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!