Nikki – Owner
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?!