Katie

Owner

I was born to run a dog walking business…
I just had to lose my job to know it!

My love of dogs began as early as it gets

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t begging my parents for a dog or dreaming of being a vet. Finally when I was eight years old, we got our first family pet, a beautiful Golden Retriever named Ginger. I loved everything about having a furry companion – we did everything together! I’ve had a dog in my live ever since- two Golden Retrievers and one King Charles Cavalier Spaniel!

I was never totally satisfied being a dog walking customer

After graduating from the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!), I was working in the financial world and frequently had to use a dog walker for my pups – though I was never fully satisfied with the service I was getting and the my peace of mind with those companies. When the financial industry crashed and my company closed its doors, I decided to refocus on my love of animals. I took a break from the corporate world and started walking dogs myself in the city.

I thought, ‘I can do dog walking better. I can give peace of mind to dog parents’

After six months walking dogs, I realized how much I loved it and saw the peace of mind and value I was able to bring to my clients.  Being around dogs, playing, loving, caring for dogs was at the core of my life. I understood both what a client needs and wants in a dog walking service and also what the walker needs and enjoys as well.  So I made the decision to take a leap and start Windy City Paws!

What we’re about

I hope that my passion for animals and top notch service shines through when you work with anyone on the Windy City Paws team! We strive to provide the most caring, loving and professional dog walking and sitting services for dogs and their owners in Chicago.


Julia

Manager
juliazeldalickI moved to Chicago in 2013 and am originally from Alabama! When I first moved here, I missed our family dog Annie (awesome chocolate lab) so I looked into different things I could do that brought dogs back into my life! I called Katie and became a part of the incredible WCP team as a walker in the Lincoln Park area! I had such a great time walking and befriending the dogs of Chicago, I wanted to do more. I talked with Katie and became Walker Coordinator then eventually Manager! Katie is an incredible person to work with and for and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else! Since I became manager though, I missed my daily interactions with dogs, so Matt, my husband, and I adopted a beautiful and crazy mutt, named her Zelda, and she has become an amazing part of our family! In the evening I enjoy stage managing, performing, and doing other various jobs with different theaters in Chicago!


Gary

Walker Manager
gary dog walker managerI’m a Southern California native, but I’m happy to have called Chicago my home since 2013. I was a dog walker for WCP for multiple years, and I am now thrilled to be managing such an excellent group of walkers. I received my BFA in Acting from California State University, Fullerton, and I’m also a graduate of the Second City Training Center’s Music Improv program. I regularly perform around the city in scripted musicals, musical sketch shows, and music improv shows. I also play guitar, harmonica, and several other instruments, usually for shows similar to the ones I just mentioned. In my free time, I can typically be found staring at dogs I pass on the street and subsequently crashing into nearby objects.


Lauren

Field Supervisor
Lauren With PuppyI moved to Chicago in 2014, about one year after I completed my master’s degree in history at Middle Tennessee State University. I worked in nonprofits in Tennessee for several years before my husband and I decided to pack up our lives (and our dogs) and move to the Midwest. With my change of location, I decided to make a career change as well. I wanted to do something that melded with my old and new interests—caring for animals and learning everything I could about my new city. In came Windy City Paws. I have had a love for animals my entire life, often living with several of them at one time, so when the opportunity to be a dog walker arose, I decided to take it. My role has grown and changed since I first started working for WCP in January 2015. Now, as the Field Supervisor, I get to spend most of my time with our wonderful walkers and the dogs they care for all over the city–something truly worthwhile and enjoyable. When I am not busy with Windy City Paws activities, I spend my time being a dog mom to my little Corgi mix Missy, trying to figure out what is going on inside my cat Mister’s mind, watching films and reading books with my husband Sam, exploring the museums and galleries around Chicago, and trying not to adopt every shelter dog I see.


Jessica

Marketing & Technology Manager
jessica asst managerI grew up in northeast Ohio, a beautiful little town right along Lake Erie. In 2004, I ventured to Chicago where I earned my degree in photography from Loyola University Chicago. I fell in love with this incredible city, and although I jumped around the Midwest a little after graduation, I knew Chicago was home and eventually returned in 2012. Although photography and art in general are a huge part of my life, I have a passion for animals. To have the opportunity with Windy City Paws to help others care for their four-legged family members is a dream! I currently live with my wonderful husband and our two rescue boxer-mixes Lily and Rusty.


Kathleen

Scheduling Coordinator
kathleen dog walking schedulerI moved to Chicago in July 2015 after earning a degree in theatre from Knox College in Galesburg, IL. I am originally from a suburb of Houston, Texas. I have loved animals my whole life and my family always had dogs when I was growing up. Since moving away from home, I haven’t been able to have a dog, and I’ve missed having canine companions in my life. I joined Windy City Paws as a dog walker last fall – because what could be better than spending all day with dogs?! I loved meeting new pups and having fun exploring the city with them on walks! I am thrilled to now be taking on a new role with Windy City Paws as Scheduling Coordinator! Windy City Paws is such a wonderful company to work for and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store. In my spare time, I enjoy theatre, cooking, running, and trying to pet every dog I see.


Mia and Zelda

Mascots
mia and zeldaMia joined Windy City Paws as the founding Mascot in 2009 alongside Katie. She currently handles all doorbell alerting duties and affectionate licking for WCP. Zelda joined Windy City Paws as co-mascot in 2014 and is in charge of all jumping over couch activities.


Cosette

Strategist
cosetteI joined Windy City Paws in December of 2015 as an outside consultant in charge of disrupting the dog walking marketplace. Since that time, as a result of my contributions, many strategies have been implemented around the home office, such as a new closed door policy and 2am emails. I look forward to continuing to affect Windy City Paws in loud and urgent ways!