Thu, Mar 03|
FUNdamentals and FUNdations: trick training for everyday life
Having fun using trick training! Speaker: Heidi Armstrong, she/her
Time & Location
Mar 03, 2022, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
About the event
Heidi is a hobby trainer and dog enthusiast. When she's not playing with her Prancy Piranha, Cheza, she's an Injury Recovery Coach and founder of Injured Athlete's Toolbox.
Heidi was in the first-ever training class for Austin-based therapy dog non-profit, Divine Canines. With her Crimson Counselor, Bella, she made more than 1000 visits over 14 1/2 years, spreading dog love to tens of thousands of Austinites in need.
She served on the board of Divine Canines for seven years, 3 1/2 of which she served as the board chair. She is currently the advisory council chair.
Heidi and Bella earned more than 60 titles and they were a nationally competitive agility team.
In January 2020, Bella's body could no longer hold her gigantic spirit. Before she passed, Heidi asked Bella to send her a very special puppy that otherwise wouldn't have a chance. The next six months marked the longest amount of time Heidi had been without a dog in her adult life.
A fellow Divine Canines volunteer found baby Cheza in the most unlikely of all places--Craigslist. Cheza's rescue story is one of unbelievable serendipity. As always, Bella delivered.
Cheza is now 20 months old and knows more than 200 tricks, with a strong penchant for balancing on things.
Cheza earned her AKC Performer Trick Dog and CGC titles at 10 months, her CGC-A at 15 months, and her Rally Intermediate title at 18 months. She is also training in Human Remains Detection and has acted in five commercials.
Heidi's mentors are John Rogerson and Suzanne Clothier (aka the grandparents of positive reinforcement), Paul Mann, Diana Smith, and the late Lee Mannix.
She approaches training from an unusual perspective at the intersection of fun, improvisation, emotion, and human psychology.
You can reach her on Instagram @chezathetrickdog