I grew up in Michigan with great lakes chocked full of fish, crisp clean fresh air and a rustic cabin nestled among the white birch and majestic pine trees that seemed to reach the big blue sky. As a child it came as no surprise that I was drawn to the beauty of the great outdoors. When I was young, my dad found a Newfoundland black puppy in a city park that we took home and named Mr. Ballenger. Instantly I was smitten.
I would dash home from school at the sound of the bell to chase and tumble with my Mr. B. At night he would even curl up with me under my sheets. He made me feel safe. He was more than just a dog, but rather a friend who created feelings of security and comfort whenever I needed him.
Over 20 years of running a successful business has given me the opportunity to meet people with amazing stories plus the ability to have a job where I enjoy daily the company of some of the most personable animals out there. In 1994, I followed my childhood passion and created Dog Gone Fitness. I’ve had the opportunity to love, walk, nurture, and home care over 495 dogs of every size, breed, temperament and personality. I love that every day I am invited to share my love of outdoors with these precious animals.
My mother used to tell me that happiness is like making a cake. It’s a precise combination of love, humility, gratitude, and respect along with the values and traditions of being of service to others. This has become my mantra for living a wonderful life.
Bob grew up in Oregon and learned that hard work can and will pay off for you. His grandparents owned a berry farm and he spent many long hours picking berries and pulling weeds! Bob grew up surrounded by pets. In his youth he had dogs, rabbits, ferret, turtles, tortoises, ducks, rats, mice, gerbils, lizards, guinea pigs, and 14 tanks of tropical fish. His mom was a good sport!
During his spare time, Bob enjoys any activity outdoors—fishing, scuba diving, running, swimming, biking, and kayaking. He has competed in many races and finishing the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon is one of his more memorable events. The man does not sit still! His dream is to fish all over the world but for now he is satisfied with west coast fishing trips, or cheering on his daughters in their chosen activities. Bob earned his MBA from Portland State University before moving to California. Before joining me Bob was the owner and operator of two successful construction companies. He says that he will take dogs over employees any day.
Bob and I are proud of our community and do all we can to ensure it continues to thrive. Every Christmas we adopt a family through our church and I served 4 years on the Board of Directors of the Barrington Dog Park, a great place to let the dogs run around and go crazy. Bob and I donate often to their cause as well as the West LA Animal Shelter.