Hope CogenOwner/Lead Trainer
Candice KingLead Trainer
Sandy EvansAdmin. Assistant/Assistant Trainer
A client once said to me, “It’s amazing how you think like a dog! It’s like you know exactly what they are thinking.” I love dogs. I understand them. I love to teach dogs and their humans how to understand one another.
I did not have dogs as a child. My journey with dogs started when I was in my early twenties. After graduating from college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, I became a teacher. Soon after that, I adopted my first dog, Shadow, a one year old mixed breed. Six months later, I found a five month old stray Doberman Pinscher mix whom I kept and named Pupper. Shadow and Pupper opened up a whole new world for me, and I quickly became obsessed with dogs! The more I worked with my own dogs, the more I realized that I wanted to make dog training my career, so gradually transitioned from teaching children to teaching dogs and started my own dog training business. I found that my students (both the dogs and their humans) were motivated and challenged by me. The dogs were becoming well-mannered family members, and the humans were becoming educated, compassionate dog parents. Almost 20 years later, I now promise that both will enjoy the learning process as they benefit from their newly formed partnership. With my guidance, people learn how to train their own dogs and quickly realize that there is “Hope” for every dog (and every dog owner)!
I now share my home with my husband Michael, my teenage son, Ari, and our rescued pit bull mix, Spartacus. Spartacus is a Canine Good Citizen, and he and I are working towards becoming a certified Therapy Dog Team. Sparty helps me with my clients’ dogs who are not well socialized, leash reactive, or just need a good role model. He and I also visit schools to teach children about dog safety while doing our best to debunk the negative stereotypes of pit bull type dogs.
Sandy has been working with High Hopes Dog Training since 2016. She started out by enrolling her newly rescued dog in Beginner Obedience class and continued with Intermediate and Advanced Obedience classes. Sandy’s work with her own dog was so impressive, she was asked to join the High Hopes Dog Training family! Now Sandy’s exceptional organizational skills as Administrative Assistant keep High Hopes running smoothly on a daily basis. As a trainer in our group classes, Sandy makes sure that every client gets extra help to ensure success.
Sandy is a newly retired Roanoke City School teacher. For 33 years, her job has been centered around working with low-income students. She has enjoyed introducing the children to new experiences and pushing them to succeed regardless of their background experiences.
That gift has carried over to her canine family. Sandy, her husband, and her son rescue Bernese Mountain Dogs and Newfoundlands who have been mistreated or neglected. They currently have a Berner named Tripp and a Newfie named Sadie. Sadie earned her Canine Good Citizen certification and is working towards becoming a Certified Therapy Dog. She provides emotional support to autistic children and to those struggling to read. Tripp, being an adolescent goofball, is still in training.