After receiving a B.S. from UNLV, Karen and her husband Mark moved to Colorado to own and operate a family restaurant for 17 years. Once the restaurant sold, we moved to Puerto Penasco, Mexico as Christian Missionaries. Karen had always loved animals, but her love for them grew in Mexico.
Mexico is a very difficult place to be an animal lover. Through circumstances that could not have been predicted, we owned and operated a Dog Shelter with Mexican Nationals for over two years. This is where we witnessed first hand the importance of socialization, exercise, and training with the dogs in her care. It was a daily activity to have large play groups and pack walks of 20+ dogs off leash. Through trial and error, we learned a great deal about dog behavior and how they operate best in a “Pack.”
After returning to the U.S., we were involved in helping rescue organizations in both Mexico and the U.S. After a while, we realized that there was a complete disconnect. Many dogs were being adopted, but were then returned due to behavioral issues, then adopted out again, only to be returned again, and the cycle continued. The behavioral issues in these dogs, many of them fairly serious, were not being addressed, and eventually there was not anywhere for these dogs to go and they would end up being euthanized.
We soon saw our passion shifting, and while rescue was still very important, we have a passion to help dogs and their human families through training to live balanced and fulfilled lives together. A dog should not be a stress or burden to a family, the dog should bring the family joy, peace, and laughter. We realized that through training, this is possible, even with the most serious issues.
Karen attended several seminars and took numerous classes about dog training and socialization. She then bought a Dog Training Franchise in Phoenix, Arizona in October 2017. For the last 1 ½ years, she traveled to people’s homes all over the Phoenix valley to help people with their dog’s behavioral issues. We’ve found that through dog training, we built many relationships with both human and dog clients, and we have been asked to care for these dogs for daycare or boarding on numerous occasions. Socialization soon became our passion, and it was not uncommon for us to have 15 – 25 dogs at her house for daycare and/or cage free boarding. The human clients loved it because they had found a place where their dogs could go to get the socialization that they so desperately needed. Their dogs returned home exhausted and fulfilled and ready for more!
Mark and Karen got the opportunity to return to Gunnison, which they considered a huge blessing! We decided to open Dog Cabin Resort in order to continue to pursue her passion – balanced and happy dogs and families through training and socialization.