The Dog Whisperer

I was extra-tired at Robyn’s practice because Cindy and I were up late watching old episodes of “The Dog Whisperer” They are hosted by Cesar Millan whose shtick Dog Psychology. He’s absolutely hilarious! My favorite line to dog owners: “They’re not less than human; they’re just not human”

The main theme of the show is that dogs are most comfortable when they are in a pack and are around the dominant pack leader. So be that leader! The mindset you want the dog to be in is “calm-submissive.”

The one tip that I think will work wonders with buddy is that, in dogs, there is a big difference between ‘excited’ and ‘happy’. To Cesar, ‘excited’ is just as bad as ‘agitated’. The dog is ‘happy’ when he is ‘calm-submissive’

I think that for Cesar’s advice to work owners need to get over any negative connotations about the word ‘submissive’. Submissive is perceived by most to be a strongly negative human term but it’s a strongly positive dog behaviour.

Hockey Morning in Canada

Up at 6:15AM for Robyn’s 7:30 practice in White City. There weren’t many kids out and even fewer parents. I usually like the early morning stuff because I have the whole day in front of me after hockey. Although right now I’m pretty darn tired.

Robyn got to practice in goal and did really well for her first time in pads this year. She hasn’t mentioned goal much this year but now that she’s had a practice she’s eager to play in a game. My thoughts? Officially they don’t matter and it’s good for her to try all the positions, but I sure wouldn’t mind having one child play out, purely from the spectators point of view.

We all went out for breakfast after the practice. Went to McDonald’s which wasn’t my or Robyn’s first choice but it actually wasn’t that bad. Perhaps the McDioxins are merging with my cell structure, or maybe because they have Hockey Cards!

It was a good chance to talk with more of the parents. More and more of the kids are involved in Basketball these days; half the team had games or practices at 10. The fees seem reasonable (100-150 per year) but wow that’s a big time commitment if you’re also playing hockey. I can’t see how our kids would survive playing two sports at the same time when each sport is twice a week.

Boy in the Snow

While the oven may be snowbound and Van may be iced up, this week’s cold temperatures and heavy snowfalls has brought one of my favourite people back to life. Ben, aka Snow Boy, has once again magically transformed from moody bookworm to icy adventurer. Within 24 hours, there was a 4 foot igloo in the front yard. By Day Two, the igloo had three exits. Work on the side rooms is progressing nicely.

Snow Boy’s autumn nemesis, Buddy Dog, is now his faithful companion, spending hour after finger numbing hour in the back yard fetching hunks of snow and ice. Boy and Dog seem to embrace the frozen white stuff as their native habitat.

Van in the Snow

Back in 1993 we decided that our new minivan was going to last us a long time. We didn’t want to be strapped with perpetual payments (no matter how “easy” and “monthly” and the decision was consistent with our frugal values.

At the time, we didn’t know what a ‘long time’ looked like. Some vague time past 10 years for sure, but we were foggy about the details. We’re now a couple months away from Van’s 14th birthday and it might be getting close to end of life.

Van hasn’t been blowing heat (in the winter anyway) for a few years now and a couple years ago started the annoying habit of throwing off the serpentine belt whenever it goes through more than four inches of snow. This week the temperatures dropped below -30C and it snowed a lot. Instant icy insides and the belts come off twice already.

Van’s now at the repair shop. We’ll learn tomorrow if it will be pulled off life support.