Dena Matera (owner operator)
(Mon-Fri walker and pet sitter)
What happens when a you mix a dedicated animal lover with an entrepreneurial spirit? Just ask all the lucky creatures ever cared for by Dena Matera of Got Dogs? in Truckee, CA.
If they could talk, Dena’s animal friends would certainly praise her exuberance, warmth, and passion. Raised alongside German Shepherds, a lizard, and a parakeet Dena learned early on about gentleness, connection, and loyalty.
It is that spirit—that deep understanding and connection with animals—that gave Dena the inspiration to start a pet care business of her own. In preparation, she attended dog shows regularly volunteered at Truckee Meadows Dog Training Club. In (year) Dena earned her dog training diploma. Eventually, her dog, Shakti, joined Dena, and together they received a Canine Good Citizen Certification. This gave them the opportunity to work in hospitals with the disabled.
Currently, Dena continues to develop her professional understanding of animal psychology and behavior along with building her professional relationships. In addition, Dena’s own family has grown. Now, the proud mother of two, Dena is busier than ever. Fortunately, due to Got Dogs? success, her business has expanded along with her family. Dena has hired a dedicated and trusted crew of helpers to assist her in providing dog walking and pet sitting services. So, these days, Dena speaks of Got Dogs? as “we” not “I” because she sees her business as a team (and family) effort. According to Dena, “It’s the best job I could ever imagine — walking, playing and cuddling dogs daily. I just love meeting new dogs — and their people. Many of my clients are now friends. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
“I can survive with my dogs. I will survive because of my dogs. They provide love, safety, warmth, and knowledge. I know now and forever they are my guardian angles. I will forever be grateful and loyal, I know so will they to me.”
-Owner of Got Dogs, Dena Matera
All walkers and sitters are experienced with pets and caretaking. They are background checked 7 years for criminal and motor vehicle.
Weekend walker and pet sitter
As a patient and knowledgeable dog care professional, avid outdoor enthusiast, and all-around “dog mom,” working for Got Dogs? was a natural next step for for Nicole.
Her true passion lies in working with animals, and her specialty centers on dogs. For several yeas, Nicole has been building her experience and knowledge in a variety of ways.
Having rescued and worked with many dogs, Nicole has come to understand and appreciate what it takes to take a dog from a place of fear to a place of trust.
Her first rescue was at age 18 when Nicole began working with a stray pit mix abandoned on her dead-end road. It took a lot of patience and two bites to earn the dog’s trust. But in the end, Nicole learned what she needed to do and gave that dog a good life.
Now, a few years later, Nicole has developed an approach using strong leadership skills and a minute focus on dog behavior and changes to provide a calm environment for exercise and healthy behavior and changes — and lots of compassion.
Her heart has grown immensely— and Nicole knows better than ever how animals have a way of coming into the lives of humans to bring us amazing and surprising gifts.
Tahoe Donner based walker and sitter
Robyn Estes has a cultivated sense of what makes animals tick and heal.
For as long as she can remember, Robyn has been working alongside her father and mother who are practitioners dedicated to the art of healing animals. Robyn’s father, a Texas chiropractor, spends his weekends treating dogs and horses with a specialty low-level laser that alleviates joint pain. Her mother, an medical intuitive, has the magic touch when it comes to understanding and working with the subtle emotions of our furry friends. Growing up, Robyn helped her dad and mom comfort and care for the animals brought to them by neighbors and friends. She’s even seen a miracle or two: “A client brought brought her two-year-old dachshund to my dad,” said Robyn. “The dog had a broken back. The owner refused to put the dog down. Within a year, my dad had the dog walking.” Needless to say, the dog is still a patient.
So, it’s no surprise that Robyn, a resident of Truckee since 2013, finds herself loving her newly discover mountain lifestyle as part of Dena’s crew. All of Robyn’s experiences and knowhow are coming together at Got Dogs?. For Robyn, there’s nothing more satisfying than hitting the trails with of a group of dogs or feeling the deep connection and companionship of being one-on-one with an animal.
Truckee based walker and sitter
Kelly has been an avid dog lover all her life. Growing up, her family always had at least one dog, so she learned to care for them from an early age. Moving to the Tahoe area almost 20 years ago, she continued to have dogs of her own. She has taken them hiking, biking, kayaking and paddle boarding, enjoying their company and enthusiasm as an integral part of being outdoors. She has trained her own dogs and studied dog psychology and behavior to better understand their needs and interests. She strives to make good connections with dogs and provide companionship, care, and love to all the four-legged friends that she is entrusted with.
Sierra Meadows based walker and sitter
Jessi a massage therapist, singer songwriter, surfer, personal assistant, life motivator, and lover of all animals! She was born on the beach in Florida, surfing her entire life, bringing her to the shores of Nicaragua, Hawaii, and California. She has recently learned to snowboard and has fallen in love with the mountain life of Lake Tahoe, living in Truckee with her sister Abi Collomb, private chef and Tahoe local of 16 years, she fell into the wave of “Truckee Love”.
Jessi has had animals as pets everywhere she roams, all kinds from dogs, cats, lizards, snakes, and iguanas. Jessi has attended dog training school, and taught at Peggy Adams animal shelter for 2 years. When she moved to Truckee in 2013 she started a small dog/cat watching, walking service for all her Tahoe dog friends. She has cared for every kind of dog from a high energy Whippet mix to an old special needs Rotty/Shepard mix, sometimes having to care for more than one dog at a time has developed her skills as the alpha in every situation. Her gentle caring but direct character keeps all the pups at her heals. She has a natural dominance with all animals and they all seem to fall in love with her quickly. With all of her experience and all the variations of animals she is a perfect fit to care for any animal.