KEEPING IT SAFE: In mid-February, I made a trip that reminded me for the millionth time that feeling safe is important. It was supposed to be a pleasant 3 hour drive, with 2 nice ladies and a Great Dane for company. My driver was a professional driver (literally), and she drove with evident skill and care. Food, shelter, water -- all were in place. My belly was full. I had a hot coffee in my hands. I was warm and comfortable. But... I wasn't feeling safe, and that meant all the good things didn't matter much. The iced roads were not under anyone's control.
As someone who has lived with pigs for the last 13 years, I have to say they never fail to amuse, delight and most of all, impress me. Whether it was the litter of piglets who resided in our living room last winter for several months or the 5 bachelor boys currently in residence out in the barn, pigs are part and parcel of the farm. Hard to imagine life without them.
A recent discussion on a trainers' list brought several comments regarding the "drive" in "working lines" leading to puppies and young dogs leaping, jumping, biting and gripping hard. It was particularly worrisome to several list members that some trainers and breeders considered this behavior "normal" and part and parcel of the set of behaviors that are seen in "working" lines. It seemed to me that there were some important points missed by both sides.
For quite a few years now, I’ve had a special friend that I only saw from time to time – Sara Kiss. Sara was a lovely little Chinook, and my friend Sue’s service dog. We usually met at the annual APDT conference. Sometimes, we saw each other in the hallways of the hotel or conference center.