Mike adopted his first dog from a humane society in 1997 and after attending some obedience classes, decided something needed to change. So Mike became a certified dog trainer and has been for the last 20 years. In January 2002, after graduating from Animal Behavior College, Mike became a member of the International Association of Canine Professionals and started his own dog training business where he was able to help pet owners and their dogs with the training methods he learned. He also spent five years volunteering as a trainer at a local humane society in the suburbs of Chicago where he helped train over 500 dogs, giving them a better chance at finding and keeping their "forever homes". Mike then spent the next five years working at a boarding kennel in the suburbs of Chicago where he met Tracey. Once they realized that they both had the same dream of working with dogs, he knew they were right for each other. They were married in 2006 and moved to Menomonie, WI to pursue their dream together.
Tracey was raised in a household that loved animals, especially dogs, and showed a passion and understanding of them at a very young age. She and her Mom volunteered at a local humane society as soon as she was old enough to do so. Tracey started working part time at a boarding kennel at the age of 15. By the time she graduated high school, she knew that she was going to make a career of working with animals so she found a full time job at another boarding facility where she learned much more from her on the job experience. Several years later, she moved to a larger boarding facility where she met Mike and, after getting to know him, realized that they shared the same dream of owning and operating their own boarding kennel. Shortly after they were married in 2006, their dream came true and they bought their own pet boarding, grooming and training facility, Canine Comfort Inn. There, Tracey learned more about the grooming aspect of the business. When people ask about her career, Tracey states "you have to have a passion for animals to be in a career like this one, if you don't love them then you're not meant for this".
Marlena has been working at Canine Comfort Inn as a kennel technician since May 2017 and has now been promoted to kennel manager. After spending her childhood summers dog sitting/walking, Marlena decided to take it a step further. In 2014 she entered the Can Do Canines program and started working with Dory, her first foster dog, then Orin, Ike and Yates. Like Dory, Orin and Ike, Marlena worked with Yates between eight months and a year before he went to final training. Marlena planned to become a Vet Tech so she explored working at a dairy farm during her senior year of high school. While she enjoyed it, she decided that her passion was based on working with and training dogs. Though Marlena enjoys working with her foster dogs as well as caring for the kennel guests, she also likes hanging out with her friends and family, participating in outdoor activities such as hunting, snow skiing and hiking, and watching movies. Tom Griffin once said, "Having a passion for something is a really great way to live your life. You can be passionate about anything, but what better thing to have a passion for than animals and working with dogs." Marlena feels that she has never known something more true and considers herself more than lucky to be able to live by his statement everyday - whether at home or at Canine Comfort Inn. Welcome Marlena, you have made a great addition to our Canine Comfort "family"!!