MEET OUR OWNER
The Village Dog's owner, Julie Thomas, has had an instinctive understanding and love of animals and the natural world right from the start. A North Shore native, she recalls how her family's dogs relished their freedom and their place as treasured members of the family. Knowing that dogs and discerning owners deserved and wanted better than what the dog care industry offered, Julie decided to take her understanding of all things dog and create the ultimate home-away-from-home where each dog is treated as they would wish. Quality of life and customized care rule at The Village Dog!
Julie's path prior to The Village Dog includes having lived in Little Cottonwood Canyon for three years skiing in the Best Snow On Earth --- an ongoing passion. Next up, two adventure wilderness expeditions with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in the Wind River Range of Wyoming: First, a five-week summer mountaineering expedition and then, an even more rigorous three-week winter mountaineering expedition. On to St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, for the intensive study of the Great Books of Western Civilization, majoring in Philosophy and Mathematics.
After a summer spent living in Paris, Julie detoured to the high-powered halls of Washington, D.C.. As a Special Assistant to the United States Senate Majority Leader, the esteemed Senator Robert C. Byrd, and a member of The Foreign Policy Division of The Democratic Policy Committee, Julie wrote policy briefs for the Senate Majority Leader, along with speeches on international trade and foreign policy issues which were delivered by the Senate Majority Leader on the Senate floor and over the Voice of America radio broadcast.
After a foray into corporate America consulting on expansion projects for multiple Fortune 200 companies, Julie followed her passion for architectural design and brought her vision to the rethinking and redesign of her own properties. As a real estate investor, Julie's transformed more than a dozen homes along Chicago's North Shore as well as multiple homes in her favorite places: Park City, Utah, and Carmel-by-the-Sea, California where she maintains her own homes.
Julie's commitment to positive change in the world around her led to her involvement with Summit. In support of others' good works, Julie's provides ongoing assistance to a wide range of non-profits whose work she applauds.
Julie purchased The Village Dog's Wilmette property to promote another passion: Supporting and enriching the lives of animals. She created a luxurious boutique dog hotel that provides a uniquely indulgent home-away-from-home for a very lucky group of well-loved dogs.
For dogs in need, Julie provided the funding for the purchase of a home on four-acres for Carol's Kentucky Rescue, an inspirational frontline animal rescue in the Appalachian mountains, and for a transport van and top of the line K9 Kennel Store kennel system able to house 40 dogs to help support their amazing work.
In an industry where greed and expediency eclipses the needs and well-being of the end user, the dogs, Julie has created a striking and much needed alternative with The Village Dog!
It is one of the beautiful compensations in this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson