Get to Know our Staff: An Interview with Puppy Instructor Cindy Lopez

Cindy Lopez with her dog Hawkeye

What is your job here at NEADS and how long have you worked here?
I am the Puppy Instructor here at the NEADS Early Learning Center. I have been here about 7 1/2 years.

What is the average day like for you?
It usually starts with making the rounds to see how all the puppies are doing. After that I’m making sure all pups have their vaccines updated, going on field trips, teaching basic obedience, training new volunteers, giving tours, supervising puppy play groups and public puppy petting and doing a lot of supervising and cleaning up after the puppies … and everything in between.  At the end of the day we take time to just sit and spend time with the puppies one on one.

How did you end up working at NEADS?
I found out about NEADS from my sister. My brother-in-law worked with the husband of a NEADS trainer.  I was told that NEADS was looking for a trainer to go into the prisons once a week and hold training sessions with the inmates that were training our puppies as part of the Prison Pup Partnership, which is how I started at NEADS. Previously I had been apprenticing and working with a private dog trainer.

Have you always wanted to work with animals?
I have always loved animals – they are an unconditional friend who loves you no matter what.  There is something calming and peaceful about being around animals – I could not imagine my life without them.

What are some of your favorite things about NEADS?
I love seeing our clients with their dogs – to know how much these dogs do for them and they now have their independence back. It is truly amazing.

Do you have any stories about a particular dog at NEADS that has made an impact on you?
There was a puppy NEADS had gotten a while ago – his name is Chopper and he is one of the cutest puppies that has ever come here.  He was a petite 3 pounds with a huge personality and he was afraid of nothing. He was happy all the time and brought a lot of smiles to everyone.

Do you have any animals of your own? Who are they and what are they like?
I have a 6 lb. Pomeranian/Maltese mix named Duchess who lives up to her name because she is a little bit of a diva and was a released dog from NEADS. I also have 100 lb. Shiloh Shepherd named Hawkeye (pictured above) who is a big baby and also a released dog from NEADS.  Last but not least I have 2 cats named Ginger and Baby kitty as well as 6 chickens.

One thought on “Get to Know our Staff: An Interview with Puppy Instructor Cindy Lopez

  1. One of the very first people I met at NEADS who made me feel right at home and helped me to love everything about the program.

    I love the mention of Chopper! I’m so happy I was able to meet that baby when he spent his time in the puppy house.

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