My (Small) Village Life: Yoga Rocks!

"Prana Yoga sign, Fairport NY"

Lately, I've been using the yoga metaphor that life is about being on the mat. Present. Mindful. Committed to showing up. Every day. When I finished writing my book, I promised myself that I'd get back into yoga. This time, I'd stick with a yoga studio. No pseudo-yoga classes squished into back corners of mega, franchise gyms. Lucky for me, Prana Yoga opened up in the village. I love that if I plan for it, I can walk there. I also love that if I drive, it's less than five minutes from my … [Read more...]

My life walking dogs

:young man and female pit bull terrier mixed breed standing in fenced yard

My life walking dogs used to start with early morning walks, me and whatever dog (or dogs) needed to get out and move. Over the years, I've walked ex-racing greyhounds and whippets: elegant walkers with such easy strides. I could ease myself into a quiet meditative state, not worrying about other people's ill-mannered dogs. I've walked Great Danes. Such mild, gentle giants guaranteed to slow cars along West Church Street. I've walked dogs that were dog aggressive that kept me on my toes, one eye … [Read more...]

Gracie: Up Close And Personal.

Happy Dog Tails

Gracie, up close and personal. Enjoying the first of two afternoon sun bathing sessions. Now that she's staked out her spot, near the garage, she's almost ready to lay down, always keeping one eye open to check out whatever catches her interest. I haven't told her about winter. Yet. Maybe, she'll surprise me and be one of those dogs that likes the cold weather. Wonder how that works for dogs that hate getting wet? At the first sign of rain, Gracie heads for the back door. Snow … [Read more...]

Hemlock Lake’s Just One of the Finger Lakes

"Hemlock Lake, one of the Finger Lakes

 What is it about the quiet surface of a clear lake surrounded by thickets of trees that feeds my soul? It's been a slow romance because I was a beach girl growing up.  As much as I miss the sound of the surf, the salt tang of the air and hard packed sand beneath my feet, I can slip into that same peaceful bliss standing along the shores of any one of the Finger Lakes. Yesterday, A and I headed for Hemlock Lake, taking back roads south and slightly west ... and found this.    … [Read more...]

What Makes a Dog be a Good Therapy Dog?

"female American Staffordshire terrier pit bull terrier"

When we adopted Gracie, we wondered if she'd make a good therapy dog - a dog that would walk calmly into a library filled with elementary school age kids all waiting to have a great interactive reading experience with her. Or perhaps, she'd be good with slightly older kids and adults. What do you think? Doesn't she look like a happy, confident dog? She is confident, when she's in a place that she knows. Like our back yard. This is where we walked her, sat with her, and slowly began to play … [Read more...]

A Penny For Your Thoughts

"Love Always Wags Its Tail book cover"

When I started Healing Rescue Dogs, I didn't call myself a "pet blogger." My intent was to brand myself as a story teller who just happened to know enough about dogs to be able to write about them. And, that's what I've been doing, one post and (finally) one book, at a time.  Certainly I had a whole repertoire of subjects to choose from. Having burned out on the world of small business with all of its 9-5 drama, that was the last thing I wanted to write about. But, I'd put enough time in (10-12 … [Read more...]

Dog Training Shorts: Tone of Voice

"head shot of female pit bull terrier"

  "She really likes when you talk to her," said the behaviorist as she waltzed Gracie around the empty training room. Gracie pranced with one ear cocked, listening to the happy tone in J's voice. And, I could see it -- the connection wasn't the clicker or the treat; the connection was the relationship between the two of them that found its expression in J's tone of voice. "You need to tell her to sit with more authority," said the man who'd come to class with his wife.  "Sit." His voice … [Read more...]

Off My Blog I’m Really Pissed

"One happy American Staffordshire Terrier miexed breed pup"

Lately, there's a whole lot more going on off my blog than on it so that, showing up here has been painful. Painful in the sense that I'm grasping to find words to keep up with my ideas,  pushing away words that connect to what I really want to blog about. But because these words don't fit my niche, would be bitchy and unkind, even though they would relieve a lot of my pent up emotions and help me get clear on a few things:  I'm trying to hold off. I realize that this is a bit cryptic. … [Read more...]

Clicker Training And Aspergers Dance Awkwardly Together

Happy Dog Tails

Learning to clicker train my son's new dog opened the door into what he goes through every day because he has Asperger's Syndrome Disorder.  The newer part of the shelter is two-stories high with offices upstairs and a football size first floor dedicated to training classes, all of which are listed on the animal shelter's web site. We are registered for "Basic Manners," which meets every Tuesday night at 7PM for six weeks. That first night, per instructions, we leave Gracie at home, arrive … [Read more...]

“You just don’t have time for this dog…”

Happy Dog Tails

You said you did but now you know that you just don't have time for this dog. That cute 8 week old yellow lab puppy is now two years old, overly friendly with people, plays well other dogs and craves exercise. You've just accepted a teaching job on the other side of the city and your wife, who also works fulltime, is seven months pregnant. You know what's coming: with both you and your wife already stretched thin, once the baby's born, there will be even less time for this … [Read more...]