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 Operations Manager
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 Operations Manager, 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.


Xochitl

Marketing Coordinator
I have lived in Chicago my whole life yet I feel as though I am still constantly exploring and discovering new and amazing things to do in the city. I earned my degree in Communication and Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. Before graduating my Boyfriend and I decided to become puppy parents to our highly communicative Husky Blaze. I worked in Human Resources for four years before I realized I wanted to make a career change into the Marketing field. I am very excited to begin this new journey with Windy City Paws. In my spare time I like to create content for my YouTube Beauty channel as well as I am a Freelance Makeup Artist. I also like to partake in various crafty projects from baking, sewing, knitting and DIY home décor.


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.


Shannon

Scheduling Coordinator
I’m so happy to join the Windy City Paws team! I’m originally from East Texas and have always been a dog lover. I currently have three dogs – a very spoiled Pomeranian, a Pit Bull and a mixed breed. Having always had dogs and adored them, finding employment at Windy City Paws is so exciting! I currently live with my husband of 25 years (Joe) and my 19 year old son. During my free time, I like to read and visit with family who live nearby.

 


Emma Jo

Walker Coordinator
I am originally from a tiny little town in Central Illinois called Pleasant Plains, just outside of Springfield. I grew up with a beagle named Dandy Dog and an entire clan of cats (over 20 at one point!). I moved to Chicago in 2007, when I attended Columbia College Chicago. I received my degree in Musical Theater Performance in 2011 and I have been working with animals in some capacity ever since. I became a walker with Windy City Paws in July 2017, and I am very excited to now be helping our walkers give your pets the best times they possibly can! My partner Mike and I are mom and dad to two amazing cats: Giselle, a Siamese-Calico mix and King Richard Toothless III (R2 or Tooey for short), a deaf, toothless, special needs Maine Coon mix. R2 even has his own Instagram! You can follow his & Giselle’s adventures at @kingrichardtoothless3! Outside of my animal-filled life, I am an actor/singer/dancer, comedian, seamstress, comic book collector and an all around nerd!


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!