My name is Shannon. I've spent the majority of my adult life working in the pet industry, from Kennel Manager to Veterinary Technician to Obedience Instructor to pet blogger and influencer. I was also active in pet therapy work and have fostered and rehabilitated dogs (and some cats) for over 20 years. I am also a certified Personal Trainer.
A love of nature and the outdoors was instilled in me from childhood, when my parents took us to the mountains for summer and winter breaks to visit family. Reaching the summit of a mountain and looking out over the vastness of the landscape when I reached the top was like the world opening her arms and beckoning me. I still feel that pull today.
I live in Florida with my family, which includes dogs, cats and a rather opinionated bird named Runner.
In 2012 I was faced with a double mastectomy. As if that weren't difficult enough, what was supposed to be one procedure turned into multiple procedures spanning 5 long years. Those years of limited activity caused me to gain a lot of weight and become deeply depressed. My personal life unraveled.
Between each surgery as I was cleared to exercise, I began walking with my dog Rama (bottom right photo). Our walks began around our neighborhood, then graduated to hiking nearby trails. I discovered that during and after these walks, I felt better. It was as if the breeze through the trees danced around me and took away everything that I didn't need, leaving me with peace and a new appreciation of the present. Those walks helped me get through those trying times.
When Rama first came home to us, I began a blog about her daily life called Raising Rama. It was more of a cutesy, pet-centered blog. When I started Walks With Rama, it became a more serious effort to document our walks and grew to include things such as gear reviews and an accompanying YouTube channel.
It is our hope to encourage others to discover the healing power of movement and the outdoors, and the magic that happens when we experience it with another powerful healing force--our canine friends. Through our blog, social media and YouTube channels we hope to show others (especially women) that you are capable of so much more than you think you are, and that it is never too late to change your life.
A dog and a dirt trail can heal.