After training service dogs as a puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) over a 10-year period, Carole, along with husband Dodd, founded Alaska Assistance Dogs (AAD) in 2001 to bring service dogs to Alaskans with special needs. Carole was a ranger managing visitor centers and environmental education programs for the U.S. Forest Service in Bishop, California, when she attended a recreation training oriented towards special needs vacationers. One of the speakers used a wheelchair and talked about CCI; Carole signed up to become a puppy raiser. Within two months she had her first puppy… and as they say, the rest is history. Carole trained with Dr. Bonnie Bergin of Assistance Dog Institute (now Bergin University of Canine Studies) in Santa Rosa, CA. Dr. Bergin founded the concept of service dogs in 1975 and started CCI. Alaska Assistance Dogs specializes in Therapeutic Service Dog Training (TSDT), a program incorporating therapy into service dog training to promote healing and improve mental health for children, teens and adults.
Carole has a BA in psychology/sociology from Whittier College, BS in environmental sciences from Sierra Nevada College, MSCP in Counseling Psychology from Alaska Pacific University, and is a licensed Psychological Counselor in Alaska. She has an extensive background with animals, both domestic and exotic, as a San Diego Zoo keeper, Project Wild and Project Wildlife volunteer, Veterinary Technician, and volunteer or employee for animal shelters in Alaska and California. As a clinical therapist, Carole incorporated service dogs and service dog training into her therapy with children, teens and adults in her own practice, Head, Heart & Tails, LLC, and as an employee of Alaska Children’s Services and Alaska Family Services. Carole has enjoyed traveling the world since college from China to Africa, most countries in Europe plus extensive travel in the United States.