“When you get a puppy, there are moments when you just can’t stand your new family member because of all that crazy, relentless energy. That’s how it felt when we got Lucia, a 3-month-old mini bernedoodle. I want to bring her around our Red Kite program kids, who are on the autism spectrum and often fearful of dogs. I was at my wit’s end when I saw a post on a Facebook page recommending Melissa Arteaga at Pawsome Dogs. I liked that she came to our home, because that’s where our problems were. Melissa starts by observing what people, not the dog, are doing that needs improvement. Like everyone in our house had a different nickname for Lucia, and Melissa pointed out that was confusing. She explained Lucia’s crate anxiety and helped create a space where she feels calm and safe.” $255 for three “puppy primer” lessons. pawsomedogs.net
The cofounder and artistic director of Chicago Children’s Theatre shares her puppy whisperer.