Snapshot of a Southern Gentleman >
Favorite Movie - Steel Magnolias
Idol - Dolly Parton
Favorite Guilty Pleasure - Homemade biscuits with butter and molasses (echocardiogram anyone?)
Favorite color - blue (can you tell?)
Favorite quote (and life motto) - "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion"
And did you know? >
When he isn't studying livestock pedigrees, working with children, or singing his favorite songs at the top of his lungs (and doing a beautiful job of getting the lyrics exactly wrong every single time), Travis loves to tell stories. Here is one he told when he was part of a story-telling group in DC called SpeakEasy DC >
In my own RoundAbout way...
RoundAbout Farm & Kennel has been a lifelong dream for me. I got involved in the world of dogs as a middle school student, raising guide dog puppies for the blind. That eventually led to dog shows and dog-related public education efforts during high school. Since I'm kind of the "go big or go home" type, I was selected the National 4H Dog Project Winner in 1992.
During my second year in college (1994), I took a 14-hour road trip to Gettysburg, PA to visit Donna and Ben Dale’s Gleanntan Kennels. It was during that trip I fell in love with my first Skye Terrier, Ethel. I was a poor college student though, so Donna and Ben allowed me to pay for her in monthly installments. Along the way, they became important mentors and friends.
The following year, I was introduced to Michael Pesare and Maida Connor (Gleanntan Kennels) at the Montgomery Kennel Club show. They also became instant friends and mentors. Since then, for the last twenty years, I've been honored to be involved in the Skye Terrier breed as part of the Gleanntan family.
I fell in love with mini wires by accident. When I saw “Noah” (Ch. Gleneagle Who’s Famous Now MW) running around the group ring at the 2008 Westminster Kennel Club dog show, it was love at first sight! When I realized Noah’s breeders, Lisa Kennel and Carol Leggat, lived only two hours away, I asked to come for a visit. The rest is history. Lisa and Carol have become like family—and Noah’s sister, Madison, now lives with us as one of our foundation females.
Our involvement with Drakesleat began equally serendipitously. In 2011, I was traveling to England for work. Lisa encouraged me to contact Zena Thorn-Andrews, the most successful mini wire breeder of all-time, for a visit. Zena invited me to meet her at a dog show, and then asked if I would show one of her puppies, Wisty. Again, it was love at first sight—and that day we won Wisty's first Res CC! Several months later, Zena offered me the chance to purchase little Wisty. In an instant, I knew I would do whatever it would take (beg, borrow, or steal) to bring little Wisty home! Now, Wisty loves life on this side of the Atlantic, and Zena is a valued friend and mentor.
It was during my trip to England in 2011 that I was electronically introduced to Johnny. He also had dachshunds - so our mutual love for these adorable four-legged friends bonded us instantly. We emailed every day while I was abroad and he shared in my excitement about Wisty's big win at Crufts. A few days after I returned from England, we met for a coffee date after work. When we saw each other for the first time on the corner of U Street and 14th Street NW, we decided, instead of coffee, we should have dinner. After dinner, we decided to go for a walk around the city so we could continue our conversation. Our walk eventually led us to a bench in the Dupont Circle roundabout. On that bench in the middle of a Washington DC roundabout, we talked about our lives, hopes and dreams until 4 AM the next morning.
From there, we went on to create our own RoundAbout where instead of talking about hopes and dreams, we just live them.
A little more about me...
I'm an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research examines emotionally responsive teaching and resilience in the lives of children growing up in challenging circumstances. My doctoral training is in Human Development and Psychology and I am a licensed mental health counselor (LPC). I'm also the co-founder of RoundAbout Farm, a heritage farm focused on the conservation of critically endangered livestock breeds.