May 14, 2020

Our Team

Each and every one of our walkers is carefully selected, vetted and trained. Our walkers are certified in both Animal Training & Behavior and Pet First Aid and CPR, and they have also completed a five part custom Hyde Bark Pet Care Certification Test. We do not use independent contractors and our walkers are all actual employees of Hyde Bark.

LeAnna

Owner
Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter

Q. What do you like about taking care of animals? 
No matter what kind of day you are having, or what is going on in your life, seeing the happy faces of pets every day makes everything else okay! All they need from you is love and they return that love tenfold.

Q. What kind of hobbies do you enjoy?
I love reading – mainly science fiction, fantasy and horror, and also playing video games in a similar vein. Since Covid-19 I found a secondary passion helping people through volunteer work with The Greater Chicago Food Depository and the SaveMoneySaveLife Foundation. I also love spending time with my husband and our son, and of course running Hyde Bark!

Q. What kind of pets do you have?
We had two free-range bunnies, Noir (12) recently passed away, and then we have Smudge (3) and two cats, CC (aka Crushinator – 15) and Lulubelle (2). All are rescues, and our cats are both from the amazing Hyde Park Cats!

Q. Name one weird or interesting thing about you.
My retirement goal is to move to New Orleans and start a retired Greyhound and senior Chihuahua rescue.

Q. What is your favorite thing about the Hyde Park area? 
Hyde Park is not just a neighborhood, it is a community. There is so much diversity as well! People are always looking out for each other and trying to help one another.

Q. What are a couple of your favorite local businesses? 
A few go-tos are Medici, Salonica, Carver 47, Small Shop Cycles, Ain’t She Sweet Cafe, Emeche Cakery, Powell’s Books, and Sprocket & Stone. Oh and of course the 61st Street Farmers Market

Lyvonne

Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter

Q. What do you like about taking care of animals?
I have always loved Animals and enjoy every minute or everyday working with Hyde Bark. I love all of my doggies and clients whom some have definitely become more than clients over the last 4 years, but I love and appreciate them all new and old. No matter how tired I am within the day or the outside world getting on my last nerve every key turn is a happy face waiting on you and each relationship is different, that’s the fun part as well. Having different relationships with each doggie based on their very special individual personalities. 

Q. What kind of hobbies do you enjoy?
I’ve been writing a book about dogs, a very straight to the point comprehensive guide for current and future dog owners called So You Have a Dog – Now What? I also have a degree in Interior Design and do arts and crafts for people.

Q. What kind of pets do you have?
I used to have a pit bull but I don’t currently own a pet. All of my dogs keep me pretty busy!

Q. Name one weird or interesting thing about you.
I like small versions of big things lol just because not for any real purpose.

Q. What is your favorite thing about the Hyde Park area?
I love the convenience of everything, everyone is very neighborly. You see the same people all the time so that creates familiarity and community.

What are a couple of your favorite local businesses?
Virtue, The Sit Down Cafe and Noodles Etc. are a few faves.

Brandon

Co-Owner
Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter

Q. What do you like about taking care of animals?

Creating relationships with them. No matter how you’re feeling, most of the time when you show up you’re the bright spot in that animal’s day, special just for them. I get to see ten different best friends every day! 

Q. What kind of hobbies do you enjoy?

Too many. I write and record music of the weird variety and have been focused on building my home studio this year. I play a lot of video games and, more recently tabletop games. I’ve been painting Warhammer 40k minis lately and I love it so much. 

Q. What kind of pets do you have? What makes them special?
Our current roster is two cats and a big old blind rabbit. Crushinator is the World’s Ugliest Cute Cat with allergies (our Itchy Scritchy Witchy), Lulubelle is a now-plump baby monster boy that we rescued off the street. And Smudge is our big blind boy rabbit that I rescued off the street as well! Oh and also like 400 other people’s animals. 

Q. Name one weird or interesting thing about you.
My thumbs are double-jointed

Q. What is your favorite thing about the Hyde Park area? 
It’s wonderfully diverse and has a flavor you really do not get in any other Chicago neighborhood. Even after almost eight years here I still love it. 

Q. What are a couple of your favorite local businesses? 
Big shout out to First Aid Comics for aiding my multiple obsessions and Morry’s Deli for having the biggest sandwiches!

Courtney

Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter

Q. What do you like about taking care of animals? 
I love wiggly butts. A good butt wiggle just melts my heart!

Q. What kind of hobbies do you enjoy?
I spend lots of time with my critters and getting my garden ready for the season. I’m building a wood-fired hot tub in my backyard. I’ve also been felting tiny hats for my pets out of their hair. If you’d like to donate raw materials, I’d be happy to make one for your critter, too (putting that art school degree to fine use). 

Q. What kind of pets do you have?
We call my house the Critter Castle because here they are the ones who are really in charge. I have two dogs: a 14 year old spaniel mix named Tofu and a 10 month old pit bull named Dottie. Both are rescues from the Deep South. There are also four cats: 12 year old Radio, 11 year old Rutabaga, 3 year old Caleb, and 10 month old New Garry. Fun facts, Caleb loves walking on a leash with his dog siblings and is active on Instagram. There are also a dozen fish, an aquatic frog, and a small flock of chickens including a very awkward teenage rooster named Blue. 

Q. Name one weird or interesting thing about you.
I’m also a circus performer (tight-wire dancer, aerialist, and juggler). Caleb the Cat is a trained circus performer, too, and does lots of tricks!

Q. What is your favorite thing about the Hyde Park area? 
 The Point is my happy place. I simply cannot wait to sprawl on the rocks like a lizard and swim with my pups soon!

Q. What are a couple of your favorite local businesses? 
Open Produce, 57th Street Wines, and Cornell Florist are a few favorites.

Bria

Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter

Q. What do you like about taking care of animals? 
What I like most taking care of animals is, no matter what they are always loving and there for you when you’re sad, happy or just not feeling the day they always cheer you up! 

Q. What kind of hobbies do you enjoy?
Lately I’ve been trying to help my mom around the house and with our 8 animals! She had surgery in early January of this year and is still recovering

Q. What kind of pets do you have?
I have 3 cockapoodles, 1 shih zu pug mix, and 4 beautiful cats. The three cockapoodles are special to me because they are the mom and two of her babies. The shih zu is a rescue that we found on the streets wandering around running into everting because he’s blind! His name is Clout and he is super loving and spoiled. Our cats get along great with our dogs! They think they’re dogs sometimes too!

Q. Name one weird or interesting thing about you.
I would have to say the weird thing about me is I also own a Ball Python that I bought when I was younger to overcome my fear of snakes! Now we are inseparable.

Q. What is your favorite thing about the Hyde Park area?
My favorite thing about the Hyde Park area is that I’m very familiar with it because that’s where I mostly grew up! I attended and graduated from Kenwood Academy!

What are a couple of your favorite local businesses?
I Cant Believe it’s not Meat and of course Hyde Bark!

Raul

Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter

What do you like about taking care of animals?
I enjoy getting to know the different personalities of the animals I care for and helping reinforce their daily training. Also obviously the cuddles and kisses from all the cats and dogs.

What kind of hobbies do you enjoy?
My partner and I’s album Emerald Repose is for sale and streaming at Chicago Research. We both enjoy caring for our large collection of house plants and working on our various art projects. Our pets also rule our lives haha.

Q. What kind of pets do you have?
We have three furry babies. A pup, Brutus, and two cats, Mija and Ducky – they are all elderly. They all are the most affectionate pets and have such personality. They tend to compete for our attention and get jealous easily. Both cats sleep at our heads at night and Brutus sleeps at the end of the bed.

Q. Name one weird or interesting thing about you.
 I have a VHS collection that takes up a whole wall of my apartment.

Q. What is your favorite thing about the Hyde Park area?  
Best thing about Hyde Park is al the parks! We love walking to the reflecting pond behind the museum and through the prairie path.

Q. What are a couple of your favorite local businesses? 
Some of my regular spots are Open Produce, Cafe Corea, Piccolo Mondo and Powell’s Books.


Nick

Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter

What do you like about taking care of animals? .
I love how each and every animal has a such a distinct and unique personality! Once that is understood I find that communication is easy and makes us both very happy! 

Q. What kind of hobbies do you enjoy?
I enjoy swimming and tennis when the weather permits, also art, theater, improv, music (writing and playing) and puppetry! 

Q. What kind of pets do you have?
I have a parakeet named Banksy who enjoys listening to beatboxing and sometimes likes to join in! We can also communicate who needs a nap by blinking slowly at each other… 

Q. Name one weird or interesting thing about you.
I have had many wild animals as pets including a squirrel, a baby bunny, a bat, a deer and two crows! 

Q. What is your favorite thing about the Hyde Park area?
I love the diversity, both in the people and the food! I also love how easy it is to reconnect with nature by going to the Lake. 

What are a couple of your favorite local businesses?
My favorite local businesses are Open Produce and Kikuya! Open Produce is literally open from 8am-2am and provides some of the best organic produce around while working closely with other local businesses. Kikuya is a delicious Japanese restaurant that has incredible food and wonderful staff! 

Victoria

Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter

Q. What do you like about taking care of animals? 
I really enjoy being able to see the difference I make on a daily basis! As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the most important thing to me as far as my job and career, is being able to see the impact I make and the connection I create with clients. With Hyde Bark, I get to see the difference I make to both the animals and their owners on a daily basis! I love the exercise and amount of time I get to spend outdoors, but the my favorite part is the connection I create between myself, the animals, and their owners.

Q. What kind of hobbies do you enjoy?
I spend a lot of time with my girlfriend/roommate Alice, and our hamster Peggy! We have gotten really into playing Red Dead Redemption 2, which is funny because I only originally bought it because I love horses. It’s been keeping us occupied and is a lot of fun. We love bad reality TV as well, so we watched all of Tiger King and I’ve personally been watching Married At First Sight. I also rejoined a website called DeviantArt, and have been working on some digital paintings for fun!

Q. What kind of pets do you have?
My hamster, Peggy, is quite a character. She’s old for a hamster, but you’d never know. Her favorite pastimes are running on top of her hamster wheel (instead of in it, like normal) and being held (she is very sweet).

Q. Name one weird or interesting thing about you.
 I took horseback riding lessons for around 13 years! I started when I was nine years old. I focused on English hunter/jumpers.

Q. What is your favorite thing about the Hyde Park area?
Everyone is so nice! I get positive comments and have fun conversations every day about the animals I care for. It’s such a vibrant, diverse community and I feel very welcome in it. I really enjoy the plants and trees that populate the area as well, it’s a very peaceful community.

What are a couple of your favorite local businesses?
Carver 47 and the Busted Bra Shop.

Kooper

Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter

Q. What do you like about working with animals?
Dogs bring me more joy than anything else in my life these days. Almost all my clients are long-term, so I’ve known these puppies for a long time. In some cases I have known the dogs and their owners for over three years, which means I’ve formed a significant bond with them. It’s like they’re my own dogs and I eagerly look forward to seeing them each day!
Q. What kind of hobbies do you have?
I have been working toward gaining certification as a Pet Loss Bereavement Counselor. Prior to coming to Hyde Bark I worked as a resident hospital chaplain in the suburbs, so I know a thing or two about grief.

Q. What kind of pets do you have at home?
My current pet companion is a cat named Ms. Kitty. Kitty and I have been together for 10 years now, through good times and bad. I suspect she’s sick of me hanging around all day, cramping her style. Like most cats, she excels at lying on top of the newspaper I’m trying to read, as well as knocking things onto the floor.

Q. Name an interesting fact about yourself.
The thing that’s most interesting about me (and people find hard to believe) is that I saw the Beatles on stage when I was a kid.

Q. What do you like about Hyde Park?
What I like most about Hyde Park is my friendships with local Hyde Parkers, the people who have lived here their whole lives, as well as many of the street-based people.

What are a couple of your favorite local businesses?
At the end of the day, I love to head over to the local tavern the Falcon to meet up with the other regulars and watch Jeopardy! The clientele is usually older, local folks, and I like that crowd. I also like Nicky’s Chinese.



Paige

Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter

What do you like about taking care of animals? .
Spending time with my furry friends! I actually look forward to seeing each and every dog/cat. Each and every pet is so unique so each appointment is an experience.

Q. What kind of hobbies do you enjoy?
I like drawing, painting and reading. I am currently reading the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Q. What kind of pets do you have?
I currently have 1 pet cat named Luna a.k.a Tooncat, Looneytune, and/or Lunar from Hyde Park Cats. She is awesome, and super furry. She is extremely curious about everything, loves to be pet and cuddled on her own time, and she loves spending hours chittering to the bird and squirrels every morning.

Q. Name one weird or interesting thing about you.
I sleep with socks on…. never bothers me… but apparently bothers the entire world lol!

Q. What is your favorite thing about the Hyde Park area?
My favorite thing about Hyde Park is the community! Theres always little events happening in the neighborhood for locals. Really so cool to see!

What are a couple of your favorite local businesses?
Frontline Books, Silver Room and Promontory. I like great food and night life!

Sami

Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter

Q. What do you like about taking care of animals? 
They’re non-judgmental, they all have different personalities and always help with homework.

Q. What kind of hobbies do you enjoy?
I do a lot of art and am teaching myself ballet. The latter isn’t going well. I also enjoy capoeira (a form of Brazilian Martial Arts), art and thrift-store browsing.

Q. What kind of pets do you have?
I have an obese orange cat named Frack and an Australian cattle dog named Roxy. Roxie has a huge under bite and can’t play Frisbee and Frack absolutely has to go up and down on the elevator twice before he calms down.

Q. Name one weird or interesting thing about you.
I’m 42 and in law school but someone just asked me what grade I’m in.

Q. What is your favorite thing about the Hyde Park area?
The people. I like that there’s a sense of community.

What are a couple of your favorite local businesses?
Silver Room, Hyde Park Records, Chant, and 57th Street Books.

Paul

Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter

Q. What do you like about working with animals?
Their individual personalities. There’s an instant honesty with animals that’s rare with people.

Q. What kind of hobbies do you have?
When I’m not hanging with my wife, Angelique and our cat-buddies, Wormwood and Mugwort, I’m either playing Dungeons & Dragons, listening to music for my radio show, or working on our skoolie!

Q. What kind of pets do you have at home?
 Wormwood (13 yrs) & Mugwort (10 mos) are both shorthair domestic tabbies. “Dubs” (Wormwood) adjusted from being a solo, not-a-fan-of-other-cats cat, to the role of big brother and protector without complaint. Oh, and he’s also in a comic book and trading card game. “Mugs” apparently has no fear when it comes to fire and cannot climb high enough. He’s young so still adding to his “special” resume. They both play a mean game of fetch, love their backpack carriers, and are leash cats.

Q. Name an interesting fact about yourself.
 Sometimes I’m Spider-Man (I cosplay)

Q. What do you like about Hyde Park?
What I like most aI think Hyde Park is a great microcosm of Chicago, with cultural institutions, higher education, and diverse ethnic backgrounds all within blocks of one another.





Nate

Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter

Margaret

Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter


Stephanie

Dog Walker
&
Pet Sitter