I’ve always had a strong connection with animals, one with a quiet understanding shared on an equal level. Being in the presence of an animal has always brought me to a calmer state of being, one without complexities or expectations. The communication between myself and animals has always been much easier and preferred over the company of humans. For the majority of my teens the too late twenties, I dedicated my life to working with animals professionally. I worked with equines and canines, primarily. I held positions of horse wrangler, horse riding instructor, dog walker, boarder and trainer to Washington DC’s elitists, and later I studied veterinary science and holistic medicine for animals in college. Unforeseen circumstances which altered my life launched me into a career as a professional tattoo artist and business owner. I enjoy the challenges tattooing presents and the responsibilities of owning a business. My love for animals has never depleted. I’m so passionate about the mission of Bark Brew & Tattoo not only due to my natural compassion for animals but because my life has been positively affected by pit bulls, specifically. For more than ten years, I have shared my life and home with four pit bulls. Each dog taught me crucial life lessons and aided the development of my character. The first, Tayah, opened my eyes and dispelled the nightmarish myths I heard of pit bulls. The second, Blake, was my heart and soul who taught me responsibility, perseverance, and quite literally saved my life. Blake also taught me the hardest lesson of letting go out of love even if it’s painful. The third, Chimaira, has been my PTSD mirror. She taught me patience and softness. She’s shown me that fear is a barrier, approach with caution but proceed with trust. The fourth, Blu, is teaching me how to live with a disability and a new way of communicating as we embark on the service dog journey. Each of these wonderful dogs has been my greatest sources of strength, inspiration, and motivation. My best and worst days have been spent with a dog. I owe it to them to be their voice.