Jenni Lott, Founder and Director

employee_0015_CG4A2103.JPGEven as a little kid, Jenni Lott, founder and director of Cascade Pet Camp, wanted a big dog. Finally, as a graduate student, she got her wish. Misty was a lovable 100-pound Newfoundland with a mind of her own.

“We were two different species that didn’t understand one other,” Jenni says. “If I’d known then what I know now about animal behavior, our life together would’ve been so much easier.”

Today, Jenni is a recognized expert in animal behavior, with a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California Berkeley and a PhD in behavioral ecology from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

Beginning with Misty, Jenni and her Newfoundlands and Border Terriers have earned numerous titles, including obedience, agility, rally, water rescue and drafting (cart-pulling).

In 1998, Jenni got tired of driving her dogs to Portland and back for training classes, so she started teaching agility in a Hood River horse barn. Applying her educational background to dog training, she committed to using only positive training methods rather than the traditional punishment model. Soon Jenni became known throughout the Columbia River Gorge as an expert trainer and animal behaviorist. Before long, people began asking her advice about daycare and boarding options.

But Jenni had the same difficulty finding responsible pet sitters. So she set out to build a world-class lodging and training facility in Hood River, offering Gorge pets a happy and healthy home away from home. Opened in November 2005, Cascade Pet Camp recently celebrated its 10th anniversary under Jenni’s leadership.

Today, Jenni and her 13-year-old son, Cameron, live in Hood River with their two Newfoundlands, Inky and Darwin, and Pickle, a Border Terrier. In addition to running Cascade Pet Camp, Jenni helps train the Mt. Hood Meadows avalanche dogs and she crews on a local sailboat racing team.