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



Sophia has been an animal lover since forever. She’s had animals ranging from horses to bunnies to cats to finally, dogs! She’s had a dog in her house since she can remember. She began working with dogs because they’re a huge passion of hers and she can’t imagine working anywhere else! She has volunteered at numerous shelters including Happy Tails Cat Sanctuary and the SPCA. When she isn’t working, she’s spending time with her two dogs, Ireland and Thursday (both are Cockapoos) and her cat Gavin. She loves doing yoga, riding her vintage Bianchi road bike and going to local coffee shops. She is currently a high school senior and will be going to SCC next semester. In the future, Sophia wants to study abroad in Japan and eventually become a doctor.



Hilary has always had a dog in her life since she was a three year old, which began her passion for animals and the impact they have in the lives they are in. She's no stranger in working in a daycare background, her last job working in an afterschool program in San Diego, helps her understand the goals of Grateful Dog Daycare and the passion it takes to take care of those we love. In 2017, Hilary moved from San Diego to Sacramento to pursue her goal in continuing her education, majoring in Small Business and Social Work. She hopes that she herself can own a small business in the future someday.



Kelsey got to pick out her first dog when she was three. Her parents bribed her with going to the shelter if her twin brother and her got potty trained. Kelsey has loved dogs, specifically rescued dogs ever since. She is an all-around animal lover; she grew up riding horses and always taking in the random cats that showed up. Kelsey transferred to Sacramento State Fall of 2016 and will be graduating spring 2018 with a degree in Kinesiology. When she is not at Grateful Dog or School, Kelsey spends most of her time volunteering at the Bradshaw Animal Shelter and working with PB SOC. If there is any time left she is out with her pup finding new hiking trails to explore. Kelsey hopes to pursue her dream of becoming a Physical Therapist once she graduates and can’t imagine her life without dogs.

Emily C.


Growing up, Emily had many pets including dogs, cats, lizards, birds, etc. but her favorite were always her dogs. Because of that, it only felt natural to want to work with them. Her first experience with dog care came from dog sitting for her family, friends, and neighbors. Currently she is attending Sacramento City College and looks to transfer to a UC or CSU in the near future. When she is not at school or working you can find her wandering through downtown or hanging out with her friends. She also enjoys drawing, writing, and photography.



Xandra started at Grateful Dog as an intern and after realizing how much she loves dogs she decided that she wanted to be a part of the Grateful Dog team. She previously intern with a groomer in downtown and has two dogs of her own, Daisy and Max. When she grows up she hopes to continue to pursue her passion for animals by furthering her career in animal care.



Growing up June has always been surrounded by all kinds of animals. She would watch Animal Planet to see all of the different surgeries animals had to endure. This sparked her passion for animal welfare. She has worked in pet retail which taught her about animal health and wellbeing. June decided that she wanted a more hands on animal-based job which brought her to Grateful Dog. All of her dreams about wanting to work with animals have been confirmed and she will continue to pursue those dreams.



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.



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.



Hannah has always had a passion for dogs. She would spend all of her free time pet sitting or walking her friends’ dogs. She also loves all other animals and she has her own cats, rats, hamsters, fish, lizards, and birds. She has recently become a new dog parent to Hawk a playful Border collie mix puppy. Now she spends her free time training her dog, playing video games, and writing. She is always eager to come to work and hang out with all the dogs. She especially loves getting to know their individual personalities and their parents. She also loves dying her hair crazy colors!



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.



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.

Robert Espinosa