Meet The Bark Town Team

Enriching Lives One Paw at a Time

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Owner, Trainer, Groomer
Canine Enrichment Director

April Hargraves

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Ruth Bauer

 Manager, Lead Trainer, KPA Certified Trainer,

Canine Enrichment Supervisor

What's not to love! Everyday, I get to work with wonderful people, engage with amazing dogs and talk with the most caring pet parents. I have been lucky enough to turn my passion into an amazing career at Bark Town USA. My first dog was a black Lab named Radar. Currently, I have a yellow Lab named Kipling. Kipling and I run the gamut of activities, one minute we're cuddling on the couch, and the next we're out practicing a frisbee routine. By far, though, his all time favorite things are playing frisbee and swimming. I have never been without a dog in my life. Animals have always been a very important thing to me and I have always loved working with them. It took me a little while to realize what I wanted to do, but, eventually, I circled back around to animals. In college, I worked at a boarding kennel, until graduation, when I came to Bark Town. I graduated from Michigan State University in 2015, with a Bachelors in Animal Science. In 2018, I became a Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner, and, later that same year, opened my own dog training business, Canines Decoded, LLC. Outside of work, I am an avid volleyball player, love to read, play the piano, listen to music, bake, craft and, of course, train my dog!

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I have a wide range of experiences working in the pet industry and love Bark Town's clear professionalism and dedication to the well-being of the pets in their care.My first dog was named Crowley and he was a German Shepherd/Collie mix. I currently have 2 dogs, Rooster and Berlin. Rooster is a 8 year old English Coonhound and Berlin is a 2 year old mix breed. Rooster loves to sing along with the guitar and Berlin loves to snuggle her teddy bear! My dogs and I love spending time outdoors, whether it's hiking in the woods or lounging on the patio with a cup of coffee in the garden. Animals have always been my biggest passion in life and I have worked continuously in the professional pet industry since 2000. I have maintained positions in doggy daycares, kennel management, dog and horse training and now dog grooming. My journey has also included many amazing educational experiences, with certifications including: Professional Pet Groomer, Certified Canine Esthetician, Master Dog Trainer Certification, Parelli Level 2 Horsemanship and Pet CPR & First Aid. In my free time, I love seeking out the world and regional cuisine, dance and music. I am also an avid world traveler!

Tanya Bigliardi

Certified Groomer

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My first dogs were Kody and Bailey, a German Shepherd/Lab mix and a Beagle. I currently have Ares, a Shepherd/Pitbull/Terrier mix and Macadelic, a Beta fish. I love playing outside with my dogs! Working at Bark Town, gives me the opportunity to work with and learn about lots of different breeds and I even get to play with them! Outside of Bark Town, I love being outdoors. I played hockey for about 12 years, including in college. I enjoy working, as well as, spending time with friends and family.

Canine Enrichment Leader

Alex Ragon

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My first dog was named Belle and she was a Staffie/Lab mix. I currently don't have any dogs of my own but my parents have 3 Staffies, ranging in age from 2 to 15 years old. My favorite thing to do with my parent's dogs is lounging on the couch together and watching TV. I love working at Bark Town because it give me the opportunity to create lasting relationships with so many amazing dogs! Outside of Bark Town, I love to create all sorts of art and go fishing.

Canine Enrichment Leader

Madison Copeland

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My first dog was a Pug named Punkie. We still have Punkie, who is now 9 years old. We also have a 7 year old Jack Russell named Maddie. I also adopted a hedgehog named Axolotl. My favorite thing to do with Maddie is to cuddle with her. Punkie on the other hand snores really loudly but I love that about him! I love that working at Bark Town gives me the opportunity to spend time getting to know lots of dogs. Outside of Bark Town, I attend Howell High School and participate in choir, robotics, student leadership and am a link leader.

Canine Enrichment Leader

Evie Dean

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My first, and current dog, is a Bouvier named Ally. She is now 9 years old. I enjoy walking, and just loving on Ally. Now that she is older, it is hard for her to do anything too strenuous. I love that every day, when I come in to work, I get to see all the smiling, happy dogs, ready to play with me and have some fun! Outside of Bark Town, I enjoy hanging out with my friends, football and bike riding. I am currently attending Howell High School, and have maintained a 3.9+ GPA each year.

Canine Enrichment Leader

Nathan Bennett

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My first, and current dog, is a Pitbull named Theo. He is 3 years old now. Theo loves to sniff and explore the world! We take long walks down dirt roads and find all the best smells! I absolutely love learning about dogs, and anything to do with them! I am working towards becoming a certified trainer, and love to learn anything that will help me become a better trainer. Every day at work, I try to learn something new about the dogs in my care. Outside of Bark Town, I have volunteered at a shelter for 4 years and have been studying dog training for a year. My hobbies include boating, kayaking and spending time with my niece and nephew.

Canine Enrichment Leader

Callie Lapalm

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My first dog was a Border Collie named Kacey Boy. Currently, I have 2 dogs, Bodhi, a 1.5 year old Bernedoodle and Cooper, a 7 month old Goldendoodle. I enjoy playing fetch with my 2 doodles and taking them to Kensington Park for adventure walks. I absolutely love how cuddly and handsy they both are. They always want to hold my hands and lay in my lap or on top of my feet! Being able to work at Bark Town has given me the opportunity to meet and get to know so many kinds of dogs and their individual personalities. I'm so excited about all the new things I have been learning about dogs and caring for them. Outside of Bark Town I tend to the farm. We are raising chicks. planting fruit trees, berry bushes and making maple syrup. I like to read often, listen to music and paint as well.

Canine Enrichment Leader

Nicole Rand

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My first dog was a Schnoodle named Reva. I also have 2 cats and 2 snails. I absolutely love all the dogs I've met here at Bark Town. Outside of Bark Town I enjoy taking my cat for a walk and drawing.

Canine Enrichment Leader

Jexi Mathers

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I love our Bark Town dogs! I love working with each dog and being able to make a difference at Bark Town and watch it grow. I love all the staff and am so blessed to be able to work here! My first dog was a German Shepherd/Lab mix named Whitney. Now I have a 5 year old Dachshund named Maverick. He and I love to cuddle and take nice long walks together! He always loves it! Outside of Bark Town, I am a part of a PR firm at GVSU called Grand PR.

Social Media Specialist

Kayla Brown