Update (aka: What Sh*t is Going Down this Friday) (*updated)

The academic portion of my studies in dog training with the Animal Behavior College has nine stages.  Some of them are longer than others, and after each stage, I take an open book test.  I can study online any time, but I requested hard copies of the material.  It’s no extra charge and not only is it easier for me to study that way, with less note-taking, but I’ll also have the materials at hand for any future reference.  But my books haven’t come yet, and I didn’t want to waste time, as my first Stage Exam was due only a week after the projected date of the books’ arrival (April 19th,) so I started studying online.

This was about a week and a half ago.

Today, I got the grade for my Stage 3 exam!  Yes, I have completed three stages (or chapters, as I like to think of them,) and taken three exams.  I’ve gotten 94%, 97%, and 95% respectively.  The second stage exam was on learning theory.  Permit me to brag a moment… Wait! I don’t need your permission; this is my blog!  Anyway, my academic “handler” told me that he was pleasantly surprised by my score, as many students have trouble with that chapter.  I told him I’m sure my background in psychology helped, as this was kind of like a refresher.

Pavlov's Dog (photo: howstuffworks.com)

Pavlov’s Dog
(photo: howstuffworks.com)

Anyway, I’m really pleased with my progress, and have been checking the mail everyday on the off-chance my books come early (I received an email that they had been shipped, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility.)  I’d like to have them before starting Stage 4; I don’t want to take notes by hand anymore.  All I need is my trusty highlighter!

On another note, today is pizza day!  On Fridays, hubby and I often have a friend over and order either pizza or Japanese from Yamato.  I just found out Little Caesar’s still has/just got back their square, deep dish pizza.  And considering that I’ve sort of fallen off the strict calorie watching wagon (well, I was only ever hitching a ride on that bad boy to begin with,) I decided I needed to really torch some calories today.   Four pieces of that pizza will cost me about 1350 calories…  And let’s be real; I can easily eat four pieces.   Also, it’s ridiculous how excited I get over the prospect of yummy food.

New Image, courtesy of the AlienRedQueen

New Image, courtesy of the AlienRedQueen

See, you replace the dog food with…well, food food.  And that little dog there represents me– you can tell because of the eyeliner I added and the bad-ass doggie tattoo (there wasn’t enough room to put “Mom” on it.)

Now I’m just killing time, trying to kill calories, and keeping my kid happy until pizza time.

So, anyway, that’s my Friday in a nutshell.  How’s yours?

Update on the Update:  MY BOOKS ARE HERE!  Thank you, UPS man!

My goody box! Two head collars and a halter, as well as treat samples and a free Kong!  See my sexy polo shirt?

My goody box! Two head collars and a halter, as well as treat samples and a free Kong! See my sexy polo shirt?

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Service to Animals, Service to People

So today I took the first concrete step towards my future.  Hubs and I invested in my future, and put a down payment on my continued education.  Only it has little to do with the degrees I already have.  But it is for something I’ve always enjoyed, and that is working with animals.  As soon as the enrollment process is completed, I’ll be starting coursework with the Animal Behavior College to become a certified dog trainer.  But I don’t want to work at the local Pet Smart teaching people’s ill-mannered pets to behave (though no disrespect if that’s your passion!)  I’d eventually like to work with animals that help people– chiefly service dogs or police dogs.

police-dog-training

Service animals are no longer just seeing eye dogs.  Animals of all species are now being utilized for all types of disabilities, both physical and mental.  Cats, dogs, monkeys, ferrets, goats, and even pigs are being used as companions to physically disabled people, people with agoraphobia and other anxiety disorders, and even bipolar disorder.  To me this exemplifies a more holistic and harmonious turn in the treatment of many severe and often debilitating health problems.  Simply put, I love how animals and the bonds they forge with their humans can help surmount even the toughest challenges and just make people happier.  

Then there are the police dogs, the bomb sniffing dogs, the cadaver sniffing dogs, the war dogs…   These dogs truly are service dogs, and they are heroes!

And I definitely want to be a part of this.  I love animals…   People, meh…  I don’t care for people as a whole, although I do generally like being around people on a more individual level.  I have a lot of interests in my life– art, writing, music, forensics, sports, horseback riding, my family…  It’s hard to give time to everything in my life that I enjoy, and even harder– for me– to settle on a career path, but I think this is something that can make me happy…

Which in the end is more important to me at the end of the day than any other considerations like money or prestige.

orlando-police-dog-training

i-service-dog-sharif