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 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.
Becca has loved animals for as long as she can remember, though she suspects her intense love for the movie Homeward Bound might have had something to do with it. She was once tricked into thinking she was dog sitting, when in fact her husband’s parents had actually gotten her a dog of her own!
After suffering a severe knee injury, Becca had to give up competitive dance, but she rehabbed that injury and discovered that running was a great stress reliever for her. She works in an office setting and can’t wait to get outside and get moving after a long day of sitting or a day of sewing. Sewing what you ask? Becca is the owner of Houndana an online pet bandana store!
Being able to get moving with a dog by her side makes her runs even more enjoyable and rewarding. When the weather turns cold in Edmonton, she often dreams of running along the beautiful beaches and rugged volcanic terrain that can be found in Hawaii!
Becca likes to connect with dogs and is committed to making sure they are getting what they need out of every visit she has with them. She’s always appreciated how tuned in to human emotions dogs are as well — even when you don’t know you’re upset, they find a way to bring you peace and comfort.
Shelby received her Veterinary Technical Assistant Certificate from Olds College and now lives in Sturgeon County. Working with shelter animals while she was attending school was definitely a highlight for her!
It’s easy for Shelby to motivate herself to slip on her shoes and get moving every day. She loves making a positive impact on the health and wellness of the animals she meets when working with Dog Jogs.
Shelby looks forward to running in Queenstown, New Zealand someday soon. She also holds the movie Homeward Bound in a special place in her heart — the reunion scene still brings a tear to her eye!
Nicole grew up in the Spruce Grove area. While growing up, her family always had more than one pet in the house, from birds and rabbits, to dogs and reptiles! She also grew up riding horses and is a lover of all animals, but certainly has a soft spot for her three rescue dogs and cat.
Nicole’s hobbies include trying new things, hanging out with friends and family, and spending time with her furry friends. She currently works at Booster Juice’s head office and has a passion for all things natural and health-related.
Nicole considers herself lucky to have had so many awesome moments with animals. One of her favourites is the time she picked up her youngest dog from the shelter while he was a puppy — she was just so excited to bring him to his new home! Back then, he was so small that he could sit on her lap while she was driving. To this day, he doesn’t realize he weighs over 50 pounds and should no longer move over to her side while he’s in the passenger seat.
Nicole finds it easy to find motivation when she has a positive mindset and outlook on every situation. Knowing she gets to hangout with dogs while wearing her favourite LuLus and Nike gear is something she gets excited about!
Her favourite animal related movie is Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. She’s pretty sure her love of horses grew 100x greater after watching that movie. If Nicole could run in any city in the world, it would be Dubai. She wants to travel there to see the incredible architecture and to be near the ocean.
Shawn is currently taking a break from school to walk and jog dogs with us! If you live on the south side of Edmonton, Shawn will likely be visiting your dog! Shawn doesn’t currently have his own dog, but enjoys spending time with the doggos of Dog Jogs. He had lots of practice growing up with dogs and often takes his dad’s mini-aussie, Sam, out for jogs now.
Shawn can be found playing on his men’s ball hockey team a few nights of the week, which of course helps him stay in shape to jog our dogs!
Maeva is a born and raised Edmontonion, but she’s also spent a lot of time visiting her Mom’s family in France. She grew up participating in gymnastics, power skating, swimming, and soccer. She really enjoyed track/running in junior high and high school and participated in the Bloomsday 12k race 5 times!
Maeva grew up with dogs her entire life and her family has always had a border collie. After the passing of the first family dog, Fiji, her family decided it was time to bring home Ace. She vividly remembers picking him up with her dad. She spent a lot of time with Ace taking him on walks/runs as they both had a lot of energy to burn!
Seeing results in my fitness and being able to reach new goals whether it be the distance within a certain amount of time when running, or amount of weight I’m able to lift in the gym is what keeps me motivated.
Her favourite running gear (and the most important part in her opinion) is shoes. She was lucky that her brother worked at a running store for a few years so she was able to take advantage of his discount to buy a lot of shoes and has quite the collection now!
My favourite animal-related movie would have to be All Dogs Go To Heaven. She remembers sitting in front of the TV as a kid and watching it on VHS over and over, but never getting bored.
If she could run anywhere in the world she would choose Tahiti. She’s always wanted to go there and visit because her mom lived there for a few years and met my dad there!
Kara has always had dogs in her life. Currently, she and her fiancé own Chevy, who is a bundle of white fluff! Kara loves many types of exercise, especially spin classes and running, but she’s recovering from an injury so she is currently just walking dogs. Kara has worked in Doggy Daycares and also posses her Walks and Wags Pet First Aid Certificate.
Kara has a fun memory of a dog named Rio at a doggy daycare she worked at: her first day working with him, he was so shy and reserved. He wouldn’t even let anyone pet him. After 8 months of time, he finally warmed up to her and let her pet him and be close to him. Why was this so exciting? Kara was the only one at that doggy care that he would allow getting close to him.
Kara’s favourite gear for running is a good pair of shoes and her Lululemon pants! Her favourite movie Hachiko is a movie about the bond a professor made with an abandoned dog he takes into his home.
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!
Picture to come!
Heather is an exercise and outdoor enthusiast, which is why she is a certified personal trainer. She also loves to go for a good run, hike, or workout session. Heather’s a hockey fan who will do whatever she can to watch her team, the Detroit Red Wings. One last fact about Heather is that she also went to university for Police Studies.
Heathers remembers the first time she took her dog, Kilo, camping because he was so excited that he was chewing sticks that were as tall as trees and sniffing and exploring everything. He was the happiest dog on the planet that weekend! She stays motivated through exercise and her love to travel. Being able to work towards going on a trip is so exciting to Heather.