Our Staff

The entire Urban Pooch Canine Life Center Staff, including the owner, have been trained and certified in Canine CPR by The American Red Cross.

Berwyn
CEO

Berwyn

Berwyn loves being a pooch and is living the dream being the CEO of Urban Pooch Canine Life Center.

He totally changed the lives of his Daddies, so much so that they decided to dedicate their lives to establishing a new level of service for pooches and their parents by bringing state-of-the-art daycare and boarding to Chicago. Berwyn is involved in all decisions, whether small or big. He likes being the center of attention and sometimes growls when his Daddies pay too much attention to other pooches. But don't that that growl fool you!

 

Joplin
Director of Operations

Joplin
The "Lady Joplin" as she is affectionately known as, has always been a leader, ever since her puppyhood. Even though she is only 3 years old, she has the wisdom of a woman many years her senior. Joplin's Mom is Jessie, our Retail Manager.

Fortunately, Joplin comes to Urban Pooch almost every day. Her job is to keep our operation humming along like a fine pack of pooches! She is quick to alert the entire staff to any challenge with a short quicky bark and is an expert at using her paws to signal her intent. As you can see by her photo, Joplin likes to jump up in the chair and get a good view of what her peeps are all doing. Bark! Bark! Back to work, says, Joplin. We sure are lucky to have such a fine pooch to run our operations. And, she is also quite a Lady!
 
 

Daniel Gaughan
Owner
dan@urbanpooch.com

Daniel Gaughan

Dan is the co-owner of Urban Pooch Canine Life Center and will run the day to day operations. Dan is a native Chicagoan growing-up in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood. Dan is the youngest of 6 children and the son of the late and great Marty and Kitty Gaughan. Dan had an incredible 21 year run working behind the scenes in local television news operations here in Chicago and out in both Arizona and California. During his long career in broadcasting, Dan was in management roles overseeing staff and operations at many successful television news organizations. Dan began his broadcasting career at WLS-TV in 1989 here in Chicago and went on to play a key management role in launching CLTV then went on to work for WGN-TV and then WBBM-TV following his return to Chicago from California back in 2002. Dan won an Emmy Award for continuous coverage of The Chicago Bulls 3rd Championship.

For many years Dan had a strong desire to make a career change and to do something completely different. In July of 2007 the beginning of what would lead Dan to make such a huge leap of faith came along when he picked-up Berwyn - his 8 week old Welsh Terrier puppy from an Amish Farm in Central Illinois. Dan's intense love for Berwyn and the experience of raising this pup planted the seed helping him realize opening a doggie daycare facility is the answer to where he wanted to be in his career and life and most importantly something that would make him incredibly happy! This began the long journey of realizing his dream of owning and operating Urban Pooch Canine Life Center on the North Side of Chicago.

Dan is so much looking forward to getting to know you and your pooch and seeing all of you every day!!

 
Jessica J Ray
Jessica J Ray
Retail Manager
Social Media Maven

If you've been into Urban Pooch since we opened....there is a good chance you have ran into Jessie Ray - our Retail Manager and much more!  Jessie is also known as 'the treat lady' to all the pooches. 

Jessie grew up outside of Milwaukee with a household of golden retrievers that her mother led her to believe were her siblings from a very early age.  Prior to the pet world, Jessie worked in the travel industry.  Being in the travel industry, paired with her study abroad experience in London and Alicante, Spain - has allowed her to visit 24 countries throughout Europe, Central America, and Africa.  She hung up her passport to be with pooches full time and loves every minute of it!    

Jessie's little girl is a 3 year old Golden Retriever named Joplin who comes to work with her everyday.  Joplin has become the official GREETER of Urban pooch and absolutely adores meeting everyone (on 2 legs and 4 paws).  Don't be surprised when she comes to say hi:)  Joplin also works with Berwyn as a product tester for everything that comes into Urban Pooch. 

Jessie has extensive knowledge about every product that Urban Pooch carries and is willing to look in to other ones you desire. If you ever have any questions about food, toys, treats, chews, or other accessories....let Jessie know!
 
 
 
Victor Johnson
Victor Johnson
Pooch Pack Handler

My name is Victor Johnson and I've been a part of the Urban Pooch family since October of 2011.  Before joining The Pooch Pack, I worked at Bark Chicago as a Handler.  My love for pooches stems from a very young age and continues to grow at Urban Pooch and in my household with my three dogs, a pit bull named Comiskey, a labradoodle named Tequilla and the alpha of the group - a Chocolate Lab named Brownie.  I feel pooches can teach us quite a bit about ourselves.  Their diverse personalities allow us to relate to them in various ways according to the situations they are presented with.  A pooch's potential should never be underestimated but instead embraced so they can excel and exceed at every expectation that we have of them.  In order to keep up up with the pooches, I enjoy playing sports in my spare time - basketball, softball, baseball, bowling and football.

 
Deb Frankenberry
Deb Frankenberry
Groomer

Deb Frankenberry joined Urban Pooch in November of 2011 following almost 20 years of Grooming experience at various Grooming operations throughout the Midwest including down in Missouri and up in Minneapolis.  Deb also owned a grooming shop back in the early 1990's in Blacksburg, Virginia where she ran the shop and Groomed as well.  From April of 2000 until 2009 she Groomed at "Groomingdales" in Columbia, Missouri and then owned a small shop there.  Deb started grooming in 1986 as she was just finishing a degree in Psychology.  Deb took an offer at that time to apprentice with the owner of a small Grooming Shop and never looked back. 

Deb and her 2 children moved to Chicago last summer to be with her partner have her 2 children.  Deb has 3 pooches named Zuli (15 year old Terrier Mix), Birdie (10 year old and sometimes grumpy Schnauzer) and Frankie (6 year old Dachshund) who come to work with Deb every day!  Frankie is especially popular at Urban Pooch but Birdie has a special place in the heart of owner Dan Gaughan.  Deb finds dog grooming to be very rewarding and even relaxing most of the time.  She especially loves grooming Terriers but all breeds (and mixed breeds too) have interesting features and challenges that keep her engaged.  One of Deb's favorite things to do is see live music.  She also loves home remodeling projects but these activities don't happen too much these days as her Partner and Deb's blended family of 4 children and 3 pooches keep them very busy!  She's enjoyed getting to know all of the regular pooches at Urban Pooch and working with a great staff!

 
Emily Porter
Emily Porter
Groomer

I joined The Urban Pooch Family in July after 2 fun and educational years at Earth Pups.  Before that I apprenticed at PetSmart for 2 years after getting the grooming itch from an amazing groomer named Kelly at Glen Ellyn Grooming.  I always knew I wanted to work with animals as my best friend was a rescued Lab Mix named BlackBerry who lived with my family throughout my entire childhood until we lost our beloved pooch to liver issues when she was 11 years old.  My mother is the one who brought me up with rescued pooches and taught me the endless joy of adopting an animal brings to a person's life.  I live with 5 pooches, my 2 rescues Matilda and Edgar and my 2 step dogs Clark and Fletcher.  Matilda is a beautiful and stubborn Pekingese and Edgar is my fun loving small Terrier Mix.  Clark is Half Chow with some Australian Shepherd and Fletcher is some sort of PitBull Mix.  In my spare time, my boyfriend and I enjoy having friends over for good, drinks and music.  I like to volunteer my grooming services to local shelters whenever possible.

 
Luke Gardner
Luke Gardner
Bather/Brusher, Pooch Pack Handler

A well traveled North Carolina native, Luke Gardner has been working with dogs since graduating from Truman State University in 2009.  He plays guitar, skateboards and builds wild buildings in Minecraft when he's not at The Pooch!  Though he doesn't own a dog of his own just yet, he's got two silly parrots to keep him company.  Luke does just about everything here - from professional bathing & brushing to handling and cleaning.  He really loves working with dogs that have special needs (but he really loves them ALL!)  He sees his work as an ongoing miracle of cooperation between man and canine!

 
Vanessa Ramos
Vanessa Ramos
Front Desk
Daycare/Boarding
Vanessa was born in Manhattan and spent summers and Holidays on her grandparents farm in Puerto Rico.  She graduated from Medaille College in Buffalo, NY with an Associates in Science Degree in Veterinary Technology and took additional courses in Canine Breeding and Genetics.  She adores all animals but has a soft spot for Boxers.  She shares her home with her first Boxer for the last 15 years.  Vanessa now has a Pit Bull, a Malinois, 3 Boxers and a Boston who thinks she's a Boxer.  For Vanessa it truly is "All About The Dogs."
 
Dylan Fuelner
Dylan Fuelner
Head Pooch Pack Handler

I have always loved dogs.  It started when I got my first dog, Goliath - a Pit/Lab mix.  he can be a challenge but it has inspired me to open my own Pit Bull rehabilitation center some day!  At the age of 16 I started dogs for PetCare Plus.  Later I joined Doggie Day Play where I became Assistant Manager.  I'm so happy I can bring my skills here to Urban Pooch and continue to grow & learn.

 
Deb Tresnak
Deb Tresnak
Front Desk, Retail

Deb began her Urban Pooch career in May of this year.  She works in both our Front Desk and Retail operations.  Prior to joining The Pooch Pack Deb worked with the pooches of Oak Park and River Forest as a dog walker with "Out-U-Go!"  She has her own two year old Golden Retriever named Oliver and he is her pride and joy.  In her free time she enjoys gardening, traveling and volunteering.

 
Brittany Wright
Brittany Wright
Retail

Since I was a little girl I always dreamed of working with dogs.  I grew up as the oldest in a family with 5 brothers and a house full of dogs.  My mom taught me compassion for animals at a young age by adopting our first family dog.  After that, we would foster and adopt up to 5 dogs at one time.  During my years working on my Master's Degree I took a part time job at Pooch Hotel and after working there for a while I realized this was what I wanted to do!  I worked at Pooch Hotels and their sister company, Raw Dog Organic Food Store where I learned about diet and health needs for dogs and cats.  I also worked for a year at Bark Chicago and their sister companies, Meeow Chicago and SpaBark Mobile Grooming.  After learning about many different aspects of the pet care industry, I came to realize Urban Pooch Canine Life Center represented what I liked best about the industry.  I currently enjoy working retail and meeting all the pups coming into the facility.  The best part of my job is brining my 3 pooches to work - Sigma who is a 5 year old German Shepherd, Lambda who is a 2 year old Mini French Bulldog and Gremlin my 1 year old Brindle French Bulldog.

 
Tilman Colbert-Jones
Tilman Colbert-Jones
Pooch Pack Handler, Head Trainer

Tilman has been with Urban Pooch since before we opened our doors in December of 2010.  He's always had a passion for animals ever since he was a child.  When Tilman turned 14 his mom allowed him to get a dog so he went to the nearest shelter and adopted Coco.  He trained her off the limited knowledge he had obtained from Animal Planet and Tilman found that training her came natural to him.  He began competing with her in many obedience and other pooch shows receiving many awards and trophies.  At the age of 17 he began his career as a professional trainer and since then has trained over 3,000 pooches of all breeds, shapes, sizes and temperaments.  Tilman has competed with his multiple pooches on Regional and National levels across the country always receiving high scores.  Later, Tilman went on to train other trainers on how to train their their own pooches becoming the youngest training director in the country.  He has a passion for training dogs and loves to see owners happy when their dogs are happy doing obedience.  TIlman now works at his permanent home here at Urban Pooch as a Handler where he has been extensively trained as part of our Pooch Pack and manages the pooches in the playrooms.  Tilman is also the Head Trainer at Urban Pooch and has had many successful group classes over the years.
 
Matt Downs
Matt Downs
Trainer

Matt is a Handler and Trainer at Urban Pooch Canine Life Center.  A graduate of Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Marine Biology, Matt Downs was first introduced to the wonderful world of positive reinforcement training at The Shedd Aquarium in 2005 where he completed a graduate level animal training course.  Matt has also worked as a Zookeeper at Brookfield Zoo and The Lincoln Park Zoo between 2006 and 2010.  From 2006-2008 Matt mentored under one of Chicago's top rated dog trainers.  In June of 2011, Matt graduated from the Animal Sense Academy where he furthered his education on all things canine.  In addition to his full time duties at Urban Pooch Matt is a full member of The Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and also a trainer at Wrightway Rescue in Niles.  He is also the proud owner of Furry Fundamental, teaching in-home private lessons in The Chicagoland Area.  Matt and his wife Laura enjoy the antics and companionship of their 12 year old mixed-breed pooch, Snoopy.
 
Stephen Gray
Stephen Gray
Pooch Pack Handler
Stephen joined the Urban Pooch family back in July after spending 6 plus years working as a Handler at various operations.  Stephen worked for 5 years at "The Bow Wow Bungalow" in Burbank-Los Angeles, CA where he was quickly elevated to Co-Manager of their daycare operations.   After moving back to Ohio he worked for more than a year at "Karanik Pet Lodge" in Toledo before moving to Chicago.  Stephen is a musician and is looking forward to experiencing the incredible music and cultural scene in Chicago!
 
Ettienne Aviles
Ettienne Aviles
Pooch Pack Handler
Ettienne was raised in a very small town and always had 3 or 4 dogs around the farm as well as goats and horses.  He has an Associates Degree in Electromechanical Engineering and worked as a Construction Foreman for 6 years.  Ettienne Arrived in Chicago for the first time one week before the big Blizzard last year.  He shares his home with a Malinois, a Pit Bull and three Boxers.  His baby is Nene (little boy in Spanish) who is a 5 year old Boxer.  Ettienne dedicated quite a bit of time fighting Breed Specific Legislation back home.
 
Ryan Blazek
Ryan Blazek
Pooch Pack Handler
I worked for Starbucks for 6 years and for 2 of those I managed their Lincolnwood store.  I also worked at Caribou Coffee for 2 more years before delving into the field I truly love - the world of canines!  I joined Citizen Canine where I worked as a Handler and on The Front Desk and eventually was promoted to Head Handler.  I love dogs of all shapes and sizes and have fostered many dogs and had 2 of my own including a German Shepherd named Buddy and a Doberman named Puffs.  I enjoy playing billiards and hanging out with my 3 little girls and some occasional video games.
 
Daniel Sullivan
Daniel Sullivan
Playtime Express Manager/Do-er of all
I have lived on the North Side of Chicago my whole life.  I joined Urban Pooch in June and couldn't be happier.  Before Urban Pooch I worked at Abell Animal Hospital.  I've loved animals my whole life.  My dog Mac who is a Siberian Husky and I spend many days playing around the house and wrestling.  He brightens my day along with every dog at Urban Pooch.  When I'm not at work I'm usually playing drums, practicing with my band, playing video games or just relaxing outside.  I live to travel and plan to see all the wonders of the world one day - with Mac of course!
 
Barb Daly
Barb Daly
Runner
Barb has lived in Chicago for most of her lifetime settling into the Northside over the Southside these past 11 years.  She has cared for quite a few pooches over the years - most importantly 2 Golden Retrievers that has equaled 35 years of pooch heaven.  Recently retired from Hospital Administration, Barb feels it is time to care for "4 leggers at this time in her repurposed life".  Barb is a runner with the Pooch Pack on a part time basis.
 

PHOTOGRAPHY

Marge Hudson
Marge Hudson
Wetnoze Photography

Marge has been an animal lover and had a love of photography all her life. She started out at age 7, photographing her parakeet with an instamatic camera for fun. Throughout her life she has always had at least one dog or cat, and has always kept up with the photography. She is from the Midwest originally, grew up in the Washington DC metropolitan area, and has lived in a number of places, from Florida to California to Milwaukee.

Fast forward to 2010, and Marge has settled in the Chicago Northshore with 3 wonderful dogs: Nikki, a 7 year old German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix; Shadow, a 4 year old German Shepherd; and Knight, a 3 year old German Shepherd. She was a wedding photographer for a while, and in 2002 she made her dream of being a pet photographer official when she opened Wetnoze Photography. Wetnoze Photography specializes in creating fine, formal portraits of pets and the people who love them, in the comfort of their own home. Marge’s favorite subjects are dogs and cats. She loves what she does and it shows in every photograph.

Wetnoze Photography
www.wetnoze.com
marge@wetnoze.com
847.421.1000

 
Albert Ellenich
Albert Ellenich

Albert grew up on the shores of Lake Superior and developed an appreciation for nature at an early age. His artistic interests quickly focused on photography with the introduction of digital cameras, aiming his lens at broad landscapes and close up glimpses. Adding his love for family and dogs has created an ability to capture special moments in nature, families and pets in their natural environment.

Albert is available for photo sessions with you and your family, inclusive of two and four-legged members.

www.albertellenich.com
773-339-3852

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