Life-list no 2: Do a dog training course. NAILED.

Those, ladies and gents, are nip marks by [Hurricane] Bella, who is really enthusiastic about running. In all, I have a dozen of these and they only get angrier. Bella expresses excitement by reaching for you with her teeth. The thing to note is that she does not do this out of anger. Dogs! You’re in trouble if they are big and playful.

One of the best things I like about setting out to formally study at this age is the chance to employ hindsight. You can 1. Choose what to study 2. With whom 3. Actually learn because a. There is no pressure b. You know what to do.

Getting number 2 right has enriched the process. Too many people turn teachers to a. Be the tallest person in the room. b. To be able to insist they are right. I am not of the school that you can demand respect because you beat the race to conception. I didn’t even get admission forms for the one that said teachers are always right.

I knew I wanted to learn understanding and manipulating dog behavior from Shirin Merchant. I am inspired by her professional conduct, agree with her training methods and respect her knowledge base. Plus, her kids are really well behaved, so that’s a big hint. When I interact with her for work, I always fix appointments at her home, in the middle of her teaching sessions, so that I can be run over by dogs. I may have sat down on the floor and rolled about in them a couple of times. These are my longest assignments and she has never called me out, yet.

Okay now, toss me your dogs.

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