Sunday, August 14, 2011

Road Trip

I returned last Wednesday from a short trip to Pittsburgh which included a day-long workshop with Nicole Wilde on working with fearful dogs.  The workshop was fabulous, and I learned so much.  Wilde is a terrific speaker, who provided lots of practical information backed up by references to scientific studies.  I especially enjoyed the stories about the challenges of training her own dogs.  The seminar was sponsored by The Coalition to Adopt, Rehome and Match Abandoned Animals (CARMAA), and held at the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society.  CARMAA is an umbrella group whose mission is to support, through education, the animal rescue organizations in western PA.  You can read more about their very good work at the above link.  Sadly, while we were there for the seminar, dogs were being surrendered to the Humane Society, including two very elderly and ailing mastiffs.  Mel and Lori, my traveling pals (and former fellow grads from dog trainer school) toured the kennels on our lunch break.  I couldn't do it.

After the seminar, I spent a few more days in Pittsburgh visiting family and friends, and also answering umpteen questions about my transition to a vegan diet.  Grownups wanted to know about predictible grownup things like was I getting enough protein (yes) and calcium (yes).  But my fav question came from Sam, my youngest nephew, who wanted to know if I thought I was getting smaller because I wasn't drinking milk. :) 

Above is my nephew Charlie's replica of Dumbledore's wand, crafted (with help from Mema) out of a dowel rod and some clay.  How cool is that?  I was hoping to catch the newest HP film with my nephews, but by the time I saw them, they had of course already seen it.

I was only gone for five days, but anxious to get back and give A. a break from round-the-clock dog care.  As I've said before, Arlo is a pretty easy puppy, but looking after two dogs (and birds and gardens) is a lot for just one person.  Some additional damage to the remote occured and a few more dog toys lost their heads.  But all things considered, there were no big problems in my absence.

 Arlo and I completed our Basic House Manners course before I left, but unfortunately missed graduation, which happened while I was away.  That hasn't stopped him, however, from continuing to be the world's more helpful dog.  Here he is, for example, helping me choose fabrics for some throw pillows.

 And finally, aound this time in August, it becomes necessary to admit that summer is coming to a close.  Classes resume here in a couple weeks, and already next week I have orientation responsibilities.  < sigh >  Another end-of-summer sign is always our last day at the library.  Here's Kate after her final morning of reading to dogs at the Easton Public Library. 
 Katie and I heard many good stories this year, and we're grateful to all the kids who read to us.  My favorite new (i.e., to me) book of the summer was Deborah Blumenthal's The Blue House Dog, which I may need to purchase for my own library.  

No comments:

Post a Comment