Friday, August 30, 2019

New month, new courses, new starts

Exciting times at Locke's Dogs, this September. Aedan and I are both starting new things this coming week.

I am doing the "Geek" level of Absolute Dogs Pro Dog Trainer course, as well as the "30 Days of Canine Science" - and finishing up a course about making successful Facebook groups and pages called "30 Days to Impact" which has been most enlightening and made a humongous difference to how i see the world of Facebook for business. 

I love learning, the more of it I do, the more I want to do. When I am being taught something I do not think is quite right, it enables me to form rounded opinions and arguments to support my way of thinking. When I am taught something new that I think is ethical and workable, it's like a whole new world opening up in front of my eyes. They say you should learn something new everyday, and that is something I always aspire to do.

Aedan, my youngest, having just finished high school, will be off to start college, an absolutely bloody arduous 1.5 hour bus trip twice a day - but when he gets there he will be taking some really cool courses, and will no doubt have lots of fun, especially once he has worked out his way to the food halls and to the academic support suite. If he uses the academic support as well as he did while in high school, he will find it a place to go and chill out with the other kids who have their extra support needs, as well as to gain the help he might need, to arrange things like his learning support assistants, and regular meetings to discuss his progress. To any parent of any child with SEN, who is in mainstream, I strongly urge you to check out the support in place and provisions made at each school before you enroll as each school has differing levels of support and some will be better for your child than others. Never be afraid to say "no" to the closest school or the catchment area, or the school you are given - the quality of support given varies widely from place to place and will be more or less suitable depending on each childs differing needs too. The right placement can make a huge difference to not only your child's learning outcome but also their stress levels, health and happiness. A good school will welcome you for viewing and to speak with people there.

As well as all of this, I have some very nice new behaviour clients to see, and also a new course at the ISCP to promote - a rather harrowing course exploring the links between human and animal abuse - which could be vital in helping to spot domestic violence or other forms of abuse, and also in understanding and aiding the healing processes of animals who have been subjected to it.

Busy, busy, busy... :-)

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

CPD Addiction.

CPD Addiction.

One of the very first things I discovered, when i passed my ISCP.Adv.Dip.Canine.Prac and joining The Association of INTODogs was that this was only the beginning. Part of staying accredited with INTODogs is that I need to do lots of Continual Professional Development - CPD, in order to stay ahead of the game and know what I am talking about. 

Science teaches us new things about our dogs every day, and how we teach them should respond accordingly, so CPD is vital to being a good behaviourist/trainer or teacher of any kind.

The trouble is that CPD in itself becomes addictive - and expensive. The fear of missing out - FOMO - or of not having that badge that everybody else has, is like a burning itch that just won't go away, and so before I realised it, I began to collect badges in earnest. Nice, colourful, smart and intelligent looking little pngs and jpgs to go on my website and social media, like a dog related virtual Panini sticker album collection. All of which are me proudly telling the world that I have actually done something useful and my knowledge and experience should be able to help someone with their dog related issues.

I do get a buzz from joining up to things. Having had past issues with alcohol and being an ex-smoker, I know well the signs of addiction - the buzz of getting something you wanted, consuming it, wanting another. Addiction can follow us through life in many different guises and addiction to learning and to virtual badges with dogs on is no different.

But at least while I am keeping up with CPD, and learning new things through the likes of Absolute Dogs courses, I can't afford to drink, even if I wanted to, so that squashes the thought of ever taking it up again 😂😂😂😂

The latest courses I have been doing have been a bit dogless - they have actually been about making my facebook group better and making better stuff for my own Locke's Dogs facebook page, so my clients can have a better service from me - as well as the pages I help admin on for other people. I have also learned to use Canva graphic design software, as well as learning how to keep my accounts and fill in the horrid Universal Credit declaration every month that sole traders get to do - (yes, I am one of those annoying people who smugly do everything by the book). I am now officially some kind of maths genius and on par with Branson when it comes to being business savvy. Well almost. In a non - billionaire sense.
So, after a whole month of not doing doggy courses, I am back at it this month with "30 Days of Canine Science" and "Absolute Dogs - Geek and Coaching" levels. So no sleep for me through September then while I try to keep up!

Then after that, I am saving up for another biggie - The ISCP's new course on the links between human abuse and animal abuse. I have sadly been in abusive situations and have seen first hand how these things can affect not just the human members of the family, but the animal members too. I think however uncomfortable it is, it is a subject that is vital to cover in order to be able to help some dogs (and owners) cope better and get the most from their behaviour modification program. 

Now nobody ever mentioned learning all this when I first thought to teach a pup to sit.

Monday, August 26, 2019

And here we go.

The First Post.

And so it begins. At 1.54am, after a bit of swearing - ok a lot of swearing, and a few thousand gallons of coffee, we are finally rolling. The first ever Locke's Dogs blog post. The initial mind rush of "bloody hell I actually set this up - I must be really clever, I am a computer genius.." has now back peddled into "ok now what do we do? What will we actually write about?"

There are about a million billion dog training and behaviour blogs, and there are a million billion dog trainers and behaviourists to go with them. They all seem so fantastic, Why on earth would I write another one?

But then it struck me, I had never read one that incorporated all the f*ck-ups, the late night tantrums as people argue across facebook, the trying to work out how to use your laptop and look professional on your website, the cleaning up dog shit from your quilt when your dog gets ill in the night or the great fun it is when he burps sprat breath at your 98 year old grandmother. I had never seen a "behind the scenes" blog - or at least one that I identified with.

So here is my attempt at it. I can guarantee I won't be updating it regularly. I am crap like that. I also swear. A lot. Neither will it be the best blog you ever read, but I hope it will be warm and funny, and make you feel like actually, at least you are not alone - that somewhere, at 2am, someone else is wishing it wasn't so hot outside, and thinking that nobody told us while we were training to be canine superheroes, that doing the accounts is quite so crap and yes - trying to work out how to put code in websites is probably something they should have done this afternoon instead of having a lightbulb moment at midnight.

Oh - I might also include a bit about Autism, Dyspraxia, and Tourettes Syndrome, as my teenage son has all three. I also have a daughter of almost 20. Both are infinitely brainy and better at technology than me. But the dog, Moo, likes me best and that is all that matters.
Another coffee is probably not a good idea, but f*ck it..