In Review

2014 was action packed. It was stressful. And it moved so incredibly fast.

It has been just over a year since I started this blog (December 13, 2013), and almost 2 years since I first moved in here at Sami Central (February, 2013).

Where does the time go?!



In the Dark

Umm, yeah… It is 430pm and DARK outside. Winter is coming, so is Christmas, so is Christmas break- and I have to say: I’m excited!

This whole day I’ve been in the dark.

Should I do this? Or that?
What does this mean?

However, the weekend is still mine if you remember, and I am going to make it count, light or no light.


Molasses on a Thursday

I’m moving through molasses. Everything seems sluggish and muted. The weekend is mine- and I plan on maximizing recovery time.

Now though, the day must continue. More conversations, more activities.

Next up, Crim 101- Corporate Crimes. Then, Sam and Jess eat Chinese and go to the movies; makes me smile just thinking about it.

And finally, Sam sleeps like the dead (until at least 8am Friday morning).

Later Alligators 🙂

As if they know nothing

A General Plea:

Common sense and common courtesy, professionalism and effective problem solving ability. Under the circumstances, it’s not a lot to ask. But apparently it is still too much.

How many times must I explain this? How many hoops must I jump through under threat of harsh penalty before you clap and grin, declaring, “Case closed!”?

I have done all I can to protect and educate myself, to ensure you are well informed.

I am at your mercy.

How can you behave so recklessly?

Letter K, Number 9: part 4

Aspiring to be a Professional Dog Trainer:

Yes. That is my goal: to become a professional dog trainer. I want to teach new skills to people and animals so they can be the best they can be, helping each other live life to the fullest. I would like to specialize in the training of service dogs for people with physical disabilities.

I am interested in all aspects of the dog training world: training, behaviour and learning; health and welfare; selection and placement; the active building of a partnership between dog and handler and their community; and professional and public education.

Types of Service Dogs:

  • Assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities
  • Guide, Seizure Alert, Hearing and Diabetic Alert
  • Autism, Psychiatric/Emotional Support
  • Police, Canine Assisted Intervention, and Detection
  • Therapy and Facility
  • SAR and Detection

The list goes on! And it’s fascinating!

Dog Sports:

  • Tracking
  • Herding
  • Obedience
  • Agility

The list goes on, again!

What’s Important:

  • Reaching and maintaining a high level of training and engagement
  • Ongoing positive experiences in education and learning
  • Community involvement and lasting partnerships
  • Safety and professionalism.

And that, my friends is that! 🙂


Letter K, Number 9: part 3

An Introduction to the World of Dog Training:

Here’s how I see it… Enjoy! 🙂

Career path:

It is not straight forward. Do your research. Get hands on experience and learn the science. You will have to get creative, get involved and be open to new opportunities. Preparing for a career in the dog training world is not like preparing for a career in medicine or accounting or the trades. There are few standardized, professional programs available.

Training standards, method and application: 

The dog training industry is largely unregulated. Anyone can call themselves a dog trainer,  there are many different methods and many different applications of those methods, used to modify a dog’s behaviour.

Professional education:

There are a few professional organizations: the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, the Karen Pryor Academy, the Association for Professional Dog Trainers, and the Canadian Association for Professional Pet Dog Trainers.

These organizations are committed to the ongoing development and education of professional dog trainers, advancement of dog welfare and training practices, and public education initiatives.

My definition of a professional in the field of dog training is as follows:

One who is committed to using current science and effective reward-based, humane methods to make learning safe and fun for everyone. The dog, handler and trainer must all work together to create a lasting partnership.

It takes more than a few weeks or months, or even years to become a professional in this field. Do your research.


Links to further reading:

All in the Same Boat #2

My arm is on fire. The sun is scorching. My sleeve is soggy with sea-spray. Everything rubs and the salt crystals cling to my face, lenses, legs. Water sloshes back and forth, advancing and retreating on my toes as the boat surges.

Whit, shoo, whit, shoo; blades cut through the ocean at speed and my teammates are quiet apart from the occasional grunt and puff as all energy is directed towards moving the craft ahead and maintaining the high level of intensity necessary to take the race.

It is already ours. Yes, we get an “A” for effort.

I am warm on the inside, can feel the calories burning. It’s hard work.

Coach loves to play pretend: “Hunt them down! Five hard strokes now! This is your race ladies! You’ve got this!!! Beach it!!!!!!!”

You’d think we were at the Olympics or something- that’s the point. In actuality, it’s just us. Twenty-two chicks in a boat. The water is smooth as glass. The waves and wind and maneuvering is all imaginary, as is the competition, the entire race.

Paddleboarders and kayakers are out in droves; as they float leisurely along, we make a mad dash for the imaginary finish,  breathing a sigh of relief as we cross the line and hear the 3 magic words: “Let it run!”

After a short rest we’ll take our paddles up and travel the last few hundred feet back home, disembark, and head up the hill for coffee and donuts at Honey’s 🙂 The day is just beginning!


Slice o’ Life

Here’s a short snippet I wrote awhile ago after a day out around town with Tessa and Kenna. Reading it now, it still makes me smile 🙂 I thought I’d share it.


Tessa: “You’re coming with me! I’m so excited! 😀 Do you know this address?”

Sam: “Nope. Sorry!”

Tessa: “Ok. We’ll find it.”

Sam: “Ok.”

Tessa: “Do you mind walking?”

Sam: “No.” 🙂

Tessa: “Ok. Let’s go!”

The sun is shining and the sky is crystal clear. The wind rushes through the trees.

We are off on another adventure. Never mind the terrible twos. Tessa, Kenna and I are the terrible three- we’re trouble 🙂

My backpack is on, Kenna has his cape, and the joystick is at the ready.

On your marks, get set, GO!

The chair hums, Tessa laughs. Kenna trots confidently alongside, easily keeping pace thanks to his long limbs. And I find my stride. I could do this all day.

One, two-three. One, two-three. One, two-three. I beat a tattoo of sound into the pavement. This is how I imagine running feels. This is my version. It is smooth, quick, powerful, effortless and fun.

We move briskly along the sidewalks and roadways. Left, then right. Left and left again. Stoplights and driveways, hills and straightaways. I am in front most of the way. Our route is too narrow to accommodate the three of us abreast. So we go single file, Tessa shouting the occassional comment or course correction from behind while Kenna brings up the rear.

One of the last obstacles between us and our destination appears up ahead- a decent hill climb and short bridge crossing. I hear Kenna’s pace quicken and the chair’s motor rev. The two behind me shoot across the crosswalk and charge up to the top of the hill, hair and fur flying.

“I’m the king of the castle!” Tessa shouts down, grinning as I make my way toward her.

One, two-three. One, two-three. One, two-three.

I smile. I’m halfway up and my pack is getting heavy; my friends continue to wait patiently, watching as I near the top.

“Do you feel like Terry Fox?” Tessa laughs, “Hop-skip step. Hop-skip step” I reach the top and we both collapse into a fit of giggles, Kenna looks on quizzically.

“These gals are crazy!” his expression seems to say. And I wouldn’t blame him 😀

Brilliance (part 1)

The latest and greatest.

Well, as you may have gathered, I have lately had more than my fair share of weird and wacky encounters with various individuals and situations.

So, here’s some wonderful to balance it out.

I love that moment when things just click, when you can say something like, “Oh. My. God!”, “I found it!”, “It works!”, or “Now I get it!”  and are overcome with a feeling of incredible happiness and satisfaction.

I have two wonderful new friends: Tessa and her service dog Kenna; they make a great team! To say we can relate well to one another might be an understatement!

It is just so amazing to find someone who possesses a level of passion, drive and knowledge similar to my own. Someone who doesn’t mind talking dogs for hours, or spending the day at the barn, going adventuring or sharing the occasional  sushi dish and strawberry milkshake 🙂

Tessa, thank you for sharing, and for sharing Kenna 🙂 And Kenna, thank you for sharing your love and enthusiasm while I search for my own “dog dog” 😀

This post is for you two!

Thanks guys!


I’ve got to be honest here.

This is the best representation of my reality at the moment.

A record of my thought process. Make of it what you will. It is what it is.

Why post it? Why not?


There is an elephant sitting on my chest. Really.

Anticipation as things build slowly towards their outcomes.

There is someone behind me. Lurking in the shadows, a skin changer.

We watch each other.

Linkages formed, fine threads move out in all directions. Trust is absent.

Hunger strikes. The  heart. The mind. The soul. The self.

And of course, the stomach.

Observations and calculations. Validation, judgement and action. These are Constants.

Conviction. Power. Art. Words. Pictures. Film. Melodies. Speech.  World Changing!

Moving Forward.