Creating a place where active dog owners could mingle, discover the latest dog-related gear, and build a dog-centric lifestyle for their adventures was always a dream of mine. As we have grown and learned so much about our community and their needs within the last year or so of opening MOJO Dog Co., we have created a line of communication with our shoppers and supporters. As a dog trainer by trade and dog mom by passion, I will be sharing my thoughts and experiences owning, exploring, and loving my life with my pack in Chicago.
For me, life as a dog mom started like many: in my twenties with a roommate and my childhood family dog. Jolie or Jo, as we called her, was a typical steady, stoic black lab mix who kept me company during long nights and slowly became integrated into my new dog training job. It wasn't long before we decided Jolie needed company herself and we adopted Mona, a bubbly little black and white speckled pup. The two were like peanut butter and jelly - as different as could be, but fit together perfectly. And so, the nickname "MOJO" was a common way we referred to our adorable duo.Mo and Jo were such a comforting constant in my life as a new dog owner and trainer. Navigating life in the city with two medium-sized, active dogs was no easy feat for apartment living. However, I now felt I could confidently assist my clients with the intricacies of dog ownership in all the areas we so desperately want to experience with our dogs. From patios to dog beaches to family parties, our little family explored the world, along with learning plenty of lessons about training and relationships.
MOJO took on off-leash training at our favorite places, provided a safe space for socially awkward dogs to flourish, participated in therapy dog programs, and raised dozens of puppies that grew into wonderful companions for their families. My girls were far from perfect, but perfect for me. Jolie's passing last year brought my and my husband's attention to how truly special it is to have our dogs involved in the most important areas of our lives. Giving us so much for so little, we will always be working to repay them for their devotion to us and patience as we grow. Although our lifestyle has since changed with our current pack, we are constantly looking for new ways to make the most out of every experience with our dogs. Personal growth in training, business, and in our home has allowed us to bring our favorite products, dog foods, and apparel to our community, however, we will never be able to repay our MoJo girls for the early days that laid the foundation for what we do every day.
Mona is still my right-hand girl, seeming to read my mind and surprise me all the time. And as she starts to gray and her fuse with our younger and boisterous dogs starts to shorten, I am always looking for ways to repay her for being herself. Whether it be new dog sports, assisting our training apprentices, or introducing a dog to our pack, Mo remains an integral part of our lives.
So, I invite you to follow along with our journey. The shared experience of dog ownership is a unique one that I'm sure you're already enjoying.
Reflecting on my own experience, discovering new ways to fulfill our dogs is really a way to also fulfill ourselves considering how much they give to us, and I hope we can bring a little extra enrichment from our pack to yours.