Our guide dog mobility instructors come to GDB from all over the country and bring wonderfully vibrant and diverse work experience. This is certainly the case with Jamie Mattison, who hails from New Richmond, Wisconsin. Jamie recently completed her three-year instructor apprenticeship, complementing her already impressive resume. She has a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Amherst College in Massachusetts, and an Associate’s degree in exotic animal training and management from Moorpark College in California.
Prior to GDB, she was a pre-veterinary student and provided educational presentations and outdoor experiences about wolf biology and predator and prey dynamics. She also researched hybrid diseases in plants, worked as a farmhand on a dairy farm, assisted a zoo veterinarian, and led trail rides at a horse camp!
When not working, she continues to enjoy animal education outreach, learning about falconry, crocheting, and crafting up a storm. With her wealth of animal experience, it comes as no surprise that she is training flyball to her three career change dogs!
Jamie recently adopted retired guide Lila from her first-ever training string. She also shares her house with her supportive fiancé who is also a guide dog instructor, and their calico cat, Brioche, who is clicker trained to jump hurdles!
About her current role, Jamie says, “I love that every client and dog is an individual, making every partnership unique and my learning opportunities infinite. I value the daily inspiration I get from talented coworkers, clients, and canines.”