I’m realising that my thoughts lately are preoccupied with death. I have no idea why, other than the fact that Christmastime is also the time of the death of nature and when the lights and evergreens come down it’s obvious how much of the world is a corpse. So anyway, I’m leaving my lights up until Epiphany. 6 January may be a bit late for the rest of the world but they can just deal. (They won’t have to deal with much because the only outside lights I have are year-round in the arbour.)
I am eagerly awaiting the resurrection of nature this year, obviously.
Every year at this time I start berating myself for not planting any bulbs in the previous year, so there won’t be any crocuses or daffodils or irises to cheer me on at the beginning of the resurrection.
Then I remember that I really dislike those flowers in a natural setting. Here in Tennessee it might not be so bad, given that by bulb-blooming time we rarely have snow on the ground. But in Indiana it was always so wrong to me to see daffodils poking up through a crust of dirty snow. Like lipstick covering a mouthful of rotten teeth.
Why am I continuing to write this post? What good is it contributing to the world? None. None more good, I think. At least I feel better. Goody for me, after making the rest of everyone read my musings on death and corpses and rotten teeth and strangeness. Wow. What a gruesome trip. Let’s change the topic, shall we?
Okay, the new topic is that I have decided Cesar Milan is a buttcheese who knows very little about training companion dogs. When Casey and Quinn were pups, Milan wasn’t yet The Hotness of dog training and so we stuck with the Monks of New Skete and the conventional wisdom of friends who were dog people. We did just fine–one of my favourite moments was when a group of bloggers came to my house and one of them exclaimed “Kat! Your dogs are smiling!!” They always did. The fact that others didn’t have dogs who were smiling made me feel vindicated. Like the way we trained them and loved them paid off.
When we adopted Gob last May I looked into Milan because everyone–even South Park–insisted that he was the Go To Guy for dog training. I really wanted to do Gobie right after the hardness of his first year of life. But Milan? He’s full of a bunch of stuff about how dogs aren’t naturally affectionate and shouldn’t be taught or shown affection because it ruined the natural pack order.
Why have a companion dog if you can’t show it affection? I mean, come on. That’s like saying you shouldn’t put water in a dishwasher because it’s an electrical appliance.
The more I read of Milan the more obvious it was that he’s all about training guard dogs and working dogs and farm dogs. But he just is sorely lacking in understanding how you train a loving housepet. Especially one that’s had a shelter background. So I went back to my Monks of New Skete and my instincts.
Now, seven months later I have a dog who jumps up on my lap to give me a face full of kisses and then curls up at my feet. He doesn’t smile all the time yet, but we’re working on it.