Sunday, March 3, 2013

Reactive Dogs and Money Woes

So, we've found maybe a place to have Charlie's "reactiveness" worked on.  It's pricey--250 bucks for eight weeks of work, but it's a class with a rolling enrollment, so dogs in all stages of training, and if he improves enough, he can roll into a more advanced class with no additional charge.  Unlike the in-town option, this one does not rely upon the "dog whisperer" stuff, which encourages punishment and forced submission which is an incredibly bad idea.  We want Charlie to improve, not shut down.  We can't afford it now, but we'll make a decision after we discover whether or not those buckets o' puke on Capitol Hill are going to put us in the poor house next month.

Speaking of dog training, I found this guy, who goes by the moniker "David the Dog Trainer," on YouTube.  This is the sort of thing I'm hoping for--gentle, firm, no abuse, no "forced alpha rolls" and other BS wolf analogies.  Dogs aren't wolves, and forcing a dog into a terrifying position as a way to mandate submission is just foolish.

When Charlie was just new, we took him to Petco for his first vaccinations.  It wasn't fun, it was crowded with large, lunging bully breeds and screaming mini-dogs, but it was cheap, and we needed cheap.  This year, we took Charlie to a nice clinic that does lower-cost vaccines--a step up from Petco, but half the price of our regular vet.  But then yesterday, an automated call came from Petco, reminding us that Charlie is due for vaccinations and letting us know when the next session is scheduled, No pressure, a nice little "and if you've already had your pet vaccinated, please disregard this message."  Good business, nice thought.

I found an old elementary school class picture the other day--scanned it and posted it to Facebook, tagging who I could.  Sadly, two people who were in that class (and were on my Facebook friends list) have, in the past year, ditched me, with D blocking me.  I can only assume that my support of President Obama and active contribution to the the "don't elect Mitt" movement angered her.  Didn't have her pegged for the kind of person who would dump and block over politics when I repeatedly offered to set up a separate posting list for folks who didn't want to see those politics, but perhaps she was having a bad day.  Or maybe she was embarrassed to ask me to spare her the posts.  Whichever, I asked that others who might be in touch with her pass the picture on.  It was nice to see folks come in and share memories about that school year, and it's amazing to me that I am in contact with so many folks I knew back in 1976.  Astounding that I still remember every name and every face this far down the road.

That's Mr. Anderson.  He had an amazing pinned bug collection, pet tarantulas, thrilling stories about black widows in his barn I still remember, and once brought in a mason jar with a live wolf spider carrying an egg sac.  He told us he was going to pin her, egg sac and all, in his collection.  I spirited her out of the classroom during lunch one day and released her in the Fitzer shrubs out front of the school.  No, I was never found out.

wolf spider with egg sac

I so adored Mr. Anderson, and he was the first teacher I ever came to realize DIDN'T like me.  In fact, he disliked me pretty strongly.  It was crushing, and yet it's a tribute to Mr. Anderson that he was fair and kind to me even though he didn't like me.  He was an outstanding educator.  Also crushing was losing a friend that year--she'd made friends with the new girl, and the new girl went on to steal my camera from my cubbyhole.  Yes, the good ol' days when you could leave something like a camera in an unlocked, wide-open cubbyhole.  I was so devastated when my friend took up for the thief that, in utterly inappropriate aggression borne of frustration and heartbreak, I grabbed my friend by the hair and yanked out a handful.  Not one of my proudest moments, but I was in 5th grade.  I'd like to think I'm a little better at communicating these days.

Not a long one today--it's laundry night.  And garbage night.  A couple of things I'd like to talk about, like wombats.  Seriously.  But for now, we'll just leave it at bad paneling.  Really, superbly, "paneling in the kitchen" bad paneling.

Do not reprint without permission. © KAQ


  1. My daughter unfriended one of her cousins for a similiar reason. She just couldn't stand the Tea Party posts and Republican rants that kept coming. My sister doesn't talk to me because I told her to think for herself when she kept sending me twisted forwards from the Republican party. She knows I'm a Democrat.

    Politics and religion. Both will ruin relationships. Just imagine.

  2. I've had to get pretty creative with a custom posting list that spares folks I don't think want to see my politics, plus I've "unsubscribed" from a few news feeds (but remained friends) with some who've posted horrid right wing stuff. I have "unfriended" a few who've posted wildly racist stuff, and the "prayer for Obama" is an auto-ditching at this point because not one person on my list doesn't know how offensive I find that. They should take the effort to spare me that the same way I work to spare them my politics.