Today I’m going to talk about something that, thankfully, I haven’t had to enlighten anyone about in a few years. There is a very old but still believed in old wives’ tale that if a dog tastes blood then it will become vicious and or begin killing everything in sight. As a dog trainer and dog owner most of my life I can assure you that this is not true, but you know what does cause this? Boredom and lack of training.
Okay, sit down and let me break something to you. Your dog, no matter how small or sweet or cuddly, is a predator. Ya know those 150 lb animals we call wolves that can take down an adult buffalo? That was your dog several generations back and somewhere, deep down, in the recesses of their mind your dog remembers it. In fact, most behaviors bred into purebred dogs are a variation of some part of the hunt. Even Rover bringing you your slippers in the morning is a variation on bringing meat back to the den for pups. Maybe that’s why they got chewed a little. Now, when a dog decides to chase something, for what ever reason, he is doing something his Maker has put in his mind to do since the beginning of canines anywhere. He’s doing what he was born to do, plus it’s fun! If no one stops him, however, his quarry will slow or even stop. What then? Well, if training or a handler aren’t there to stop him or direct his attention to a different task then generations of surviving in the wild say take a bite, wrestle it to the ground, kill and eat. Every step a dog takes toward this goal is a reward in itself because that part of his brain is saying “good job Rover, you get to survive another day”. I’ve had working herding dogs a good part of my life and training is something that is critical to keep on top of with a herding dog. For those of you who don’t know, you don’t train a dog to herd. You train a dog when to herd, where to herd and when to stop. A couple times I’ve had an over exuberant dog draw blood on it’s quarry and another kill a bird. With immediate and continuous training the behavior stopped and never got any worse. They never went on a killing spree or tried to attack me.
Another thing is that different dogs have different personalities. There are followers who will do whatever you ask, even if you’re a two year old and weigh a quarter of what they do. There are the leaders who are usually the troublemakers and tend to get aggressive and/or pushy. There are dogs that are any number of variations in between. Some breeds have more members with leader personalities than others like German Shepherds, any of the livestock guarding breeds and the bully breeds. I’m going to pick on the leaders.
Okay, in wolf society the lead wolf is constantly being challenged and watched for signs of weakness by the other wolves. A weak leader is not tolerated by the other wolves. In a milder sense (if you’re lucky), the same thing happens with your dog. Many dog behavior experts say you have to be your dog’s leader. This is why. While a dog with a follower personality may pretend he doesn’t hear you, steal your food off the counter when he knows he shouldn’t, not come back when you call him or just choose not to act on the need to have a strong leader; a dog with a leader personality may become aggressive and even bite or challenge you. Having a leader dog (it’s called a dominant personality) isn’t the end of a glorious relationship, however. Leader dogs are actually highly sought after as working dogs. Police dogs all the way to guide dogs and assistance dogs are usually dogs with the more dominant personalities but they must have a lot of training. This is because if you can convince a dominant dog that you are their leader they will do what you say with no distractions.
There’s other things that can cause a dog to become aggressive. Head trauma, abuse and seizures are common reasons. Diseases can do it too. Did I forget to mention rabies? The last lady I had this argument with swore up and down her dog was being aggressive towards her and her kids because it had killed a chicken. She had it put down but had a necropsy done on it and there was a parasite in it’s brain. Yuck! This particular old wives’ tale really gets me galled because so many good dogs that could have been so much more or just never caused a problem ever again have been put to death over it. it’s not always necessary.
Knowledge is power.
While attending a class to better myself, I’ve discovered something about Silver Fox that never occurred to me. For those of you who have not read my book, Silver Fox is the main character in Demon Warrior by Jaymi Mozeak. We’ve been studying Under Cover by John Bevere in church. Silver Fox is very insubordinate. VERY. It has never bothered me much before because (In case you missed the foreword of Demon Warrior) Silver Fox is me and I spent most of my childhood seeing how being submissive to people who mean ill of you only gets you hurt more. Submission to authority is and always has been very difficult for me.
John points out in his book, however, that not submitting to authorities that have been placed over us is not submitting to God. After all, there is no authority except from God and whoever resists authority resists the ordinance of God (Romans 13:1,2 NKJV paraphrased). I’m ashamed to say I have read the Bible from cover to cover many times and that fact has never sunk in until recently. Now, it stopped me in my tracks. While being submissive to other humans has always carried negative connotations, being submissive to God hasn’t. In fact I am foolishly proud enough to say I could write a book of the things I feel I’ve done in response to God’s request and the subsequent blessings He’s bestowed on me afterwards. (In English… I have an awesome testimony!) God has specifically come to me and shown His love and grace in, occasionally, miraculous ways. I love Him and want to serve Him with all my heart, soul and mind. It’s still hard at times but I actually do want to do it. I want God to be pleased with me.
By the time we were almost done with the book I realized this was something I needed to mention about Silver Fox in my next book. After all, I pray to God and see Jesus in visions sometimes but she sees Him everyday. Somebody needs to mention that she should behave herself a … lot better. It is taking a very long time to write because every time I put something in it, or forget to put something in it, that God wants done differently I get writer’s block. I mean serious writer’s block that cannot be lifted with any of the usual tricks. The only thing that seems to work is going back over it while praying/asking God what the deal is. It takes a while and Satan is always throwing distractions in the mix. Sigh. Yes, I can get lazy too. There. I said it. Anyways, I hope this works and am looking forward to seeing how the dynamic changes between characters once this new bit of realization gets added.
Something wonderful happened this past week. I applied to be a Freelance Reporter for one of the local newspapers and they accepted me on a trial run. You have to understand this blog and a few press releases are all of my non-fiction writing experience. They are taking a chance on me. Now as far as all my other writing I’ve had a nasty bunch of Writer’s Block off and on for months so I really need to get back in the habit. Wish me luck! And pray!
Hey guys! Finally dragging myself back into the game. The other day a writer friend had me come to a clinic put on by a local, well recommended, herbalist and I saw this flyer. I fully mean to attend and am in the works, trying to get a speaker’s spot. Definitely pray, maybe come and I’ll see you there!
Okay, before I start, those of you who haven’t seen my recorded speech on You Tube need to know I have aphasia. Aphasia is a symptom if brain damage where the sufferer has trouble getting what they are trying to say in their mind to what they are trying to say with their mouth. While many people with this speech impediment have it as a result of head trauma, a tumor or a stroke, mine is most likely the result of a few particularly bad asthma attacks I’ve had over my lifetime. For whatever reason I have it, aphasia makes the “speaker” part of my proclaimed occupation (author, artist, speaker) a little more difficult than for others who stand up in front of people to share their opinions and beliefs.
Well, last night I showed up at the local theater to see “Heaven is for Real” a … lot too early. Instead of hang around the empty building for two hours I went across the street to lay in the grass and listen to the various birds sing. As what usually happens in this sweet little town, someone came up and asked me if I was okay. I said yes, and that I was just waiting for the theater to open. Well this person sat on the, not far enough away, fountain and proceeded to engage me in conversation. He was a veteran who had served in Vietnam and spoke several different languages including French, German and a few different dialects of Mandarin. Learning any form of a tonal language, like Mandarin, is impressive to me. We talked for a while before he asked me for help. I immediately said “no” and that I don’t give people money. He back pedaled and asked what made me think he wanted my money. I patiently explained I have learned over the years that people who approach others to ask for money will generally spend it on alcohol, cigarettes or drugs. He got defensive and said I might as well just smack him across the face. As I am just getting over slight case of pneumonia that was certainly a little beyond the amount of energy I was intending to spend that day. I told him if I had more money in my pocket or my bank card on me I would certainly buy him some food or a soda, even a movie ticket but I would not give him money. Then he changed his tactics and told me he was planning on buying beer with the money but it was because he had a head injury from war and it made him unable to comprehend numbers well and it’s cost him jobs…. At first I was just a little annoyed, maybe intrigued, now I was pissed.
Now anyone with any chronic condition will tell you that a sudden burst of emotion, especially anger, will make the condition worse. I informed him of my aphasia and explained to him what it was and how I got it. Then I informed him, as best I could, what it has cost me in jobs, promotions and general respect as many people believe it as only a sign of developmental disability or drug use. Then, I attempted to give him a list of acceptable things to do to better the situation when a person has a head injury. You’d be surprised how many different words a damaged brain can come up with when all you want to say is rehabilitation. Then I told him I will not buy him beer as alcohol will not make his situation any better. I proceeded to storm off before I said anything I would regret and the man called me to get my attention again. I looked back at him and he thanked me. Apparently, without the aid of a teleprompter, typed speech or cue cards I succeeded at giving a motivational speech and got my message across to my small but uncaptive audience. These little moments are worth any amount of strife God has asked me trudge through.
It is official! I am speaking at Spiritual Woodstock 2013 here in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. My talk will be titled “Being Christian and New Age”. It will entail experiences I have had throughout my life being a Shaman and a Christian. I have hints and suggestions on how to serve others (especially the body of Christ) with gifts not recognized by the church. I also have information my guides Jesus, Yahweh and Mordicai have given me on practicing my gifts and remaining within God’s will.
I will also be signing and offering for purchase my first novel, “Demon Warrior”, which is based on visions I received as a teenager.
In a speedy turn of events in one fall/winter season I have married, become pregnant, lost the baby, got to know an interesting Apache and now I am in the town I have been wishing/trying to return to since I left, eight years ago. My husband and I are settling in well… and I got bored… just for a moment. Being a writer I wrote and wrote some more. I think I wrote more for my second manuscript in two weeks than I did for the first in two months, plus I wrote a little for a third. I got a hold of a local writer’s group, talked to a local bookstore owner and walked… a lot… right… past… the local… newspaper…
Now, I have a writer friend back in Casper who spent time in Yellowstone, writing for a paper. I have taken classes and gone to conferences, all to help me with my chances of getting a bestseller out there. The suggestion of writing a column for the local newspaper has come up more than once. However, Hot Springs is a small town and their paper is even smaller. It only comes out once a week and there isn’t much room for a budding young author’s pipe dreams, but if I have learned one thing over the years it’s that the fastest road to failure is never trying. Well, I looked in the paper for guidelines, the website… nothing other than for Letters to the Editor. I didn’t want that, I wanted something big. So, I wrote something big. I figured it would be a little small for an article so I reduced it to about the size of a column then I took it in person to the receptionist to see if she had any writer’s guidelines. None, other than ones for Letters to the Editor, still she took the bait and the story.
Later on I got a call from a man from the paper. He said the story was a little long for a Letter to the Editor. (It was so hard to not say “DUH!” because it’s an opening to a column!) He said he liked it and wanted to publish it but didn’t want to reduce it any to put it in as a Letter to the Editor. (yay) So, I agreed to what he wanted and this is what he did. Thanks Guys!