A Pleasant Hill native has found her passion â€” thanks to her two dogs â€” after moving from England to Maryland with her husband.
Lauren Dittmer, an intern for Warrior Canine Connection is training dogs, especially as service animals for those who have served in the military.
Her husband is in the Air Force, and Dittmer said she has seen how military life can affect people.
Now, she is four months into her year-long internship to help raise and teach service dogs before they are assigned to an owner.
â€śIâ€™ve only been doing this a few months, but I love doing it,â€ť Dittmer said. â€śIâ€™ve found my passion.â€ť
Her love of training animals started with her own two dogs, which she and her husband brought with them from England. As she helped train them, Dittmer was asked to help others with obedience classes, which led to an apprenticeship.
She said her love of training dogs is rivaled only by her willingness to help provide for the families in her husbandâ€™s squadron.
â€śI was a key spouse,â€ť Dittmer said. â€śMy role was to take care of the spouses and families of military personnel. I was a person they could go to for help, whether is was something serious or simple.â€ť
She doesnâ€™t know how the dog training will fit into her future, but said she is excited to find out.
â€śAt the end of the year, I have the chance of being hired on by Warrior Canine Connections,â€ť Dittmer said. â€śThat is my end goal, but I could also take the skills Iâ€™m learning and offer dog training in my home or through another organizations. Itâ€™s something I want to continue to do.â€ť
But, she said she hopes to balance that with some of the tasks of a key spouse
Dittmer said she hopes to find a way to balance her love of dog training and still be able to volunteer her services and help the families in the military.
â€śI hope to do both,â€ť Dittmer said. â€śI will always be involved, either as a military spouse or as a key spouse. I just have to find that balance. Iâ€™m not quite sure where Iâ€™ll be in the realm of the military and dog training.â€ť
Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1233, or on Twitter @JCNews_samantha.