Author Archives: terriflorentino

Unleash the Spirit of Generosity, Be a Hero to a Homeless Pet.

Unleash the Spirit of Generosity, Be a Hero to a Homeless Pet.

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 Adopting a dog from a shelter is an exciting, feel-good event. For many families, it’s a special moment, sure to become part of the family lore. For the dog, however, assimilating into family life can be difficult. Sadly, many dogs are returned to the shelter for behavior problems, which is heartbreaking for the family and a disaster for the dog. Experienced dog trainers can help smooth the transition, spare family heartache, and save dogs’ lives.

Every animal shelter should have an area for training.

“The Griffin Pond Animal Shelter is undergoing a highly anticipated renovation to build a much-needed area for on-site training. Won’t you make a donation, no amount too small that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of sheltered dogs?”

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If it wasn’t for a shelter and rescue network along with training, I dread to think what would have become of one dog in particular. His name was Tulley.

TULLEY’S STORY

 One day, I received a call from a trainer in New Jersey. He said he had been working with a three-year-old Border Collie that needed to be re-homed.  “Can you help? Over the last year, he’s gotten aggressive with his owners, their child, and other animals. He’s bitten a few times.”

I agreed to meet this dog. As I slowly approached I observed a beautiful black and white border collie. His body stiffened, and he averted his eyes. He became increasingly uncomfortable the closer I got. I slowly kneeled down next to him. He took a deep breath and let out a very long, low guttural growl. His fur stood on end, and his lips curled tightly, baring every one of his teeth. And yet, I didn’t feel threatened. He never made eye contact nor did he lunge to bite.  I felt empathy for the dog and decided to help him.

First, we needed to learn to trust one another. The training started with teaching Tulley the “touch” technique. It was so heartwarming when he wiggled with excitement whenever we played the game. When I took him to the obedience classes that I taught we worked him in his “comfort zone,” kept the sessions short and full of rewards, praise and fun! He learned quickly how to relax and trust. Fun With agility followed after obedience classes. Agility class was a weekly favorite of Tulley’s, where he moved, joyful and carefree, through the equipment, one obstacle at a time.

I was so proud of his accomplishments; he was truly bonding with me and my family.

After working diligently with Tulley and witnessing him become the dog he was born to be, my husband and I officially adopted him into our family.  He integrated beautifully with our children and our other dogs. Tulley was a joy and a blessing to our family for the next ten years.

Godspeed to our beloved Tulley (2001-2014).

“Tulley” – from Irish Gaelic roots, meaning “mighty people,” “living with God’s                        peace,” “devoted to God’s will.” 

 See Tulley’s full storyhttps://bordercollieinquisitor.com/2013/07/27/mean-dog/

For the sake of so many dogs like Tulley won’t you please consider making a donation to a much-needed on-site training area at Griffin Pond Animal Shelter?  You will be helping so many dogs who are looking for their forever home, but are in need of extra love, support and training in order to thrive and flourish.  Your gift will help these dogs get the training they need in order to move on to a better life.

Tulley

(Terri pictured with Tulley)

Our goal is $300,000.00 let’s spark a movement, Please share far and wide. Our animals’ futures depend on it.

Many thanks for your generosity and kindness.

Terri Florentino, Writer, Editor, Canine Behavioral Instructor.

http://www.griffinpondanimalshelter.com/capital-campaign/

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Science!

Thanks to an infinitely gracious person, I was able to “do science” during my scouting trip to Greenland.

For some, it may be enough to see a great picture of Pluto. For scientists, there is a lot more to know. Curiosity extends to invisible wavelengths, and to dynamic processes going back to the origin of the planet. They are not necessarily looking for sensational findings – although that helps get funding from government and public sources – as much as they seek understanding and insight.
As soon as we look beyond the surface, Nature, as we call it, looks unbelievably complex. Science’s triumph is to be able to find regularities in that complexity, and to express them in beautiful conciseness. When we understand the Navier-Stokes equations, or the Maxwell equations, or thermodynamic cycles, or even Laplace and Fourier transforms, it is as if blinders had come off our eyes. We never…

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On the Ice Fields

We are on the Schweizerland glaciers, hiking along, deep in the rhythm of the hike. Most of our attention is focused on keeping our rope tight, so that a fall into a crevasse would be arrested instantly.
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During breaks, while me colleagues eat and rest, I collect my first two snow samples. Twice, I fill a ziplock bag with surface snow from a square I have drawn next to me, awkwardly, with an ice axe. At the end of the day, I will melt the snow and filter it to capture the dust and black carbon  it contains. Black carbon comes from the incomplete combustion of organic compounds, such as forest fires. Black carbon and dust travel along local and planetary wind highways to land on snow and ice and change their reflectivity and heat absorption rates – and, therefore, their melting rate. Scientists are keenly interested in understanding how…

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Onto the Glaciers

The boat recedes into the distance, taking our injured ice team member away. We stand on the beach surrounded by tall peaks in all directions. North along the beach we hike, among stranded Mars rover-sized icebergs, and reach our entry point into the Schweizerland glacier system – a very long terminal moraine left behind as the glacier pulls back.

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As we trek towards the glacier, to our right, a loud stream carries the melt from the glacier. It has cut a handsome waterfall through a layer of softer rock. We climb and admire the waterfall from above, standing on hard, deep purple rocks. As we approach the ice, we run into “quicksand” pits – a mix of water and glacier flour – where our legs sink to the knees and come back repainted in gray. All around us, bright moss puts a green splash on this white, gray, brown, and…

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High Tundra Beach

Our circadian cycles declare it is time to wake up: Day 2 of our glacier trek is here. The Sun has been flying around the horizon like a butterfly while we were asleep, sometimes hiding behind a tall peak here and there. We carefully disarm the blank and thankfully unfired cartridges on the bear fence, eat breakfast, and quickly lift camp.

We continue down our glacial, U-shaped valley and get closer and closer to where the terminal moraine used to be – now marked by a lake, dammed by a high wall of rocky debris left behind. We climb over the dam and an expansive ocean view greets us.

We stand on the south end of a long sea shore, along one side of a narrow bay. The bay is fenced by tall mountains to the East, across from where we stand. We can see a distant connection to bigger…

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In the Land of Polar Bears and Arctic Foxes, We Are the Zoo Animals

Island hopping is done: Iceland to Kulusuk, Kulusuk to Greenland. After landing on the East side of Tasiilaq Fjord, we are finally climbing up the hills. A few warm, 40-degree days have unleashed a pesky cloud of mosquitoes. They bite! We don our head nets; We now see the world through a pixelated screen.
We cross the terminus of a small glacier and start walking on dry ice. The crevasses are all clear of snow for everyone to see, so we don’t rope. Meltwater channels noisily feed gurgling moulins all around us. It’s the first time I get to use all these words – terminus, meltwater channels, moulins – while actually looking at the things they refer to. Years of adventure reading turn into tangible reality – at last! A gigantic mouth opens at the top of the glacier. Dark caves give hints of rocks and dusty ice. Water sounds can be…

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We are all discoverers

We have all made unexpected associations in our heads. Chocolate and peanut butter. Glamour and camping. We have all tried our hand at doing something new. Painted a room an unusual color. Trying a different sport. Discovery is an activity that we are both structured to do and which opens the door to create new life structures – a way to rebuild the airplane in flight, as it were.

Unlike computers thus far, we can reprogram ourselves and pursue new goals with new combinations of skills and tools. With an increasing longevity, we have the opportunity to enjoy discovery and its fruits a lot more than our forebears.

Chocolate and peanut butter may seem like a small thought – until you look at the popularity of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Running off the pavement onto a trail was a small change at the time – until I found myself running 135 miles…

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