Our love of dogs began with both of us having dogs throughout our early lives. What would be a more fitting High School graduation present to me from Ron than a puppy? After we were married Ron raised St. Bernards. I had my poodle Gigi.
We then became interested in Alaskan Malamutes, showing them in conformation. We had one male finish his championship in the United States and Canada.
With his interest in dogs and training on the upswing, Ron attended school in New York at Jack Healy's K-9 Command Dogs. It was there that Ron purchased his first Doberman Pinscher, Tara. We then opened our own business, Tri-City Command Dogs, in the Saginaw/Bay City area. There we trained and sold obedience and protection dogs.
In 1976 we and our 2 children, Missy and Mike, moved to California and became part owners of Marin Hills Kennels & Command Dogs. There we boarded, trained, and sold obedience and protection dogs. In 1977 Ron began working for Mandalyn Kennels in Bakersfield, California as Assistant Training Director. There he trained dogs for individuals and Police Departments.
In 1978 we returned home to Michigan. Here Ron began his Obedience Classes which he continues to do today.
We were instrumental in forming The Man Dog Training Club in our area. Ron was also the Training Director for the Mid Michigan Schutzhund Club for 3 years.
He personally trained dogs for Police Departments and private owners throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. During this time we also raised German Shepherd Dogs, Rottweillers, and Dobermans. We continued showing in both Conformation and Obedience, obtaining Championships and Obedience titles.
In 1996 we were approached by Huron County regarding the privatization of the county's existing animal shelter. This led to the formation of the Thumb Animal Shelter. The shelter takes in all stray and unwanted dogs in Huron County, hoping to find loving homes willing to adopt a new family member. The shelter also works closely with purebred rescue organizations throughout the United States to find suitable homes.
Both of our children have inherited their parents love of dogs. Missy is the Owner/Operator of Walnut Ridge Kennels in Bad Axe, an All Breed Dog boarding Facility. She also shows Alaskan Malamutes in Conformation, and assists her dad with his bi-weekly Obedience classes.
Mike was the former Animal Control Office for Huron County. He now actively trains dogs in obedience, protection, and tracking, following in his Dad's footsteps. Mike is also an avid Hawker, training several Red-Tailed Hawks for hunting with his Jack Russell terrier dog, Tonka.