Archive for the ‘thinkers’ Category

First Lady prayer…

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My Life With Dogs #13

Friends: I have decided to share with you My Life With Dogs. These Blogs taken from my book, 14000 Dogs Later, may be one page at a time, or more. I don’t want to dump too much on you at a time. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to make comments here, or on Face Book or Twitter. Best, John
This, by the way, is the continuation of my last entry.

     I had become hooked on training dogs and was a voracious consumer of all aspects of dog history and training; particularly studying the techniques of well-known dog trainers. That knowledge, along with what I had learned at Canine TV Trainers, led me to write my own manual, which I entitled the Famed Method of Dog Training.  And “no”, I did not plan “slipping a mickie” into every dog’s water pan prior to class. Rather, the name was my way of honoring Mr. Tuck for what he had taught me about animals, well beyond the induction of a hypnotic drug prior to a training session.
Since I worked eight-hour days for the military, by the time I made it to the pet shop in downtown Washington, fed animals and cleaned cages, it was usually dark by the time I started training. Fourteenth Street in downtown DC was mostly the center of the African/American commercial life in the city. Needing room that was not available in the shop, I used the streets at night to tame and train ocelots, cheetahs, dogs of all sizes, and fox. A fox would walk on a leash with me though he would be totally absorbed in his surroundings. Any movement from cars, passersby, or bikes, would pique his defensive mechanism and his hackles would stand and he would snarl through clinched teeth. By the way, it didn’t take me long in training a fox to learn the meaning of the anecdote that a coward will kill you to get out of a corner. If I cornered him in a storefront doorway, trying to pet him, he would rip the glove off my hand and even dive at my throat.
Anyone remaining on 14th Street when I trained animals at night promptly crossed to the other side. This practice began shortly after one of the first dogs I trained. As it happened I was working with an attack-trained Doberman Pinscher who Mr. Tuck had agreed to retrain and desensitize. The dog belonged to a local policeman, had been shot in a drug bust, and was being retired because of his injury. The policeman did not want the dog put down because he felt the dog had saved his life. He had heard of the work that Mr. Tuck had accomplished in the training of dogs and asked for help. I implored Mr. Tuck to let me work with Boomer and he finally agreed following my relentless pleadings.
I had been working with Boomer for about 45 minutes one evening when gunshots shattered storefront glass and burglar alarms screamed. Not knowing what to do, I froze…until Boomer started pulling me in the direction of the gunfire. He wasn’t in a hurry. Each step was measured and calculated. I couldn’t have held him back if I wanted; instead, like a dummy, I followed.Doberman (2)
Sirens began to blare and rubberneckers peeked from second-story windows as the burglar alarm seemed to grow in intensity.
Two men burst through the broken window of a jewelry store, skidded to a stop as flashing lights from police cars approached; they turned and ran straight towards Boomer and his bumbling handler. I don’t know where my voice came from, but I heard myself say, “Boomer, get ‘em.” I dropped the leash and he lunged at the criminals who were paying more attention to what was behind them instead of what was in front.
When the first guy saw Boomer he screamed and threw his gun at the dog. Boomer hit the second man, knocking him across the hood of a Volkswagen and into the path of the cop cars.
As quickly as it had started, it was over. I finished my training with Boomer and put him up for the night. As I left the shop two of the cops thanked me and people on the street waved at me. The next day I had a nickname…Demon Man, and I was never bothered by anyone when I trained animals on the streets of 14th and U.

“When is the best time to write?”

writingAs an author, I am often asked, “When is the best time to write?”  It is easy and trouble free to brush this person off with a trite response, such as, “Whenever you feel the urge.”  Mostly, though, that question comes from the heart…the same as it did from me when I first thought about putting pen to paper.  In other words, I take that as a serious question, and so I answer it seriously.  I refer to the book, Beyond Imagination, specifically to the short story, Eight Hours to Live, and even more specifically to Principle Number Two…as follows:

 

PRINCIPLE NUMBER TWO: Time is precious and priceless
Consider diamonds.
What fantasy fills your mind when you imagine that fine gem that represents power, potency, and riches? It is the hardest jewel known, the oldest possession you can own, and symbolizes undying love. Formed in the deepest regions of Earth and brought to the surface by volcanic force, its age may be three billion years.
How often have you said, I wish I had more time to do this or that, when in reality you had plenty of time, it’s just that you failed to face the task at hand when you should have. Procrastination is a disease with which everyone deals. “Why not put off today what can be accomplished tomorrow?” “Drag your feet, everyone else does.” “Take your time, stall, hold back—”
At what point in time are you willing to recognize the value of time. After you have failed? After a relative has passed? After a love has been lost?
Time is fleeting and short-lived. It is here for the moment—and then it is gone. You cannot grab it, corral it, control or manipulate it. And most certainly, you cannot purchase it. It is precious beyond understanding and it is priceless beyond payment. It is a gift that cannot be given, a worth that evades affordability, and a possession that cannot be owned. And yet, this priceless and precious commodity is yours, every moment of every day, to do with as you will. You may use it, misuse it, or ignore it—whichever you choose you must recognize its fickle nature. It is here only for the moment, and then it is gone—forever, because Time is precious and priceless.