I have always had a deep love of animals and the natural world. My fondest memories of childhood are of the hours and hours I would spend outdoors and the joy I received from each of my pets - and believe me, I was never without one... or two or three. Dogs have always been a part of my life. And there were the ever-present gerbils, hermit crabs, rabbits, cats, etc. I didn’t grow up on a farm, but my parents often thought I was attempting to turn our home into one. I loved riding and being around horses, though I never had the privilege of owning one, and whenever I had the opportunity to meet a cow or goat or other farm animal up close, I'd take it.