Get to Know US
Born in Charlotte Michigan, Aaron, who his friends call Butch, grew up on a dairy farm. Being Amish he only went to school through the 8th grade in a one room parochial school house.
Butch graduated at age 14 and helped his family on the farm from then on. Having five brothers and four sisters certainly kept things from being dull! When he was old enough, he got a job training Morgan horses for a neighbor. In 2007 he came to Montana for the first time, to visit, see the mountains and pursue his passion, bow hunting.
After having spent a few months on the West Kootenai, Butch was captivated by the atmosphere, the people and of course, the majestic mountains. He decided to stay and make Northwest Montana his home.
Now he builds log cabins and gazebos, spending his free time with his horses, the Bichons and Tina.
Butch built the kennels we have now and is forever finding ways to improve them.
Tina was born in the West Kootenai in 1989. Finding it hard to make a living in such a remote location, her parents decided to move to Wisconsin when she was only a few months old. However, having gotten Montana in their blood, they had moved back by the time Tina was four years old. Upon returning her parents bought the West Kootenai Store and began serving dinners there.
Tina practically grew up in that little store and attended the little, one room school house next door to their home. The Yoders always had a little terrier running around but this wasn't quite enough for Tina who was sure she could never have enough dogs!
After she finished school, Tina worked in the store and restaurant until it was sold and then worked in a neighbors woodworking shop for three years. Finding the furniture making business a bit dull, Tina began her own small business of sewing and alterations from her home.
Meanwhile, although she had a wonderful horse and plenty of interaction with other horses and animals, Tina still did not have enough dogs. When neighbors Jim and Carla White said they would have to sell their Bichons in order to move to Oregon, well it was the obvious answer.
Now Tina spends most of her time with the Bichons, keeping up the paper work and sewing. And yes, she finally has enough dogs!
As life moves on, Aaron and Tina have had to set their priorities in order to keep up with all the responsibilities of raising two sons. In order to put the needed time and effort into raising the puppies, they have asked their neighbor, Susan Wengerd, to handle all the phone calls and sales. This gives them more time to concentrate on the dogs' good health as well as quality time with their fast-growing boys.
Being Amish, Aaron and Tina do not have access to the internet. In order to ensure a fast response to all inquires, whether by email or phone, Allie was asked to join the team and take care of the customers.
Where is Home?
Rexford, MT is located sixty miles northeast of Libby and one hundred miles northwest of Kalispell. Changes came to this area in 1970 when the Corp of Engineers commenced building Libby Dam. As a result, the once swift flowing Kootenai River was stilled to become Lake Koocanusa. A half mile long bridge now spans the waters of this lake. To the west of the bridge and to the north, just two miles south of the Canadian Border, is an area known to the locals as "West Kootenai". The Whitefish range of the Rocky Mountains and the Canadian Rockies form the backdrop for this beautifully wooded area which is home to 120 families and home to Koocanusa Bichon Kennels.
Wildlife is abundant; deer, elk, black bear, grizzly bear, wolf and mountain lions as well as many bird species all share the area we call home!