The other day I noticed an odd effect from writing the Negotiating with Cookies series about Fleegle and his antics. When I read nonfiction books or follow the news, I often see it influencing my storylines a few weeks later, like in The Dog Buddha and Odoriferous Parfait, but I’ve never been aware of what I’ve written having an influence on how I see the world, only the opposite.
In my work as a trainer and walker, I talk a lot to the dogs I’m with. This has led me to talk to myself quite a bit, often in the imagined voices of Fleegle or Sadie, my two dogs. They’re typical of their retriever breeds, Labrador and Golden, happy, upbeat, eager for the next adventure. I aspire to be this way too, but it doesn’t come naturally.
The other day I was contemplating some activity or other and just as my usual thinking began to poo-poo the idea of doing it, I heard Fleegle’s voice, the one I hear when writing his stories, say, “Oh, that’s a good idea. Let’s do it.” It totally caught me by surprise, and even more so when my critical mind agreed that he was right.
Sometimes when I sit down to write, it’s like a door opens to my imagination and in walks Fleegle, chatting away about the things he chats about, and during the time that I’m writing, I’m convinced the words I’m hearing in my head and putting down on paper are what Fleegle would say if he actually did speak. It’s almost like automatic writing, channeling Fleegle’s higher source, and if Fleegle heard me say that he’d be searching the sky for a winged dog that looked like him.
Then when I’m done writing, it’s as if Fleegle has finished what he has to say for the session, shuts up and leaves, and I sit there sensing a mental emptiness similar to loneliness. I wonder where the imagination comes from. In a dream, just because we wake up doesn’t mean the characters in our dream don’t continue on, waiting for our return, ready to catch us up once we get back.
I have a confession to make. I am obsessed with dog poop. At times with my dog walking clients, I feel like I’m the guy driving the golf cart at the tail end of the horse parade with the shovel and barrel in back. I’ve developed a sixth sense where I know when a dog has to poop before he knows himself.
I scoop up the little gems into translucent green bags and tie them off with a knot while avoiding getting any whiff of the stink. The bags come on rolls and are sold in packs of six. Though I buy them in bulk, I’m still checking myself for bags. When I get down to one roll, I restock my vest with four more. Maybe I’m obsessed with these green bags too. Continue reading “Little Green Bags”→
I walk a German Shepherd client named Angel. It used to be that when she saw other dogs while on her walk, she’d have a barking fit bouncing around at the end of the leash. She was so stressed she wasn’t enjoying her walks, nor was anyone who was walking her. My goal was to help change that.
I first tried offering her Redbarn every time we encountered another dog, but just like with a person, her stress left her with no interest in food, plus, she was on the heavy side so food in general wasn’t a high value item. Continue reading “Goober Sauce”→
My dog Fleegle is learning to heel. I’m using the treat and clicker method off-leash in the backyard. With the treat as a lure held low, he has the stop and goes down, along with the 180 turns and the 360 spins. When he gets excited for a treat, he makes a quiet grunting sound, like he’s clearing his throat before speaking. This method involves a lot of treats, and a lot of grunting. Continue reading “Fleegle Learns to Heel – Raud Learns to Heal”→