Moving On

October 16, 2016

Written by:  Megan Esherick CPDT-KA

When I graduated high school my yearbook quote was “It must be so lonely to think that you have only somebody’s else’s life to live if they let you” from the Billy Joel song Blonde Over Blue. My eighteen year old self always knew I would work with dogs, but she also always pictured working for herself, as a kennel owner, professional handler, something like that. Looking back, every single person that I seriously and admired and considered a mentor was in that situation. When I graduated college and the reality of living in the city (not so conductive to a dog business) and not having money to invest in facilities hit hard, so I did what seemed like the next best thing and started a career in the service dog industry. Along the way I have met (and hopefully helped, at least most of the time) some really great people and mostly enjoyed what I did, but a part of me always knew I was living someone else’s dream. 

This week everything changed, not exactly by choice but probably for the best. It’s time to pursue my own dream, which I now realize is a private training business. I’ll start by doing private in home training, with the hope that a facility will be part of the longer term plan. Honestly, after 17 years in the same job it’s nice to even have a long term plan. Yes, there are things (and people and dogs) I will miss, but not the drama, politics, and pressure that comes when you literally promise miracles to people. It will be liberating not to feel like I have to suppress a big part of myself to be accepted into a corporate culture where I really don’t fit or to face judgment for being a woman who is not maternal and nurturing. Dog training is what I know best and this is a chance to go back to doing that, on my schedule and in a way that works for my life. 

In honor of my brilliant Chili-dog, the new business will be called The Clever Hound. A website and Facebook page are coming soon!


  1. Denise Meehan

    Congratulations on reaching your destiny and dream.

    Life is a journey. How, funny, I left 20 years of Corporate America to pursue my avocation of dog training, nutrition and conditioning. Which has recently lead me to service dogs.

    Continued success in your new venture.

  2. Gwen Weisgarber

    Good for you – you have so much to offer people!!!

  3. Amy & Magee

    Good luck, Megan!

  4. Jan moore

    We only get one life to live Meg..and following your dreams, living your life without regrets..being true to yourself is more important than trying to meet others expectations . Good luck on this new endeavor, your passion will produce success!

  5. Colleen Learn

    Congratulations Megan! I wish I lived near you as I admire your accomplishments with your dogs and would love to benefit from your training programs. Ever thought about a youtube training class? Or just a blog sharing your training techniques. Write a book. With your background, you have so much to offer and inthese times so many ways to get what you know out to the masses, and make some money doing it. Best of luck to you!

  6. Tara McKibben

    I am happy that you can begin your journey to really be who you want to be. Being part of the organization that you worked for, I realized that there were politics involved, like in any non-profit organization. We witnessed a very small part of it during TT’s. I don’t know what happened that made your leaving at this time just as TT was to begin, but it must have been very unpleasant.
    I want you to know that Tess and I have always admired you tremendously and were amazed that you were able to do as much as you did. You certainly did help so many of us improve our lives with your work, dedication and love for our dogs. Thank you from me, Tess, April and Junius.

  7. Diane Jones

    Often things happen to change our lives. These not planned events can be for the very best. Maybe gives you the push that you needed to realize your dream and your destiny. I’m gonna miss out little chats but I wish you the grand success you so richly deserve. Best of luck in your new endeavors.

  8. Carol Quaranta

    Best of luck with this next chapter in your life with dogs. You have admirable skills with what you have accomplished with your Peebs and also service dogs. Whatever you do, I am sure you will be at the top of your game and highly sought after by dog lovers and their pets. I am sure I will see you at the next PBGV National. Carol Q.

  9. Faye Shank

    Dear Megan,
    I will miss you so very much. Your professionalism was hallmark. Your training standard , in my opinion, the best.

    I wish you the very best. You deserve success!
    (((Hugs))) from Dreyfus.

  10. Mary Fertig

    Wishing you the very best and wish I could have benefited more from your vast amount of knowledge of which you have so much. Best of luck with your new adventure. You ave been preparing fr this moment all along.

  11. Shelley Barclay

    Good for you!!!

  12. Jeanette Snyder

    Best of luck in your new adventure. Life is full of curves and choices, enjoy the change and go for your dream. If your ever up this way let us know.

  13. Sheryl Bradbury

    Congratulations Megan! I am sure you will do fine with your self investment! Best advice- breathe, it helps when you need to make the next step!

  14. Carla Boynton

    Megan,I have always had great respect for you. I fell that you were very professional and I fell that you will be missed at least by me, very much . I’m so excited for you for this new adventure! You’ll find that even now your life will change from time to time and drastic ways but, a person like you, who is so strong and devoted to what they believe in, will come out on top. I’m sorry to hear you’re going because I’ve really enjoyed knowing you. thank you for being there and being so helpful to me during some veey difficult times in my life!Both Bonz and Uncle Ed wish you the very, very best in everything that you do! And from the bottom of my heart I wish you great success in your new adventure.

  15. Heather and Nala


    Somewhere over the rainbow, your dreams do come true. Thank you for being there to help so many of us gain a new sense of self worth and independence. Thank you for giving me a connection back to my roots and my passion for obedience and performance with dogs. I have enjoyed our talks (remember TT and our progesterone discussion). You are perusing what I had always wanted to do and was on my way till we moved to PA. Good Luck! I wish you the best. Maybe I will be a disabled rally student for you!

  16. Edward Crane


    We all need to learn to “never let our dreams pass us by” ! I send you my best wishes for true success and joy in your next journey in life. Our time on this planet goes by so quickly and some time in the future, you will look back and see all the positive results that this decision delivered for you and you family. May God bless you. Thanks, for positively helping change my life. Good luck !

    Ed Crane & “Alepo”

  17. george jones

    HI, Megan,

    Frolic and I are, at once, bummed by your news and wishing you well in your future endeavors. You were our primary trainer. I have to say that matching me to Frolic and Frolic to me could not have been a better match. I will miss seeing you on my occasional trip(s) to CPL. Best of luck in your next challenge… I know that whomever gets the benefit of your training will be the better for it. Would you ever consider a trip to Northern VA to help me work out a few things with Frolic? Oh, and should you ever need a reference,, please feel free to use my name.

    George and Frolic

    • admin

      Hi George-
      I will be taking private training clients and would consider traveling, but I think you are supposed to have CPL permission to work with an outside trainer. I would hope they wouldn’t give you a problem, but you might want to check. I can be reached at



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About Me


I am a professional dog trainer, dog sports addict, and small scale breeder of PBGVs.  For more information about The Clever Hound LLC dog training: