Monday, August 26, 2013

The Dog Days of (rapidly disappearing) Summer

One of the benefits of teaching for a living is summer vacation. I expect a certain amount of envy over this. Disapproval too. In these economic times, people who are fortunate enough to have steady work at all tend to work long hours and get very little time off. The reaction that always takes me by surprise, though, is bafflement. Some people actually look at me in amazement and ask, "Aren't you bored going almost three months without going to work? What do you do?"

While I enjoy my job, I can honestly say that my answer is no. I don't get bored, and summer vacation flies by. I wish long vacations were the norm for all professions in our society.

This Sunday, we took our dogs down to the American River for a walk and a swim. At 13.5, Roxy still manages to keep up with us and enjoy outings like this, but I'm all too aware that this could change at any time. It's a reminder not to squander the opportunities we are given to relax and enjoy our lives.

Roxy still loves coming down here

Roxy is still beautiful at 13.5

Wiley is bone dry because he won't go in the water


Flick, on the other hand, would swim all day

She is very focused on her stick

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Article About Dog Training and Behavior

 Dogs and dog training are two of my real-life passions. I majored in zoology in college (and took a ton of psychology courses as well) and got my grad degree in organismic biology and comparative physiology, and I've often been appalled by the stuff that people still say about dog training and behavior. This is a great article (by Prescott Breeden) about dog training, animal behavior, the actual science behind dominance, and about why so many animal behaviorists and professional dog trainers decry the training methods espoused by shows like The Dog Whisperer.