Ruff Mutts Dog Walking and Pet Sitting is NOW in SE Portland!

Join us for another fun Ruff Mutts park meet-up! This month, we’ll be hanging at Laurelhurst Park for an hour, playing & lounging in the sun with our pups & chatting it up. We’ll have some refreshments, too.

We’re also happy to announce the newest member of our team – Carita Lamorticella, who will be working with our SE dwelling clients. We invite you and your furry family to welcome Carita to our family in person. For those clients who desire to meet her before she performs services in your home, we encourage you to take advantage of this free opportunity to get to know her. 

Ollie and Periwinkle duke it out!

*NOTE: Please do not bring your pup to the park if he or she has aggression issues. This is a PUBLIC off-leash area. If you have doggies who do not like the dog park but would still like them to meet Carita, please let us know so we can work something out – maybe we can meet at your car parked a safe distance away from the off-leash area.

The Oregonian Spotlights Ruff Mutts’ Difficult Pet Support Group

Hello, hello again,

I’ve been posting like crazy lately. Summer just brings so much of what’s fun in Portland to life again, doesn’t it? Today, I’m especially excited about what I get to share. Ruff Mutts’ Difficult Pet Support Group was featured in The Oregonian (print) TODAY and on OregonLive (web) on Wednesday! Here’s the article and link:

“Pet Talk: Support group helps owners cope with challenges posed by difficult pets”

We are forever grateful to Monique Balas, the Oregonian’s Pet columnist, for spotlighting our new group and idea. I have such a passion for improving relationships between challenging pets and their owners and to know that other people feel it’s a worthy cause really makes my heart all mushy. Enid is making this all possible for us by sharing her expertise in counseling people with pets and I just feel like it’s all coming together and really happening. I’m so excited.

Please, if you have ever had a challenging pet or know someone who has, spread the word! Post our site and article on your social media pages and get the word out. We’re anxious to help all those who need it.



Pet Portraits by Nathan Rhoads

Hi guys,

I’m very excited to introduce Nathan Rhoads, a pet portrait artist local to our lovely Portland. Kelly & I had the pleasure of meeting him a few weeks ago. He stopped by Ruff Mutts to chat for a while and brought over some samples of his portraits. We just loved them – they’re really beautiful and tasteful. It’s always really fun getting to know other people who work in our industry and share our passion for furry critters. Here’s a little taste of our convo:

Hi Nathan,
We’re so excited to have the opportunity to get to know you. Your artwork is beautiful. Tell us about yourself! Do you have furry family members? How did your relationship with art develop and how long have you been painting? 
I have been creating art for as long as I can remember. As a kindergartener, I remember dressing up for Halloween as an artist, wearing a beret, fake mustache and goatee and carrying an oversized painting palette and brushes. Through grade school, I was know as the kid that could draw. People have always said that I am very talented in art. My artistic skills dramatically improved when I took a drawing class in high school, which led to further AP (advanced placement) art classes. With my high school experiences and my love for art, I pursued art in college, graduating with honors, earning my BFA in painting in 1998. I have been painting for 22 years and enjoy continually learning new techniques and exploring new mediums as I continue to steward my talent and skills. I live in Portland with my wife, Nicki, our two boys and our two rescued dogs.
Why pet portraits? How long have you been painting pets and how do you make sure to capture each pet’s personality when you’re creating a piece?
I began painting pet portraits in November of 2013. The majority of my art for years had been abstract in nature. I had found that creating abstract work held my interest, and I found it satisfying playing with color, shape, texture and form. My abstract work was more conceptual as well. My interest in painting pets began really off of a dare. I dared myself to try it. I had never done it before. I am always trying to improve as an artist, and I thought that painting a pet portrait would expand my skill set. My abstract work at the time was not satisfying my artistic eye. I took on the challenge to paint our dog, Steve. He’s a chihuahua mix with big personality. My goals for the painting were 2 fold. 1. To represent him well in paint (meaning, have the finished painting actually look like him) and 2, to have the painting showcase his personality. Well, the finished painting was a huge success! It looked exactly like him and his personality leapt off the canvas. In order to capture each pet’s personality, I take notice of all the details that make up the shape of the animal’s face. With my pet portraits, I focus solely on the head. The reason I do this is because every animal expresses so much of their personality through their face. You can easily tell when your pet is happy, sad, excited, ashamed, etc. So, focusing on the head, and creating a rather traditional ‘portrait’ of the pet allows me to capture their personality in paint.
 Henrietta King Louie
What are some of your favorite portraits you’ve created? Why?
The portrait I did of Steve is one of my favorites. Mainly because the look on his face communicates so much. The painting captures him sitting, enjoying the sun. His eyes are squinted a little and he looks like he is enjoying life. Another favorite is a commission I did of a Great Dane named Scooby. His look is priceless. It screams ‘I do what I want!’ I laugh every time I see it.
What is your process like after a painting has been purchased? Is there anything you need from your clients? When will the final product be received?
To order a custom pet portrait is simple. You may contact me through my website. The first step is to choose a canvas size. The cost of the painting depends on canvas size. Once a canvas size is chosen, I ask for photos of your pet. Each custom portrait is created referencing photography. My requirement for photography is pretty straight forward. I need an in focus, well lit photo. The painting takes 3 – 6 weeks to complete. When finished, I contact the client and arrange a time to hand deliver the painting.
Where can we find more info?


You can find more info about the custom, one-of-a-kind pet portraits I create by visiting my website: You may also reach me via email: or just give me a call, 971-270-0513.


Ruff Mutts Welcomes it’s Newest Member

Hello Ruff Mutts Clients!
We are happy to announce the newest member of our team –  Ashleigh Stone. She comes to us from New Orleans with a healthy background in dog care and a passion for tough breeds – we know she will fit right in! She will be acquiring her own clients, helping with our existing schedule, filling in during our vacation days, and will take over all weekend visits as of June 14th on a forward going basis. We invite you and your furry family to welcome Ashleigh to our family in person this weekend:
Please help us in welcoming Ashleigh to the Ruff Mutts family this weekend at Fernhill Park Dog Off-Leash Area!
Time:  Between 10:30am & 11:30am
Location: Fernhill Park
6010 NE 37th Ave, Portland OR 97211
Closest cross-streets to off-leash area are NE 41st Avenue & NE Ainsworth Street
Formal Email Invitation to Follow
For those clients who desire to meet Ashleigh before she performs services in your home, we encourage you to take advantage of this free opportunity to get to know her. We are planning on hiring another part time person this summer and eventually expanding to other areas! I will be taking a birthday vacation Thursday, June 12th – Sunday, June 15th. All of my walks those days will be covered by either Ashleigh or Rachel.
In addition, there will be some small changes to our policies and protocol as of 7/7/14.
1) Photo updates will be posted to our Instagram account only: RUFFMUTTSPDX. Instagram is a fun & easy way for us to share photos & we’re excited to take advantage of the platform. You can peruse photos of your pets here: Follow us to leave a comment or a question on your update – we’re happy to respond! We’ll still be leaving notes with important information (pee/poo status, etc). This service is free but you must opt in to participate -so let us know if you’re interested!
2) Last minute schedule changes will now incur a fee. A 3$ fee will be applied to appointments scheduled or cancelled the same day or after 7pm the day before an appointment.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding and welcome any feedback or questions you might have.

Thanks for being such awesome clients!

Sincerely  ,

Kelly Witters CDT

Ruff Mutts
707 363 9956


PDX Heat Wave!

This is a re-post from an old post but the info is still good & very applicable to this crazy-heat-wave nonsense that’s about to drop in PDX…

It looks like temperatures are going to be soaring over the next week. Not all animal-loving Portlanders have air-conditioners and because I care so much about all of you and your precious pets, here are a few pointers from your friendly neighborhood dog walker and pet sitter for making sure they’re safe at home while you’re away.

– Give them easy access to lots of cool, fresh water

– Make sure your pets have a shady spot in the house to hang out. Consider moving them, their bed/blankets, or crates to an area of the house that is cooler. Shut doors or use baby gates to keep them confined to the cooler area of the house.

– Keep shades or curtains drawn during the day to keep the sun and heat out. Open windows and shades overnight to let cool air in.

happy girl

happy girl

– Walk your dogs early in the day and keep kitties, bunnies, and other small pets indoors. Beware of very hot ground burning your pups paws. Make sure not to over-exercise them – don’t worry about giving your pups a strenuous workout and keep a keen eye on their behavior and body temperature. You can feel the temperature of the inside of their ears to see how warm they are. Excessive panting, drooling, stumbling, or difficulty breathing are some warning signs of the start of over-heating.

– Short-nosed dogs are very susceptible to problems in the heat so be extra careful with them during hot weather.

– Give your pets a wet-towel rub down or light spray bottle bath and let them sit in front of a fan. Ooooo, weee! That feels good. Or, prepare a shallow kiddie pool for them to cool off in.

– Brush your pets to improve circulation throughout their hair or fur.

– Of course, never, ever leave your pets in a car on a warm day.

Have fun this summer!

Ruff Mutts is Hiring! Part Time Dog Walker & Pet Sitter in Portland, OR

Ruff Mutts Cooperative, located in NE Portland, OR, is a full service dog exercising, training, & pet sitting business that provides honest, reliable, flexible & affordable pet care to Portland residents. We specialize in providing care for challenging pets. We truly & deeply love what we do. Our business wants to grow & we need your help.

Kelly, Rae, Winks, & Luna

Position Location: NE PDX & Throughout Portland – your neighborhood

Details about the position:
Love, exercise, & take care of dogs, cats, bunnies, or other small animals.
Part-time independent contractor position (less than 20hrs/week to start) with lots of room for growth as our business grows.
Very active – You will be walking & hiking & almost 100% outside including in snow, pouring rain, and hot, sunny weather.
Flexible hours that will include weekends, early mornings, late evenings, & major holidays.
Can include lots of driving.
Correspondence between Ruff Mutts & clients.

We are looking for someone with the following experience, capabilities, & attributes:
Loves all animals: Must love all dogs (including pit bulls, german shepherds, & other tough breeds – ‘misfits’ such as special needs dogs or dogs with aggression issues), cats, bunnies, & other small animals.
Experience handling animals, whether you own a pet or not, is a MUST.
Loves the outdoors in any weather.
Is physically fit & enjoys exercising.
Has a car, email access, & ability to take photos on walks. Smart-phone preferred.
Positive attitude, fun-loving, sense of humor preferred.
Person with another part-time job who would like to work into Ruff Mutts as a full-time job.
Easy to work with & has excellent communication skills.
Extremely trustworthy and reliable – background check will be performed and references will be contacted.

Perks about the job:
Flexible hours
Grow with the company as you’d like to – what skills can you bring to us?
Possibility for free pet sitting
Possibility to bring your pooch to work
Competitive pay

We look forward to hearing from you if you have a love for animals & the experience & attributes listed above! Please send us a cover letter and your resume with job history and references. We’re hoping to hire for this position by June 1st, 2014. Please submit your application by then.

To find out more about Ruff Mutts, please explore our website: