Mar 6

Ruth & RustyWow, I can’t believe that it’s been 20 years since I jumped into the world of pet training.
I’ve been lucky to enjoy the last 15 of those years as a self-employed pet trainer/behaviorist.  I’ve met countless amazing dogs, cats & people along the way.  The true blessing is that they’ve all (humans & animals, alike) been my teachers & inspirations.  But, it’s time for a change.  I’m taking a break from training to follow my heart in a different direction:  writing for my new site, The Soulful Pet.

The Soulful Pet is a creative outlet where I can explore & celebrate the bonds we share with our pets.
Pet guardians know that a life well-lived with animals is a unique one.  Pets are family members.  We learn from them, share with them, care for them, & cry for them.  Of course, we hope that their lives are enriched thru these bonds, as well.

As a writer, trainer/behaviorist, & pet guardian/advocate, I am excited about the endless possibilities of The Soulful Pet.
I hope you’ll join me to create a community where we can share what we love about life with animals, on both the site & the FB page.  I’ll cover all aspects of this sweet lifestyle:  Foodie topics (recalls, recipes, healthy ingredients); product recommendations; social issues & commentary; pup culture; recommended reading (blogs & books); insights & inspirations; entertainment; and much more.  I also hope to spotlight special people who do great work with animals, as well as animals in need.  I’ll invite guest bloggers to tell their stories about how their lives have been touched by animals.

I did consider that there are countless blogs about people & pets.
But that’s a good thing.  The more, the merrier, I say.  It’s a group swim, and I’m jumping in to add my voice to the convo.  What’s changed?  I won’t be writing about the step-by-steps &  how-tos anymore.  They’re important, but talented others, whose works I’ll highlight, quite ably handle those.  Instead, I’ll focus on helping folks understand their pets better by relating to them on a more equal level:  We all share the same world & similar experiences.  If it affects you, it affects your pet – and vice versa.  If you see your pet thru your own experiences, you’re more empathetic.  (I’m keenly aware that we are different species.  Pets are not people, and I honor & cherish those differences.)  Empathy creates understanding, compassion & patience.  In turn, an enlightened human is a better teacher, companion & guardian for a pet.  If an enlightened human pays very close attention, she’ll learn about herself thru her pets.  It flows both ways, folks.

What else makes my voice worth adding to the convo?
In the last year,  I’ve learned that I need to listen to my heart more.  In doing that, I realized that I was ready for something new.  My journey will inform my writing.  In a way, The Soulful Pet is an integration of my spirit & my work that I’m sharing with you.  It will be different:  personal, honest & opinionated, non-PC, quirky-funny, philosophical, possibly political, random & heartfelt.   Dare I say, “smartly soulful”?

The Soulful Pet is an opportunity for all of us to thank & celebrate the animals in our lives.
Let’s collectively spread the word that understanding, compassion and a positive training approach enrich & save lives.  Along the way, we’ll laugh, cry & learn together, from each other.  I’m hoping for many moments where we find ourselves saying, “Huh, I never thought about it that way before.”  Or, “I can’t wait to try that!”   Hmmm……  Does that make me your critter-life coach?  Or you mine?  Or are our pets ultimately our best life guides?  So much to explore!

Ruth

PS – My little muse, Rusty, will be hanging out with me on The Soulful Pet.  He’s relieved of his duties @ Rusty’s Dog Blog for now.  I’m thrilled to have him as my teacher & friend.  Join us there, won’t you?  Woofs & hugs from us to you!

© 2013 Critter Consulting

Mar 1

sleeping-beagle1Sometimes we all just need a break.  Here’s a charming “tail”:

“An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard.  I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of. He calmly came over to me; I gave him a few pats on his head.  He then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner, and fell asleep.

The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside, and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour.  This continued off and on for several weeks. Curious, I pinned a note to his collar: ‘I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.’

The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: ‘He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 – he’s trying to catch up on his sleep.  Can I come with him tomorrow?'”

Source:  Internet.

While we didn’t run this story by snopes.com, it’s a believable scenario.  Family life can get hectic for parents, kids & pets, alike!  (Many cats  simply refuse to come home again when things get too chaotic.)  Contact us if you need help creating a peaceful balance in your home.  We’ll work with you to develop a training plan that meets your goals & suits your busy lifestyle!

© 2009 CritterConsulting

Dec 8

A friend sent me this article.  (I’ve certainly heard this said of cats, too.) I had to share it with you:

“From time to time people tell me, “Lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or, “That’s a lot of money for just a dog.”  They don’t understand the distance traveled, time spent, or costs involved for “Just a dog”.  Some of my proudest moments have come about with “Just a dog”.  Many hours have passed with my only company being “Just a dog”, and not once have I felt slighted.  Some of my saddest moments were brought about by “Just a dog”.   In those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “Just a dog” provided comfort and purpose to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it’s “Just a dog”, you will probably understand phrases like, “Just a friend”, “Just a sunrise”, or “Just a promise”.  “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy.  “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and purpose that makes me a better person.  Because of “Just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks, and look longingly to the future.

For me and folks like me, it’s not “Just a dog”.  It’s an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.  “Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday people can understand it’s not “Just a dog”.  It’s the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “Just a man or woman”.

So the next time you hear the phrase, “Just a dog”, smile, because they “Just Don’t Understand”.”
-author unknown-

Big hugs to your dogs (and cats!). 

Oct 17

Animals are great teachers, if we’re open to learning from them.  Do we know what our pets already know about the simple joys of every day life?  Here are a few lessons to learn from our dogs:

  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
  • Take naps.
  • Stretch often.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
  • Be loyal.
  • Never pretend to be something you’re not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Source:  Internet, submitted by a client & friend.

Have a great weekend!

© 2008 CritterConsulting

Apr 28

As you teach your pet to stay off the furniture, consider this:  

“No animal should ever jump up on the dining-room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation.”

Fran Lebowitz, Social Studies

Jan 17

I’ve found this quote helpful in all aspects of life: dog-and-cat-flower-pot.jpg

“It’s no trick loving somebody at their best.  Love is loving them at their  worst.”                                                                                                           

-Tom Stoppard, The Real Thing-