Julie Kessler is a mission—an important one.

A self-described “crazy dog mama,” the Arizona native and Scottsdale resident didn’t think much about having work done on the roof of her home. But for her beloved dog, Oakley, it had tragic consequences.

Today, Kessler is the founder of Oakley's Oath.

We spoke with her about her experience and her new crusade for safety, her favorite places around Scottsdale, and one thing people would be surprised to know about her.

First, why don’t you tell us a little about Oakley? 

Oakley was a gentle giant who carried the world on his shoulders. He was a warrior who almost died at 11 from a health condition but ended up living till almost 15. He was cute and a little quirky but got more handsome with age.

What happened on that day in 2021?

We were having work on our roof when a contractor placed a lightweight clear plastic tarp over our pool. When Oakley went in the backyard to go potty, he fell through the plastic tarp and drowned. I tried to save him and drove him to the vet, but it was too late.

He never showed interest in the pool.

Had the contractor and I communicated, and I would have known all that was going to happen that day at my house, I would have made a different decision.

This was the catalyst for me bringing Oakley's Oath to the forefront so we can help educate families on how to keep their pets and kids safe when work is being done in the home.

You then launched Oakley’s Oath. What is your hope for the organization’s impact?

We strive to protect small children and pets from avoidable accidents by providing contractors and homeowners with common safety guidelines to keep everyone safe from avoidable accidents. Communication is key.

While we know there are many safety tips, what are the top three you recommend?

1. Be aware of how many children and pets are present in the residence. 2. Keep all doors and gates closed and locked whenever they are not in use. 3. Ask what chemicals and materials will be used, what areas to avoid, and for how long.

When you aren’t working on this organization, what would we find you doing?

I work in the accounts payable department in the optometry space. I [also] do daily meditation to quiet my mind from unnecessary "noise," listen to podcasts to continue to grow and get further aligned with me and my journey, [and] hang with my hubby and pup on the couch. [I spend] quality time/deep conversations with family and friends, [take] weekend driving trips, and [do] Pilates at home. I definitely like balance and being more of a human being than a human doing.

Favorite places around Scottsdale?

My favorite places in Scottsdale are Koda Sushi and Chula Seafood. Beautiful walks in our neighborhood. I love Luci's, Pamprd Soul in Scottsdale for manicures and pedicures (in fact, we are doing an upcoming fundraiser with them on Saturday, July 8, called Pedis and Paws, where you and your pet can enjoy some pampering while giving back to a great cause to help raise awareness).

One thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

I am writing a book.

Courtesy Julie Kessler