MEET THE WORKING WALK TEAM
Elijah has been working professionally with dogs for almost 20 years. He started in the shelter world at the Oregon Humane Society performing basic duties such as mucking out kennels, administering medications, vaccines and microchips as well as doing nail trims and basic grooming. Later he moved to temperament testing of incoming dogs, doing adoption counseling, health screenings and behavior work.
When he moved to the Bay Area in 2004, he started working in the dog daycare environment, managing large groups of dogs, supervising behavior, observing subtleties of dog language and learning how and when to intervene and redirect. He focused on keeping energy calm and managing appropriate play amongst the many different types and sizes of dogs attending the facility (up to 120 dogs at any given time). He also managed and trained dog handling staff, did one on one basic obedience training with client dogs and did advanced obedience with his own dogs under the direction of head trainer Sarah Freeman.
He eventually left the daycare format because he saw the need of many great dogs who failed in the daycare model because they needed more structure and behavior work than that particular setting could provide. The Working Walk was born to offer exercise, adventure, and fun with the structure to help dogs thrive behaviorally. Dogs thrive on clear leadership and structure to understand the human world expectations.
Elijah’s goal is to help dogs and their humans work on their communication skills to create an awesome stress-free life together. His philosophy centers around this balanced work-life relationship between dogs and their owners. Elijah also has a special place in his heart for senior dogs and is an active and enthusiastic foster dad for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue.
dee dee grimes (she/her)
Dee Dee is a devoted bad ass single mama with long and deep east bay roots. In addition to packwalking, she runs a thriving jewelry/bead business and home schools her incredible special needs son, Griffin. Dee Dee spent years as an exceptional nanny in high demand for her calm, loving, but firm leadership style. Turns out, this is the perfect temperament for dog leadership! She was able to smoothly translate those skills to leading large groups of dogs all over the east bay. Dee Dee loves seeking out new interesting spots to work the dogs- hidden forest trails, hilly lookouts with killer views, or bustling urban settings where the dogs can practice impulse control. Her lucky sweetheart dog Molly gets to adventure with her all week, helping the new young bucks learn the routines.
Stevie Sokolouski (they/them)
Stevie is a musician and artist, newer to the Bay Area by way of Minneapolis. Despite being new to us, Stevie is a long time animal lover who has been handling dogs since they were a teenager! In addition to growing up with a Bichon and a Lab, they handled German Shepherds, Dalmatians, Weimaraners, and Corgis on the show circuit for 5 years. Currently Stevie lives with 2 cats, but loves to get their dog time in by working with their pack of pups. Stevie brings a special service to The Working Walk - bike rides! Select lucky dogs are fitted with a harness, clipped to a bike attachment and get to ride around town! Stevie loves to provide special one on one care to dogs who could use a little extra something.
THE HOME TEAM DOGS
Iggy a.k.a. Pig
16 1/2 yr old heeler mix.
Special skills: Assessing new dogs, gentle boundary setting for young rascals, keeping a mellow energy for the house.
5 yr old Pitbull.
Special skills: Making new dogs feel at ease, playing with teenage dogs until they pass out, babysitting puppies, making old dogs feel young again, giving tiny chihuahuas rides in his back pack.
7 year old Chinese crested/terrier mix.
Special skills: Acclimating boarding guests to small dogs with quiet confidence, telling excitable pups to control themselves, giving serious side eye.
14 (or 100 -who knows-) year old chihuahua.
Special skills: Helping pups gain respectful skills around tiny dogs, teaching big dogs how to watch their step, defending her space with her rancid breath.
13 year old (2.8 lbs) chihuahua.
Special skills: Being a tiny boss.