Early Bird Seminar Registration Almost Over

willie by lp fall

My eagle-eyed conference coordinator, Katie, asked me to remind you all the early bird pricing (about 10% off) for the Madison Seminar on October 29 and 30th is over at midnight on Friday, September 30th.  The host hotel also has a special conference rate that expires on Friday too, and space for the seminar is limited (and registrations are pouring in, wheee!) so if you are thinking about coming, now's the time to act. As always, if you are a blog reader please, please come up and say hi. I always love to meet readers in person. I also should mention that you can get up to 20% for groups of 10 and over, 10% off for 5 to 9. I'm having a ball getting back to working on the seminar now that we are back from Scotland. Have I mentioned how much great research has been done on dog behavior Read More

Part Wild: Book Review and Ode to Dog-ness

asters 2011

You know I love Willie; sometimes I think almost too much. But I've never loved him more than I have this morning, after finishing the book, Part Wild, by Ceiridwen Terrill. Willie is a dog. Inyo, the focus of Part Wild, is a wolf-dog who Ceiridwen adopted as a puppy. The book is a brutally honest testament to the differences between dogs and wolves. I can't think of anything I've read lately that made me more grateful to have dogs, Canis lupus familiaris, as domesticated animals, in my life. Fair warning: It's not always a happy story, as wolf-dog stories often aren't.  Ceiridwen gets herself a wolf-dog pup for all the wrong reasons--primarily to protect herself from an abusive ex-boyfriend who is stalking her. She makes a lot of bad decisions, both related to boyfriends and Inyo, and Read More

World Sheepdog Trials


The World Sheepdog Trials have come to an end, and what an amazing experience it was. Dogs, sheep, mud, sun, rain, mud, wind, sweet hot tea, a potpourri of languages, a sea of rain coats and rain pants, mud, inspiration, amazement, wellies, mud,  and dogs, dogs, dogs. You can learn more about them, and see all the results at 2011 World Sheepdog Trial. The 16 dogs and handlers that ran yesterday in the finals were truly some of the best of the best. The sheep here are challenging: so reactive that my friend Peg who ran on the U.S.team and came over early to practice said it took her 3 days to be able to drive them in a straight line (and that's saying a lot, she was on the World Team for heaven's sake!). The course was a killer: with the first outrun about 450 -500 yards up a hill to the Read More

The animals of the Holy Isle


It took us two days and driving through the remnants of Hurricane Katia, (with 80 mpg winds) but we finally made it to the Isle of Arran. Once there, we took another ferry to the tiny Holy Isle where we hiked up the two middle mountains in search of the islands unique animals: the  Eriskay ponies, Saanen goats, and Soay sheep. I was most interested in the Soay sheep, who are believed to be closely related to the wild-type predecesser of the domestic sheep, the mouflon. I talk about the origins of domestic animals in my UW class, and have lectured about mouflons for years.. and here was my chance to see animals as close as it comes to ancient sheep. And there they were: grazing on the grass right in front of the pier. They were very tame, so we were able to sit and watch them while we Read More

Animal Rapture

eagle owl & trisha

No time to write much; I am sitting in a stairwell right after the seminar.. (what a WONDERFUL group of people to talk with!)-- no internet access in the room, castles not being designed for high speed internet. The seminar was a great experience for me, truly a lovely, lovely group of people. Thanks Action 4 Dogs for bringing us over. I may be off line for several days, but here are a few photos of our experience at the Falconry Center at Dalhousie Castle outside of Edinburgh. The birds are carefully trained to fly to the arms of visitors rather than the staff, so you can go out, hold up your arm (leather covered of course) and watch a hawk (Common Buzzard) and Eagle Owl fly 100 yards from a tree perch to your arm. It is a RUSH beyond belief. I could have done it all day. Here are Read More