What Can Your Teens, Students and Young Adults Learn From the World’s Greatest Athletes?

Welcome from Liz Parrish, founder of Life…Through Dogs and professional dog interpreter!

I have had my life and successes exquisitely guided and shaped by what I have learned from my sled dogs, and it is my 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 me.

My 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.

This powerful gift is called Energetic Mirroring™, and is a fundamental shift in our approach to self-development. You don’t have to go it alone. You can grow, excel and experience insights and empowerment if you are open to the lessons from the dogs. Thus we can each best learn about life, leadership, teamwork, business, relationships with others, and most importantly ourselves, from these amazing teachers.

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I have a variety of ways for your audience to engage with the lessons from the sled dogs. Keynote presentations and workshops provide a great introduction to the key concepts, and are complimented and supported by the educational materials I offer, including the flagship bestselling book Be the Lead Dog, 7 Life-Changing Lessons Taught by Sled Dogs. Presentations will be customized to your audience and I offer a number of unique presentations for 2014. Yes, of course, I 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. I have developed presentations specifically for corporate/association, college/teen and young adult, and elementary school and youth audiences. Here’s a description of my baseline presentations for 2014, any of which are readily customizable for your audience.

Corporate/Association Audiences– See our page for these audiences

Collegiate and Young Adult Audiences:

What to Look For in a Great Student Leader fits perfectly in a 45 – 90 minute slot, and overviews the key components of demonstrating and developing student leadership, utilizing extensive sled dog examples. The audience is truly engaged and really understands what’s required for to be and become a true leader.

Do you have what it takes to lead your team through the challenges involved with completing an 1100 mile race through some of the most rugged wilderness in the world? I engage your students with what it takes to accomplish this daunting goal, and how to take these key skills and apply them to your student group’s challenges.

This inspiring and entertaining talk connects your student leaders and potential leaders with the fundamental and key leadership qualities and how to develop and manifest those within your environment. Every single example and discussion point is a real world experience, including

  • What is Student Leadership? Practical, Usable Guidelines That Everyone Can Use
  • Providing and Developing Student Leadership at Every Level
  • Developing Your Own Personal Student Leadership
  • Developing Student Leaders on Your Teams
  • What Makes a Great Student Leader
  • Fundamental Student Leadership Enabling Lessons and Examples Directly From the Sled Dogs
  • How Every Team Member Can Learn and Provide Student Leadership
  • The Vital Role Provided by Clear Expectations and Directions

Live Your Dreams is great for a motivational presentation spurring students to be their best in the face of adversity. This 45-60 minute presentation is based on my 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.

Trial by Mud and Ice is perfect for any student audience looking to get a peek behind the scenes at what it really takes to run the Iditarod® Sled Dog Race, aka The Last Great Race on Earth. Liz Parrish, Iditarod’s Littlest Musher™, worked for 10 years to accomplish her dream of training her own team and finishing the Iditarod to celebrate her 50th birthday. This fascinating and inspiring 45-90 minute talk takes you behind the scenes in the preparation and running the race, and shows you the insider secrets of what it really takes to pull it off. Photos and Questions welcome!

Elementary and Youth Audiences — See our page for these audiences

Liz is 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 map out how to take timely action, and to produce results beyond their dreams.

Throughpowerful stories and keen insights Liz brings dog sledding to life, and uses it as a metaphor for developing the skills to overcome adversity and accomplish your goals. I 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’s story of her journey to finish the Iditarod Sled Dog Race move people to commitment, perseverance, and action. After experiencing one of Liz’s programs, your audience 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 is Liz Parrish and what does she 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 (

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. Most importantly she discovered how to utilize and develop leadership skills she didn’t realize she had, and applied those to overcome any kind of challenge which presented itself.

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!