This has been one crazy month for Jeremy Joseph Brown.
The 32-year-old dog trainer has been setting up his own facility — a dream come true — while working full time. He also recently became certified as an evaluator for therapy animals, is preparing for the arrival of his first child, and he’s a finalist in a national dog trainer competition.
“People will come up to me and say, ‘Congratulations!’ and I’ll say, ‘For what?’” Brown laughs. “There’s so much going on. Everything is falling in place and so wonderful.”
A few weeks ago, Brown learned that 25 people nominated him for Greatmats’ contest for top dog trainers, and he’s a finalist. The Wisconsin-based specialty flooring company is sponsoring several Facebook contests, which are focused on publicly recognizing the efforts of trainers and instructors in different fields. Voting for the dog trainer competition ends Monday, Nov. 30, and a winner will be named Jan. 4.
This is the second time that Brown has been, well, floored by an outpouring of love from clients.
Brown is the volunteer coordinator with Gabriel’s Angels, a nonprofit pet-therapy organization that works with Arizona children who are abused, neglected or at-risk. He left his job as a PetSmart trainer last year to work full time with Gabriel’s Angels, but really missed training. About four months ago, he started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his own facility, and got $10,000 in donations.
To earn that much money was pretty amazing, but what Brown appreciated every bit as much were the heartfelt wishes and comments accompanying those contributions.
Clients he’d helped as far back as eight years ago helped make The Complete Canine, 510 N. Seventh Ave., Unit 140, a reality. He trains mornings and weekends, around his schedule with the nonprofit.
Brown and his wife Nina, a teacher, are expecting a son in April. He’ll join a brood of three rescue dogs — Archie, Lacey and Mackenzie.
A longtime Tucsonan, Brown has always loved animals, and as a youngster growing up in a family filled with police officers — including a dog handler — he learned a lot about training dogs. He took animal behavior classes in college, and used up his scholarship money on Mackenzie, now 10, a mini pinscher who was suffering from parvo when he adopted her. Though he graduated with a degree in marketing, Brown couldn’t resist applying for a training job. He got it, and that was that.
“I fell in love,” Brown says. “It just never feels like you’re working. It’s an amazing thing when you can make changes in people’s lives and not even feel like you’re straining to do it.”