I mentioned in my last post that I wished I had more good-quality photos of Shakespeare. (Most of his work was in the days before there were decent cameras in phones.) So my mom sent me some more pictures she had, and I pulled a few more from my own collection.
He never did the least possible to get by — he loved training. Once I sent two trainers-in-training out with Shakespeare to train an arbitrary behavior I’d come up with to help them grasp a concept. Two and a half hours later, the two trainers were exhausted and done, but Shakespeare was still offering behaviors and ready to continue!
I love this pic, taken at the annual Doberman Club of Indiana picnic. This is what he looked like most of the time, attentive and ready. Note that he’s nine years old here — lean and not a speck of grey! He (and Laev, too) was often mistaken for much younger.
My friend and brilliant photographer Amanda took some headshots for me and the dogs, for workshop publicity and things. Amanda had told me she was very afraid of dogs, and of Dobermans and Rottweilers in particular. But a day later, she was sitting on the couch with Shakespeare and my other dogs, and three days later she was shaping new behaviors in Shakespeare. Today Amanda even talks about clicker training with her photography customers.
One of the biggest and most amazing things I’ve heard from people this week is how Shakespeare shaped (ha!) their exposure to clicker training — that Shakespeare was instrumental to their training education or even to their adoption of new techniques at all. And that’s simply awesome. I can think of few more wonderful things to say about him. So thank you, all of you. That’s been huge.
He’s on his couch right now, napping after our wandering the property this morning. He’s having a good last day. I really appreciate all the kind words everyone has sent; it helps to know the difference he’s made for others as well.