In her own words: Pet trainer Michelle Metcalf

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your business.

Michelle Metcalf: Being a sole proprietor, I am responsible for all aspects of my business, from meeting with a possible client to banking and advertising needs. My company is all about putting a little polite back into pet training, so I am completely hands on in all areas of my business.

NNBW: How did you get into this profession?

Metcalf: I have always had dogs, cats lizards, birds, etc. in my life, but I really knew this was my calling when helping a neighbor with her out-of-control dog and seeing the dog calm down and respond to me so quickly at the age of 13. My neighbor said happily as she went on with her walk "You should train dogs."

NNBW: What's the most important thing you have learned in your career?

Metcalf: Kindness is the best way to live, and that remaining calm can get you through anything.

NNBW: What was your first job?

Metcalf: Cashier for H-E-B Grocery Store in Texas.

NNBW: Tell us about your dream job. Why aren't you working it?

Metcalf: In 2005 I became the store dog trainer for a local retailer here in Reno. Many years went by and I loved what I was doing, but my dream job was to own my own dog training company so I could be more informative for my students. I retired my teaching status with the store and set out to open my own company with nothing but a box of business cards and $500 in my pocket. I am happy to say I am doing my dream job now.

NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession?

Metcalf: Be honest and truly love what you are doing and the dogs, because it truly is a "dog's life."

NNBW: What's the most fun you have had on the job?

Metcalf: My first two clients were Joey and Rootie. Joe is a Labradoodle and Rootie is a Yorkie. They are my best friends and such a comic duo. They always bring a smile to my face and put laughter in my heart every day.

NNBW: What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Metcalf: Be true to what you believe in and you will succeed!

NNBW: What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes? How do you spend your time away from work?

Metcalf: Spending time with my dogs Kalee and Spunks, riding my motorcycle and cooking gourmet meals for my mom and dad.

NNBW: If you could live your life over again, what one thing would you change?

Metcalf: Nothing. I have had many adventures with my family and in my 11 years in the military. I am always willing to try new things. I have no regrets, and I'm looking forward to the next adventure ahead.

NNBW: What has been your biggest professional accomplishment?

Metcalf: Being able to use my knowledge to help families adopt the pet that is best suited for their family environment from local shelters.

NNBW: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?

Metcalf: A fighter pilot for the Air Force.

NNBW: What can you do that someone else can't?

Metcalf: Smile from my heart.

NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?

Metcalf: Oh no! There are too many people out there to help, and doing this job brings such joy to me each day that I jump out of bed and can't wait to see my first client. Not many people can say that!

NNBW: Where's your perfect vacation spot?

Metcalf: A quiet mountain cabin on the river deep in the woods.

NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working/living here?

Metcalf: I have lived here this time around for eight years, and the most wonderful thing about Nevada is that is has a little bit of everything and the changes in the seasons.

The basics:

Name: Michelle K. Metcalf, Owner, Sit Please

Number of years in this job? Two

Years in this profession? 28

Education: High school; two years at Tampa University in Florida; Graduated from Animal Behavioral College of Santa Clarita, Calif.

Last book read? "How to be Your Dog's Best Friend" by The Monks of New Skete

Favorite flick? "Call of the Wild"

Spouse, kids or pets? My daughter Angelia is 32 years old, and I have four grandchildren who are identical in looks. My dog Kalee is a 5-year-old Rottweiler mix, and my little one is a 2-year-old Min Pin Chihuahua named Spunks. Both dogs are rescues from local shelters.

Know someone whose perspective you want to share with NNBW readers? Send contact information to: or call 775-850-2146.


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