About Us

About Annie Lever

I grew up in Michigan with great lakes chocked full of fish, crisp clean fresh air and a rustic cabin nestled among the white birch and majestic pine trees that seemed to reach the big blue sky. As a child it came as no surprise that I was drawn to the beauty of the great outdoors. When I was young, my dad found a Newfoundland black puppy in a city park that we took home and named Mr. Ballenger. Instantly I was smitten.

I would dash home from school at the sound of the bell to chase and tumble with my Mr. B. At night he would even curl up with me under my sheets. He made me feel safe. He was more than just a dog, but rather a friend who created feelings of security and comfort whenever I needed him.

dog running

Over 20 years of running a successful business has given me the opportunity to meet people with amazing stories plus the ability to have a job where I enjoy daily the company of some of the most personable animals out there. In 1994, I followed my childhood passion and created Dog Gone Fitness. I’ve had the opportunity to love, walk, nurture, and home care over 495 dogs of every size, breed, temperament and personality. I love that every day I am invited to share my love of outdoors with these precious animals.

My mother used to tell me that happiness is like making a cake. It’s a precise combination of love, humility, gratitude, and respect along with the values and traditions of being of service to others. This has become my mantra for living a wonderful life.

dog

Bob grew up in Oregon and learned that hard work can and will pay off for you. His grandparents owned a berry farm and he spent many long hours picking berries and pulling weeds! Bob grew up surrounded by pets. In his youth he had dogs, rabbits, ferret, turtles, tortoises, ducks, rats, mice, gerbils, lizards, guinea pigs, and 14 tanks of tropical fish. His mom was a good sport!  

During his spare time, Bob enjoys any activity outdoors—fishing, scuba diving, running, swimming, biking, and kayaking. He has competed in many races and finishing the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon is one of his more memorable events. The man does not sit still! His dream is to fish all over the world but for now he is satisfied with west coast fishing trips, or cheering on his daughters in their chosen activities. Bob earned his MBA from Portland State University before moving to California. Before joining me Bob was the owner and operator of two successful construction companies. He says that he will take dogs over employees any day.

Bob and I are proud of our community and do all we can to ensure it continues to thrive. Every Christmas we adopt a family through our church and I served 4 years on the Board of Directors of the Barrington Dog Park, a great place to let the dogs run around and go crazy. Bob and I donate often to their cause as well as the West LA Animal Shelter.

Our Staff

Haley Berman

A Los Angeles native, Haley spent most of her childhood in the fresh air of the Santa Monica Mountains hiking, trail running or horseback riding. From a young age she has always had a passion for animals and animal behavior and would often borrow neighborhood dogs to go on adventures on local trails or could be found having playdates with her neighbor’s pair of golden retrievers. After discovering her second passion – horses - Haley set up a small, successful dog walking business in high school to support her riding.

Haley attended Cal Poly Pomona where she studied Psychology and was an active member on the intercollegiate equestrian team. After spending five years working and showing as a professional in the equine industry, Haley decided to switch back to her original passion – working with dogs! In 2013, Haley rescued her doggy soul mate, Wylie, and spent countless hours working with him on several behavioral issues. It wasn’t until she started taking him on daily hikes that she saw him transform from an anxious, reactive mutt to a calmer and more confident dog. Wylie’s progress is why Haley firmly believes that a happy dog is a hiking dog and all dogs (no matter their size, breed, or age) can benefit greatly from being integrated into a pack setting. She’s very excited to be a part of the Dog Gone Fitness family and looks forward to seeing all of your dog’s smiling faces on the trail.

Mackenzie Heinke

Growing up on farmland near Seattle, Washington, Mackenzie has always had a love for the outdoors. She grew up camping and playing outdoor sports, eventually earning a scholarship to University of Nevada-Reno for soccer. After returning to Seattle after college and waiting tables and bartending for long enough, Mackenzie decided to pursue her passion for animals (and more specifically, dogs)! She moved to Los Angeles and began working for a local dog training business where she quickly grew to love the quality time and the impact she had on dogs’ behavior day-to-day.

In September 2018, Mackenzie rescued her best friend and pawrtner, Lany, and was only reaffirmed in her love for her work. They soon after joined the Dog Gone Fitness team, where she believes the structure, exercise and pack mentality are great steps towards getting dogs socialized and leading fulfilling lives! She looks forward to working with you and your pup :)

Candice Clark

Hiking with dogs allows me to combine three loves; nature, canines, and exercise. It all began five years ago when Dog Gone Fitness offered me a position to join the team, spending my mornings with our pack has been an amazing adventure ever since! In case it’s not obvious, I love what I do! Applying my Masters degree in Psychology and 12 years of motherhood, I approach working with dogs like I do humans. My objective is to allow pups to maintain their unique nature while modifying unacceptable behaviors (i.e. disobedience and any poor social skills). Preferring off leash excursions, I enjoy observing dogs running free and playing. Our outings give dogs the invaluable opportunity to be part of a pack for a few hours. Sniffing, climbing, running, getting positive enforcement, and cuddling is the heart of our good mornings.

Lys Sparrow

My 10 year old poodle and I live in Beverly Hills and since 2015 I have hosted over 100 dogs from puppies to seniors, some healthy and sadly some with a range of health issues and medication needs. Currently, I am proud to be part of Dog Gone Fitness because safety, professionalism and loyalty is what I have experienced first-hand working with Anne and Bob.  Personally, I have a soft spot for poodles and doodle mixed breeds, but honestly, I enjoy and appreciate getting to know the personalities of each and every dog I have the opportunity to spend time with!
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