Walker Spotlight- Lia R.

July 26, 2019


We love our walkers at Windy City Paws, and this month we want to introduce to you to Lia, who has been with us for two years!

Where are you from?
I am a Chicago area native.

How did you end up in Chicago?
After attending college in Boston, I lived in Denver for over a decade, but always had the intention of making my way back to my beloved hometown. In 2015 I finally made the move to Chicago to be with my future husband and I’ve never been happier!

What is your favorite pastime?
Being outdoors! Hiking, camping , snowboarding, going to the beach –ย  if it involves fresh air and sunshine I am there!

What is your hidden talent?
I don’t know if it’s necessarily a hidden talent, but I am passionate about working with dementia patients. Interestingly, I think the patience and redirection techniques I’ve learned help me in caring for animals.

Do you have pets? If so, what kind and what are their names? Tell us about their personalities.
My husband and I have two adorable Boston Terriers named Vinnie and Louigi who are sometimes too smart for their own good. Louigi is very loving and loyal and can be a little emotional; if he doesn’t get his treat after a walk he is devastated and sits like a froggy ๐Ÿ˜€ Vinnie is a sweet sassy pants! He tries to boss everyone around and is devoted to his big brother Louigi. The boys look adorable in a bowtie and were the ring bearers at our wedding last year.ย 

If you were a dog, what breed would you be and why?
If I were a dog I would probably be a Newfoundland – super friendly, hardworking, and a caretaker by nature, but without the propensity to drool. ;D

If dogs could run for public office, which breed do you think would make the best president?
A rescued mixed breed named Ruthie after Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She would understand the importance of compassion and represent the diversity of the United States.

Why did you decide to become a dog walker?
I am instinctively a nurturer/caretaker and fostered dogs for many years in Denver. After a career working long hours in hospitality and home health care, I wanted a better work/life balance and to refocus on working with dogs. After doing a lot of research I found Windy City Paws and traded my high heels and business suits for sneakers and yoga pants.

Whatโ€™s the weirdest thing about being a dog walker?
I have trained every dog I walk to recognize, “Let’s take a picture!” The dogs know to immediately stop whatever they are doing and sit for a treat. I ran into a former client on the street and their doggie still remembered that command without hesitation. ๐Ÿ˜€ Dogs are incredibly smart with associations!ย 

What would people never guess is part of your job as a dog walker?
Being a doggie celebrity bodyguard! All of our clients are so cute so naturally people want to come up and say hi to them. Since we discourage interactions with strangers for everyone’s safety, I sometimes find myself inserting myself between the dog I’m walking and an enthusiastic passerby. ๐Ÿ˜€ I feel so bad but not everyone understands that some dogs aren’t comfortable being approached by strangers even if they have the best of intentions.ย 

What is your biggest pet peeve while walking dogs?
People who walk with their dogs off leash or don’t pick up their poop. Also parents who let their children run up to dogs without asking permission first.

Whatโ€™s the best part about being a dog walker?
Working with my four-legged friends is so cathartic and I’m honored to have the trust of our clients and give them peace of mind. I also feel incredibly lucky to be part of a woman-owned company with a strong positive culture and a vision for the future both in our industry and the community. What is better than that?

Thank you so much for all of your hard work Lia! If you would like to learn more about Lia and our other fantastic dog walkers, visit our website!