Monday, August 21, 2017

Tonight I am initiating a hiatus from Facebook.  It will be hard - it has been a part of my daily life for the last 10 years, a way to connect with the kind of people I've struggled to meet locally, both in terms of philosophy and shared interests.

But it's become too much of a habit, and a draining one.  There is too much judgement, too much ignorance and hate.  And I know going off facebook won't eliminate that hate, but it is extremely hard for me to constantly expose myself to those attitudes - especially in a context in which I can't do anything to change them.

It has also become my main displacement behaviour.  Unsure what to do?  Check facebook.  Bored in the car?  Check facebook.  Finished writing a work e-mail and not sure whether to send it or not?  Check facebook.

It needs to stop, and it's not stopping on its own.  My goal is to build a new displacement behaviour - one that's a bit healthier and not as easy to get sucked into.  I also want to spend more time just... in life.  With my dogs.  With the cat.  And connecting with people more meaningfully, which is not something I'm good at doing online.  I hope someday I can return - there are a lot of things I like about it and a lot of people that I don't have any other way to connect with.  I'll miss having a resource for nearly immediate answers to question, but I won't miss the word vomit that spouts from my fingers, seemingly out of my own control.

I know that this won't magically fix all of my problems, but it's something that I can initiate by myself, entirely on my own terms.  I hope it gives me back some time, and also some of my sanity.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

FE 345 - Immitation and Mimicry - Week 1 notes and homework

Behaviours on verbal cue

  • Sit
  • Over
  • Hup/Up
Behaviours almost on verbal cue alone

  • Drop
  • Spin
  • Kiss?
Behaviours not on verbal cue alone that are likely easy to put on verbal cue
  • Left (paw)
  • Right (paw)
  • Fly
  • Touch
The rest of the homework for this week is proofing stays/waits, and thinking about how to demonstrate the behaviour so that the dog will recognize the human motions as analogous to dog motions.

An eventful week

Two amazing things happened this week.

1.  We have started working on consent cues, and a nose-touch on the car door is how I've been teaching Ida to ask to get into the car.  A friend was dropping my husband off from a day-trip yesterday - Ida came outside to say "hi" and hang out while they unloaded the car.... and during that time Ida offered several nose-touches on the back door of our friend's car.

This is huge, mainly because first, she's offering the behaviour outside of the context of training, and second to be it indicates that she actually wants into the car, which would never have happened a month ago.

2. We also have started going to a the nearby community league property, which has an outdoor rink that is almost fully enclosed, and is grass and therefore disused in the summer.  We've just been going there to hang out in a new place.  What I didn't realize is how many hares live around there (although I probably shouldn't be surprised, since there is a large community garden plot less than 100 m away from the rink).  We were just hanging out in the rink, Ida was sniffing some stuff and started wandering over to the open door.  I called her back no problem and we kept sniffing... she started wandering over again so I put her into a down stay and went to close the gate just in case, and wouldn't you know it, there was a GIGANTIC hare just laying in the grass about 20 feet away. Good girl Ida (and thank goodness the hare didn't decide to take off because I have no illusions about how well she'd recall while chasing down a rabbit).