Life is full of twists and turns, but in 2003, Christie Price received a serious blow that sent her life spinning upside down. Having worked 27 years in marketing, advertising and communications, Price was pulling in a nearly six-figure salary and had become an expert at dealing with people. However, even that expertise couldn't prevent her from getting laid off. A struggling economy combined with an overabundance of well-qualified workers demanding half her salary meant that the cards were stacked against her, even if she looked for another job.
So in January 2004, after some soul-searching, Price put her 3-year-old miniature schnauzer in the car and set out on a three-day road trip to Denver. She hoped her final destination, the headquarters for Bark Busters, an in-home dog-training franchise, would send her down the right trail: She planned to attend a three-week training course there. "This was my adventure," says Price, 54. "And that's the way I looked at it. I was starting everything new."
Since then, Price has gotten her life back on track--and her Bark Busters franchise established in South Charlotte, North Carolina. Using the techniques she learned during training, she is capable of tackling any behavior problem solely via body language and tone of voice. However, she stresses that her goal is not to train dogs but to educate owners on how to communicate with their pets. "My life is simpler now," says Price, whose 2005 sales were $60,000. "My needs, my wants--my whole life has changed for the better."