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MaryAnn Alvarez
May 18, 2018

Living Life on Her Terms

By Deirdre Flanagan Ward

MaryAnn Alvarez

MaryAnn Alvarez sitting poolside with her trusty dogs.

Meet MaryAnn Alvarez – businesswoman, animal lover and breast cancer survivor. However, Alvarez does not identify as a “survivor” and prefers to keep that chapter in life in the past. “I don’t talk about my stint with breast cancer often, though people say and feel I am a ‘survivor’” she says. “I really don’t consider myself one. So many people have fought a braver battle. I never questioned ‘why me?’ it was more like – why not me and I felt lucky to have caught it in time.”

Focusing on the present, Alvarez is very enthusiastic about her business – which she launched after a 25-year career in recruiting. “After being downsized from my last company, I knew I had to reinvent myself – I was finally able to get my first dog, and it was love at first sight!”

MaryAnn Alvarez
She confesses she had no idea what her passion was, and was looking for something she could transition into a business, and definitely something she could do from home. Whether intentional or not, inspiration came trotting in on four legs – her dog Madison. “Madison was my first dog ever!” Alvarez says. “I did not grow up with dogs in Brooklyn – my parents let me have parakeets and turtles only.” She continues. “My beloved dog Madison (who recently, crossed over the Rainbow Bridge) was one of the reasons I started my pet sitting business. She was my ambassador, a rock star, and the best girl ever!”

MaryAnn Alvarez

Once again in the face of adversity, Alvarez forges on. Through her Colts Neck based business, Animal Nannies To Go, Alvarez says, “My day to day goals are to grow the company and continue to maintain the integrity of my mission – to treat every dog, cat, and pet with love and respect.” She also plans on getting more involved with causes she is passionate about – many focused on the care and protection of animals.

Circling back to being a survivor, Alvarez explains, “I put off the lumpectomy until my grand baby’s christening (my effort to still be in control). And then cut the radiation treatment by a few days so I could heal and meet my friends in Mexico – a trip we planned to celebrate. That about sums up how I go about life – living it on my terms!