Everyone who works at the Dog Ranch is a thoroughly trained dog handler and cleaner, and all staff are educated and overseen by Karen. The Handlers are also guided by an Operation Manual and Employee Handbook covering all aspects of caring for dogs. Handlers, Trainers, and Groomers all have up to date qualifications.
Karen’s 20-year entrepreneurial business career in Toronto and Vancouver has always been paired with her love of dogs and being outdoors. As owner, managing director and co-creator of the Dog Ranch, she is responsible for all Ranch operations and overall canine and human satisfaction. Karen can jump into almost any role, and is tireless in her efforts to ensure the Dog Ranch delivers the highest quality, totally dog-centred boarding services in Greater Vancouver and Bowen Island. On Bowen, Karen and the Dog Ranch are enthusiastic participants in all kinds of community activities; the Ranch has made many friends on the Island, the North Shore and in Greater Vancouver.
Steve is a long-time Bowen Islander and, after a career in the city, took the big leap to get out from behind a desk and work on Bowen full-time. He has recently jumped in feet first to helping Karen oversee the Dog Ranch as General Manager, after spending the previous 2 years part time as a valued member of the Dog Ranch dog-handling team as well as overseeing the endless building and property work. Steve has a never-ending enthusiasm for our dogs, and they clearly adore him.
Ellen learned how to groom, show and handle dogs at a very young age. Her show-dog experience, particularly, deepened her skill and understanding of various breeds and cuts. Many people know Ellen from her years working at Capilano Pet Hospital in North Vancouver. A long-time Bowen Islander, Ellen is now Head Groomer and (always in the company of her pampered Pekingese pups) has become an important member of the Dog Ranch team. You will also meet her, and can talk to her about your dog’s grooming needs, when she drives the city shuttle and picks up all her new friends.
Our certified trainer, Scott James, is a longtime dog lover and trainer and has received his most recent certification with Vancouver’s Georgina Bradley of Dogstars fame. Before moving to Bowen Island, Scott was a manager and chef in the catering industry and an emergency services first-responder, now retired. We are thrilled to have him on the Dog Ranch team.
A born teacher and dog lover, Yoko Sakai is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and launched her own dog training business Bow Wow Academy and is now partnering with the Bowen Island Dog Ranch offering our training class program specializing in positive reinforcement methods.
Yoko has trained hundreds of dogs privately and was Wagzone’s Dog Trainer in North Vancouver, where she offered multiple levels of Obedience and Agility classes, and also worked with reactive dogs. Yoko achieved her Professional Dog Trainer designation through Georgina Bradley (CPDT-KA-DTP) at DogStars Professional Dog Trainers Program in Vancouver, and has become accredited through Dr. Dunbar’s Science-based Reactive Dog Training Program.
Her goal is to help more canine friends and their humans build happier and safer lives together.
Christina brings a long and varied background of financial administration to Dog Ranch operations. Recently arrived from eastern Canada to Bowen Island, Christina is delighted to find a place to work filled with dogs, surrounded trees, and equipped with a great team of colleagues. With her upbeat customer service and lovely British accent, we are all thrilled to have her on board.
Bowen Islander Megan joins the Dog Ranch team while taking some time off from her business and accounting studies. Megan’s ability to jump from one task to another with a never-ending upbeat attitude and professionalism, along with her talents in social media, make her a great addition to the Dog Ranch team. And all the pups just adore her—enough said!
Christine’s dog, Flynn, has been an enthusiastic client of the Dog Ranch for years—and then we got very fortunate when Christine decided to leave the city rat race and join our team. Her varied administration skills are something to behold, and we look forward to many years ahead of Christine’s contribution to helping grow and manage the Ranch.
Sophie grew up on Bowen, and worked with animals throughout her school years. On the island, she’s worked at The Cat’s Pajamas, our local cat boarding establishment, and as a stable assistant at Evergreen Acres, as well as at Crescent Stables in Langley. Before she heads out on her next school venture, we are lucky to have Sophie’s passion and experience on board to help us care for all the special pooches at the Dog Ranch.
Annabelle grew up with a love for animals, from babysitting parrots, to walking dogs all over Bowen. After high school she was lucky to find work with one of her favourite animals, dogs, and is now a part time dog handler here at the Dog Ranch. She has a soft spot for senior dogs, having two old pugs of her own. She plans to continue balancing her time with her love for animals, theater and film.
Willow, a Bowen Islander, has been with the Dog Ranch throughout most of her high school career, and we can always count on her lovely and calming influence on all the precious pups she cares for here. Willow is heading into the veterinary field, so we are doubly lucky that she is continuing to work with us every week while continuing her education in animal medicine.
One-half of an awesome sister-duo, Brylie has joined her sister, Megan, on the dog handling team as a part-timer. When Brylie is on-site, she’s a major pooch-magnet here, and the dogs bask in her endless happy energy. Add that to a first-class work ethic, and we have an excellent new addition to the Dog Ranch family.
Isobel discovered the Dog Ranch through her dog, Ollie, when he was a puppy. Isobel’s dedication to caring for dogs is inspiring and she looks forward to a career in the Veterinary field. We are thrilled to work with such a devoted, longtime dog lover, and admire her dedication and the quality in her every task.
Now, your dogs may not care, but when they’re at the Ranch, their rooms are kept spotless by an award-winning cinematographer. Rudi, a longtime Bowen Islander who recently retired, is our dedicated cleaner on weekday mornings, tirelessly keeping the dogs’ rooms and building as clean and sanitary as he possibly can. His commitment to the pups is obvious, and they love it when he’s inside working around them. Rudi had an outstanding career as cinematographer, notably the CBC and David Suzuki. Luckily, for someone who wants to work with dogs and can’t sit still in retirement, we had the perfect, mutually rewarding solution.
Quite simply, the Ranch wouldn’t exist without Tim! He assisted Karen through the original business plan, and helps design all aspects of the Ranch buildings, systems, landscaping and administration. In short, he is an invaluable advisor to Karen, bringing tremendous expertise, professionalism and valued friendship.