I am an Assyrian-German Anthrozoologist living in Frankfurt, Germany who researches mutual interspecies assistance - assistance dog teams in particular (the human with a chronic impairment and their assistance dog are considered a team).
Specifically, I am interested in the puzzle pieces which, when clicked together, allow an assistance dog team to form a mutually beneficial partnership where both members, dog and human, happily assist one another.
Some of my background:
2020-Present: I am a PhD student in Anthrozoology (the inter-disciplinary study of human and nonhuman animal interactions) at the University of Exeter.
2018-Present: I am a consultant and researcher in an EU-programme which is part of an Erasmus+ grant from the Federal Ministry for Education in Germany and funded by the European Union. Its aim is to develop assistance dog training as an accredited profession in Europe, develop trainer/instructor processes for the current CEN (European Committee for Standardization) standard, as well as create a curriculum for assistance dog trainers/instructors.
2017-2019: Obtained my MA in Anthrozoology at the University of Exeter with a strong distinction and a "Dean's Commendation for Exceptional Performance" award.
Title: "Dogs as the New Medicine? Facebook’s roles within the emotional support dog community and its effect on the rise in popularity of emotional support dogs."
2012-2018: Was a self-employed, full-time assistance dog (guide dogs for the blind) trainer in Frankfurt.
Became a certified dog trainer and behaviour consultant by the IHK (German Chamber of Commerce).
2009-2011: Was a working student twice for the world famous, 5-star Parelli (natural horsemanship) instructor David Lichman.
2005-2012: Worked with horses and tamed mustangs in Northern California using natural horsemanship techniques.
I returned to this briefly in 2014, when I travelled to Tasmania, Australia, to start a few young horses under saddle.
2009: Together with my dog and horse, I performed in front of 3,000 people at a Parelli event in Reno - receiving a personal invitation to intern with Pat Parelli.