Monthly Archives: October 2010

Origami & the art of folding behavior

When we fold a piece of paper, even if we return the paper to its original shape, the memory of that fold remains. When we are building different objects out of paper we might create a fold which we do not intend to use right away, but will return to it further along in the process of making our creation, using the memory of the [...]

By |2010-10-29T16:19:16-04:00October 29th, 2010|8 Comments

Feminism & the art of dog training

If when I was in university someone had suggested that my major of Women's Studies would help me be a dog trainer I probably would have thought they were crazy. Majoring in Women's Studies was like majoring in Philosophy or English Lit, it made for good late into the night conversations with housemates but the job market might be thin when it came to hiring [...]

By |2010-10-25T14:18:03-04:00October 25th, 2010|36 Comments

It’s not just about being nice to your dog

I often say to people that I can talk about dogs anywhere, with anyone. Friends who asked me to officiate their wedding may have thought I was joking when I suggested that weddings were not excluded. I was not joking. As a dog trainer I had learned something about animal behavior that applied to people as well and that is that it's not 'stuff' that [...]

By |2010-10-21T13:18:44-04:00October 21st, 2010|6 Comments

Stop your dog’s problem behaviors instantly!

Lose weight easily! No diets or exercise necessary! Increase your bust by inches overnight! Clearer skin in minutes! Get longer more luxurious hair! Gotta face it, we want what we want, fast. Many of the claims being made about dog training 'devices' and training methods remind me of these claims that range from the silly to dangerous. Trainers who use reward based training techniques to [...]

By |2010-10-19T13:00:28-04:00October 19th, 2010|25 Comments

Be wary of this critical m.a.s.s.

When I first got out of college I had the good fortune to work for Susan Herman, who along with her husband at the time, ran a progressive summer camp that also offered summer student travel programs. I was hired to lead 4 week travel adventures with 12 teenagers and a co-leader. We worked 24/7, organizing and preparing 3 meals a day, driving hours to [...]

By |2010-10-17T23:46:09-04:00October 17th, 2010|18 Comments

Be the change!

Does your town have a local cable or community access channel? If so you may be able to produce films for it! I created a short film about Daphne a dog that has spent too much time at our local shelter. She needs a home and this happy and clever dog deserves to be seen! Here's Daphne's video which will be airing in Brattleboro, Vermont [...]

By |2010-10-15T18:33:02-04:00October 15th, 2010|11 Comments

When in doubt, bail out!

Over the years I have instructed people in a variety of skills. I was a life guard and swim instructor and have taught white water canoeing and how to roll a whitewater kayak. I've introduced people to the joys of cross-country skiing and rock climbing. Several of my young relatives learned to drive a stick shift in my vehicles. The instruction for each of these [...]

By |2010-10-14T00:17:18-04:00October 14th, 2010|8 Comments

Cause I said so!

One of my favorite podcasts is the Brain Science Podcast hosted by Dr. Ginger Campbell an emergency room doctor in Alabama. Described as the show for 'everyone with a brain', Dr. Campbell interviews authors of books on neuroscience. Of special interest to me was her interview of Jaak Panksepp on affective neuroscience. Dog lovers will appreciate her interview with Kyla Duffy of Happy Tails Books, [...]

By |2010-10-11T13:27:10-04:00October 11th, 2010|18 Comments

Fear & anger are shocking enough!

Do you know what this dog is saying? Photo courtesy of Olathe Animal Hospital in Olathe KS The use of punishment, of any kind, for cases of fear and aggression is contraindicated, meaning the risk of making the situation worse is greater than potential benefit. The idea that you can slap someone across the face and have them come to their senses is [...]

By |2010-10-06T14:29:27-04:00October 6th, 2010|19 Comments

Nana’s purse

When I was a kid my grandmother carried a purse with her, all the time. It may have been one of many but likely a huge vinyl affair that she could drop a gallon of milk into. It had a handle for dangling off her arm (shoulder bags had yet to make the scene) and a change purse clasp on the top, two metal balls [...]

By |2010-10-05T17:56:39-04:00October 5th, 2010|6 Comments