I worked in the luxury business since I was 19 as a Promotional Consultant, Make-up Artist, Counter Manager and a Retail Sales Coordinator. While working with YSL, one day my boss asked me if I liked to ski because there was a Business Development Manager position available looking after BC & Alberta. I said yes in 3 seconds! I had never been to Vancouver, but I knew I would love it! Once I saw the ocean and mountains while driving over the Granville Street Bridge in a taxi straight from the airport, I knew that I would never go back! I went from being an Eastern bastard to a West Coaster within minutes. And to think that I believed that Toronto was the center of the universe!
I have had dogs around me all my life. I’ve bought them, inherited them, and rescued them for as long as I can remember. I knew it was time to make some changes in my career when I noticed our dogs were more excited to see our dog walker than me. I left my job at YSL and used all my experience working in the luxury industry to open a high-end dog spa boutique, The Pet Shop Boys. I wanted to bring our dogs to work with me and surround myself with unconditional doggie love!
I was born and raised in Vancouver as a good Jewish boy brought up by Jewish parents. Growing up, I wanted to become a veterinarian and work with animals all day. As a child I had fish, hamsters, iguanas and dogs, and I used to love riding horses. But like most children I let my dreams pass me by and I settled for a career in the public sector, all the while knowing that deep in my heart I was passionate about working with animals. Creating The Pet Shop Boys is a dream come true and for the first time in my life I can truly say that I love what I do! I graduated from Art of Pets Grooming school which is one of the top schools in Singapore in 2013 where I learned the art of hand scissoring
I am so lucky to live in such a dog friendly city with Pippin my pug!
I love travelling to hot destinations, listening to music, geeking out at comic book conventions, and surrounding my self with family and friends. In my spare time I help my mom with her jewelry business while travelling across Canada. I was born and raised in Richmond B.C. and growing up I never had the opportunity to own a cat or dog. I was allowed caged pets so I owned a few snakes, fish and lizards. This somewhat companion-less childhood lead me to pursue a career in the veterinary industry. Fortunately, I now own a wonderful cat named Dobby and am looking forward to the joys of owning a dog.
I obtained my Veterinary Assistant Diploma in the spring of 2011 and immediately began working in a veterinary hospital. There I enjoyed assisting with surgeries, using x-ray machines, and most of all, I loved taking care of all my client’s pets (cats, dogs, ferrets and even hamsters). I learnt a lot while working in vet hospitals and after five years I decided to expand and discover where else my veterinary knowledge could be put to work. That’s when I found The Pet Shops Boys– a place where I can work with dogs who love coming to daycare, which was a pleasant change from working with dogs who didn’t enjoy the vet hospital. Coming to work is like being a “part-time” dog owner. I feel completely invested in the dogs’ lives and one day, I will adopt a dog and hopefully he will make friends and play with all the awesome daycare dogs here at The Pet Shop Boys.
Looking forward to many more poop bags and cuddles with the Pet Shop Boys!
I’m a Canadian prairies boy, born and raised in the icebox of northern Manitoba. If I wasn’t driving my snowmobile around town, I was out running the dog sleds. Sadly there wasn’t much of a future for me there and I had to leave behind my team of Siberian Huskies, whom I loved very much. Initially I set my eyes on becoming a veterinarian, but as unpredictable as life is, I ended up going to art school. That’s how I landed here in Vancouver, one of the most artistic and diverse places I know. Like many art students I fell into a desk job, staring at a computer screen for twelve hours a day, every day, making movie magic. Not to say I didn’t enjoy working on movies, but there’s just something about sitting in a dark room all day that smothers your soul.
I felt like a slave to my work and desperately needed to go somewhere that I enjoyed being all day. Going back to my roots, I looked into dog walking and was swept up by this amazing team here at The Pet Shop Boys. These lovable canines (and people) make my early mornings feel worth it and every day there’s something new and exciting! And as a bonus I have the inspiration and support I need to create my own art.
If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life!
I love to travel and my husband and I are foodies so we’re always looking for amazing food on our travels. I love to spend time outdoors hiking, camping, or taking my chocolate Lab, Kaia, to the beach. Two of my biggest passions in life are baking and dogs. I pursued my passion for baking and completed a Pastry Arts program and continued on to work in the industry for 6 years. While I still love to create delicious pastries, my love of dogs and desire to work with them always lingered.
When I was really young, I was terrified of dogs. I slowly started to get over my fear and began walking my neighbours’ dogs and was soon dog sitting for friends and their friends. Then one day, I saw an adorable puppy on the skytrain wearing a yellow vest that said “PADS” and I immediately knew it was something I needed to be involved in. I have been volunteering with Pacific Assistance Dogs Society for over 3 years now and I love it. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to raising and training certified assistance dogs. My family and I have whelped 2 litters of puppies for PADS and can’t wait for the next litter! I am also currently raising my second PADS puppy and hope she will become an amazing assistance dog. Even with all these dogs in my life I still wanted more and that’s when I found the wonderful Pet Shop Boys! I love coming to work and being greeted by all the wagging tails. I’m excited to learn something new every day!
You wouldn’t trust a daycare for your child that didn’t require its employees to have early childhood education and you shouldn’t trust a doggy daycare that doesn’t provide canine training. A solid understanding of canine behavior and ongoing education is essential to providing the best service to our clients and maintain the highest standards in the pet care industry.
All of our staff at The Pet Shop Boys must complete the Dog Trainer Foundations course by the Karen Pryor Academy. This 12 week course provides foundation skills on canine behavior throughout their stages of development and how to identify and respond to their emotional cues. The Karen Pryor Academy is entirely based on positive reinforcement and explores force-free techniques. You won’t find any flipping or dominance based methods here. In addition to learning about canine emotional signals, our staff study the science behind clicker training, how to shape and target cues, and how to create personalised training plans. This course defies long held myths about dog behavior and teaches us as leaders how to manage a dog’s behaviour in large group settings to encourage healthy socialization without using physical force or adverse techniques. With a greater understanding, our staff are able to prevent, anticipate, and respond to undesirable behaviors early on and encourage the development of healthy, happy dogs. To learn more about positive reinforcement and Karen Pryor training techniques, click HERE.
All staff at The Pet Shop Boys are certified in Pet First Aid by the Walks ‘N’ Wags‘ Pet First Aid training program. Walks ‘N’ Wags is the longest standing pet first aid program in Canada and offers theoretical and practical solutions to handle hundreds of pet emergencies.
This comprehensive 12 hour program specifically covers how to respond to many doggie emergencies.
Here are just some of the emergencies that we are trained to deal with:
-Wounds, excessive bleeding, and bone injuries
-Artificial Respiration and CPR
-Poisoning and toxic shock
-Burns and hypothermia
-Eye injuries and impalements
Rest assured that we take great responsibility to make sure your pet is in the best hands while in our care.
Tailored to The Pet Shop Boys, Annika McDade from Canine Connection Training has created a Dog Walking Certification Course specifically designed to certify dog walkers. In addition to our Dog Foundations course through the Karen Pryor Academy, our dog walkers complete this fully customized 5 day course. Our walkers learn everything from basic dog walking etiquette, proper equipment and handling skills, how to decode dog body language, how to safely load and unload six dogs from a vehicle, to various trust building exercises.
Training takes place along our daily routes throughout McDonald Beach and Vancouver where our walkers must successfully demonstrate various control exercises, consistent recall, and how to deal with reactive dogs that they encounter. As leaders in the pet care industry, it’s important that we have specific knowledge beyond foundation training so that you have complete peace of mind that your dog is having the best experiences possible while on our walks. For more information on Canine Connection’s dog training programs, click HERE.