Our Staff & Story
Started by Dr. Ennis J. Ogorsolka (Dr. “O”). a veterinarian for over 40 years. Eden Memorial Pet Care has been serving San Luis Obispo County and surrounding areas from Monterey to Bakersfield.
Dr. “O” pioneered personal pet cremation in San Luis Obispo County over 20 years ago, when many local veterinarians saw their clients having difficulty deciding what to do with their beloved pet after death. More and more clients were unable to take their pet home for burial for different reasons – didn’t own property, county ordinances and inability to dig a proper grave. Now there was another alternative to home burial – cremation.
Eden Memorial Pet Care has expanded on the basic principles and now has raised the bar in quality of service. Personal touches like a wooden urn as the standard urn. sympathy cards. certificates of cremation for all cremations, and (soon to be offered) engraving all set the stage.
Dr. “O” dedicated over 40 years as a veterinarian on the Central Coast to his clients and their pets. He enjoys his retirement now and if you are lucky, you can catch the good doctor spending time with his wife of over 50 years, traveling and checking on one of his many “projects”. In 2018, Dr. “O” officially stepped back as owner and handed the reins over to his daughter and former business partner, Christine Ogorsolka Johnson.
Christine Ogorsolka Johnson
Christine grew up on the Central Coast for 18 years, when college took her north to the Bay Area. After graduating from San Francisco State University with a BA in Broadcast Electronics Communication Arts, she spent a few years traveling, surfing/snowboarding and gaining experience in Marketing, PR, Business Development, and Management. She gained her business experience in a variety of fields — as a GM of Las Olas Surf Adventures for Women, PR and Sales with Phenix Ski Apparel- US Division, Floor Directing with Media One Studios and starting her own organic doggie treat business, Barks Bakery from 2002-2005. Her entrepenuer side comes from working with her mentor and business partner, her dad, Dr. “O”; until 2018 when Christine officially took over Eden Memorial Pet Care, Incorporated.
Back in 2003, after starting her own consulting business, Christine had a handful of clients while she started her family. The idea of Eden Memorial was born from Dr. O’s experience as a veterinarian and pioneer in the personalized pet crematory in SLO County and Christine’s vision of starting an “all service” Pet Aftercare company. Eden Memorial would be more personalized and geared to run similar to a funeral home with grief support, memorials, and personalized cremation services.
What started as a “temporary consulting project” with her dad, developed into a 15 year (and going strong) business. Christine found herself back with her passion – helping animals and people. Christine, now mother of 3 (son: Eli, daughter: Dyllan, and Golden Retriever: Gus), spends most of her time in her Northern California – home office but traveling to and from Paso Robles monthly.
“Being a daughter of a veterinarian, I understand what it is like to lose a pet. Our pets are our family and sometimes it’s not about closing that door, it’s about keeping their memories close to our hearts in hopes of seeing them again someday.”
Paso Robles Facility Manager
Jennifer heads our Paso Robles Facility and daily operations as our Facility Manager. She joined the Eden Memorial family in 2016 with a world of animal experience from her life with her local ranching family. With years of knowledge from horses to 4-H to life on the ranch, Jennifer has truly found her niche as our Paso Robles Crematory Operator.
Although her background is mainly horses and Mules, her compassionate heart and quiet demeanor is a perfect fit for clients who are grieving. Jennifer understands what it is to lose a beloved animal companion and has been through it herself. She is very serious about her job and treats every animal as her own. Living north of Paso Robles with her daughter on their family ranch, she finds time to balance being a mom, working the ranch, riding and working horses/cattle, and taking pride in her job.
“You have to be understanding in a strong and supportive way. We’ve all been through losing an animal. It’s hard to watch our clients cry.”
Head of Crematory Operations
Erika came to Eden Memorial with quite a love of animals and impressive background of hospice care and working as a Nursing Care Assistant. She has a heart of gold and cares for each pet that comes through Eden.
Growing up most of her life in Southern California and LA, she is now settled on the Central Coast. Ask Erika about the variety of pets she grew up with and she will tell you of the menagerie– from goldfish, iguanas, turtles and other reptiles to bunnies, birds, dogs and cats. Animals have always been in her life.
Among her many duties as Head Crematory Operator, she mainly handles the weekly cremations. This includes checking in the pets as they arrive from hospitals and/or client drop offs. As well as ensuring each Pet Identification Tag is complete so she can correctly process each pet. She handles specialty services as well, which may include: specialty urns, jewelry, clay/ink paw prints, hair clippings and many other requested services.
“I have always loved animals and with my past knowledge of caregiving/CNA work I have gained a lot of experience helping people through the painful times of grief and loss.”
Head Pet Care Driver
Heath was born and raised in Paso Robles. We welcomed Heath to our team in June of 2018. As Head Pet Care Driver, he is responsible for the safety of the vehicles, maintenance, keeping the pick up and returns organized and working directly with the veterinary hospitals. Heath is also training as a crematory operator and wants to learn each aspect of the process.
Heath felt that the job would be interesting to him due to his curiosity of working in this industry and what it might be like to work at a crematorium. He also liked the aspect of traveling/driving weekly through the Coast and Central Valley and personally communicating with the hospitals.
On his spare time, you might find Heath playing paintball and airsoft, motorcycle riding and hiking trails along the coast– his favorite being trails near Hearst Castle and Madonna Mountain.
“I work with awesome people! This job is far from mundane.”
Pet Care Driver
Casey joined the Eden Team in the Spring of 2018. Raised in the Atascadero and Paso Robles area, he now lives in San Miguel with his family and a variety of pets– dogs, cats and peacocks– just to name a few. Veterinary staff love Casey for his witty humor and soft heart. No stranger to animals, Casey enjoys his 45 acre family ranch and is a former FFA and 4-H sheep breeder and is known for being one of the only Dorset sheep breeders in California at the time he was showing.
When applying for the driving position at Eden Memorial Pet Care, Casey reports he really didn’t know what he would be doing when he got called in for the interview. His response after the interview… “Oooooh so THAT’s what I’m going to be doing!”
Casey is also an avid hiker and loves riding his dirt bike. One cool piece of trivia about Casey….He has climbed Mt. Whitney (the tallest peak in California) and made it to the 4th Station of Mt. Fiji in Japan!
“I’m not a sit behind a desk type of person and I work with friendly people so that makes it fun.”
Office Assistant/Client Relations
Bonnie joined our family recently helping in the office and also assisting some special pet client cases. She was born in Taft, California but spent most of her life growing up in Eureka. At 16 years old, Bonnie moved to Paso Robles where she graduated from Paso Robles High School.
In the past 12 years, she worked for an Oncology practice and now works for an ear/nose/throat surgeon as well as working with Eden. Bonnie not only has the love of animals but medical office experience. She grew up with a variety of pets; but currently lives with her yellow lab, Leo and three cats – Sienna, Savanna, and Balew. On the weekends you will find Bonnie and Kevin riding a motorcycle up/down the Central Coast, spending time at the beach with their dogs, and enjoying time with her family – two grown children and one grandson. Bonnie truly feels that it is an honor helping people put their pets to rest and treating the animals with the utmost respect.
“The love that our pets give us is so amazing and my only hope is that all animals get treated with the love and respect that they deserve.”
Pet Care Guru and Eden Consultant
Laurie is a Southern California Native, born in Los Angeles has never lived more than two blocks from the ocean. Laurie graduated from Mary Star of the Sea in San Pedro. She attended Orange Coast Community College with an interest in small animal care.
In her spare time, she started volunteering at the El Dorado Nature Center and got involved in the rescue and rehab of the urban wildlife in and around the city of Long Beach. Laurie also volunteered for the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort McArthur in San Pedro. She was nominated for Volunteer of the Year Award for the City of Long Beach two consecutive years in a row. When the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach solicited for volunteers, she was one of the first Marine Mammal volunteer trainers to begin working with their collection of Seals, Seal lions and Sea Otters. She stayed with the Aquarium for 15 years during that time she landed a full time job as Marine Mammal trainer.
Always looking for new adventures, Laurie moved to the Central Coast in the West Side of Templeton two years ago. She soon started working for Dr. O at the Cambria Animal Medical Center which in turn led to Eden Memorial Pet Care. Laurie has worked with Eden since 2009. Although she has now gone back to the Aquarium of the Pacific full time, you just might catch her periodically helping out at the crematory in one way or another.
Having had many different types of pets over the years, Laurie knows the kind of unconditional love a pet gives to us and what it means to loose that family member. Laurie comments that her career has come full circle.
“What a great opportunity to help people who love their pets buy being able to participate in the remembrance process.”