Learned a few things…

I enjoy Dave Borlace’s youtube channel.
Here’s a bit from his ‘what’s it about’ section.

“The channel is not a debating forum about whether Human Induced Climate Change is a real phenomenon or not. If that’s what you’re after then I can highly recommend chat forums on Social Media, where people on both sides of the argument go round and round in circles achieving precisely nothing at all.”

He’s done a short analysis of Gibb’s and Moore’s recent “Planet of the Humans” that I think is thoughtful and I learned more than a few things.

I have long accepted the truism that human overpopulation is a big part of our planetary problems, but he effectively shifted my thinking.

You can choose to support his work on Patreon, if you find him informative. I do.


Let me rest my eyes

Let me rest my eyes

On something beautiful

My dog, sleeping.

A tulip green budded,

Tight lipped against the still cool morning


slipping between the trees like a

guilty teenager,

Touching crevices of bark,

Lifting them out of the shadows,


Let me fill my mind with


weathered fingers reaching out for mine,

Tendersharp sparks

that drift and fall back into the


Let me rest my soul

Upon the soft sea

lifting and rising,


My small boat

We float and gaze at

white fluttering sails

Take me back.

Let me rest my eyes,

On something beautiful.

Just press “Paws”

Seldom, if ever, do people decide to just stop whatever they are engaged in; their work, their duty, their play, their goals, their dreams, their fears, their fantasies…their conscious lives.

Seldom, does one’s life reduce itself to its most basic elements.

An opportunity exists for us now to reflect; to sense ourselves without distraction. This is the opportunity that seekers of meaning; explorers of inner and outer spaces hunger for and here it is,

Plop, in the middle of our laps.

Cancel the meditation retreat and the ayahuasca, to induce an altered state and lead you into new awareness. Here it is, free of charge.

The bardo; the space after the exhale and just before the inhale.  A long precious moment in our shared existence, where everything has hit ‘pause’.

And when “play” is pressed again, will the same Music play on?

I wonder.

A new world


Sunlit tree bark

Pressed green cedar lace

Oyster pink blossoms, curving

around bees’ bottoms

Brown eyes soft, loosening

Once guarded secrets,

His mouth,

brimful of humour

The world is new again

And small.

I like it.

My Schipperke history

I adopted a pet Schipperke, many years ago. A scraggly, nearly bald little thing, with an impish furred face, she suffered from hyperthyroidism, heart, and liver disease. My husband and I adored her.

I had the good fortune of a veterinarian in the family, and together we supported her health as well as we could. She succumbed to liver disease when she was six.

Almost ten years passed before we brought another Schipperke home, our first CKC registered Schipperke, Mazeru’s Kenya. (Kaylah) Together, we ventured into the world of CKC obedience, achieving our CD and Excellent levels in Rally. We dabbled in agility a bit as well.

At 3 and a half, she suffered her first seizure. Over the next two years, I learned everything I could about epilepsy, a disease that is not unusual in Schipperkes. We worked with an excellent veterinarian, who correctly diagnosed her focal seizures and helped us manage her condition with potassium bromide, for the rest of her life. She lived until 15 and a half and ruled the household with an iron paw.
I met Pat Boggs online, in a Schipperke in Performance yahoo group. Her generosity about sharing her knowledge about breeding and training was remarkable. In 2015, I acquired my ‘retirement puppy’ from Pat’s lines.

I had by now discovered Crate Games and joined Recallers in 2012. A whole new world of behavioural science based animal training opened up. I continue to support and recommend Susan Garrett’s programs.
I raised Ruby with Recaller games and used shaping and positive reinforcement to train every skill and behaviour. She was my first conformation dog and I have jumped into learning everything I can about that world. Handling, grooming, conditioning, and training; it’s all been a fascinating journey for me.
Breeding Ruby was never my intention when I bought her, but that’s the amazing thing about life; you never know what’s around the corner. I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn everything possible about canine genetics, artificial insemination, breeding, maternal health and puppy raising with Puppy Culture.

Do Schipperkes shed?


Is that a horrible thing?

Not to me.

I love brushing my dogs, almost every day. Learning to show my dogs taught me about the importance of daily brushing and regular washing to their health and beauty. Training my dogs with positive reinforcement, to enjoy being on the grooming table, being brushed and having their nails trimmed, has brought so many other benefits. Here are a few.

• My dogs’ coats look fantastic. (Excellent diet helps here too) I spray water mixed with a bit of conditioner on their coats first. I associated ‘being sprayed’ with lots of treats, gradually over time. I am always mindful of their eyes and their heads. If you have ever been advised to use a spray bottle as a punishment for a behaviour, you will have a bit more work to do, rebuilding trust.

• It’s pleasant and it builds trust and love between the two of you.

• The fur gets removed from the dog before it gets spread around your house.

• Grooming prepares the dog for similar ‘table’ like experiences, like vet exams. Vet tables are often slippery metal surfaces so I bring my own bit of non slip matting.

• Brushing takes very little time, once you’ve got the area and equipment set up and you’ve trained your dog to love it.

• I still vacuum. No big deal. I have to (reluctantly) vacuum anyway.

Back to Schipperkes…
Mine shed their whole coats, over two or three weeks, and then take another three weeks to grow it all in again. Ruby starts at the rear and works forward. Her undercoat comes out first, followed by her longer outer coat. Different Schips may do it differently. Intact dogs shed differently from neutered ones. Ruby sheds about twice a year.

If you don’t love grooming as much as you might, you can know that it won’t last forever.

My experience with my Schipperkes, is that even ‘au natural’, (meaning without bathing them) they always smell beautiful. But if they’ve rolled in something noxious smelling, that calls for an emergency bath.

Some people use dog fur to spin wool. Collect your fur and send it to a spinner weaver. 🙂

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