Varney: Annoying greenies influence policy that hurts US


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Varney: Annoying greenies influence policy that hurts US
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Greenies' last-second-shot hopes pay off in win over Tennessee High
After Christ School held for the final shot, Greenies junior John Caldwell converted a 3-point play with just one second left on the clock to lift his Asheville, N.C., school to a 55-52 victory over host Tennessee High. “We have been in a ton of these

Ex-Greenies claim SoCon awards
Ex-Greenies claim SoCon awards. Christ School alum Sebastian Koch. Former Christ School basketball players Jaylen Allen and Sebastian Koch have each received weekly basketball awards from the Southern Conference. Koch, who is a senior for the 
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Wow. There was a lot of great information in this …

Wow. There was a lot of great information in this post. Some dogs really do get a bad rap, every pit or rot I've ever met was just the sweetest dog. In fact, when I got bitten, it was by a golden retriever, which I always thought was considered a gentler breed. Thankfully, Darryl Isaacs ( helped me with my recovery. But that's beside the point, thank you for the post, it was most enjoyable.

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Holiday Dangers to Pets

Holidays can be stressful to those pets that live in the house and have routine behavior patterns. The holidays involve more guests, more noise, and a disruption of their time schedules. Their world revolves around those times they know and can always count on: Time to get up, potty time, feeding time, walk or exercise time, sleep time, and nummy-potty-bedtime. I’m sure that many of you have been awakened or prodded to feed when the time comes. Many pets are very aware of the time and sequences of their lives. Reggie, my bichon mix will often wiggle out from under the covers, sit on the pillow, and “will” me to get up to start the get up-potty-breakfast sequence. He also listens for the turning off “click” of the TV at night to start the go potty-night time nummy- go to bed sequence.


Make sure and keep anxiety prone dogs out of the crowds and away from vulnerable children. Dogs that aren’t used to being held tight or pulled on can lash out. People with hats or beards can also be a scary sight to those nervous types that aren’t used to seeing different types of people. Those folks that aren’t “animal people” may make sudden movements or come over a nervous dog. These movements can be interpreted as aggressive or uncomfortable and provoke nipping, panic, or a bite.


Doors and windows may be inadvertently left open for escapees to run or jump out of the house.

Cars, darkness, and fights with other animals can really dampen the holiday spirit!


Guests or children may leave food, candy, or medications within reach. A well-meaning guest may leave the trash outside where a pet can happily feast. A poinsettia may look or smell tasty. Christmas ornaments, lights, toys, paper, plastic, foil, or string can be tempting playthings or treats. Any of these things can make the holiday miserable when the dog or cat decides to chew or eat something that makes them sick.


Check out a video I made last year on Holiday Dangers

If you need to treat nausea, diarrhea, or minor wounds…check out the free PDF download Dr. Greg’s 11 Practical Home Remedies:

Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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What Can Mayor Bloomberg Teach You About Dog Training?

Bloomberg-Logo-650x400 (This is not a political blog. Please bear with me for a few paragraphs. It will get to dog training, I promise. Also please note I am drawing parallells not commenting on policy. This is a dog training blog, not a blog about politics, (human) education, or race relations. Save it for Facebook!)

The news in New York City has been dominated the past few weeks with the mayoral race. (Now that the primaries are over, we’ve got a brief respite, but it’s sure to heat up again in October.) It’s been an entertaining season, partially because more than one of the candidates are more sideshow than serious politician and partly because of the spectacle of candidates trying to figure out how to walk the line on Bloomberg policies that seem both effective and morally and/or ethically compromised.

Like all New York City Mayors, Michael Bloomberg has been a polarizing figure. I have found some of the controversies particularly interesting because he comes from the same corporate and technological culture I do, and this often seems to drive his policy decisions.

On Wall Street (as well as technology companies like Google and Apple) data is king. Business decisions are made based on measurable results. This is often an effective strategy, especially when you are in the business of selling data (which is how Bloomberg became a millionaire) or selling widgets. What can be more effective than measuring results and then adjusting tactics based on them?

But this very practice is what has gotten Bloomberg in trouble more than once. The two examples that come immediately to mind are his school testing policies and the New York Police Department’s infamous “stop and frisk” practices, which Bloomberg has staunchly defended.

In the case of school testing Bloomberg is following the national trend of administering copious amount of standardized tests in order to measure school results. From a data-driven perspective this makes perfect sense. However educators and parents insist that is leads to “teaching to the test” and unnecessary stress for the children.

In the case of “stop and frisk” data analysis led to Ray Kelly’s ill-advised statement about how “African-Americans are being under-stopped.” Here again numbers and measurable results, examined in a vacuum, led to Kelly’s assertion. The broader picture however, might lead some to disagree. (The more I read Kelly’s and Bloomberg’s defense of stop and frisk, the more I think of the engineer and the balloon.)

So what does all this have to do with dog training?

In the ABCs I spend a lot of digital ink laying out a formula for problem solving. It’s an approach to solving behavior problems that anyone from Bloomberg’s world would embrace. And we can learn a few things from Bloomberg’s successes and failures that apply to using the ABCs too.

Before you can solve a problem you need to define it. This may seem obvious, but it’s not.

What do you think is the problem with education? Basic skills, dropout rates, or college admissions? Which one you pick will have a tremendous impact on your approach.

What do you think is the underlying cause of crime? Poverty? Recidivism? Illegal weapons? Drug use? Again, how you define the problem will have a tremendous impact on your solutions.

In the animal behavior training world the obstacle to defining the problem is often one of using labels and classifications over behaviors. Is “my dog is jealous” a problem? How about “my dog is dominant” or even “my dog is fearful?” Is your definition of “fearful” the same as mine? Roger Abrantes has written about the issues behind defining what dominance really is and for many, including myself, he highlights a conflict that has made the word at least temporarily useless.

Properly defining problems is critical to the solving it because if you can’t measure it you can’t say you solved it. Can you measure dominance? Or jealousy? Or fear? No, you can’t. You can measure barking, lunging, growling, pulling on leash, and fleeing. These things might be part of a “package” we call jealousy, dominance, or fearfulness, but we need to agree on the actual measurable actions first and chances if we do that well the labels are unnecessary.

With Bloomberg & Co. the case could be made that part of their problem is a lack of agreement on the defining the issues and the desired results. “Better schools” is something everyone can agree on…until it’s time to agree on what a better school actually is and then take steps to achieve it.

Similarly “less crime” wins elections, but if your tactics land you in trouble with the public, press, and even the courts, than there is an obvious disconnect between you and the people. The NYPD and the City Administration are measuring a result that does not seem important enough to others given what (they claim) it took to get that result.

I wrote earlier about defining what you want instead of what you don’t want. A critical part of that definition is making sure that what you want is specific and measurable. I’ll be writing more about this in the next few weeks.

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What Can Mayor Bloomberg Teach You About Dog Training? is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey

Dog Spelled Forward Website and Blog

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AvreaFoster’s Holiday of Harmony Greeting Card Puts Agency Team, Talent on Display

Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) December 31, 2013

Enjoy the entertaining holiday greeting card that Dallas-based branding and advertising agency AvreaFoster is sharing with clients, suppliers, families, and friends.

?The idea behind the Holiday of Harmony card is so big that we implemented it in a four-part campaign,? said agency Chairman and Executive Creative Director Darren Avrea.

?Harmony is working toward shared goals and enjoying the people you work with. The result is having great fun as you do great work. Every day, we create a little magic, and some days, we create a lot.

?In this holiday card, the entire AvreaFoster team shares the joy of the holidays, sending out greetings to so many of the people who are important to us.?

The fun begins with an email greeting and a teaser that invites recipients to open the card.

Clicking a link in the email ? ? opens a landing page with outtakes from the video shoot that?s at the heart of the greeting.

Another click treats viewers to the multimedia holiday greeting.

And, when the video ends, clicking ?Send a Holiday GIF? opens 30 animations, each one starring an AvreaFoster team member. Viewers can share any GIF, the landing page, and the video with friends.

?We?ve created a fun, animated greeting card that displays the amazing AvreaFoster team and showcases some of our skills, as well,? said agency President and CEO Dave Foster.

The email also advises recipients that AvreaFoster has made charitable donations in their honor to the American Heart Association, the North Texas Food Bank, and the Make-A-Splash learn-to-swim program of the T. Boone Pickens YMCA in downtown Dallas.

About AvreaFoster

AvreaFoster is a Dallas-based branding and advertising firm that helps clients build their businesses by successfully navigating inflection points with sound brand strategy and positioning, campaign development, and smart, creative execution. Since 1992, clients have turned to AvreaFoster to drive compelling results that are fully aligned with business goals. Leading brands call AvreaFoster when they find themselves facing new competitors, targeting evolving audiences, launching new services or products, or aligning acquisitions into networks. Learn more at

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The Yellow Dog Project

This was a new one on me, but sounds like an interesting program for dogs who don’t like to be crowded. The Yellow Dog Project is a global movement for owners of dogs that need space. It hopes to educate the public and dog owners to identify dogs needing space, promote appropriate contact of dogs […] Dog Blog

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Adopting a Shelter Dog

Adopting a shelter dog and saving it from a possible early death can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience for you, your family and especially the dog.

In most cities the cost to adopt a shelter dog is relatively cheap. Most shelters only charge a modest fee for adopting a dog but that fee actually covers only a small part of the shelter’s costs for food, healthcare, facilities and care giving. Dogs housed in animal shelters will have been examined to make sure they’re in good health before being put up for adoption. The dogs are usually vaccinated, wormed and neutered or spayed. In well-run shelters, a dog’s behavior has been assessed so a prospective new owner can be better matched to the type of dog they want.

Before taking your family to the local animal shelter to choose a new dog, you should understand that the cost of adoption is only a small fraction of the total cost of owning a dog. The average dog owner will spend approximately $ 2,200 per year on food, medical care, vet visits and other dog related expenses. The actual yearly outlay of expenses will vary depending on the type of dog, and also why it ended up in the animal shelter.

Many dogs are surrendered to shelters because they have serious behavior problems, and a new owner will have to contend with those behaviors as well as fear and abandonment issues a dog may have from being mistreated or abandoned to a shelter.

It’s fairly easy to recognize a shelter dog who has fear issues. The dog may run or hide from strangers, bark a lot, or growl at humans. It can be difficult to reduce a dog’s fear, but if you fall in love with a dog displaying those symptoms, understand that those fears can be overcome with patience on your part.

If you’re thinking of adopting a shelter dog, you should get some background information on any dog you’re seriously considering. There are some dogs in shelters who have been given back several times because new owners couldn’t cope with the dog’s crying, barking or other destructive behavior when left alone. Sometimes this is caused simply by separation anxiety where the dog becomes fearful every time its owner leaves it alone. You can lessen this fear by spending as much time as possible with your new dog, gradually cutting down on the amount of time spent one-on-one.

Unfortunately, many dogs who end up in shelters have never been properly potty trained. If this is the case, you’ll need to treat the dog as it were a puppy. Set a regular schedule of when you take your dog outside to go. When it does its duty, reward it with a treat and praise. It shouldn’t take long for the dog to associate going outside to the bathroom with getting a tasty treat.

Many dogs are surrendered to shelters simply because their owners never taught them how to behave. A dog may display unwanted behavior such as jumping on people, humping people’s legs, or ignoring you when you tug on its leash.

While some people are not bothered by this type of behavior, some are and become very distressed by their inability to correct the behavior. The poor dog then ends up abandoned to a shelter. If the owner had a little more patience and understanding of dog behavior, these unwanted actions could be easily corrected with a little bit of positive training. If you’re adopting a shelter dog be sure it’s the right one for you before taking it home.

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Nice Bone photos

Some cool bone images:

Bone Appetit

Image by melodramababs
My favourite apron. As you can tell, it needs to be washed. Although most of that grime won’t come off.

Bone Tools

Image by Travis S.
Bone tools like these are probably wedges. These are used for fire starting. Many of these wedges have concavities rubbed into them. This is where the friction fires are started.

The bones themselves are probably rib bones from a large sea mammal.

I am unsure of the use of the longer, pointier bones.

Bone Yard – 18 October 2008

Image by Marion Doss
Bone Yard – 18 October 2008

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What Does Appropriate Dog Play Look Like?

Watching a variety of different dogs play is one of the biggest benefits of my part-time job. Dogs really know how to party, and the joy they get from play can be contagious:

Mini-breaks and Time-outs

In this video you several breaks in the action, even in just under a minute of elapsed time. This is a good thing. I highlighted the big one in the video, and there was another right after I stop filming (naturally) where Caffeine was gagging (it happens during allergy season and no, it’s not the collar) and Buddha politely stopped and waited for her to reach up and mouth him to resume play. I really wish I hadn’t stopped filming!

This kind of cooperation is what we want to see. It doesn’t always look exactly like this of course, because all dogs are different and play differently. It’s possible to draw broad generalizations about breeds – retrievers tend to like to mouth wrestle and end up with their heads literally soaked, bully breeds tend to slam dance, some herding breeds like to play tag — however the "tagging" better be gentle — but as I’ve said before, these are broad generalizations and are not always true. Know your dog, and know your dog’s friends.

Symmetry and Handicapping

Patricia McConnell talks about self-handicapping frequently on her blog and in her talks. It’s an important part of play. In the video I highlight a point where Buddha offers to let Caffeine pounce on him for a bit. She rarely takes him up on this offer. She likes to play on the floor and even did that when we had a much larger dog that played much more roughly with her.

In the puppy playgroups at Kellar’s Canine Academy we have a "regular" named Lucy, a 8 month old or so Pit Bull mix, who is an absolute master at self-handicapping. She can switch from letting a tiny puppy half her size jump on her and nibble her face to slam-dancing with her best friend, a 70 pound Rottweiler puppy, in seconds.

Some dogs can adjust play styles. I’m fortunate that Buddha and Caffeine (with the few dogs she will play with) can and will do this. It’s not necessarily common and don’t expect your dog or the dogs you come across to do so. Some dogs take offense, even in the middle of a play session, to a bitten ear or a jumped-upon face. The question is, how do they react? A warning and/or disengaging from play is just fine. Retaliation is usually not.

In a safe environment dogs always have the option to end play by stopping and, if nexessary, leaving the area. This means (at least) two things must be true: the area is big enough for a dog to be able to leave the area of play and the participants are in control to take the hint when a dog wants a break.

So What’s Actually Acceptable?

This is an excellent video, worth watching a few times, about play and body language:

One of the more interesting parts of my apprenticeship was watching how different trainers handled playgroups in both puppy classes and with adult dogs. Some were very hands on and quick to enforce a break in the action. Other tending to go with the flow and tried to engineer things more by strategically picking playgroups.

I came away a bit of a laissez faire attitude, and the fact that I have had to deal with small groups and then ideal facilities (until very recently) have forced me to improvise. I want to see regular breaks in the action. I don’t like to see too many high-speed chases, dogs up on their hind legs, and dogs that seem overwhelmed or afraid need to be helped by pairing them up with appropriate playmates. But attempts to support one dog or another or to enforce specific rules of play are not my thing.

What has your experience with playgroups been?

What Does Appropriate Dog Play Look Like? is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey

Dog Spelled Forward Website and Blog

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Do dogs do doo-doo in alignment with Earth’s magnetic field?

Anyone who has ever walked a dog or waited impatiently while they did their doggie business outside in the cold knows how carefully they select just the right spot to drop their load. Is it just to annoy us or is there a hidden reason for their strange behavior that we as humans lack the sensitivity to understand? It seems there might be. For over two years a team of scientists has logged 5,582 dog-defecation…
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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