Three days after Lynne Wasson moved to the valley and introduced her dog training skills to the local veterinarians, she received a call.
The caller spoke in fervent sincerity: “I have never had a dog before and a 7-month-old rescue puppy has been offered to me. I learned from the veterinarian clinic that you have special skills in dog training. Would you evaluate the puppy for me?”
The woman appeared at Lynne’s house and within a short time, Lynne spoke with confidence, “If you don’t take that dog, you will be missing out on a great opportunity.” The woman still owns Jasper, who has been the epitome of “woman’s best friend” to her.
Lynne — when she’s not waiting tables at Methow Valley Ciderhouse, which she co-owns with her husband, Richard — continues to be busy training valley dogs, as she has done for 21 years.
There are so many stories that Lynne can relate after working with thousands of dogs. Her own story began years ago when she took upon the task of training a service dog — not an easy one in the least. She worked with the trainee through the course until it was time for the dog to pass the test for his certification. Lynne smiles as she tells how the dog was on his test walk passing people on the street and went up to a little girl and grabbed her ice cream cone. Oops! Failed.
Not to be discouraged, Lynne continued with her acquired skills and took a dog-training position at PetSmart in Seattle, where she handled dogs and owners of varying personalities.
She describes one dog owner as excessively orderly (euphemism for persnickety, maybe anal) who was determined to brush her dog’s teeth daily. She set the dog’s toothpaste next to the human toothpaste for convenience. Not long after she began the routine, her husband asked her about the new toothpaste and its unusual taste. Was that chicken-flavored?
Lynne and Richard moved to the Methow Valley in 2004. They found 15 acres of fertile soil that was once an old lakebed just outside of Winthrop where they planted and nurtured many varieties of cider apples. In 2007, they opened a tasting room on site where families and pets were welcomed. Later in 2016, they opened Methow Valley Ciderhouse where four-legged furry friends are still welcome and treated like kings at their outside seating.
By now, Lynne has worked with so many Methow Valley canines, she has become a legend as the go-to puppy and agility trainer. Now, she acquires most of her clients through word of mouth. Dog “parents” from previous classes frequently greet her, “Hi, Lynne,” while she’s trying to remember which pooch they belong to.
Of course, our puppy Jacco — now 6 month’s old — is benefiting from Lynne’s immense knowledge and skills with his puppy classmates Murray, Bella, Charlie, Penny, Lola and Scotia.
On another note: Calling all Mazama residents, new and old, to help with annual cleanup of the Mazama Community Club grounds on Saturday (May 15) at 9 a.m. Midge Cross, board president, welcomes all, as there will be plenty of chores. She suggests folks bring gloves, rakes, cleaning cloths and gardening tools. This is a great opportunity to learn about the Community Club and become members for a nominal family fee of $30.
I wrote previously about a seasonal dumpster that is still in the works, spearheaded by CB Thomas of Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies. The location is to be determined — a site convenient enough to be seen, but not obvious enough to be overused. The hope is that the summer overload of trash from visitors can be dealt with in a much more manageable way.