There are two great new books out, one I have mentioned before that I drank up like a cup of hot chocolate on a warm day: Scent of the Missing, by Susannah Charleson is out, and I just loved it. I liked it so much I contacted her PR rep with the publisher and said “Please bring her to do a signing in Madison!” Here’s what I wrote about it: ” A brilliantly written book that should be on every dog lover’s bed stand. Charleson’s use of language is so rich I’m not sure I want to read her book or eat it.” Micheal Perry, who wrote the gorgeous book Truck, and a first great book, Population 485–(wonderful wonderful books) wrote “… With lean, lovely prose she takes us on a clear-eye, compassionate journey into a mysterious world in which every story begins as a ghost story.”
Scent of the Missing is about Susannah’s journey into Search and Rescue, and the joys and challenges of taking a tiny, full-of-herself pup through the rigorous training required of an S & R dog. Susannah is bravely honest about the ups and downs of her experience, and is simply a scrumptious writer. She is coming to do a signing at Borders West in Madison, Wisconsin next Wednesday, May 19th. I hope anyone in the area can come out to support her.
Another great book is Chase! by Clarissa von Reinhardt. I met Clarissa when she brought me over to Germany to participate in a conference, (which was great by the way, lots of super speakers) and she has written a wonderful book for people who want to walk dogs off leash out in the country. As I said in my blurb, just the idea of a “sausage tree” is worth the price of the book. I think this a great, practical book for anyone who has a dog who is a tad challenging to walk off leash, and for any trainer who wants to add to their tool box.
There is one section I don’t agree with, and I’m curious what you think. Clarissa advises against “frequently throwing balls, sticks or other objects for your dog to chase and/or retrieve” if you have a dogs who loves to chase things. Interesting, I tend to do the opposite: use that desire to chase objects as a reinforcement for coming when called, and stopping on cue. Your thoughts? However, that caveat said, this book is full of some great ideas. Have you read it yet?
Meanwhile, back on the farm: It’s cold and rainy and I am enmeshed in the ‘return the pup’ controversy and house and crate training a new puppy and finalizing grades for 150 students and making arrangements for Jim’s surgery next week and the need for farm help for the next year. I’ll just leave it that it’s seems to be pouring rain in many ways, in many contexts. Good news is that the pup is thriving, worships Will and I absolutely adore him. Although I’m feeling a bit like a swimmer in raging river, I am 100 % sure I make the right decision. I’ll write soon (hopefully tomorrow) about the good questions of 1) what behavior is ‘fixable’ and what isn’t and 2) if I could do the process all over again, would I do it differently…. Stay tuned, and thanks for hanging in there.
Here’s a photo from a friend, of the Trillium in his yard. It’s a native species and is all over the woods right now… so beautiful, even in the pouring rain!