Nikki Rockwell

Monster Minder since 2012 & Assistant Manager

 

Nikki came to us with glowing recommendations from two other Minders on our crew. With a background in teaching and tutoring children, we wondered how she’d transfer her skills from working with kids, to working with dogs.  (Furry kids.)  She said, “Kids and dogs are a lot alike. They want to know you support them, they want some guidance.  Sometimes you have to be firm with them and let them know that what they’ve done isn’t good, and the very next minute you need to smile to let them know you don’t hold a grudge.” Let’s face it the skills are the same: addressing individual behavioral issues, communicate the issues with the parents, and make decisions to ensure enrichment and safety.

She grew up loving animals. Cute fact: “Puppy” beat out the words “mama” and “dada” in her vocabulary.  She’s the go-to person when friends and family require a pet sitter, so when she was ready to make a career change, becoming a full-time Monster Minder seemed to be the next logical step. She shares her life with two cats, Puppy and Anarchy. Puppy “found Nikki” outside the 7-11. She says he came to her, made a figure eight between her legs, and that was that.  She searched for his owner, but when no one could be found, she decided to adopt him. “Puppy” lives up t his name - he’s playful non-stop, greets her first the morning and shadows her every move until bed. Her other cat, Anarchy was one of those pets that was passed from roommate to roommate (someone would move out and leave Anarchy behind. Someone else would take over for a while. And the again.  And again.) Finally, Nikki came into Anarchy’s life and gave her the stability she deserved. Nikki says she is a non-stop purr-er, and reminds her that “even after a bad day, snuggling is a cure-all.” In Dec. 2018 another Minder found a stray pup who was sorely in need of TLC. Nikki jumped in to foster and when it became apparent that the previous owners were not looking for her, they "adopted" her. They called her Chicken and it's a perfect South Philly love story!

When she’s not walking dogs, or snuggling with her felines you can find her biking around the city.  (She loves her bike. She’s the girl friends call when they’re nervous about city-riding.  Nikki will take them out for “urban biking lessons.”) She has don the MS Bike ride for many years.  She also loves music.  She’s constantly tapping out a rhythm or singing a song.  (She sings, plays guitar and drums!)  She says, “I often find myself making up songs to sing to my dog-walking charges; lyrics range from how cute they are to spelling out their names.” But wait, we’re not done. She’s also a published poet and an aspiring academic writer. She has published works in various university literary journals and is working on getting some of her analytical essays on literature published.  Phew! She stays busy!

Nikki joins us for walks in Passyunk Sqaure, Pennsport, Bella Vista and Newbold.