Four Winds Canine Connections
Strengthening communities and creating change through human-animal connections.
At Four Winds Canine Connections we assist in cultivating meaningful relationships between people and dogs.
Four Winds Canine Connections is now taking its first steps as a non-profit organization. FWCC was born to address the needs of marginalized groups who lack access to services addressing pet behavior and training. We are excited to redefine what support of pet owners looks like, addressing the wellbeing of the human-canine connection as a whole, our focus encompasses both the owners and the pets in their care. We are so excited to share this journey with those who wants to learn more and get involved in the work we do. We'd love to hear from you!
About the founders:
After starting her Dog Training Career in the world of Assistance Dogs, training mobility, hearing, facility and psychiatric service dogs, Shahar established a private practice that focused on deepening and nurturing the relationships between people and the dogs in their care. Witnessing the healing and growth that comes from a better understanding of animal behavior and incorporating training into daily practices, is what inspires Shahar to continue and grow her work. FWCC was born to address the need to make the world of dog behavior and this magical experience of what is possible when training is applied in a good way, accessible to ALL communities and their members.
Marilou is a certified somatics coach, mindfulness and qigong practitioner and an experienced facilitator of circles. She is a founding member of Deep Listening for Social Change/DLSC a peaceful action group that was formed by members of the Twin Cities BIPOC mindfulness community in response to the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Marilou is a survivor of sexual abuse and partner violence. Her healing journey from her addiction to alcohol and struggles with depression began in 1988 with the unplanned arrival of her first dog into her life. Her best medicine and teacher arrived in the body of an 8 week old black cocker spaniel puppy. She attributes her decades of sobriety to her dog. Marilou is committed to creating and holding safe and brave spaces where we allow wounded parts of ourselves to be seen, heard and held, and where we can collectively and lovingly support each other and make room for healing, joy and aliveness.
We are so fortunate to be partnering and collaborating with amazing organizations and individuals as we launch our first project "Fostering Healing".
Irene Churchill -
A justice-oriented Indigenous provider of Sugpiat and Anishinaabe lineage. Irene is a certified therapist with experience working alongside other Indigenous community members as well as QTBIPOC folks, complex and developmental trauma, grief, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, attachment, racial trauma and oppression, and somatic work
Carrie Oppenshaw with The Bond Between (Secondhand Hounds)
Carrie is the Director of Community Engagement. She loves meeting new people and their pets. She centers her focus on finding creative ways to support pet owners in under-serviced communities.
Jacob is Director of Development & Communications at Women’s Advocates, a domestic violence shelter in St. Paul, Minnesota. He came to nonprofit management following many years in academia, the last five spent studying and working with LGBTQ+ activists in Pune, India. During the pandemic, he became the proud owner of a 3 year old cattle dog mix named Gumbo.