Dena Matera – owner operator
Daily dog 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 2009, 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.
Saturday/Sunday Dog Walker
Julia has loved animals her whole life but her love of travel meant that she would be the one taking care of others’ pets instead of being able to have any of her own. That all changed when she rescued Chalo. A Mexican street dog that charmed his way into her tent, Chalo gave Julia a completely new perspective on life and they became inseparable companions ever since. Now that she calls Truckee home, Chalo has swapped his love of the beach for a passion for the mountains. Training a rescue dog has been a practice of patience and consistency, something that being a long term practitioner and teacher of yoga has helped tremendously with. When not downward dogging it up, Julia also teaches Acro Yoga and gives Thai Massage treatments. These practices that rely on subtle energy communication are what make Julia so present to each dog’s needs and aware of the unique magic each one brings to the world.
Tahoe Donner back up walker
Chris is a long-time Truckee local who’s lived in our area for almost 30 years. Dena has trusted Chris with her furry clients for over five years, as well as being a trusted friend and helpful neighbor.
Rest assured Chris knows our trails and will find the coolest spots for epic canine adventures each and every time. The proud owner of three adorable dogs of his own, Chris is a semi-retired salesman who’s always up for a robust Tahoe Donner outing— even if it’s last-minute!
Before moving to Truckee Chris spent his youth in the the Santa Cruz mountains and called the surrounding farms and ranches home. Chris’s favorite pastimes include fitness and motor sports and of course hiking — rain or shine — with a happy pack of dogs.
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.
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 know how 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.