Meet the Dog Jogs Team

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!

Caroline – Jogger Support 

Caroline is a mom to two lovely human ladies and one furry, high energy lady. She attended Grant MacEwan and her background is mostly in hospitality and hotels, she was even a flight attendant before she had kids! She tries to spend as much time outside as possible, mostly hiking/running with her Vizsla in the Mill Creek Ravine or another off-leash trail around the city. She enjoys biking, hiking, and camping and is a fan of live music. She loves Edmonton with all its seasons but isn’t shy to admit that her family adores winter. They partake in all the normal activities, sledding, skiing, and outdoor skating plus Edmonton has some incredible winter festivals which they love attending. Caroline enjoys any opportunity for creativity, whether that’s in the kitchen, or crafting with her kids. She practices yoga and meditation and even completed a 200Hr Teacher Training because ‘why not’?

She had family dogs growing up and was excited to share her love of dogs with her children. Caroline believes that dogs can add such joy to our lives. Even in their passing, we get to acknowledge and reflect on the happiness they brought. As an adult and mother, she revels in the relationship between her kids and their dog. They are all so lucky to have each other!  

For running, Caroline has reluctantly become a fan of the fanny pack. She just can’t deny how handy they are.  Her favourite animal movie has been The Fox and The Hound for years….it gets her every time and if she could run anywhere in the world she’d run somewhere in the woods, with big, old trees.

 

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.

Madisen – Dog Jogger

Madisen is a nursing student at Grant MacEwan University having recently moved back to Edmonton from Phoenix, Arizona.  She is a part of a Greek Heritage Dance Group and loves everything to do with movement including running, biking, hiking.  She finds being outdoors in nature to be very grounding.  As a child she watched Homeward Bound on repeat.  

Madisen thinks when you’re in a room full of people and a dog chooses to sit next to you. There is no greater feeling!  

Her favourite running gear includes her Garmin watch (to track her movement), a waist pack for hands-free running, and a really good pair of moisture-wicking socks!  

If she could run anywhere in the world you wouldn’t find her on any pavement near buildings, she’d much prefer a trail somewhere surrounded by nature. 

Shannon – Dog Jogger

Shannon grew up in St. Albert and has traveled the world! After completing college and achieving what she calls “the expensive piece of paper in Alternative Energy Technology” and having some successful years on college hockey teams, she flew the nest to continue her pursuit of excellence as a goalie. Her travels took her to Australia and Germany then India, England, Ireland, and all across Canada. She now yearns for a simpler life, tending to plants, spending time with family, and going on adventures with her partner and furry companion, “the wily coyote”.

She has fond memories of her dear childhood dog, Scotia, running many kilometers side by side with no leash in sight and playing fetch in fields of wheat, watching her bounce up and down in the gold stalks like a kangaroo. 

Shannon stays motivated by focusing on all the incredible reasons to go out or to get active. The synchronization of muscles, bones, blood, and breath all working together, the newness of the outdoors always changing, the possibility of surprise around each corner, under each tree, flowing down the creek, and of course, there’s nothing quite like the scent of fresh prairie air.  

One of the best things about running is that all you need is a pair of shoes however for Shannon, shoes are everything! They need to be light-weight, flat, slightly cushioned, and have a bit of a tooth to the outside. 

Her favourite animal movie is Bambi, and can probably quote the entire film. If she could run anywhere in the world, she’d be in Mons, a city in Belgium.

Danahe – Photo coming soon!

Danehe is a Bachelor of Science student at MacEwan University pursuing a career in forensic psychology or correctional therapy, she’s following her passion to make a difference in the current correctional system. 

She loves all the outdoor things: hiking, biking, swimming or simply going for a picnic. When the weather is nice, you’ll definitely find her outside!  

She has a curious puppy, Meeka, at home and loves watching her learn all about the world around. Danahe is enjoying seeing her becoming more independent and brave.  

Motivation comes Danahe’s way by setting goals, even if it’s a long term goal. Simply having the objective, cultivates the motivation to keep at it. For running, she likes to have everything lightweight. Her essentials are her phone to track distance/speed and her AirPods for music or a podcast. She’s hoping to add a hands-free leash to her gear soon.

Danahe’s favourite animal movie is Marmaduke, she used to watch it once a week and she thinks it helped spark her love for big dogs. If she could run in any city you’d find her in Greece along the coastline soaking up the views!