Emily Roach - Founder
Emily was born in Buffalo, New York. From birth, her household was filled with animals. A self described "Urban Zoo", she grew up with everything from dogs and farm animals to wild and soon to be domesticated pets. Thanks to this upbringing, Emily grew up training animals from a very early age. In 2006, she moved to Los Angeles and enrolled in Pierce College to study veterinary medicine. Once she enrolled in a class in horse training, it became clear that her passion didn't lie in medicine, but in training.
In 2006 Emily was given Koda, our fearless mascot. Emily quickly realized some behavior issues and visited multiple trainers in order to correct them. Having no luck, she decided to handle the problem herself. In 2008, Emily began a 3 year apprenticeship in dog behavior. This apprenticeship allowed Emily to work consistently in the entertainment industry, all while focusing on her passion of training dogs. Emily focuses on troubled animals, believing all dogs should be given a chance regardless of the problem. Acting as a translator between owner and pet, she will implement the necessary actions to correct any active problem. As her client list continues to grow, Emily and her staff promise to dedicate their full attention to each animal in order to establish a strong educational base that will help form a lifelong bond between pet and owner.
Katarina - Assistant Trainer
Katarina is a California native, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s now been all over the state from getting her Bachelors degree in Business Management at SDSU, to finally settling in the San Fernando Valley. Growing up, her family valued having well trained dogs in the home and having all members of the family be responsible for their care. At 7 years old, she was ecstatic when she could start taking their family Rottweiler out for walks on her own.
Katarina had thought about veterinary work as she grew up, but put a career with dogs on the back burner. She continued to be involved with dogs throughout the years by dog walking, sitting, boarding, fostering and of course showing love to any dog she met. After almost a decade of trying out different industries, Katarina quit the corporate world and spent a couple months focusing more on dog care while she did some soul searching to figure out what’s next.
Adopting her first dog of her own in 2017, and starting group classes with him in 2018, sparked Katarina’s interest in dog training. While toying with the idea of doing a dog training course, a position with My Dog is My Rock came about and she knew it was meant to be! Katarina is currently apprenticing with Emily to be a trainer herself, while taking care of the client side and booking for any training needs and group classes.
While not working with the MDMR team, Katarina enjoys nature with her pup; whether that’s hiking, hanging out at a park or a beach trip, taking care of her little balcony garden and crafting.
Katie - Kennel Assistant
Katie was born in Jamestown, New York and moved to Los Angeles in 2007. From a young age, she has had a passion for animals. Unable to have a dog of her own, Katie spent all of her free time walking her neighborhood dogs and spending her allowance on them. (Hey everyone needs toys and treats, right!?)
For many years, Katie worked as an accountant for small businesses, but wanted to shake things up and pursue her love for dogs. From a small dog-sitting business at home, Katie began working with MDMR in 2018. She feels that is has given her the opportunity to truly love and appreciate her profession, and to fulfill her life long dream of working with animals. It also has led to her welcoming the newest addition to her family, Vegeta, a Belgian Malinois!!
When Katie isn’t working, she enjoys spending quality time with her Cane Corso, Apollo, and taking Vegeta, to training classes, where she is prepping for her time competing in French Ring.
Kristi Larsen - Kennel Assistant
Kristi was born and raised in sunny southern California on the outskirts of Los Angeles. From a very young age, she has always had a love and affinity for animals of all kinds. To this day, she tries to save all insects, rodents/small mammals, and reptiles from harms way. Growing up, Kristi had many different kinds of animals, from sheep to birds, fish, rodents, reptiles and multiple stray kittens and puppies that she brought home, even when she wasn’t allowed to!
Knowing she wanted to work with animals, Kristi started working for PetSmart as an animal caretaker in her early 20’s, and from there her love for animals skyrocketed! Since then, Kristi has worked a wide range of animal jobs to help her goal in continuing to gain knowledge of animal behaviors and to improve her skills of husbandry and handling. Some of her jobs include working as a manager of a busy kennel facility, a vet tech assistant, a kennel hand and dog walker (still to this day), and she also used to volunteer at the Santa Barbara Zoo as a Reptile and Amphibian junior keeper in her free time!
Your paws are in good hands. Kristi is the one who looks after, takes care of and loves on your fur-babies here at MDMR, as if they were one of her own.
Now that Kristi is older and has a home of her own, she still continues with her family tradition of having many animals. Her fur-babies include three dogs, a cat and a not so furry, betta fish. Currently, she is in school at CSUN in pursuit of her Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia Designs and hopes to one day combine her two passions of art and animals together. In her free time and on weekends, she enjoys spending time with her fur-kids, Stella, Artemis and Karl, going hiking, camping and getting back to nature.
Kyle Ford - Dog Walker
As a naturally quiet and gentle person, with a strong love of nature, Kyle knew he wanted to work with animals from a young age. Kyle grew up in Davis, California where he began his career with animals as a dog groomer at Petco. After completing high school, he joined a veterinary hospital as a veterinary assistant for 2 years. Over the next 4 years, Kyle was an enthusiastic team member for two different dog hotels as a kennel assistant.
Over time, Kyle’s passion to learn husbandry and training for exotic animals took hold; he enrolled in the America’s Teaching Zoo, only to be told there was a 2 year wait to start taking classes! His patience and dedication to his education soon paid off, after his 2 year wait period, Kyle was finally able to join the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at America’s Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College. There he learned to provide proper husbandry techniques and train a variety of exotic and domestic species. Kyle graduated in the Spring of 2014, and shortly thereafter began volunteering at the LA Zoo. After 6 months of volunteering, Kyle got the position he was working toward – as a team member for the California Condor Program.
Now Kyle spends his weekends with the birds and his weekdays with the dogs of MDMR. His love of nature is apparent and shows in his enjoyment and enthusiasm of being outside walking dogs for MDMR. It doesn’t stop there. In his off time Kyle takes his own pup, Foxy, with him as they enjoy camping, hiking and surfing expeditions.