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Meet Lindsay Velez of Eastside Hounds in Silverlake, Los Feliz and Echo Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lindsay Velez, owner of Eastside Hounds & DEN Los Angeles

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story?
From the age of 3, I could speak with dogs. Later, I realized I was actually listening to them. At 8, I developed tools to help me better understand and communicate with animals, including horses in 4-H (“where young people learn by doing”). In my teens, I moved to Maine where I lived alone with my dogs on a 14.5 acre stretch of woods miles from the nearest house. Nature was my temple and together, with my dogs, we learned to rely on each other to survive and thrive through the seasons. It was here that I discovered April Frost’s Book, Beyond Obedience. My life and work with animals has never been the same. This amazing woman had pulled back the curtain to reveal so much understanding and heartfelt awareness that I was able to apply her concepts to every dog I have met ever since. Soon afterwards, I found myself traveling through Avon, Colorado and was blessed to begin my work under Marisa Lahman, a trainer, public speaker, and the owner of “Walkin the Dog”. Marisa was a great mentor and I carried her teaching with me to Los Angeles where I started my own dog training business. Training dogs quickly led to maintaining their training and exercising them in nature. Before I knew it I had hundreds of private clients who could book my services through a mobile app, and a staff to help me manage dozens of pack hikes a day in nature throughout the Eastside. I recently invested in a warehouse space that I’m converting into a holistic dog wellness center that’s also located on the Eastside. The official name is DEN (Dogs Exercise Nutrition).

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There were three challenges that stand out which helped me get to where I am today. One of the first challenges I faced here in Los Angeles was family and friends who expressed their doubts when I would tell them I was a dog trainer and dog walker. Another challenge was when I realized I had to start hiring a staff to help me grow my business. I had to take the leap from doing it all by myself to hiring amazing people who shared the same passion and integrity for providing excellent service and loved the dogs as much as I did. It was not easy. I’ve been very lucky. Because of these high standards, I’ve allowed my business to grow slowly with a solid foundation built on love and respect.

My greatest challenge was overcoming the fear that I may never walk. At age 11, I slipped on some ice in my driveway, fell backwards and broke my back. I was told I may never walk again. Even after my spinal fusion there was no guarantee. I had to learn to walk again. I told myself not only would I walk, but I would also run up mountains! I promised myself that if I could walk again, I would run and never stop. Hence, my passion for training with awareness, nature and uphill hikes. These became the blueprints for Eastside Hounds.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Eastside Hounds. Tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Eastside Hounds is known for Training with Awareness. We are proud to be the first pack hike company on the Eastside that collected pups throughout the neighborhood and hiked them up to the top of all the local parks. We have dogs that have been hiking with us for 9 years that are pack leaders. We often switch our pack leaders with new members that range anywhere from rescue dogs overcoming their own traumas, to young puppies that are just learning to develop excellent social skills. These dogs under my guidance really bond with each other and live happy, healthy lifestyles.

We offer a successful Puppy Boot Camp, which is an amazing way for puppies to both achieve obedience training and build lifelong friendships with other puppies in their class. Following their certification training, these puppies start hiking with their new pack 3-5 times a week which reinforces their training and helps them learn to become pack leaders.

We also provide our private clients with consciouslycrafted meals for the elevated through our partners at Upward Dog Provisions.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
One of my immediate goals is to bring balance to all dogs from different backgrounds with DEN. This healing space is currently reserved for all my private clients who have been banging down my door requesting holistic services. However, we just started  accepting new applications to start from September 1st 2018 through our website den-la.com. We can also be contacted via info@den-la.com. Our service areas include Silverlake, Los Feliz, Echo Park, Eagle Rock, Atwater Village, Mt. Washington, Highland Park, Pasadena and surrounding neighborhoods.

If you are interested in joining the DEN community or learning more about upcoming events for owners and canine professionals, please get in touch via info@den-la.com. DEN services will include daycare, daily hikes, shuttle services, training, nutrition, grooming, holistic treatments and a retail space with only the finest artisan led pet supplies. Discounted membership offers are available for those who book early.  

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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