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As a bit of introduction, Nancy Chichester and her husband were operating a farm and dog boarding kennel in Warnerville, NY and they had an apartment incorporated in their home/business that was rented to students who attended SUNY Cobleskill, located just a mile from our location. Katelyn came to us as the result of a referral from her advisor, Dr. Steve MacKenzie, Professor at SUNY Cobleskill, because Steve knew that we had a great interest in dogs. She wanted to be able to have her dog with her while attending SUNY Cobleskill and she also wanted to apply for a grant that would allow her to acquire two puppies and train them as part of her educational program. We typically did not allow students to have pets, but ultimately, after getting to know Katelyn and what her project entailed, we agreed. She acquired grant funding to purchase kennels and dog housing to place on our farm and proceed to accomplish her goals. The rest is history, which will be put forth below.
As we came to understand, Katelyn’s interest in dogs also dated back to her childhood. Her family supported her love of dogs by facilitating her involvement in 4H that helped her grow into the loving and productive person that she is today and helped her cultivate her interest in dogs. She became involved with showing dogs in many venues through this experience. Katelyn grew up in a hunting environment and her interest in dogs was further expanded into the training and use of hunting dogs.
Professor MacKenzie is a renowned expert in canine behavior and training. Katelyn came to SUNY Cobleskill specifically to train under his guidance. She acquired her Associates and Bachelor of Science degrees from SUNY Cobleskill in canine studies.
To fulfill the requirements of her Bachelor’s degree she did an internship at The Guiding Eyes For The Blind located in Yorktown Heights, NY. Guiding Eyes for the Blind works to enrich the lives of the blind and visually impaired by providing them with superbly bred and expertly trained guide dogs. Guiding Eyes breeds, raises, and trains guide dogs and trains students to work with guide dogs that have been carefully selected to match their individual needs. Katelyn found this to be a very enriching experience. Their breeding program is phenomenal. She learned a lot about the use of Artificial Insemination (AI) through this internship.
Katelyn has continued to work in the field of purpose bred dogs, spending several years as a veterinary technician at a reproduction-focused hospital, and now at a private service dog school.
It was during Katelyn’s stay in the apartment, which was located adjacent to the boarding kennel, that Nancy and Katelyn struck up a friendship. They had discussions about Nancy’s interest in the Entlebucher’s and they ultimately became partners in the ownership of Sherlock. As Katelyn saw Sherlock grow, she felt he was going to be a good prospect for the show ring and she took the lead in facilitating his show experiences, being the one to most often take him into the ring herself.
It is with Katelyn’s guidance that we have facilitated all the health testing for Sherlock. This includes taking steps to collect and evaluate his semen to work toward expanding Sherlock’s breeding potential in distant locations and ultimately to preserve his genetics for future use.
Katelyn had and has a real passion for dogs. She has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience around that passion! Crossing her path in life and even walking down that path with her for some distance has enriched our lives. We will be forever grateful!