Our Story

Willow Creek Kennels has been in the Beard family, John and Starla and their daughter, Laura Teichmann, since 1995. John, an AKC (American Kennel Club) judge and professional dog trainer, had long dreamed of owning a full service grooming, training, and boarding facility; and when a small kennel on the outskirts of Amarillo came on the market the entire family jumped on the chance to help him realize his passion. What had been Olympic Training (John and Starla giving obedience lessons out of an old store front on 6th St) became Willow Creek Kennels. With 25 dogs boarded that 4th of July, the kennel has grown through love, determination, and lots of work to a capacity of 75!

And it’s always been a family affair. John trained, managed, marketed, fixed, and sweated. Laura picking up her dad’s passion also trained, managed, went to grooming seminars to learn the trade and quickly became the welcoming face of the business. And Starla did what most wives and moms do – a little (sometimes a lot) of everything. The kennel grew in size, service, and reputation winning multiple Best Of Amarillo awards. The family continued to actively compete and win in breed, obedience, and agility trials and shows.

There have been challenges. John passed away in 2009 leaving a void in so many lives and a huge void at Willow Creek. But, Laura stepped into her dad’s place becoming the heart and soul of the kennel. It’s her passion, too. Few dogs walk in either for their first visit or their fortieth that Laura doesn’t greet them by name.

With a new building in 2011, we’re not quite as “on the outskirts” anymore. John would have been so pleased to see how nice it is with lush play yards, radiant floor heat, a dedicated cat room, gift area, large grooming room, and so much more. Laura and Starla work at continually improving care adding services such as spa treatments and daycare. After 19 years, Willow Creek is Amarillo’s truly full service kennel with all breed, all size pet grooming, full in house training, and boarding for most all pets. We understand that pets are part of your family and we will make your pet a part of our family, too.