Sunday, August 28, 2005


I think I believe in Karma . There are too many terms for it to not believe: poetic justice, just desserts, you reap what you sow, and what goes around comes around. All of these are true to me. What I can't figure out is it Karma? Or simply Irony? Possibly coincidence?

I have an ex-boyfriend who treated me quite badly. In all fairness to him I allowed him to do it. I have no excuses other than I was young, it was my first serious relationship...blah, blah blah. Anyhoo, his MO was date me for awhile and then dump me for someone...his words here...more passionate. In other words crazy. Not just a little crazy but hanging from the rafters, lock her up in the attic crazy. Then when "Passion" got to be too tedious he'd come back to me. Sometimes while he was still dating the loon we'd become "friends" and hang out. Well he's gone, moved to another state now, but we still communicate via email and are truly just friends now. He got a new girlfriend that he pulled his same crap on...dumped her and then wanted her back. Only this one (god bless her) said no that she had moved on, but "gosh they can be friends". Now is this karma that just finally reared it's sensible head or is it simply ironic that he got the same treatment finally? Coincidence? I don't believe that.

My biggest pet peeve in life is lateness and unreliablity. Hate it! I am surrounded by late and unreliable people. I have been for twenty years. Not just sort of late people but hours and hours late. All my best friends, my family, employees, everyone. Am I paying back a cosmic debt? Was I a greek goddess (shut up) who made her subjects wait intermittably? Or is it simply ironic that I am constantly subjected to the behavior I detest? This is definitely NOT coincidence!

Lastly, I have a friend and former co-worker who is completely intolerant of fat people. She is a bone. She makes fun of them and thinks that they are the laziest humans on the planet. I'm convinced she would rather hang out with a serial killer than a fat person. She also has several grandchildren...all fat. Not just a little fat either but positively roly poly. Once again does she owe the universe something or is it merely ironic? Again could it be coincidental?

I like the concept of having to work things out until you are done with them. The religion I was raised in doesn't really have a place you go when you die, no heaven or hell. You simply move on and continue to work out all your earthly issues before you ascend to that place of perfection, whatever it may be for you. If it all is just ironic or coincidental there isn't really any reason for it and I like reasons. I like things to have purpose. It makes all our earthly pains seem worth it.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Things I want to do before I'm forty (but probably won't)

Have someone say to me "you're too thin, you need to gain some weight"
Have a body I can put in a bikini
Move to a new city
Make a living off my own business
Go to Hong Kong, Africa and Italy
Write a book (about what I don't know)
Sing in front of a crowd unselfconsciously
Find a man who...
-Likes me as much twenty years from now as he did in the first twenty days
-Is strong enough to deal with me (ignores my loony periods)
-Sends me flowers
-Is actually good at gift giving (money not the issue, thoughtfulness is what it's all about)
-Doesn't snore
-Loves my dog
-Likes me to cook but will take me out sometimes
-Reads as much as I do
-Takes my side every time, even when I'm wrong
-Thinks I'm beautiful and tells me so
Ahhh how did this end up about men? I like to pretend they aren't important but alas they are. He may be right in front of me, who knows? That and the bikini body:)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Big Scary Water Dish

Before I made the change to dog trainer I was a retail manager. Now I wasn't supposed to take my pup to work with me but I did. She would hang out behind the counter of the store I worked in and greet "her" customers. She was with me 24-7. Now since I changed jobs she has had to spend more time home alone.

We've had a long period of time here in the Northwest with hot weather, 80's and 90's, that's hot for us. I've come home several times in these last few weeks to find a completely dry water bowl... I felt like a bad mother. So I went to a local pet store and bought her a new water dish. You know the ones...they look like the kind of water bottles you see in offices? With the big blue bottle? I brought it home a couple of days ago.

The only tile floor I have is in the bathroom so she eats and drinks in there. She has a knee injury so she doesn't like slippery floors so her dish is kind of blocking the doorway. I filled the bottle and put it down. The bottle drains out to a certain level in a little dish, great! So there you go pooch, have at it. She walks up sniffs, takes a big long drink and I think all is good my dog won't dry up and blow away. Then comes...the bubble. You know how those big water bottles make the bloop sound and a big bubble rises to the top? Same thing with the little ones. Well my pup shot across the room and under the bed at the sight and sound. Crap! So I spent another day coaxing her to use the dish..all went well for awhile. Then...another bloop and under the bed she went.

So now I have no idea if she's drinking out of the damn thing. She has a couple of times all stretched out practically flat with her body as far away as possible. She will only go into the bathroom by pressing her little body up against the doorjamb to avoid getting near it and once she's in there? She lays down on the bath mat and growls at it. Sigh, all I'm trying to do is be a good dogmother:)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Okay I'll admit it...I'm furious! I will also admit to being a bit "green" in the dog training biz. Some things I can't handle. I have had two cases that I took on that I shouldn't have...a Blue Heeler who bit me the moment he met me and I little Shih Tzu who was a example of terrible breeding.

The Shih Tzu was an adorable six pound ball of black fur. So completely cute! Then as you looked a little closer things started to look a little like the "Island of Dr. Moreau"..creepy. The dog was the only surviving pup of her litter, her mother rejected her, she had a herniated umbilical cord, she had an extra row of teeth, extra toes and was reactive to everything...Everything!! These things showed up slowly but surely over the course of our six weeks together. It got to the point where I was afraid to part her fur for fear of finding an extra eye looking out at me.

We worked hard to get her over her reactivity. Well... I worked hard. I explained that the way to help the dog to not flip her little furry cookie was to expose her to the things that frightened her slowly and at level she could tolerate. So if small children were a source of anxiety, present the child at a 100 feet, then 75 and so on...rewarding for any and all good normal behavior. Eventually the dog should enjoy having these things around her because she knows good things happen when they there. I'll admit not a low effort process, but once done it is high pay-off. Initially the owner would put the dog down in a huge group of dogs and be confused why the little thing went bananas but as we talked I thought the owner was with me...

I got an email last week saying she sent the dog off to "camp" and they had cured her! Wow I said, how? Well now the dog has a pinch collar and a shock collar so when she reacts to something the owner just yanks or shocks the bejeezus out of this six pound dog. I wanted to weep for this dog.

I guess the moral to the story has three parts.
1. Do NOT take on the poor sickly puppy because you want to save it. I feel maybe the pup's mother knew something we didn't. Unless you are a very experienced dog owner you have no idea what you're getting into.
2.People want a quick fix most times and I need to be clearer from the beginning that some problems aren't going to have a fast solution and sometimes there may not be a solution. You may spend the rest of the dog's life loving it in your home away from outside influences.
3.There are actual human beings out there who think a shock/pinch collar is appropriate for a six pound scared dog. Bull Shih!
Who Would You Choose?

I had a conversation awhile back with a friend who swore if he had to make a decision between saving his dog and saving a person, he'd save his dog. We argued over this silly question for quite awhile. My thing was when would you possibly stumble into this scenario? All of a sudden you look out your balcony...lo' and behold your mother and your Schnauzer are hanging side by side by their fingertips?? There is no time to save both...who would it be? Okay yes silly but we all have those goofy conversations. So my brillant answer depends on who the person was. My mother? Annoying most times, but she'd win this contest. Ted Bundy? Nope let him sail to the ground. A boyfriend? Hmmm, I guess I'd have to see who I thought would be around longer, him or the dog.

So that conversation went largely forgotten for awhile. Then I went to a off-leash park with the nine year old child of a friend. We were walking through a large group of Rhodesian Ridgebacks. They were very nice dogs but sounded just awful during play...snarling, barking and growling. My little eighteen pound dog was there too. Suddenly this large group of dogs felt menacing, very scary. My immediate reaction was to grab the child, pull her from the area and then look for my dog...sigh. I love my dog dearly but I guess I still appreciate the value of humans too. Most humans....some of you? And you know who you are...well don't hang from a balcony with my dog.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


10. Hands always smell like cheese or turkey weenies
9. They know what a real "bully stick" looks like
8. Plastic bags are always suspicious
7. Their dogs? Not very well trained
6. It's not fun getting clicked in bed
5. The collar and leash do tend to chafe
4. That damned bell and the drooling
3. You can't always "come when called"
2. You're never sure if you've made a decision or were you shaped, lured or prompted?

and number one.......

1. Before you know it you're put on variable reinforcement schedule :)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

You know how when you're a kid and you want to be a fireman or a rock star? I always wanted to be a zookeeper. I ended up a retail manager, for seventeen years.

In the past I have tended to be a little stagnant...same job, same boyfriend, same life. I never really liked any of them but change was hard for me. Recently I have had a lot of career, new boyfriend, new life. I like them all but change is still hard for me.

I am now a dog trainer and with this title came the new career, new boyfriend, new life. I never imagined it would be so hard to start over with a new business. I am utterly broke and more than a little bit crazy (sorry new boyfriend) but when I am working with the pups or with the new guy I absolutely know I've done the right thing.

I have been doing this for about a year now and am bursting with stories about the people and pets I've met along the way. The animals just do what they do and it's amusing...the people? Well they can be even more amusing and a bit more complicated. I felt the need for a outlet. It may be because it's all so funny I have to share or it may be so frustrating or infuriating I need to vent...we'll see