Paws In The City

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Our team


Fiona became the owner of Paws in the City after many years working in the private and public sectors. She traded in her desk job to work with animals that she loves. Fiona usually leads the Paws in the City team, although recently she has had an operation that she is recovering from. You may see Fiona walking with a crutch but still able to meet the Paws in the City dogs as they come in for daycare or grooming.


Julie McGowan bought Paws with Fiona. With an eclectic career going from working for government administration, to advertising sales, to management of charities to tertiary education, where she has been for the last 18 years.  Julie has been a dog owner all of her life with the first family dog Candy, a border terrier, to the love of her life (next to Louis of course!), Tiny, a Jack Russel terrier who stayed with her through her pre teen, teenage angst years and into early adulthood. From these experiences Julie knows the value and importance of dogs  as part of people’s loves, at all stages. Julie is focused on wanting to provide the best experience possible from training the new puppy (and their owners) to having an enriched experience at day care to looking great from grooms. 


Louis is Paws mascot and owner with Fiona and Julie. He is a small 12 year old bichon frise with some health issues. He loves to bark at the cats next door, run on Lyall Bay and Oriental Bay beaches, eat lots of things he shouldn’t – the unmentionables, two of his many toys – lamby and cracker and sleep on the bed. Occasionally he thinks he is the size of a Rottweiler and that he needs to protect his humans. As he enters his twilight years he is starting to go blind and deaf but is still the cutest bichon around (we could be biased!).

Craig (Dog Trainer)

I love training people to improve their relationship with their dog and look for the positive affect this has in the community with better behaved dogs and more responsible owners. I’m passionate about positively socialising dogs early to anything they may meet later in life, so it’s then normal and we end up with calm, happy dogs and happy owners.  

At Puppy Preschool I show people how to create a bond with their puppy, connect with them and get them started on basic obedience cues, before the get any bad habits. At this early stage of social development, we can also help the puppies create strategies for any new experiences they come across for the rest of their life. I think this safe early socialising puppies is equally, if not more important than training them to follow obedience cues. You can teach an old dog new tricks but it’s a lot harder to desensitise it to fireworks, vacuum cleaners and any other unknown scary event. 

We also need to help the puppies learn bite control and stop them from picking up some bad habits like jumping. We can also give the owners strategies to stop separation anxiety developing. I also believe that we don’t play enough with our puppies and miss this amazing opportunity to show our puppies how much fun we can be, therefore I show people games that not only are fun but help your puppy to grow its confidence and strengthen its muscles and further build the bond between you. 

Having calm happy fun puppies, creates calm happy fun owners, which creates calm happy fun Dogs. 

I love being part of that.

Daycare Team

Groom Team