I was born and raised in upstate, New York and had an unquenchable thirst for animals and especially horses. I moved to Texas in my early 20’s and wanted to stay home as long as I could to raise my sons, Ryan and Kalen.
I had many animals and many species of animals, learning as I went along. After bumping into a “not so nice” petting zoo, I decided to put together a “top of the line” petting zoo as a source of income to support my passion. I did petting zoos for 16 years all over the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex and beyond. I did the Titus County Fair for so many years in a row that I watched the kids go from Kindergarden to graduation! I did all the elementary schools in Dallas, many county fairs, Plano Balloon Festival, Christmas ballets at the Majestic theater in Dallas, The Irish Fest, Special tours with the Bordon company and Elsie the cow, country clubs, Christmas pageants, Holloween gigs and childrens birthday parties.
I even turned my place into “The Birthday Farm” where kids could come, have their birthday parties, pet the animals, learn to milk the dairy goats and ride the pony.
There were many, many wonderful times children and animals. As my kids grew and I wasn’t needed at home as much I decided that after 16 years of taking care of 70 animals, milking twice a day, shearing sheep and llamas, trimming many hooves (you haven’t lived yet until you trim a 400 pound, male, llama’s hooves…never mind the spit) feeding 30 baby goats, castrating pigs, disbudding goats, spending the night in the barn with a sick one and the list goes on…it was time to slow down and maybe try my hand at something else. I felt kind of disadvantaged because my knowledge was really animal related. I wondered if I should have done something that would have prepared me more for a mainstream job.