Meet the Judge – Scott Casino
Where do you live?
I live in a van down by the river. Wait, no, that’s my smart aleck answer for the Champs questionnaire. I live in Chesapeake, VA (SE corner of VA). In a house. With a wife. And four dogs.
My wife & I have four dogs (I think I hear an echo). I run two shelties, Cali & Summer, and a pomeranian, named Joslyn (sometimes referred to as the SchutzenPom, which also happens to be my NADAC Forum screen name). My wife Diana runs a rough collie named Chesnee. We mostly do agility although Cali & Chesnee like herding and have a few herding titles.
What is your “day” job?
I am a highly trained ne’er do well but regrettably, that’s not a very well-paying profession. So by day, I am the Shelter Behavior Consultant for Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center where my responsibilities include observing animal behavior, developing & implementing plans to increase animal adoptability, and working with shelter staff and volunteers in a variety of capacities. We take in over 7000 companion animals per year, and as you might imagine it is a very dynamic and busy agency.
How did you get started in agility?
Well, I was kidnapped by aliens and they basically forced me to take up agility (but they never did teach me to like tunnels–it takes me a long time to get through them). Whoops, my bad…got carried away.
Actually, I started agility when we got Cali. We heard that shelties were good at the sport and there was a place just a few minutes from our house that offered agility classes. So we signed up for a class and liked it and kept coming back for more. Then we went to some trials, and met a bunch of dog geeks who liked to drink beer after the trial was over, and we were hooked. (Isn’t that how everyone starts?) We tried several venues but found that we enjoyed NADAC the most and now trial exclusively in NADAC, mostly in the mid-Atlantic area.
How long have you been a NADAC judge?
I’ve been a judge for two years. But I’ve been involved in competitive sports judging for a while: prior to becoming a NADAC Judge, I was a collegiate basketball referee for 14 years (yes, this part is actually true).
What made you want to become a NADAC judge?
The rock-n-roll lifestyle of course! It’s such a thrill to watch people picking up dog poop at 7am. The opportunity to start conversation with total strangers by just saying “Good Luck!”
Seriously, I became a judge because I like the challenge of setting courses, watching people run their dogs on them, and seeing different handling approaches to course challenges. I also enjoy the travel and meeting new people. See, now wasn’t the first part of this answer more fun? LOL
What is your favorite class to judge?
Tunnelers. Most everyone likes it, the dogs run fast, and it tends to get competitors/spectators involved from the sidelines. I cheer for the handler which sometimes seems to encourage others to as well…it makes for a really fun, sometimes raucous class.
What is your favorite class to compete in with your dogs?
Jumpers. Its pretty much about you and your handling. Nothing feels better than nailing a Jumpers course because you are communicating in a timely and efficient manner with your partner.
What do you never leave home without? (judging or competing)
Trick question. I know the answer to this one: American Express.
In case you couldn’t guess, I always try to bring a sense of humor. (Granted, my sense of humor can be a bit off-beat, shall we say?) Its important to have fun at a trial so that we enjoy the time with our dog friends and our dogs. So I try to keep things light and fun at trials when I am judging.
Oh, and I bring a bag of donuts–the creme-filled kind with fudge on top and sprinkles–mmm, mmm. But for some reason, they never seem to get to the trial.
Anything else you would like to add?
I haven’t done enough damage yet? How about: “Stay thirsty my friends.”