Holiday Wishes

May all of us savor what we have, and not let what we don’t have interfere with our gratitude.

May all of our dogs, cats, horses, birds, ferrets, rabbits, sheep, cows (etc) live the best life they can, secure in knowledge of how much we love them.

May the people who abuse animals, whether through fear or ignorance, learn the joy of a relationship built on kindness and understanding.

May the four pounds I’ve put on in the last few days melt away, somehow, magically, whilst I continue to savor the joys of consumption.

Wishing you love, relaxation and oxytocin-filled contentment over the holidays. I’ll be back posting next week.

Here are a few scenes from the farm, inside and out: (anyone for a picnic on the picnic table?)



  1. says

    Happy Holidays to you and yours, furred/feathered/wooled/or not.

    I too, wish for those who have less to get more, those who have plenty to share and those who have critters to enjoy them.

  2. Denise says

    We’re on the other side of the Solstice so Happy, Happy Winter to everyone! Enjoy and remember that Spring is on it’s way! My Eskie boy thinks picnic tables are swell look out points, especially with a nice deep blanket of snow to act as a booster!

  3. Trisha says

    Oh Pike! Thank you so much for sending the link. If anyone hasn’t seen it, believe me, I can’t imagine anything more uplifting than this short video. And who is the woman who trained Ricochet? I want to meet her!

  4. says

    What gorgeous photos … and lovely wishes. Wishing all of you and your families — both human and animal! — all the very best of the season. Sending warm wishes from sunny Belize.

  5. Sabine says

    Thanks for this wonderful and inspiring video ! This dog is truly amazing !

    Merry Christmas to all of you and a very Happy New Year 2010.
    May all your wishes for the coming year come true.

    Here’s what we do throughout the year and if you have a dog suitable to be a therapy dog, try to make it happen. The dogs have so much to give and it is also a very rewarding activity for their handlers as well.

    On a lighter note: :)

    Sabine and the Furgang

  6. Pike says

    Wow, another happy ending – so appropriate for Christmas – to a lost dog story. My neighbor’s retired guide dog for the blind, 12.5 year old lab Duchess walked out off her store during closing time and disappeared seemingly into thin air.

    At times it appeared that half of our town searched for Duchess until we finally received the good news from her very happy and relieved owner:

    “To all of you lovely neighbors….a happy ending to the missing Duchess. She was gone from 6 last night until about 1:30 this afternoon. She was found at the Coast Guard Station!!! Under the pier on the sandy beach that , as the tide was coming in, was getting smaller and smaller. A passing fisherman spotted her, tied up and brought her up to the pier. No way she could have gotten up because it was all bolders and D couldn’t navigate that. SO, thank you, all of you, for your searches and your prayers for both Duchess and me. What a wonderful community this is and how fabulous to be part of it. Thank you all!! and a Very Merry Christmas.
    Cheers, K.”

  7. Mary Parsons says

    The best of Holiday wishes to all of you! Thank you so much for all you do!

    Mary Parsons
    Deming, NM

    P.S. I’ll gladly take a bit of that snow!!

  8. says

    I wanted to say thank you for having your books available in other languages. It was so fun to give your book to my mother in law on Christmas! (An der anderen End der Leine.) I’ve been enjoying your blog and it brings me right back to UW where I studied animal behavior as part of my Psych degree. (The U of WA.)

    I don’t have a dog anymore, but we have a little farm in Germany that is sometimes visited by a nomadic herd of sheep, and wanting to learn more about sheep, I was pointed to your blog. I read your entire blog in one day. This kind of stuff fascinates me, thanks for sharing!

    I felt like I totally lucked out, finding your book in German on But then I went to a local bookstore and saw a whole stack of them for sale! I hope she enjoys it.

    p.s. Translation quirk? – The sonogram photos show the sounds we use with our animals pictorally, and I found it humorous that the words were translated into German. I’m pretty sure the researchers were not speaking German when they were recording those words, am I right? I remember one was “Langsam” which is German for “slow.” But I wonder what word was actually pictured in the sonogram! (slowly? easy?) (Ironically, “langsam!” was a command the shepherd used repeatedly with his herding dogs in our field.)

  9. says

    A merry belated Christmas and happy, blessed New Year to come to all here and their loved one — two- and four-footed.

    I look at that picnic table and want to have a serious snowball battle. But sit and linger on it? …eh … not so much!

    Beautiful shots, as always. I’m so glad to read that Duchess came home, too.

  10. Ron Alderman says

    Dear Dr. McConnell,
    When I started to read your book “The Other End of the Leash” I was expecting a dry clinically styled written lecture…wow did you surprise me! I was not only enlightened by your insights but I thoroughly enjoyed your stories about pip, lassie, and the other dogs! I’ll try to read your blog so my 3 cavalier King charles Spaniels don’t think I’m a crazy primate ;-).
    Just wanted to I loved your book and Thank you for making it so interesting and at times humorous.!

    Your new reader/fan

    Ron Alderman

  11. Liz F. says

    Traveling, stressed out, and sleep deprived during a rough patch on Christmas Day, I found a slice of happiness here. Thank you for the lovely wishes, and equally lovely pictures. If only for a moment amidst holiday drama, I was reminded of what’s important (and reminded me of home, right down to the pink phalaenopsis orchid of mine that will also bloom any day.) Beautiful and festive arrangement; the sights of the holidays can be so uplifting. Appreciated the awesome video of Richochet, too.

    Happy holidays to all, and for everyone’s sake, I hope Trisha’s wishes come true.

  12. says

    Warmest wishes for safe, healthy, loving holiday season filled with laughter , family & good friends (furry included).

    ps. I’ve run out of Patricia McConnell books to read, so I’m working on the books in the reference section of your books!

    Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge, sense of humour and quest to explore behaviour be it animal or human (while finding compassionate, humane ways to communicate with both) …it’s contagious!!! I can’t wait to hear what you’re working on for 2010!

  13. Trini says

    We have found a new holiday treat – turkey gizzards stuffed into a kong! This was quite a workout for me (gizzards do NOT want to slide down that little hole) but the dogs found the new puzzle fascinating. Cue four hours of licking and gnawing.

    Happy holidays to everyone!

  14. Amy W. says

    I received your Dog Play DVD for Christmas, it was wonderful. My husband enjoyed watching it too, his favorite part – the concept of ‘self-handicaping.’

    Also, what an uplifting video of Rip Curl Ricki, the SURFice dog.

  15. Kerry L. says

    I just happened to tune into the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge on ESPN2 on Dec. 26 and watched Ricochet’s performance in the Big Dog Surf Challenge. What a treat to watch!

  16. Mateus Freua says

    Howdy Trisha!
    Happy New Year! To you and all your family (Will and Lassie included).
    Hey, I’m going to send you an email this week, yeah January is here, and you know…
    All the best, I wish 2010 with a lot of hapiness to you. See you there!

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