Nikki Moustaki Profile
Nikki Moustaki, MA, MFA, is a dog trainer, animal expert, and pet industry consultant who splits her time between New York City and Miami Beach with her two rescued Schnauzers, Pepper and Ozzie, and two parrots. She is the author of eight books on dogs, including Dogfessions: Secret Confessions from Dogs (HarperCollins) based on her popular website www.dogfessions.com, and Pocket Pups (Kennel Club Books). She is also the author of 23 books on birds, including Parrots for Dummies (Wiley Press) and Your Outta Control Bird (TFH Publications). Her pet websites include www.dogvice.com, www.catfessions.com, www.pugfessions.com, and www.bullyfessions.com. Nikki currently writes for Dog Fancy Magazine and several other pet publications, as well as for PetFinder.com. Nikki has been featured on national television and radio shows including the BBC and the Tony Danza Show, she hosts NBC/Universal/MSN's online show, The Celebrity Pet Dish, and she regularly appears on syndicated radio speaking about pets. You can find out more about her at www.nikkimoustaki.com. Her other websites include www.rockfessions.com, www.girlfessions.com, www.lovefessions.com, and www.wishfessions.com.
In her own words: My love of animals started when I was a small child -- I was the kid in the neighborhood who brought home all the stray animals, and even some wild animals! As soon as I was 15 and could work, I got a job in a grooming shop, and then worked in various pet stores for the next 8 years, doing everything from cleaning cages to being fish girl in charge of 100 tanks. I also maintained and serviced other people's aquariums and had salt water tanks of my own. Over the years I had dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits, snakes, turtles, frogs, fish, and even a turkey. When I was 18 I got my first bird and I fell in love with the avian family. I started a bird hobby, collecting, breeding, and rescuing hundreds parrots over the years.
When I got to grad school, I could finally have a dog of my own, so I got Pepper, a Miniature Schnauzer, from a shelter. Now I wanted to learn everything there was to know about dog care and training, so I set out on a lifelong journey to become a dog trainer. Luckily, I was able to use my knowledge of bird behavior and training on dogs, and I learned quickly. I got another dog after a few years, a Schnauzer mix, Ozzie, also from a shelter. I had the idea for my charitable project, Dogfessions, (www.dogfessions.com) a few years ago when I was training dogs nearly full time. I realized that we all have secrets about our dogs -- it's a relationship like any other. There are things we don''t want them to know, and we imagine that they have secrets of their own. Sometimes our secrets are funny, and sometimes they are dark, sad, touching, and weird . . . these are our Dogfessions. So, I decided to start a site where people could share their Dogfessions in a creative way. It worked! People began sending in their dog confessions . . . and the rest is history!'