Holistic Care is Key: An Interview with Megan Stanton
Some people make plans for their life ahead of time. Go to school, get a good job, settle down, and have a family. They might even buy a boat. But for Megan Stanton, the plans she made for herself didn’t end up being quite what she expected. Her job now, as a holistic dog trainer, is helping those in her community, across other countries around the world and, herself. Her passion for helping animals is far from ordinary.
After joining the military out of high school, Stanton was happy for the opportunities the army had given her. Working as an aircraft electrician, she got to meet many people all over the world, experience new places, and learn more than she could have imagined. What she didn’t know is that the army would teach her not only a skill but how to have a military mindset, built with determination and passion. “I was always into aeronautics, aviation, stuff like that. I just think it’s kind of funny because what I’m doing now has nothing to do with what I had planned for myself.” She started searching for something else but still retained what she had learned during her service. “It helped me be the person that I am today, having that military mindset. But it didn’t speak to me. Working on electronics is very analog, so it didn’t really impact me. I was looking for more.”
She settled down after her service, had two beautiful daughters, and was happy being a young mother, but eventually she had the urge to get out of the house and on to something else. She began to think of some of the things she had an interest in, like animals. Growing up, she had always loved having pets in the house like a turtle, birds, dogs, and cats. Her childhood pet, and best friend, was a small mouse. This all led her to volunteer at the Humane Society.’
After volunteering for a while, Stanton talked about how she noticed her military mindset kicking back in. “There was no streamlined process there. Everyone was there for good reasons, no doubt, but they didn’t really know what they were doing. It’s not that I was being critical because I didn’t know what I was doing either and that had to change for me to be effective in my work.” She saw the need for someone who knew how to assess the animals and find out what they really needed. After some research, she found a difficult program that was in-depth and precise. Over a year of training later, she started to see the need for other areas of expertise like pet sitting and dog walking, pet massage, and pet diet and nutrition. She became certified in all areas. “That’s why I named my business Holistic Pet Care because I see the animal as a whole.”
After doing her training, she learned that lifestyle choices can affect a dog’s behavior, like their diet. She gave an example of something she’d see. “If I have a dog who’s being aggressive, yes, we’re going to talk about training but we’re also going to talk about diet, get bloodwork done. What’s your dog’s thyroid doing? Things like that could be where aggressive behavior is coming from.” What started out as a need to get out of the house and a passion for animals of all kinds, became a fulfilling career move in helping others and their pets.
Not only does she have a passion for animals but Stanton and her husband have a travel bug, as many of us do. The difference there is that she loves rural countries. Not speaking the same language, making friends with strangers, being uncomfortable, and learning about the poverty that other parts of the world face. Overall, it’s finding ways to help those who otherwise couldn’t help themselves.
From March 1st to March 18th of this year, Stanton was in Vietnam. Being in a county that borders China in the times we are currently living is hard to believe. She had spoken to a woman she had met over an animal rescue group who was from the city of Hanoi, Vietnam, where there are zero laws for the protection of animals. As you could imagine, the amount of abuse and neglect animals face there is endless. But Stanton talks to people who want to help. While visiting, she would discuss with them ways they could help those animals. “I don’t want to push my agenda on anyone, like, ‘You have to treat your dogs like I treat my dogs.’ I just want people to see these are living creatures. There’s going to be social and cultural differences but you can talk about the ways those differences can help and change an animal’s life.”
After arriving home and the pandemic of COVID-19 becoming a reality, Stanton was scrambling to find a way she could help. Her husband, who works at the Huntingdon Prison, still had an income. She knew most of her bread and butter came from the pet sitting but the rest of March and April were to be canceled. As a non-essential business, Sanchez knew that people, even if they had the money to spend, were not going to spend it on pet training or sitting. She decided that she was going to post a video to Facebook, reaching out to those who needed her training and help. “I realized that this pandemic didn’t come with a model, obviously, on how to make an income during indefinite closure. Every small business is trying to find a way to stay afloat.” Her video talked about how she was going to be doing FB lives about different animal and pet-related topics, how she was still going to do health and wellness check over Zoom or Skype. “Dog training wouldn’t be ideal because I need to be there in the room with the dog, touch the dog, to really find ways for me to help.” But she was obviously willing to try.
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1 pm, Megan Stanton is on her Facebook live, talking about different topics for those who have pets and animals. Even though she isn’t making money from doing Facebook lives, she still sees it as fulfilling because she gets to interact with people in a new way. For her, it’s not just pet sitting or dog training, it’s helping others understand their animals better so they can live happier and healthier lives. If you want to learn more about Megan and watch her Facebook lives in the coming weeks, be sure to follow her social media below. From one animal lover to another, thank you, Megan, for all that you do. You have no idea the difference your passion is making.
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPWW4ObSL1_XOT-HhmhJx7A