Category Archives: Your Stories

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5 Ways to Love and Let Go of Foster Dogs

People tell me all the time they admire me for fostering dogs. “I could never foster,” they say. “I’d get too attached.”

My secret is a heart of steel.

I know they mean to praise me, but the compliment sometimes feels backhanded. They love too much, therefore I must have something wrong with my heart.

The truth is, I’m passionate about dogs and naturally clingy. Yet, somehow, (so far!), I’ve let all my fosters go–even the ones with whom I deeply bonded.

Here’s how I love and let go of them. I compare them to other strong but temporary attachments in my life. I tell myself:

  1. Lisa’s Dog School includes swimming lessons.

    They’re my students. University students are in your class five months at a time, high school a whole ten months. As an educator, I got attached to some of my students; there’s a reason favorites are called the teacher’s “pet.” I tell myself I run a school in my home where lost dogs learn how to be lovable family pets again. When they they get adopted, they “graduate.”

  2. They’re relatives from out of town. I tell myself things like, “These three puppies are my nephews. This is Grandma Gilly. Here’s Cousin Barkley!” KEEP READING…
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The Evidence for Positive Reinforcement Training In Dogs

by Pippa Mattinson, author of Happy Puppy Handbook, Total Recall and The Labrador Handbook.

3255835495_1c6b6a5c7b_oOver the last few decades there has been a huge swing towards less punitive methods of dog training. Watching a modern trainer in action is a very different experience from watching old school traditionalists. Gone are the barked commands, the emphasis on ‘respect’ or ‘dominance’ and even intimidation. In many cases the use of punishment has been entirely replaced by the use of food and games.

Is the move to positive dog training a good thing?

But hang on a moment. Aren’t we being swept along in the latest ‘fad’ or ‘craze’. Isn’t this just a passing fashion?  How are we going to control our dogs when we run out of treats? And what if we don’t want to wave food around or to ‘beg’ or ‘plead’ with our dogs to come when we call them?

In fact, let’s lay it on the line. Do these new fangled methods of dog training even work?

Read on at The Happy Puppy Site …

5 photo tricks that help dogs get adopted

by Jaymi Heimbuch

 

 

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It’s no surprise that a great photo makes a world of difference in helping a dog get adopted. As potential forever families flip through photos on websites like Petfinder or through the adoptable dogs section of local rescues, the dogs with the most compelling photographs are the ones that will get the most attention. But exactly how big of a difference does it make?

A recent study from the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science took a look at 468 photos of young and adult black Labrador mixed breed dogs adopted via Petfinder across the United States. The goal was to discover how much of a difference a great photo makes, as well as what aspects of a photo most captures the attention of potential adopters . . .

Read on at Mother Nature Network

For the Love of Dog People

1124827531_293c4da2ea_oOn the eve of the new year, Terri and I want share with you this surprising article that conveys the big picture: love for dogs and everyone who loves them.

Happy New Year. Be safe! Be good! Have fun! Love big!

In Defense of Dog Breeders

by urban fantasy author and rescuer, Michele Lee

I’m a part of the rescue community here in Louisville. That’s a really loaded statement. There’s a lot of issues I have with some of the people and ideas I run into. One example is the rescue world’s view of dog breeders. Some people blatantly say silly things like “I wish all dog breeding would be banned” or “We should punish breeders.” Continue reading

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

The Border Collie Inquisitor

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…

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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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