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Our Pack


Tessa Sternbach

Tessa is the founder and owner of Ruff Life AVL and has been training since 2014 as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA). Her team is here to help with any training need ranging from basic obedience and housebreaking to complex behavioral consultations related to dog or people aggression, separation anxiety, and more.

Learn what makes Ruff Life AVL different. 

Adrienne Ratti

Adrienne is a native of Michigan and came to Asheville in 2010.  She has been a part of the Ruff Life team since October of 2020. Adrienne has enjoyed being part of all aspects of Ruff Life from Socialization, and working with Board & Train clients, to caring for boarding dogs as well as her current role as manager.  In her spare time, Adrienne's favorite thing to do is hike with her Australian Cattle Dogs, Sevro & Cacti. Working with dogs has become one of her passions.  Not only is it rewarding to help people and their pets but the dogs remind her to live in the moment, be patient and move on from mistakes.


Ashley Dinges

New to the Asheville area, Ashley's training experience before Ruff Life was limited to the work she did with her own dog, Althea. Althea was a troubled child, and after years of working with her and self-education, Ashley knew that she wanted to help others gain the same relationship with their dog as she had created with her own. Her goal is to give owners the tools they need to create long-lasting, healthy relationships and great communication skills between themselves and their furry family members. She highly recommends checking out the book Canine Body Language By Brenda Aloff to understand more about dog language.

Noah Young

Noah is part of the administrative staff. He loves working at Ruff Life because we do not discriminate against dogs or people, and we work with all dogs to get them to a better place in their training and to get them in a place where life isn't as scary. Outside of Ruff Life, he loves to travel and dabble in photography.

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Rachel Mathis

Rachel has been at Ruff Life for a year (September 6th) and she has lived in Asheville her whole life. She recently got a pup named Bowser through the help of Ruff Life and Brother Wolf. She has another dog, Milo, and two cats, Hobbes and Midnight. What she loves most about working for Ruff Life is how at home the people there make her feel. She also likes getting to see the work that Ruff Life does with the dogs truly help the bond with the owners and how much happier a dog can become. Also, she just really loves dogs, so there’s that too.

Kalyn Wilson

Kalyn is part of our socialization staff and has been a member of the pack since June of 2022. Even though she is just getting started at Ruff Life, she has lived here in AVL her whole life. She loves working at Ruff Life because she gets to be surrounded by the two things she loves most: dogs, and people who love dogs as much as she does.


Mary Kelly

Mary joined the Ruff Life Team in early fall 2022 after apprenticing over the summer. She is native to Connecticut but currently resides in Brevard with her fiancé, 2 cats, and Borzoi. She is an avid equestrian and Foxhunt with Green Creek Hounds in Tryon. Before coming to Ruff Life, she left ER vet medicine to pursue her passion for behavior, training, and working / sporting dogs. She loves Ruff Life because of the variety of training cases we see and the difference she feels we make in the Asheville dog community. She loves meeting owners and helping them work to build a better bond with their pup and introduce them to new skills and methods to better their training at home.

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