Staff Spotlight: Meet Doglando’s Office Manager, Justine

What is your name and role at Doglando?

Hi everyone, I’m Justine Ferreira, the Office Manager here at Doglando.

Where are you from originally?

I grew up in Painesville, Ohio.

How long have you been working with dogs? How long have you been working at Doglando?

I’ve been working with dogs since October 2014, and I’ve also been working at Doglando since then.

Why did you choose this career?

I can’t stand sitting around and not moving, so I knew I’d never make it in a traditional office setting. I wanted an active work day that never got boring, and that’s what led me to Doglando. There’s always something new to learn or to do… and I’m never sitting around twiddling my thumbs!

What are some of your favorite things to do in your spare time?

Well, I love staying active, even outside of work. I spend a lot of time in my garden, I love spending time with my dog, Polly, and I always make time for a good workout. When I do feel like relaxing and not moving around so much, I’m a big movie watcher.

Justine, the University of Doglando's Office Manager, and her Cattle Dog, Polly.
Justine and Polly

Tell everyone a bit about your own pup! How old, what breed, how long have you had her?

Polly is a 4 year old Cattle Dog, and she’s my princess. We rescued her from a hoarding situation in Tennessee. Nowadays, she gets to join me at Doglando often, so it’s win-win for both of us!

Is there anything particularly funny that Polly does?

We like to call Polly the “Gray Ghost.” She can be sound asleep, making absolutely no noise because she’s passed out so comfortably. But, the minute you open that fridge door, she races into the kitchen from out of nowhere!

When she’s not being a sneaky, silent ghost dog, she loves riding in the car. Remember the movie “Driving Miss Daisy”? Polly is a total Miss Daisy!

Polly at the NAVC hands-on lab.
Polly at the NAVC hands-on lab.

Has working at Doglando taught you anything particularly memorable?

I’ve learned so much about the meanings behind words we use to describe dogs, like “aggressive.” Teena has taught me to get more specific so that we can paint a picture of what those words actually mean. What does aggression look like? Is this behavior actually aggression in the dog, or is the environment leading to this behavior?

Before working at Doglando, I never thought about this sort of thing. But now I understand that we owe it to our dogs to talk about their behavior in very specific ways, because teaching them how to be great companions begins with how we understand their behavior.

If you had to pick one favorite thing about working at Doglando, what would it be?

I’ve loved building so many great relationships with my co-workers and with the members of Doglando. Because I see everyone numerous times every week they really are extended family. Some dogs have been with us since they were puppies, and seeing them grow up really adds to that feeling of family and community.

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No Polly in this photo, but this shot from our Smyrna Dunes beach trip shows just how close the Doglando family is!

What upcoming Doglando programs and events are you most excited about? What about them gets you so jazzed?

We’re working on some really exciting upcoming changes for the fall. Shh, I can’t talk about them yet, but I know all of our two and four-legged Doglando members (and not-yet members!) are going to love what we’ve been working on.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know about Justine (and Polly!). What do you think Doglando is working on for the Fall? If you have any guesses, share them in the comments!

  • Ada Prieto Morgan

    Field trips for the pups. That would be great.

    • Megan Zofchak

      They’re a ton of fun! If you want to join the next one, definitely keep an eye on the Doglando Facebook page.