As anyone who has run a business knows, adding a new location is like doing a thousand piece jigsaw while piloting an airplane. Well this year we count ourselves blessed, because the last (most important!) piece of our Dewey location puzzle just happened to be in the right place at the right time; a talented, experienced, and sunny dog grooming veteran, a cherished thing in this area! We are excited to introduce Anne King, the newest addition to the Hillside family, who is now co-pilot for our new Boutique Dog Salon at the corner of 169 and 69 in Dewey, Arizona. Join us for the Dewey Dog Party: Hillside Grand Opening on December 1st from 9am-3pm!
Anne has been a lifelong animal lover. Born and raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, caring for and wrangling four legged friends has always been a part of her life. So it was only natural that in school she would actively continue her education in programs like Future Farmers of America and Farmer Union Junior.
After school, Anne’s life expanded, earning her the fond nickname from her father, “Gypsy,” due to her love for new places and wayward demeanor. A former military wife and traveler, she has lived everywhere from Oklahoma and Dallas, Texas to Germany and Idaho.
While living in Dallas in 2008, Anne had the goal to get her foot in the door in the animal industry. Little did she know that life would fling her head first in that direction. After accepting a position as an entry level dog bather at a chain pet store, Anne became grooming salon manager within just 1 year! Anne’s following birthday also offered another affirmation with the chance meeting of her future husband during a karaoke celebration. Also an avid animal lover and former dog trainer, it seemed they were moving in similar directions in life.
Years later, Anne accepted a position within the company in Idaho, but soon became restless in the corporate atmosphere. Not wanting to leave her work with furry friends, she accepted a grooming position in a local animal rescue clinic called Scraps, just over the Washington border. “I loved working with animals in need, comforting them with baths after sometimes harrowing ordeals was very fulfilling. Seeing the change in personality and light in their eyes after a good dematting and shave made it all worth it. It is amazing how life changing a simple groom can be for a dog. Not only did it increase their chances of adoption, but it also afforded them a lot more affection from those around them. ” she shared.
Before and Afters of Anne's Canine Clients at
HillsideCanine Resort and Spa, Dewey!
Just this month, Anne, her two children, husband, and two dogs made one last big move after selling their Idaho home, and settling down in Chino Valley. As fate would have it, her move to the area lined up perfectly with the expansion of our Resort and Spa, just a short trip away in Dewey! Hillside owner Jennifer and Anne have been working together closely since our soft opening this month to perfect the area’s first boutique dog salon at the corner of Hwy 169 and 69. Please join us for our grand opening tomorrow, December 1st from 9am-3pm for games, refreshments, and free nail trims!
At Hillside Canine Resort & Spa, our employees are like family. Today we are excited to highlight our team member Victoria, who shares why she came to Hillside, and some of the most important things she has done and learned in her years here.
21-year-old Victoria, or fondly known as Vicky, has lived in the Verde Valley her whole life. Born in Cottonwood, she attended Camp Verde High school, where she evolved a close sense of community. “I’ve never really had an urge to leave, and although many people I know have moved away, this really is my home,” she shares.
In the Spring of 2016, Victoria spotted an ad for a Kennel Technician, and jumped at the chance. “I just love animals, and own a dog, and several other animals varying from cats to tarantulas. I was super excited to have a chance to work with them closely, and have loved every minute of it. It has been very fulfilling to keep canine family members company and taking them out to play. It’s also been a great learning experience.”
After working closely with many local and travelling dogs in Hillside’s boarding and daycare programs, last year, Victoria made a lateral move into grooming. The opportunity for creative expression and greater chance to help animals in need made the new position very appealing to her. “For the most part, it’s a fun way to bring out the natural beauty in dogs, but there is another aspect that really drew me to it. I have come across many unfortunate cases of dogs that have gotten themselves into trouble, or gone too long between grooming and nail care, and take seriously the opportunity to be able to educate dog parents in keeping their babies happy and healthy.”
"I take seriously the opportunity to be able to educate dog parents in keeping their babies happy and healthy."
In one case Victoria shares about a toy poodle that came in multiple times with a matted and unmanageable coat. Poodles don’t normally need what is called a “puppy cut”, or a short, single length shave all over, which is all that she was able do during each visit. This results in a very uniform, fluffy look, which does not take advantage of this breed’s natural features. “Their tight and curly coat needs more maintenance than other breeds, and after working with her owner to keep on a regular grooming schedule, including regular brushings at home, we eventually have been able to give her a more classic poodle look, with a slim body and voluminous ears, paws, and tail!”
In a more severe case, Victoria recalls a rescue dog that had just been adopted and was brought in immediately by his new family. “This poor chow had a severely matted coat. The owner, Jennifer, and I worked together for over an hour and a half, very carefully removing the fur a little at a time, and picked hundreds of foxtails from his skin. He had so many sores, which we gently treated, and seemed so happy afterwards, like a completely different dog.”
The most frequent challenges that the folks at Hillside face are deformed and twisted nails. “Depending on how fast they grow, we really encourage owners to bring in their dog up to twice a month for nail maintenance. If left too long, nails can begin to twist and curl, which can be very painful and impede walking. This is especially important for breeds and older dogs that may be genetically disposed to weight gain or hip problems. Even after long, curled nails have been clipped, there is only so much length that can be taken off comfortably, and the deformation may still remain until one or two more trims in the future.”
Victoria works full time, beautifying dogs from all over the Verde Valley, and enjoys adding personal touches like bandanas, ribbons and bows to her canine masterpieces. Visit us Monday – Saturday 9am to 2pm, introduce your favorite canine companion, and leave with a happy, healthy, and beautiful pup!
Kaila Haas - Passionate animal lover and fan of the Hillside Canine Resort & Spa family!