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Meet Julie Tracy of WashDog Chicago in Little Italy and Tri-Taylor

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Tracy.

Julie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Washdog Chicago is a micro-business that was started in approximately 2013, by Urban Autism Solutions. Located on the west side of Chicago, in the heart of “Little Italy,” our business model provides training and part-time employment for young adults with autism.

We are the urban solution for hard-working students, professionals and dog owners who don’t want to pay expensive doggie daycare and pet salons. Our approach is simple; we start by getting to know you and your dog with a no obligation meet and greet in your home. Then we will walk your dog for 30 minutes or help with feeding or play time.

With ten walks, the first bath is free in our professionally equipped dog washing station. Looking for confirmation? We’ll text you a unique message that details the walk, sends a photo of your beloved pal and briefly lets you know how, um, “productive” we were.

All walkers are supervised and have been trained with the customized curriculum we created just for our young adults, who work under the supervision of our staff managers.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We have been warmly received by our neighbors, clients and friends in the neighborhood.

One of our goals of our foundation, Urban Autism Solutions, is to provide vocational training to young adults with autism and teach them transferable job skills, which we do in all of our micro-businesses, including WashDog. We are grateful to our customers as well as our business partners that help us to transform the lives of young adults with autism and look forward to continuing to grow!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are so pleased to be employing young adults with autism directly to our community where we live and work. Our managers and our employees are fully trained and truly love being with our four-legged clients, making our job less work and more fun. Washdog and Urban Autism Solutions have become staples in the community and we look forward to continued growth.


  • $10/per half-hour walk (though prices may vary based on distance)
  • Donations to our nonprofit are always appreciated!

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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