We emphasize safety and minimizing the risk that a mishap occurs while an animal is in our care. For example, we do not walk multiple dogs who do not know each other, we do not conduct off-leash walks, nor do we transport dogs for their scheduled walks. We walk your family dog(s) in your own neighborhood, as this is the safest practice and maximizes our control under all situations. We believe in and practice only positive reinforcement techniques to encourage good dog behavior. If we are pet sitting cats, we require that they be kept inside for the time that we are caring for them, as we do not want to take the risk that something happens outside while we are in charge of them.
Pawsitively Great Dog Walking & Pet Sitting
Pat Thompson-Togneri, Owner
Pat is a retired pharmacist (Pharm.D, UCSF) with a life-long passion for dogs. Before pharmacy school, she worked for a local veterinarian as a surgical assistant, technician, and was in charge of the on-site lab and pet pharmacy. She has raised and trained a guide-dog puppy that successfully became a guide dog, and who upon his retirement from being a guide dog came back to our family. To keep him active, Pat trained him as a therapy dog in the Pet Hug Pack program that is part of Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), visiting hospitals, schools, and hospice patients. This led Pat to train two more therapy dogs (at one point having three active therapy dogs in the program). She has also owned four cats over the years, including one feral rescue. In addition, Pat volunteered as an adoption counselor with ARF for a number of years, helping people identify the right dog or cat for them to adopt given their needs and family dynamics. She also helped staff the resource hotline at ARF, answering a myriad of questions involving dog and cat behavior issues, veterinary financial issues, and pet re-homing. She has extensive knowledge of positive behavior training techniques to augment good behaviors and to eliminate/lessen bad behaviors in dogs and cats.
Gabe Togneri, Owner
Gabe is married to Pat and has also been a dog lover and dog owner all his life. He has been actively involved with the training of all the dogs owned by the family over the years, especially obedience training. As an avid jogger for over forty years, Gabe has been accompanied on most of those miles by one or more of the family dogs who are happily heeling while jogging with their master. Gabe is the go-to substitute dog walker for the business, when needed.
Dan Togneri, Dog Walker
Dan is our son and is the primary dog walker and pet care person for Pawsitively Great. He has obviously been raised in a household that has seldom had less than two dogs at one time. Dan is 32 years old and has 11 years total experience working in a dog kennel in Napa, CA, a doggie day care facility in Oakland, and more than two years in the family business as a dog walker and pet sitter. He is an avid jogger, walker, and is also into strength training.
Ben Togneri, Consultant
Our youngest son Ben worked for ARF from 2016 to 2020 when the pandemic hit. He started in the Animal Care department and then moved to the Behavior and Intake department, which was in charge of visiting animal shelters in Northern and Central California and deciding which dogs and cats to bring to ARF to maximize their chance of being adopted. He also worked with these dogs to correct behavior issues in order to make them more suitable for adoption. Having to deal with hundreds of rescue animals, where you often have no knowledge of a dog’s life before ARF, Ben has learned how to quickly assess temperament and emotional needs, and identify any training that is needed. He uses positive reinforcement techniques to work on issues that will encourage a dog's comfortable fit into family life. Ben is currently working as an independent dog trainer and is available to consult with us, if needed.
Lia Togneri, Consultant
While not directly involved with the business, our daughter Lia is Pawsitively Great's social media consultant, responsible for our Facebook and Instagram postings. She is also an animal lover, even raising a Guide Dog puppy during her college years! She currently owns two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels whose photo graces this page.