dogs of the UK in England where she worked for a year before deciding to return to the States to be closer to family. Upon returning to the States, Melissa realized the lack of opportunities children who are blind had to receive service dogs and started her Lodestar Program in 2010. Lodestar offers service dogs to children who are blind and visually impaired. Lodestar is only one of about three programs in the entire United States that places service dogs with children who are blind and visually impaired. She also started to branch out and work with pet owners and has been teaching obedience classes and doing in home behavioral training for over 8 years. She is affectionately known as "the dog lady" in her home town of Ottawa, Ohio.  When not training dogs, Melissa loves spending time with her husband, two daughters, and three dogs. 

 
 

Amanda Dysert - Puppy Raiser Mentor

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Stay Tuned! Amanda doesn’t know who she is yet!

 
 

Melissa Shabbir - Intake Coordinator/Apprentice Trainer

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AH! WE ARE HAVING AN IDENTITY CRISIS!

 
 

Lex Bryson - Trainer EXTRAORDINAIRE

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Hey everyone, I'm Lex. I have a passion for learning, a passion for psychology/behavior, and an even bigger passion for all things dog. I was pretty set on becoming a dog trainer since I was in grade school. I'm a US Navy brat who spent Kindergarten through 2nd grade living in Japan and helping my mother with the rescued and stray dog population in the area (many of which had a multitude of behavior issues which needed to be corrected). In 6th grade, I was as able to work with and learn from world-famous stunt dog trainer Scott Houghton. I was amazed, and from there, I just wanted to learn more.

I joined my county's 4-H dog training club in 7th grade. Growing up, I wasn't blessed with easy dogs. My "starter dog" was a stubborn and independent Kishu Ken mix who was born on the streets of Japan. With the help of my amazing 4-H instructors, Gizzi and I were able to not only work through her dog reactivity issues together, but we also trained and competed in a variety of canine sports such as agility, rally-o, obedience, and more. To say I became hooked on sport training would be an understatement.

When I turned 14, I purchased my first dog on my own. She was a backyard bred Miniature American Shepherd puppy with an absolute heart of gold. When I picked Faith up at 10 weeks, I set a goal of her learning one new word each day. Soon life got in the way, and eventually I just ran out of words; however, she became the first MAS to earn a Trick Dog Championship title, knowing over 120 verbal commands. I continued working with as many trainers as I could, trying to learn everything about canine behavior, different styles of training, various training tools, and all the different activities/sports dogs could compete in. Faith and I competed in (or at least tried out) just about every sport out there, and by her second birthday, she was already decorated in various titles. This is about the time I was introduced to my first mentor, Rose Miller.

Rose introduced me to the world of conformation dog showing. More importantly, she taught me about responsible breeding and why it is so important. She also taught me the paramount importance of a mentor figure in the dog world over any book or digital course. Rose and I traveled around the east coast together showing Standard Schnauzers and Newfoundlands. From there, I went on to work for various AKC professional handlers (including Brittany Cipriotti), all of which taught me new skills to help grow knowledge of training and improve my skills as a handler. I've handled multiple dogs of various breeds to their AKC & UKC championships.

I first started getting involved with service dogs in 2014. People repeatedly told me it was not possible to train a dog to alert to chronic migraines if they have no natural alert or response. However, I've always been a firm believer that an "impossibility" only means we haven't figured out a solution yet. I developed a scent discrimination method for training migraine alert which ended up being very successful with not only my dog, but many other dogs as well. What started as a small rudimentary blog to document Faith's training blossomed into something much, much larger. Years later, we have a very large following and Faith has been featured on several news sites.

Taking all the things I learned growing up regarding canine behavior and using my experience with multiple styles of dog training, I began training dogs professionally when I turned 18. While my training is largely positive based, I do not consider myself an R+ trainer. Instead, I train using something called LIMA (Least Invasive, Minimally Aversive). Something I learned very early on is dog training is never black and white and no two dogs are ever the same. Unlike many trainers, I don't group training tools and methods into "aversive" and "not aversive" categories and then choose one side to use on all dogs. Instead, I take the dog's individual mindset and needs into account and formulate a training plan which will be most effective and least aversive for that particular dog.

I have an affinity for staying on top of recent veterinary and canine behavior studies. I am currently attending the University of Findlay to study Animal Science/Pre-veterinary medicine in hopes of one day becoming a veterinary behaviorist.

It has been my dream since I first started working with service dogs to one day work as a trainer for a service dog program. In October 2017, that dream became a reality when Michele welcomed me into the Pawsible Angels family. Training for Pawsible has allowed me to grow so much as both a trainer and as a person. I've met amazing people and had the chance to work with some incredible dogs. Being able to see the progress these dogs make each day, and later see them go on to change the lives of other people makes everything I do worth it. They say that if you love your job, you never work a day in your life. That has definitely been the case while working as a trainer for Pawsible.

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Laura Leopold - Therapy Dog Trainer

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Laura Leopold - Mother. EMT. School Board Member, Owner of the famous Spencer, the Therapy Dog

Laura has got to be one of Pawsible’s biggest and earliest supporters. A changeover also from the “old ways of training”, Laura has eagerly adopted our science backed methods. Laura is responsible for ensuring all working therapy dog certifications remain up to date, and answering any handler questions. She may have also coined and trademarked the term “doggie crack” before Michele could.

 
 

Madi Busse - Apprentice Trainer

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Madi can’t write her own bio because all she says is “I just want to work with Michele!” Madi’s funny like that.

Madi hails from Medina, Ohio where she has been around animals her whole life. Well known for bringing home the random stray cat or dog, she has a heart that just doesn’t stop. Madi is a entrepreneurial business student at the University of Findlay. She has been working and learning under Lex mostly, but also with Michele on some more difficult situations. Currently, you will find Madi training her pup Dehlia, or her Pawsible foster, Chip, playing with any one of her cats, spending time with her boyfriend and his dog, or working at one of her two jobs, when not studying or going to class.