Saturday, July 9, 2011

About this blog

First and foremost, this blog is about pet care (primarily dogs) and training. I will explain the title in just a moment but let us first get introductions out of the way.

My name is Terri Kaplan and I am an animal trainer living in a fairly small Western Kentucky town where it's not always easy to reach out to like-minded people. I am writing this blog as a means of sharing my thoughts, ideas, and philosophies on animal behavior and training with others who care to listen and contribute. I believe that this is critical to becoming a better trainer myself, and I try to take bits and pieces from my own experiences as well as those of others.

I currently volunteer at my local humane society as the dog training instructor and, as time allows, I try to squeeze in some private classes for those who ask. The latter has been a bit of a challenge considering I also work at "The Job That Pays The Bills" 40 hours a week but I do really enjoy one-on-one training sessions .

My household consists of myself, my boyfriend Matt, two dogs, and three pet birds. Cricket is our border collie/beagle mix, originally found as a stray and ultimately adopted from the local kill shelter. Obi-Wan is our newest addition, a nearly eight-month-old English bull terrier puppy. We have had him for five months now and despite experience with a wide variety of dogs in the past, he has already proven to be truly unique. He was saved from a breeder who considered euthanasia due to his blindness in one eye. Thankfully, his foster mom drove several hours to get him out of there.Several weeks later, Matt and I adopted both Obi and a whole new way to look at life (which at times, does involve a few more curse words than it used to).

Our birds are two cockatiels (Pika and Jezebel) and a little budgie (parakeet) named Pixel. Parrots, even the small ones, are another major love of mine and I will likely spend some time mentioning their care and training in this blog as well.  

Now, to clear up what may have been the first question you had when stumbling upon this blog (unless you live with a bull terrier or other dog of similar attitude personality in which case you've probably already made the connection): Why the title "A Lesson in Physics?"

Please refer to Newton's Laws of Motion and the following video examples...

"An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force."

"The acceleration of an object as produced by a net force is directly proportional to the magnitude of the net force, in the same direction as the net force, and inversely proportional to the mass of the object."

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

My own bull terrier, Obi-Wan, tends to exemplify that first law. His goal in life seems to be to keep moving forward. Whether he's walking, running, or flat out hucklebutting (such as the dog in that first video) he just keeps going. Sure, people and/or objects tend to get violently displaced along the way but I can't say it's an ineffective strategy. He seems pretty content by the time he does decide to rest.Who can't make a life lesson out of that? 

Of course, Obi also believes that he can fly even though Gravity has tried to tell him otherwise on several different occasions. Still, I have to admit that he's a pretty steady source of inspiration for me, my training, my writing, and my life. 

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