Dogs in the Park
Where Dogs and their People Build Better Relationships!

The Instructors

Lucy and Rayna enjoy the garden at home!

Lucy and Rayna enjoy the garden at home!

Lucy Martin, BaSc CPDT-KA  Living in a rural community has made animals a natural part of Lucy’s life from early on, although it was into her teen years before any of them moved into the house. Dogs (and cats) have been a constant in her life and have resulted in countless opportunities to learn about and from them. Each one adds a new layer of understanding about them as well as herself. Lucy’s current canine partner Rayna is a Rottweiler with a strong Germanic sense of order and rules which surely would make the world a better place. She is equally enthusiastic about the important things in life – food, family, food, and friends. Rayna and Lucy started puppy classes in Spring 2013 and have been DITP community members ever since.

Lucy has had many influences in her life, both from the human world as well as from the non-human world. She completed her BASc (Gerontology) degree at the University of Guelph and worked in that field for a few years before a change in location led to a shift into the hospitality industry. Eventually, Lucy followed her heart into work focused around animals. She sought out ways to get her hands on as many different dogs as possible in various capacities. Among other endeavours, Lucy completed her certification in Small Animal Acupressure & Massage, and followed that with an internship at DITP. In 2016, she successfully wrote her qualifying exam, becoming a professional Certified Pet Dog Trainer as well as a DITP Instructor.

Lucy fundamentally values mutual respect in how we relate with our dogs. For Lucy, this means making mindful choices about how to best approach, handle and communicate with each dog - always ensuring their feeling of safety, with the intention of strengthening the trust and cooperation we value from our dogs. Thanks to each dog and each person who shares this commitment and invites her to walk and learn with you.

Luna fix.jpg

Rachel Tiessen RVT BSC(Hons) CPDT-KA originally went to the University of Guelph to study Wildlife Biology. After she graduated, Rachel discovered that she had a passion for working with companion animals on a daily basis, so she channelled her career into the veterinary field as a Registered Veterinary Technician.  She has completed the Dogs in the Park Intern Program and received her Certified Professional Dog Trainer Certification (CDPT-KA) in the spring of 2017.

Rachel started with Dogs in the Park in 2013, bringing her Lab mix Luna to the Good Dog program after they graduated from Vet Tech school together.  With the skills they learned in Good Dog, they quickly moved on to tackle the challenge of learning new things in the Levels program and currently enjoy participating in Rally-O, Tunnels and Jumps and especially Tracking.  When Luna is not chasing bunnies, getting stuck in the woods or rolling in something smelly, she entertains Rachel with her funny antics while learning new things (Luna is quite convinced that 101 Things To Do With A Box is the best game EVER).  Because of her experiences with Luna, Rachel has a soft spot for dogs with behavioural issues and an understanding of what their owners are going through.  This also motivates her to help puppies get the best start on life so they don't have to face some of these behavioural challenges.  Rachel continues to assist in the Good Dog Program, but you cann also find her teaching in Levels and Puppy Classes.  

Outside of the training hall Rachel enjoys hiking, birding, photography and playing sports.


Shirley Lynn Martin MTS, MDiv, BCC, CPDT-KA first came to DITP in early 2012 with my puppy Carlie, an aussie-doodle.  We loved training so much we just kept coming and completed Level 7 in 2015.  I joined the instructor in training program to learn about the art of training dogs.  I ultimately wanted to become a better handler with Carlie as I could see how much our relationship with one another had grown in respect and partnership over the years.

 Carlie was diagnosed with osteoarthritis while still under 2 years of age which has developed my sensitivity to building cognitive skills for a young, active dog with limitations.  It has become a beautiful way to give back both to DITP for all I received over the years and also to the life of dogs who give so much to us humans.  My training and work as a psychotherapist and now as a life and spiritual development coach has deeply influenced my values for meaningful relationships and respect for all sentient beings.  I love bringing my worlds together in supporting people to develop respectful and kindred relationships with their dogs through skill development, games and play.  

You may see Carlie and I partnering at Excellent Rally, at Tracking, Demo and Drills, Tunnels and ‘jumps’, Treiball and wherever we can have fun and her legs remain in good condition (oh and did I mention tracking?, We love the outdoors and this sport!)  There is a motto at DITP, a trained dog gets to do more; go more places.  Thanks to all her training, she attends me and my clients at my office, handles vet visits well, can play all kinds of games, and we can walk loose leash or off leash in many different settings.   Shirley Lynn passed her CPDT exam in March 2019 and is now an Instructor at DITP.