Lead dog, Patrick Haley, is a Member in Good Standing of Pet Sitters International and routinely participates in their educational courses, he volunteers for the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center in Springfield, and apprenticed with Paws of Nature Family Dog Training & Behavior Consulting, specifically for dog walking and pet sitting services. Walks of Nature is also bonded and insured.
Prior to establishing Walks of Nature, Patrick was the owner and CEO of two successful multi-media companies. In addition, he has owned and raised dogs, cats, horses, and a menagerie of other animals over the past 40 years.
Jill Haley Rose, certified professional dog trainer, has been working as a full time professional dog trainer and behavior consultant for the past twelve years. Jill is a graduate of the Academy for Dog Trainers out of the San Francisco SPCA where she also completed an internship on dog to dog aggression, with honors. She is a professional member of the Association for Professional Dog Trainers, a licensed Dogs & Storks presenter through Family Paws Parent Education, and a Canine Life and Social Skills evaluator.
She ran her own dog training and behavior consulting business, Paws of Nature, in San Francisco, CA and most recently out of Westfield, MA and has worked with over seven hundred clients doing private instruction and in-home behavioral consultations. For the past five years she has been the Training Programs Coordinator and canine behavior specialist for the Dakin Humane Society in Springfield, MA. Jill was in charge of designing, organizing, and running Dakin’s dog training classes and behavior workshops held in three locations in Western, MA. She also has done temperament and behavior evaluations on thousands of dogs for Dakin Humane Society, worked with countless adopters post adoption to resolve behavioral challenges, and has instructed over one hundred group dog training classes and workshops for Dakin Humane Society.
Bev has lived in Granby, CT for most of her life. She retired from the State of Connecticut after 26 years as a Fiscal Administrative Supervisor. Bev then moved on to consulting positions for several companies, but her heart kept calling her back to her love of working with animals.
Bev's close relationship with dogs began in 1964 when she began training her poodles, earning advanced Obedience titles and Junior Showmanship awards. The breeder/owner/handler of German Shorthaired Pointers since 1978, puppies raised by Bev have earned Show Championships, Hunting Test awards, Field Trial placements and Canine Good Citizen certificates. Bev sat on the 4-H Board of Directors for Program Development in Connecticut and is a graduate of the New England School of Dog Grooming.
Liza has a care for animals with special medical needs (dogs and cats). She walks large dogs and is able to restrain physically strong dogs. Liza has developed long-term relationships with clients and bonds with their animals through regular contact. She is patient, compassionate, reliable and punctual concerning all her pet care visits and assignments.
Wilbert Babbitt (BJ) has lived in the Farmington Valley all his life. His family has always included dogs (specifically German Shepherds) which he has loved and cared for his entire life. This passion for animal care eventually led him to get a job at Doggie In The Window in Simsbury, CT as a dog day care attendant. He had been told that he has a special connection with dogs.
After five years of working with multiple dogs at one time (sometimes more than 20), he realized how much he loved working in this field and eventually got in touch with Pat at Walks of Nature. Although he still loves the chaotic fun of watching dogs interact and play through his continuing job at Doggie In The Window, he appreciates the more personalized time that he spends one-on-one with his dog clients through Walks of Nature.
Alan joined Walks of Nature after happily retiring from the corporate world. He has raised and trained retrievers in the Farmington Valley all of his life. Alan spends as much spare time as possible on the water both flowing and frozen. He is a former member of the United States Whitewater team and is still active in the sport. In the winter he is a professional ski instructor specializing in Telemark and Adaptive students.
Sarah has been a pet parent or sibling continuously for 32 years; she has been mom to her current mutt, Coco, for 12.5 years. Originally from the Midwest, she relocated to Connecticut in 2004 for a job but quit several years later after realizing the corporate world wasn't for her. She currently lives in Avon where, when she's not pet sitting, she teaches yoga and volunteers with animal rescue groups.
Rebecca Mihlek has been a full-time pet-sitter for over four years and is a member of Pet Sitters International. In addition, she is currently completing coursework to become an Accredited Pet Sitter. Rebecca has extensive experience with overnight care for multiple animal households, daily dog walks/visits, and caring for animals with special needs. She has personally rescued over 20 cats, and is involved with several local rescue organizations in Granby and Bloomfield. Rebecca strives to stay current with trends in the pet industry and maintaining awareness of what pet owners needs and expectations are. Her first priority is the happiness and well-being of your pet.
Prior to the care of animals, Rebecca worked as an Executive Administrative Assistant and as a Zoning Enforcement Officer/Wetlands Agent for 7 years for a local CT town. She graduated cum laude from Westfield State University in 2000, and holds a degree in both Mass Communications and Regional Planning. She decided to leave the corporate world behind in 2008 to concentrate on her real passion: caring for animals full-time and immersing herself in the animal world and surrounding herself with other like-minded individuals. She has finally found her "home" and couldn't be happier.
Rebecca has two rescue kitties, Emma and Boo, and a rescued lovebird named Suzi.
Jason grew up in Holyoke, MA and currently lives in Southampton. He worked in retail sales for many years before volunteering at Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society changed his life. There he found his true passion in life which was caring for animals. He was eventually hired by Dakin as part of their Animal Care staff where he was trained extensively in safe animal handling techniques as well as personal enrichment tools and activities. While at Dakin he also completed numerous seminars at the School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University to improve his knowledge of animal care and behavior. He has also completed a 30 hour vet internship at the Northampton Veterinary Clinic.
Since leaving Dakin, Jason has been offering pet sitting/dog walking services for the last year and a half. He loves working with and caring for all animals, but has a special fondness for pit bulls. He currently has two cats, Growler and Favorite, whom he rescued when they were feral kittens. He also looks forward to taking classes to become certified in Pet First Aid and CPR.
Hi! My name is Rosie. I started at Walks of Nature in December of 2016. I've met so many great people while working for Pat. I graduated from Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in 2016 and I studied Animal Science. I attend HCC and my goal is to get into their animal science program. I've been a dog walker and care taker for over seven years. I have a special bond with animals and I will love your fur babies as if they are my own! It will be a pleasure meeting you!
Heather Winarski is a 2004 graduate of the University of Vermont where she majored in Animal Science. After graduation, Heather spent an exciting summer as a wrangler at a Colorado Dude Ranch. When she returned to Connecticut Heather started a full time job at Flamig Farm where she stayed for the next 7 years. Pet sitting has always been a "hobby" over the years, and now Heather is working towards making it a career.
Heather has been riding and caring for horses for over 22 years. She is an active member of the Granby and Simsbury horse community and is currently serving as the treasurer of the Granby Horse Council. She also loves all dogs, especially Golden Retrievers and Labs, but she spends most of her free time with her beloved adopted farm cat, Smokey.
Jessica has lived in Avon, CT all her life. She has her Vet Assistant certification and is working toward becoming a Vet Tech at NCCC. Her experience includes Animal Behavior Courses and a 24 hour vet internship at VCA. Jessica has been offering pet sitting/dog walking services for the last five years. She love all animals and has raised dogs, cats, fish, turtles, geckos and has cared for and rode horses for many years.