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Archive for August, 2006

London: Partially moved in

August 30, 2006 Leave a comment
The purple couch and picture of Mt. Rainer fit, although Lorie hasn’t really "arranged" everything yet.

(sent from my Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC)

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London: Partially moved in

August 30, 2006 Leave a comment
Our furniture arrived on Tuesday and everything fits into our place in Fulham. We will spend all of Wednesday unpacking and getting it ready to move in with Milo in early October. After seeing our stuff moved in, we both started getting more excited about moving/living here. :-)

(sent from my Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC)

A Happy Ripley

August 15, 2006 Leave a comment

We are happy to announce that Ripley has found a WONDERFUL happy place to live while she learns how to trust others and relax. It was only 9 days ago that I met Gretchen Schumacher & Michael Schmidt of www.packworks.org when I took Ripley for an assessment (on the advice of a her Vetinary Behaviourist Dr. West of www.redwoodah.com who diagnosed Ripley with territorial aggression, not fear-based aggression). Ripley started her Packworks evaluation session with a massive car-guarding display, however within only 1 hour she was following Michael around to play ball with not a single sign of guarding! The best part is that both Gretchen & Michael thought Ripley was just wonderful, not aggressive at all for her breed – she was just a little guarding Beauceron, which is just what Beaucerons do.

The key to Gretchen & Michael’s approach to training is about non-adversarial leadership, no pinch collars or negative feedback is used, rather they prove to Ripley that they are worthy of her trust and she doesn’t need to guard. Both Michael and Gretchen have decades of experience with guarding breeds (including Beaucerons!) and train many police dogs to be real guard dogs. As soon as we experienced this approach we punted all the dominance-based training and negative reinforcement (such as saying “no” constantly) and let Ripley learn that the world was not a dangerous place. Although Ripley had a long way to go with us, we were already seeing improvement in her guarding and she relaxed much more easily. So, with much confidence and motivation, Brian and I are now learning this very natural way of training at Packworks so that Milo will continue to be the perfect little mellow Beauceron that he is and when we get to the UK, I plan to take him to agility classes (because he just LOVES to run through tunnels & shoots, plus I need something to do with my time).

For those of you who have followed us on our long saga to find the right solution for our beloved and wonderful little guard dog, all 3 of us (including Milo) greatly appreciate all of your support and good advice throughout this challenging journey. Ripley is now staying on Gretchen’s farm, playing with 10+ other wonderful and fascinating dogs as well as cats, goats, chickens, and ducks. We are confident that if Ripley is ever adopted out from the happy farm, it will be to a home where she will have strong confident leaders who also understand the particular needs of her defence instinct and what a special of dog she is. Brian & I are forever grateful to Gretchen (and everyone else at Packworks) for helping Ripley learn how to trust people though agility training and leadership – as well as find and/or provide her with a wonderful home where she will be loved as much as we loved her for the first 2 years of her life.

Brian Groth’s Life at Microsoft

August 7, 2006 Leave a comment

The Dogs

August 7, 2006 Leave a comment

London Calling

August 4, 2006 Leave a comment

I got the paperwork from the Microsoft HR folks in the UK, so we are one step closer. The photo is from 2001 and is of Lorie in a phone booth, since you know, Americans can never get enough of the red British phone booths. I wonder what they’re used for now days since most people have cell phones?

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