Community Spotlight: The Murie's and Roxy
As the holiday travel season approaches, Hillside K9 Academy’s board and train program is picking up. Four-legged students of all temperaments and backgrounds are arriving to begin their behavior transformation in time for their human’s 2020 New Year resolutions. In honor of this busy month of training, we are turning the spotlight on the Murie’s and their menagerie of furry companions, including a regular face at Hillside, Rottweiler Roxy.
The Murie family consists of Verde Valley native and Cottonwood Police Sargent Kevin and his wife Michelle, a local of 13 years from Long Island, New York, who works as a sales executive for Old Town Cottonwood’s Lawyers Title. Kevin and Michelle and their two beautiful boys have spent years together building a sizeable family of furry members.
The Murie Menagerie
The Murie’s first four-legged addition began with Rudy, their beloved chihuahua. “We bought Rudy at a pet store 12 years ago, at just one-year-old, kicking off over a decade of bringing home animals from all backgrounds.” Next came Chase, their German Shepherd mix. “Chase was named by our boys who adored his namesake, a cartoon police dog from their favorite show at the time Paw Patrol.”
In addition to wagging friends, the Murie’s have brought in many felines into the fold over the years including Simba, who resembles the well-known wild cub from the Lion King, Panther, a solid black cat named fittingly after one of the boys’ favorite superheroes, Socks their beloved orange tabby with white paws, and Kitty, in memory of their family cat who was lost some years ago. “The boys really love to help take care of our animals,” shares Kevin, “We even have a stroller for the cats to enjoy walks with us. We rarely leave home without at least a few of our pets, and take many trips with the dogs to the creek and on hikes.”
“Animals have an unconditional love for their owners. Often lending themselves as a listening ear even when we believe they don’t understand everything. Our dogs are great protectors of our family when they need to be, while our cats keep watch over the rodent population around the house. Michelle and I have never experienced life without a pet, and don’t intend to anytime soon.” says Kevin.
The latest wagging addition to the Murie family is Roxy. Purchased from a breeder in Phoenix at just 8 weeks old, the rambunctious female Rottweiler revealed herself to be a bigger challenge than they expected. “When we purchased Roxy, she was stubborn and untrained. We realized soon that we would need professional help to begin repairing our relationship with her and to build trust with two children in the home.”
Already clients of Hillside’s boarding programs with their first two dogs, regular conversations with Jennifer about their new puppy issues convinced Kevin and Michelle that adding training to their canine services would be a good fit for their family “Hillside has always been willing to work with our families busy schedule and to provide excellent suggestions for training needs for different environments,” says Kevin. In February pf 2019, Roxy was enrolled in Hillside’s Board & Train program, and began her 8-week journey doggie bootcamp.
On day one of Roxy’s stay, the biggest challenge for our training team was to overcome her people and fear aggression in order to get her through the lobby’s front door. After almost 30 minutes of gentle coaxing and refusal of treats, a good long sit with plenty of reassurance and petting at the front desk helped to ease her mind, setting the tone for her evaluation days to follow.
Roxy’s first week uncovered her inherent mistrust for strangers and other dogs displayed through nervous barking in our play yards and keeping as far away from her handler as possible the leash during property walks. Daily routine and socialization with Hillside’s kennel technicians and star canine pupils were prescribed alongside her basic obedience regime on the training field. With consistency, it was only a matter of weeks before she began to feel like she had a purpose through her growing command vocabulary, mastery of “stay”, “place”, and “heal” and she soon eased into an eager-to-please attitude towards her teachers. Following her graduation, we were excited to qualify Roxy for Hillside’s free training brush-up program with every boarding stay and lifetime access for her family to free our client group classes.
Now, almost 8 months later, Kevin shares their experience:
“Just some advice for those who are close to giving up on a pet for being destructive or stubborn. Hillside has the answers and expertise to help family/pet dynamics. Before you give up, reach out and ask for help, we are certainly glad we did, and Roxy is happier than ever.”