About Us

dogs photos

When I first started Grateful Dog, I looked to model the business on the way I wanted my own dogs to be cared for: free to play all day and sleep in a comfortable room with other dogs and humans, free of cages. Building off of my experience as a manager of a Bay Area dog daycare and understanding of pack-mentality, I opened Grateful Dog in my home, offering daycare, boarding and group dog hikes.

This initial endeavor has snowballed into what Grateful Dog is today: Downtown Sacramento’s first dog daycare and cage-free boarding facility.

The idea of Grateful Dog grew from my love for dogs and the desire to improve their quality of life.  It is my belief that healthy social interactions and regular exercise make for a happier companion. Grateful Dog is proud to offer you the peace of mind that your dog has a safe, stimulating environment to sleep, play and be loved.

Peace, love…fetch!
Robert Espinosa

Our Staff



Since I was a child, I knew I wanted to have a career working with animals someday and becoming an employee of Grateful Dog was a great place to start and it has been a fun and wonderful learning experience! I started out as a Caregiver for humans but my true calling is with animals - they are my life and make me happy. On my spare time, you can find me exploring nature, tending to all of my various types of pets or doing some photography. In the future, I hope to have a home with acres of land for various types of animals and I'd love to have my own Doggy daycare and to breed arachnids and reptiles.



From the day I actually came in contact with a Pit-bull puppy as a pre-teen I cried and begged for a dog. I showed those 3 small puppies so much attention my aunty called my dad’s phone to tell me “Taylor, it’s been 3 days and these puppies won’t stop crying since you left!” I felt so happy and needed and after that every dog I came across I would nurture them and eventually researched animal behaviors and breeds along with watching many episodes of Animal Planet. I decided while in High school that I would become an Infant toddler Teacher as well as a Veterinarian Technician. I volunteered at the Bradshaw SPCA for a while and got my Certification for Veterinarian Assistant. Now I have a connection to the Veterinarian field and a great animal support system and currently finishing my AA to Transfer to a UC to get my Master’s as a Veterinarian Technician.



Almost two years as a dishwasher turned line cook, Anthony learned to work hard and apply himself to whatever he was doing. After deciding that the restaurant business wasn’t for him, Anthony found a job at Grateful Dog. Anthony now works hard to make sure your dogs are having a fun and wonderful time. He has prior experience as a volunteer at the Front Street Animal Shelter, but Anthony has always loved dogs. Anthony’s spare time is spent having fun with his two dogs, practicing his writing, and doing research for his interest in cryptozoology.



Jaime grew up with dogs and learning dog behavior and training. He previously trained dogs and owns a Pitbull named Kona. In his spare time, Jaime enjoys watching Netflix and eating.

Ashley Q.


Ashley has always loved working with dogs. She has previously worked at other daycares and enjoys being around dogs. Ashley currently owns 2 dogs; one of them loves to help her work up front in reception. Ashley is studying animal behavior and hopes to work with all kinds of animals in the future.



Emily began working with dogs when she decided to pursue something she is passionate about. She grew up with animals and has always loved caring for them and hopes to learn even more about them at her first dog daycare job. She is also currently a caterer at Panera bread and pursues photography outside of work. She hopes to one day be able to travel and make photography her career.

Ashley V.


Ashley previously worked as a cake decorator at a midtown bakery near Grateful Dog. In her spare time, Ashley enjoyed pretending she was on an episode of Cake Wars, quickly decorating and running cakes through her house as her cat judged critically, nodding in disapproval. Her dogs enjoyed anything she presented, however, and eventually Ashley couldn’t ignore her desire to work with dogs and applied at Grateful Dog where she is now flourishing and able to put the cake dream on the back burner.



Hannah has always been an animal nut, and since she’s not able to get her own dog, she’ll settle for getting paid to love on others’! She used to work for Regal Entertainment Group, but never found herself looking forward to her shifts. She applied to Grateful Dog and hasn’t looked back! Hannah is currently going to school for psychology and wants to transfer to Sac State to finish her bachelor’s degree. She hopes to become either a marriage and family therapist, or a high school counselor. In her free time she likes to play video games, write, and sing off key to her cats. They appreciate it, she can tell.



Kaitlyn started out as a bather at PetSmart and eventually became a groomer. She moved on to become a Shift Lead at The Pet Inn, where she received training on dog language and behavior. She has a soft spot for Pit Bulls and her hero is Tia Torres from Animal Planet's Pit Bulls and Parolees. She raised a kitten from two days old when it was abandoned with the rest of his litter at Mueller Pet Medical Center. Kaitlyn is currently attending the Art Institute and studying for her bachelors in Video Game Art and Design. In her spare time she also likes to get costumes together to cosplay at Fanime, a huge 5-day long anime convention in San Jose.



Ever since Courtney was little she knew she wanted to work with animals. She’s grown up with dogs, cats, birds, a tarantula, fish, sugar gliders and snakes. She got her first opportunity to work with animals volunteering at the Placer SPCA. Even though she has had a lot of amazing experiences at the SPCA, she has been looking for opportunities with dog daycare, which is what led her to Grateful Dog. Courtney has an AS in Natural Sciences. In her spare time, you can find her hiking, fishing, working out, playing with her pets, or talking. In the future, she hopes to train dogs in her spare time. Courtney believes everyone deserves to have a job that you can’t believe you get paid to do!



Shelly starting working with dogs 3 years ago and instantly fell in love with it. She is a Bay Area native who moved to Sacramento for school and sunshine. She is currently a student at Sacramento State University working toward her Bachelor of Arts in Dance. When she's not at work or school, Shelly enjoys hiking, baking, exercising, dancing, and watching Netflix. She currently does not have a dog of her own and loves getting to work with dogs every day to get her dog fix.



Meli enjoyed seven years working as an experienced veterinary technician before joining the Grateful Dog Team. She enjoys getting to know her dog friends in a happy and exciting environment for them, rather than the fear and stress she so often encountered as a technician. She hopes to continue learning from dogs and their company as well as their interaction in the Grateful Dog pack. On off days, Meli can be found taking photographs of small things, reading comics in Japanese or watching films with her sophisticated Beagle-mix, Daisy.



Nicole began her career in pet grooming in 2003. She has always had poodles in her family and enjoyed grooming them at home. The creative nature of pet styling along with the opportunity to work with animals has made it a rewarding experience for her. Outside of work she enjoys artwork, being outdoors and DIY projects. In the future, Nicole hopes to complete a science degree and work to preserve wildlife.



Kwame was born in Chicago, but lived most of his life in the Bay Area. Recently he moved to Sacramento, which he is enjoying. Kwame used to always want to have a bunch of dogs, but his mother would never allow it. That is what led to him to volunteer at local Animal Shelters where he got to have fun with a bunch of dogs all day. When Kwame started working it was only natural to find a job that involved taking care of dogs and spending time with them. In the future, he hopes to go to Vet School and pursue a career as a Veterinarian to continue this life-long love of animals.



Kristina first started working with animals at Petco in 2006. She later found a job at the SSPCA as an Animal Care Attendant where she learned about dog behavior, breeds and health care. During this time, her passion for working with animals grew. In her spare time, Kristina enjoys taking care of her cats, dog, and occasional foster kitten. In the future, Kristina hopes to be successful as a doggie daycare Manager and to someday start a rescue group of her own.



Lindsay first started her grooming career back in 2003. She has also worked as a mentor with Petco teaching others the basics of becoming a groomer. In her spare time, Lindsay likes to read and spend time with her family. Lindsay's future plans include continuing on her current path raising a family and making dogs beautiful.

Robert Espinosa