Special Days with Rocky

For the second time this year the Posse and I provide hospice care for a dear friend and family member.  First was GingerPeach who passed away May 11.  And now, sweet Rocky.  His mobility increasingly limited as his spondylosis progresses. Came across a beautiful quote by Cicely Saunders, nurse, physician, writer, and founder of the modern hospice movement.   Sharing it here, along with a few glimpses of the love and life that fill these special days with Rocky. “You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only Continue Reading →

Thank You, 2014!

As the start of the New Year approaches, I’m grateful for all the learning and growth of the past year.  Wonderful new students, returning students, and visitors from far away places – including Kay Laurence who shared her time and knowledge in a Clicker Revolution workshop – contributed to my learning and growth in 2014.   I’m grateful for the uniqueness of each person, each dog, and each lesson exchanged.  Because of each one, my eyes see more clearly. Each year at SMART DOGS new programs are added and ongoing programs live in a healthy state of revision.  One notable new Continue Reading →

Why I Train

My training (personal and professional) is based entirely on my desire to build healthy relationships and lifestyles for humans and canines.  How?  By reducing stress and increasing wellness for both ends of the leash.  How?  By building trust and confidence at both ends of the leash.  By eliminating force, pain, fear, aggression, intimidation.  By empowering human and canine with skills for controlling impulse and arousal levels.  By establishing a flow of learning and clear communication between both ends of the leash.  By nourishing body and mind of human and canine. Cute or Fancy “Tricks”.  Dog Sports.  Those are just some Continue Reading →

Your dog is waiting for you…

Your dog is waiting for you… Your dog is waiting for you to see him as the unique individual he is, not as a stereotype of a breed (e.g., Lab, Poodle, Yorkie, Corgi, etc) or breed group (e.g., herding, terrier, toy, etc.). Your dog is waiting for you to recognize who he is rather than viewing him as a label or behavior problem (e.g., stubborn, anxious, hyper, reactive, fearful, digger, jumper), a “rank” in a hierarchy, a teddy bear, a dress up doll, or a lesser version of your previous dog. Your dog is waiting for you to have him Continue Reading →

Meet the Plumwood Posse

Meet the Plumwood Posse, my dogs who bring inspiration, delight, laughter, friendship, lessons and knowledge to each and every day!  Shown L to R in the photo below are: Chibi-chan RN, Penelope, GingerPeach CRO-I CGC retired Therapy Dog, Geronimo CRO-I CGC, Rocky CD RA and Piglet P-CRO-III. I coined the name “Plumwood Posse” over a decade ago, the group shown below is version 7.0.  As for their ages and breeds: Chibi-chan is a senior gentleman and a mix of toy breeds, Penelope a ~3 year old rat terrier, GingerPeach and Rocky are ~10-11 year old Golden Retrievers (perhaps with a Continue Reading →

Welcome to our blog!

Hello and Welcome to SMART DOGS‘ blog, where Dogs are beloved Friends, Family Members and Teachers! Whether you already know us from SMART DOGS facebook page, our Plumwood Posse youtube channel, taking Classes at SMART DOGS Training Center, or are meeting us for the first time, we hope our blog helps you Think, Learn, and Grow.  We also hope it helps you understand and use positive reinforcement and two-way communication to build strong, healthy relationships. Our blog emphasizes Learning, Behavior and Health – learning about yourself as you learn about your dog, with your dog, and from your dog; understanding Continue Reading →

Geronimo posthumous CRO-I

                On June 06, 2013, three days after he passed away, Geronimo was awarded his Level 1 Cyber Rally O Title (CRO-I). Following a splenectomy and diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma, Geronimo lived one month.  The splenectomy improved his quality of life, we had a beautiful month, he felt better than he had in many months since his symptoms appeared.  Alas, it did not improve the quantity of his life and he left us far too soon, 11.5 years young. Geronimo’s qualifying runs are shown below and were filmed during his final week.  They were Continue Reading →