no magic wands

Even as a trainer I think it's easy to want to tell people what to do, or to expect them to do what you recommend based on your authority. But, everybody will choose to do what they want. And it's really okay. The more I've been "in the game" the more convoluted things seem to be. We're all looking for that call from a owner of a 4 month old puppy that nips and jumps. And it seems those calls are farther and few between. I've been seeing several clients whose dogs who have anxiety issues, which almost always require medication. And it got me thinking, what percent of our dogs have now joined the pill popping nation?

Legitimately the medication IS what will make a difference for these dogs, so I don't question that as much as I wonder what would we have done with dogs that had these issues 20-50 years ago? Would they run off the farm not to be seen again?
Would we just accept that they'd rearrange our pillows and shred our garbage? I've heard several speakers say this and even a client the other day, "when I was a kid, all the dogs just ran and found a buddy in the neighborhood to run with, then they'd come home at night". Not with our fences- post and rail and underground. Our dogs stay within the confines of their rather boring back yards. Our leash laws have created a whole category of aggression too.

My friend Kevin came into town for a visit. When he's around, we make up corny songs, sign a lot, laugh while we rehash old times and eat too much. We did all that. And, he tells me about all the good music I've been missing. He's a funny character, and uprooted himself from Alexandria to move to Portland. With all of our assumed "busyness" we haven't seen each other since he moved. And that seems to be the "norm". For some it's kids to raise, geography or working. We're buried behind our laptops, blackberries and pda's- all "important" and unconnected.

When I was a kid the dogs would just roam the neighborhood and find their own dog friends. Somewhere along the way we are tethered to our own imaginary leashes.

Leave the yard.