At Hillside, dogs are our passion, but most importantly, their parents are our family! Therefore we take every opportunity to reach out and get to know our clients so that we may better serve those who support us, and keep our facilities open to serve the public. Today we are honored to sit down with two of our loyal customers, and very important citizens, Tina and Jodi, to learn what drew them to Hillside, and how their experiences here have affected their lives.
Tina and Jodi have been coming to Hillside with their dogs for almost a year now. Originally from Indiana, Tina has lived in the Verde Valley for over a decade, and serves the community through Social work. Jodi moved to Arizona from New York close to four years ago, and also serves Verde Valley residents as a respiratory therapist. These two community members are avid dog lovers. “Working dogs have always been a part of my life. Growing up, my dad trained our beagles to hunt rabbits. My favorite beagle was named bandit. We were pretty close!” shares Tina. Jodi’s favorite family dog growing up was a Lapso Apso named Spunky.
Thanks to training and socialization in their daycare and boarding service, he is now doing great! We are seeing his health improve immensely, and his confidence is growing every day. Samson now smiles and thinks he is a lapdog, which we do not mind!"
In addition to serving the humans in their community, Tina and Jodi have made it a point to open their home to animals in need. For years, they have indiscriminately taken in rescues, some with mysterious pasts and behaviors. Their two dogs, Samson and Stella are some of Hillside’s favorite visitors. Samson, the first to be rescued, is a ten-month-old American Staffordshire Terrier and Australian Shepherd mix. “We are not sure what happened to him, but he was only 2 pounds when we got him,” Tina Shares, “ He was severely malnourished, and was scared of his own shadow. Thanks to Hillside training and socialization in their daycare and boarding service, he is now doing great! We are seeing his health improve immensely, and his confidence is growing every day. Samson now smiles and thinks he is a lapdog, which we do not mind!”
Stella, their Chiuhuahua , Pomeranian, and Dachshund mix was found by their daughter, Tori. “Tori searched for days for the perfect puppy. Finally she came across her best buddy through a breeder in Phoenix, and we have been delighted to learn that she is extremely smart and picks up tricks quickly!”
In addition to their dogs, Tina and Jodi have a clowder of rescue cats, Jerry Garcia, Marley, and sisters, Alex and Piper. “We fondly call Jerry Garcia ‘Jerry the fat cat’. We found him in a rescue shelter as a kitten, after he had been pulled from a fire with a burnt tail. Sadly, the smoke caused him to lose his meow. After some tender love and care, he is doing great now, with all of his hair regrown, and even his meow has returned! He loves food, and will start knocking over things when hungry. He loves to affectionately rest his paw in your hand, and out of all our cats, we think he is the best snuggler.”
Their second cat Marley, was rescued from a shelter in 2010. “She was sadly abandoned by her owners in their home after they moved out. She is a great and quirky cat, who will only accept affection on her terms. She is not shy, however, and will head butt you when it is time to pet her.”
Alex and Piper were found in a dump as kittens, and also came to Tina and Jodi via a shelter. “We’ve found that Alex does not like being inside at all., so now she is a happy outside cat. Piper loves to roam around outside as well, but is more comfortable inside.”
We have really loved getting to know Tina, Jodi, Stella and Sampson in their many visits to Hillside for grooming, daycare and training! We are also super excited to welcome their daughter Tori as the newest member of the Hillside family this month, and look forward to many years of serving them and the community.
In April, we were so excited to hold HIllside’s open interviews day at our facilities. So many wonderful Verde Valley residents came out and put their best foot forward. We were also pleasantly surprised that a few familiar faces came out, as well, our clients! This month we are turning the spotlight on the newest addition to our team, Tori Bracy.
Tori moved to the Verde Valley from Phoenix just over a year ago, when her mother was offered a position at the Verde Valley Medical Center. Although she had the option to stay and finish school in her hometown, she decided to make a change and migrate up here, as well. “I really wanted to get out of the city and try a different lifestyle. It was a good choice. I really enjoy the slower, more relaxed lifestyle of the Verde Valley, and it is so beautiful!” Tori shares.
Tori is no stranger to Hillside. Her dog Sampson, has been a Hillside K9 Academy pupil, and she has joined him on occasion in his training. “I really love the atmosphere here, and when I heard that a kennel tech position was available, I thought it would be a great opportunity to do what I love for a living.” Tori now has a hands-on job, caring for (and playing with) Hillside’s daycare and boarding residents. “My favorite thing about working with dogs is just how rewarding it is! They are always so happy to see me, especially when I have treats. It is so much fun, I really had no idea that work could be so enjoyable. I don’t know if I could ever move to a desk or counter job after this.”
I really love the atmosphere at [Hillside], and when I heard that a kennel tech position was available, I thought it would be a great opportunity to do what I love for a living."
In addition to the daily joy of working with both Hillside’s canines and their paw-parents, Tori hopes that she will be able to witness her wards grow and provide a positive influence on their lives, like she does at home with her own animals. “I currently have 2 dogs and 2 cats at home. Stella and Sampson, my two dogs are around 10 months old. Stella, our Dachsund mix, is great, she is such a happy dog. Sampson, our Staffordshire, however, developed some serious aggression issues.” After bringing Sampson for an evaluation, they began one-on-one training at Hillside, and with work, graduated to group classes. “Sampson has really come a long way, he is so much more relaxed around other people, and now is a regular client of Vicky, Hillside’s groomer!”
We are so excited to have Tori on our team, here at Hillside Canine Resort and Spa, and want to invite you to come and meet our newest family member! She can be seen interacting with our residents in the play yard, or taking walks around the property with our more shy fur-guests.
Kaila Haas - Passionate animal lover and fan of the Hillside Canine Resort & Spa family!