Category Archives: Uncategorized

I <3 My Purebred Dog (and my shelter dog)

I keep tabs on the local classifieds sites, mainly seeing if there are Belgians being advertised and in need of rescue. Unfortunately, I can’t help but notice the various scams connected with “rescue” dogs.

Like the ad which said “Rescue puppies for adoption” and proceeded to explain that the parents of the pups were on-site for viewing, had been rescued themselves (from what?), and were going to be fixed after “this one litter”. I call bullshit… that’s not rescue. That’s using a fad to sell your overpriced mutts.

I have a purebred dog. I love purebreds. I love the predictability inherent in purebreds. I love breeders of purebred dogs, especially the breeder Castle is from. There is nothing wrong with purebred dogs or the breeding of them, except according to radical animal rights groups whose stated goals include the eradication of all pets.

I have had mutts in the past. I loved those mutts. There is nothing wrong with mutts–and to be honest, there is nothing wrong with breeding mutts, if the breeder is educated, responsible, and puts the time and money into planning and raising the pups well. There’s nothing wrong with getting a mutt from a shelter, or a private rescue, either. Those dogs need homes just as much as any.

What’s wrong is intentionally breeding a litter, and then labeling them “rescues” just to tug on peoples’ heartstrings. They aren’t rescues. They were intentionally brought into the world; hopefully the reasoning is something other than “well, Fluffy and Mr. Studly are such nice dogs and we could use some cash”.

There is nothing wrong with breeding when the intentions are good: the necessary checks are done, the breeder has clear goals for the outcome of the breeding, and will provide a lifetime of support to puppy buyers. If you bring a life into this world, you are responsible.

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Play. And….shameless advertising.

I’m taking this course with Castle. I have long known that I need to move towards using more non-food play and less treats when training. Looking ahead to next year, and thinking about competing in agility with Castle made this jump to the forefront of all the various things I want/need to work on. Then Denise Fenzi announced that she was running a course all about how to play with your dog in a fun, rewarding manner for both of you. I nabbed a working spot… we just completed our Week 1 homework and I’m looking forward to Denise’s feedback on our videos (gulp!).

Denise Fenzi

On and off I’ve talked about play on this blog.  Maybe more on than off.

I happen to find the topic completely fascinating – You and your dog; interacting in a manner that is interactive, rewarding and joyful.  Maybe using toys or food but often with nothing at all.   How can a dog person not be fascinated?

Indeed, so fascinating that Deb Jones and I ended up writing a book about it, titled “Dog Sport Skills:  Building Relationship Through Play”.

That’s the good news; a book is in the pipeline.  The bad news is that it isn’t likely to be ready for awhile, as it is the second book in the series.  While written, we’d like to publish the first book….first.  Hopefully you’re waiting on pins and needles.

So…what’s a person to do while waiting?

Well, step in Tracy Skenlar from Agility University, who has asked me to teach…

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Google I/O 2010: Thoughts and Comments

This is really rough, pretty much a brain dump of thoughts bouncing around in my head after I got home. Apologies… please comment if you want me to expand on anything!

Equality and Whatnot
-more women in the audience than expected but so few female presenters
-demographics info?
-curious about developer gender breakdown w/in Google?

Social Web:
-“Social” problem is not solved
-more room for innovation
-niche markets are where it’s at: FB/etc. are a one-size-fits-all that really doesn’t work for anybody
-privacy is a BIG ISSUE
-how much to share?
-how much to share automatically?
-goal is interoperability, path is open standards
-niche sites satisfy ppl’s need for keeping multiple personas separate
-ppl most comfortable sharing “professional” persona, i.e. LinkedIn

Android
-OMG phones!
-Nexus One: very slick. Like it. Interface fairly intuitive, mostly homogeneous. Works in Canada with Fido… except for 3g (EDGE only on their network)
-HTC EVO 4g: OMG <3. Big == good. Gorgeous screen. Feels very responsive. I can has unlock?
-Exciting time to be developing for Android
-platform gaining momentum
-App store changes will make it more accessible; nice to sit @ computer and browse apps on a big screen
-Flash on Android: open platform supporting proprietary product, unlike Apple, a closed platform refusing to support closed product
-"inclusivity"/"openness": we will see.

Chrome/GWT/Google Apps
-lots of neat demos
-GWT is pronounced "gwit", btw
-need to play with these tools and see what I can make

HTML5
-it is the way and the future
-Amazing demos
-major browsers should support 5 by end of 2010
-looks like it will replace some instances of flagrant and unnecessary Flash (yay)

Other
-two days didn’t seem like enough… but it was exhausting
-definitely worth it; will consider going next year for sure
-best part: listening to Vic Gundotra slag Apple for being closed
-best demo: Sports Illustrated’s new online interface. Wow, talk about geared to users’ activities.
-annoyance: keynotes were WAY TOO LONG and threw off session schedules
-what I can apply to my work at the ETCL: better knowledge of web standards, ideas for how user interfaces can be tailored to the specific needs of their users; contacts in Google who are interested in what we do… and excitement over what we can do with all these cool new toys :)

Hello world!

Yes, I am starting this blog with a computer joke. But this is not a “computer” blog! There will likely be a smattering of stuff about computers and computer programming, as well as dogs, nutrition, and CrossFit.

I haven’t written a blog in years, so this is going to be a bit of a challenge. I don’t really know what audience will be interested in this particular mix of topics. Hopefully there are a few people out there besides me who love dogs, computers, CrossFit and nutrition!