We’re working on a new website, and anyone who has been there knows that it’s like building a house: the number of decisions needing to be made becomes ridiculous after awhile. That’s the bad news, but here’s the good news: I have the luxury of your feedback to help us make one of the decisions.
Here’s the question: What do we call the new section of the website that is a compendium of things I’ve written or taped that are available by the click of a mouse? It will include my Bark articles, blog posts and videos, all organize by topic. At the bottom of the ‘page’, if it’s relevant, we’ll include links to books, booklets and DVDs available for sale from the shopping cart.
We are all excited about having this new part of the website available, but would love your thoughts on what to call it. We have been referring to it as The Learning Center, but have some concerns about expectations. Although we are planning to add to it as we can, and keep it growing and expanding, when we launch this summer it will primarily consist of material already written or taped. Here’s how it will work: When you click on this section (whatever it is called), you can then choose from “Training Your Dog,” “Solving Behavior Problems,” “Behavior & Health,” or “Finding Resources”
If you click on Solving Behavior Problems, a list of problems will come up, including, for example, Separation Anxiety. Click on that and you’ll see pdf’s for any Bark article I’ve written on the topic, links to any blog post I’ve written about it, and a link to the book I’ll Be Home Soon available in the SHOP section.
We were thinking of calling the section The Learning Center (as you can see below), but are concerned about the expectation that suggests. Given that every topic won’t necessarily have a specific “lesson” on how to train X or Y, or how to treat problem A or B, we are concerned that people will expect that and not get it. Here are favorite choices for the section’s title so far:
The Learning Center
The Media Library
The Resource Center
Which one do you think best describes the content? Expectations are so important in behavior (all dog trainers know that, right?!), and we don’t want people to expect one thing and not get it. BUT we’re super excited about having this new section on the website that will provide a number of resources that haven’t been on the website before. We would all (that’s me, Denise, Katie and Lisa at McConnell Publishing) would be very grateful for your feedback.
Here’s a sneak preview of the home page in progress. Wheeeee! (Did I say we are excited?) The pictures at the bottom will line up, I promise, there will be a lot less of Willie boy in the photos and the text and individual photos will change (the photo at the top will be a revolving one, along with different text focusing on a book, upcoming seminar, Bark article, toy, etc) but you get the idea. It’s the “Learning Center” at the bottom we’re not sure of… do we really have the right title? THANKS!
MEANWHILE, back on the farm: The seasonal temperatures and plant life are still 5-6 weeks out of alignment, and so the plants are where they normally would be in early June, but the temperature is right on schedule. Thus, a couple of times a week we get heavy frosts, and each time my poor plants suffer some more. I covered them for 5 nights, but ran out of steam last week. And I can’t cover everything, so there are several areas, and plants, that I’ve just got to accept are not going to make it. (No apples or plums this year? Probably not, but maybe…? Hope springs eternal, right?!)
But Willie is wonderful, worked sheep at a friend’s beautifully, and seems as sound as I expect he’s ever going to be. We still do some exercises and his stretching, and he’ll never be allowed to jump up to catch anything, ever, but he’s happy and I still sometimes have to pinch myself that the year from hell is over. His year of constraints definitely had a price–a new fear of men and a lack of confidence on sheep that no doubt was the result of being badly injured and then confined for so long. My most aggressive ewe, Barbie, chased him away a few days ago. Granted, she’s extra protective now with her lamb, and has always been the most difficult ewe to work, but he’s always been able to face her off once her lamb was old enough to work. Not this time. I didn’t force anything, although I gave him a few more tries, but then finessed things so that he moved the entire flock without having to face off Barbie. I suspect it’ll be an entire summer to get his confidence back up. But the lambs will grow and Barbie will become less protective, and I have dear friends with sheep who Willie and I can work who are flighty and not confrontational.
Every day I put Willie on a down/stay and hide his floppy disc. Searching for it avoids his ‘short stopping’ and straining his shoulder. He loves the game. When he finds it he leaps and runs and shakes it like a terrier with a rat (sorry rat lovers!). Here he was this morning, so proud he’d found it yet again. And no, he doesn’t want a new one. He has new ones. He likes this one. I call it his Binky.