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.
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.
Brynn grew up on an acreage outside Edmonton and is no stranger to hard work. She has been working since she was fourteen and plans to be a Jr. High school English Teacher one day. She describes herself as both a country lass and a city girl with passions for writing, cooking and anything to do with the outdoors.
Her love for animals is deep and knows that having a dog is life-changing. At a young age, she begged her dad for a dog and when he finally agreed she was overjoyed! They drove to the Rescue to meet their new best friends and Brynn’s life has never been the same.
Brynn stays motivated by setting achievable goals and giving herself small rewards to keep that motivation going! She loves the movies Homeward Bound and Marley and Me and dreams to one day run around Dublin, Ireland!
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!
Katie-photo coming soon!
Katie grew up in a huge family with many siblings and some special pets who were always considered “family members”. Katie is a pet lover and currently has one very spoiled kitten in her life. Every night they have a very specific bedtime ritual involving an adorable little kitten putting her head under Katie’s chin and needing to be tucked into the blankets. Her well-loved kitten does not like sleeping without being tucked in.
Katie started martial arts at a very young age and has never looked back! She knows Kung-Fu, MMA and is on competitive Taekwondo teams. She also teaches women’s only Kickboxing classes focusing on empowering strong powerful women. Katie is self-motivated and being tired has never been an excuse for her to miss out on valuable training.
Katie thinks it’s wise to invest in a nice jacket, sweater or compression top for running. Pieces that are warm and make her feel fit just by wearing them!
Her favourite animal-related movies are Homeward Bound and The Lion King. If she could choose to run in any city in the world she would have a hard time deciding. Either Kyoto, Japan or the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.
May-Photo coming soon!
May graduated with an Architectural Technologies Diploma in 2001. She spends her free time relaxing at home, knitting, reading, gaming and spending time with her two dogs Bibi and Thor.
One of her favourite memories of Bibi is when he first came home. May slept in the kitchen in the first few nights to help him feel safe (and stop whining). In the mornings she’d wake up to him jumping on her chest, his little face poking over the blankets.
May considers good shoes the only truly necessary running gear. The Fox and The Hound has always been her favourite animal movie and if she could run anywhere in the world she’d choose somewhere high in the mountains, like Banff where there would be no bees!
Daniel is from Whitecourt, Alberta and is currently attending The University of Alberta studying Physics and Biology. His hobbies include gardening, gaming, and brewing beer (even though he does not drink). He loves exploring and spending time with his friends.
He fondly remembers his earliest moments with his dog during winter. She would follow in his footsteps as they walked through the snow, the small puppy hopping from footprint to footprint in the deep snow.
Daniel knows what he wants and what is needed to achieve his goals. If he could run anywhere in the world he’d choose Brisbane, Australia.
His go-to running gear includes a light backpack and a hydro flask.
Lisa grew up on an acreage near Spruce Grove and has been a huge animal lover her entire life, especially dogs. Her world revolves around her sassy but very sweet bulldog. As a puppy, she would run through fields of tall grass in figure-eights with her mouth wide open…looking like an enormous smile was plastered on her face. Total Bliss!
Alongside Dog-Jogs she works in Healthcare within Telecommunications Emergency Dispatch. She has a passion for creativity and enjoys painting, writing, even crocheting. Lisa lives mindfully, nurturing a positive outlook with daily meditation. She is focused, ambitious and committed to achieving her goals!
Her favourite animal movie is All Dogs Go To Heaven and the best running she has ever done is here in Alberta…right on the acreage she grew up on!
Brianne (or Bri as we call her!) was born in Grande Prairie and currently attending The University of Alberta studying Nutrition and Food Science on the road to becoming a Dietician. Staying active is important to her whether it’s happening at the gym or hiking with family in the beautiful BC mountains.
Bri’s dog strongly dislikes water. He had been going to the beach since he was a puppy but the first time he finally jumped in the water and swam – at four years old – was a proud moment for her. Even if it did take him four years!
Bri is able to keep motivated by holding herself accountable. Also, she has a great watch, it tracks everything she needs to know while on a dog jog. Her must-have running gear includes her watch and comfy running shoes.
101 Dalmatians is her favourite animal movie and if she could run anywhere in the world she’d chose Venice, California to have a constant view of the beach of course.
Liz tried hard to convince her parents for a dog as a child, but sadly it never happened. She says she is now “making up for lost time” with her own two dogs. Although she has a Masters in Public Health, she is now pursuing a rewarding career as a dog trainer. She is officially obsessed with dogs! There is no denying that no matter what sort of day you’re having, it always becomes better once you’re gotten outside with a dog!
She spends her time gardening, baking and volunteering with rescue dogs. For jogging attire, an important consideration is pockets! Ample pockets are a necessity for storing hot dogs and other tasty dog treats.
Her top pick for animal movies is Babe and with an option to run anywhere in the world, she’d find herself on a mountain trail.
Heidi is a nurse at The Lois Hole Hospital for Women. She is a mother of four not including her very loyal dog. He’s a rescue Border Collie mixed breed and is an important member of the family, loved by all.
Heidi loves keeping fit by running and hiking and getting outside into nature as much as possible. She won’t head out for a run without her windbreaker, runners or fanny pack. When she’s not outside Heidi can be found writing in her journal, listening to a podcast/music or planning her next holiday.
A Dog’s Journey is her favourite animal movie and she’d choose to run in Vancouver if she could run anywhere.
Conner – Photo coming soon!
Connor is a Realtor living in Sherwood Park with his wife, Rebecca, and their dog, Tucker. He will never forget going to pick up Tucker for the first time to bring him home. He was the cutest! He’s grown up with dogs his entire life and simply couldn’t picture his life without them! Growing up he liked to watch the movies Homeward Bound and Far From Home with his sister.
Connor is a self-proclaimed “sports nut”. His hobbies include snowboarding, hockey, football, running and pretty much all sports. He spends his time staying active, camping and hanging out with friends and family.
Connor is a big believer that there is always room to grow. He is constantly trying to better himself both personally and professionally.
If he could run in any city in the world you would find him in Bali, Indonesia.