The Internet is a kind of vortex. I open up my laptop with the purpose of checking one thing and three hours later I am researching some completely unrelated topic while downloading music from my favourite band in the whole world, even though I didn’t know said band existed until ten minutes ago. I don’t have an addictive personality. Sure, I like my morning cup of coffee and I’ll never turn down a free drink, but I’ve never struggled with an actual dependence on something. And, trust me, I have tried. Nothing ever stuck. That is, until the Internet. I am fully confident if I had to I could live without television. Perhaps, I could even live without books. But don’t take away my interwebs.
As a self-respecting dog-obsessor, a lot of the stuff I look up is canine related. I jump from article to article so fast that I barely register anything. The idea isn’t to learn or process, it’s just to read for the sake of reading. But what’s the point of that?
These days I am attempting to live with greater mindfulness. This includes my time spent Googling the name of the actress who plays the girlfriend of that movie I saw three years ago. Rather than powering through every link that comes up on my Facebook feed, I am trying to be more selective. When I do click on something, I commit to it. Actually read and consume it. It’s been pretty life-changing. So much so that I feel compelled to share what I’ve learned.
Here are some of the articles I loved recently:
Pawsitively Training sums up exactly how I feel about recall training: “Your dog has to want to be with you before he or she will recall to you.” Precisely. The video in the post is quite helpful as well.
Pit Bulls Make the World Go Round has some wicked advice for handling encounters with off-leash dogs, the bane of many of our existences.
The Working Pit Bull has a fantastic guide to understanding “soundness” and relating it to your dog. I am so grateful to My Life With Flyball Dogs for sharing it with me in a comment last week. It’s made me look at dogs in a brand new way.
This article by relationship-based trainer Suzanne Clothier on gauging thresholds in dogs has also helped me a lot. I still don’t know if I am an expert at reading Shiva’s body language. Sometimes I jump in unnecessarily and other times I think I wait too long. It’s so hard to know and she seems to react out of nowhere. When in doubt, it never hurts to increase distance. Good to know.
All five of the finalists’ stories for Freshpet’s World’s Greatest Pet Parent contest are inspiring and made me cry happy tears. My favourite kind of weeping. You may recognize the dog in the first story, owned by none other than the writer of No Dog About It. If you are as touched as I am, why not throw a vote her way?
Speaking of votes, it is now time to get your nominations in for the 2013 BlogPaws Awards. I’ve been having a blast putting up some of my favourites from the Petosphere. (Yep, that’s what I am calling it from now on. I decided.) I am so glad I have been able to take my time with my entries as well, as opposed to dashing them off at the last-minute in my usual style.
This fascinating article from National Geographic suggests that the domestication of dogs may have had more to do with the “survival of the friendliest” rather than any active effort on humanity’s part. Really, when it comes down to it, science is just catching up with what dog lovers have always known. The world doesn’t change when we adopt them; the real magic occurs when they adopt us.
Do you share my online addiction? What is on your must-read list this week?