Local Dog-And-Owner Duo Draws Hundreds of Thousands of Internet Fans
Certainly one of Bellingham’s biggest celebrities on this age of social media and influencer will not be a extremely paid skilled athlete or star on the large display or on stage. In actual fact, there are two people – a canine and their human – recognized merely as Mary & Secret.
Mary Peters has owned Secret, an Australian Shepherd, since December 2014, and her Instagram account @my_aussie_gal now has 438,000 followers. Movies present Mary and Secret performing spectacular tips and sweetly interacting. A lot of their movies have been recorded and shared on Twitter and Fb, in addition to on the favored web site The Dodo. “My movies have been proven on varied tv packages right here and in different international locations,” says Mary, “akin to Japan, Taiwan and Australia.”
Followers do not at all times notice that Secret can be a service canine. “I educated her myself to assist me deal with conditions that make me tough with autism,” says Mary.
Mary and canine Secret take pleasure in life collectively, whether or not they are going to college or studying new issues to share with their a whole bunch of hundreds of Instagram followers. Photograph courtesy Mary Peters
Mary, searching for an clever canine with much less power than a border collie, selected an Australian shepherd. “I believe I used to be simply fortunate with Secret,” she says. “She’s sensible and centered, however not as energetic as different Aussies.”
Secret got here house with Mary when she was a pet. “On the time I used to be wanting, there weren’t any puppies out there regionally,” says Mary. “I discovered Secret at Hisaw Aussies in Oregon.”
Early 2015 Instagram pics present a younger teen getting their first canine. You may then scroll by means of a bevy of cute and typical pet footage. Mary reached out to others in her posts to ask how they need to practice their new pup, and shortly Secret was creating new abilities akin to: B. Sitting and portray footage. Over the previous few years, these abilities have grown exponentially and actually set them aside, making them memorable for folks effectively past the shores of Washington state.
Secret snowboards. She dances. She goes on an Easter egg hunt. She builds snowmen. She performs the piano, drums and guitar – though she most likely will not be becoming a member of a band within the close to future. She is especially good at yoga. Secret appears to essentially take pleasure in simply being with Mary … and Mary together with her.
Mary and Secret have been doing tips collectively for over six years. Photograph courtesy Mary Peters
Followers and canine lovers world wide are eagerly awaiting what the 2 of them will do subsequent.
“My sister and I did Irish dancing with a homeschooling group organized by the Northwest Ballet,” she says. “I do not do it anymore, however we had a variety of enjoyable. So after all I bought the thought to check out Secret Irish Dance. “
Mary lived in Bellingham for many of her life, her household moved right here from Seattle when she was three years outdated. Mary was house schooled and has been a part of Whatcom Neighborhood School’s Operating Begin program for the previous a number of years – and she or he and Secret accomplish that collectively.
Along with coaching Secret, Mary enjoys studying languages, particularly Japanese and, extra just lately, Chinese language and Korean. She plans to main in Japan / Asian school and hopes to double up on biology.
Play it once more, Secret. Photograph courtesy Mary Peters
What misconceptions do folks have about Mary and Secret?
“The misunderstandings I noticed are the idea that I have to punish Secret with a view to get her to do sure issues,” says Mary. “It looks like most individuals imagine that you just can not practice a canine reliably with out utilizing some sort of punishment.”
Mary makes use of a technique known as progressive reinforcement, a time period developed by San Diego-based canine coach Emily Larlham. Go to their YouTube channel, Kikopup, to learn greater than 350 free in-depth canine coaching tutorials.
“Progressive Reinforcement is constructive exercise with out bodily or psychological intimidation,” explains Mary. “For instance, I reward Secret’s fascinating conduct and stop undesirable conduct.”
She says it will take too lengthy to clarify how she trains Secret to do sophisticated tips like enjoying the piano or sledding, however Mary typically trains in very small, incremental steps to show Secret a brand new ability.
There isn’t a doubt that the connection between Mary and Secret could be very deep and followers are fortunate to see it by means of their movies. Mary says, “I believe my autism provides me a greater understanding of how animals see the world.”