Rick's love for animals began at a young age when his parents brought home an eight-week-old collie named Sandy. As he was an only child, his companionship with Sandy was a significant turning point in his life as he instantly fell in love with dogs. As a child, much of his summers were spent at various kennels and at Morel's dog training where he learned all he could about dog handling.
Rick's mother, Mavis Rose, also helped instill a passion for animals. She achieved national recognition as a breeder and dog shower and was awarded a national memorial trophy. These experiences gave Rick a strong foundation in caring for dogs before he began studying to become a dog groomer.