Jenny Wisenberg, Queen Alpha
Jenny has been an animal lover since childhood – horses, dogs, and generally anything with four legs – she just can’t live without at least one of her own. She studied Psychology at University and then Corporate Communications. Back then, she was sure she would have a successful corporate career which she did for just over five years.
Her Public Relations career ended with an unfortunate accident that took the life of her beloved young dog which prompted a life change. Through this terrible experience, she recognized how important this dog and others were to her so in 1999 she made her lifelong commitment to being responsible for the care of other peoples’ dogs. The Bark Zone was born and became a passion for Jenny starting with her first charge Molly, a golden retriever who she will never forget.
Her own dog at the time, Riley, an American Cocker Spaniel, challenged her knowledge and dog handling skills and became part of the reason she began to expand her knowledge on dog behaviour. Riley certainly put her through her paces and will always be remembered as the force that kept her going in the early years of The Bark Zone. Jenny steadily built her business, knowledge and experience which further spurred her interest to learn more about dog behaviour to help families build better bonds with their pet dogs every day.
From training puppies and their human families who are starting off their lives together, to adult dogs with behavioural issues, Jenny continues to advance her knowledge in behaviour modification so she can help the most serious cases. She draws from many disciplines to round her strategies and tactics that she strongly believes differ from family to family and dog to dog. Her belief of educating families about dog behaviour and the social structure of the Pack forms the foundation of her teachings which allow her clients to better understand and communicate with their animals.
Jenny’s knowledge is shared with her dog handlers who apply the information to their daily walks to better manage their Packs while out in the park. The Bark Zone’s Pack Leaders are a part of the family that Jenny sees as her family, along with her dog Samson and horse Eldino. We work together tirelessly to better the well-being of our charges by exercising, educating, and socializing their bodies as well as their brains which forms the core of The Bark Zone.
krista, business Alpha
Business Administration, Customer Service
Krista has always loved animals, having grown up on a hobby farm with two Golden Retrievers, two cats and, at one time, ducks, sheep and a cow (who, being the only cow in the barn, was sadly named “Lonesome”). She owned and rode horses until it was time to go to university, and always made sure she had either a cat or a dog in her home.
Krista has an MBA and a strong marketing background. Over the past 10 years, she has worked extensively with small businesses on their business and marketing plans, and has done research and strategic planning for large businesses and crown corporations.
Krista's family has an 11-year-old Black Lab named Rocky. He is enjoying old age and spends most of his time sleeping, wagging his tail and waiting patiently for his two-year-old human sister to drop food on the floor.
- Cooking with her two-year-old daughter
paula, commanding ALPHA
Office Manager, Administration, Customer Service
Originally wanting to go to vet school, Paula completed an undergrad in zoology, but was more interested in human-animal relationships than animal medicine. After adopting her doggie-soul mate, Lola, from the Toronto Humane Society, she became an advocate for dogs that were hard to adopt. Shortly after, she began working for that same shelter as a way to contribute. Paula also managed a downtown animal hospital, where she discovered her love for customer service. She has a masters' in humane education.
Paula lives with her husband Luis, their rescue mutt Oscar, and elderly kitty sisters, Oakley and Pi, who are still pretty angry about the dog.
- Hiking and nature-watching
- Spending time with the people and animals she loves
- Travelling with her husband
Jen, assistant alpha
Coordinator, Walking and Boarding, Customer Service
Jennifer has had a soft spot for animals for as long as she can remember, prompting her to become a vegetarian as a teenager. With 11 years of experience in customer service and co-ordination/logistics experience Jennifer long thought she would never find an opportunity to blend her love for animals with her skill set. When she found us, Jennifer eagerly jumped at the chance to be part of The Bark Zone team and work with dogs.
Jennifer has one dwarf rabbit named Hershey and had two dogs and a rabbit growing up that are unfortunately no longer with us. Teddy a 13 year old Shih Tzu, Patches a 16 year old Lhasa-Apso, Pomeranian cross and Cadbury a 6 year old Albino dwarf.
- Film and Theatre history
- Board games
diana, assistant ALPHA
Coordinator, Daycare and Grooming, Customer Service
Before Diana even knew how to crawl, it was obvious that she had a natural connection with animals. She spent her childhood taking care of her own pets, along with all the injured or sick animals that she’d find and bring home.
Diana has worked in all fields of the animal care industry; boarding, daycare, grooming, dog walking, and veterinary care. She has spent many years volunteering her time with animal shelters and rescues as a dog walker, cat care attendant, foster mom, and freedom driver (rescue transport).
Diana currently has one big mutt named Paris, a Cane Corso mix that she adopted from a shelter. She also has three cats. Vegas is the oldest, a cranky Calico that came from a stray litter. London is the middle child, an all-black, social butterfly. Kenya is the youngest; a shy little Tabby kitten who was dropped off to Diana when she was only 2 months old.
- Hiking with her dog Paris
- Spending time outdoors
- Social media
peggy, Pack Alpha
Walker, Driver, Visitor
After 30+ years in the broadcast industry, 21 of which spent directing and scripting, Peg decided to switch things up when her last child left for university. Combining her love of the outdoors with her lifelong obsession with dogs, she thought joining The Bark Zone was the perfect solution. Her biggest challenge is not revealing it's work and that she'd happily do for free!
Peg began life with a Lab named "Pepper" on whom she'd pull herself up on when learning to stand. "Jet", another Lab, followed Pepper and preceded "Charlie Brown" the Beagle. After marrying someone who understood he would always come second to her dogs, Peg was finally able to realize her dream of being owned by a Newfoundland. "Paddington" was soon joined by "Molly". After they both crossed the Rainbow Bridge, "Oliver", her third Newf, joined the family. When Ollie was 10, "Kasper" the Lab joined the family. And then along came "Tucker", a one-year old Lab that needed rescuing. After Ollie and Kasper passed, the house was too hairless, so "Phoebe" the Fox-Red Lab joined Tucker. And somehow, one more Fox-Red Lab moved in when no one was looking. Today, Peg swears that's she content with just Tucker, Phoebe and Bingo (as long as she can borrow other people's pups for a couple of hours every day).
- Cooking and checking out new restaurants
- Big Italian red wines
- Social Media
Kim, Pack Alpha
After retiring from her first career at a young age, Kim decided to begin the next chapter of her life doing something she was truly passionate about. When she began walking dogs, she found that every day was literally a walk in the park with man's best friends. Kim loves going on adventures with her wonderful Packs and enjoys that no two days are ever alike. She feels that the love and affection she gives to the dogs in her care is always returned ten-fold with every wag of the tail and lick of the face!
Although Kim spent her life growing up around animals, she does not currently have any pets.
- Road Trips
JO ANN, PACK ALPHA
Jo Ann has been with the Bark Zone since 2006. She's from Edmonton, Alberta and has lived the farm life and the city life. She's had the best of both worlds but was always happiest working with the animals, especially the dogs. Jo Ann came to Toronto for a Plastic Engineer Tech job but found what really makes her happy, at The Bark Zone. She also met the love of her life, Nick, and he's a dog lover as well. Looks like she's here to stay!
Jo Ann has one cat named Spaz.
MICHAEL, Pack Alpha
As a young, animal-loving couple with no pets of their own, Michael and Yurian always treat each dog they board as if they had raised the pups themselves. They enjoy a few weekend and daycare regulars.
Michael & Yurian currently do not have any pets, however they embrace each furry house guest as if they were their own!
- Days at the beach
- Reading a good book with some tea
LIDIA, Pack Alpha
Lidia has always had a love for dogs and genuinely enjoys spending time with the boarding dogs in her home. She finds that looking after dogs is extremely fulfilling because of the nature of their unconditional love. Lidia's entire family revel in the fun, cuddles and affection the boarding dogs bring to their home.
Lidia has a 10 year old ChiPoo named Treeko. Treeko is a toy dog and is the first dog she’s owned. She adopted him as a 7-week-old pup from a breeder weighing 1 pound and he now weighs 4 pounds. He is such a joy and loves to cuddle on her lap. He enjoys having other dogs around, although he does like them better when they are more his size.
Lidia recently rescued a husky pup, which she named Nanook. Nanook is a fun loving pup who is now 4 months old. He loves the company of other dogs and loves to play, play, play!
- Spending time with family
- Reading novels
- Crossword puzzles
PATRICIA, Pack Alpha
Patricia's love for animals truly runs deep. She is a Veterinary Assistant at a local animal hospital and is devoted to providing professional pet care. Patricia has also always loved spending her spare time outdoors, no matter what the weather is doing. With The Bark Zone, Patricia is able to combine these two passions and fill her entire day with her Pack of playful pooches.
Patricia and her husband Tom have 3 beautiful cats and look forward to adopting a dog in the near future.
jessica, PACK ALPHA
Jess has always been committed to furry companions and their complete well-being and safety. She knows this with her years of experience as a dog walker and trainer.
She has lived with cats, dogs, birds, fish, horses and small mammals all her life. She’s always had a passion for them and her parents tell stories of her affection for animals, regardless of their sometimes lack of interest. She would sit for hours gaining their trust until they were the best of friends. Jess still believes to this day that trust is an important thing to have in a relationship, whether it's with something big or small. To Jess, animals are not just pets but family members, and should be respected and loved as such.
Jessica has a 2-year-old English cocker spaniel named Jaxson. He has two emotions: happy and excited. He loves to meet new people and new furry friends. Jess has rescued and rehabilitated larger dogs that had aggression issues, including her last dog, Bow, who she lost last year due to old age. By the time he passed he was a well-adjusted dog, and she misses him terribly.
Mark, Pack Alpha
Mark has been walking and boarding dogs for over ten years. Even still, he shares a unique bond with his Packs and always looks forward to greeting his special, furry friends. The dogs he brings home to board always have free range of the house and often end up sleeping in bed with him and his "human partner". Mark believes that working with animals is a labour of love and feels truly privileged to be able to care for dogs every single day.
Mark has a border collie named Holly.
- Fine Wine
CARLA, PACK ALPHA
Boarder, Sitter, Walker
Whether it's with one of her regular group walks or a special Weekend Excursion, Carla loves spending her days in the park alongside your four-legged family members. She always takes lots of pictures of her Packs' adventures so their families can see their pooch's amazing social life. Carla is also currently apprenticing for dog training to develop a greater understanding of our beloved canine companions.
Carla has a Jack Russell-Boston mix named Eddie.
Julie, PACK ALPHA
Boarder, Sitter, Walker
For as long as she can remember, Julie has always loved animals. She also realized at a young age that the feeling was mutual. After life in the corporate world, Julie was ready to get out from behind her desk. With a special affinity for dogs, including of course, her own, Julie revels in the thrill of leading her Packs on their daily outings. She shows her passion every day as she em”barks” on the next adventure. A wise person once said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. Come to think of it, her Packs feel the same way.
Julie has a miniature poodle named Maggie.
- Spending time with family
- Hanging out with friends
DOUG, PACK ALPHA
Boarder, Sitter, Walker
Following 25 years in computer sales Doug has chosen a career closer to his heart. He has a long family history that has always involved the love of Dogs. He spent a great deal of time over the years caring for and walking dogs of all shapes and sizes. Doug loves taking out an energetic pack and then see them sleeping in his Jeep on the way home after a great trip to the park. Few things are more rewarding than looking into the eyes of a happy dog.
We currently do not have any Pets. We have had a Cocka-Poo and 3 Cocker Spaniels over the last 20 years. All rescues and our last girl left us in April 2015.
MEL, PACK ALPHA
Walker, Boarder, Visitor
Bio coming soon!
diana, PACK ALPHA
Boarder, Sitter, Walker
Diana has always had a genuine love and passion for animals and has always been around them. She graduated from an animal care program at Sheridan College, where she was able to receive lots of hands-on experience working with all sorts of animals. Diana loves being able to spend her days outside and getting exercise with her Packs. She believes that being able to look into a dog's eyes and see them smiling right back with tails wagging and their tongues sticking out, is the most rewarding and satisfying aspect of her job with The Bark Zone.
Diana currently has 3 pets: a husky named Juno and two cats named Patches and Junior.
- Hanging out at the beach
JOANNE & BILL, PACK ALPHAs
Joanne and Bill had always talked about boarding dogs one day, but when Bill had a total knee replacement in November of 2014, Joanne thought no time like the present to begin the journey. She believed it would aid in Bill’s rehabilitation if he had to get out and walk on a daily basis while he was home recovering from his surgery. Needless to say, his recovery was extraordinary! When they found themselves “empty nesters” sooner than they expected, they decided to continue boarding dogs to ensure the house was filled with love, laughter and even chaos at times, as things were much too quiet for Joanne! They treat every dog that comes into their home as though it were their own. Their kids ask for updates and pictures on the dog(s) that are currently visiting. Even some of the neighbours have come to know some of their regulars by name. Joanne maintains, and Bill agrees, that boarding dogs was one of the best things they’ve ever done.”
Bill and Joanne think it is hysterical the way their soon-to-be 13 year old Golden named Jake seems indifferent to the dogs. They quickly learned that Jake is not a fan of group photos with her new canine “friends”!
- Walking Dogs
- Playing Fetch
Nicole, PACK ALPHA
Nicole has lived in Toronto all her life, and has joined The Bark Zone after working in the corporate workforce as an Account Manager for 20 years.
Nicole wanted to change up her life and do something she loves. Having always loved pets, and having had many, such as cats, dogs, gerbils, hamsters, fish, rabbits, birds and snakes (but not all at the same time!) a transition to full time dog walking was a natural step. Being outside walking the trails of the city while bonding and caring for the dogs she walks is a fulfilling role change. Nicole also does home boarding where the dogs can feel right at home, get the love they are missing while their parents/owners are away, and be safe and happy.
Nicole lost her beloved Pixie in February 2016, and now their home is filled only with her partner Ed’s beautiful black cat named Bubbles. They both decided that boarding dogs will fulfill their desires to walk, care for and love many dogs.
- Cycling and hiking
- Hosting fun theme parties
tim, PACK ALPHA
Tim is a retired IT manager who is now settling into a different stage in life. He has watched the changes in computers for over 35 years but is now ready for a change of pace. Tim has loved dogs from the time he received his first black lab puppy one Christmas morning as a child. While growing up he also had 2 cats and a bird.
Tim has a wonderful family with his wife named June and four adult children. He loves to get out into nature for walks and volunteering his time at his church.
Tim has his own 5-year-old cockapoo at home named Jasper. Jasper is very lovable and has become a very popular part of his family. During the growing years of his children they added hamsters, fish and a crayfish to their family pet list.
- Walking in the woods
- Volunteering to help run a week long day camp for Native children