about ME

Maribel Izquierdo-Rodríguez, Owner

I know what it's like to have really busy days and feel guilty about not being able to give your dog the attention and exercise they need.  Why make life any more challenging... let me take some of that burden off your shoulders and take your pup on a whole body exercise outing, for mental and physical stimulation. My focus is not on excessive play, because that can cause stress in dogs, and physical exhaustion doesn't solve any problems. My focus is on quality time spent together with a well matched pack out in Nature. Group dog walks are an ideal means of both exercising and socializing your dog, with the right balance between play and bonding activities. Dogs need human companionship, and relaxing companionship is much more important than dog play groups. Dogs that explode when you get home have been lonely. When your dog gets regular outings with me, you'll notice the difference right away. You'll feel great that your dog is relaxed and doesn't follows you around with the leash in his mouth, wanting to go for a walk, because he's already gotten what he needs. No more feeling pressured to add one more task to your list of things to do, because I've already taken care of that for you. Free up more time for yourself so that you can focus on other important things in your life, with a happy dog by your side. 

To better serve you and take care of your dog I became a dogbiz Dog Walking Academy certified dog walker. I am also Pet First Aid & CPR certified by American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI); fully insured through Kennel Pro - Mourer Foster, Inc.; a licensed business in the City of Pinole; an Active State of California limited liability company (LLC); and an East Bay Regional Park District Professional Dog Walking Permit holder. For your dog's benefit I keep up with continuing education, so that I may stay abreast of canine behavior, body language, training methodologies, pack dynamics, nutritional needs, etc. In particular, I take classes with dog trainer Trish King at The Academy of Dog Behavior and am preparing to take the exam to become an ADB Certified Canine Behavior Counselor (CCBD). 

A little bit about me: I grew up in Germany and lived in various parts of the U.S. before settling permanently in the Bay Area in 1999. I am a tribal college graduate (Diné College, Navajo Nation, the first tribally controlled and accredited collegiate institution in the United States), and I hold a B.A. in Native American Studies and a M.A in History.

In 2005 I adopted my first dog Kai, a beautiful red Kelpie mix. The following year I took in Noa, a gorgeous chocolate colored Kelpie/Border Collie. Over the years I have adopted and fostered other dogs, as well as cats. They are my family.

Tragically I lost both Kai and Noa to cancer. There was no chance for me to fight for Noa, because acute leukemia claimed his life less than 24 hours after falling ill. But when Kai became ill with terminal cancer I left my job in the financial sector to focus on his care. Losing both of them was a very painful experience but after devoting myself to Kai’s care, I realized that I received far more satisfaction from the time I spent with animals than I'd ever had in my professional career.  

Rather than return to the 9-5 work world, I decided to create a career where I could be surrounded by animals every day. That’s how The Dogista was born!

If I have any free time, I enjoy gardening and baking.