About Cate Sacks

cate_moquaiWhen I was 17 years old I started my personal journey towards the life that I believed in – that animals and children can teach us so much if only we would take the time to listen. I was raised in a rural area close to Ottawa Canada where I spent most my formative years rescuing and repairing sick or injured wild animals. School was difficult for me, and to this day I still do not understand how they teach each child in the same cold, confusing way.

I attended Universities in Ottawa Canada, London England & Washington DC to continue to study what the animals in the forest had taught me. I studied children, their development, and their learning behaviors and found tremendous parallels between children and animals and how they listened, responded, and learned. I completed my book & testing studies in Dog Training, Animal Behavioral, Personal Fitness Training, and became an International Preschool and Elementary Montessori School Teacher. The little pieces of paper they give you after you have finished their tests simply allow you to go forth and truly learn and apply what is written in the books. A certificate of completion such as a diploma is simply a license to now begin learning. For more than 20 years, I have enjoyed my work and observations throughout the world of both dogs and children. My travels and experiences throughout Australia, Europe, Fiji, Africa, Hawaii, Central America and North America have written the book of me. I home school both my children utilizing animals and what they can teach them every step of the way. I am a personal fitness trainer/health coach and enjoy helping people conquer their supreme health, helping many lose up to 100lbs. I am married to my very supportive best friend who is the smartest business man that I know & we own three fitness gyms. I love being a mom to my young daughter and older son who lives with Aspergers. They are champion swimmers, horseback riders, triathletes, and serious students.

I have started schools, owned summer camps, backpacked the world in pursuit of the observation and work with children and animals. Being a lifeguard, teaching windsurfing, kayaking, & water skiing have all been a part of the healthy me, and qualifying for nationals in slalom water skiing was a highlight for me in 2002. I have been addicted to triathlons, cycling, and started the water ski program at the Sports Center in Mission Bay.

I have owned and operated Shelter Dogs to Dream Dogs since 2006, and through this incredible journey I have helped both humans and dogs come together as a team.  I have helped many families with kids on the spectrum, as well as Veterans, and young adults who suffer with PTSD find strength and happiness as their own loving dog is trained to be their service dog.  Shelter Dogs to Dream Dogs has also been a safe haven for court appointed young teenagers and adults to do community service, as well as a place of work for outreach programs, and St. Madeleine Sophie Center.

I have been on the other end of the phone when the shelters have needed help with unadoptable dogs who otherwise no longer had a future.  These dogs have come into my rehabilitation, training and adoption program, and I am excited to be able to say that we have saved more than 1000 dogs and other animals.  In 2009 I partnered up with Therapy Dogs International (TDI), where I have trained and hosted the tests for dog and human teams to become therapy dogs so they can work in hospitals, schools, etc.  I have been asked to be guest speaker at many schools, parent groups, business organizations, Rotary meetings, as well as being the judge for 4-H dog shows and T.V’s ESPN surf dogs.

In 2012, not only was I chosen to train two therapy dogs for The Chelsea Light Foundation, but being one of the first Service dog trainer for Parkinson’s,  I was awarded the 2012 Ambassador of the Year from the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego.  Being an International preschool and elementary trained school teacher, as well as raising a son with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), high ADHD, learning difficulties as well as short term memory, I love training, and guiding families who also have children with struggles.

With all that I have done nobody has taught me more than the unwanted shelter dogs who have come to me when their bad behavior does not allow them to go to anybody else. These wonderful, simple, beautiful creatures help me to let go of all that we are taught as a human, forget time, and let go of stress. Through body language they help me to remember to calm down and breath. Through listening they too relax and once again become thankful, happy and loving…never holding a grudge from the life they came.