In November 2013 we were given an amazing opportunity to buy Prairie Dog from Don and Cyndi Cutler, founders and owners since 2009. Thanks to them, Prairie Dog has become a community place in which people and dogs mingle (and get treats). We are proud to carry on their values and their dream in this adventure.
This is our first endeavor as business owners, but Prairie Dog embodies many things that we deeply care about. Before Amy began working at Prairie Dog in 2010 she had a career in the photography industry but had really discovered a passion for dog training while learning to live with her troublesome but lovable pound-rescued Husky-Malamute, Loki. While she’d grown up with family dogs, Loki gave her a challenge that inspired her curiosity. She found a natural talent for working with dogs, interpreting dog behavior, and sharing her knowledge to create happy dogs and relieved owners. That experience motivated her to begin teaching at Diamonds in the Ruff, a positive reinforcement school focusing on the pet-owner relationship, and eventually became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Dan also grew up with pets and has a unique respect and care for animals. He’s a librarian at Spokane Public Library, where he helps people find information and connect to resources to enhance their lives. This means you may not see him around the store much, but he’ll be involved with our web presence here and on Facebook. In our free time, we can often be spotted outdoors hiking or snowshoeing with our Samoyed, Piper, and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Declan.
After 35 years in customer service, Vicki “retired” in December 2012. Now she spends her time snow skiing, swimming and doing Agility with her Border Collie rescues Sally and Oliver. She is also a dog trainer and assistant at Diamonds in the Ruff. She enjoys working with and training dogs. She and husband Bill raised two daughters and currently have a family of three cats along with the two dogs. She is excited to be learning more about Prairie Dog, pet nutrition and assisting Amy in the operation of the retail store every day.
Lisa was a polo pony trainer/manager around the country and Canada for fifteen years before another career at FedEx. On top of working at Prairie Dog, Lisa also runs the hydro-treadmill at PhysioPaws and loves helping dogs during their healing process. It is very rewarding. Her current hobby is taking her English Setter Tux to conformation dog shows in the area. She and Tux are members of Spokane Kennel Club and Puget Sound English Setter Club, and have made many new dog show friends.
Curtis loves working at Prairie Dog and the ongoing education the job provides. Even prior to working at Prairie Dog, he had an interest in dog nutrition and behavior. He's slowly transitioned all his dogs to an almost exclusively raw food diet to allow him to note any changes in them. The changes have been many, and they have been amazing. He currently has four dogs and has had as many as eight, some who he bird hunts with and some who are just lap dogs, but they're all family. He has been hunting with bird dogs (Labs & German Shorthaired Pointers) for about eight years now and it has become his passion. Being outside in nature is the most satisfying thing for him.
Jessica recently moved to Spokane after living in northern California for 27 years. She grew up in an animal loving home, starting with her first cat, Maggie. Jess's love for animals grew when she got her first dog, Roxy. From there, she dreamed of working with animals and further growing her knowledge of the dog world. In her free time she likes to hike and go to the lake with her 3 dogs, Levi, Puppy, and Ari. Anywhere Jess can bring her dogs is where she loves to be!
Aileen grew up in Spokane. She has always been fascinated by the unique and undeniable bond between humans and animals throughout history. While studying Philosophy at Gonzaga University she discovered multiple viewpoints from people around the world suggesting that humans and animals are deeply interconnected, benefitting greatly from these bonds both physically and emotionally. Always searching for new information and viewpoints, Aileen loves the fact that Prairie Dog helps to educate the Spokane community by exploring novel ideas concerning animal nutrition and health. She lives in a humble abode in south Spokane with her canine partners Etta and Cece, feline partners Emma and Tuna, and human partner Matt.
Stephanie grew up in an animal loving home. If there was ever an animal in need her family would bring them in and care for them. After three years of service in the Air Force and graduating college, she worked in the corporate world until drawn back to working with animals again. Her true passion is to be able to care for animals and learn everything possible about pet nutrition to give them the best lives we can. She currently has two cats, Lola and Gary, who are spoiled with their own 'catio,' lots of toys, and delicious, nutritious, natural food.
Kim Imel, CPDT-KA
Kim has been in the pet care industry, starting her career in veterinary medicine, since 1988 and has been a professional dog trainer/instructor with Diamonds in the Ruff since 1998. Kim is the program coordinator for the Pawsitive Dog Training – Prison Program at Airway Heights Corrections Center, which is one of her greatest joys. In 2009 she joined the PDog team and loves working with the rest of the staff and all of the clients.
For fun Kim enjoys spending time with family and friends, knitting for charity and working with and playing with her ‘fur kids’ which consist of two cats, Dawson and Ella, and two dogs, Mackenzie and Wrigley.
Dakota grew up with dogs, but it wasn't until she started volunteering with rescues in Los Angeles that she discovered her passion for working with them. While trying to break into the film industry she filled her free time volunteering, starting with simple walks and working up to basic obedience classes with under-socialized dogs. She started a job at a doggy daycare, which also sold high quality pet food and products. This sparked an interest in pet nutrition. Combining her love of education and animals she started at Prairie Dog in spring 2016, where she now gets to talk to pet parents about their fur babies and learn from her awesome co-workers every day. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her handsome mutts Fenris and Jake and exploring her new home of Spokane.
Eva grew up in Spokane with an outdoorsy animal loving family. She teaches yoga and believes that finding balance in the human body as well as our furry companions' bodies is essential to a happy healthy life. She stumbled into the dog training/nutrition world after she adopted a dog with special needs. Her favorite pastime is taking her beloved pups on outdoor adventures.