If you’ve contacted Training Tracks lately and asked for a call back, you may have noticed an odd area code calling you back. If you answered, you may have noticed an even weirder person on the other end of the line. It’s me! Casey.
Back in the fall, Jeff had posted to his facebook page that Training Tracks was looking to bring on a new team member to help the business continue growing. Because of COVID, I’d lost my job as the general manager of a small brewery here in upstate New York and I’d been considering dipping my toes back into the dog training pond again. I responded, and Jeff and Mel welcomed me to the Training Tracks family back in September.
I live in upstate New York in a small city called Binghamton. It’s about an hour away from some other small cities (Syracuse, Ithaca, Scranton) which may be more familiar to you. I have a little house and two very fluffy rescued Chow Chows. They were rescued together from a place in Michigan and times were hard when they adjusted to life in a new home together. Years later, we have been able to go for years between fights, something I never imagined would be possible! (Note to self: training really works if you work on it!) They are naughty and delightful and have kept me going through difficult times. They’re my best friends, Austin DANGER Chowers and Mrs. Kensington (Missy). Austin is Jeff’s best buddy after Jeff and Mel’s visit last spring on their way to pick up Mel’s new girl, Nanshe, from an airport in NYC.
I’ve been lucky enough to mentor under my Karen Pryor Academy faculty member Steve Benjamin of Clicking with Canines since I started training. I had the great opportunity to assist him through many KPA workshops. Eventually, I began doing a lot of writing, editing, and publishing, so I’ve got quite a few articles out there and have either contributed to or edited a fair number of training books. I’ve served as the Director of Animal Behavior and Training Programs at a couple different animal shelters. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching dogs and their humans in lessons, seminars, and conferences in many cool places.
I met Jeff and Mel serving on the Board of Trustees for The Association of Professional Dog Trainers many moons ago. Over the years, I have enjoyed spending time with them in Cincinnati and spending time with them in their Oxford home, usually with a board and train puppy or two snoozing in the guest bed with me.
When I’m not training, I’m probably knitting, listening to books or podcasts, or playing video games. I like swimming and fresh air and sunshine. My favorite human is my mom. I like drinking tea and my dogs have recently discovered the joys of chamomile. I miss hugging people, visiting breweries, and live music. I miss scratching puppy bellies in class. I’m terrified of needles unless they are for tattoos and never imagined I’d be so excited to someday get a vaccine.
I’m really excited to be a part of the Training Tracks family and to work with such an amazing group of people who love dogs but most importantly, love our clients and helping them build better friendships and relationships with their dogs through the power of positive reinforcement training. I’m thankful for our clients who have been so patient with me as I learn more about your community and botch attempts at pretending I understand the lay of the land surrounding both of our locations. Hopefully soon the weather and public health situation will improve so I can come back for a visit and learn more about both of the communities we serve.
I’m hard at work developing some new programs for Training Tracks so we can serve you and your family better in these difficult times. I understand there are very real challenges facing pet owners during this public health crisis and have been collaborating with colleagues to create innovative solutions to problems unlike those we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes.
At the end of the day, we all need a best friend to get through this, and I’m thankful for the chance to help you teach yours how to reach his or her full bestie potential.
Best wishes to all of you, and stay safe out there. I’m looking forward to working together.
Casey Lomonaco, KPA CTP