The Dog I've Always Wanted

Canine Behavior, Training and Photography

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Entries from February 2009

Winterdance The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen

February 25th, 2009 · No Comments · Book Reviews, Mushing-northern dogs, Video clip


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Gary Paulsen is an Iditarod racer who happens also to be a writer or vice verso. This is his tale of training for and running his first Iditarod. It is an account rich in humour and profound insights into both his own nature and that of the dogs. An important component of Paulsen’s approach involved living so closely with his dogs that he essentially became a dog in his perceptions and point of view. He slept in the dog yard in a sleeping bag. This reminded me of very beautiful piece of writing by the late Canadian writer Timothy Findley who did exactly the same thing on his farm in south western Ontario. He too wanted to experience life from his dogs point of view in order to better understand them. It was important to him to see what it is that the dogs do out there alone, together at night. These are the actions of a person dedicated to a very deep relationship with dogs. Be the dog. [Read more]

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Rasta in the Summer

February 21st, 2009 · No Comments · Captioned Photo

Rasta in the Summer

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Slapping is a Poor Choice

February 18th, 2009 · No Comments · Musings

Using our hands to hit a dog, I am referring to the use of this tactic as a “training” method, is an exceptionally poor idea. If a dog needs to be disciplined there are much better ways to go about it; time out works very well for a lot of dogs as does temporary banishment ie. ignoring the dog. If you use violence as a tool in your relationship with a dog she will learn that violence is an acceptable currency between you.

I recently encountered a large rambunctious puppy who had been slapped in the face in order to discipline him. The owner was pursuing a dominance-based training method. The predictable result of this kind of interaction, of course, ensued and the dog has become hand shy. What does this mean? What this means is that he now snaps or actually bites when a hand comes near his face. [Read more]

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Frost on the Front Windows at the Doghouse

February 16th, 2009 · No Comments · Captioned Photo, On Photography, Photo Gallery

I found a lot to photograph on the front windows at the Doghouse. The frost had created worlds that I could explore with my camera.

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My Dog Tulip by J.R.Ackerley

February 15th, 2009 · No Comments · Book Reviews


Order "MyDog Tulip" by J.R. Ackerley
I have put off reviewing this book because I have been unsure as to whether or not I could do it justice. “My Dog Tulip” is an authentic work of literature. J.R.Ackerly was, to quote Felice Picano, “one of the best insufficiently known writers of our time.” He was born in Herne Hill, Kent in 1896. It would seem reasonable to say that he received what was then considered to be an excellent education culminating in law studies at Cambridge. He also spent time in British India as private secretary to the Maharajah of Chokrapur. When he returned to England he settled into a literary life of editing and writing. He died in 1967.

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