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Influence Positively Interview - Hilary Lane

hlanddoggies Hilary Lane owns Fang Shui Canines (www.fangshuicanines.com) a canine coaching business that helps people and their dogs live harmoniously. Hilary co-founded Rocky Mountain Border Collie Rescue, where she trained rescues to be more adoptable. Currently, she volunteers with the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in their STAR programs, puppy socialization classes, and other shelter events; evaluates potential canine candidates for a Search and Rescue organization; is a co-founder of the new American Treibball Association; writes blogs and writes articles for pet publications, including Cornell and Tufts veterinary newsletters; and co-moderates Bark Out Loud Radio, a weekly, dog community oriented show that discusses specific pet issues. Her two rescue Border Collies, Frisbee and Luna, reside with her in Louisville, Colorado.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Living in a sunny climate with the ocean and wooded trails nearby. Immersing myself in creative endeavors. Helping others solve problems. Being with people who are open, compassionate, easygoing. Learning from those who can teach me more about animal behavior, politics, the arts, and the facets of life I don’t understand. Being in wonderful health. Hanging out alone with my dogs and thoughts when I want to. Traveling the world. Obviously, I don’t have all of this, but I treasure the parts that I do have.

If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why?
It depends! I mean, if we can’t have caveats (like being treated compassionately and have fun every day), I think I’d like to try coming back as a wild cat of some kind. They seem so serene! My mother’s maiden name was Tiger—and I’ve always been intrigued by that species. Then I can learn what community teamwork is all about.

What is your pets’ most treasured possession?
Frisbee’s most treasured possession is his food bowl. No doubt about it. Luna’s is any toy that squeaks. She particularly loves the noisy ones that she can throw around and jump up to catch.

Your proudest achievement so far?
That’s a tough one. In the pet realm, I could say that it’s helping Frisbee to become a therapy dog, working with him to overcome his dog aggression to pass the test. He’s helped so many humans in difficult situations (he loves people). I could also say that it’s seeing Luna’s progress through the many fearful issues she has, slowly but surely. Or I could say that I am a little proud of me leaving the benefits of the corporate world to do something I truly love--being a dog trainer/coach (and dog blogger), helping those dogs and their guardians who need it. 

Who are your heroes in real life?
I have so many who have helped me along my journey. The heroes change as I change. In the pet world, my first hero was Karen Pryor—I picked up her Don’t Shoot the Dog book at a garage sale and it not only enthralled me, but started my path into animal behavior. She’s still at the top of my list and I’m contemplating going to her clicker academy. My current heroes comprise those who have the knowledge, ability and courage to take emotionally damaged dogs and turn them around to the point of not only adoptability, but to where the dog is living a happier and rewarding life. A recent example of heroes, to me, are those who have changed the lives of the remaining Vick dogs.

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