What a week! Mindy and I traveled to Clicker Expo in Norfolk, Virginia, and because I didn’t want to fly her, we drove. It wasn’t a bad drive, about 12 hours, and I broke it up into two days with a bit of hiking each way.
“Not a Real Service Dog”
On the way down, we had our first access trouble ever, when Mindy and I were ejected from a hotel after we were checked in due to her not being a “real service dog.” Continue reading
We made it! We’re home! And it was an impressive trip. But first, a little background. Continue reading
So I have an announcement to make… There’s a puppy here.
I know, I know, it’s really soon. Really soon. And, that’s a retriever face. But stay with me for just a moment.
I’d been thinking about raising a service puppy for months, actually. Guide Dogs for the Blind has opened a puppy program for KPA CTPs specifically, and I’d been kicking around the idea. I had finally decided against it, though, with my dogs being ill and not particularly retriever fans.
Today a friend bid goodbye to her dog. And today I made the awful appointment to end Shakespeare’s days with us.
I have much to be grateful for. He was given as little as 3 weeks to live when diagnosed, and today marks the 7th week. He’s positively ancient for his breed; if I had his pedigree, he could have received a longevity award nearly 4 years ago, and aside from the cancer he’s physically in better shape than other Dobermans I’ve seen his age. And despite all that I’ve read and heard about the horrid pain of bone cancer, Shakespeare seems to be in fairly little discomfort, which is an answer to prayer.
But that makes it hard, too. He’s not in severe pain. He’s still enjoying his life, chilling on the couch or sunning himself in our early autumn weather. How can I take that away from him? Continue reading
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Remember a little film called Jurassic Park? It was recently re-released in 3D. I had forgotten that it first came out 20 years ago; it’s fun to re-watch it with my older, behavior-savvy eyes.
I went to the theater with Alena (also blogging regularly here), and as it was a late-night showing and we were the only patrons in the theater, we could indulge in a little chat as we watched. Continue reading
The clicker training world contains clickerly people. This is awesome. Continue reading
(Photo credit: Sylvia Currie)
I told this story over lunch at the last ClickerExpo, and it occurred to me that it might make a good blog post.
Years ago, a woman approached me. “Are you the trainer here?” Continue reading
It has to be Day 0, you see, because ClickerExpo doesn’t even properly start until tomorrow….
First off, KPACTPs had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at Oakland Zoo and see some amazing training. We were asked not to share photos or video — not because of anything they needed to hide, because honestly we saw fantastic work and entirely humane by the highest of animal care standards — but because they’ve had instances of images being circulated with attached incorrect information, and once out there it’s darned hard to correct. I can respect that, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that the work with the bull elephant was some of the most impressive targeting work I have seen. Continue reading
I ran into Chirag Patel at ClickerExpo last year. He showed me a Baskerville muzzle and asked what I thought of the design. “I’d like to try it,” I said. “I’m thinking of making a video on muzzle conditioning.”
“I have one,” he said. “Have you seen it?”
I hadn’t. And I soon realized there wasn’t a need for me to make another one.
Dog Training is serious. Always very serious.
We interrupt this blog for a word from our sponsors!
I’ll be in Wisconsin in a couple of weeks for a Core Clicker Seminar, a two-day hands-on intensive workshop for beginning to intermediate trainers and handlers. This is, if I say so myself, a pretty good training seminar. 🙂 And there are still a few working (and auditing) spots open! Continue reading