About Us

Theodore Edward Bear

Founder, Owner, Pomeranian

“Just call me TED!”

TED - Theodore Edward Bear

Ted weighs four pounds. His age is unknown. He has no teeth. His behavior tends to be a bit quirky. He loves to cuddle.

Ted was found by animal control officers on the streets of National City. He was malnourished, underweight and covered in grease and scabs. The vet’s theory was that he had been sleeping under cars. The fact that he could survive any time on the streets of National City speaks to his tenacity and love of life.

Ted was neutered and had his four remaining teeth removed at the time of his adoption in November of 2012.

In 2014, Ted was attacked by two dogs at the same time. The leg wound he received became infected. It required daily wet/dry bandage changes. He recovered over time.

In 2015, Ted was attacked again, this time by a wolf-hybrid. He received a wound just above his eye. He almost lost the eye but recovered again.

In 2016, Ted got too excited, jumped off the couch and broke his leg. He was then diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and had his entire front right leg including his scapula amputated. Within days of the amputation he was running around the house as if nothing had happened. In fact, he seemed to get around better with three legs than with four. Four had just been too many.

In 2017, Ted was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, likely due to his cancer. He became gravely ill with a liver and gallbladder infection due to bile backing up into his system from the IBD. He came very close to losing his life at that time because he was too sick to eat due to the high-powered antibiotics he was being given to fight the infection. During this time, he lost 20% of his body weight. In a last-ditch effort, he was surgically fitted with a feeding tube into his neck that pumped food, with the help of a syringe, directly into his stomach. This went on for a month before he fully recovered, and the tube could be removed.

Ted’s journey with cancer and infection lead his parents, Jonathan and Jaymie, to educate themselves about a natural and holistic approach to pet wellness. Ted is thriving thanks to his strictly organic, holistic diet and supplements that support his health. He also receives chiropractic, acupuncture and cold laser treatments to help with skeletal issues due to his amputation. His cancer is in full remission.

Never complaining about all his hardships Ted gives back to the community by doing pet therapy visits with a 94-year-old house bound woman, who had dogs all her life but is now unable to care for them, as well as with the Live Up program, a yearly camp for adults with down syndrome.

His dark, sparkling eyes and inquisitive bird-like behavior charm even the most jaded of folk. In his spare time Ted loves to eat fried eggs.


Jaymie Lavan

Owner, Nutrition Specialist

Jaymie Lavan

For the last three years Jaymie has owned and operated a successful pet sitting and dog walking company where she consults with pet parents about nutrition and holistic pet care. She is a certified Pet Nutrition Expert through Dogs Naturally Magazine University and Pet First Aid and CPR Certified by the American Red Cross.

Most of her career prior to her current endeavor has been in accounting and business consulting. She started her accounting career at Woods Humane Society on the Central Coast of California where she set up and established their first small retail store. After leaving Woods Humane Society, she started her own accounting and consulting firm. She worked with two other humane societies to revamp their retail store sections, establish inventory control procedures and manage successful merchandising and promotional sales campaigns.

Jaymie also worked as a technical consultant for the Women’s Business Center and the Small Business Development Centers at UC Monterey and UC Davis. She taught courses on business accounting and interpreting financial statements. She also consulted one-on-one with prospective and current business owners on business plan writing, cash flow projections, financial statement analysis and business acquisitions.

When Jaymie moved to San Diego in 2012, she took a position as a mid-level accountant at the San Diego Humane Society. One of her main roles was to manage the inventory control in the retail stores at three of their shelter locations. She also set up integrated point of sale systems with inventory transfer features between the three locations. One of the successful challenges of this role was to set up the technology and systems procedures for offsite retail and adoption events to sync with the current inventory and sales. She was also in charge of training new store employees on the point of sale systems and inventory control procedures.


Jonathan Lavan

Owner, Photo Pro

Jonathan Lavan, Fudgie, Ted, and Jaymie Lavan

Jonathan Lavan has been an animal and nature photographer and environmental education specialist for the last 10 years. As an underwater and topside photographer, he has been a teacher, speaker, author, and research associate for many different well-known and little-known environmental and education non-profits. He specializes in developing educational lectures and social media campaigns to help smaller home grown companies reach their full potential. His special skill set will provide dog portrait photography services in the store and on location as well as social media campaign management, educational lecture organization, and newsletter and blog oversight.

 

 


JD Staten

Manager, Retail Operations

JD Staten

JD Staten is a seasoned customer service and retail manager, who has achieved success with well-established companies such as the Walt Disney Company, LEGOLAND California Resort, and a few local natural pet food stores . After spending more than 12 years in customer service, and the last 10 in management, JD understands how to serve the customer and what will fulfill the customer’s needs.

Most recently, and for the last 6 years, JD has been in management of natural pet food retail stores, successfully managing a myriad of store operations. JD is a Pet Nutrition Specialist certified by both Dog Naturally University and Petcurean University. He has been trained on customer service and situational awareness, making him an engaging asset with the mindset to serve the community. He is also working toward completing his bachelor’s degree in Retail Management at MiraCosta College.

JD’s training and experience is why Ted’s decided to bring him on as Store Manager. His friendly personality, understanding of natural pet needs, and care for our customers will help make Ted’s a welcoming and supportive part of the community that can improve the care and life of your family pets.


Christina Suliin

Lead Dog Groomer

Christina Suliin and her family

From an early age, Christina has always had a soft spot for all animals, especially dogs. Throughout her life, she always had many pets. Whether it was little hamsters or a huge German shepherd, she loved them all. She attended University of California, San Diego with a path leading towards psychology, however she could not get past her passion for animals and her desire to help them. After college, she wanted to find a career where she could combine her creativity with her love of animals. In 2012, she decided to pursue grooming. Her grooming career has taken her from big corporate salons to “mom and pop” shops to animal shelters. She currently has 3 rescued dogs, Marley (Chihuahua/Dachshund), Miyah (Dutch Shepherd mix) and Michelin (Chinese Shar Pei).

She makes every effort to ensure that all animals in her care have a stress-free grooming experience. To gain the trust of the pets as well as the pet parents, she takes care of every pet as if they were her own. She takes immense pride in the quality of her work. Being quite the perfectionist, she is constantly learning new techniques to ensure that the pets are not only comfortable but also healthy and looking beautiful.


Chris

Lead Bather

ChrisChris got his love for animals from the day he was born. At the hospital he was given not a teddy bear but a stuffed kitty. Subsequently his first word was "kitty". Growing up Chris spent most of his time out of doors. His very first job was working for a state organization called the California Conservation Corps. He built hiking trail and learned about native and non-native animals of California. Conservation and animal welfare have always been at the forefront of his actions. He started grooming for a large corporation 4 years ago to learn the basics but has really focused on working in depth with each animal to make sure they live happy, healthy and meaningful lives.


Megan

Groomer

MeganMegan knew she was going to work grooming animals when she bathed her aunt's dog Scooby for the first time. She graduated San Diego Mesa College with a history degree but didn’t find her true passion until later. She started her grooming career at a big corporation and learned the ropes. After three years she wanted to do more and looked into “mom and pop” shops. Her goal is to make all dogs look their best!

 

 


Yolanda

Bather, Asst. Groomer

Yolanda

Yolanda attended school at Pima Medical Institute and graduated as a veterinary assistant. After graduating she found her passion for dogs and started working at different doggie day cares in San Diego for the past 6 years. Her co-workers would call her the dog whisperer because she always knew how to handle different dog temperaments. During her years in doggie day care she gained experience in breaking up dog fights, making a nervous dog social, and how to manage a pack of dogs of all ages and sizes at the same time. She wants to keep learning and growing as she is now currently a bather and attending a grooming academy to become a certified groomer.