Thursday, April 26, 2007

Calming Signals - Lip Licking

I've mentioned it before but here I go again. An ancillary part of my dog training business is the inevitable rescue of no longer wanted animals which I consider tithing of my time as there is rarely if any money in it. I get calls frequently from people looking to rehome their dog or cat or some other animal. Reasons vary and some are somewhat nefarious, but since my focus is on the welfare of the animal, I try not to make out loud judgments and instead offer the limited help I can. If they can keep their animal until a home is found I have them send me descriptions (a personal ad if you will) and up to 3 digital photos (which I'll tweak if I have to) and then I'll put them up on my petfinder site. The numbers of animals varies from day to day or week to week, but the happy endings I often get are well worth the effort. Like I say, one person's trash is another person's treasure.

I also somehow end up on group emails from various rescue organizations sending pleas to go rescue dogs that are in shelters on death row. Whether pure breed or mixed (and that's a whole other blog entry), young or old, healthy or ailing, these pleas are meant to tug at the heartstrings. I generally pass on them due to lack of time and I do what I can do with that limited time, but I'm often struck by the numbers of photos that come out with the tongues out. Learning about calming signals can be helpful in all manner of things, but I know that I if I were a dog and were thrust into a chaotic shelter environment, I'd be licking my lips too, and not in a way that connotes hunger.

In a way that connotes a happy, stable dog, here's my Trip with a wonderful tongue curl. I'm sure it's a genetically inherited quality!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Real Tax Deadline

I guess I really do like to live enough on the edge in that I'm one of those people who postmark their taxes on the very last day possible...this year it happens to be today, April 17th because the 15th fell on a Sunday (the first day of a nor'easter on the East Coast...we here in Cleveland were spared) and the 16th happened to be Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C. where the IRS brain lives. Apparently this will happen again in the year 2012, so I'll be looking forward to that! In the meantime, all I can say right now as my taxes filter somewhere through the mail system, the kids wrestle with the last of their homework, the dishwasher quietly hums as it sudses, is I'm grateful for it all. I for one am grateful I live in a free country and happily pay my taxes.