Dignified Pet Services presents 'People in the Neighborhood'
“I guess you could call me adventurous and waterproof,” says owner and “lead adventurer” of Portland’s Dog Adventures Northwest. A three-time Top Dog Award winner for Individual Trainer, the New Hampshire transplant says “Portland is my forever home.”
After graduating from Brown University, Kerry started her own theatre company with a group of fellow thespians. “We literally split up the country and searched for the perfect location. We wanted to find a place that was big enough to be artistically vibrant, but small enough that we could still do the work we wanted to do. We stumbled across Portland, which seemed like a magical place, and decided to make it our home. We all committed to stay here for at least two years. I love it here; I’ve been here for twelve years, and it is my forever home.”
While she’s been in theatre for years — working with Vertigo and Imago Theatres and now a member of the prestigious Third Rail Theatre Company — Kerry played her all-time favorite role in college: the Fool in King Lear. Most actors work more than one job, and Kerry is no exception. A lifelong dog lover, she found her ‘other’ calling at Wonder Puppy Dog Training, where she acquired certification as a professional trainer (CPDT).
“I found myself saying to people, ‘Let me take your dog out.’ I was fascinated by learning theory and its effect on dogs. I realized how many dogs are under-exercised and how their lack of exercise significantly affects their behavior. Many destructive and undesirable behaviors are caused by lack of activity.”
In 2011, Kerry began her own dog-focused business, Dog Adventures Northwest, where she discovered a much-needed niche with many eager customers. Following the “a tired dog is a good dog” rule, Kerry’s business is a perfect blend of a viable idea and something she loves doing. The company now has eight contractors, all certified to take any dog on a one- or two-hour “paws on the ground off-leash experiences.”
Like success, it seems finding balance between her love of theatre and pets came naturally to this outgoing, fun-loving lady, who is also the Administrative Manager for Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Program, in collaboration with Oregon Children’s Theatre. In fact, you may recognize her from her “favorite fun role” as Mouse in the beloved children’s play, If you give a Mouse a Cookie.
About that shoe... ”My favorite pair of shoes has to be my Bogs,” she says. Bogs? “Yes, Bogs — basically insulated galoshes, Bogs plus dogs equals dry feet!” laughs this adventurous hiker who’s not afraid to get dirty.
“I do have a quiet side,” she says. “I love to cozy up under a blanket and read anything by my favorite author, Ray Bradbury. I would love to meet him if I could go back in time, as I’ve always thought the lens through which he saw the world is fascinating. From what I know about him, he seems like he was an amazing individual.”
Living with her partner Kevin and their beloved dogs, Obie (an 8-year-old Chinook) and Timber (a 5-year-old Husky mix), the couple's favorite local destinations include Oaks Park and Thousand Acres. “I love the fall/autumn season, so being out doing dog adventures this time of year allows me to do what I love while being outdoors.”
Kerry and Kevin are expecting their first child in March. “We are having a little girl and are very excited for this new addition to our family,” she says.
Beginning life immersed in theatre and then adding a dose of dog love, Kerry has captured all the storybook pieces for a real-life happily-ever-after.
About our Sponsor
Dignified Pet Services has served the Portland-area community for 13 years. In addition to their core business of cremation and memorial services, Dignified co-sponsors the beloved annual Service of Remembrance at The Old Church in downtown Portland, as well as serving as wonderful supporters and friends of pets and those working in animal welfare. Proprietors Michael, Randy and Avani live in Sherwood.
Melinda Thompson is a freelance writer with a degree in Speech Communications and a coveted "Ducktorate" from the Walt Disney World Company. She has been featured in many local magazines and newspapers. She lives in Vancouver USA with her husband, son and daughter.