Lorian has been a devoted animal lover since she was old enough to coax the stray neighborhood cats and dogs off the South Austin streets and help return them home (or adopt them!).
She got involved with, and subsequently hooked on, dog training and behavior modification in middle school with a rescued stray dog named Loki. The rescue itself was an event: a scraggly, terrified dog who had clearly been wandering the streets showed up in front of the house, in the rain. Lorian sat on the front porch, tossing kibble to lure the dog closer but she would get spooked and run backwards. After several hours of this dance, the scared, wet dog mustered the courage to cross the threshold of the porch and literally leapt into Lorian’s lap, exhausted, cold, and finally home.
Their bond was instantly strong, but Loki was a complicated soul with unknown trauma from her past experiences. During a group obedience class, Loki and Lorian built an understanding and a partnership that would become the foundation for Lorian’s future commitment to working with the tricky, misjudged dogs. During the following years, Lorian would spend hours reading, researching, and practicing training methods, and at one point became a certified Petco dog trainer, utilizing positive reinforcement methods and teaching private and group dog training classes.
After Loki’s reign came Bentley, the devoted yet complicated dog who dropped into Lorian’s life with a mixture of generalized anxiety, separation issues, and leash reactivity. Through their 11 years together, Bentley taught Lorian about patience, connection, and helped her practice and grow into the compassionate dog-lover she is today.
In 2015, Lorian joined the ranks of volunteers at Austin Animal Center, the local city shelter, fell in love with the chaos of rescue and the no-kill commitment, and found her passion for helping sensitive, misunderstood dogs.
At the shelter, Lorian was hired as the Group Volunteer Coordinator in August of 2016, and then transferred into the Adult Dog Foster Coordinator role in January of 2017. She taught nationwide rescues and shelters about creating and managing successful dog foster programs in the Dog Foster Program Apprenticeship and Maddie’s Lifesaving Academy. Lorian continues to volunteer and expand her knowledge and skills with positive reinforcement training and supports adoption and rescue efforts.
At the beginning of 2020, the first day of the year, Lorian said farewell to her soul-dog, Bentley. Several months later, at the very beginning of Austin’s quarantine due to COVID-19, the first day of closures, Lorian picked up a foster dog from Austin Animal Center.
Biski expertly and adorably wedged herself into the dog-shaped hole that Bentley had left, and she was made a permanent member of the family shortly after. Today, Biski and Lorian help teach other dogs and their humans about positive-based training, how to handle reactive melt-downs, how to bring joy back to neighborhood walks, and together they hope to make a difference and improve the lives of walking partners everywhere.
Thanks to the following folks who have supported and loved me into the launching of this great new adventure!