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 trainers hailing from Alabama, Missouri. New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland. Several ROTFL moments – the best was about the Humane Society of Washington County’s 2004 impoundment of 126 color-dyed Easter chicks. I can’t explain, you had to have been there.
As always, it was a brain-and-body exhausting and fulfilling experience for all concerned, and as always, I was immensely impressed with what our students are able to accomplish with their shelter dogs in just 6 short days. To see dogs go from “distracted wild-child” behavior on Day 1 to rapt and focused attention on their handlers on Day 6 brings tears to my eyes every time.
Here they are in all their glory:
Lulu Brooks (former marine mammal trainer and high-scoring graduate of this Academy) from Montgomery, Alabama, and brilliant but very high-energy 4-month-old “Olivia” – described by the owner who surrendered her to the shelter as an “Afghan Hound mix” – we think more like Border Collie mix:
Kelly Rohring of Ashland, Virginia, future dog trainer, and the gentle Shepherd mix, Zeke. Kelly plans to become a full-time professional dog trainer one day:
Debbie Gugliuzzo and the incredibly handsome Husky mix, Toby. Debbie is a part time shelter worker, and would love to work full time with dogs:
Here’s the class photo, taken on Friday after a week of hiking, training, and learning about the scientific principles of behavior and learning. On Saturday, students take their written and practical finals. Stress!
And here’s the group walking back to the training center after the class photo shoot:
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – the answers to the “Where in the World is Pat Miller” contest, and the announcement of the winner:
Photo #1: Paul Miller/Frog; International Terminal – Sydney AU Airport; Green and Gold Bell Frog – mascot for the Olympics (two colonies discovered, one during construction of Olympic Park, one @ Sydney International Airport.) – Artist: Ron Smith
Photo #2: Paul Miller standing in front of ginormous Aussie/Girl cutout – Toro Park, Hwy 68, Salinas, CA. Martial Arts girl (martial arts studio in shopping center); art by John Cerney. Cerney creates each work through a series of photos, laying a grid for enlargements that are scaled to 3 times the original size. He then transfers the images to larger squares on sheets of 1″ paper-surfaced plywood. He cuts out the figure and paints them using acrylics. The figures are then braced with steel and set on embedded timbers to withstand wind. There are incredible cutouts all over Salinas, depicting various scenes of people engaged in activities.
Photo #3 – A community park, Osprey Sculpture – Eastern Shore, MD
Photo #4: Tip Top House – Mt. Washington, NH
June 2010 bike trip, Tip Top House, the earliest summit building on Mt. Washington, Mt. Washington State Park.
Mount Washington Observatory
P. O. Box 2310
2779 White Mountain Highway
North Conway, NH 03860
Home of the World’s Worst Weather
Photo #5: Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Visitors Center, Paul – Hawk Mt. PA The world’s first refuge for birds of prey. Hawk Mountain is located north of Hamburg, Pennsylvania, approximately 7 miles northeast of I-78; October 2008 – on a Harley ride, celebrating my birthday
Photo #6: Pat and sister Meg (and wolf) – Wolf Park, Battleground, IN; 2009
Photo #7: Chattanooga, TN – Bike trip to National Hog Rally #22, August 26-28, 2005
Photo #8: Wisconsin Humane Society – Milwaukee, WI; The statue is of Henry Bergh, the father of the humane movement in the United States. A New York ambassador, Henry Bergh, horrified at the sight of horses beaten in the streets, organized the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in April, 1866. The Wisconsin Humane Society is located at 4500 West Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI. Wisconsin Humane was the first shelter I ever visited, as a girl living in Mequon/Cedarburg – although at the time it was a small shelter in danger of falling into the river.
Photo #9: Taronga Park Zoo – Sydney, AU; October 2006, during the trip when I was invited to speak and we went over for the APDT-AU conference – Pat with Wedge-Tailed Eagle
Photo #10: SPCA of Luzerne County – Wilkes-Barre PA; June 2010 – Memorial to Phyllis Wright HSUS and animals that served during military campaigns. Celebrates a legend in the animal shelter world for improving conditions and setting precedents like spay/neuter. She was Chief of Dog Training for the US Army during the Korean War before joining the HSUS.
Photo #11: Marin Humane Society – Novato, CA, where I worked from 1976 to 1996; wall mural, “Making Tracks” (Sept 20, 1997) by artist Phillip L. McDonel.
Photo #12: Wall mural, Boonsboro, MD
Photo #13: Polar Bear Plunge – Williamsport, MD, January 1, 2008; Polar Bear Plunge, benefiting the Humane Society of Washington County. See Paul Miller plunge on January 1, 2010, along with 217 other Polar Bears in various stages of dress, undress and costume, leap into the icy waters of the Potomac River in Williamsport, MD. Air temperature approximately 34 degrees Fahrenheit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPIcunjnP2o
Photo #14: Carmel Beach, Carmel by the Sea, CA – It’s locally renowned for good surf and excellent dog-walking conditions, as well as breathtaking sunsets
Photo #15: Crazy Horse – SD; Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota, on our 2008 motorcycle ride to Sturgis and beyond (6,000+ miles!). It’s a model of the eventual carving in the mountain that is a work in progress (in background). Memorial being created by the Ziolkowski family
And the winner is… (drum roll)… my friend Margaret Hughes!!! Margaret and I worked together at the Marin Humane Society. I haven’t seen her in over 10 years, but we found each other on FB recently. Margaret wins her choice of a $100 certificate toward any Peaceable Paws event held here at Fairplay, Maryland, or a set of signed (5) Pat Miller books.
Warm Woofs and Happy Training,