Monday, February 2, 2009

At the End of My Leash with "At the End of My Leash"

Up here in Canada we are very fortunate to get the show "At the End of My Leash" on the classy Slice channel. With the CRTC's Canadian Content regulations, it would be simply inconceivable to air only Cesar Millan's show; no - we need our own canine guru!

But who to pick? Hmmmm. Instead of choosing someone from the considerable list of qualified trainers registered with the APDT or other governing bodies, or someone with a university degree in animal behaviour, or even someone who's published a book on dog training... Slice decided on Brad Pattison, a man who operates his own dubious training school (for only $6000, you too can become a "Certified Educated Trainer"); who has a few interesting (read: completely outdated) theories on dog behaviour; and apparently even a lawsuit in British Columbia.

Good choice, Slice!

In this very helpful show, Brad Pattison explains the ins and outs of training dogs, with his inimitable knowledge of canine behaviour and considerable aplomb. The receding hairline is just icing on the cake!

This wonderful personage even offers in-person training classes to learn the ins and outs of his methods! Luckily, for those of us unable to attend in person, some helpful Youtuber uploaded a few videos of a "Street Safety" class in Toronto. You can witness for yourself Brad Pattison's marvelous manner with dogs! Have you ever seen such devotion? Such a bond between handler and dog? Such a deep understanding of animals? Well, prepare yourselves.

Here's a wonderful example of how to gain a dog's trust and respect! Notice the dog's happy demeanor.

Here's how to ensure that your dog pays attention to you! I especially like the speed at which Pattison hits the second tree; nothing teaches a dog respect like a good case of whiplash.

And how exactly do you deal with your dog's desire to chase moving objects, other dogs, or squirrels? Why, you teach a "leave it" command, of course! Here's just how to do it!

Wonderful, isn't it? Personally, I don't think people hit their dogs enough, and those martingale collars are just going to waste if you don't give 'em a good, hard yank every five seconds. If you want to see even more top training tips, check out! Mind you, those episodes are edited pretty heavily. More's the pity.

Monday, January 5, 2009

More snow pictures...

Now that the weather has turned officially icky - more snow, sleety rain, slush everywhere - I thought I'd upload some photos of the magical, fluffy, white snow that graced the city before Christams.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Why I love the Interwebz

Tonight I was - wait for it- social, and actually went out with some friends on Main Street.* In the course of conversation I interrupted someone's salsa dancing story rather rudely and began blathering about - wait for it - Tahitian stick dancing. I believe the thrust of my argument was something along the lines of "Dances Lizzie Can't and Shouldn't Do", but I had a difficult time convincing my companions that Tahitian Stick Dancing really existed and is not just a figment of my overactive imagination.

Now, this really should go without saying ... but in my experience most things that go without saying usually go with saying, so I'll say it. In approximately 1992 I saw Tahitian Stick Dancing on the local cable channel. It was part of the coverage of some community dance extravaganza, I'm sure. The stick dancing was pretty mesmerizing. It left an impression on me... in 1992.

Now in 2009, I am trying (and failing) to describe this art form to a bunch of rather skeptical interlocutors. Within minutes of arriving home, firing up my computer, and typing some keywords into Youtube... what do I come across but several videos of Maori (not Tahitian) Stick Dancing. Which I promptly forwarded to my skeptical interlocutors. Amazing.

In case you're wondering, here's an example:

*"Going out with friends on Main Street" makes me sound like a hipster. But a hipster I am not.