Viki Vayner is our dog walking expert in the area between downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene.
An all-American girl, Viki came to the US with her parents at the age of 9 from her native Uzbekistan and couldn’t be happier that she did. That explains her work as a translator at the Russian American Foundation and the National Security Language Initiative for Youth.
Now Viki is an occupational therapy student, passionate about behavioral psychology. In fact, she likes to practice her training techniques on her 4-legged best friend Ji-li. About Ji-li, she says that "she was there for me through high school from fetching my lacrosse balls to running cross-country. We do almost everything together now."
She's hoping that after graduation, she and Ji-li can work together helping kids, perhaps those with autism, in an occupational therapy practice. She's also training Ji-li with a possible goal of certifying her as a therapy dog since they both love comforting elderly people and those with disabilities.
If Viki could become an animal, which would she choose? Her beloved Ji-li of course, or maybe a dolphin since they are so happily hyper. Dolphins remind her of her charge Nox, the always happy poodle. She and Nox always high-5 before going through a doorway while she and Lucha share a special handshake.
While walking her dog friends, Viki spends a lot of time thinking about cool tricks to teach them or how to curb the occasional bad behavior. It's a great way to practice the behavioral psychology she enjoys!
Viki enjoys watching all the new buildings go up along her walking routes but is also glad for the chance to retreat from the chaos with a stroll through peaceful Fort Greene park. She and the dogs are looking forward to spending even more time in the park once the weather warms up.
Her favorite thing about working at Brooklyn Bark? She says, "Brooklyn Bark is a gym membership that pays you..." It doesn't hurt that her job also involves "a bunch of furry friends who only want to love you".
Editor's note: When we present a bio blog I ask for 6-8 pictures of favorite Barkers. Viki sent me 33 and begged me to post them all because she loves every single one! Happy to oblige.