Meet the Dog Jogs Team

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!

Reina has done many Dog Jogs Instagram takeover- check them out

Ashley – Dog Jogger (she/her)

Ashley has an Arts Degree from the UofA as well as her Residential Interiors Diploma. She is currently working as an Interior Decorator and is absolutely loving it! Ashley spends as much time as she can outside, especially with her two dogs. Some of her other interests include traveling, hiking, hitting different coffee shops, and watching cheesy horror movies. 

Picking up her first dog Winston is one of Ashley’s fondest animal memories. Winston was being fostered with his mom and littermates, and when Ashley are her partner drove out 90 minutes to meet them, they were not planning on taking one home right away! Of course, as soon as Ashley picked up Winston there was no way they were leaving without him. They had to pick up every single thing you need for a new puppy because they were definitely not prepared! 

Ashley stays motivated by leading by example.  She hates to disappoint people so Ashley is driven to always put her best foot forward. Having multiple pockets is something that is essential to any garment in Ashley’s running wardrobe, she needs lots of easy access spaces to store her phone, poop bags, and treats! Her favourite animal movies are the Lion King and Homeward bound, and her favourite coffee spot is Roasti. Ashley and her party of pockets would be happy running anywhere in the world that is near the beach or the mountains.

Ashley’s worked for Dog Jogs for a long time- check out all her stories here

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.

Dani takes you on a day in the life of a dog jogger here

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. 

Find out more about Jackie here

Brittney – Dog Jogger (she/her)

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. 

 

Daniel – Dog Jogger (He/Him)

Daniel, or Dan, has had a passion for soccer from an early age, both playing and watching. One of his favourite pastimes is practicing soccer alone at a few of his top-rated fields throughout Edmonton. Daniel absolutely loves camping, backpacking, hiking, and all things outdoors, but he’s still afraid of bugs! Daniel learned intermediate Mandarin during his Business degree and did a work practicum in banking in 2013. Dan has worked in banking ever since graduating 6 years ago, but he’s recently decided to pivot into something new. 

Growing up, Daniel had a huge Alaskan Malamute named Tasha, which in his mind looked like a giant 120 pound Pomeranian. Tasha would come barrelling towards him to say hello whenever Dan came into the backyard, and he has fond memories of going straight to the back gate when he would get home in anticipation of another Tasha tackle! 

Continuously learning and improving is what keeps Dan motivated in life. He finds that when stagnation sets in and he is not being challenged or putting himself into uncomfortable situations, life can become boring and monotonous. For running gear, Daniel loves to take a trip to the Nike outlet. It’s also imperative that Daniel has some good Bluetooth headphones so that he can jam out on his runs! If Daniel could run anywhere in the world he would go to Reykjavik, Iceland, and his favourite snack is chocolate-covered almonds. 

 

Kleio – Dog Jogger (she/her)

Kleio is living in Edmonton studying Human Geography and Planning, but she is originally from BC! She loves to paddle board, go for nature walks, and binge watch TV series. Kleio is an avid gardener, but she’s pretty sure the plants she has killed would disagree. 

When Kleio was little, her dog would come with her class on field trips. The class adored him, he would make sure everyone was okay by running up and down the line and checking in on all of Kleio’s classmates. Once he finished his rounds he would come back to hang out with Kleio. This is one of Kleio’s fondest animal memories.

Staying motivated is no problem for Kleio, as long as she has a cup of joe! Kleio isn’t picky about running gear, but it is imperative that she has a solid pair of running shoes. She thinks if your feet hurt then the rest of you will too! Art of Racing in the Rain is Kleio’s favourite animal movie, however she thinks the book is far superior to the film. If she could run anywhere in the world, you would find Kleio running along the river in London. When Kleio is feeling like a tea she heads over to Block 1912, and her favourite blizzard from DQ is cookie dough! 

 

Danahe – Dog Jogger (she/her)

Danahe is going into her second level of EMR (Emergency Medical Responder) at NAIT and is on the path towards becoming a Paramedic. She has also recently discovered her passion for refinishing furniture and crocheting. These activities are great de-stressors for Danahe! 

Danahe has been around dogs her entire life, so it’s hard for her to pick just one favourite pup-related memory. Something she has really enjoyed doing recently with her own dog Meeka is longboarding, they have really gotten into the groove of it! Meeka will run up front while Danahe rides behind her, and nothing beats seeing Meeka’s beaming smile. 

When it comes to running attire Danahe is not super picky, but one thing that is non-negotiable for her and running with pups is a good hands-free leash. Her favourite animal movie is Marmaduke, and if Danahe could run (or take Meeka for a longboard) anywhere in the world she would choose Greece for the unbeatable views. Danahe loves to hit Remedy to get her tea or coffee fix, but if she has the option she will always opt for apple cider. 

 

 

Jodie – Dog Jogger (she/her)

Jodie is a small-town Alberta girl. She loves the quiet of nature and travelling to the mountains whenever she can. When she is at home her family loves to spend their time in the river valley hiking or mountain biking. Jodie’s family fosters for HART, and they have their own pets as well, so their household is always busy! When Jodie is not dog jogging you might find her in her garage working on a project or doing a demo for her home renovation business.

Jodie’s favourite pet memory is the time she took her dog Daisy to Jasper. They hiked, swam, and mountain biked for a beautiful week. To stay motivated, Jodie writes down her plans and schedule. Having this on paper helps her get things done. Jodie doesn’t hit the trails without her Brooks runners, and she would love to run in Rome because the post-run meal would be the best ever!

One of Jodie’s favourite animal movies is Homeward Bound. She isn’t a shopper but she likes to explore different grocery stores, and her favourite snack is chips and salsa, or better yet nachos!

Sarah M.- Dog Jogger (she/her)

Sarah is a fourth-year Radiation Therapy student at the University of Alberta. She is a self-proclaimed nerd who has more hobbies than free time; Some of these hobbies include reading, art, Dungeons and Dragons, and karate. Sarah has two pets at home, her 15-year-old border collie named Emily, and her orange house cat named Moxie. Sarah adores her pets, and she wanted to become a Dog Jogger because she couldn’t imagine a better way to make friends and stay active!

One of Sarah’s favourite animal memories is the time she went to pick up Emily from the shelter. Not only did Emily poop in front of her cage, but she also puked on Sarah on the car ride home! Even though things got a little messy, Sarah knew from that moment on they were destined to be best buds.

Heavy metal and caffeine are essential to keeping Sarah motivated. If she is feeling like a caffeine boost you might find her at Dirtbag Cafe! When Sarah is getting ready for a run she makes sure to bring her running pack, which is where she keeps extra dog bags and snacks. Sarah’s go-to animal movie is Hachi, and if she could run anywhere in the world, Sarah would go to Okinawa, Japan!

Terri – Dog Jogger (she/her)

Terri grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan and is a lover of all animals. Her favourite outdoor activities are hiking and camping. Terri’s love of the outdoors and sports keeps her active, and she enjoys hitting the gym too. 

Terri’s family had a dog on their farm who really enjoyed pulling. They gave him a rope and he would pull them around on their snowboards! Lots of fun times were had, and this is one of Terri’s favourite animal memories. 

When she wakes up in the morning, Terri makes sure she does it with a positive attitude and a smile on her face. This helps her stay motivated and ready to take on the day! You won’t see Terri out for a run without a pair of good sneakers or a hands-free leash, and she hopes to one day run in San Francisco! Her favourite animal movie is A Dog’s Purpose, and if she feels like a warm drink Terri will grab a Maple Latte from Second Cup.

Josephine – Dog Jogger (she/her)

Josephine is originally from Montreal, where she was trained in classical ballet. She has the equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in the Cecchetti method of ballet! Josephine has danced professionally, teaching and choreographing for over 20 years! Some of her hobbies include camping, yoga, and long walks with her four-legged friends. 

It’s hard to choose a favourite animal-related memory for Josephine, there are just too many to pick from! One of her more recent memories is when her pup Moonie met horses for the first time. The horses loved Moonie and the feeling was mutual, they all became best buds.

Josephine is motivated by yoga, animals, and life in general. If she could run anywhere in the world she would run by a nice beach, and Josephine’s favourite animal movie is Turner and Hooch. It doesn’t make her cry, which is a rare happening for her when watching an animal movie!  

Willow – Virtual Assistant (she/her)

Willow grew up in Edmonton and is currently studying Biological Physics at Simon Fraser University in BC. Before she moved she worked as a Dog Jogger for almost a year, and she now supports Dog Jogs from behind the scenes! Willow likes running and hiking, cooking, watching movies, and attempting to crochet pieces way beyond her skill level. Willow is seriously looking forward to moving back to Edmonton to pursue Earth Science at the UofA because that means she will get to jog with your pups again! 

Her favourite animal memory is probably the time she adopted her cat, Stevie. When Willow picked up Stevie for the first time, she would not let Willow put her down. Even if Willow could get her back into her enclosure, Stevie would just jump and climb back up Willow’s arms! 

Willow stays motivated by making to-do lists, it helps her clear out the clutter in her head and makes it easier for her to see what needs to get done! When it comes to running gear, Willow likes her hands-free leash and some pockets for her phone and extra treats. If she could run anywhere in the world Willow would go to Kyoto, Japan, and her favourite drink is an iced americano from the Columbian Cafe in Edmonton. 

Ella – Dog Jogger (she/her)

Ella is a fourth-year nursing student at the University of Alberta. When she is not in school you will likely find Ella outdoors where she enjoys hiking, backpacking, and running. She loves to read and is a big Harry Potter fan!

Ella’s favourite memory about an animal is in relation to her Pyrenees Lab, Theodore. One day, Theodore and Ella were running in the river valley and they reached the highest peak that looked over the rest of the trails. Theo began to howl and within the forest below you could hear all the other dogs join in!

A morning workout and yummy breakfast are what motivate Ella to start her day. In terms of fitness, she is extremely motivated by a matching workout outfit, and a good podcast or playlist! You won’t catch Ella on the trails without her pair of New Balance runners. If she could run anywhere in the world she would go to Paris, and she is currently training for a half-marathon. Ella’s favourite animal movie is the Jungle Book, and her favourite coffee shop is Square 1! 

Rebecca – Dog Jogger (she/her)

Rebecca grew up with and has taken care of dogs her whole life. She enjoys exploring, being outside, and animals! Rebecca loves to draw and is a digital artist and freelancer, but before that she trained in aerial dance and parkour! She’s always been an avid jogger; running is Rebecca’s favourite way to clear her head and keep her endurance up.

When Rebecca gets ready for bed she always asks her dog if she wants to cuddle, and of course, she immediately will come up and rest next to her. As a dog mom that is her favourite time of day and those evenings are collectively her favourite animal memory! 

Rebecca is motivated by living a meaningful life, which drives her to do certain types of work. She believes in learning about the skills and passions she already possesses and using them to contribute to her community. When she’s out for a run Rebecca always has her running backpack, which is much lighter and less clunky than a regular bag. If she could run anywhere in the world, Rebecca would go to Iceland or New Zealand for the beautiful nature. Her go-to animal movie is Balto, and Rebecca’s favourite restaurant is OEB Breakfast Co.

 

Hannah – Dog Jogger (she/her) * photo coming soon*

Hannah comes from a part Armenian, part Jewish background; However, she was born in Burbank, California and moved to Edmonton when she was a few months old. Hannah went to NAIT for their Veterinary Medical Assistant program and has been working in that field for the past 2 years. She finds working with animals very rewarding! During her free time, Hannah enjoys taking her Basset Hound for walks in the ravine, having bonfires with friends, and spending quality time with her husband. 

When Hannah was younger and much smaller, she would crawl into the dog bed with her family Basset Hound and fall asleep. That is one of her fondest animal memories and ever since then, Basset Hounds have had a very special place in Hannah’s heart. 

Hannah pulls a lot of motivation and energy from the people around her, and this helps her stay focused. It’s much easier for Hannah to get going and have fun with the work she is doing when she feels fulfilled by it. Knowing that she can make a difference for an animal and their human is precisely what motivates her every day. 

If Hannah could pick any place in the world to run, she would choose Greece! When she’s feeling like a London Fog she heads over to Transcend Cafe. 

Emily – Dog Jogger (she/her)

Emily was born and raised in Edmonton, but that doesn’t stop her from exploring and learning more about the city. She enjoys Edmonton’s festivals, events, and of course taking advantage of the wonderful river valley. Animals have always sparked joy in Emily’s life, she grew up with many pets including two dogs and three bunnies. During her free time, Emily likes bird watching, hiking, knitting, cooking, and reading. 

One of Emily’s favourite memories of an animal would have been quite recently. In 2021 she had a rafting accident which resulted in her using a boot cast and knee caddy for seven weeks. During this time she went to Elk Island with some friends, who brought their dog Splinter who was a retired sled dog. Emily attached her knee caddy to Splinter’s harness and he pulled her along their walk. Splinter got to relive his dog sled days and Emily got to zoom around a bit quicker! 

Music is something that truly motivates Emily, and she loves to run with her Asics or New Balance shoes. If she could run anywhere in the world she would go to Switzerland and explore the beautiful scenery. Emily’s favourite pet movie is The Secret Life of Pets, and she just so happens to be an Oiler’s superfan! 

 

 

Khalia – Dog Jogger (she/her)

Khalia was born and raised in Kenya but moved to Edmonton 10 years ago. She has her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies, and is going back to school in Fall 2022 for a Masters of Arts in Community Engagement. Khalia loves to learn! She has picked up many new hobbies in the past few years, including skiing, crocheting, skateboarding, and drumming! 

Growing up with three beautiful German Shepherds is definitely Khalia’s favourite animal memory. The biggest of their pack used to enjoy resting his head on the dinner table, and he occasionally snuck a chicken breast off of someone’s plate!

Khalia is very motivated by both external and internal feedback. She appreciates hearing what she is doing right, and where she can improve. Internally she likes to chart her progress. 

The only thing that Khalia needs for a run is a good pair of shoes, it makes a world of a difference! Speaking of the world, if she could run anywhere she would go to Auckland. Her favourite animal-related movie is Eight Below, and Khalia’s favourite coffee spot is Ace Coffee Roasters off of Whyte Avenue.