My name is Nora Hayes. I was born and brought up in the city of Boston. I am a clinical social worker (MSW) and was a health plan administrator for most of my professional life. I have owned, trained and loved Golden Retrievers for the past 25 years.
My dogs are titled in: obedience, tracking, agility and field.
They are also all certified therapy dogs (TDI).
I am currently owned by three Goldens-Highview Finn MacCool (Finn-12 1/2 years old) TD JH WC OA OAJ TDI; Comstock Honora's Anam Cara (Cara-4 years old) RN JH WC NA NAJ OF TDI; baby Blue-11 months old, Cara's son and and Bess TDI (12 years +), my honorary Golden (Bess is a big black mixed breed with a wonderful temperament).
In heaven, Goldtrak Steelecreek Classic WC CD OA AX TDI (major ptd.). We lost Conor in November of 2009 and still miss him.
After moving to the Berkshires, my hobby became my profession. I opened Hayes HappyDog training school and soon expanded my business to full service-training, day care and boarding.
I was encouraged by the very positive respnse to my dog care services. I am proud to say I am a positive AND effective trainer, believing that dogs learn best when supported and encouraged and set up to succeed. I basically train the owners (also using positive methods-much praise and support!), to train their dogs. My students and their pets love coming to class and enjoy themselves. And good solid progress is made every week.
My “doggie” credentials are:
• Certified AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) trainer and evaluator-my name is posted on the AKC web site and I have tested at Kennel Club shows and matches. Hayes HappyDog training school officially sponsored our first CGC in November 2005.
• Past Program Director, Hudson Valley Golden Retriever Club; Board Member , Hudson Valley Tracking Club, member Golden Retriever Club of America (since 1982) Port Chester Obedience Training Club and Southern Berkshire Golden Retriever Club.
• Founded and Coordinated Hudson Valley Pet Assistance Teams (HVPAT), an innovative pet therapy program at Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center. I evaluated new “teams”, assisted the TDI evaluator in training and coordinated all aspects of the program. I worked with hospital administration to initiate the first pet therapy program which involved the therapy dog in the child’s therapy sessions and wrote the policies for the program which became officially a part of the child’s treatment record.
• Additional Therapy Dog Honors-“Finn” and I were invited to support the bereaved families at the New York Family Assistance Center after 9/11. Finn received a special commendation from Delta Society for his work.
• Student of Suzanne Clothier and Sarah Wilson’s training methods. Attended multiple seminars and training classes.
• Successful trainer and competitor in multiple canine sports