Blog


Presenting… SQUID! 16

So, every Tuesday I go to the Humane Society of Washington County to do behavior assessments for adoption dogs, and every week I manage to resist some wonderful faces and personalities. We even play an “if” game at the end of assessments… Teasing ourselves a little we ask each other, “If you had to adopt one of the dogs we assessed today, which one would it be?” I’m pretty safe playing this game – we have five dogs in the family, with no intentions of adding another permanent canine resident. Five is our limit. However, that doesn’t preclude an occasional […]


Giving Back 4

An admirable quality of our species is that those who have more are often willing to give back to those who have less.  For many years, much of my own giving has been focused on the animal sheltering world, with an occasional book donation to some other dog-related cause. I decided it’s time to extend that give to the dog training world through an offer of scholarships to our Peaceable Paws Level One (Basic Dog Behavior and Training) Dog Trainer Academies. There are presently three scholarships available, one for each 2011 date, for our Maryland location only. Academy dates are: […]


Bright Light on the Veterinary Behavior Horizon 9

Every trainer I know can recount horror stories of veterinarians giving their clients bad training and behavior advice, and handling dogs inappropriately. You know: “Alpha-roll your puppy to show him you are dominant” “Don’t take your pup anywhere until after he’s 6 months old and has had all his shots” Techs and vets forcibly restraining a violently resisting dog in order to trim nails or draw blood (To be fair, I’m sure veterinarians have equally horrifying stories of trainers inappropriately giving veterinary advice, but that’s grist for another blog.) The good news is that a growing number of veterinarians are […]


Animal CSI Forensics and Dr. Melinda Merck 5

Animal forensics DVM Melinda Merck’s rising star has recently taken a meteoric crash as a result of a couple of very high-profile animal cruelty cases gone wrong. There have been a lot of blogs and articles accusing her of either jumping recklessly to conclusions, or deliberately misconstruing forensic evidence in order to seek convictions against alleged animal abusers. Merck is director of veterinary forensic sciences for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She also co-founded a widely-hailed veterinary forensic science training program at the University of Florida. As one of the country’s most prominent forensic veterinarians, […]


Recharging Our Batteries & Reinforcing Our Clients with PPaws Performance Titles 4

Happy Holidays!!! It’s December! It’s almost Christmas! Why not put “Tuition for a Peaceable Paws Class or Training Program” at the top of your wish list for yourself – or for your dog-loving family members and friends?   Happy New Year… I always feel a little drained by the end of a Peaceable Paws year, what with our half-dozen week-long academies, multiple 1-3 day workshops, out-of-town seminars, weekly group classes, articles to write, private consults, a couple of dozen articles, sometimes a book,  and more. Fortunately things grind to a halt in early December. My assistant, Shirley and I have […]


The Chronicles of Narnia 2

No Lion, no Witch, no Wardrobe, just a wonderful weekend with some of the nicest hosts I’ve ever had the privilege of spending time with. They took me out for delicious dinners both Saturday and Sunday evenings, and we laughed so much my stomach hurt. The trip started on my favorite plane with my favorite airline (Cape Air) out of my favorite airport (Hagerstown, MD). I was the only passenger on the 8-seater propeller plane – I love the feeling of having my own private airplane – and it sure beats driving to the Baltimore airport in rush-hour traffic.   […]


Contest Winner Announcement(!) and Level 1 Academy 3

Exhausted after completing our last Level 1 Academy for the year… so why am I up at 5am on a Sunday morning? Well, clocks turned back at 2am this morning, so it’s really 6am and my internal clock just doesn’t get the message that fast. And besides, there are horses and dogs to feed, a dog-hike on the schedule, and blogs and articles to write. Not to mention laundry to do. Might as well get up instead of lying in bed trying to convince myself to sleep in another hour… Had a great week with a terrific group of dog […]


Long Overdue: Giving Thanks to PPaws Interns 4

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged I’m almost embarrassed to start up again. I have friends e-mailing me asking if I’m still alive – and Jim Croce’s song lyric, “You never seem to have enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them…” is making endless loops in my brain. So… my apologies for the long absence. So here it is, almost November already. Where does the time go? It’s been a very busy couple of months. For some reason this fall seemed more jammed than usual – perhaps because of the addition of […]


Cops Shooting Dogs 21

It used to be a rarity to hear of a dog being shot by a law enforcement officer. Not any more. Something has happened in our culture and our law enforcement communities that has caused an exponential increase in tragic incidents such as the one that occurred on September 12th at a crowded street festival in Washington DC. On that afternoon, Officer Scott Fike shot and killed Parrot, a Pit Bull/Shar-Pei mix who was attending the event with his foster caretaker. Other recent cases from the Police-Killing-Dogs Hall of Shame include Bear-Bear, a Siberian Husky who was shot by an […]


Mushrooms, Mycelium and Music 2

Lest you think that everything Paul and I do is animal-related, this week’s blog is about mushrooms and music. Okay, maybe with a few dogs tossed in for good measure… MYCELIUM RUNNING A week ago Sunday (September 5th) Paul and I attended a wonderful workshop through Common Market (a Frederick Food Co-op that we joined last year). We arrived at the Judd estate north of Frederick, traveling down the long, poplar-lined gravel driveway that opens up onto a vintage brick mansion overlooking an expanse of lush green lawn.  It was a perfect day for a mushroom workshop – clear, cool, […]


Behavior Modification Academy 8-10 4

Confession time… I’m waaaaaay behind in getting a blog done, and now I have a dilemma – there have been so many things happen that I’ve wanted to blog about, like the Humane Society of Washington County donation jar getting stolen from the table at Martinsburg Bike Night, and the subsequent exciting chase, capture of one suspect, and ultimate recovery of the jar with over $250 in it. (It was the father of the two juveniles who actually went out and found the jar!). Or my observations from the Humane Society vaccination clinic and flea-less market that drew a long […]


Of Marinated Cats and Baseball Bats 2

One of the things I do in my “spare time” is to write short articles about Pet Law for Examiner.com. From time to time I submit Legal Briefs for which I mine the Internet for reports of animal abuse and cruelty cases and present a short synopsis of some of them. While doing this recently I ran across two articles that stuck me as particularly noteworthy. Marinated Cat The first one was just bizarre. Gary Korkuc of Cheektowaga, New York (near Buffalo) had adopted a cat from a local shelter. Sunday night, Buffalo police pulled him over for running a […]