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, she 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. In an industry where greed and expediency are the norm, The Village Dog provides a striking alternative.
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, a pursuit she still enjoys. 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 staff member and Special Assistant to the esteemed United States Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd and a member of The Foreign Policy Division of The Democratic Policy Committee, she 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, she followed her passion for architectural design and brought her vision to the rethinking and redesign of her own properties including over a dozen homes in Chicago's North Shore, and her homes in Park City, Utah, and Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Her commitment to positive change in the world around her led to her involvement with Summit.
In support of good works being done across the globe, Julie provides ongoing assistance to inspiring non-profits whose work she celebrates. In addition to increased climate threats, human actions are threatening the very continuance of a record number of wildlife species and ecosystems. These include vital keystone species that are crucial to entire ecosystems. Due to rampant deforestation, habitat loss by human encroachment, and the alarming rise in the barbaric practice of poaching animals for their body parts for use in TCM, Julie primarily supports the efforts of organizations that work on behalf of endangered wildlife and their habitats.
Julie puts action to her convictions. In 2020, a year of global crisis, Julie donated over $85,000 to non-profit organizations on every continent in order to help them continue their vital work to protect and support threatened wildlife, ecosystems, and community/wildlife initiatives. "It's up to those of us who care about Nature to act now on its behalf in ways both big and small so that we can shape a brighter future." And, from the brilliant visionary naturalist David Attenborough, click here.
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