SANTA ROSA – David Weiss started his professional life in the high tech field, but after investing years in a promising career, he suddenly found himself struggling to stay afloat in an inundated industry. However, it wasn’t long before a fateful interaction would open the door to a new and exciting transition. “I was doing general consulting at the time, and one of the businesses I was working with happened to be a pet services company,” he remembers. “One day while meeting with the company owner, he told me I should get into the business. While I had never considered it before, I’ve always had a heart for animals—as a kid, I was always bringing home stray cats and dogs. I was intrigued by the idea of doing something I really loved, and after giving it some thought, I decided to just go for it.”
After purchasing a local dog kennel, David spent the next few months renovating the property, which had fallen into disrepair over the years. “It was like something you’d see in a movie, where the characters find an old, run-down restaurant or theater and decide they’re going to bring it back to life,” he says. “It was a true diamond in the rough.” Upon completing renovations, David opened Four Paws Pet Ranch in 2009.
After five years in business, David says one of the things he enjoys most is seeing his vision for Four Paws Pet Ranch come to fruition. “I love taking an idea and making it a reality. For instance, we recently opened a members-only dog park, which is something I’ve been thinking about for the past three years. I find it very satisfying to implement these kinds of improvements and see our clients and their dogs enjoying them.”
Originally from New York, David now lives in Sonoma County with his wife, Gina, and their two children, Briana and Andrew, whom he cites as an additional influence on his career decision. “My kids definitely inherited my love of animals,” he says. “They’ve both been involved in 4H, and Briana just graduated from the animal science program at Chico State. Like any parent, I’d love to see them take over the family business one day.”
Outside of work, one of David’s primary hobbies is playing music. “I’ve been playing guitar for 40 years, but I still take lessons just to keep improving, and I like to jam with my friends whenever possible,” he says. Another of David’s favorite pastimes is camping with his family. “We have an annual camping trip that we’ve been doing for 20 years now. It’s a huge group—generally about 60 or more extended family members and friends—so that’s something we look forward to each year.”
In his life and career, David emphasizes the importance of focus when it comes to achieving long-term goals. “If you have a vision, there will always be hurdles you have to jump over in order to achieve it,” he explains. “The trick is to focus not on the hurdles, but on the vision itself. By maintaining a correct focus, you’ll be able to make it over the hurdles and attain your goal.”