Accountant’s career gone to the dogs

Few chartered accountants are as passionate about their work as Sabrina Thieme.

Few chartered accountants are as passionate about their work as Sabrina Thieme.

Only Thieme’s enthusiasm flows mainly from the business she operates when she’s not crunching numbers.

The Red Deer resident owns Fetch Haus, a “pet lifestyle boutique” that offers dog training, pet supplies and grooming services.

Located west of Real Canadian Superstore at No. 3, 4946 53rd Ave., it’s been open since November and grew out of a dog-training service that Thieme previously offered under the name Releashed Inc.

She continues to do consulting work as a CA, but acknowledges that her heart lies with four-legged clients.

“For me, it is a passion.”

That passion dates back about four years, when Thieme became a dog owner and then took in a rescue dog as well. Not only did her pets require training, but she discovered that others belonging to friends did as well.

“Throwing treats at my dogs wasn’t going to help them, and I knew that,” she said.

Thieme’s analytical mind kicked in, and she began researching how best to address her pets’ behavioral issues. That led her to canine expert Brad Pattison, author and host of the Slice TV program At the End of My Leash.

Thieme spent more than six weeks in Kelowna, B.C., taking a dog-training course certified by Pattison. His non-treat system focuses on understanding dogs’ needs and owner-pet interaction.

“I loved it,” she said.

“It wasn’t work for me, it was just fun.”

Thieme began thinking about training as a career option, and by the summer of 2010 was helping local pet owners. She’s worked with more than a hundred dogs since.

“I just think, if I can help, why shouldn’t I?” she said, lamenting how “problem dogs” are often euthanized when a bit of training is all they require.

Opening Fetch Haus was a big step, she acknowledged.

“The CA side of me knew that it was a big risk.”

But things have gone well, she said, with her spouse Jesse Baker instrumental in opening the shop and helping run it. They have a full-time groomer and sell pet-related products “from food and treats to collars, leashes and toys and active gear.”

Thieme explained that she wants to accommodate all of the needs of pet owners, although training and grooming are the biggest parts of the business.

Training is done mainly through group classes, which run twice weekly for a period of six weeks.

“It’s a pretty intense six weeks,” she said.

The training involves no treats, which Thieme said is important.

Instead, students learn to engage and motivate their pets.

“That makes a huge difference,” she said. “That’s the mental stimulation that dogs crave and need.”

A mistake many people make is assuming dogs are dumb, said Thieme.

“Dogs are underestimated. They’re brilliant.”

More information about Fetch Haus can be found online at www.fetchhaus.ca

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

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