Nikki – Owner (she/her)
Nikki is a Child and Youth Care Counsellor by trade — and works with high-risk youth throughout the city of Edmonton. It’s important to Nikki to look beyond the statistics and assumptions people make about at-risk youth. She takes a flexible, responsive approach to meeting the needs of her youth clients because no two young people are having the exact same experience.
So she tailors her approach to their unique needs and empowers them with the coping skills they need to be resilient when confronting tough situations. Similarly, Nikki ensures that Dog Jogs tailors its services to the unique needs of her four-legged clients and their families.
“I thought I just wanted to run. Then I thought I just wanted to run with dogs, but deep down there was much more to it!”
Nikki’s dog, Koda, was suffering from pretty severe separation anxiety and developing a routine based on exercise was the most impactful tool she found. Running and walking Koda beyond the typical vet recommendations changed Koda’s life — and Nikki’s life as well. Coming and going, and being away from the house used to cause great stress for Koda and Nikki, but after they started running together, that stress went away.
After seeing what a difference this made to her life, Nikki knew that other people could benefit as well!
Nikki enjoys running races, from 5-KMs to half-marathons, but she loves running with her furry friends best of all. She’s also a ball hockey player, hiker, camper, and enjoys cooking (and eating) and travelling.
Steph – Owner (she/her)
Steph didn’t grow up with pets (because her parents said no), but she has always been a friend to many dogs! She’s a dedicated athlete who plays soccer and ball hockey, and while she always ran hard while playing those sports, she didn’t consider herself to be a runner.
And then she started running with Nikki and Koda! Running became a de-stress tool for Steph and also inspired her to stop smoking. Plus she loves the sweet running apparel and shoes she gets to wear all the time now! She’s also very calm and is great with nervous dogs because her relaxed energy helps comfort and settle them.
Steph likes to travel — whether she’s backpacking around Europe or relaxing in Mexico, she’s always eager to sample the local food and then try to replicate the recipes back home.
Reina – Client Support & Dog Jogger (she/her)
Reina is a martial arts student with a background in dance. She is currently an assistant instructor for a childrens’ martial arts class, where she helps students reach their goals and overcome obstacles. It’s an amazing sight to see their enthusiastic faces learn or try something new and succeed.
When Reina is not busy working, she can be found in some small nook crafting, or traveling and exploring Alberta and beyond. She loves hiking new trails throughout our rocky mountains and in new countries and regions while traveling. New Zealand is her next travel destination! Reina would love to just spend weeks on end running and hiking the entire country!
Reina has fond memories of visiting her grandparents’ farm. She rode horses, played with the barn cats and kittens, and best of all, played with their border collies. Reina and the dogs would run all throughout the pastures and property playing, what in her mind as a child, was a fantastic epic game of chase. Ever since then she has been looking forward to a time when she could surround herself with furry four-legged friends! That’s is why she became a dog jogger and now a foster parent for Barrhead Animal Rescue.
She loves to put on her Lululemon clothing and Adidas running shoes to go for a jog or hike through the river valley with her energetic husky-mix dog!
Ashley – Dog Jogger (she/her)
Ashley has a degree in English from the University of Alberta and is currently working on getting her Residential Interiors Diploma to pursue a career in Design. Most of her career thus far has been in Retail Management. Her interests vary from visiting coffee shops, hiking, swimming and watching cheesy horror movies.
She resides with her partner and two rescue dogs. When they adopted their first dog, Winston, the plan was not to take him home that very first day, but the moment she picked him up into her arms….it was game over. Ashley has a strong work ethic, from her Management background. She doesn’t like to let people down and tries to lead by example.
When it comes to running gear, she’s not too particular, Her Nike shoes and an arm pocket for her phone, and she’s good to go! Her favourite animal movies are the original Lion King and Homeward Bound. If she could run anywhere in the world she’d choose anywhere near a beach or mountains.
Willow – Dog Jogger (she/her)
Willow has lived in Edmonton her whole life! She keeps herself busy with hobbies including: running, singing in a choir, and watching movies. Currently, she is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from the University of Alberta.
Willow has a house full of super spunky rescues! Currently, she and her family own a chihuahua & three rescue cats. Last year one of the kittens would sleep curled up on her chest every night- isn’t that the cutest thing ever?! One of her other favourite memories was coming home after school one day when she was 9 to be surprised by her first family pet.
Willow likes to stay motivated. She makes lists and mindmaps to help her stay ahead of the game. She also likes to have fun activities always planned and well into the future so that she has something to work towards.
Willow is not super particular about what she wears while running. It is imperative that she always has her armband to hold her phone to track her runs and to listen to good music!
Two of Willow’s favourite animal-related movies are both directed by Wes Anderson, Fantastic Mr. Fox & Isle of Dogs. If she could run anywhere in the world, she would choose Vancouver because of the diverse types of running paths & trails.
Amy – Dog Jogger (she/her)
Amy developed a love of the outdoors early on in life growing up in beautiful British Columbia. She has a large immediate family, including three girls and three dogs. She plans to further her education and pursue a career as a veterinarian technician assistant. Amy enjoys many hobbies: reading, writing, walking, dog parks, hiking, travelling, snowboarding, biking, yoga, and tarot card readings. She loves making crafts, her specialties include infinity scarves and dream catchers. When not walking dogs she frequents local food and craft markets.
For Amy, dogs are amazing because of their unconditional love. She recalls when “Shadow”, a golden labrador purebred from her childhood, crawled right into her lap when they went to pick out a dog. Shadow helped her feel accepted and loved when others were incapable of doing so. She still has a million photos of the two of them on her grandmother’s old sectional couch.
Her top running gear is Lululemon tights and New Balance runners. Her favourite animal movie is Aristocats and If Amy could run anywhere in the world she would choose somewhere along the west coast.
Chris – Dog Jogger (he/him)
Chris was born and grew up in Montreal to parents who actually immigrated to Canada from Europe. He is an achiever! And has a few degrees in Geology and Computer Science. Another fun tidbit about Chris is that he also speaks French and German!
Most of his free time is either spent jogging, alpine skiing, doing yoga, reading, and keeping up to date with the latest IT trends. In Chris’ earlier years, he was a competitive soccer player and skier. He has a fifteen-year-old who is becoming more and more mysterious every day.
Chris’ favorite memory of an animal is picking up his first dog from the SPCA. He remembers how he pestered his parents for years to get a dog and how they finally agreed when he was 11. They went to the SPCA and Chris still remembers looking at all the dogs in their kennels and feeling sorry for them wanting to take them all home. When he saw that German Shepard sitting in his kennel, he was so happy, words couldn’t even describe it. Needless to say, they took him home that very same day. Chris doesn’t have any dogs currently but does have three amazing cats that act as his personal bodyguards.
Emma – Dog Jogger (she/her)
Emma is currently preparing to go back to school. She is eagerly waiting to hear which program she will be accepted into, but she applied for both the MRI and ultrasound technologist programs. Emma has been a competitive college volleyball player for years, but she recently retired to focus on school! She’s always lived an active life heading out on walks, hikes, and also playing soccer.
Coming up with one favourite memory of a pet was hard, so Emma chooses three!
Her first dog Maggie loved coming on family hikes. Emma said you could tell spending time sniffing everything made it a blast for her. Maggie also would eat the tomatoes in their backyard (it was her favourite snack).
Emma has a cat Hera who has had her photo taken at every pit stop from Vernon to Edmonton when they moved here!
With her current dog Lincoln, Emma remembers his first truck ride. He darted towards the truck and hopped right in. He pretty much takes up the whole backseat, and the entire time his head is hanging out of the window!
Emma stays motivated with small short-term goals so she can celebrate every achievement. Emma credits her parents for teaching her how to stay motivated and to well in school.
Emma is a not-so-secret shopping addict! Her weaknesses when it comes to activewear- Nike for sneakers and Lululemon!
Marley & Me is a favourite movie of Emmas, but them again who doesn’t love it?!
Ricardo – Dog Jogger (he/him)
Ricardo, who also goes by Rick and Ricky, recently graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor’s of Kinesiology. With his outgoing and fun personality, he has flourished in team sports like soccer, and he also enjoys activities like skiing, tennis, and rock climbing. When he’s not climbing up and skiing down mountains Rick likes to enjoy a trip to Famoso Pizzeria, play video games, and also do some woodworking.
When asked about his favourite animal memory, Ricardo recalls the time he was helping his parents redo the flooring in their house, so he needed to sleep on the living room couch for a few nights. He assumed his 80 pound German Shepard named Sipas would sleep in his parent’s room, but instead Rick woke up to Sipas all cuddled up on his legs! Although Sipas was a little too heavy to be a comfortable weighted blanket, Rick loved the company and made sure to leave some extra couch room for Sipas for the rest of his couch stay.
Ricardo keeps himself motivated by setting attainable goals and tracking his progress. He doesn’t let minor setbacks get him down because a few steps back allow him to get a full view of how far he’s come! As for Rick’s favourite running gear, he likes to keep it fashionable and functional with his trusty fanny pack. If Ricardo could take his fanny pack and run anywhere in the world, you would find him jogging the streets of Munich, Germany. Ricardo’s favourite animal movie is Air Bud: World Pup!
Cecile – Dog Jogger (she/her/they/them)
As an ex-varsity hockey and soccer player, Cancun native and Banff transplant, and also a yoga enthusiast, movement is very much a central part of Cecile’s life. Since stepping away from competitive sports Cecile has enjoyed slowing down and rediscovering her joy of movement through gentler practices such as yoga, meditation, and natural movement training. Some of Cecile’s passions include permaculture, urban sketching, and anything DIY. On her off days, you can find Cecile diving into a new book, fixing something, or spending time outside playing in the dirt. Cecile has an abundant amount of curiosity for the world and a deep love for animals. She cannot wait to further explore the world with your dogs one trail run at a time!
Cecile’s fondest animal memory is the time she met her first dog. She was completely overjoyed by the sight of her little chocolate lab mix pup who had the brightest blue eyes. To this day Cecile develops a deep connection with all animals she meets, she never forgets them! To keep motivated Cecile likes to spring out of bed first thing in the morning to give her the momentum she needs to start her day off right!
When running, Cecile likes to have a high-quality pair of merino wool socks. If she could run anywhere in the world Cecile would choose Oslo, Norway because of the vast green spaces. Those views would knock her wool socks right off! How to Train Your Dragon is Cecile’s favourite animal movie, and if Cecile was going out for dinner you’d find her at Huma or Tres Carnales.
Dani – Dog Jogger (they/them)
Dani is currently enrolled at the University of Alberta taking a Bachelor of Science in Animal Health and is majoring in Companion and Performance Animals. Dani loves their program and hopes to travel far and wide for work once they graduate. Dani has many groovy hobbies like crocheting, hiking, and DIYing clothes and furniture. When they are not exploring the river valley for the best reading spots Dani might be listening to true crime podcasts or hanging out with their hairless guinea pig named Morrissey. Morrissey happens to double as a lovable companion and alarm clock, he always lets Dani know when it’s time to wake up and feed him breakfast!
Dani’s family cat Midnight has always been very intuitive when it came to Dani’s emotions and would follow them around the house and curl up on their lap if they came home upset. One of Dani’s favourite memories of Midnight is the way she would hide on top of the refrigerator and stealthily jump from the fridge to Dani’s lap on the nearby couch. Although Midnight gave Dani a handful of frights, they always appreciated the cuddles!
Making lists in their notebook helps keep Dani motivated throughout the day, they like to keep track of what they need and want to get done. Dani is not super picky about running gear, right now they enjoy hitting the trails with their Nike runners and bike shorts, which are perfect for stashing lots of dog treats! Homeward Bound is an animal movie that has a very special place in Dani’s heart from when they were a kid, and if Dani were to run anywhere in the world they would have to choose anywhere near a body of water – New Zealand and Lisbon Portugal are on their running bucket list! An iced caramel latte with oat milk from Cafe Sole and sunflowers are two things that put a big smile on Dani’s face.
Sarah – Dog Jogger (she/her)
Born and raised in Edmonton, Sarah is currently in the Master of Counselling program through City University studying to be a therapist. Sarah loves to explore the vibrant restaurant scene in Edmonton and is a huge foodie. When she’s not trying new delicious foods Sarah loves to play sports like basketball and soccer, which she’s been involved in since she was a kid. With Sarah’s adventurous spirit and love of learning it’s no surprise she is an avid traveller and a fairly extroverted gal. Sarah loves dogs and one of her favourite outings is a trip to the dog park.
Sarah’s fondest animal memories are the times she spent with her Aunt’s Maltese named Casper. Although Sarah didn’t have her own dog growing up, she took care of Casper often when her Aunt was off travelling, Sarah and Casper were an inseparable pair. Casper lived a life full of happiness and love and passed away almost a decade ago, however, Sarah remembers their bond as if it were yesterday and believes that her love of dogs was born through her times with sweet Casper.
Sarah gets her motivation from many sources in her life. She finds daily motivation through her innate passion to help others, spread kindness, and make the world a better place for future generations. Sarah practices radical self-care and is fairly disciplined when it comes to her routines and prioritizes doing things that help her feel energized and inspired. Some of these activities include exercise, meditation, journaling, and spiritual practices. Sarah is surrounded by a very supportive circle of family friends like her nephews who are a major source of motivation for her!
Sarah likes to run with her trusty pair of New Balance runners which she ran in for a marathon! They are the perfect fit. Sarah likes to track her runs with her Apple Watch and hopes to one day complete a Disney marathon, or the original marathon in Greece! Sarah’s favourite animal movie is Hachi: A Dog’s Tale and when she feels like a Chai, Sarah heads over to Remedy Cafe.
Kim – Dog Jogger (she/her/they/them)
Kim is an incredibly creative person and has a passion for learning and trying new things. She finds joy in all kinds of media like writing, dance, photography, and painting just to name a few. Kim has a life filled with joy and has four amazing children and four fabulous furbabies. She loves to spend time being active and outside, she fills her time with bike rides, bird watching, and completing obstacle races which Kim thinks are a blast! Kim believes her best education comes from the learnings and teachings offered by the diverse range of lives with whom she’s spent time.
When asked about her favourite animal memory, Kim recalls the time she was licked by a goat on her cousin’s farm! Kim’s ability to motivate herself is driven by her desire to bring moments of joy and hope into other’s lives. When she is headed out for a run Kim always takes her Vibram barefoot running shoes. If Kim could run anywhere, she would run the Istanbul Marathon which is the only marathon in the world whose course spans two continents. Kim’s oldest child’s first steps were on the Bosphorus Bridge, which is the first place where the Istanbul marathon crosses from Asia to Europe. It would be really special to Kim to have that connection!
Kim is a big fan of garage sales and loves giving all her serendipitous finds a new home. If Kim is feeling like a chocolate bar she’ll go in for a Crispy Crunch, and her favourite animal-related movies are Planet Earth and Happy Feet!
Jada – Dog Jogger (she/her)
Jada was born and raised in Grande Prairie and grew up playing every sport she could. She’s currently studying sociology at the King’s University where she also plays volleyball, and Jada aspires to get her Ph.D. in the future.
Jada’s favourite memory of her childhood dog is the time they went on their first walk together. They trekked through lots of beautiful terrain like the grassy hills by Jada’s home, and when they returned they were both so tired and covered in mud!
Staying motivated is very important to Jada and she does so by reminding herself what her biggest goals are every morning. When it comes to heading out for a run, Jada loves to suit up in her Nike runners and Lululemon leggings, which have stylish (and functional) pockets!
If Jada was heading to Dairy Queen she would get a cookie dough blizzard, she believes there is no superior flavour! Jada would love to run through Grand Central Park in New York one day and her favourite animal-related movie is See Spot Run.
Jackie – Dog Jogger (she/her)
Jackie was born and raised in Edmonton while her whole family is from Ecuador. She’s completed a diploma in the Police and Investigations program at MacEwan University and is now on her way to crushing a criminology degree! Jackie dreams of being a police officer with the Edmonton Police Service, specifically in the K-9 unit. In her spare time, Jackie adores camping, going biking in the mud, and knitting.
One of Jackie’s favourite animal memories was the time she was bit by a donkey at the corn maze. The donkey wasn’t happy with Jackie when she ran out of treats and the bite left a bruise on her wrist for a month. That donkey…what an ass!
When she’s out jogging Jackie always brings her headphones and her favourite running shoes. Jackie uses lots of music to keep herself motivated! If she could run and rock out to her tunes anywhere in the world she would choose Stanley Park in Vancouver so she could run along the water.
Jackie’s favourite animal flick is Beverly Hills Chihuahua and if she was out and about Jackie would stop for bubble tea at Boba Island in Chinatown.
Brittney – Dog Jogger (she/her) *photo coming soon*
Brittney has spent most of her life alternating between living in Alberta and Saskatchewan. While she was in Saskatchewan Brittney attended the University of Regina and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Kinesiology. Since graduating Brittney has been working in Edmonton and her hobbies include reading, playing soccer, longboarding, and spending time with all the animals she can!
One of Brittney’s favourite animal memories was the time she was taking a video of her sister’s Golden Retriever puppy. He was running around not paying attention and with a teddy bear in his mouth… he ran straight into a tree! Luckily no trees or puppies were harmed in the making of the now hilarious video.
It’s no doubt that Brittney lives a busy life, so keeping to-do lists helps her stay on track. She finds a lot of joy in crossing off items on a to-do list, and seeing something that needs to be crossed off motivates Brittney to complete the task. When Brittney is heading out for a jog she gears up in her Asics runners, Adidas shorts, and a Nike shirt! If she could run anywhere in the world Brittney would have to choose Hana, Hawaii because of the stunning views.
Whether she’s heading out for a warm drink, lunch, or ice cream, Brittney likes to shop local! Her favourite local spots are Remedy Cafe for a chai, Made by Marcus for a sweet treat, and Farrow for delicious sandwiches and cronuts.