Juliette Nash ’06

Listening to Animals

Nash’s holiday card featured her with her cat, Zoharet, and parakeet, Kailani.

Juliette Nash has worked with animals for as long as she can remember. The decision to start her own pet behavior modification business came naturally to this biology grad, for whom understanding animals has become second nature.

Nash launched Polly Wanna Solution two years ago in response to the lack of resources for frustrated bird owners in the San Diego area where she now resides. She specializes in cat and bird behavior, but also has experience working with dogs, wildlife, and other animals.

The animals Nash sees have behavioral issues, including separation anxiety, aggression toward their owners or other animals, or problem behaviors like excessive barking or obsessive grooming. Through a lifetime of working with pets, as well as exotic animals, Nash has learned how to identify the underlying issues and work with pet and owner to change negative behaviors and encourage healthy new ones.

Nash grew up outside of Boston surrounded by pets and local wildlife. “I like to say that I was trained by my cat,” she says.“From a young age, I paid close attention to what animals were doing and how they would interact with me, with each other, and with other species. I watched and I learned from them.” By age 15 she had moved from working with her own pets to handling owls, hawks, and other raptors at the Mass Audubon Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton, Mass.

In addition to running Polly Wanna Solution, Nash is a master’s student at the University of San Diego, where she is studying the social behavior and communication of killer whales. Nash says she wants to continue working in animal behavior, whether with pets or exotic animals: “It‘s a joy to watch an animal come around and begin to trust you and to be comfortable with its surroundings. It‘s just the most rewarding feeling in the world. I can‘t imagine doing anything else.”

—Mary Bates