It is profoundly gratifying to do work that is interesting, challenging and contributes to health and wellbeing of our canine clients. It is especially wonderful to make meaningful connections through our work, and to truly improve the quality of life of our clients and their dogs. Peter & I chose to be dog walkers because we love dogs and healthy pursuits in the great outdoors.
About Michelle (dog walker and co-owner of DYSW)
Caring for animals has always been a big part of my life. I grew up with dogs, cats, horses, a gerbil, a hermit crab, and as a child I designed elaborate shoebox hotels for ants. Friends and neighbours knew of my affinity for animals and brought strays and injured animals to me. I raised a tiny skunk whose mother was killed on the road (he was like an adorable kitten who did handstands) and helped various injured or trapped birds. As a teenager, our vet saw my calming influence on animals and asked me to be his assistant. For over 12 years, I cared for and trained horses, coached riders, competed in and professionally judged equestrian stadium jumping.
With a degree in psychology, I worked as a counsellor with deaf people & studied sign language. As a dog walker, awareness of non-verbal communication is vital. Dogs remind us that we don’t need to use words to express exactly how we feel.
In addition to being a dog walker, I love camping, cycling and listening to audio books while making art, knitting, writing and keeping things organized. I have a keen appreciation for dogs and am truly grateful to get to help local dogs to be healthy and happy by taking them for long walks outside.
My sign in the Chinese Zodiac is the Dog … which explains everything… my predilection to smell everything in the supermarket, my gregarious and instant liking of most everyone, and my steadfast loyalty to those I care about… such as Pete.
About Peter (dog walker and co-owner of DYSW)
Pete and I have been life and business partners for 25 years, so I know him pretty well. Born & raised in Toronto, Peter grew up with a miniature schnauzer, 2 cats, a cockatiel, a hamster, a turtle, and a guinea pig.
He has always been a physically active, outdoorsy type of guy. When he’s not being a dog walker, he loves developing websites (he made this site from scratch!), turning the most beautiful wooden bowls and cycling. He is an avid cyclist – so much so, that you might even see him out there riding his bike in winter when the roads are dry. Cycling was never my passion, but in 2012, Pete convinced me to join him in pedalling (and camping) on a tandem bicycle from Ontario to Newfoundland & back! What an epic adventure.
While on another adventure, Pete & I volunteered with VIDAS travelling veterinarians, who provide free spaying and neutering of dogs and cats to help reduce the number of starving and unwanted animals roaming the streets of Mexico.
Peter also loves eating watermelons & popcorn, and is a tenacious autodidact, with a keen interest in learning about alternative theories of science.
Although we were both born here in Toronto, we met in the remote wilds of the North while tree planting. We’re such keen outdoor enthusiasts, that we also planted trees (about half a million between us) in British Columbia – at times being dropped off on a mountainside by helicopter! Now we enjoy exploring the urban wilderness with dogs.
Dogs sense Peter’s calm assertive energy and respond with interest and respect. He is a natural leader, who is encouraging, kind, fair & honest. Dogs get that.
He loves being a dog walker – leading dogs on their daily adventures, while getting plenty of exercise & fresh air.
Working with dogs encourages us to become the best versions of ourselves.