During my life I have paired an early love for animals and a strong
desire to learn. I have delved into training both horses and dogs in
specialized applications. Over the years I have sought to learn more
about how these animals think and learn—how they feel about
survival—how nature (genetics) & nurture (environment) come together
to shape behavior.
I grew up riding various horses. Our
family generally had only one dog at a time. My first formal-type
dog obedience class opened my mind as to the value of basic
training. Awarded a trophy for "Most Improved" in 1988 spurred me to
help friends with their dogs.
My family (husband, Troy, and two
children) moved to Fairbanks (Alaska) from Texas in 1989. I finished
a Taekwondo black belt (ITF) and a Bachelor's in Business
Administration (BBA). I also completed a degree in hazardous
materials. I learned to ski and joined the Moose Mountain Ski
patrol. I joined the North Star Volunteer Fire Dept. and Borough
I continued to learn and train dogs in
basic obedience. Through the Tanana Valley Kennel Club (the farthest
north AKC) I learned about grooming, agility, tracking, and advanced
utility exercises. I joined the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT),
and began teaching classes.
After the infamous death of Joe Vogler, I
joined PAWS and WSAR. I delved in various search-related types
of training including wilderness search, building search, avalanche
(Whistler, BC), accelerants, explosives, and cadaver. Within six
weeks I successfully trained four dogs and tested two in an annual
accelerant test at Auburn University, Alabama. I worked with
insurance companies and fire departments on scene, after structure
In 2001 we purchased the property at
3580 Van Horn Road. I immediately moved my appaloosa horse, Leo,
from Roger Burggraf's to our new home. As an empty nester, my
nirvana was a dog, a horse, a horse trailer, and the great outdoors.
I began to get to know folks in the local horse community including
those in 4-H, Interior Horse Council, Parelli Horsemanship, North
Range Riders Mounted Shooting, and various other disciplines. In
2007 I helped take ten horses to the Brooks Range, and spent two and
a half months wrangling and cooking.
I have worked with Janet Brown, Trina
Anderson, Victoria Michael, Candace O'Connor, Mike Stredney, and
many other good community-minded folks to build the Fairbanks Dog
Park located in the Borough's South Davis Park. In 2010 we oversaw
the illumination of a beautiful and functional park.
A good portion of my time has always
gone into building and improving this Van Horn property. I put in a
sand arena which has been delightfully useful for both dog and horse
activities. As time has continued to fly, I have put more time into
improvements that economically sustain my love-habit for animals.
Troy's progressive Alzheimer's disease has caused me to focus on
making this habit a viable training/boarding business.
Meeting and working with many dogs and
their people have given me the opportunity to continue learning,
growing and sharing.
—Peggy Beagle, February 2011