The Northwest Dog Pack



The Northwest Dog launched in June 2018 as an Instagram community and grew beyond our wildest imaginations in our first year! Here at The Northwest Dog, our mission is three-fold:

1) To foster connection and community between passionate dog lovers who enjoy exploring the Pacific Northwest and believe that life’s adventures are best shared with our canine companions. We do this through our Instagram community of 25K followers and by organizing and leading pack hikes for pups and their people throughout the PNW.

2) To handcraft beautiful and ethical artisan goods for wild-hearted pups and their people. We do this by sourcing local, organic and fair-trade ingredients and materials, supporting other artisans and small businesses, and creating all of our goods with love and care right here in the Pacific Northwest. From organic paw balm and dog shampoo to handwoven dog bandanas and natural soy candles for dog lovers, we pride ourselves on making unique, quality goods from our hearts to your hands.

3) To give back to the PNW community as we continue to grow. Starting in 2020, we will donate a portion of profits to the National Forest Foundation to help maintain hiking trails, protect water sources and plant trees within the Mt. Hood National Forest. We’re also proud to donate product to local dog rescue groups to be auctioned as fundraisers. As we grow, we look forward to doing more to support these efforts in the Pacific Northwest.

I’m glad you’re here, and personally invite you to become an active member of our community on Instagram, via our monthly email newsletter and through the community meet-ups + events we host and participate in!

Heather Dowdy ↟↟↟
Founder, Creative Director, Marketing + Community Outreach

Three of Heather’s biggest loves in life are dogs, creating, and nature, and these passions perfectly culminate in The Northwest Dog!

She began The Northwest Dog as an Instagram community @thenorthwestdog in June 2018 in order to connect with other PNW folks who enjoy hiking and camping with their dogs. After living in Nashville, TN and publishing a dog magazine for 13 years, she and her husband, Chris, sold the biz and loaded up their rescued pittie, Briley and drove across the country in July 2017. Upon moving to Portland, Oregon, they wanted to connect with likeminded people.

Little did they know that their Instagram community would grow so fast! Heather began designing adventure-worthy, handcrafted products to share with her community, and the rest is history. Today, The Northwest Dog is growing by leaps and bounds, and we are thrilled to offer high-quality, handcrafted goods for adventurous pups + their people.

Heather also launched the brand Wild Mountain Wax Co, and runs both brands out of her backyard studio, The Grateful Shed.

Kim Freimoeller ↟↟↟
Co-Owner, Finance Director, Textile Designer

Kim joined our team as a Pack Leader (brand ambassador) in the summer of 2019, and — being a fellow Portlander — she and Heather became fast and good friends! Over the course of a year, Kim organically became a greater part of our team. When COVID-19 hit, she jumped right in to design and sew masks for our community. When the virus then resulted in partial loss of her job, she took over all of the sewing production for our brand, from dog bandanas to pouches. And, in summer of 2020, she came fully aboard as Heather’s new business partner! 

Kim is an incredibly talented and creative sewist, with a bewildering affinity for spreadsheets and budgets. Her superpowers balance out Heather’s dreamy brain, and we’re so grateful to have her at the helm!


Briley ↟↟↟
Snuggle Pig, Quality Control Manager + Official Box Shredder

The Northwest Dog was inspired by Chris and Heather’s adventures with Briley, their adopted American Pit Bull Terrier. They rescued her from death row at just twelve weeks old, after someone witnessed her being dumped out of a car along a highway and brought her to the shelter. 

Heather and Chris rarely use Briley’s real name, but she luckily responds to a plethora of nicknames, such as PiggieSmalls, BrileySmalls, SmallBri, Smalls, SmallPig, Peeg and more.

She’s a goofball and a #snugglepig. She’s an organic treat connoisseur, happy hiker, stick shredder and fetcher of balls. She can be found chasing waterfalls, swimming in rivers and digging to the other side of the earth along Oregon beaches. When she’s not pibblin‘ around the PNW, she’s defending the back yard from squirrels, demanding walks, shredding boxes for recycling and updating her Instagram @northwestpittie.


Taika ↟↟↟
Half Serious, Half Goofball Adventure Corgi + Textile Inspector

When Kim and her husband Peter brought Taika home in March 2019, he changed their lives. Taika inspired them to get out on the trails to explore all the beautiful PNW outdoors have to offer. And it’s thanks to Taika that Kim wound up here at The Northwest Dog!

If you’ve seen our Instagram, then you know Taika is a total pro at modeling. He especially loves posing on logs. When he’s not sniffin’ out adventure or inspecting our fabric stash, he’s playing with his adopted brother Remy and updating their IG Instagram @wanderingwilder.


Meet Our Pack Leaders!

Our Pack Leaders are official brand ambassadors for The Northwest Dog, and we simply could not do this thing without them! They each have a genuine passion for exploring the PNW and inspiring others to do the same. They lead our Pack Hikes, contribute to blogs, help us develop product ideas and more. We use the term “pack” simply to convey “community” and our Pack Leaders are the team leaders who help us grow and engage our PNW community! We are so grateful for such a supportive and awesome team!

To meet our current team, click here.