Blog post by Amber Quann KPA-CTP, CPDT-KSA

At our goal setting meeting last year January 1, 2018, my husband Charlie and I had a simple goal for the year: maintain the status quo. This goal was born out of realizing that every year since we’ve been married, we have either moved to a different state, started a new job, started or graduated from a degree program, moved to a different house, opened or closed a training facility, etc. etc. etc. In 2018, we made it our goal to stay in the same jobs, the same house (we’d just bought our perfect first home), the same state, and the same level of education. We met that goal pretty well over-all and it was oh-so-nice.

Which brings us to 2019 - new year, new goals.

Maintaining the status quo is good sometimes. It allows you to find a baseline. Find some level of proficiency before you raise your criteria - that’s Training 101.

But sometimes the status quo isn’t a healthy long-term solution. When the status quo is working an average of 50-60 hours a week, juggling 306 business hats all at once, feeling guilty about taking time off, and fighting compassion fatigue every other day - that’s not healthy, and not sustainable.

So, here are some updates for each of us on the Summit team for 2019. We’re shaking it up a bit.


Amber: For the past 3.5 years since I started SDT, I’ve worked an average of 50-hour work weeks, including multiple weeknights every week, and weekends. I love helping people and their dogs, and SDT has helped a lot of them in Fort Collins so far (I just noticed that we just passed the 1000th client mark in our scheduling software!). But while this is my passion and has been my dream job since the age of 10, I am also on the edge of burnout. In order to keep helping dogs and their humans, I will be taking a sabbatical this year to rest and work on some other projects that have taken a back burner to my regular responsibilities. The first part of my sabbatical will be for 6 weeks middle-of-February through the end of March. I have a new project that I’m very excited about. It’s called Drink With Your Dog™, and when this project is complete it will include education for breweries and dog owners all about keeping dogs in breweries in the safest and most positive way for everyone involved. I need time to work on developing this project fully, and this is part of what I will be using my sabbatical for. I also have been wanting to teach an online Rally obedience class for quite a while now. During my “downtime” I’m going to be offering that class since it never seems to fit amid all the other routine classes that we offer. After these 6 weeks, I’ll be back for a bit . . . and I’m not sure exactly what my availability will look like then, but we will see. There may be a second part of this “sabbatical” happening later this year, details still TBD.

Charissa: Charissa has been enjoying raising her new puppy and married life since early this fall. And now that the new year is upon her, she and her family are looking for their next adventure. Sticking to the mountains of Colorado, Charissa and Tyler will soon be packing up the dogs and cat and moving to a new town. She would like to work on training her animals and teaching some goals with them but once settled knows she can’t stay away from her passion long. Charissa is still teaching the CSU vet students every week so she won’t be far for long! During this time she’ll be taking a back seat at SDT and won’t be leading group classes or taking on new private lesson clients.  


Sarah: Sarah joined the SDT team back in October, and has been working hard preparing to take over her own Level 1 classes starting this month. We are so excited to have her as part of our team, and for the expertise that she will be bringing to our class students. She will also be available for Basics private lessons starting soon, and will be a great resource for our students while I’m away.


Emily: Emily is our rockstar administrative assistant - if you call our office phone or send us an email through our website, you’ll reach her! She's always ready to help and will be continuing to work hard on behalf of our clients even during this weird downtime. I’m also going to be putting her skills to good use on the development of the DWYD™ Project!

Other updates:

Level 1 Classes: We recently had one of our class locations close their doors unexpectedly. We have found solutions for our classes for the short-term (thank you Prost, Wagz & Krisers for stepping in and helping us out!). As we have team member changes in conjunction with this location snafu, we likely won’t be offering our Level 1 classes with the same regularity as we have been able to for the past 3 years. We are still exploring other location options as a long-term solution (if you have any leads on a great classroom space for us to pursue, please reach out via email at but in the mean time, please bear with us and if you see a class pop up on our schedule that you want to join - sign up right away so you don’t miss out since supply will be limited.

Thank you all for your continued support of Summit Dog Training. We are so honored to have been able to serve so many dogs and their humans in Fort Collins over the last 3.5 years. We are excited about the next steps we are taking - hopefully these steps will ensure that our team has the capacity and energy to continue serving the dog community for many years to come.