We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Darcy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I had been working with dogs for about 5 years prior to starting Live Love Dog Training. In fact, as the Director of Adoptions for Live Love Animal Rescue, I was working with a wide variety of dogs and learning a lot about best practices with regard to training and behavior simply from being around them. I began to attend training workshops, participate in training shadow programs, and put those skills to use with the rescue dogs even as I was working full time in education. When the pandemic shut down schools in March 2020, I was struggling with the shift to teaching and learning virtually. I had long dreamed of working with dogs full time, but never really saw it as a possibility until my world (along with everyone else’s) was turned upside down.
Over the summer of 2020, I began to seriously research the steps needed to start my own business. Once I felt confident that I could manage the technical aspects of starting a business, I had to think about whether my business would even be sustainable. With my background in dog rescue, I was aware that the pandemic had led to a huge increase in adoptions, as well as an equally large increase in people who needed support with their dog’s behavior. I also had rapport built with the hundreds of Live Love Animal Rescue alumni adopters, many of whom I had been supporting with training advice for several years. It felt like all the pieces were falling into place, and there was never going to be a better time to take this leap. With the support of family, friends, and my rescue colleagues, I quit teaching and launched Live Love Dog Training.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am most proud of the partnership I’ve cultivated between Live Love Dog Training and Live Love Animal Rescue. I am both the Director of Adoptions as well as the behavior and training lead at the rescue, so when dogs leave the rescue, I’m able to continue to offer support through Live Love Dog Training. While I don’t work exclusively with rescue dogs, I really value being able to see them through their entire journey, from the shelter to their adoptive home. We are working to expand this partnership to offer free and low-cost training resources to the community, in order to help address dogs’ behavioral needs and prevent them from being surrendered to the shelter due to these challenges. I’m grateful to be able to help dogs and their humans live a more harmonious life together!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Of course we would have to include some dog-friendly activities in the itinerary! Rosie’s Dog Beach is always a big hit for outgoing, playful dogs. From there it’s nice to take a walk down the beach path and join Yoga on the Bluff. VBurger Vegan is a fantastic plant-based lunch spot, and it’s located right near Retro Row on 4th Street in Long Beach, which has the cutest shops. The Aquarium of the Pacific provides a nice moment of zen (those jellyfish are mesmerizing!), and it’s right near the Pike, Pine Ave, and the downtown Long Beach core. Rent a bike, ride around, and enjoy some time with your furry best friend!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Live Love Animal Rescue has had my back for all the years I was developing as a dog trainer. The Live Love team has been an integral part of encouraging me to keep learning, growing, and applying my knowledge with the rescue dogs. They handed me the perfect opportunity to gain confidence and experience while also modeling humility and hustle. Their support was vital to my decision to start my own business!