NATALY KASHANI – Owner
Nataly took over Dogfather in 2007 and has never looked back. As a first time business owner, she has quickly learned the ins and outs of this exciting industry. She took it upon herself to expand the business by introducing a grooming facility in 2008 and the K9 Café in 2009. She values unique and one-of-a-kind products and does her best to support local businesses and North American made items. Nataly takes great pride in her shop and is eternally grateful to her devoted customers and their dogs who continue coming back again and again!
Nataly has two dogs that she adores and they continue to inspire her mission at Dogfather. She is dedicated to ensuring that you and your pooch are getting the best shopping and grooming experience in the city.
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KRISTINA RAPSON – Director of Operations & Senior Buyer
Kristina has always had a special love for dogs. As a child, she spent two years begging her parents to fulfill her dream of becoming a dog owner, and was pleasantly surprised to receive her first canine friend on her 12th birthday. Although ecstatic about her new best friend, he suffered from a series of behavioral and health issues. At 13 years old, Kristina took it upon herself to learn the ins and outs of dog training and found a holistic veterinarian that could properly diagnose and treat her dog.
Many years later, Kristina continues to dedicate her life to helping and working with dogs. She spent time in Northern India working with street dogs at Dharamsala Animal Rescue. Caring for the dogs was difficult, but a worthwhile experience. It was during her travels that she unexpectedly came across her two beloved fur babies! Xela is from the streets of Guatemala and Batuk is from India. Her goal at Dogfather is to continuously be on the lookout for the best products as well as to help educate dog owners on canine nutrition and health. Kristina is always available for questions and is happy to help any time.
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CRIS COSTA-HAIGLER – Store Manager
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AMANDA WONG-YOU – Sales Associate, Social Media & Product Specialist
Amanda has loved dogs since birth. She’s been working in the pet industry since 2012, and has also volunteered for numerous dog and cat rescue organizations over the years. She is very passionate and knowledgeable about canine nutrition and balanced training. If you have any questions about anything in these fields, she is happy to answer any of your questions any time. Amanda’s furbabies include a mischievous one year old German Short Haired Pointer named Vader, and a deaf rescue cat named Ziggy. Ziggy gets requests from our staff to visit the store often due to his calm nature with people and dogs. When Ziggy is not working the store floor with Amanda, he walks on a leash and visits children and seniors as he is a certified therapy cat! When Amanda isn’t at work, she loves to go on hikes with Vader and Ziggy (Yes, Ziggy likes hikes). She is an experienced dog walker and pet boarder, and Dogfather most definitely recommends Amanda if you are looking for these types of services. Dogfather is very happy to have Amanda as a part of our team!
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PHILIP MINAKER – Supervisor & Merchandising Specialist
Philip was raised on a mixed farm in a small rural community just outside of Winnipeg and attended city school. Due to his unusual upbringing his initial best friends were a variety of pets (dogs, cats, horses, livestock and a variety of strays (including an abandoned baby fox) that found a welcoming and loving kinship within the dynamics of the family farm. His Grandmother had a wonderful way with animals and people too, for that matter, that continues to inspire Philip’s sensibilities.
During his high school years he worked at the Assiniboine Downs Racetrack, initially as a groomer and then as a junior Trainer of Thoroughbreds. It was at this time he also dived into the fashion industry and began mastering a variety of skills that tapped into his creativity and passion.
Nearly five years ago Philip began working in the pet industry signalling a marriage between his youth and adulthood. His down to earth yet diverse nature, sense of humour and passion for helping others (animal or human) has earned him a reputation of being quite a character that is considered altruistic and a forward thinker that continues to evolve along with the dynamics of the Pet Industry.
Philip is always here to help you find that perfect something for your pooch. Dogfather is so happy to have Philip as a part of the team.
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MARGOT RODRIGUEZ – Sales Associate
One was a pitbull labrador mix named Chicha, the other one was a german shepherd husky mix named Roxanne. Unfortunately, Chicha passed away in 2012 at the age of fourteen, and Roxanne passed away in 2015 at the age of thirteen. They were her beloved companions, and even after their passing she still holds them close to her heart.
In May 2016, Dogfather hosted an adoption day featuring Coveted Canines and Margo fell in love. She has since adopted the one year old husky who stole her heart, and is now currently the proud mother of Amelie (see photo).
During her time at Dogfather, Margot has learned a lot about the different breeds of dogs, what their needs are, and how she can help you find the right toy, food, treat, or apparel that suits your best friend’s needs. She currently works part time on weekends, as she is currently in school upgrading her skills so she can eventually become an animal physiotherapist.
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SARAH WOODCOCK – Sales Associate
Sarah was lucky to have a family that took in many rescues while she grew up in Kingston, Ontario. As a child, she had many furry friends, but her two favourites were Isis and Spooky. When she was 6 years old, she was lucky enough to pick out her first cat name Isis (which originally is the name of an Egyptian goddess but also the name of Catwoman’s cat in the Batman Animated Series). This beautiful Seal Point Siamese became best friends with another rescue named Spooky the Doberman. Spooky made it his mission to protect Isis, Sarah and her younger sister. He was so devoted to them that he didn’t sleep and kept watch over them every night, only sleeping during the day. He also made sure that his friend Isis didn’t wonder too far from the house, wrestling her back in when he felt she went too far. Spooky was a loyal friend, but his life ended too short due to Bloat, an all too common occurrence in large breed dogs. Isis lived on to have a long and fruitful life, and recently passed away at the ripe old age of 20.
Other than Sarah’s many experiences with rescue animals growing up, she has also worked at a couple shelters, organizing fundraisers, walking and bathing dogs, and caring for cats.
Currently, Sarah is the current proud mama of 2 cats, a Snowshoe named Panda and a tabby named Opie. The newest edition to her family is a black pug puppy (whom many of you have already met) named Professor Pickles II – Follow him on Dogfather’s Instagram!