What Can Your Students and Youth Learn From the World’s Greatest Athletes?
Welcome from Liz Parrish and Barb Schaefer, co-founders of Life…Through Dogs and professional dog interpreters!
We have had our lives and successes exquisitely guided and shaped by what we have learned from our sled dogs, and it is our mission to distill and share that same information and material with others so that it can have the profound impact for you and your audience that it has had for us.
Our basic tenet is that the dogs provide a perfect mirror — with non-judgmental, clear, and unequivocal feedback — on how we are living, working and interacting at any given moment. Thus we can best learn about life, leadership, teamwork, relationships with others, and most importantly ourselves, from these amazing teachers.
We have a variety of ways for your audience to engage with the lessons from the sled dogs. Assemblies and presentations provide a great introduction and distillation of the key concepts, and are complimented and supported by the educational materials we offer, including our bestselling books Be the Lead Dog, 7 Life-Changing Lessons Taught by Sled Dogs and Crimp! On-By!! The True Story of a Most Unlikely Iditarod Lead Dog. Presentations will be customized to your audience and we offer a number of unique presentations for 2011. Yes, of course, we can bring the dogs too!
When this critical information is presented from the dogs’ perspective, it is engaging, intriguing, entertaining, and learning occurs easily and effortlessly. Your objectives for your audience readily occur because of the high level of engagement of your audience with our dogs and their fundamental lessons. We have developed baseline presentations specifically for corporate/association, college and young adult, and elementary school and youth audiences. Here’s a description of our baseline presentations for 2011, any of which are readily customizable for your audience.
Elementary School and Youth Audiences:
Live Your Dreams is great for a school assembly or classroom presentation. This 45-60 minute presentation is based on our bestselling book Crimp! On-By!! The True Story of a Most Unlikely Iditarod Lead Dog. Using Crimp as a role model, students learn what it means to pursue your dreams, accomplishing them even if you’re not perfect, are perceived to be different and nobody else thinks you can do it.
Why Do They Pull? Discover the Magic of Sled Dogs and Dog Sledding is another great school presentation. In addition to the dogs which can accompany any of our presentations, this talk covers dog sledding itself, and gear and equipment is brought in to demonstrate. This 30-60 minute talk is engages the students with the sport, history, and science behind sled dogs, and what to get out of dog sledding and caring for sled dogs.
Liz and Barb are proof positive that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things if they are focused, patient, and trusting. Their goal is to inspire people to think and act differently, to take timely action, and to produce results beyond their dreams.
Through their powerful stories and keen insights Liz & Barb bring dog sledding to life, and use it as a metaphor for developing the skills to overcome adversity and accomplish your goals. They will give your audience an adventurous experience they will never forget, one which is transformative and impactful.
The Iditarod®, “The Last Great Race”, is over 1150 miles of some of the toughest, most grueling, and majestic terrain Mother Nature offers. Few people have realized their dreams, fewer people have summited Mt Everest, and even fewer have finished the Iditarod.
Liz & Barb’s story of their individual journeys to finish the Iditarod Sled Dog Race move people to commitment, perseverance, and action. After experiencing one of Liz & Barb’s programs, your people will know exactly what it takes to succeed in the journey of life, no matter the odds. They will be inspired and equipped to take their passion to the next level.
Who are Barb Schaefer and Liz Parrish and what do they bring to your group?
Liz Parrish grew up in the Midwest. She attended Rice University in Texas as an electrical engineer and computer science major and then began a high tech career in California’s Silicon Valley. After 21 years in a number of start-up and large corporate management positions, she moved to southern Oregon and bought Crystalwood Lodge at the base of the Cascades near Klamath Falls, turning it into a pet-friendly destination resort (www.CrystalwoodLodge.com).
Along the way, she met and conquered challenges from childhood cancer (Wilm’s tumor), meningitis, fibromyalgia, and a blood clotting disorder. The cancer treatments left her with a significantly compromised spine that has both been a challenge to her active lifestyle and an incredible source of strength.
Liz has always had a passion for dogs, dog training, and learning from these amazing teachers. She grew up with a miniature dachshund, got a cocker spaniel as soon as she could talk her roommates into it after college, and then became smitten with working dogs with her Australian shepherd, Jake. Jake never met a job he didn’t like, and they tried just about everything together — agility, flyball, herding, search-and-rescue, and finally skijoring and dog sledding. When the opportunity presented itself to participate in the first ever “Mushing Boot Camp”, Liz jumped at the chance. Thus, she created her first sled dog team out of her motley crew of house pets: an Australian Shepherd, a Norwegian Elkhound, and a Beagle Mix.
That first of many Mushing Boot Camps was memorable for many reasons. She met her future mushing mentor, Jamie Nelson, who would shape and guide Liz’s dream to run the Iditarod. She became totally hooked on the challenges and goals of training a set of dogs to accomplish something as a team. In addition, she met many lifelong friends, among them her mushing buddy and business partner, Barb Schaefer.
From that start, she spent a decade building and training her own sled dog team towards a goal of completing the 2008 Iditarod in celebration of her 50th birthday. In preparing to run the Iditarod, Liz completed a number of other races, including the Eagle Cap 200 in Joseph, Oregon, Montana’s Race to the Sky, and the Siskiyou Sled Dog Race at Mt. Shasta California, as well as the Klondike 300 and Goose Bay 120 in Alaska. Liz and her team finished the 2008 Iditarod in 14 days with 14 dogs — this in spite of being seriously injured early in the race and being “Iditarod’s Littlest MusherTM.”
Liz spent a lifetime preparing for the challenge of the Iditarod, and she lives by the motto: Quitting is NOT an option.
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Barb has always been interested in animals. As a young girl, she wanted to be a veterinarian so she could work with dogs. As a teenager, she realized she wanted to be an engineer so she could make good money and play with her own dogs. She became a mechanical engineer and pursued a successful career with Pacific Gas and Electric and Swift Communications in a variety of line and project management positions.
She and her husband, John, researched for three years before deciding Siberian Huskies were the breed for them. In 1987, she started with one Siberian and she and John would go cross-country skiing, skijoring, and biking, bikejoring, with their dog, with her and John trading off being the lead dog. They got a second dog so now they could each have a dog to use.
One day they were up in Markleeville and saw a woman with a 6-dog team, Barb knew what she wanted to do — dog sledding!
In 1995, Barb and her husband moved to the Sierra Nevada foothills in California on 10 acres where she could seriously train her dogs in harness. Her interest in distance mushing compelled her and John to serve as Iditarod volunteers for 10 years. Barb served as coordinator of the volunteers caring for the dropped dogs along the trail, thus earning Barb her nickname of “Barbara Dog Drop”.
Barbara raised and trained Jasmine, who played lead dog “Maya” in the Disney movie Eight Below.
Barb and her dogs are featured on Animal Planet’s, “Breed All About It, Siberian Husky” and can be seen on Comcast’s “Profiles” and in numerous magazines including Sierra Heritage and Sierra Alive.
Barb and her dogs earned numerous awards including:
One of Barb’s dogs, CH Fraka’s Sparkl’n Jewel O’Kossok, a top winning show dog in 1994 & 1995, was awarded Best of Opposite Sex at the ’94 Siberian Husky Club of America National Specialty Show and was featured in Life Magazine.