Jan and Bonnie, How to Love Your Dog
Jan Wall with three-year-old Bonnie in September, 2012

About the Author

Jan grew up in Southfield, Michigan, with two brothers and a sister. When Jan was two years old her parents took in a collie named Laddie. During her childhood the family also had a fox terrier, a dachshund, and a German shepherd.

Through Jan's teenage years she studied all she could about dogs, their care, and training. She loved reading books about dogs, especially Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight, and the Lad a Dog series by Albert Payson Terhune. Jan joined dog clubs and her collies won ribbons at dog shows.

After High School Jan went to Eastern Michigan University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and her Teaching Credential. She began teaching in Michigan Public Schools in 1974, the first nine years with hearing-impaired students. Jan was awarded a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education at Western Michigan University in 1980.

Collies remained Jan's passion and she enjoyed competing in AKC competition. She trained, Duke, Star, and Brandi for obedience trials. She conducted dog obedience classes for children and adults.

Jan moved to San Diego, California, in 1982 and received a Communication Handicap Specialist Credential from San Diego State University, and her Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential for California Public Schools. Jan continued teaching special and general education, kindergarten through sixth grade, in Chula Vista, California.

In 1985 Jan designed a Humane Education Program to teach kindness and responsibility to children. She developed a lesson series using dogs as the theme and, along with her collies, Trouper and Kelly, Jan taught the lessons at schools in Chula Vista, CA. Later, Jan would adapt her Humane Education Program for the Internet and create the website, How to Love Your Dog.

Besides her professional work, Jan served as a volunteer puppy trainer for Canine Companions for Independence. She promoted pet food drives for Animeals. Jan joined Therapy Dogs International in 1988 and began regular therapy dog work with Trouper, in health facilities for severely handicapped children and Alzheimer's patients.

Jan joined the volunteer staff at Alvarado Hospital in 1991. Along with Trouper and Kelly, her second therapy dog, she visited stroke and brain-injured patients.

Jan took leave from the school district in 1998. She found a partial replacement for her love of teaching in the creation of this website. How to Love Your Dog was based on Jan's original Humane Education Program. In 2003 Jan launched a second website as a resource for therapy dog owners, Therapy Dogs.Net.

Until the spring of 2006 Jan volunteered at Kaiser Hospital in the pediatric oncology department. Cody and Bailey, Jan's registered therapy dogs, provided comfort and friendship to children receiving chemotherapy treatments.

Jan also was responsible for the orientation of new therapy dogs and their handlers at Alvarado Hospital. Currently, she enjoys her hobbies: dog agility, gardening, and photography. And Jan tends to this website, which is visited by more than three thousand kids every day.

Jan's Education
Bachelor of Science in Education, Eastern Michigan University, 1973

Teaching Credential, Elementary Education, State of Michigan, 1973
Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Western Michigan University, 1980
Communication Handicap Specialist Credential, San Diego State University, 1983
Teaching Credential, Multiple Subjects, California Public Schools, 1983

Director's Award (Top Volunteer), Alvarado Hospital and Medical Center, 2006
Honorary Service Award for Outstanding Service to Children,
from Kellogg Elementary School and
the California Congress of Parents, Teachers, and Students, Inc., 2004
Recognition of Humanitarian Service to Collies from Collie Humane Care, Inc. 1999
Woman of Action, City of El Cajon, Ca and from the
California Congress of Parents, Teachers, and Students and Youth, Inc., 1992

Jan's Memberships
Association of Professional Humane Educators

Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Collie Club of America
All-Breed Dog Obedience Club of San Diego
American Working Collie Association

Collie Club of America Health Foundation

Jan's Family
Rick Wall, Jan's husband, teaches fourth graders in Chula Vista, CA.
Rick holds an M.A. in Education from SDSU.

Their daughter, Genoa Wall, is a project coordinator at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Genoa earned a B.A. in Psychology at San Diego State University.
Their son, Josh Wall, is a writer/designer with Insomniac Games in Burbank, CA.
Josh received a B.S. from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

Jan's Dogs
Bonnie was born May 2, 2009 and came to live with the Walls at 12 weeks.
She is a rough sable and white collie.

All past collies were registered with Therapy Dogs International,
American Temperament Test Society, and the American Kennel Club as
Canine Good Citizens. Trouper, Kelly, Cody, and Bailey are remembered
with love and gratitude.

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