Many of my doggy clients have heard me speak of “Nothing In Life Is Free (referred to by many trainers as NILIF).” That is the process of teaching a dog to turn over control of his resources (and as a result, his anxieties over territory, food, and a slew of other stresses), by asking the dog to “say please” (by sitting) for everything he wants. Part of this plan is to hand-feed your dog his dinner, which builds a relationship of trust.
Ian Dunbar’s approach (along with a few other trainers who follow a similar philosophy of relationship-building) is to eliminate the food bowl altogether.
Recently, a Saluki person passed away in the southwest, US, and one of the dogs in need of rehoming was found non-responsive in the owner’s yard when the volunteers went to pick him up. This boy is now in critical care, but recovering, and his prognosis, though guarded, has improved.
However, the situation has led to vet bills that are already high and climbing daily. STOLA is in need of donations to cover this poor boy’s bills, and I would be so grateful to anyone who might visit their website and make a donation.
I know that many of you have been through similar situations. You have adopted animals who, for one reason or other, had their worlds turned upside down. Some had families who had to move and couldn’t take the pets. Others got lost themselves, and never found again. Others, like Ryder, were grieving for the loss of their owners to age or illness. Ryder’s presence in our home, and in my heart, have given me a greater appreciation of what I’ve attempted to help so many of you through.
How courageous these dear beings are. It is truly an honor to be chosen to provide the comfort and love the animals need to once again trust that their world, this new world, is a safe one.
I have lost the dog of my heart. Ryder has lost his heart-human and the only mum he has ever known. Two lost souls are come together, to help one another to heal. I have no doubt that our angels, Lin and Kai, have arranged this journey for us.
Welcome, Ryder, good boy. You are loved.
Amala Ziven Prokyon
July 21st, 2002 – October 3rd, 2015
I want to thank everyone for their kind thoughts, and all the support we have been shown.
Why am I hurting so deeply over the inevitable loss of Kai, which his vets say will happen only weeks from now? I guess to those who love their animal family members, that is mostly obvious. For me, it goes deeper. Many people say that they “would not be here if not for their animals”. For me, however, that is not just a sentimental metaphor, or even a deeply ingrained feeling. It is a literal truth.