The Transformation of Lucy
Bark n’ Roll was indispensable in helping us to rehabilitate our rescue dog, Lucy, and we recommend their services without reservation.
When we first brought Lucy home, we were entirely overwhelmed and despaired of how to manage her behaviors. We were out of our depth and unsure how to proceed to handle this sweet but wild dog. Due to an uncertain but certainly unstable past, Lucy was extremely anxious, and that anxiety manifested itself in pulling and tearing our clothing while we wore it, attempting to jump our fence to get at the dog on the other side, barking and jumping towards other dogs while on leash, and a constant state of overstimulation and frenetic activity. We even wondered if we would be forced to rehome her due to our inability to manage her problematic behaviors, a prospect that caused us no end of guilt and anxiety on our own part.
Fortunately, we called Francine at Bark n’ Roll, who supported us in developing a plan to manage Lucy’s behaviors through positive incentive training and providing a stable environment and regular routine. We enrolled Lucy in Bark n’ Roll’s Grrr-owly Dogs class, which helped us to manage her reactivity while on leash. Tracy came to our home for a few in-home training sessions. Lucy enjoyed the company while we soaked up Tracy’s knowledge and expertise. Francine encouraged us to email her with regular updates about Lucy’s behavior. Francine would reply to each email with guidance, encouragement, and concrete, helpful suggestions for how to manage Lucy’s behaviors. We joked that Francine felt like our therapist during that time!
We don’t know how we would have managed Lucy’s behavior without Francine and Tracy’s guidance. Lucy remains a sweet dog to this day, but what is more — thanks in large part to Bark n’ Roll, Lucy transformed from an anxious dog in unfamiliar surroundings into a well-loved and -adjusted “member of the family.” Our extended family has remarked in wonder on the transformation.
We have also availed ourselves of BnR’s Kids n’ Canines class and of their dog-walking and dog-sitting services. We recommend them highly, and cannot thank them enough for the support they have provided to Lucy and to our family, all with great kindness, understanding, and professionalism.Anne and Ryan, Reading
Thank you so much for coming to meet myself and the two dogs the other day. I appreciated your patience as you observed them in their everyday routine! I read your evaluation and I think the plan you laid out is wonderful. I have already started rewarding Scooter when he calms down during commotion and have noticed he calms down sooner with the treats! Also, both myself and my parents have started to give him treats when attempting to move him and we have noticed his growling isn’t as intense. We still have a long way to go, but it is great to already see some areas of small improvement over the course of a few days! I am interested in some of the essential oils and the games that you linked and will circle back with you probably next week once I determine which ones I want to purchase. I think he can definitely use some of them, especially when meeting new people and for crate time at night to keep him calm.
Thank you so much again for this plan! For now, I think my parents and I will work on seeing how well we can accomplish these goals. If we hit any roadblocks, I will reach back out and see if we can schedule another session.
We have a dog named Macy. She is a female Cockapoo, 13 pounds. We consider her a family member, and take her with us everywhere. However, sometimes we cannot bring her with us. We have had Francine watch Macy for us several times…from as short as 2 nights, to as long as 16 nights. We consider ourselves SO very lucky to have someone like Francine to watch our little “fur baby” while we are away. We never worry…we know that Francine will take great care of her. Macy has special dietary needs, and Francine has always followed our instructions closely to insure that Macy stays healthy. She also sends us text messages and emails pictures, so that we may get updates on her activities and get to see Macy enjoying herself. We don’t know what we would do without Francine – we most likely would not go away!).Jill, Needham
My husband and I have been working with Francine at Bark n’ Roll for a year now and we could not be more ecstatic at our luck in finding such a wonderful, compassionate and thoughtful person to care for our pets. St. Francis of Assisi is known as the patron saint of animals and it is certainly no coincidence that Francine shares the name. I have worked in the animal field for over 20 years and I have yet to meet another person so perfectly and uniquely suited for this profession as Francine. Her commitment to her clients and her level of integrity is unparalleled. Not to mention her knowledge of animal behavior—she could definitely teach Caesar Milan a thing or two!
Francine not only provides daily pit stops for our dogs but we have worked with her on numerous occasions for training (and will continue to do so). Both of our dogs are rescues and that usually comes with some kinks to work out. And let it be said, Francine doesn’t just share the name of a Saint; she has the patience of one! She never forces a behavior and works solely through positive reinforcement. Her gentle approach and calm but confident demeanor easily won the trust of our dogs. She moves at a pace that is best suited for them and in doing so, sets them up for success every time. Her techniques are easy for everyone to learn, pets and owners, and if you follow her lead, results come in no time at all!
Our entire household erupts into a frenzy of wagging tails when Francine stops by—even the cat comes running with excitement. She is an amazing and incredibly talented person who truly has a gift for what she does. We are so fortunate to have found her and could not recommend anyone more highly! Thank you Francine for everything!Laura, Sean, Winston & Scout (and Ruby, the cat), Lynnfield
Francine is awesome! My dog and I have been her client for a few months now — I had just moved to the area and started a new job which requires long hours, and given that my dog is older, a little anxious, and has some separation issues, I can’t imagine how K and I would manage without her! Francine is friendly, responsible and trust worthy — she sends email updates everyday so I know what to expect when I get home and she is very knowledgeable on K’s behavior. We’re going for a training session in the next couple of weeks with Francine so we can try and work on some of K’s problem areas 🙂 Very excited! She’s definitely the best!Laurie, Wakefield
We have used Francine’s services since our pup was 9 weeks old and she has been amazing…always professional and always reliable. I would highly recommend!Ryan, Reading
Simply the BEST! I moved to North Reading from Boston last fall and had to hire my first dog walker for my 8 year old shepherd mix, Winston. I looked at several services in the area but when I stumbled upon Bark-n-Roll’s website, I knew I found a gem! I could tell immediately that there was someone with a personality behind this company! After each visit, Francine will send emails to let me know all about her visit with Winston to get me comfortable with her process. I trust her 100% with Winston and in my home. I would recommend her to anyone! She is extremely personable, thorough and reliable. Winston is very lucky to have his Francine Friend!Moira, North Reading
When we became dog owners, we hadn’t realized just how much guidance and support we would need! Our dog Lucky came to us at 12 weeks. We have two young children who love to run around and have lots of play dates at the house. We quickly realized that in order to have a successful dog experience and easy play dates at our house, we would need the help of someone who understands dogs better than we do! Francine was recommended to us by a friend and we were very Lucky to have found her. On her first visit she connected with Lucky and created a sense of trust with him and with our family. The commands she taught us to teach him have really helped our every day family live. We have also been able to call upon Francine to come take Lucky for play dates and walks when our schedules have been just too busy or we have been away on a long day trip. Knowing that she is there for Lucky and for us, makes life so much easier! Francine loves dogs and she treats them and their families as her own. We would highly recommend, and have recommended, Francine to any dog owner!The Cote Family, Reading
Francine is the best! We interviewed lots of dog walkers, and she stood out head and shoulders above the rest. She is extremely personable, professional, knowledgeable, and simply has a way with animals. She is trustworthy and we are completely comfortable having her in our home. She is also flexible and does her best to meet all of our requests, even last minute ones. We love her!!Donna and Matt, Middleton
Bark n’ Roll is amazing. My dogs are my family and to find someone I trust my dogs to, not to mention my home is quite a find. My dogs are happy, exercised and loved when I can’t be there to do it myself. I feel blessed to have found such a great and professional company. You won’t be sorry!Kelly, Reading
Bark n’ Roll is amazing. My dogs are my family and to find someone I trust my dogs to, not to mention my home is quite a find. My dogs are happy, exercised and loved when I can’t be there to do it myself. I feel blessed to have found such a great and professional company. You won’t be sorry!Ryan and Gina, North Reading
We have an exuberant whippet puppy, Addicus, who was not a pleasure to walk before Francine started walking him Monday through Friday. Since Francine has started walking Addicus my daily walks with him have gone from the worst to the best part of my day. Francine has not only made him a pleasure to walk with but also provided us peace of mind with daily updates of how our puppy is doing that are fun to read and informative. Without Francine I cannot imagine how hard it would have been for me to go back to work full time. My whole family feels very lucky we found Francine and I know Addicus loves his daily walks!Grace and Matt, Reading
Bark n’ Roll is terrific and we have been very pleased with their professionalism, warmth and dependability.Patrice & Bryan, Reading
My dog has been a client of Francine’s for almost a year and there is no way I could manage without her service. She is trustworthy, loyal and dependable — whenever, I need her to do extras, she always comes through — even on the weekends!! I feel 100% comfortable having her in my home when I am not there. She has become part of our family — Rockne, my golden, just loves her and you can tell she just loves him. She has the best disposition and value her very much!Gina, North Reading
We are the parents of two very quirky sisters from Indiana who are full of energy and exuberance. We needed some help to get them to stop pulling on the lead and to be a little less crazy when they encountered other dogs. When we first met Francine she was very encouraging that with time and patience these behaviors could be changed. We began a course in basic obedience and also had her come to the house twice a week to take the girls for a walk.
Since working with Francine, we have noticed many positive changes in the dogs’ behavior as a whole. As for our original goals, pulling on the lead is a distant memory. In the off chance one or both pull, we now have cues to remind them and they come right back to loose leash walking. Socialization is ongoing, but we have made huge strides and even have a few “friends” that we can walk with in peace and harmony!
Francine is extremely knowledgeable in animal behavior. She is kind and enthusiastic with the dogs and infinitely patient with her human clients (a must for us!). Francine understands the dogs’ behaviors and has specific cues to use for each. After every training session she sends us a copy of the cues we learned, which is so helpful to have for reference and reminders.
After each walk Francine emails a report even if the walk wasn’t always perfect. With humor and positive suggestions she will honestly relate the events of the day.
Francine has been so flexible with scheduling our walks and training sessions. She is extremely reliable and trustworthy. She is not deterred by cold, rain, floods or the unexpected … which could greet her at any time here. She is wonderful and we are very fortunate to have Francine in our lives.Cathie and Jim, North Reading
Goose and my family adore Bark n’ Roll! Francine exemplifies professionalism with our Goldendoodle, Goose. Combined with her knowledge, confidence, and compassion, her sessions are well-organized with a step by step process during the hour, assisted with print-outs for us to refer to during the week. We are so impressed with Francine’s training because of her positive, calm approach and kindness. She rules with firmness, yet with consistent positive reinforcement and proved to us that our dog could be trained and well-behaved. I eagerly encourage my neighbors and dog-owners to call Francine for daily “Pit-Stops” and “Playtime” to reap the benefits from these activities. One of the best things about the daily visits, is that Francine practices with Goose regularly, and this makes a huge difference in the final product! We consider ourselves very fortunate to have found her!!Jeanne, North Reading
Working with Francine at Bark n’ Roll has truly been a great experience. She is very knowledgable and friendly and really creates a great environment for my two rescue dogs, Coffee and Cocoa. I adopted them in September from a local shelter. As they were stray dogs living on the streets of Puerto Rico, I definitely needed someone who I could work with to help train them. Francine works great with them and helps me stay on track with them, and answers all of my questions. They love when she comes to take them on their walks and do some training, and I can see a difference as well with them. Francine is truly a pleasure to work with and I always feel very good about leaving Coffee and Cocoa in her care!Tara, North Reading
When I was away for 5 days, I entrusted Francine with my Husky, Rocco, for the QT sitting service several times each day and she did not disappoint. Rocco is a special needs dog. He is blind in one eye and nearly blind in the other. She was attentive to his needs, likes and dislikes. She even spent time with him prior to my trip so she could get to know Rocco. While doing so, she took detailed notes on his required daily medication and asked questions to be sure she understood correctly. I was also pleasantly surprised when she emailed me while I was away to keep me updated. After seeing how well she worked with Rocco and how patient she was with his needs, I asked Francine to start walking him on a regular basis. I highly recommend Francine as she is an excellent find and shows true compassion for all of the pets she works with!Shannon, North Reading
From the minute we met Francine, we knew that she was the dog walker for us. Besides being a fellow Boston University alumni (Go Terriers!), she was a very down to earth person, who we could tell loved dogs very much. She knew how to handle our energetic, happy golden retriever from the second she walked in our door. Our dog loved her from the get go and we definitely see a difference in his activity level on the days he goes on his walks. He is much calmer and just plain content. Each time he goes on a walk, we get a detailed email on what went on during the walk. Once when he had a scab on his head because of a tick removal, Francine asked about it because that is the type of caring person she is. We wholeheartedly give an A+++++ to Bark n’ Roll.Kim and Don, Lynnfield
When my sister got a new job in Washington DC, she realized she would need help taking care of her 1 year old puppy, Rufus. Part Jack Russell and part Pug, Rufus is a bundle of energy and attitude and adorable. While my parents and I were thrilled to dog-sit for a few months, we all work full time, and have absolutely no idea how to care for and train a puppy. We quickly realized we needed some advice and help. Luckily, Facebook serendipitously led me to Bark n’ Roll and Francine DiChiara. Not only did Francine agree to go out of her usual radius to trek to Stoneham to take Rufus on walks, she also arranged play dates with other dogs, and planned private training sessions to help us create rules and structure for Rufus. Bark n’ Roll has helped us so much! The play-dates not only allowed Rufus to get (some of) his boundless energy out, but it also provided the little pup with an opportunity to socialize—which he just loves! And while we still haven’t finished the complete training regiment, we have seen excellent progress is Rufus’ behavior and understanding of the house rules. Francine’s suggestions have also empowered us to take a more active role in Rufus’s development and act as dog owners and authorities — not just temporary babysitters. In the past five months, Rufus has gone from a house guest to a member of our family — thanks in large part to Francine and Bark n’ Roll. Rufus has to return home to my sister soon, and frankly, we are dreading the day. We are trying to “negotiate” for “joint custody”. If and when Rufus gets to return to Stoneham, I am thrilled and relieved that Bark n’ Roll will be there to help us.Danielle, Stoneham