You know him as â€œThe Pet Buddy,â€ but David Loignon is so much more.
The owner of Home Buddies â€“ an in-home pet-care business under the Camp Bow Wow franchise based in Colorado â€“ has been working with furry clientele for the last year and writing about his experience in his column in The Voice-Tribune.
But before opening up his own pet-care business, he enjoyed a very different career path as a television producer for a quarter of a century. â€œI first started out as a reporter and a photographer,â€ he said. â€œI moved to Louisville to work at WHAS-TV and the last job I had before this was general manager of Churchill Downs Simulcast Productions.â€
Prior to landing in the River City, Loignon lived primarily in Sacramento, Calif., but grew up moving from military base to base as an Air Force brat. He eventually landed a producing job at WHAS11 after graduating from the University of Nebraska and working in television in Lincoln and Omaha.
â€œI moved here strictly for a job and kind of fell in love with (Louisville),â€ Loignon said. â€œI had left twice and went up to Minneapolis to work in TV for a year and I was out in (Los Angeles) working with (American horse-racing network) TVG for awhile. I kept being drawn back to Louisville. Itâ€™s felt like leaving home every time Iâ€™ve left and itâ€™s felt like coming home every time Iâ€™ve come back.â€
Loignon had the opportunity to travel to Bosnia, Kosovo and flew with the Thunderbirds, the air demonstration squadron of the Air Force, while working with WHAS-TV. After leaving the news station, he began producing documentaries for the Military Channel, but soon found himself looking for employment.
â€œUnfortunately, the original version of that (series) tanked and so I ended up unemployed for a little while,â€ Loignon said. â€œI think everyone should be unemployed once because it teaches you a lot about yourself, about what youâ€™re capable of and whatâ€™s important.â€
From there, Loignon took the job with Churchill Downs Simulcast Productions, but began to desire a change of scenery. Wanting to open his own business, he left television and threw himself into his childhood passion.
â€œI was never allowed to have pets as a kid and I loved animals,â€ Loignon said. â€œI got to know every dog in the neighborhood, and once I finally graduated from college and worked a few years, I decided to get my first dog. Iâ€™ve spent a lot of time reading books, Iâ€™ve watched a lot of shows with animal behaviorists, and I have a good friend whoâ€™s an animal trainer.â€
Loignon decided last March to open Home Buddies in Louisville and began writing â€œThe Pet Buddy.â€
With Home Buddies, Loignon and five sitters walk, feed and provide other in-home pet-care for owners who are away at work or on travel. They sit just about anything, from dogs and cats, to parrots, chinchillas, lizards and fish.
Loignon is also pet-parent to a Labrador mix named Sophie and Sadie, a Golden Retriever mix, both rescued from GRRAND, and lives with his wife of 12 years, Julie Koenig-Loignon, a former anchor for WHAS11.
Aside from Home Buddies, Loignon also continues to work some in television production and has taken up scuba diving, as well as racing with the cycling team sponsored by TwinSpires.com, a Churchill Downs company. As of the last two years, he has also begun racing cyclocross, and will produce the global television coverage of the world championships next January at Eva Bandman Park in Louisville.
â€œ(Cyclocross) is a cross between road racing and mountain bike racing,â€ Loignon said. â€œYou race over grass, dirt, sand and have to dismount the bike and carry it over obstacles and jump back on. Itâ€™s muddy and dirty, and the kind of cycling you did as a kid.â€
But for now, Loignon hopes to become a better resource for pet owners and help people develop a better relationship with their pets.
â€œIâ€™m hoping Iâ€™m being a friend to animals by teaching their owners,â€ he said. â€œHopefully Iâ€™m helping people have a better relationship with their pet and have (pets) become better members of their family.â€
For more information on Home Buddies, visit www.myhomebuddies.com/louisvilleeast.
Contact writer Ashley Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org, 502.498.2051.