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

Apr 4

We cat-ified our site by adding even more helpful resources for cat lovers!

The latest addition is our article, “You CAN train your cat!  In it, we describe what cat training involves, and how it differs from dog training.  When we help folks with their cats, we’re usually changing undesired behaviors that result from Kitty being stressed.  You can certainly teach your cat commands, as you would a dog.  But with cats we’re most often guided by a few key, cat-centric questions :  How can we make you happy?  What message are you conveying with your behavior?  How can we bridge the communication gap between you & your humans, so they can see things from your perspective and have the patience to make the changes you need?  And, voila! –  We develop a personalized behavior modification plan based on a detailed history & personality profile of Kitty.

Are your home & routine cat-friendly?  Read our articles for tips on cat-ifying your feline’s life:

Have fun with it, and you’ll see wonderful changes in your favorite feline!  Be proactive whenever possible.  If you cat-ify, Kitty’s less likely to stress.  But if problems arise, don’t wait for undesired behaviors to become bad habits.  (With cats, that can happen quickly, as with house soiling and cat-cat aggression, for example.)  Don’t hesitate to contact us for help with your cats & dogs, of any age, for any issue.

 

It looks like Simon could cat-ify his feline’s life a bit, too.  Some environmental enrichment (interactive play sessions, cat shelves & perches with views, food puzzles, treat hunts, etc.) would be purr-fect for Simon’s Cat!

 

And a Happy Easter to everyone from us & our favorite porcupine, Teddy!

Related posts:

Are you catching us between posts?  Visit us on our Facebook page.

We update it daily with all the latest & best in pet-related news; behavior/training tips; & entertainment.  Join us there to laugh & learn.  Stop by & share how you’re welcoming spring with your pets.  We’d love to see your ideas, pictures & videos.  Let’s celebrate together!

© 2012 Critter Consulting

Mar 21

This post is purely for fun because it’s our favorite season.

We think the happy little dogs in our video collection capture the joy of spring perfectly.

 Woohoo, woofs & wags!

 

 

 

The cutest happy-dance ever, Boston terrier style:

 

How much happiness can a squeaky toy create?  Ask Andy!

 

 

This canine classic puts a smile on our faces every time.  Happy spring!

 

Related posts:

Are you catching us between posts?  Visit us on our Facebook page.

We update it daily with all the latest & best in pet-related news; behavior/training tips; & entertainment.  Join us there to laugh & learn.  Stop by & share how you’re welcoming spring with your pets.  We’d love to see your ideas, pictures & videos.  Let’s celebrate together!

© 2012 Critter Consulting

Mar 6

Catnip’s wonderful effects are often undervalued and overlooked.

Our clients are frequently surprised when we recommend catnip as part of a plan to resolve their feline behavior problems.  If used appropriately, catnip can help Kitty deal with emotional states that are at the root of unwanted behaviors.  Perhaps you & your cat can benefit from the effects of catnip, too.

Is your cat crazy for catnip?  Find out how to make the most of it in our article.  If you’ve got spring fever & a green thumb, start some catnip in your garden.  Your cats will love you for it!

We’re still laughing @ this highly anthropomorphized video.  Enjoy!

How about a touch of the Irish for Kitty?  We love this DIY clover catnip toy.  Suggestions: Make more than one; follow the instructions in our article for keeping catnip toys fresh; and …. block the space under your fridge!

Are you catching us between posts? Visit us on our Facebook page.

We update it daily with all the latest & best in pet-related news; behavior/training tips; & entertainment.  Join us there to laugh & learn.  Stop by & share how you’re welcoming spring with your pets.  We’d love to see your ideas, pictures & videos.  Let’s celebrate together!

© 2012 Critter Consulting

Feb 2

Valentine’s Day has us thinking about all the animals we’ve loved. 

We’d like to share an article inspired by Charlie, the most amazing cat we’ve ever met.  He came to us as a sickly stray, and moved right into our home & hearts with pure grace.  Keep in mind that it was a full house with 2 other cats and a dog.  So perhaps “grace” is an understatement of the ease with which Charlie joined our family.  Anyway, we felt so blessed to have Charlie in our lives that we wrote about the joys of adopting an adult cat in this article.

And, as always, we’re so grateful to have our miniature poodle, Rusty, in our lives.  He’s another example of how wonderful it can be to adopt an adult pet.  He’s been blogging about it since he came to live with us.  Check out Rusty’s Dog Blog!

Visit your local shelter or rescue. Lots of loving dogs & cats are just waiting to charm their way into your home. We can help your adoptions go smoothly.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you & your pets (even the prickly ones!)

Are you catching us between posts?  Visit us on our Facebook page.

We update it daily with all the latest & best in pet-related news & entertainment.  Join us there to laugh & learn.  Plus, you’re welcome to post pics on our page of your adopted Valentines – anytime!

© 2012 Critter Consulting

Jan 30

True confessions time ….  How are those pesky resolutions really going for you?

Now’s the time of year when our good intentions start to fall by the wayside.

Allow us to re-inspire you with this post.   Instead of thinking about your goals as resolutions, consider them to be “lifestyle goals”.  We quit resolutions if we haven’t reached them by January 31.  Don’t give up!  Instead, gradually incorporate your goals into your life so they’re doable & fun.  Ask others to join you to hold you accountable.  For example, if one of your goals was to get moving, let your pet be your personal trainer.  One look @ that adorable face will remind you to get up & walk, run or play.  Just get going, and you’ll be rewarded with personal satisfaction, as well as all the wags & purrs you can stand!

A few fave articles, posts & pages to get you started (again) on the right paw:

  • “Let’s Play!” – Feeling stressed?  Overwhelmed?  Got the blues?  If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then your cat probably can, too.  We have the solution for both of you:  Dust off those cat toys & get busy playing!  (Bonus:  A tired Kitty is less stressed & better behaved.)
  • “7 Resolutions your pet can help you reach”
  • “New year?  New training goals!” – Combine exercise & training to improve mind & body.  We can help you improve Pup’s leash manners & training to get you both going!
  • “A new kind of resolution” – Don’t have a dog?  Why not volunteer with your local shelter or rescue as a dog walker?  Who knows, maybe you’ll meet your mutt match!  (Plus, we list lots of other ways you can feel good while making a difference.)
  • Our toy recommendations – for your dog and your cat.
  • “I workout!” – Our poodle pal, Rusty’s post is loaded with inspiration!

Most importantly, have fun!

And do it with a sense of humor!

© 2012 Critter Consulting

Jan 25

We’re so excited about the year to come!  What exactly gets us wagging & barking for joy?  We love bringing pets & their human guardians together via positive training.  We live for those “light bulb” moments where guardians suddenly understand where their pets are coming from & why they do what they do.  And the “ah-ha” moment crossing a dog’s or cat’s face when they finally get what their people have been trying to teach them all along?  It’s priceless.  Essentially, we bridge communication gaps between species to improve relationships.  Along the way, we meet and learn from amazing animals & people every day.

Want to get started on the right paw with your pet this year?  Why wait?  We’d love to hear from you!  We help people have happy, well mannered dogs & cats.  Got a  new puppy?  Or an older dog that needs to learn new tricks?  Is Kitty stressed?  We work with all ages, breeds, and issues via in-home consultations in Sonoma County.

As always, we’ll continue to inform & entertain via this site, our Facebook page, our newsletter, and Rusty’s Dog Blog.  After all, it’s much more fun to learn when you’re laughing.  So dig in & stay in touch.  Woofs & wags to you & your pets!

Related posts:

© 2012 Critter Consulting

Nov 8

We’re taking a brief break between posts.  In the meantime, you can catch up with us on Facebook.  We update our page daily with timely, educational & fun info for pet guardians.  We’d love to see you there!  And, if you need help with your pet’s behavior & training, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  

We do have a purrfect excuse for our paws between posts:

Related posts:

© 2011 Critter Consulting

Oct 26

We’re huge fans of Halloween. But good, spooky fun shouldn’t come at the expense of your pets’ happiness & safety. Check these sources for tips on a pet-friendly Halloween:

  • A Purr-fect Howl-oween – Our post is packed with great pet tips for before & during Halloween, including DIY treats, toys & costumes!
  • ASPCA’s safety guidelines for autumn and Halloween

Now, let’s enjoy some flicks that are more silly than scary!  First up is last year’s classic.  See what happens when Splash & Kiko take Halloween matters into their own paws!

Not to be left out, these kitties put the fun in Halloween!  While we don’t recommend putting Fluffy in a costume, Jumbo Pillow is so happy munching on boiled chicken breast & plain canned pumpkin that he doesn’t mind a bit!

And, finally, Jarrod demos how to safely trick or treat …… in feline style!

More fun links:

  • Our intrepid poodle, Rusty, monkeys around this Halloween.  Watch!
  • Our Facebook page is the place to be this fall!  Our Halloween film fest continues there, with lots of laughs.  And, as always, our page is packed with timely, helpful info for pet guardians.  Join us!

Boo!

© 2011 Critter Consulting

Jul 8

We hope your summer has been amazing so far!  As we take a bit of a break between posts to enjoy the sunshine, we’ll leave you in Tillman’s capable paws:

Keep your pets cool in the sun.  Remember, on a hot day it only takes 10 minutes for the temperature inside a parked car to reach 110 degrees.  That’s deadly for kids & pets.   Wonder how hot it is in SR in a parked car right now?  Check here for real-time readings.  Our related posts (below) are packed with ideas for beating the heat.  And we love these tips for cooling Kitty.

Of course, our pal, Rusty, has chillin’ down to an art.   Watch!

Related posts:

© 2011 Critter Consulting

 

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