A beer with Michelle Sevigny- Entrepeneur, Writer, Runner, Dog Lover
There are so many things that make the North Shore special. So much natural beauty, distinctive neighbourhoods, a sense of community, and, even better, fascinating people.
One of those fascinating people, Michelle Sevigny, has been on my radar for awhile since I first heard about her company, DOGSAFE Canine First Aid, many years ago and though about taking one of her courses… before I even had a dog! Well now I have a puppy and will be signing up for a class ASAP.
DOGSAFE runs a number of classes for canine first aid and safety education and even has classes geared towards puppies as well as finding a lost dog as fast as possible. People may scoff at the idea of doggy first aid but I think it’s great.
I want to be able to take my dog in the forest or into the backcountry, let alone just around my block, and be empowered and I believe in personal responsibility. If you’ve ever walked, run or biked on our local trails you know accidents can happen at any time, even in perfect conditions. At dog level, you’ve got penetrating tree branches, slippery slopes, rivers that run high, choking hazards, and bone and joint injury potential. It also pays to know how to do a head-to-tail assessment of your dog on a regular basis to catch anything unusual before it becomes a problem.
Something to think about.
Michelle and I sat down for a beer at one my favourite pubs, The Black Bear, in Lynn Valley and I found out there’s a lot more behind this entrepeneur than just good business sense. She’s created her own blog, http://www.michellesevigny.com, where she writes about her daily adventures and how she is living her life with authenticity and courage.
Like the courage it takes to leave the police force and start your own company, which she did when she created DOGSAFE. How hard it was to turn in her badge that last day with the Vancouver Police Department and leave something she loved and had worked hard for to start something else that would require enormous commitment.
The courage it takes to write by yourself, about yourself, when you have no idea who will read it or what they will think because the stories you have are important to share. I think it takes a certain fascination and understanding of human behaviour to be a good cop. I know it takes that to write.
Michelle’s card says she is an entrepeuner, a writer, a runner and a dog lover. I’m down with all of these things and understand completely when she said “running gets me in my head and out of it”.
I’m pretty sure we were separated at birth.
Michelle is also working on a website called Share Your Courage, that will be coming soon and essentially serves as a common ground for people to share their stories and connect with others through writing and workshops. As she says “One person’s fear is another person’s strength”.
When I asked Michelle what could possibly be next for her given so much already on her plate, she answered that her litmus test is that little voice in your head that says “Hell Yeah” when you know something is right for you.
Two words that can knock out any doubt.
So keep your eyes open for Michelle and Monty on the trail and if you have a story of courage that you’ve given… or received… let her know about it.
Here are the courses currently available at Dogsafe Canine First Aid. Go to www.dogsafe.ca for more information.
DOGSAFE® Canine First Aid – Part 1
Our comprehensive 8 hour course is designed to teach responsible dog owners and dog professionals the knowledge and skills to deal with a sick or injured dog until veterinary care is available. 128 page course manual also included.
DOGSAFE® Canine First Aid – Part 2
Our 2 1/2 hour follow-up evening workshop is dog-friendly and you’ll be able to practice all your skills learned in Part 1 — on your own dog!
Operation Find Fido™ Workshop
Our 2 1/2 hour evening workshop trains you how to think like an investigator to find a lost dog fast. We’ll make effective flyers and posters in advance and a 51 page Operation Find Fido™ Handbook also included.
DOGSAFE® for Puppies Workshop
Our two hour evening workshop is designed specifically for the needs of new puppy owners. DOGSAFE® for Puppies reference handouts also included.
DOGSAFE® Bare Bones Workshop
Our two hour evening workshop is designed specifically for the needs of busy dog owners who are looking for the bare bones of “need to know” topics such as prevention, vital signs, 3 health tests, head-to-tail assessments and more. DOGSAFE® Bare Bones reference handouts included.
DOGSAFE® Canine First Aid Part 1 Distance Education
It was a challenge, at first, to design a program that would maintain our high standards in canine first aid education — but we did it! If you are not able to attend an in-person course, our distance education course is for you. 3 disc DVD and 128 page course manual also included.