Hi, I’m Vanessa, founder and owner of Unleashed Dog Fitness.
I have been active in various ways for as long as I can remember. I became seriously involved with competitive sports at the age of sixteen, when I started running cross country and competed in several triathlon events. At eighteen, I was introduced to cycling and mountain biking and a whole new world opened up for me. I had found my niche and after winning twice the World Games of Mountain Biking, I decided to become a professional mountain biker.
Sports and a personal interest in travel allowed me to experience many new places and things. I have traveled extensively throughout Europe, visited the United States before eventually moving to San Diego, and had the pleasure of two separate extended visits to Africa. Meeting and experiencing new cultures opened my mind and eyes.
One very important thing I learned from my days as a professional mountain bike athlete is how to train to get in shape, as well as the value of staying fit and healthy. It is no small task to get in good physical condition, and it is just as hard to maintain that fitness once it is achieved.
Another major influence in my life has been animals. I can’t remember a part of my life that hasn’t involved a pet of some kind. My first pets were reptiles like salamanders and turtles (my first pair of turtles I got when I turned five). When I was eight years old we had a special addition to our family – our first dog, a Golden Retriever named Arthor. What a great companion he was! When I turned nine, I got involved with horses and a sport called vaulting (performing exercises on a horseback) in a competitive way. Soon, the next addition to our pet family were horses, and I expanded my animal care and knowledge even more.
My parents also bred various birds; parakeets and exotic ones like macaws and amazons.
I was lucky and my grandma also had a farm, so I became familiar with farm animals and helped care of them whenever I had a chance. I have always taken great pride in the responsibility in helping to take care of all of the animals in my life.
My current companion is Lyza, a rescue Golden Retriever/Spaniel mix.
My passion for sport as well as animals and dogs in particular has brought me to this new passion. I have seen how much of a problem pet obesity can be and the affect it can have on both the pet and owner. This led me naturally to the decision to get involved in the pet exercising field.
The training and exercising of the animals in my life, no matter what kind, were always the part I was most interested in. It is very rewarding seeing the successful outcome and positive response from the animals with which I am working.
“A healthy dog is a happy dog – I am looking forward to meeting your pet!”
Born and raised: Germany
In the States since: End of 2003 with a one year stay in Germany 2009 – 2010
Experience with animals since: 1984
Pets: Lyza, a Golden Retriever/Spaniel mix
Hobbies and interests: Sport, pets, traveling
Volunteer work: County of SD, Animal Service