BEHIND the Scenes @ the Jumping Bulldog

Over and over we were asked to introduce our staff. Flattered by your requests, we are now excited to introduce to you the individual team members of the Jumping Bulldog. You will get a small glimpse into their passions and find out why they love what they do.

Unlike many other small businesses, staff turnover at the JB has been relatively low with some staff members working here 5+ years. Needless to say that our clients appreciate the trust that has been built over the years, and as a business owner it makes me proud to have such fine people working at the JB!


Yecid Malaver | senior groomer
yecidYecid + Bam Bam + Taco

This young man, who calls Colombia his first home, is the Jumping Bulldog’s senior groomer.

He was educated in his country in Animal Sciences. Yecid –often called the dog whisperer of Astoria- has obtained his first grooming license with the Oster School of Grooming in Columbia. Yet, this has not stopped this ambitious and passionate groomer to continue his education, both, in Columbia and the US, culminating in a second certification of the prestigious American Academy of Pet Grooming in Manhattan.

Yecid is well versed in many techniques benefitting the wellbeing of cats and dogs. From healing massages, to calming aromatherapy to tooth scaling, Yecid does it with love, patience and the fragile spirit of the animal in mind.

Yecid is the epitome of animal lover and advocate, operating his own animal shelter in Columbia (presently run by his family), he still manages to rescue pets in the United States.

Yecid is the proud dad of two lovely rescue pups, a Yorkie and a Chihuahua.



Melissa Charles   |   junior groomer


Melissa + Lexie, one of our store cats

Melissa, a vivacious and trendy young lady, began as a self-taught groomer. It didn’t take long before she realized that she loves animals and her job so much that she wanted to make it her career. When the opportunity arose to work at Petco and become a certified groomer, Melissa jumped at her chance; she has been a happy and passionate groomer ever since.

Melissa is also the proud mom of a Yorkie and a Pit-bull, both of whom are rescue animals.



img_7952Brandon Combes   |   playtime supervisor

Brandon, a dynamic young man and true animal lover, has been with the Jumping Bulldog for well over a year. Brandon says “I have not met a better group of dogs than the ones I have the privilege to work with every day. These dogs are family to us; we watch and take care of them like they are our own. Each dog has their own personality; it’s amazing to see how they develop friendships not only with the other dogs but also with our daycare attendants. I couldn’t ask for a better job.”

Brandon has the right attitude. Pursuing a degree in animal care his ultimate dream is to become a K-9 trainer for New York’s finest –the NYPD. Brandon has what it takes to achieve this lofty goal, and we will be happy to support him in his endeavor as best as we can.

Brandon is the proud dad to Smokey, a recently adopted and incredibly sweet kitten.



Brandon + Kingston



Natalie Dimeska   |   playtime attendant

Natalie + “boyfriend” Ned

Natalie is a full-time college student, and she loves all four-legged friends! Natalie is a doggie mom to a cuddly and senior Shih-Tzu/ Lhasa Apso mix.

Natalie’s love and desire to care for cats and dogs began at a very young age. Even at a relatively tender age Natalie volunteered to take care of her cousins’ and neighbors’ pets occasionally. She quickly became the go-to person when friends and family were in need of a pet sitter. Her good reputation for reliability and responsibility earned her a pretty penny on the side –not a small feet for a very young lady.

Natalie spent one summer volunteering at the North Shore Animal League with her best friend, Lucia. Natalie says of herself and her friend, that “they now have the very best jobs in the world –supervising dogs all day!”

This playtime attendant plans to adopt five different breeds of dogs –AT LEAST- and live in the city with her future partner, who, just like Natalie, must love dogs!



luciaLucia Lopez   |   playtime attendant

Lucia + her “boyfriend, Dude”

Lucia is a spirited, passionate and determined full-time student who is pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine. No dog is too big for Lucia and she has no problem making a fool of herself when it comes to any of her fur friends! This young lady has been part of team JB for almost 3 years at this point. Albeit being engaged, Lucia claims, “the company of dogs is more fulfilling than any relationship with a “hooman” could ever be.” Well, I’m not sure how her fiancé feels, but one thing is for sure: Lucia is a playtime and pet care attendant after my own heart! Not only our pups adore this “living la vida loca girl”, our clients do as well.

Lucia is a wonderful mom to two rescues, a Pitbull and a kitten. She loves them so much that Lucia created their very own IG account -@DougnBish



img_1471Tun Domgjoni   |   playtime attendant

Tun + Dude

Tun -but if you prefer you can call him Tony- is our youngest addition to team JB. As a child he grew up with Rocky, a Doberman-Rottweiler mix. Best of friends Tun and Rocky always did everything together, and always got into trouble together, too. Sadly, the building he lives in with his family has a “zero tolerance policy” on pets, and for a dog lover like Tun that’s pretty harsh. Growing up Tun’s love for animals steadily grew into a passion that led him to seeking career in animal care. Fueled by his passion Tun decided to cold-call at the JB for a job one day. He was hired on the spot and he’s been a happy camper ever since. Tun said “the reason why I chose to work for and why I love the Jumping Bulldog is because I get a chance to hangout with pups, and love them, care for them and even teach them. It’s an amazing place to be, especially, with all the excitement and unconditional love the dogs bring in.”

We can only second that, Tun!


zoeZoe Manuel   |   playtime attendant

Zoe has worked at the Jumping Bulldog the longest. This young lady has been part of the team for six years already. As an aspiring vet Zoe knows that the dogs that come to the Jumping Bulldog become part of our big family. “Some may come and go”, she says, “but they still hold a special place in my heart.” Zoe knows that it is gratifying feeling to experience the unconditional love and trust that comes from our daycare and boarding dogs, who trust us to make sure they’re safe, but also that they have fun and enjoy their time with us. Zoe passionately says: “The personal bonds we’ve created are something I cherish tremendously.” This certainly shows in her attitude towards every furry friend that comes her way.





Zoe + mega buddy Rusty


img_2250Stephanie Villa   |   playtime attendant

Born and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens, Stephanie is the epitome of “working passion”. She’s been working at the Jumping Bulldog for well over a year, and will be graduating from John Jay College of Criminal Justice soon. Stephanie is working on her dream of getting into a K-9 unit and to have a dog as her partner. Stephanie is also the proud doggie mom of an English Bulldog who is her pride and joy. Every chance she gets she takes her boy out on hikes and to the beach. If it were up to Stephanie, she’d never leave home without him, and you can see for yourself by checking her out on IG!





Stephanie + her sweetheart Moose



fullsizerender-3Diane Manuel   |   sales associate + customer service

Diane has been working at the JB for many years. She came to us after seeking a more mellow work environment with a focus on people interaction and pets.

Leaving a leading position at Snapple behind, this native Astorian joined the team without any delay and jumped right in. To this day Diane claims that she’s never been happier at any other job. This, of course, bodes well for all of us because Diane has long since become our client’s favorite go-to person for all things “Jumping Bulldog”. Grooming and daycare clients alike appreciate her calm demeanor, her friendly nature and the ability to handle whatever type of problem they throw at her.

Needless to say that the JB would not function well during my absence, if it were not for this multi-talented lady!



mandaAmanda W. Hogan   |   Attorney at Law

While no longer actively on the Jumping Bulldog’s payroll, we are happy to say that the JB has helped Amanda along when she was attending law school in Manhattan. Quick witted and passionate about her job, Amanda had been promoted to General Manager by the time she bode farewell to her “life” at the Jumping Bulldog.

Now, that Amanda has joined corporate America (which does regret just a tiny bit) we are proud to say that she is the JB’s official legal counsel. Amanda and her Boston Terrier girl, Starbuck, are loyal customers and friends, and they still an integral part of the team JB.




Amanda + Starbuck



img_4321Donna C.   |   general support

Chanel, Homeland Security’s latest K-9 addition -she’s got us covered! 😉

Donna has been part of the Jumping Bulldog in one capacity or another since we opened our doors in 2007. Loyal customer turned great friend and advisor, Donna has provided her expertise from creative matters over business suggestions to staff counseling many times over. Needless to say that even without being on the JB’s payroll she has become an invaluable part of our family.

Chanel –a tiny Maltese- is Donna’s princess and the Jumping Bulldog’s very own model. Twice a year when we go to market to scout our new seasonal collection, Chanel is the one who helps us decide which clothing items to bring into the store or not. It’s a tough job for a little girl like Chanel. But in doing so she enables us to measure good fit and ensure product quality, so that in the end, when you purchase our garments, are satisfied with each item you bring home for your pup.


Vote for pet daycare @ Jumping Bulldog!

Happy weekend, y’all!

Many of you may be on a mini get-away this Holiday weekend and didn’t know what to do with your furry friends.  Well, we may be able to help you with this dilemma.  Just answer a few questions about pet daycare and boarding at the Jumping Bulldog and let’s see what we can do.

Let the polling begin 🙂

Please vote and Share!!!









Spring Safety Tips for Pets

Woo-Wee-Woo, it’s spring time!!!

Woo Hoo, it's spring!

For our humans this is the time for spring-cleaning and BBQs, and for us canines this means O.U.T.D.O.O.R. time!!!  We get to play outside, sniff all the other doggie butts at the dog park, go on walks with our owners, play fetch, run, chase squirrels … oh, my, the list is long!

Yes, yes, yes, we’re super excited.  But it’s also super important that our parents’ take a number of precautions to make sure we’re happy and healthy this spring.

Check out these tips on how we can keep our best friends safe, healthy, happy and most importantly, keep their tails waggin’ with joy!










Hello, my name is…

It’s a great idea to equip me with proper identification before letting me run under the open sky.

I might be so excited to run around that I may end up chasing a squirrel or bunny, and suddenly run away from you or lose my way.  Just place a visible ID tag on my collar with your information.  This way, you can be sure that your squirrel-happy pup will be returned home.  Trust me, I don’t like to be away from my humans; I don’t like it one bit!



Fleas and ticks and critters… oh my!

My humans use flea and tick prevention for me year-round.  But it is especially important to use prevention during spring and summer when those creepy crawlers are particularly active, because those nasty critters can cause Lyme disease in dogs.  And let’s face it; flea infestations are no fun for anyone.  So, just tell your human that it’s best to prevent fleas and ticks before they happen.  Our parents can also help us by flea-combing our coats regularly, and by vacuuming frequently and disposing of the bags immediately after use.  And if you are lucky to have a grassy yard, tell your parent to please mow the lawn.



Too cool for school…

Temperatures will be rising soon and humans have got to keep us cool. When we are outside on hot days, our temperatures rise higher than that of our parents because they don’t have a furry coat, an under-coat or fluffy hair.  So, it’s best they take us out for a walk or a run in the park when the sun is setting.  And if we are on a play date, they should make sure that there is always a shady retreat and plenty of water available.  Cuz’, slurp, we get thirsty, too.

You know we need water, if we are panting and have our tongues hanging out; that’s doggie code for “I’m thirsty, dude”.  And N.E.V.E.R., E.V.E.R., leave us in the car. You know some of us just love to go on rides with our humans, but only when they’re in the car with us. Even on a 60-degree day, temperatures can rise to 100 degrees inside a car.  Believe you me, it’s like a sauna, and it’s very stressful on us furballs.  When you realize that we are worn out and hot after chasing our best friends, please bring us inside and place a cool towel over the top of our neck, it does help.  Even better yet, just put a cooling bandana around our neck before you take us places.  That will help a lot, too.


You remember those cheapo popsicles from the supermarket?  Tell your parents to buy them and suck them to cool themselves off.  Then, ask them to wash them out, fill them with our favorite doggie-safe broth (juice) and freeze them, and voilà, we have a pup-sicle 🙂



Born to run…

If Fido has been a couch potato all winter, then it’s a good idea to get her back into outdoor activity gradually. Just like our humans, exercising and building up muscles slowly will help prevent injuries. Before we can go running with you, you have to make sure that we can at least walk 30 to 60 minutes alongside your stride without getting tired.  Tell mom and dad to consider your individual personality and fitness level. If you are pleasantly plump, have joint problems or are on your way to becoming a senior, it won’t hurt to get a quick warm up.  My humans let me sniff and waddle at my own pace for about 10 minutes before they get me to strut my stuff.

Your humans can play fetch with you for a few minutes to get some of that emerging energy out by throwing the ball or Frisbee and letting you sprint after it.  But tell them to only do this for a few minutes so they don’t wear you out completely.



Scratch n’ sniff…

When it comes to allergies, dogs tend to have similar allergy symptoms as their humans. Fore example, grass and tree pollen may cause a dog to sneeze and have watery eyes- just like humans.

And a pup may develop itchy paws, too, which can cause us to lick, nibble and bite on them. This constant scratching, of course, may lead to open sores, raised welts and loss of hair.  So, tell your parents to do what they can to reduce the amount of allergens in the house by vacuuming carpets and sweeping floors often.  And they should pay special attention to your favorite spots in the house such as under beds, on the couch or near windows, maybe, and tell them to clean (vacuum or wash) window treatments regularly.  And lets not forget our bedding, which needs to be washed regularly using a gentle detergent that is free of dyes or perfumes.  It may also help for your humans to limit your outdoor time and activities during allergy season.  They can take you out or let you go potty when it’s less windy, or before they mow the lawn.

Now, there it is, my fine, furry friends.  With a little bit of effort and preparation your humans can almost guarantee you a happy, healthy and playful spring.

Happy sneezin’!




Gobble – Gobble – Gobble…Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips


The holiday season begins with Thanks giving and can be fun for the whole family.

Ovens are working overtime and delicious holiday aromas fill the air, and during this happy time we sometimes tend to become overly generous with our furry friends. This means that often they will “benefit” from table food scraps.  Sometimes, however, too many treats can lead to injury or illness for our pets, and we need to ensure that we keep the “Happy” in Thanksgiving, and avoid a trip to the vet!

NO to Fat: Fatty or rich foods (e.g. beef fat, poultry skin,  gravy, etc.) can cause severe gastrointestinal issues, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive gas
  • Pancreatitis[1]

We are better off feeding a few small bites of lean poultry or unsalted/-unbuttered veggies as a treat.

NO to Chocolate: Remember all the chocolaty goodies offered over Thanksgiving (and other holidays).  Chocolate is super dangerous for our furry friends, especially, because it contains theobromine[2]. Dogs are not able to metabolize theobromine as quickly as humans, and the following can occur:

  • Digestive issues
  • Dehydration
  • Excitability
  • Slow heart rate

YES to Green Beans: Plain, cooked green beans are a wonderful treat for our dogs, and fresh veggies are a great addition to their diet. But beware of our famous green bean casserole, because it contains other ingredients that are bad for our pets.

NO to Xylitol: While we may be making a healthier choice by cooking/ baking with artificial sweeteners, they contain Xylitol, which is poisonous to animals, and potentially deadly to dogs.

YES to Cranberry Sauce: Cranberry sauce is just fine for dogs but be cognizant of the amount of sugar and acid in it. It’s probably best to only put a small helping on your dog’s plate.

YES to Mashed Potatoes: Potatoes are a great, filling vegetable to share with our dogs. However, even though potatoes themselves are not harmful to dogs, be aware of other ingredients that may be in our mashed potatoes -cheese, sour cream, butter, onions, and gravies are no-no’s in a dog’s diet.

YES to Turkey: Turkey is a great lean protein to share with our pets. We just need to be sure to remove any excess skin or fat (best to stick with white meat, too) and make sure there are no bones.

YES to Exercise:  Our pet’s meal and exercise schedules are important, and a disruption in their dietary routine can cause stomach upset, diarrhea and/ or vomiting.

NO to Bones:  Make no bones about it. Certain bones can lacerate/ obstruct our pets’ intestines.  So, save the bones for the turkey soup -not your dog.

NO to Onions:  Onions (onion powder, too) are widely found in stuffing and used as a general seasoning.  Those, however, will destroy our dog or cat’s red blood cells, which can lead to anemia.

NO to Grapes and Raisins:  Grapes and raisins contain a toxin that can cause kidney damage to both dogs and cats.

NO to Food Wrappings:  Aluminum foil, wax paper and other food wrappings can cause intestinal obstruction. We have to make sure to place these items securely in the garbage.

NO to Garbage:  Keep an eye on the garbage and keep it securely fastened! If our dogs get into it, they may think “jackpot”, but all they’ll be winning is health problems from something as simple as gastric disturbance, vomiting and diarrhea to the worst-case scenario – death. Yikes!

YES to Fresh Water:  We have to make sure our pets always have fresh water. When there are more people in the house, there are more chances to bump into the water bowl leaving our pets dry and thirsty –not good, especially, when being “spoiled” under the table with stuff they shouldn’t be eating in the first place.

YES to Quiet Time:  We have to make sure our pets have a quiet retreat, because sometimes festivities can be too much for them.  It’s a good idea to observe their behavior to ensure they are not stressed.

So, gobble – gobble – gobble… Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, y’all!


[1] Pancreatitis is a severe inflammation of the pancreas, an organ that produces digestive enzymes. On the mild side, pancreatitis can cause vomiting and a decrease in appetite, but can potentially be fatal.

[2] Caffeine-like ingredient that can be toxic to our pets; ater stages of theobromine poisoning include epileptic-like seizures and pet death. Keep your pets away from dark, semi-sweet and baker’s chocolate because they contain higher levels of theobromine.