I started volunteering on a ranch in Southern California at the age of 16. The ranch rehabilitated race horses that had been retired from the track. These beautiful thoroughbreds were re-trained for pleasure riding. Because I was young and inexperienced at handling such a powerful horse, I ended up eating dirt more times than I can count. Every time I looked up a pair of soft brown eyes would be staring back at me as if to say " told ya so". I learned that if I wanted to stay on top of that horse I needed to learn his "language" so to speak. I needed to gain trust, be understanding, humble, and never take him for granted. I learned how to be quiet, I learned mutual respect, and I stopped getting kicked in the head - literally. Turned out, the same lessons I learned at that ranch applied to my dogs and come to think of it, many areas of my life.
All of my adult life I have stayed connected to my passion for animals by volunteering, learning, and working to improve my relationship with the dogs in my life and help dogs in need. In 1988, I started Furry Home Companion in Mt. Shasta Ca providing in-home vacation care later expanding the services to San Fransisco. During that time I also worked with the Shasta Trinity National Forest Service in wildlife field studies.
Life changes and raising a daughter lead me to restaurant work, where I found a passion for food and service. In all the time I worked in restaurants there was a constant companion and faithful helper, her name was Daisy. Daisy was an 85 pound Akita I adopted from a trucker who became frustrated with her when she lost her litter. She also became car sick so he could not take her out on the road with him. She was a year and half when I picked her up and put her into the cab of my little red Toyota pickup truck, all the while whispering in her ear "this is a good thing girl, and please do not bite me" ! A year later she jumped in - love is a powerful thing. So...fast forward....
In 2009, I decided to make a change. I left my last restaurant position as a general manager in Chicago. Marika had just graduated college. We both felt we wanted to work with dogs. We felt we could make a contribution and for me, I felt I was coming full circle. So, we opened Dog Star Walkers Chicago. We would be knowledgeable, walk one dog at a time ( a pretty new concept in Chicago then), work with people and their pets in an individual way and provide support to enhance our clients relationships with their dogs - oh and we would be eco-friendly, something else Chicago was warming up to! And - I am happy to say it worked! Dog Star Chicago was featured on ABC's 190 North and in the 2012 issue of Natural Dog Magazine. But, the best reward was the happy pups and their happy humans.
A year ago Marika & her husband Patrick moved to Portland and guess what they did? Yeah, they opened Dog Star Walkers Portland and in the same spirit of DSW Chicago they were up and running in no time, lots of happy pups and people.
And here I am in West Seattle - why? Full circle - back to the coast, to the trees, to the mountains, to the people, and back to the dogs, and that brings me back to Dog Star Walkers Seattle. I have opened Dog Star Walkers Seattle to continue providing exceptional services for dogs & cats and the people who love them.
My Daisy passed over the rainbow bridge in 2008 at the age of 16. My best friend, partner, teacher and constant companion was gone. I miss telling her to get her big bootie out of the way every day of my life. Dog Star Walkers is a celebration the unconditional love our pets bring to our lives and Daisy's legacy. I am here to make Daisy proud and promise to always work towards a deeper understanding of your best friend.
The black and white beauties that are splashed all over this website are Sammi Davis Jr. Jr. and Cool Hand Luke.
Sam was adopted from Paws Chicago in March of 2008 and Luke followed in 2010. Both are mixed up Huskies and awesome dogs. They are the best side kicks a girl could ask for. They keep me on my toes and learning everyday. I am so thankful to have them in my life.