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The Discover Dogs Team

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Jake and Tanya Giammarino

Directors & Coaches

Tanya got her start working in vet clinics both in Calgary and Vancouver. After seeing the same dogs month after month for the same ailments Tanya developed a strong passion for preventative health care. As a result nutrition, grooming and health care become a corner stone of the company. These days Tanya is all over the place at Discover Dogs, helping with staff training and development, having her hand in the books and doing shifts in the store. When she's not in the store Tanya loves to cook, get out for walks and play with her two rugrats, Chuck and Huck.

Jake got his start with animals working at the SPCA Summer Day camps teaching kids to care for their pets. While doing this Jake also began to take an interest in psychology while attending UBC. It seemed like a natural fit for Jake to take his passion for animals and psychology and turn it towards teaching humans how to teach their pets.

While Jake loves seeing the dogs he works with progress he tends to get more jazzed up about seeing people develop new skills and better communication with their dogs. Jake has a specific knack for teaching calm energy projection in the rehabilitation of canine social skills, and shares this knowledge with our team. He has exceeded boundaries with his dog, Mickey, who now gets to enjoy off leash time in all of his favorite spots because of the trust and communication they have taught one another. When he's not training dogs Jake loves to cook, listen to music and wrestle with the 2 little ones. 

 
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Hannah Golding

SMOOTH OPERATOR & PET SITTER

HANNAH HAS BEEN WITH DISCOVER DOGS FOR OVER A YEAR!

Born and raised in Calgary, Hannah moved the West Coast for a BFA from the University of Victoria, where she met her wife Kat. After graduating and getting hitched, the two along with Garbonzo, their rescue terrier, mix moved to Vancouver for a taste of the Big City.

Since she can remember, Hannah had been asking her parents for a dog. Years of persistent requests, pleading, research on breeds and care, finally all amounted to… “still no.” So when she moved away, Hannah vowed to adopt a furry friend on her own. Luckily, she met Kat who shared her love for animals, and now Hannah is the one who has to say “no” to every adoptable pup Kat shows her. Garbonzo will have to be an only child for now! Until then, Discover Dogs is fulfilling their need to help improve the lives of our four-legged companions! Hannah recently completed a certificate program in Communication Design at BCIT. In her spare time she likes to cook, draw, and watch The Office for the 100th time.

 
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Natalie Swenarchuk

RETAIL MANAGER, CANINE WELLNESS EDUCATOR, HEALTHCARE PROVIDER & PET SITTER 

NATALIE HAS BEEN WITH DISCOVER DOGS FOR OVER 3 YEARS!

As a teen, Natalie had many animals, volunteered at her local vet and worked at a pet store for her very first job. Since her interests diversified, she gained a BA in fine art in London and has previously worked in retail, branding, marketing product design, production and business development. Natalie recently rescued Penny the Ibizan Hound and the two are 'inseparable'. (Penny has separation anxiety and yes... they are working on it!)

Discover Dogs is the most inspiring group of people with an astounding range of talents and knowledge. It is a pleasure to work towards improving human dog relationships through genuine holistic care.

 

 
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Ryan Parker

RETAIL CLERK & WELLNESS EDUCATOR

Hello everybody, my name is Ryan and I am very happy to be a part of the Discover Dogs family. I have a confession make, I'm a cat person. Don't get me wrong, I love dogs, but for me Kitty is Queen. I was born and raised in the Lower Mainland and I love my city, even the rain. I grew up with Golden Retrievers and a pair of cats, I also had a variety of small animals growing up. I have always loved animals and get immense satisfaction from helping them. I have been in the pet industry for almost eight years and have extensive nutritional and product knowledge that I am looking forward to sharing with all of you.

 
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Meagan Herbst

SENIOR WALKER, STAFF TRAINER, HEALTHCARE PROVIDER, PET SITTER & COACH IN TRAINING

MEAGAN HAS BEEN WITH DISCOVER DOGS FOR 3 YEARS!

I was born into this world wearing a parka with a Siberian Husky companion named Simka. Starting off in Yellowknife, NWT was just the beginning of my many adventures. From there, I had the opportunity to attend an array of schools and meet many friends all throughout Canada. I then took it upon myself to explore and travel extensively through ten countries but am finally happy to call Vancouver home. I started off in Vancouver as an Interior Designer and strayed away from the firm with an interest in holistic healing. Soon after working with aromatherapy, I became a certified Yoga Instructor. I enjoy spending my time creating natural essential oil based remedies, horseback riding, practicing yoga and exploring the great outdoors. I have always had a special way with animals and possess a strong interest in the human-animal connection. This interest first stemmed when my partner was faced with some health care challenges and fortunately was able to heal through animal therapy. It was then that I realized I wanted to pursue working with animals as a career. I am grateful to have found Discover Dogs and have enjoyed the abundance of knowledge and joy since joining the team.

 
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Kat Thompson

SENIOR WALKER, STAFF TRAINER, HEALTHCARE PROVIDER, PET SITTER & COACH IN TRAINING

KAT HAS BEEN WITH DISCOVER DOGS FOR OVER A YEAR!

Raised in Costa Rica, Kat developed an immense love for animals of all shapes and sizes while living in the rainy (even more rainy than Vancouver!) central valley and the dry temperate regions of the pacific coast. With bizarre pets ranging from lizards and mice to snakes and sloths, Kat learned a lot about the relationship between humanity and the amazing creatures we share this earth with.

Having moved every two years of her life, Kat found that her childhood best friend, a neurotic, retired, racing Greyhound named Cleo, was her only real staple in life and began her life long habit of collecting and rehabilitating injured and unwanted Costa Rican street dogs. Kat spent a year working in a small Costa Rican shelter learning about veterinary practices and caring for the animals which led her to decide that no matter where life takes her she would always work with dogs.

After completing an BA in Creative Writing and Political Science at the University of Victoria Kat married her lovely wife Hannah on August 22nd 2015 and they relocated to this overwhelming albeit beautiful city. They are beyond excited to start exploring the trails and beaches with Garbonzo, their wire-haired terrier mix from Costa Rica. Passionate about each and every dog at Discover Dogs, Kat has been with us for over a year, recently becoming a manager!

 
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Micah Field

SENIOR WALKER & PET SITTER

MICAH HAS BEEN WITH DISCOVER DOGS FOR ALMOST 3 YEARS!

Vancouver born and raised, Micah knows the city well and is happy to live in such a beautiful place. A dog lover growing up with adorable cats, the urge to break free and spend more time with canines eventually became too strong. After working as a freelance dog walker for a while, Micah was lead to Discover Dogs and is happy to be part of such a responsible team!

Having always had a love for animals of all kinds, Micah is excited to be working with so many fun creatures! Having always had a love for the arts, Micah opted to study Theatre Acting at Langara College. From there, he kept feeding his hunger for creativity by keeping busy with Circus Arts classes as well as Voice Acting. He then went on to pursue Cinematography at Capilano University where he graduated on the Dean's List. He is currently making short films and doing sketch comedy with friends. Whenever he can he loves to bike around the city as well as through nature and camp out in the wilderness.

 

Kennedy Makarowski

DOG WALKER, HEALTHCARE PROVIDER & HOUSE SITTER

KENNEDY HAS BEEN WITH DISCOVER DOGS FOR OVER A YEAR!

Kennedy is 21 years old and was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, before recently moving out to Vancouver for a change in scenery and to further pursue her goal to work with and for animals as a career. Kennedy's good friend and companion Joey, a 12 year old cocker spaniel/poodle cross, still resides in Edmonton. Kennedy holds Joey responsible for giving her such compassion and love towards all animals.

Kennedy's first experience working with animals was back in Edmonton where she worked as an animal care attendant at a pet kennel/shelter, and she immediately knew that working for animals was her passion. After taking a semester at the University of Alberta in Specialized Animal Biology, Kennedy realized she wasn't quite ready to be trapped under studying and essays, and decided to take some time off to get further experience training and working hands-on with dogs.

Since starting with Discover Dogs, Kennedy has learned so much and her passion to work with animals has been ignited even more. She is hoping to eventually return to school in the next few years, but is in no rush as she's doing what she enjoys and keeps learning more and more about the dog and pet industry every day.

 

Karly Lee

DOG WALKER, STAFF TRAINER & HOUSE SITTER

KARLY HAS BEEN WITH DISCOVER DOGS FOR OVER A YEAR!

Born and raised in Hong Kong, I moved to Vancouver with my family many years ago. Coming from a busy metropolitan city, I immediately fell in love with the parks and mountains in Vancouver. My parent's love for traveling has passed on to me very young and I enjoy exploring all the city has to offer. I had always loved animals since I was very young and had many hamsters, rats and currently two rescue bunnies call Andy and Oliver. Nothing compares to my love for dogs and I hope to have one to call my own soon!

I am a Graphic Designer with a Diploma of Desktop Publishing and Designs. After years of staring at a computer all day, I decided to pursuit my passion for dogs. In my spare time, I volunteer with Scouts Canada as a section leader and have been for over ten years. I love teaching and mentoring the youths as well as exploring what they are each capable of. I often go hiking, camping, and kayaking with them. You can say my passion for scouting is almost as strong as my passion for dogs! I hope to one day train my own dog to be a therapy dog for my scouts.

I am already learning a lot since joining the Discover Dogs team and I can't wait to learn more!

 

Ellen Talney

DOG WALKER

ELLEN HAS BEEN WITH DISCOVER DOGS FOR OVER A YEAR!

Hello All! I am a native Vancouverites and I’m a longtime resident of the West End,  along with my loving and adorable 16 year old cat, Mitzi (aka Pudgemuffin).

I’ve found my way to Discover Dogs after a long and winding career path.  In 2014 I took a big leap of faith and quit my job as a transit bus driver which I had been doing for 11 years. When I quit I really had no idea what I would do next, so for a couple of years I just explored both inwardly and outwardly. My exploration has resulted in discovering the artist in me, and committing to seriously pursuing art, as it just feels so good to create from this place. Some of my other big interests and passions include music, spirituality, metaphysics, science and nature.

I’ve always adored animals of all kinds, and have felt strongly connected to them. But in the past couple of years, I’ve increasingly felt that I want to work with them in some way, and also be an advocate for their rights and welfare. I believe that working for Discover Dogs will be an amazing opportunity to do all of these things, and to grow further as a person. I’m really happy to be here, and to meet this new challenge head-on…such great people and great pups...and so much to learn! 

 

 

Brittany K

DOG WALKER, HEALTHCARE PROVIDER & HOUSE SITTER

BRITTANY HAS BEEN WITH DISCOVER DOGS FOR OVER A YEAR!

Brittany grew up in the Vancouver area and her passion for animal well-being started at a young age. For Brittany, spending all her free time volunteering at the local animal shelter or pet store was her safe haven. She enjoyed the unconditional love and companionship animals shared and always knew they would leave a special place in her heart. 

Brittany has three dogs! Jaxson is a mystery mutt rescued from a Reserve in Northern Washinton in 2010. Opie is a German Shepherd x French Bulldog x Boston Terrier mutt and Georgia-Peach is an English bulldog, who like her older brother was rescued from Washinton State. Brittany also took in Finn the Ball Python. 

Brittany is super passionate about animal nutrition and would love it if you picked her brain about raw feeding. She's been happily feeding her dogs raw since early 2010!  She is also in school working to become a social worker. She hopes to one day work with both animals and children together. If you happen to catch Brittany at a time where she doesn't have her nose in a book, or on the trails working with her furry friends, you will find her either hiking, biking or kayaking with her doggo friends! 

 

Logan Thackray

DOG WALKER & HOUSE SITTER

LOGAN HAS BEEN WITH DISCOVER DOGS FOR OVER A YEAR!

I grew up in Canmore Alberta where I learned to have a passion for the outdoors and nature. When I am not at school studying Anthropology, playing music or working you can most likely find me either skiing or hiking. (Depending on the season) I was a ski racer and competed at national levels but decided to retire to explore the world and get an education. I have always loved animals, dogs in particular. My dream is to one day have a farm equipped with a greenhouse, music studio, wood burning fire place and around 30 dogs… Yes I will be the crazy dog lady.

 
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Josie Chow

DOG WALKER

Josie has always had a soft spot for animals, especially dogs and manatees. Because it wasn't feasible to have a pet manatee growing up, Josie begged her parents to adopt a dog. Alas, the pleading was to no avail. Fast forward two decades and a five-year university degree later, Josie moved into a pet-friendly suite in Jake & Tanya's East Vancouver basement. After a few more months searching for a four-legged friend to adopt, Rey finally came into Josie's life. Through Rey, Josie gained a new appreciation for rescue animals who otherwise wouldn't have anyone to love them. 

Josie is also interested in learning more about dog behaviour. She hopes to combine her background in Kinesiology with dog handling skills to be able work with rehabilitating canines in the future.

Besides being an animal-lover Josie is also an outdoor enthusiast, an avid beer-league hockey player and a freelance photographer.

 
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Courtney Krapiec

dog walker

I join the team of Discover Dogs with joyous love and respect for our furry friends. 

For the past few years, I have worked professionally with animals through several mediums. I have been interested in nutrition and food production since reading some mind-opening health-research books in my my teenage years. Since then, I have been a curious seeker of facts and statistics, spending time working on several farms and community projects. My professional animal care experience began with employment at a pet supply shop, where I was inspired and invited to further my animal knowledge.

Moving forward, I worked with a raw pet food company, teaching sales staff about the nutritional aspects of pet food consumption, and sharing research amongst peers in the changing world of dietary health.  

I am the proud Mamma of two gorgeous American Pitbulls. Chonko and Ruby are gentle, kind-hearted examples of the beauty of their breed.  I take great pleasure, while also great responsibility in advocating for pitbulls, along with other typecasted animals.

Growing up in Vancouver, I find tradition in the activities of Photography, Curling, and Painting. I love a good road trip, and splashing around in lakes with my dogs.  I also look forward to chances to catch a concert or hockey game with my Dad: my best friend. Family is everything to me, and I am happy to have been welcomed into the Discover Dogs home. 

 

Valyce Carpenter

SMOOTH OPERATOR

Valyce was born in Vancouver, and has always had some type of animal in her life.  From Hugo the-One-Eyed-Cat, her family went on to adopt 3 more cats: Lisa, Syd and Zelda. Eventually, her family decided to branch out to other animals, and a goofy Springer Spaniel named Maxwell Peabody was added to the pack.  Since then, she has moved on to having a space of her own and has welcomed a little, fluffy Calico kitty named Ozma into her life. 

After graduating High School, Valyce went to work as an Administrative Assistant with the Ministry of Children and Family Development.  At the same time, she would take evening and weekend courses at Langara to work towards an Associate’s Degree in Psychology.  After 4 years of supporting front line Social Workers, she moved on to support the BC Film Commissioner and the local Vancouver film industry as a Client Services Coordinator with the BC Film Commission.  Valyce continued to work in the film industry and juggle school life until she eventually moved back into the BC Public Service.  She currently works full time as an Administrative Assistant for an office which provides financial support and management to a vulnerable population downtown.  On the weekends, she can be found at Discover Dogs HQ, supporting the Walkers, and drinking all the tea :)

 

Dena Cheney

HUMAN RESOURCES

Born in Richmond and raised in Vancouver, Dena is now proud to call North Vancouver her home.  Having graduated from UBC with a Sociology Major many moons ago, Dena took some time off from her career in the Wine Industry to focus on raising her two young children.  While off from work, she enrolled in BCIT's Human Resource Management program and slowly chipped away at it while juggling her energetic family life.  Skip ahead 5 years - and with both children now at school, Dena has started her new career path as the Human Resource Manager for Discover Dogs and is excited to apply her knowledge to the growing business.  For the time being, her children will continue to enjoy pictures and stories about her husband`s childhood dog Holly the Beagle, who lived with them pre-children until she was 16.  When the time does come to welcome a dog into their family, Dena will be sure to tap into the knowledge and expertise of the Discover Dogs team!

 
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Chelsea Saxton

PET SITTER

CHELSEA HAS BEEN WITH DISCOVER DOGS FOR 5 YEARS!

Chelsea is now a member of the Discover Dogs Alumni! A retired Smooth Operator who's knowledge and dog handling skills are now being applied to Pet Sitting your furry ones in the comfort of her home. After 5 years with Discover Dogs she is now working for a fast growing property management company in Vancouver.

Chelsea, her wife Janay, and their Lab cross Big Mack, use boundaries, patience and positive reinforcement to help dogs of all ages feel safe while away from home.

 
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Heather Buck

PET SITTER

Heather was born and raised in sunny Sacramento, California where she grew up around all sorts of animals such as birds, cats, rats, snakes, dogs and chinchillas. A veritable zoo! Much to her parents dismay, she took in strays of all varieties during her childhood. She was around dogs for all of her childhood, as her parents bred and raised Labrador Retrievers. Her favorite of the menagerie was her goofy Great Dane, Maverick, who was a constant companion throughout her teenage years. Heather had always dreamed of working with animals.

Heather moved north to Eugene, Oregon in 2004 where she attended the University of Oregon and received her degree in Psychology with a minor in Business. With her focus on mental health, she moved north again to Portland, Oregon where she worked as a mental health counselor for dual diagnosis schizophrenic clients in a lock down facility for just over a year. She came to Vancouver over a weekend with friends where she met her current partner and decided to move north yet again.

After a year of lawyers and interviews with customs agents, Heather became a permanent resident in Vancouver and decided to once again pursue her passion of working with animals. She found Discover Dogs to be the perfect fit.

 
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Chloe Numbers

PET SITTER

CHLOE HAS BEEN WITH DISCOVER DOGS FOR OVER A YEAR!

Chloe was raised in Marin County, California, an arms stretch north of the Golden Gate Bridge. A lifelong lover of all animals, she grew up in a redwood forest alongside several cats, domesticated rats and her beloved labradoodle, Milo. She traded sun for rain when she moved to Vancouver in 2011 to attend UBC, where she recently graduated with a BA in Film Studies and Theatre. After spending the better part of four years staring at screens, Chloe jumped at the opportunity to work outside with her favourite type of creature, DOGS!

In her spare time, Chloe likes viewing and making films, playing and listening to music, and working towards her eventual goal of creating soundtracks for movies. She also enjoys traveling, hiking, yoga and snuggling her kitty, Marvin Graye.

 
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Kenn MacDonald

HOUSE SITTER

KENN HAS BEEN WITH DISCOVER DOGS FOR 3 YEARS!

Kenn was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He moved to the East Coast of Canada when he was 7 and to the West Coast when he was 16. He now happily resides in East Vancouver where he works full time for Parallel 49.In his spare time he enjoys spending time hanging out with friends and exploring the city and what beautiful BC has to offer. Hiking, biking, or boarding are his main pass times.

He doesn’t have dog of his own but is a very loyal "uncle" to a couple of large breed dogs (Lenny Newfoundland and Sigge Bernese Mountain Dog). He housesits for their owners regularly and really enjoy the staycations, as well as the opportunity to spend quality time with the dogs. Life is better when there's a dog around!