The Jebel Pack- How it all started!!!
A common question I always get is why Jebel? I was super fortunate enough to spend over 16 years growing up and living in the Middle East and Jebel means mountain in Arabic and is also the name used to describe a stray dog.
My Dad was initially posted with the Army over to Muscat, Oman- This is really where it all started at the age of 12!! We had moved over there with our recently acquired dog who was my best friend-Gem!
Gem was our first EVER dog, although I think since I was about 5 for every Birthday & Christmas all I ever asked for- was a dog! She moved with us from the UK over to Oman and lived so many amazing years & had the best time. Sadly, she was diagnosed with a aggressive cancer when she was 9 and headed over to Rainbow bridge not long after. She was truly my best friend, my confident and my world and to say I was devastated when she passed away is an understatement.
A year or so before Gem passed away, I got a call from a good friend of mine who ran her own kennels in Oman and said that a Male Westie called Shark was looking for a home- It had taken me so many years to get my parents to agree to getting Gem, I thought there was no chance of them adopting a second dog. I was so surprised when they agreed to go and meet 'Shark' but although I was buzzing on the inside tried to keep my cool and not get my hopes up too much! We jumped in the car and took Gem along for the ride. When we arrived 'Shark' was cut to pieces, horrendous skin burns and was in a really bad way.
My mum was the first to stay straight away that the dog was coming back with us straight away and thats how Alfie came to join the Barretts ( Mum likes to say that isn't how the story goes- but she knows deep down it is!)
Alfie was by far not an easy dog, he had some dog and people reactivity issues but once he trusted you- he was truly your best friend. Alfie developed the most incredible bond with my Grandad who lived with us at the time- these two were inseparable and doted on each other. Alfie's tough past finally caught up on him as he got older and he went over rainbow bridge after numerous strokes and heart failure- but my god! What a character he was!
Whilst having our beautiful Westie Besties, I founded & ran a non-profit Dog Rescue Charity - Oman Animal Adoption & Fostering where I would rescue, rehabilitate and rehome rescue dogs. This was an extremely emotional challenge but also hugely rewarding!! Educating the people of Oman about dogs, about how amazing and talented they can be and that there is no need to fear them.
The above is a short video that was made about our rescue group!
So! Lets fast forward a few years, I was lucky to work and gain experience from all different professionals in Oman and when I was 19, I decided to up and move to Abu Dhabi to work as a trainee veterinary nurse. This of course was working with animals, but I had to put my rescue work & dog training on hold! For numerous reasons, it turned out that wasn't the role for me so I worked in Finance for a year whilst completing my Canine behaviour & training course and establishing what I really wanted to do! I later on worked with another Veterinary clinic in Abu Dhabi- which i loved!! I was working as a Pet relocation consultant but also running behaviour consultation and training sessions!
As much as I loved working in the UAE and loved the lifestyle- I was offered a position that I could not turn down- I was getting offered to return BACK to Oman to work with an incredible friend and Mentor of mine- Alfa Vold! Alfa not only has been like family to me over the many years- she is an incredible mentor both in the professional and personal field. She pushed me numerous times to levels she knew I could achieve and has most definitely made me a more confident and dedicated trainer
I remember when I was a young teen growing up in Oman, i would always be so amazed at the facility Alfa and her team had- how she would work with the dogs, the fun she had and the clear bond that all her dogs had with her that when I was offered to join her team- I was there in a flash!!
July 2019- I had personal circumstances which meant I was going to return back to the UK ( where I hadn't been back to live in Over 16 years) You can just imagine the emotions that I had going through me at that time- The biggest one being ' How the hell am i going to get my 3 dogs and 1 cat back with me' which was an adventure in its self- and also a story for another day!!
Here I am now- Jan 2021-Living in a global pandemic, setting up and Running Jebel Dogs & planning my future whilst loving every minute of it! So much has changed over the last couple of years but I have been so lucky to have support to follow my dreams!!
I don't know about you, but i think thats enough about me for one day!!!
Keep safe everyone!
Megan & The Jebel Girls!