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WOW, can you believe 2011 is in the rear view mirror now and 2012 is here! I'm not sure what kind of year you've had but I'll tell you its been interesting for me, to say the least. Beginning with being awarded "trainer of the year" at the Westminster festivities. A nationwide search produced my name. How cool is that? This wasn't a contest I entered, this was a search conducted by Comfort Zone and Bowtie Publications (publishers of Dog World and Dog Fancy magazine and many others) of my peers. That made it all the sweeter.

The universe seems to need balance so with the good must be some bad, I saw many dogs pass this year. Most were dogs I've been honored to know for many, many years and their journeys had ended. Some went peacefully, others not so much. They all will be missed, and I think of them often. My greatest loss was my beautiful Cane, he left too early. The pain is still daily, but this is what we call life.

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Did you know that all fees for nail trims, ear cleaning, re-cycling go to our medical fund?  Last year we assisted owners of 12 dogs/cats with medical expenses.  Most were subsidized spay and neutering but there were two cases where we contributed to medical emergencies.  Bring us your cans and plastic bottles and we'll add your re-cycling money to the medical fund.  Thanks, as always, for your continuing patronage.  We feel blessed to know all of you. 

Got some spring cleaning going on?  We are an official drop-off location for Annie’s blankets.  There are some items Annie’s Blankets won’t take; however, many items can still find a home elsewhere.  We will take bulky comforters and blankets to use here or find other homes for them.  To see what Annie’s Blankets will take please check out their website www.anniesblankets.org .  Don’t forget to bring a donation during Homeless Pet Day.

A rare occurrence!  We have a couple of openings for part-time help in the daycare.  If you know of someone or you are interested, please see Barbara for more information.

Casey and I took a quick run up to Portland, OR a couple of weekends ago to go see, Butch Cappel, a speaker I had not seen before.  His seminar was on basic bite work, since this is a field where egos can run amuck, I didn’t take a dog.  Boy, do I wish I had; what a great trainer!  Many a dog has been ruined by a trainer’s ego, and the protection field seems to excel at this.  Butch worked dogs at their levels, understood when the work was too much for the dog and respected them.  I was so impressed that we have invited Butch to come a do a two day seminar in August.  See more in the events section.

I have recently been asked to aid with some children what have some physical problems or limitations.  Most are in wheelchairs and they’ve come in to watch the dogs play at day care, some are thinking about getting service dogs and need to know what services a dog can provide.  Cane picked up a tin of candy about 10 times to aid a young girl when she dropped the tin.  I think it was fun for both of them.  If you have a dog that would be good with young people who may be erratic with their movements or lack language skills and would like to visit their classrooms, please let me know, their teachers would love to have some visit.  We all know how much our dogs mean to us, now think how much joy they might provide for someone limited in their exposure to dogs or the outside world.

Have you missed a class or just didn’t seem to “get it”?  There’s help on its way….coming soon our “a la carte” classes.  You will be able to attend a one time class where a certain behavior (each week will have a topic) will be taught.  The emphasis will be on “cleaning up” or teaching that behavior and that alone.  The cost will be $20.00 per class and all fees will be put into our medical/spay/neuter fund.  I’m still working on the schedule and other details, but will probably have a “buy 4, get a 5th free” sort of thing.  Keep looking at the training section for more information soon. 

Well, after almost a year off I will be returning to teaching more classes.  I want to thank Amanda Appling and Jon Sparks for carrying the majority of the load in this last year; they have done a great job.  Thank you, thank you, both!  But after two new hips I can’t sit back and watch class from the sidelines any longer, I miss classes and the students.  I will still be doing private in-home lessons and consultations, in addition to the classes.  At this time I’m not sure which classes I will teach but as this develops it will be noted on the schedule.  Thank you for your continued support over the last 30 years.

We recently held our first Canine Good Citizen workshop. Read more about it by clicking here.

<Postponed until next spring>
I am so excited From the Heart Dog Training has booked Lew Olsen for Aug 5, to discuss nutrition in dogs.  I’ve followed Lew for years with all of her information on nutrition and feeding.  She writes a wonderful newsletter on a multitude of nutritional issues, she give information that is preventative as well as how to live with many ailments.  We will have much more in the near future regarding her lecture, so check back at the Events page often.  If you would like to see some of Lew’s work, check out www.b-naturals.com for some of her writings.  I can’t wait until August.

Kathy of Kathy’s Grooming has moved!  She has re-located to From the Heart Dog Training Center and we are proud to have Kathy involved with us in providing the best pet services in Salinas.  She is very kind when handling grumpy Fidos and does a wonderful job with all dogs.  I’ve known Kathy for several years and she is the only person I let groom Barney.  She can be reached for an appointment at 206-0782.   Please help us welcome Kathy on the team!

Read about our adventures to New Mexico one weekend in May.  See more pictures on our bulletin board at the training center.

Barbara was recently interviewed for an article, Re-habilitating a Rescued Rott for Training Secrets for Rottweilers, a Dog Fancy magazine publication on sale now.

Katrina Update - I’ve just returned from New Orleans and although I am very behind in returning phone calls and re-scheduling private lessons, I feel it’s important to post an update on the situation in New Orleans.

The Canine ScENTINEL

March 2006

September 2005