Jeff

Dogs Colorado Founder

Puptender | Walker, Hiker, and Runner of Dogs

By Millennial standards I worked for the Federal government for a small eternity. Inspirations waxed and waned over the years but it was my colleagues and their dedication to a mission larger than themselves, to a greater good, that stuck with me the most. Their dedication showed me that I could never feel satisfied unless I found my own idea of a greater good.

I was extraordinarily lucky to travel in my youth. Later, in search of the aforementioned good, I was able to travel some more. I found an awful lot out there, and along the way, I heard a few things I had heard before... and I heard them a bit louder this time.

  • I love dogs, no two ways around it. They always bring out the best in me
  • I love to run, play, push hard, and to be outside… even more so with my dogs
  • I belong out on the trail with a companion… I know a dog’s heart feels the same

I started Dogs Colorado because when I wander outside my mind becomes calm. It is as if sunlight and the promise of the unknown work together to clear away old worries, sharpen my instincts, and fuel new ideas. I like to think that I see an analogous effect in my dogs. That we somehow share this bit of clarity in our adventures. Certainly, I rarely see them happier. It is as if they spend their days at home loyal to my life story, but when we go outside, they get to be a part of their own.

Dogs Colorado is my own way to participate in the lives of as many fantastic dogs as possible, and the best way I have found to participate in my own.  

When I’m not expanding my knowledge about dogs or the great outdoors… I home-roast coffee, homebrew beer, travel, train for my next bikepacking adventure, play guitar, try new recipes, and work on my book.

“Never underestimate how much assistance, how much satisfaction, how much comfort, how much soul and transcendence there might be in a well-made taco and a cold bottle of beer...” ...while sitting on the porch next to a sleeping dog .

(mostly from Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins)

Dogs Colorado Puptender Kelly

Kelly

Office Manager
 
Puptender | Walker, Hiker, and Runner of Dogs

I'm the person that will leave my husband and dog on the trail to excitedly approach other hikers to ask if I can pet their dogs. Instinctual behavior is something that I feel humans may have partially lost in our crazy, busy lives. But, while hiking with my dog, I escape back to my true self. My dog reminds me to hone back in and listen to my instincts; to allow my grip on modern life to momentarilly loosen.

Spending time with animals has always been where my heart feels at home. I feel that animals have pure hearts and offer truly unconditional love; something that everyone is deserving of. Dogs and the companionship and love they provide are life's greatest gift. How lucky are we!?

 

Andrea

Dogs Colorado Editor

Puptender | Walker, Hiker and Runner of Dogs

 
 

I count my very first job as when I began my own pet care business when I was twelve. My clients were only a handful of neighbors on my street, and it mostly involved cleaning up dog yards and watering plants while the owners were gone, but nevertheless, I was thrilled to be involved in animal work. My small business ended when I moved to Utah to pursue my passion in short track speedskating, but I still found myself drawn to animals. Friends would often request me to look after their little ones, from ball pythons to beta fish, and I had a brief stint as a volunteer docent at the zoo. While completing my bachelor’s in comparative literature at UC Santa Barbara, I found a local pet sitting business to work for part-time and stayed with the company for nearly three years. Again, my work there ended when I moved away, this time back to Colorado where I can pursue a career in editing, skate, and experience her beautiful natural resources. It is a joy to return to the state I grew up in; to be able to give myself to something I have always loved, and in a way that contributes to my active lifestyle.

My experience in dog care for friends and professionally has exposed me to a wide variety of personalities, ages, abilities and needs of dogs. I understand if your pup requires a little extra patience, a redressed bandage, or a good run to expend his pent-up energy. I’m happy to ensure your dog’s comfort and to give him the loving care he needs in order to thrive.

 

Taryn

Puptender | Walker, Hiker, and Runner of Dogs

 

To be honest, my first encounter with our four-legged friends left me terrified in tears. I was 5. Now, a couple feet taller, and a few years older, both lil’ and large puppers alike make my heart melt. These precious souls constantly leave me in awe. With their slobbery smooches, overwhelming sensitivity to people’s emotions, and their general excitability and sense of adventure, I can’t help but appreciate and adore every individual dog.

What might be most exciting about this next chapter in my life is Dogs Colorado’s philosophy. Psychology has not only taught me that negative reinforcement, or punishment, is simply not as effective, but that the average dog’s brain is as developed as a two-year-old human! I constantly have this in the back of my brain, enforcing the need to treat these beautiful creatures with nothing but love and compassion. I am honored and excited to be apart of a service that recognizes the power of using only positive reinforcement.

Beyond that, I have been taking a break for the past two years from my B.A. in Psychology, but am excited to start classes again this coming Fall! During my time away from school, I have been focusing on things in life that truly inspire me, and bring not only joy, but clarity, to my path, thus bringing out the eager hiker, novice yogi, avid concert-goer, and general outside sun-seeker in me.

A nurturer at heart, I am delighted to help in your own furry companion’s path to fulfillment.

 

Kevin

Puptender | Walker, Hiker, and Runner of Dogs

 

I’ve been fascinated by animals my entire life and have always sought to understand them as fully as possible. Through that understanding, I find strong connections to the human condition and all other life in general. Providing joy and contentment for others gives meaning to my life in what can be an otherwise confusing world.

My formal education is in biology and ecosystem ecology, with some tangents into drafting, photography, and digital design. I’ve been involved in animal welfare in some way or another for nearly a decade now. Most of that time has been spent working and volunteering in shelters, helping to build more understanding between humans and animals. Through shelter work, I enjoy helping people connect to the animal that best suits them, and I get to help to clear up misunderstandings that can lead to separations. When walking dogs I like to use the things I’ve learned to help make sure that the dogs I’m with have a fulfilling experience. I’ve recently completed a certification in Animal Behavioral Science and Technology and, when not walking dogs, I do training and behavior work at a local Humane Society.

I spend my free time with my wife, my dog Arcturus (we call him Barker), and the cats. I also hike, compose and record music for my band, play other people’s music in their bands, and make art.

 

Devin

Puptender | Walker, Hiker, and Runner of Dogs

 
 

I spent the last 10 years of my life as a mechanic and mechanic shop manager. After a life changing car wreck in 2016, I had to change my career. In reinventing my life I decided that helping and working with our furry friends was the best choice.

There was always a dog in my house growing up. When I was just able to walk, I went everywhere with my beagle. He was the best friend anyone could have ever had. From then on, I have had every size of dog you could think of. My current dog is 12lbs and I have had a 120lb one year old pup. I love to walk and run and play with any dog. Finding the point where you can see a dogs attitude change, and they start to trust you, is something I cherish.

Working with Dogs Colorado I want to help your dog with training where and when needed. I will positively empower them, run with them, and earning their trust. We will explore and enjoy this amazing state together. I look forward to taking your pup on explorations beyond their usual hang outs!

 

Shonna

Dogs Colorado Dog Trainer Incubator Lead

Puptender | Walker, Hiker, and Runner of Dogs

 

I can hardly remember a time in my life without dogs. I got my first dog at the age of eight and haven’t been without one since. Life, for me, is just missing something without a furry friend by my side. In addition to a love for dogs, I also discovered a love of nature at an early age, exploring and tromping through forests and creeks throughout my childhood. My love of nature, as well as my fascination with human behavior and a desire to help others, led me toward an educational path in psychology, eventually culminating in a master’s degree in Transpersonal and Ecopsychology.

Professionally, I’ve spent the past 17 years in a rewarding career in the Human Resources and Immigration departments at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. I’m currently working towards starting a business in dog training, as I seek to spend more hours doing the things I love most. I am a certified dog trainer through the FernDog Trainer Academy and am working toward CCPDT certification. I am especially passionate about helping humans and dogs to understand each other and helping to set them up for a successful and rewarding lifelong relationship. In particular, I have a very special place in my heart for helping to set rescues and their new guardians up for success.

When I’m not out with a pack, I enjoy road trips, backpacking, reaching goals (one of the most recent being a hike to the top of Half Dome!), playing handpan and bass guitar, dabbling in photography, captioning videos, painting, and working towards becoming a published author. I’m so happy to be a part of the Dogs Colorado team! It is giving me the opportunity to combine so many of my passions, talents, and goals, and most importantly, to embrace my love of animals. I’m absolutely thrilled to help enrich the lives of our furry friends by helping them get the physical, social, and mental stimulation they need to live the happiest and healthiest lives possible!

 

Colleen

Puptender | Walker, Hiker, and Runner of Dogs

 
 

I can’t imagine a world without dogs. After being lucky enough to grow up with a dog’s unconditional love in my life, I make sure to give that love back to as many dogs as I can!

At a young age began walking and dog sitting in the neighborhood. In high school I volunteered for a local animal shelter, I have been a walker for WAG, and I have had many private dog walking clients. I am very comfortable with dogs of all breeds and sizes and have learned to understand dog signals over the years.

Later I worked my way up to manage a boutique dog daycare, training and boarding facility called Woofingham Palace. We provided premium care for dogs and focused on puppy training and socialization. I got the opportunity to not only interact with the clients and their dogs on a daily basis, but also to create fun social events for dogs and humans alike.

I also absolutely love running, hiking and being outdoors. I am training for a half marathon, and hope to run the full 26.2 miles sometime soon! I have a true passion for dogs, and for working to do my part to give them their absolute best life. We all know they deserve it and so much more!

 

Victoria

Puptender | Walker, Hiker, and Runner of Dogs

 

Caring for your dogs is my way of having one! As a child I used to beg my dad to
get a dog. ...And the answer was always NO. So, I searched for ways to get that puppy love somewhere else.

I have been caring for dogs since I was a teenager. At some point I realized that hanging out wiht dogs could be a job... and I never looked back. I have a vast background from restaurant and retail to marketing and teaching and I have a
degree in Communication and Marketing but my first love is dogs.

Because I never had the opportunity to have a dog of my own, I treat the dogs I
care for, walk, hike, and run with as my own. I am an active person being born and raised in Colorado.
Loving the mountains and outdoors is part of my right here as a Coloradan. I believe every dog
needs to get out and about in nature and have a good time just being a pup!

 

Lauren

Puptender | Walker, Hiker, and Runner of Dogs

 

Dogs are my passion, and being with animals makes me truly happy.  I always feel rewarded to work with them. And so, pet care has been my go to side gig since I was fourteen.

After a long stint working as a computer tech in education I just wasn’t fulfilled. I needed something more personally rewarding. After a tough year I decided to return to my roots to do what I do best, take care of animals. Now I do it full time. 

Whether it’s administering medicine, hiking with multiple dogs, or overnight stays I have you covered. I love all animals and have experience with all kinds: dogs of all shapes and sizes, cats, birds, reptiles and even pot belly pigs! 

As a Puptender with Dogs Colorado I can do what I truly enjoy. Taking care of your loved one is my privilege and I will take care of them as if they are my own.

 

Leigha

Puptender | Walker, Hiker, and Runner of Dogs

 

For as long as I can remember I have had a passion for animals, especially dogs. I spent my childhood collecting and caring for as many different pets as I could and idolizing Steve Irwin and his compassion for animals. I always dreamed of the day I would become a veterinarian and own as many dogs as I pleased; I thought that was the only way I could work with them and see them as much as I wanted. As I got older, I started helping care for others’ pets and then later spending my weeks in college volunteering at the local shelter. I learned I have a servant heart and my goal each day is to give as much love as I can to the world, especially to for our four legged friends. I am overjoyed to turn my compassion into reality and have the opportunity to be a Puptender and work alongside Dogs Colorado with puppers of all ages and kinds!

As an Outdoor and Environmental Recreation major, I have a deep love and appreciation for the outdoors and being active in it. I am also a certified personal trainer, so staying healthy and active are extremely important to me and what I hope to provide for your pup. Dogs have serious emotional and physical needs, both of which I hope to positively contribute to for your pupper’s overall well-being. I am looking forward to all the fun adventures we will have together and the bonds we will be creating!

Puptender Bethany, Dogs Colorado

 

Bethany

Puptender | Walker, Hiker, and Runner of Dogs

 

 I came to Colorado to start a masters in Wilderness Therapy; I love, love, love to be outside. Out on a hike, It just not right if there isn't a pooch by my side.  I grew up in Pennsylvania on a small farm and any spare moment was spent with the animals. I have always had a strong connection and a sense of awe towards them.  

    Since the farm, I've traveled all over the world getting into all sorts of adventures, mostly in Asia and South America. While in Chile, I worked with non profits, building sustainable housing and resilient communities. I hope to continue some of this work through my sustainability liaison work study position at Naropa.  

     Before joining up with Dogs Colorado I worked for a small company walking dogs in Pittsburgh.  I walked several at a time, generally taking two large packs out per day, rain or shine! I absolutely loved it and saw how being outside with my favorite pups positively improved my health in every way you could imagine! 

         

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