Meet Colleen Bass - Anne Arundel Moms
Meet Colleen Bass, an Annapolis mom of two and owner of MD Pup Scouts – voted Annapolis’ Best Dog Trainer by What’s Up Magazine! MD Pup Scouts offers pack walks, pack walk training, private obedience training and overnight care. Colleen shares her must-have car kid items to always be prepared, the best advice for mom guilt and how she + her husband Michael started MD Pup Scouts in California from picking up a dog walking gig on Craig’s List.

Tell us a little bit about you and your family! Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in Annapolis?

I grew up in Severna Park with my mom and brother, in the same house my mom grew up in! I was a cheerleader at Archbishop Spalding, before going to University of Maryland to study Hearing and Speech Sciences. My husband, Michael, and I met in the spring of my freshman year when our chapters were paired for Greek Week. As a student, I worked as an Orientation Advisor and held various other leadership roles on campus, and fell in love with the world of Student Affairs/Higher Education. 

When Michael and I graduated from UMD, we packed up his Jeep and drove to California. We didn’t have jobs or a place to live lined up – I took a serving job at a rooftop restaurant in Laguna Beach, and Michael picked up a dog walking gig on Craig’s List. I eventually transitioned to a full-time role as a university admissions counselor, and Michael started Pup Scouts (more on that, later!). We lived in Orange County, CA for nearly 8 years.

Our son, Julian, was born in Newport Beach in January 2020. I was still on maternity leave when the first COVID shutdown was announced. Honestly, the shutdown was a blessing for our family – we got to spend the first year of Julian’s life together without distractions – and our marriage and new roles as parents were strengthened immensely. In “normal” circumstances, my job required a lot of travel, so when that was allowed again we decided it was time for me to step back from that role and focus on being a mom. This also allowed me to help support Michael in running Pup Scouts – which had quickly grown to service all of Orange County and northern San Diego County, and employ more than 10 staff!

When I became pregnant in July 2021 with our daughter, Remi, we decided it was time to return to Maryland to be closer to family. We bought our house over Facetime (shout out to our amazing Realtor, Kirstin Whitaker!), began remodeling site-unseen the day after we closed, and moved cross-country at 36 weeks pregnant. Remi was born in April, and our family spent the summer settling into our new life.  The first MD Pup Scouts pack hit the trail in September 2022, and we’ve been so thankful for the way the Annapolis community has embraced us!



You and your husband Michael own MD Pup Scouts! How did you all get started?

Michael started a dog walking job in 2014 he thought would be temporary, which eventually evolved into OC Pup Scouts and expanded to Maryland when we moved home in 2022. He is an amazing entrepreneur – not afraid of taking risks, so many great ideas, outgoing and amazing with our client community. When I decided to leave my previous full time job, I was able to fill some gaps in running Pup Scouts with my skill set from my roles in Higher Education and Student Affairs – staff management, organization, event planning, marketing, risk and crisis management. I’m still in awe that this dog walking thing has grown into a multi-state business which allows us to support our family, work together, and truly share parenthood.

What are some tips for dog owners? How can MD Pup Scouts help? 

Call in the professionals! A well-socialized and exercised dog is a happy dog. If you’re getting a new puppy, lay a foundation for having a wonderful relationship with your dog by seeking help in basic training. One of the greatest gifts you can give your pup is structure and exercise – seeing the way dogs thrive in a pack is so amazing!




How has your job shifted your perspective of Motherhood?

I could never have pictured this blending of work and motherhood because the world shifted so much during COVID. What I’ve come to understand is every mom is a super hero – whether you work outside the home, from home, parttime, fulltime, or are a SAHM – it’s all HARD and admirable.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I didn’t grow up as a “dog person”! When I was younger I had pet cats, and we didn’t get a dog until I was in middle school. At that age, I really didn’t pay him much attention. Michael and I got our dog Camden when we moved to California, and she was the first pup I really bonded with!

What’s something you love that’s just for you?

I end every day by reading. I started this when Julian was born, and have stuck with it – no TV in bed. It allows me to unwind and get lost in a story that’s not about Paw Patrol or how to share toys. Some recent favorites are “Remarkably Bright Creatures” and “Paris: The Memoir”.

Best mom hack that makes your life easier.

Keep your car packed! I have a bin in the front seat filled with snacks. Each kid has a basket behind their car seat with toys and books.  In the trunk is a diaper changing station and travel potty with a fresh set of clothes for each kid, a water-proof picnic blanket, activity books to bring into restaurants, and bubble wands (always have bubbles!). I might not have room for any additional passengers, but I’m never caught without something we need.

Name something you hope your children look back and remember about their childhood and you as their mama.

I hope they remember we had fun and that they are SO loved! I love taking the kids to the library, music/gymnastics/cooking classes, and exploring different playgrounds. We laugh everyday during our after-dinner kitchen dance parties. I try to make holidays and birthdays extra special for them by going over-the-top. These kids are my greatest joy, and I hope they grow up feeling that in their hearts.



What’s your favorite family activity to do in the area? 

There are so many fun ways to spend time with family around Annapolis. We love taking advantage of all of the outdoor concerts, festivals, and parades around town. Some of our favorites are Eastport a Rockin’ and First Sunday Arts Festival.

What have you learned from your children?

Having young children has taught me to treat every day like a fresh start. Babies and toddlers don’t hold grudges. If Monday was a tough day because no one slept well and patience was thin, Tuesday can still be the best day ever.

Greatest gift about being a mom.

My children have given me purpose and helped me grow my confidence. I never felt particularly career driven before having kids, but I absolutely love the “job” of being a mom, and I think I’m pretty good at it 🙂

Best advice for mom guilt.

Comparison is the thief of joy. I find that if I’m feeling mom guilt, I’ve been spending too much time scrolling on social media. Put the phone down and get out there and do something with your kids. I know Julian and Remi want nothing more than my undivided attention.

Who has most influenced you to be the mom you are today?

Of course my own mom – she raised two kids on her own, and we both turned out mostly okay 🙂 I’m also so lucky to have many “mom friends” who are absolutely inspiring. Seeing my friends rock motherhood is the most special thing. Tiffany, Taryn, Michelle, Erin, Leanne – I’m looking at you!



MD Pup Scouts recently earned What’s Up Magazine’s Best Dog Trainer of Annapolis 2023! We know that you have many options for the care of your pups, but none deliver the amazing results and quality of service you will receive with MD Pup Scouts. Our adventures provide structure and reinforcement in a positive environment in a pack environment, allowing your dog to learn and form positive relationships with our staff and other pups. MD Pup Scouts’ selective hiring process and intensive staff training program ensure that your dog is given the best possible care and attention, and your dog will feel comfortable and excited to see the familiar faces picking them up each day. Choose the service best for you and your pup – pack walks, pack walk training, private obedience training, or overnight care!

Your best friend deserves to be with the best pack. Get your pup started today!


*Mention this Meet a Mom Feature and MD Pup Scouts will offer 10% off training packages*


We love to support local businesses! What are your favorite local places to:

Get coffee: Bread and Butter Kitchen – woman-owned, live music during weekend breakfast, and delicious everything!

Go on a date night: We love to sit at the bar at Fox’s Den, or Lewnes’ when we’re feeling fancy.

Go out for a girls night: Cocktails at Choptank

Go out to dinner as a family: We’re obsessed with Forward Brewing. Not exactly a sitdown dinner, but delish small bites and always filled with lots of kids playing outside.

Get your hair done: April at Vaughan Diann  – she’s a mom of 3!

Shop for your kids: Franklin’s Toys

Get your nails done: American Nails

Have fun as a family: The Pier in Edgewater

Photography by @andistgermainphotography

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