Last March, I attended Expo West in Anaheim, California, an enormous “natural products” trade show with a good representation of natural pet product makers. In July, I took a trip to Indiana and Ohio, where I toured a dry pet food manufacturing plant, a poultry processing plant, a high-volume daycare and boarding facility (that also houses foster dogs for a rescue group), and the main research facility for one of the country’s largest pet food makers. In October, I attended the annual conference of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).
These trips expand my store of knowledge about responsible dog care -in ways that, I hope, enable me to bring you more and better information about products, food, and training methods to benefit your dogs.
They also produce a consistent side-effect: they make me really excited about going home and doing further investigation about what I learned. I find myself spending days reviewing materials that I picked up on my trips, and performing behavior modification experiments on my dog. Each time, my batteries got recharged; I found a new interest and enjoyment in my dog -and my job! Anyway, I can’t recommend extended learning enough. Especially because there are so many inspiring and fascinating educational opportunities available! Need examples? How about these:
• The “Well Adjusted Dog Workshop: Secrets to Understanding Canine Behavior,” presented by Dr. Nicholas Dodman, founder and director of the animal behavior clinic at Tufts University. Dr. Dodman will present this two-day workshop for owners, trainers, vets, and vet techs in March (California), April (Illinois), and June (New Jersey). Topics will include canine anxiety, phobias, compulsive behaviors, aggression, and more. For more information, see thepetdocs.com.
• Safer Vaccination and Pet Health Care, featuring world-renowned vaccination experts Drs. Jean Dodds and Ronald Schultz and benefitting the Rabies Challenge Fund, March 28, San Diego, California. See petseminar.org or call (858) 755-8820 for more info.
• Holistic Veterinary Medicine Symposium presented by the University of California at Davis Holistic Veterinary Medicine Club, May 22, Davis, California. Send an e-mail to email@example.com for details.
• Introduction to Small Animal Acupressure by Amy Snow and Kim Bauer, April 25-27, Pittstown, New Jersey. Call the Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute at (303) 681-3033 or see tallgrasspublishers.com for more information.
Foster dog update
I found a perfect home for the little Beagle-mix I fostered for a few weeks in December. She is a bright, fast, and super-sweet dog, and finding her a home should have been a snap, but, due to separation anxiety, she also displays some fairly vexing behavior when left alone. Then I found a family with four boys (ages 5 through 13); Dad has wanted a dog his whole life, and Mom is a full-time, stay-at-home mom. This family was tailor-made for a snuggly but energetic dog with separation anxiety!
Delivering her, freshly bathed and in a new collar, to their home at 6:30 on Christmas morning totally made my day, week, month, and year. And hearing their reports about her integration into the family has given me a warm glow going into these cold winter months. The mom told me, “The boys argue about who she loves best, which is funny because she really does seem to love them all!”