Dorothy said it best, there really is no place like home…

While you’re going to provide the absolute best care and home for your pet, my intention is that I’m a close second!

If you live on the southwest side of River North in Chicago I’m willing to bet you might already know me. You might not know me persay, but you probably have seen my dog Mugsy and thereby indirectly know me (he was the important one, afterall!). Big, older black pup with a red backpack, happy heart and an insatiable appetite for cookies, really couldn’t miss us. We moved slow, we stopped to smell the flowers, you might’ve even stopped to say hello.

Sadly, Mugsy has passed on (read below for the whole story) and I’ve found myself with an abundance of time and love to give. If you’re local to me (within less than 0.25ish miles from Hubbard St. and Kingsbury St. in River North) and you’re looking for someone to walk your pup (or a backup in case your regular person isn’t available), I might just be your person. Pet sitting and overnight stays are also offered (for those in and outside this distance range). Please fill out the form below to schedule a meet-and-greet!

The need-to-know details!

  • Pricing: Walks are $1 per minute with a minimum of 15 minutes. Pet-sitting and overnight stays are on a sliding scale of $65-$100 per day/night to make sure I’m affordable for everyone (meaning pay what you can between the range of $65 and $100 per day/night). Pet sitting is open to dogs and cats!
  • Duration:
    • Walks: Walk duration is your choice – if you need a quick 15min potty walk, I can do that. If you’d like more of a 60min tour de Chicago, I can also do that.
    • Field Trips: If you’re looking for pup to have a wild and crazy beach or hiking field trip that would take a bit longer and require a car ride (I have my own vehicle), that is also an option and can be accommodate on a case by case basis!
  • Payment: Payment via Venmo is preferred. I can also accept cash, Paypal and Zelle.
  • Scheduling: In general, the more notice I can have the better, but same day requests can potentially be accommodated. We can schedule as needed, or do something more consistently (ex. daily 30min walks Monday through Friday)
  • Breeds and sizes: All breeds and sizes welcome! I will have to admit though, I have a huge soft spot for the older pups and those with special needs. Mugsy (and his special needs sister Rainie, who passed in 2019) trained me well!
  • Dog park and off leash walks disclaimer: I understand this might be a dealbreaker for some, but I don’t do dog parks and will not take your dog into one. I don’t trust them – moreso, I don’t trust the other owners and dogs within the dog park. It’s like the wild west in there and while I totally get that it’s amazing exercise and socialization under the right circumstances, my highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of your dog. You know your dog the best, you know their signals, you know which dogs they do great with and which ones they don’t, you know when they’re uncomfortable/about to assert boundaries, etc. I don’t. The same goes for any off-leash areas. With me, your dog will be on a leash on a solo walk (unless you have more than one dog in your home that walk together). The last thing I want to do is call you to say “hey something happened and you need to get home right now” or “we’re on our way to the emergency vet.” Again, I completely understand if it’s a dealbreaker on your end, but it’s just a risk I’m not willing to take. Thank you for understanding!

What pet-sitting by me looks like

Let’s face it, while going out or out of town can be amazing, the thought of leaving your best friend behind can be completely stressful. You just never know what happens in boarding facilities, even with the best reviews and intentions. Will they give your pet enough attention? How stressed out will Fido be in a kennel if that’s not what he’s use to at home? Tons of questions and concerns run through your mind and it can suck the joy right out of your trip, especially if you’ll spend a good chunk of your time away worried about what’s happening back at home.

No one is going to love your pet as well or as much as you do, but my intention is that I can come in at a close second. I want you to enjoy your time away and trust that all is well back at home.

With me, your best friend gets treated like my best friend. We don’t just go for a quick out-and-in walk, we go out for exploratory adventures. We meet the people, we smell the smells (all of them), we do our business and then we come home for a long nap before we do it all again.

Since I work from home, unless I’m out running an errand, I’m usually home with your pet. There aren’t any kennels or gates (unless specifically instructed by you). Instead, there’s a bed, a couch, carpet, floors. Wherever they’re most comfortable while you’re gone is completely fine by me. If you’d rather your pet stay at his/her home, I can come there multiple times a day (minimum of 4 for dogs and 2 for cats) for walks and feedings. If your pet is by me, rest assured that he/she will be the only animal here.

I’m out to make their time with me the most stress-free and enjoyable as possible WITHOUT undoing any training you’ve done or good habits you’ve implemented, so before we get you booked we’ll schedule a short meet-and-greet to go through all the logistics to make sure you’re comfortable and excited!

A note on cat-sitting: I’m only available for in-your-home-drop-in sitting for your feline companion.

Dogs are my kind of humans. If there’s a crowd of people and 1 dog, I’m the person that pays no mind to the people and goes straight for the dog.

Hello, I’m Misty. Nice to meet you!

To give you a small snippet of my background and why it’s totally ok to trust me with your best friend, I want to introduce you to my best friend.

Misty smiling while seated in front of flowers.
Misty's dog Mugsy, a black pitbull mix wearing a read harness outside.

This is Mugsy. Mugsy was my 13 year old pittie/lab mix. Everyone in River North knew us, and mostly everyone stopped for him. Mugsy was a gentle giant, because of his age and slower pace, but also because he just loved adventures. He loved being outside, he loved his daily trips to Petco, he loved food and cookies of all varieties. He was just a happy boy, and I loved doing everything in my power to make sure he was happy.

He was more than my best friend, he was my constant companion, my adventure buddy, my people magnet, my Netflix and chill, my protector, my boss – he was “the guy” in my life.

Mugsy also had been diagnosed with metastatic soft tissue sarcoma in December of 2020. Through the love of so many people – including a family friend who has a small raw dog food company who handmade his food (ask me for the info if you need it, she’s amazing), an integrative medicine vet who had him on herbal protocols versus traditional chemotherapy (again, ask for the referral – she’s incredible) and a whole lot of TLC and love from all walks of life, Mugsy far outlived his life expectancy.

You’re never ready to lose your best friend, and even though I miss him every day, I’m grateful for the extended time with him I didn’t think we were going to get. With his diagnosis, I was prepared for him to not live through the summer of 2021, and he did. Then I wasn’t sure he’d make it through the fall, and he did. Then the winter. Then the spring of 2022 came and things shifted. Even though Mugsy was preparing me for life without him, we still treated every day as the best day ever just in case it was his last, just like we had been doing for months and months prior.

I was at his disposal. Whatever he needed, whenever he needed it. It was my joy to do for him, just as dogs always do for us. Mugsy was one of the most constant energies in my life and had been with me through the worst periods of my life including, but not limited to, the death of my mother, a divorce, career transitions, a home break in, losing his fur-sister to cancer, a move from the country to the city (3 moves in less than a year to be exact). Through it all, there he was – the happiest boy ready for the next adventure.

After his passing in April 2022, my whole world flipped upside down. My centrifugal force was gone. My structure was missing. A huge part of my life that (literally) made me wake up and get out of bed in the morning was gone. His spirit was ever present, and the lessons I learned always there, but as they tend to do, Mugsy took so much of my heart with him.

In the weeks that followed Mugsy’s passing I barely left my apartment. I work from home, and except for the occasional errand and pilates class, I didn’t have a reason to leave. Grief played a huge part of that, yes, but it was also not having a REASON to leave. There’s something about having the structure of your day needing you to do this or that. Mugsy gave me that structure, and I found myself being far more attentive, productive and open because of it. Without him, I felt reclusive and shut down. Without him, yes, but also without his structure.

I now found myself with an abundance of once sparse resources, like time and energy, and a deep longing to get back outside to play and see all our friends. Mugsy would’ve wanted it that way. And so, as it tends to go, M&M’s (Misty & Mugsy’s) Doggie Adventures was born.

So many people helped me love Mugsy while he was alive, and I’d love to help you do the same with your furbaby.

Get in contact with me

If you’re on board, I’d love to set up a meet and greet to say hello to your best friend! Please fill out the form below and I’ll respond as soon as I’m able.