After being raised in India and coming to the United States for college, eventually making it her new home, Sonali has learned a thing or two about traveling. But when she got her current dog, a rescue named Ella, there were issues with separation anxiety. So she started taking Ella with her and her husband on trips. Sonali realized how hard it was to just plan around traveling with a dog. The idea was then born to start Petminded Travel, a resource for people to use to know what cities to go to, what activities to do, where to eat, and more connected to bringing your dog with you while traveling.
Joey Teixeira has a family of dogs with his partner, one of those being popular social media star Mervin The Chihuahua. He is the Director of Philanthropy at the ASPCA and has worked with a variety of dog and animal companies over the years, gaining professional experience that has expanded his outlook on the dog-human relationship and the different ways we can all co-exist with our dogs.
Prairie Conlon is a mental health therapist who specializes in bringing animals (particularly dogs) into her practice, a love and connection which comes from growing up on a cattle farm in Kansas with plenty of animals around. She has also been a military wife, whose own dogs have given her a sense of stability, comfort, and a common bond with her family over the years – even throughout difficult and uncertain times.
Yorkies may be be small dogs, but they can have big impacts. Ivy Higa’s own “Brooklyn aka Mr. Aloha” is prime example. After going through a tough time and breakup, Ivy got Brooklyn – but little did she know how things would change. Through the eyes she looked at him, Ivy began to look inside herself. She realized how she wasn’t treating herself and her value with enough respect, and that the way she felt Brooklyn needed to be treated (with love and respect) was the way she deserved to be treated, too.
Nina May is the creator of Wunderdog Magazine, a new publication celebrating the rescue community. She has had experience through her own rescue dogs, Pippa and Goldie, who have been guiding lights to help her through personal struggles with mental health and finding her path towards fulfillment. Now, she wants to help share stories from around the world from the community and how impactful these dogs are.
Jason Kraus holds a Master’s Degree in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security. He worked as a government contractor, conducting background investigations, as well as investigating financial crimes for Ernst & Young. But while he may have been the most unlikely person to have written a children’s book about a rescue dog, that’s exactly what he has done. Now, he’s on a mission to educate kids and schools about the rescue world through his story with his dog, Gibson aka Bubbins.
Tedi Sarah initially fostered her dog, Pani, who came from Iran and is in a wheelchair. But despite Pani’s partially limited physical abilities, she has more energy than most dogs and her positive attitude and daily thrust for life has inspired Tedi to overcome whatever comes her way - and do it with Pani by her side, who she has now adopted as her own rescue dog.
Elisabeth Weiss is a dog trainer who runs her own company “Dog Relations NYC” where she offers in-house consulting, training programs, online coaching, physical therapy, and more. She is perhaps best known for teaching dogs how to play music - a technique she even used with Lou Reed’s dog, who was her first client. Originally, Elisabeth was a violinist, and she has brought that background into her dog training, too. And now, while music still is part of her life, her own dogs and the ones she works with have taken #1 priority and brought more fulfillment to Elisabeth’s life as a result.
Linda Rodin is known for her amazing style and her stature within the fashion scene, someone who you can recognize right away. After being so career-focused within fashion, Linda is still active within the industry but has found a different and more meaningful path with her life alongside her miniature poodle named Winky - or, as she calls her, Winks. Linda has even led the charge on starting the Linda And Winks brand that features her custom dog items such as collars, leashes, and more.
Courtney Burns works as the Middle School Director of Guidance, and 7th and 8th grade Counselor, at Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School in Las Vegas. After tough times at the school, Courtney worked to bring in Esther - a therapy dog who has since helped the school, both the students and faculty, get through tough times and into a happier daily flow.
Isaac Mizrahi is is a fashion designer, author, and entertainer who’s best known for his work in the fashion world with his own brands. His first dog as an adult, Harry, turned his hairy soulmate. He even met his husband, Arnold, while on a walk with Harry in New York City - where the two are now based with their dogs of Dean and Kitty.
Chrissy Beckles is the Founder and President of The Sato Project, which helps rescue abused and abandoned dogs from Puerto Rico. It all started when her husband was working there over a decade ago and she saw all the stray dogs. While most people would feel bad but not have the initiative to take action, Chrissy became more and more involved – especially after getting her own rescue, Boom Boom – and started The Sato Project.
AJ Albrecht is a Legislative Attorney at the Best Friends Animal Society - merging her background with her passion for dogs, animals, and rescue to find this new vocation. She also has dogs of her own including Mama Julep, who she does therapy work with at schools and hospitals, as well as Beau, who she co-founded the Positive Pittie Pack Walk around.
Pearson Marx was going through a tough time when her husband was very sick. She registered her dog, Cleo, as a therapy dog, and they started going to the hospital together. Cleo not only gave her strength to go and make it through ok, but also provided a beacon of light and support both for her and everyone in the hospital.
After graduating from school, Samantha Cheirif eventually found her passion and fulfillment not in her career - as she originally thought would be the case - but rather in expanding her pack and family with her partner to bring in different fosters and rescues into her life and giving their relationship together a new meaning and purpose.
Dorie Herman is well-known for her Instagram page "The Kardoggians" – a humorous dog pun on "The Kardashians." She's always found a companionship and connection to dogs, from when she was a child to now being an adult. What really changed her life, however, was her senior rescue named Chloe.
Melody Monroeis a hip hop and soul musician based in Atlanta, Georgia. Around a year ago, she felt the urge to get a dog. Mimi, a mixed breed with a bright personality, became that dog and has united Melody with her neighbors, provides constant companionship, taught her patience, and many other valuable lessons.
Susan Weidel adopted Little Red, one of the dogs rescued from former NFL Quarterback Michael Vick’s notorious dog fighting operation. She gave Little Red a new life but it took time, patience and love. Little Red found a new home with Susan in Wyoming and New Mexico with a welcoming pack of dogs and she was able to live in a new way, and become a dog again - running free in a wide open pasture.
Rebecca Ascher-Walsh is a freelance writer who has written several dog books that have been published by National Geographic. She has two dogs of her own, Joe and Buddy, and lives in New York City with her family. The older dog, Buddy, has also acted like a nanny to the two children.
Karla Crespo is an Empowerment Coach with her own company (The Grateful Heart Co.) who has had two crucial dogs in her life, Lucky and Daisy, who have helped her through motherhood and becoming an entrepreneur.
Mark Welsh is a copywriter and brand builder who made his way from New Zealand to New York City and accidentally fell into a life of dogs. His first dog, Sweetie, captured not only his heart but also became a darling of the fashion circuit. John, host of Dog Save The People, was involved with that scene heavily at the time especially and him and Mark were partners and Sweetie, as a result, found her way into that world, too. She became a fashion industry staple at any event and went on to write her own Elle Magazine column and books (with the help of Mark).
Courtney Pare adopted her dog, Rondo, nine years ago, and it has truly been one of those “Who Saved Who” situations. Dealing with anxiety and depression for quite some time, Rondo helped her through one of the darkest periods of her life. Since then, Courtney has also found a calling as a naturopathic doctor who works to help people get past their own mental health struggles.
Cesar Fernandez-Chavez is best friends with his dog, Louboutina. They live in New York City and Louboutina has become somewhat of a canine celebrity around town. She is known as “The Hugging Dog” and gives her special dog hugs to friends and strangers alike around NYC. The hugs break up the rush of New York City and people always being in a rush. They pause, take a moment, and embrace her furry hugs.
Zach Skow struggled with self-love and acceptance, leading him down a dark path of drug and alcohol abuse. He hit rock bottom and was diagnosed with end-stage liver disease. With only months left to live and six months of sobriety required to qualify for a transplant, it appeared to be a death sentence. But somehow he was able to find solace in his dogs, and pushed through.
Carly Cloherty was facing mental health struggles, even getting signed off work for that very reason, and was able to find solace by getting her dog, Luna, who has helped her work through those issues and become a true light in her life and the way she feels connected and active with the world around her.
Jo Ann Beard is a writer and professor at Sarah Lawrence College, as well as a Founder of the Best Bullies To The Rescue organization. The first dog she ever rescued, Rufo, was the hardest dog she’s ever had to find a home for – but he’s also the one that’s been the most rewarding.
Ken Foster is a dog book author and is the former Community Outreach Program for the Animal Care Centers (ACC) of New York City. His latest book, City of Dogs, is a look into how dogs live throughout the five boroughs and the unique relationships between dogs and their human counterparts within different neighborhoods – meeting with over 4,000 dogs.
Kelsey Straus lives in the Pacific Northwest with her corgi, Ava (just over a year old) and her golden, Aspen (just under a year old). Kelsey credits Ava for getting her into photography full force after she had just dabbled with it here and there throughout her life. Now she's started a side business with her photography and has also garnered an audience on Instagram for her images.
Susie Coston is the National Shelter Director at Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization. With more than two decades of experience working with farm animals, Susie is a leading authority on both their care and behavior and advocates for compassion for animals everywhere.
Alexander (Aki) von Glasow is a professional model and an intrepid world traveler who takes his dog, Dylan, with him everywhere across the globe. One day during his time in Africa, he found a dog on his way to school, and that dog was Dylan - who would become his furry companion that never left his side on travels through Europe and North America.