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Jennifer Nichols’ dog daycare, boarding and grooming facility and her lifestyle share a common focus: a profound love for dogs and passion for green living. This passion led Jennifer to open greendog in November 2009 (in the memory of Petie, her beloved Whippet, who passed in 2007). Petie was a cancer survivor; after almost dying from cancer of the spleen at age 9, he was nursed back to health by Jennifer’s ’round-the-clock care (and special homemade diet) and lived another 4.5 years cancer-free. Jennifer also had a 9-year-old Italian Greyhound named Peanut, and during Petie’s last months, she welcomed another Italian Greyhound puppy, Iggy Pop, into her furry family. Thus, began Jennifer’s balancing act of caring for a senior, baby and middle-aged man. Soon after opening greendog, she included two more additions to her pack, Louie, and Boo. Then just shy of 15 years old, Peanut passed in 2013.

Jennifer’s love for all animals dates back to her childhood days, growing up on a farm in Kentucky with three brothers. Back then, it was not unusual to see her on a bicycle with a chicken or a duck tucked safely in her arms with a dog running next to her, or being pulled around on a sled in the snow by one of the family dogs.

As a child, Jennifer also embraced her love for organic gardening and worked with her family to sell their harvested crops each year to the town locals. It was those experiences that ultimately inspired her to move to Atlanta and earn her culinary degree and then continued to hold positions in the kitchens of Atlanta’s famed Bacchanalia and Floataway Café. Jennifer then moved and settled into North Georgia, where she became chef/owner of her fine dining restaurant and catering business. While cooking was her passion for many years, she always knew a career with the four-legged kind was in her future. But, who knows – installing a 4-star kitchen in the back of greendog may be in the future. Next time you pick up your pup, he or she just might be munching on foie gras and braised short ribs.

Jennifer also dabbled in modeling for a few years, but these days can be found behind the camera instead of in front of it, shooting models of the canine persuasion at the greendog “studio.” She has quite a knack for dog photography and often sends her clientele photos of their little ones soaking up the good life at greendog. Many a photo by Jennifer Nichols can be found on a dog lover’s mantle, or at the very least, hanging on his or her fridge.

It’s apparent; all of her former occupations and hobbies have made Jennifer quite the Jill of all trades, but how did working in kitchens and on modeling shoots prepare her for the world of dog care? Well, she did work in a dog daycare facility or two that will remain nameless. However, greendog is a world apart from most traditional places because of its green components, smaller capacity and overall “urban farm” atmosphere. Also, it might be the cleanest place around, because of Jennifer’s neat freakiness.

Jennifer believes that dogs help humankind make the world a better place to live. Petie, Peanut, Iggy Pop, Louie and Boo (and dogs everywhere!) are the inspiration and backbone of greendog. If there’s someone you think MIGHT just care about the well-being of your dog as much as you do, it’s Jennifer Nichols, but hey, isn’t that what you want in someone who’s looking after your furry bundle of joy?