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About Prairie Dog Pet Mercantile

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Meet Our Team

Emily Ladd

Store Manager

Emily is a Spokanite born and raised. As a child, she was always surrounded by books and family cats. As an adult, she spent several years on the west side managing coffeeshops and working in dog daycares. Her passions include writing elaborate works of fiction, thrifting, and exploring different ways to cook potatoes. Emily now lives with her spouse, their cats Jack and Jayne, and their three dogs: sad Pittie Jess and mismatched corgis Sodapop and Blueberry. She has been a part of the Prairie Dog team since spring 2021.

Dakota Eckenroth

Operations Manager

Dakota came to Spokane and Prairie Dog in 2016 after graduating from film school in New York and working in the film industry in Southern California for several years. She has been with the company through numerous changes and plenty of growth, so she is an invaluable resource on pet nutrition. As well as working at Prairie Dog, Dakota is an instructor with Diamonds in the Ruff, where she teaches a variety of classes from puppy basics to advanced brain games. In her free time, she enjoys taking cute photos of her three dogs: Silken Windhound Tokidoki, Australian Cattle Dog Jake, and Fenris, a beloved senior Kelpie.

Mandy Gardipe

Assistant Manager
Mandy grew up outside nearby Cheney and started at Prairie Dog in mid-2022. In between, she went to school on the west side and spent some time adventuring in Alaska before deciding she doesn't like snow that much. After working in a variety of food service environments, Mandy's favorite unlikely sandwich topping is olives. She currently lives just outside of Spokane with an ancient cat named Weena, a Boxer-Lab mix named Bogie, and a cactus she named after herself.

Jennifer Kessler-Derouach

Merchandising Lead

Jennifer knows a lot about a lot of things. She joined the Prairie Dog team in summer 2021, after spending over 20 years running her own dog walking business in New York City. Besides her two sociable cats, Coralean and Prudence, her favorite animals are sharks (she believes they are deeply misunderstood). She is Prairie Dog's own resident cat guru. Outside of work, Jennifer spends her time making jewelry and appreciating all things dark and spooky.

Eva Ellert

Eva is Prairie Dog's resident yogi. She splits her time outside the store running her own practice and going to school to learn even more about yoga and health. When she isn't spending her time doing outdoorsy stuff like hiking, Eva enjoys repeatedly repainting the inside of her house. She shares her life with her husband, a very enthusiastic Rottweiler named Lucy, and a feisty little Frenchie mix named Murphy. She joined the team in fall 2018.

Damon Sanders

You might know Damon as "the tall guy" at Prairie Dog. Damon, his wife, and their two sons have lived in a variety of places around the US, and they now make Spokane their home. In a previous life, Damon has worked as both a banker and a P.E. teacher. Unsurprisingly, his dogs are also tall: Roxie the Newfoundland mix and Floyd the Pyranese mix are both named after rock songs/bands. His family also has two cats, Jinx and Fish. In his free time, Damon spends his time traveling with his family and coaching local teen lacrosse teams. He joined the Prairie Dog team in spring 2020.

Alex Huizenga

Alex is basically a dog Jill-of-all-trades. Her previous work experiences include vet assistant and receptionist, bather, dog trainer, and chef de cuisine at a small raw pet food company. Her Australian Cattle Dog Neptune is semi-famous on Instagram and knew over 50 different tricks in her golden years. Alex and her wife live on a farm north of Spokane with an assorted collection of secondhand farm animals, five dogs, four cats, and a mini horse named Partner. She started at Prairie Dog in Spring 2022.

The Barkers

Prairie Dog is, at its heart, still a family-run business. Amy's parents, Vicki and Bill, help with bookkeeping and deposits. In addition, Vicki occasionally fills in on the sales floor, and Bill is our staff handyman. Amy's sister, Emily, also helps the company with filing and organizing.

Amy Barker, CPDT-KA, and Daniel Pringle

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.

What Spokane Customers Are Saying

We love our customers from Spokane & surrounding areas including Glenrose, South Perry District, Sprague Union, Valleyford, Palouse, Latah Creek, Geiger Heights, Airway Heights, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls, Millwood, Liberty Lake, Medical Lake, and more!

Come visit our pet supply store in Spokane, WA specializing in quality raw food, treats, and supplies for cats and dogs.