THE ROCK: CHAPTER 12: Training Day

Fall 2007.  San Antonio, TX

“We’ve thought about it.  Your dogs will make it to Boston but you won’t.”

——–

August 6, 2013

I never liked the word ‘training’ especially as it pertains to dogs and maybe that’s why I eschewed it prior to our walk.  Did you know that the Latin root of the word train is ‘Tractus’, which means pulled?

As I related some time ago in a post, I tried that with Murphy and he was like, ‘Aw Hell No!’.   Murphy couldn’t be pushed OR pulled OR prodded. 

Trainers say Pyrenees are one of the most difficult dog breeds to ‘train’.  Maybe that’s because most trainers just haven’t taken the time to learn how to communicate with them.  After all, they’re one of the oldest breeds still extant dating back to 3,000 BC;  they’re willful, independent, and really haven’t needed people ever.  And Pyrenees are part Castilian, part French, part Basque, and part Spaniard. 

That’s a whole lotta attitude rolled up into one doggie.
 
——–

I had to learn how to communicate with Hudson and Murphy and establish a mutual system of language so that we could act and react in a moment’s notice since life on the road is measured in micro seconds.  And the two of them had to develop their own system.  This was no easy thing.  

I started with the basic mushing commands and built up from there with phrases like ‘Off the Street’, ‘In the Tent’, ‘Let’s get some Shade’, ‘Avante, Allez’, ‘G’yon’ (that’s a southern thing), ‘Electric’ (so they wouldn’t pee on a live wire which I did a couple of times) and many, many others that became our daily lexicon. 

There was someone I interviewed, I think part of the Raising Indiana series I did, that said that a dog’s vocabulary was limited to only a couple of dozen of words.
 
Bollocks.  He never went on a long treacherous hike with his. 

——–

Even if that was true, it’s our responsibility to listen and understand what they’re saying to us NOT pull them into understanding us. We don’t sense what dogs do, at a level they do, and comparing them to us is ridiculous.  

——–

The two old naughty, nosey, outspoken women that we met from time to time on the nature trail at Trinity University midst our training in the fall of 2007, maybe they were right.  Hudson and Murphy did make it to Boston but I never did.

——–

YBD’s Notes 1:  I mean no disrespect to trainers as I have met many, many great ones on our travels but I think communicators should be the appropriate title to those who listen.

YBD’s Notes 2: My deepest and sincerest apologies for not publishing part of the book last week.  I lost my inspiration but that’s no excuse and it’ll never happen again. The story must go on.  

YBD’s Notes 3:  Next week Chapter 13:  Sponsors.  Shit. 

2 Dogs 2,000 Miles

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Head Lice | Signs and Symptoms | Video | Veria Living

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Gorgeous Greyhound Dog

Greyhound dog

gorgeous-greyhound-sagan

Gorgeous Greyhound dog Sagan. From his mommy: “In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no one sees you, but I do, and that sight becomes this art.” (Rumi) I love you, buddy

@kerrywyler

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A Place to Love Dogs

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Three Cheers for the UPS Driver

When UPS driver Gavin Crowsley first saw this dog, he thought it was a Dalmatian. Sadly, no, Phoenix was a terribly emaciated Great Dane, down to just 70 pounds. Phoenix was chained up with no shelter, food, or water, and Gavin just knew he had to stop to help. “I could see every bone in [...]


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Nice Mite photos

A few nice Mite images I found:

Arrenurus cuspidator Mite
Mite

Image by nebarnix
A 6 image stack of an Arrenurus freshwater mite. 10X lomo, side illumination with external flash. Ring of white paper placed around the slide for light diffusion.

The mite was placed in a vial and stored in the fridge for several hours and then released back into the jar of pond water after the photo session.

Mighty Mites
Mite

Image by Photos o’ Randomness
Between periods, they let 4-6 year old Mighty Mites play. It was so cute!

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Yellow Ribbons and Wishful Thinking

For families of veterans a yellow ribbon is an article of faith. How about for dog people?

For families of veterans a yellow ribbon is an article of faith. How about for dog people?

A movement that has been making the rounds for a while now is encouraging people to place yellow ribbons on dogs that need space. "Needing space" is a euphemism for dogs that display aggressive behavior toward other dogs and/or toward people. (Labeling dogs as aggressive is bad. So we give them a different label.)

While this idea comes from a sentiment that I can certainly empathize with, I think it is not only doomed to failure but that it actually has the potential to cause more problems than it solves

Yellow Ribbons Will Never be Widely Adopted

First there’s the issue of whether or not enough people will use this to make it a reliable tool. We can’t get people to stop buying dogs from pet stores and puppy mills. We can’t get trainers to stick to science to choose and discuss their methods. (This goes for trainers on both sides of the fence by the way. "Do as I Do Dog Training?" Really? Let’s start a new training method based on a couple of studies.) Hell, we can’t even get people to agree on administering vaccinations to prevent disease in our children, let alone our dogs.

But we’re going to get people to reliably put yellow ribbons on dogs that need distance from each other?

Right. The check is in the mail too.

False Security or Denial?

Do you believe that these ribbons would be, if they somehow gained widespread adoption, a trustworthy indicator of an aggressive dog? Do you think that the absence of a ribbon would be a good indicator of a friendly dog?

Go to any conference, or even a working seminar, that allows "friendly" dogs and objectively watch the dogs that (alleged) professionals decide to bring. Chances are you’ll see at least a few that honestly do not belong there. Strike up a conversation and the rationale for bringing the dog there will be appalling…if there even is any recognition that there is a problem.

The sad fact is that denial is a very powerful force, powerful enough to make the desire to have one’s dog with oneself more important than the comfort of the dog. People, especially dog enthusiasts are terrible at self-selection when it comes to their dog’s behavior. The sad fact is a creative explanation for a dog’s behavior is often an acceptable substitute for actually addressing the problem.

And what happens when it’s possible to place a warning signal on an aggressive dog? Who’s problem is the behavior then?

Your Dog is Your Problem

Whether your dog "needs space" or not, your dog is your responsibility. Period. Placing a warning on your dog so that others can look out for her, or relying on other people to tell you that it is safe for your dog is not a good idea. Either way, you are relying on the judgement of others.

Of course many of the ribbons’ advocates are thinking “but the ribbons are only meant to serve as a warning, not as a crutch!” But that’s how they are likely to be used, and at best they are a distraction from what we need to be teaching our clients to do, as well as doing ourselves.

In situations in which you will meet dogs that you are not familiar with:

If your dog does not want to interact with other dogs, keep her away from other dogs.

If your dog does want to interact with other dogs, keep her away from other dogs.

It’s really simple, and all you need to do is look out for yourself and your dog, which is what you should be doing anyway.

Yellow Ribbons and Wishful Thinking is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey


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My (Maternity) Style // Two Miles High

Maternity Style, 2 Miles High // Bubby and Bean

It’s been a month and a half since my last My Style post, and there is one reason for this: most of my clothes no longer fit!  Although I’m slowly learning how to incorporate pieces that are flattering for pregnancy, I’ve been amazed at how much my body has changed over the last 5 months.  Despite the fact that I’m still eating healthy foods and exercising almost everyday, I have already gained over 20 pounds at 19 weeks (and I won’t even get into how much my normally tiny boobs have grown – yikes).  I am fully embracing these new feminine curves, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that adjusting to an ever-growing body wasn’t a challenge.  Everyone has advice and suggestions, but pregnant or not, every body is different.  For example – most of my friends who are or have been recently pregnant live/lived in jersey maxi dresses, and have done it gorgeously.  But now my beloved maxi’s just make me look awkward and unbalanced.  I’m discovering that these days, what works best for me are shorter jersey dresses, over-sized tees with draping fabrics that are slightly clingy, and good old-fashioned leggings.  This ‘uniform’ is not only the most comfortable, it also works as a blank canvas for adding fun shoes and accessories.  For me, style is still important, baby bump or otherwise. :)

Maternity Style, 2 Miles High // Bubby and Bean
Geometric Ring Set
Maternity Style, 2 Miles High // Bubby and Bean

During our road trip last week, we decided to take some shots in front of the stunning lake and mountains of Dillon, Colorado (9,111 feet).  This scenery was literally right out our back door, and we spent a lot of time just sitting here, staring at the beauty that surrounded us. On this particular day, we’d had a late breakfast on the outdoor patio of a local eatery called Arapahoe that was just down the street.  Despite the sunshine, it gets chilly fast when you’re up that high in the mountains, and I also wanted to dress up my very neutral tee-and-leggings ensemble a bit.  Throwing on a lightweight coral cardigan did the trick.  I also added a few of my favorite accessories – some black and gold bracelets, a long gold triangle necklace, and some geometric midi rings.  These are the type of small additions that allow me to still feel put together when I’m wearing pregnancy outfits that could, for all intensive purposes, otherwise be labeled as yoga clothes.

Maternity Style, 2 Miles High // Bubby and Bean
Blowfish Shoes Tugo

My favorite part of this outfit, hands down, was the shoes.  I actually got them back in early June, but it’s been way too hot in Chicago to wear them yet.  Lucky for me, they were perfect for Colorado high country weather.  They’re called the Tugos and like many of my favorite pairs of kicks, were made by the fabulous folks over at Blowfish.  I love the bootie style, the buckle detailing, the color, and the fit.  But the best part is the hidden heel.  I wish I could say that I was one of those bad ass chicks who rocks regular heels during pregnancy, but I’m just not you guys.  I feel completely off balanced and uncomfortable in them these days, and I’m also paranoid about falling over and hurting the bebe.  So these hidden-heel booties are a dream come true – they give me a little extra height so I still feel semi-dressed up, but without the awkward/risky pregnant lady stiletto type situation.  Blowfish is currently sold out of the Tugo style, but check out the very similar Top Notch style in their ‘Heels and Wedges’ section.

I also just have to quickly mention that for my frizzy-wavy haired self, Colorado is a dream.  I used to live there, way up in the mountains, but had almost forgotten that the need for a flat iron is completely diminished when you’re at an altitude that lacks humidity.  Getting out of the shower and not having to touch your hair is pretty freaking incredible.  I slipped a brush through it once daily, and that was it. 

Maternity Style, 2 Miles High // Bubby and Bean
Maternity Style, 2 Miles High // Bubby and Bean
Maternity Style, 2 Miles High // Bubby and Bean
Shoes: c/o Blowfish  //  Grey High-LowTop: F21  //  Cardigan: old  //  Leggings: Target
Bracelets: thrifted and c/o Oasap  //  Sunglasses: H&M  //  Necklace: gift  //  Rings: F21

 

I plan to start doing maternity style posts here more often, and would love any links my fellow pregnant mamas may have to outfit posts you’ve done as well.  I still haven’t bought any real maternity clothing, but considering the fact that fall is around the corner and my current pairs of jeans can only be pulled up to about mid-thigh these days, I do see some maternity shopping in the not-so-distant-future. If you have any favorite shops, brands, or styles that you’d like to recommend, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Cool Topical images

Check out these Topical images:

Arts and Culture – what we heard 1 of 2
Topical

Image by Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Arts and Culture Table 2 5 of 5
Topical

Image by Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Arts and Culture Table 3 4 of 4
Topical

Image by Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

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#Blogger Opp ~ Always On The Move

A Ladybug on the Go
Prize:
Bass Egg Speaker
Ozeri Pedometer
Fan Band
and more….
ARV $ 140
Hosted by:

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LoveMy2Dogs

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Kill as many humans as you want, but don’t dare kill a dog

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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