My dog, my mirror

A weird thing happened to me in my twenties; I had this rare malignant breast tumor. That seems unlucky as hell, but I’m here because it was a rare kind, and because it was not metastatic–and that’s damn lucky. That experience is one I’d gladly undo; one that caused high levels of anxiety and stress … More My dog, my mirror

What is a coach?

I used to be a trainer, or a teacher, of people and their dogs. I’d see them once a week then send them off to do their thing, only to discuss what they could improve upon the next time I saw them. Sometimes I’d only see a person once. This is still how most trainers … More What is a coach?

Cynosport and Joyfear

I’m on my way to Cynosport World Games as I write this. It’s Idgie’s fifth Cyno, and her final one at a championship height. When this post goes up, I’ll be running in the red Tennessee dirt with my speckled dragon amongst some of the finest competitors in this country.  So here is where I … More Cynosport and Joyfear

Relationship>Vanity

I’ve had rough-coated border collies for 16 years. I have hiked them in all kinds of terrain this entire time; much of these hikes in the dry Rocky Mountain climate I grew up in. Still, the burr (spiky seed pod) situation I experienced with my young Felix just a few days ago is unparalleled in … More Relationship>Vanity

Interpretive Dance

“My dog would find that to be a punishment.” “Stop reinforcing that dog!” “Is punishment ever ok?” “Be careful that you don’t reinforce that fear.” “I always reinforce him, so why doesn’t he listen?” These statements all have two things in common: they are frequently uttered by the dog-loving world I belong to, and they … More Interpretive Dance

Perfection Paralysis

Many of my clients suffer from something that I know all too well; perfection paralysis. It’s the fear of messing up your training beyond repair; the fear that makes us just not train at all. But this condition has an antidote (besides of course the personal work that often must be done!). The antidote is … More Perfection Paralysis