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12.   EVENTS
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Hello TTouch Friends,

Shanti asked to go out this morning, and as I opened the front door the 2-degree cold wind hit her nose and she quickly decided she did need to go as badly as she had thought! In the last 24 hours, 17 people have died from exposure! KEEP YOUR PETS WARM! It is literally going down to freezing temperatures this week and as the cold weather continues, you might want to consider getting your dogs inside at night. Certainly make sure that their dog houses are without cracks and that they have good warm blankets inside. If your dogs just sleep on a bed on the stoop, they will need more. Remember that many short-coated dogs get colder than dogs with lots of fur.

If you don’t know your breed, then look it up on the Internet and find out where they come from and what sort of temperatures they are bred for. You’ll find that the Huskies, labs, etc. are happy to be outside while Pointers, Greyhounds, etc. will shiver with the cold. And having said that, even colder climate breeds are well acclimatized to the warmer weather so will be happier finding a warm spot –inside the house! If in doubt, watch how the dogs are now finding the sunny spots in the house and in the garden to have their naps! Even Shadow is making sure that she’s inside!

Louise Kemp
has just become our
26th Practitioner for Companion Animals in South Africa! How exciting is that? Along with the 11 Horse Practitioners we are starting to be able to make a difference in the Animal Community. Some of you might ask what is that difference about? There is so much to the TTouch Method that it’s hard to know how to begin. There are many wonderful techniques and trainers in our communities. What does TTouch bring that is different?

First of all, the approach is vastly different to regular dog training. See this month’s TTouch Tips for an overview of what comprises the work. We do bodywork in a specific way, which can both de-stress and relax an animal – to actually stimulating the body and focusing awareness.  We believe that most unwanted behaviour is related to either lack of communication skills or anxiety based fears. For example reactive dogs are seldom vicious by nature, but rather because something in their environment is causing them anxiety.  We can help lower fear levels by helping a dog lose the tension in its body that helps trigger the reactivity. We can use simple groundwork exercises to boost confidence so that when something scary is presented, the dog has other coping skills.

As a result we can work with any pet problem. For dogs and horses for example, if the fear levels are too high, learning is not possible, so regular training becomes ineffective. As Patricia McConnell, specialist behaviourist, trainer and author, so aptly puts it, “you have to deal with the emotion before learning can take place!” And this is where TTouch is an invaluable tool! But I think one of the more profound thoughts I have about this work is something I learned in a training by Instructor, Edie Jane Eaton when she spoke about working not just with problems but with the pure essence of the animal: who they are, how they feel about themselves, how to communicate on another level and the emotional connection that most of us feel with our pets. All of these things actually come into play when we work with any issue – from barking to fear of thunder or fireworks.

Bless you Linda for sharing this work with us!

On sort of the same note, HAIG is having a Seminar this month where you can ask questions of several experts on any problems you might be having! So book at
info@ttouch.co.za to come to the JHB Zoo on May 31st for an evening to answer all of your questions!

Eugenie Chopin

Certified Practitioner III for Companion Animals


The Top 20 Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers  

October 19-24 If we have a good response to these dates, we will add a second training: October 26-31.

YES – YOU MAY START IN OCTOBER! As Life often interferes with the things we want to do, there are many people who wanted to do an Intro, but just didn’t manage. So there will be a number of new people joining the training in October. It simply means that these people will have to do a make up class some time in the future. If you are one of those who wanted to do the training, but didn’t make it to an Intro, there’s still time – just give us a call or email us at info@ttouch.co.za.

As you may know, the training runs over 3 years, with two 6 day sessions per year. Session 2 will take place in October. You do NOT need to have any previous experience to join this training.    Although you have missed the Intro, I am confidant that you will be able to catch up with the work and knowledge. It simply means that you will need to attend an extra course at the end of this training period. There are many people who miss training over the 3 years for one reason or another, so there will be others in the same position.

However, if it’s possible, you might consider attending a workshop before October. Having a basic knowledge can help you catch up and understand more of the info given in Oct. This is not a prerequisite for you to be part of the TTACT III class, but it is recommended. If you are interested in a workshop, please go to our website at www.ttouch.co.za and look at the Workshop page for details.

At the moment, we have 2 possible training dates. The first is October 19-24. If we find this class getting too full, we will have a second session October 26-31. If at all possible, I would like all new participants to book into the second set of dates: Oct. 26-31, however again, this is not set in stone.

WE have had literally hundreds of requests for Information on this training and it’s very gratifying to see that people are truly starting to understand how effective this work can be!

After the Introductory Session and between sessions, students are encouraged to assist at workshops for further experience and do case studies. The program comprises only 2 sessions a year in order to help students with their finances and the need to get time off work. The workshops are scheduled to include a weekend in order to make it as convenient as possible.

The Program is a comprehensive training of hands on work with Companion Animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, etc. The training consists of 2 sessions a year lasting between 5 & 7 days, for 3 years.


Practitioner Training




Johannesburg Venue TBA
Session 2  - 6 Days                with                              Robyn Hood

                     October 19-24

               R3900          + VAT

011 884-3156

NOTE: If we have a large number of people for session 2, we will add a second week October 26- 31. This will keep the class smaller.


We endeavour to help the student to be proficient and confident in the TTouch work. To this end we have a program that we believe gives a steady hands on experience for the best results. That includes such things as:

·        After session 2, the TTouch student is required to do 5 case studies between each session, 15 in total. This is to ensure that the student is doing and experiencing the work as well as getting feedback on what they are doing.

·        After session 2, each student receives a Mentor who is available to help him with these case studies and any question he might have about how to handle a particular situation.

·        At session 2, we begin to take students to a Shelter to work on both cats and dogs. This is to give you an opportunity to experience as many different animals as possible. It also allows us to give back something to the animal community. (Please note that if anyone has an objection to going into the shelter, and we realize that it is hard for some, there is no obligation. There is always an alternative to work with the kennel or your own animals instead.)

·        At session 3, we start to introduce Client Days. This is a morning where we set up Clients and their dogs for you to help in a safe and supported environment.

·        In general, the course is very much a hands on training giving you a great variety of experience with as many animals as possible so that at the end of 6 modules you feel confident to handle the clients and cases that come your way.

·        TTACT students are encouraged to assist at workshops given by fully Certified Practitioners. This is a great learning experience and invaluable to the learning process.

·        The TTouch office and Guild is always here to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any needs!

·        Our Instructors all come from overseas and are the best in the world. One of the beauties of this program is that the same people teach it worldwide and so the information doesn’t get filtered down through many hands. The Instructors include Linda Tellington Jones (creator of TTouch), Robyn Hood (Linda’s sister and brilliant teacher), Edie Jane Eaton (also a Feldenkrais Practitioner) & Debby Potts (teacher par excellence).

·        This program is about helping you communicate with animals, giving people an alternative method of working with both animals and people, our human relationship with the animal world and giving you the tools to do all of these things. The program is dynamic, creative and yet very practical so that the work is clear and easy to understand.

At the end of 2 years, if you have done your case studies, you will acquire the Status of Practitioner–In–Training and are then able to charge for one-on-one consultations with clients.

The cost of the 6-day Introductory course will be R3900 + VAT.

If you are interested in knowing more, please contact Eugenie on 011 884-3156 or email eugenie@ttouch.co.za  or phone the office on 011 884-3156

The Top 20 Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers
20. Can't stick their heads out of Windows '95.
19. Fetch command not available on all platforms.


The TTouch class is a great way to learn & absorb TTouch at it’s best. Over a 6-week period, you have the opportunity to go home, practice and then come back for more! SEE YOUR DOG MAKE CHANGES IS A FEW WEEKS!






Class – 6 weeks

Starts August 4


             Eugenie                                        011 884-3156

Weekend Workshop

19 – 20 May 07


082 451 0433







1 Day

June 10


    Niki                                              082 451 0433

The Top 20 Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers
18. Hard to read the monitor with your head cocked to one side.
17. Too difficult to "mark" every website they visit.






2 Days                                with                              Lindy Dekker

                     June 9 & 10


Elsabe Potgieter
016 362 0193
082 322 1029  alexpot@xsinet.co.za


2 Days                                with                              Lindy Dekker

May 26 & 27


Elsabe Potgieter
016 362 0193
082 322 1029  alexpot@xsinet.co.za

Gordon’s Bay

Western Cape

1 Day                                with                              Catherine Williams

June 02


Catherine Williams
021 785-4567
082 569 8641 

Western Cape

1 Day                                with                              Catherine Williams

July 07


Catherine Williams
021 785-4567
082 569 8641

Western Cape

1 Day                                with                              Catherine Williams

August 04


Catherine Williams
021 785-4567

082 569 8641


The Top 20 Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers
16. Can't help attacking the screen when they hear "You've Got Mail."
15. Fire hydrant icon simply frustrating

The Tellington TTouch Method by Kathy Cascade

NOTE: As we always have new readers, I thought it might be fun to share an overview of the work by Kathy Cascade, the Instructor who has just been out in SA to teach the TTACT Training.

The Tellington TTouch Method is a unique approach to animal training and care developed by internationally known author and teacher, Linda Tellington-Jones. The foundation of this method is a specific form of bodywork known as TTouch®, which induces a state of relaxation and increased body awareness in animals and people alike.  The TTouch Method is based on a philosophy of mutual respect and cooperation and serves as a unique system of nonverbal communication with animals.

The Goals of TTouch Include:

·        Influencing positive behavioral changes
·        Promoting well-being through reduction of stress
·        Deepening the relationship and fostering clear communication between people and animals

There are three basic components of the TTouch Method:

·        TTouch Bodywork
·        TTouch Tools
·        The TTouch Confidence Course®

TTouch Bodywork

TTouch consists of a  variety of light pressure touches and strokes performed at the skin surface  with mindfulness and focused attention.  When doing TTouch we give the dog new information (experiences) by engaging the sensory aspect of the nervous system.

Types of TTouches

Circular: The foundation of the TTouch Technique is a circular pattern of touch performed on the dog’s body. The fingers or hand actually move the dog’s skin gently one circle and a quarter in a clockwise direction. 

Lifts: In this movement, the hand gently lifts and supports the tissue of the body, then slowly releases it to the resting position.  This often assists an animal to release muscle tension around a specific joint or body part.

Strokes or Connected TTouches:  Long strokes from one part of the body to another distant part.  These reinforce the animal’s spatial awareness.


The TTouches are performed with a very light pressure and range on a subjective scale from 1-5.  Many factors play a role in an animal’s acceptance of a specific pressure so changing the pressure slightly may make the sensory experience more acceptable.


The duration of touch is another important factor in TTouch. The circular TTouches can be performed in one, two, or three second time segments.  Slower circles tend to be more relaxing, however it is sometimes necessary to initially start a session with faster one second circles.

TTouch Tools

Body Wrap

A simple elastic bandage applied to the dog’s torso, the body wrap promotes body awareness and a sense of security.  The wrap may also influence coordination and balance.  

Calming Band

The calming band is a stretchy piece of material that rests over the dog’s muzzle and fastens around the dog’s head without restricting movement. The calming band is useful in reducing barking, and other habitual behaviors involving the mouth.   It is also used in preparation for fitting a head collar (halter).

TTouch Wand

Used to stroke an animal, the wand allows a person to make contact and still maintain a safe distance from the animal.  It is also used to orient and give signals during the leading exercises.

Harness and Double Snap Leash

A seven foot leash with two snaps on either end.  This allows us to attach the leash to the dog with two points of contact.  Used with various harness and head collar configurations.

Paint Brushes, Sheep Skin Mits, Jelly Scrubbers

These tools are simply variations on ways to touch animals with objects rather than with our hand or fingers.  These tools employ soft textures and may be perceived as  less threatening to an animal than touching with the hands or fingers. 

The TTouch Confidence Course®

The TTouch Confidence Course is a collection of leading exercises used to engage the dog’s attention and focus.  Done with purposeful slower movements and frequent stops to allow the dog to experience being in a state of physical balance, these exercises help to increase body awareness, and enhance communication between the handler and the dog.  Simple objects such as boards, poles, cones, and low agility equipment are often used. The center piece of the TTouch Confidence Course is a Labyrinth, which is a specific configuration of poles or boards that require the handler and dog to make several turns in both directions when walking through it.  (See Diagram)

   © Kathy Cascade 2006

Cascade Animal Connection  www.spiritdog.com

The Top 20 Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers
14. Involuntary tail wagging is dead giveaway they're browsing www.pethouse.com instead of working.
13. Keep bruising noses trying to catch that MPEG frisbee.

Question to Karen Pryor about Sheep Dogs

Dear Karen,

We just returned from a visit to New Zealand where we visited many sheep farms. We were shown several demonstrations where sheep dogs herd sheep in the direction indicated by a whistle signal from the dog handlers.

I asked one of the people demonstrating the dogs’ skill why, if the sheep also hear the whistle signals, they do not automatically obey the signals BEFORE the dogs start to guide them. After all, they hear these very same signals over and over.

His answer to me was that sheep are not very intelligent animals and are deathly afraid of dogs.

I am not satisfied with his answer and ask you to help sort this out. As far as intelligence is concerned, we said the same about cats and pigs before we found ways to train them. So the intelligence factor may lie with humans; perhaps humans are not intelligent enough to know how to train the sheep directly instead of setting them up to respond to the barking and threatening moves of dogs.

We were also told that one good sheep dog could control up to 2000 sheep. To me, this means that some of the 2000 sheep may NEVER see a dog but respond to her/his barking. So then maybe sheep could be trained to respond as we wish by using sounds other than a dog barking, and dogs themselves are not actually necessary. What do you think?

Dr. William Reese
Sun City, Arizona

So the whistles don’t indicate destinations; they indicate actions.

Dear Dr. Reese,

Thank you for your question about sheep dogs, sheep, and signals.

The question is not one of training but one of logic.

In fact, quite often neither the dogs nor the sheep know where they are being made to go. It might be to one gate or another, or it might be to a pen in the middle of the field, or maybe the shepherd just wants the dogs to gather the sheep and hold them for visual inspection.

So the whistles don’t indicate destinations; they indicate actions. The whistles tell the dogs, principally, five things: go forward to the left, go forward to the right, come back (going left or right around the sheep), and stop where you are. There are other commands, such as slow and fast, but these five are the main ones. With these whistles, the shepherd moves the dogs around like chess pieces, and thus moves the sheep. Since you might be moving two dogs in different directions, often each dog may have its own individual whistles for each of the commands. (If you buy a new dog in New Zealand, you also get a tape of its whistles. If you lose the tape and forget a whistle, you’d better be able to reach the seller by telephone, or you’re in trouble!)

In New Zealand, where the fields are huge, the dogs may not always be able to see all the sheep and vice versa; that is one reason New Zealanders use dogs that bark a lot. Bred to do so, they are called huntaways. In the smaller fields of, say, Wales, the dogs (called eye dogs) are silent, and can actually move the sheep just by glaring at them in a predatory way. In both cases, the sheep probably do learn that if they move away from the dogs, the pressure will ease. Therefore, they do not necessarily move with panic.

In the vast terrain in New Zealand, I have seen farmers team up and use as many as eight dogs at a time. Since the whistles are commands to the dog, not destination indicators, and since there are so many whistles that may change from time to time, the sheep have no opportunity to attach much meaning to any individual whistle.

In simpler situations, such as the smaller fields and flocks in England, you are right about sheep training themselves without needing or waiting for dogs to guide them. If there is one flock of sheep, and one frequently used gate to the field, the sheep can learn enough about dog whistles to steer themselves. Kay Laurence demonstrated that to me in England. She parked the car at a roadside pasture full of sheep. We walked over to the fence and Kay whistled a typical “command to a sheepdog” whistle. Even though no dog was present, the hundred or so sheep in the field quit grazing and started calmly toward the exit gate which was downhill near the farmhouse. They knew what to do.

Is that a more satisfying answer?

Happy Clicking!

Sunshine Books, Inc.
49 River St., Suite 3
Waltham, MA 02453

With Kind Permission from Karen Pryor: Many more wonderful articles can be found at www.clickertraining.com

The Top 20 Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers
12. Not at all fooled by Chuckwagon Screen Saver.
11. Still trying to come up with an "emoticon" that signifies tail-wagging

Bite Inhibition - How to Teach It

Rather than "No bite," I strongly, strongly, strongly urge you to teach your puppy bite inhibition instead. Bite inhibition is a "soft mouth." It teaches the pup how to use his mouth gently. Does this mean that the pup will forever be mouthing you? No, not at all. Actually, regardless of the method used, puppies generally grow out of mouthing behavior after a few months.

So why should you teach bite inhibition? Because dogs have one defense: their teeth. Every dog can bite. If frightened enough or in pain or threatened, your dog *will* bite. That doesn’t in any way make him a "bad" dog. It makes him a dog. It’s your responsibility, therefore, to teach your dog that human skin is incredibly fragile. If you teach your dog bite inhibition that training will carry over even if he is later in a position where he feels forced to bite.

A story... Ian Dunbar tells a story of a bite incident he had to asses. A Golden Retriever therapy dog was leaving a nursing home and his tail was accidentally shut in a car door. The owner went to help, and the dog delivered four Level Four bites before she could react.

FYI, a standard scale has been developed to judge the severity of dog bites, based on damage inflicted. The scale is:

* Level One: Bark, lunge, no teeth on skin.
* Level Two: Teeth touched, no puncture.
* Level Three: 1-4 holes from a single bite. All holes less than half the length of a single canine tooth.
* Level Four: Single bite, deep puncture (up to one and a half times the depth of a single canine tooth), wound goes black within 24 hours.
* Level Five: Multiple bite attack or multiple attack incidents.
* Level Six: Missing large portions of flesh.

Technically, the woman received a Level Five bite from a long-time therapy dog. Dr. Dunbar wasn’t the least bit surprised by the bites. I mean, the dog got his tail shut in a car door! Of course he bit! What shocked Dr. DUnbar was that a dog with no bite inhibition was being used as a therapy dog.

"But he’s never bitten before." Of course not. And barring an accident like that, he probably never would have. But an accident is just that. An accident. Unpredicted. What if it had happened in the nursing home?

So how do you teach bite inhibition?

Again from Dr. Dunbar, there are four stages of bite inhibition. The first two stages involve decreasing the force in the bites. The second two stages involve decreasing the frequency of the bites. The training *must* be done in that order. If you decrease the frequency first, the dog won’t learn to soften his bite. The stages:

1. No painful bites. 90% of puppies will stop if you give a high-pitched squeal or yelp. If they stop, praise and reinforce by continuing the game. The other 10% and puppies who are tired or overstimulated will escalate their behavior instead of stopping. This requires you to confine the puppy or end the game. Remove all attention. It does *not* require any added aversive -- yelling, popping the nose or under the chin, shoving your hand down his throat, or spraying with water.

If you end the game, you need to be able to get away from the puppy with as little fuss or attention as possible. Even negative attention is attention. It’s often helpful to have the puppy tethered, so you can simply move back out of his reach. Or, have him in a confined area and simply stand up and move past a boundary. Because the getting up and moving is tough to do at the instant the undesired behavior occurs, consider using a hand signal that will always mean "You’re a jerk. Fun’s over." Use it consistently when poor behavior occurs and you’re going to withdraw attention.

I am well aware that puppy teeth hurt, and that this step can be overwhelming. Do it when you can, and at other times redirect, redirect, redirect. Puppy mouthing is a 100% natural dog behavior. It’s not dominant. It’s not meanness. It’s a puppy being a puppy. When it’s too much either redirect or end the game. Aversives are confusing, unfair, and unnecessary.

2. Eliminate all pressure. You want to gradually shape the dog to "gum you to death." Service dog trainers do this routinely, because service dogs often have to use their mouths to manipulate human limbs. Basically, you do this gradually. Set a limit of how hard the dog can bite. If he bites harder, yelp. Gradually set your limit for softer and softer bites. Remember to do this gradually. A big jump in criteria is confusing and frustrating to the dog.

3. When I say stop, you stop. Teach cues for "Take It," "Leave It," and "Drop It." You need to be able to both start and stop the game on your terms.

4. You may never touch a human with your muzzle unless invited. Basically, this is just taking stage three to complete stimulus control.

None of these stages require anything more aversive than time outs or withdrawal of attention. When teaching these behaviors, put your hands in your dog’s mouth all the time. Get him used to your being there. Make sure you can open his mouth and examine his teeth -- the vet is going to do that, and you should prepare your dog. Play mouth games. Teach your dog never to touch an object in your hand unless invited. Make sure he knows when he *is* invited, he is never to bite both the toy and your hand at the same time.

By the way, regarding the "alpha dad." This is actually a prime example why dominance theory shouldn’t be applied in dog/human relationships. "Dominating" a dog sets up an adversarial relationship. It sets up a relationship based on strength, power, and force. Is that what you want the relationship with your dog to be? Since some women, and most children and elderly people can’t handle that kind of relationship, I’d say you were setting yourselves up for problems later.

You don’t need to physically dominate a dog. Train it. Control the resources. Anyone in the family can train and control resources. *That* is what being a leader is.

Melissa Alexander is  author of “Click for Joy” our text book for Clicker Classes


The Top 20 Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers
10. Oh, but they WILL... with the introduction of the Microsoft Opposable Thumb.
9. Three words: Carpal Paw Syndrome

Collars Could Cause Problems for Dogs with Glaucoma or Other Eye Problems

 From the Tellington TTouch List

MADISON: If your dog has glaucoma or other eye problems, consider substituting a harness for your dog’s collar.

Do Collars increase intraocular pressure, which can worsen conditions such as glaucoma, weak or thin corneas, or cataracts, says Dr. Ellison Bentley, a veterinary ophthalmologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Her recommendation is based on a study she did that was published in the March/April issue of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association. Her study measured the effects of collars versus harness on intraocular pressure in dogs.

The dogs in the study were participants in a canine weight pulling sport, trained to pull weights. Using a digital force gauge, she measured the force each dog generated while pulling against a collar or a harness. She found that internal eye pressure increased significantly in dogs pulling against a collar, but not in dogs pulling against a harness.

Dr. Bentley notes that there is no indication that normal dogs are adversely affected by wearing collars.

However, dogs with glaucoma, or those recovering from surgery for cataracts, corneal ulcerations, or lacerations should wear a harness instead of a collar, especially during exercise or activity.

Contact: Tania Banak, University Relations Specialist

608/263-6716, banakt@svm.vetmed.wisc.edu

Date issued: April 5, 2006

The Top 20 Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers
8. 'Cause dogs ain't GEEKS! Now, cats, on the other hand...
7. Barking in next cube keeps activating YOUR voice recognition software.

Danilo and Shadow make friends!

Not much to report this month except that Shadow and Danilo are almost becoming friends! Shadow walked into the house last week straight into Danilo’s face – they were actually nose-to-nose. She then moved on and he sniffed her as she went. Since then, he has gone up to a chair she’s lying in, stared at her and then moved away. I did call him a couple of times as I wasn’t sure what would happen if he just kept staring, but he was good about turning away.

It’s interesting to see how my once rough and tough dog now avoids any conflict. Danilo, who is now over 17 years, used to be the “Top Dog” in every way. These days, he turns away rather than confronting Shanti with minor issues. I believe he has a very good sense of what limitations his body now has and acts accordingly. The fact that his back legs give in with even minor slips leaves him very vulnerable. He now sometimes needs help getting up from these slips, but doesn’t mind barking to “demand” that someone come along and help him!

I am grateful every day that Danilo is still with me; full of nonsense, eating toilet paper, stealing serviettes and obsessed with food!

The Top 20 Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers
6. SmellU-SmellMe still in beta test.
5. SIT and STAY were hard enough, GREP and AWK are out of the question!



By Diana Johnson as told to Mary J. Yerkes Reprinted from ANGEL DOGS: Divine Messengers of Love by Allen and Linda Anderson (New World Library, October 2005)

With the long, dark winter finally behind us, a brisk March wind ushered in spring -- and on its heels, an angel in the night came to live with us.

A sudden gust of wind caught the bottom of his coat as my husband, Forrest, carefully tucked Lauren, the youngest of our five children, into the baby’s car seat.  The wind was unusually bad, making our short drive to the airport difficult.  From the passenger’s seat, I watched as Forrest’s knuckles gripped the top of the steering wheel. He fought to keep our minivan from drifting into the next lane.  It seemed a fitting metaphor to describe the past year -- a real white-knuckle ride!

Our youngest twins, Lauren and Brandon, were born eight weeks premature.  Within minutes of her birth, Lauren, the smaller of the two, had stopped breathing.  In the hospital, I watched in horror as her tiny pink lips turned blue.  She was quickly resuscitated, whisked off to the neonatal intensive care unit, and place on a ventilator. Brandon didn’t fare much better.  A month later, Lauren and Brandon, both on apnea monitors, came home to meet their brother and sisters.  The older twins, Brianna and little Forrest, were three, and Taylor was two.  We quickly established a routine. Within weeks, we were ready to welcome yet another new member of the family, Zeke.  We didn’t think that our family would be complete without a dog!  So we were on our way on this windy night to bring him home.

At the airport, I leaned over to Forrest and whispered, "What if it doesn’t work out?  Zeke’s two years old and probably set in his ways.  What if he can’t adjust?" "The breeder was sure he would, Diana," Forrest reminded me. I had searched long and hard for a responsible collie breeder before I found Susan.  After I explained that we have five children – two with serious health problems -- she wisely steered us away from a puppy.

"Diana," Susan said when I called her, "I have a two-year-old champion collie.  Zeke will be perfect for your family.  He’s a beautiful tricolor and a true collie in every sense.  He loves life, and he especially loves children." Even though I had my heart set on having a puppy, with Susan’s recommendation, I agreed to give Zeke a try.

Now my thoughts were interrupted by a high-pitched squeal. "Zeke’s here!" announced Brianna. An attendant ushered us to a large crate, where I saw a long nose pushed up against the wire with a mass of ebony and white fur behind it.  After speaking a few reassuring words to Zeke, I nodded to the attendant and said, ’We’re ready."

Zeke inched his way out, looking cautious yet curious.  Within seconds, my animal lover Brianna threw her tiny arms around Zeke’s neck, buried her face in his long fur, and murmured, "I love you, Zeke."  Little Forrest added, "We’re your new family.  Welcome home."

Zeke quickly settled in to his new life with us.  We arranged his bed in the master bedroom.  But right from the start, Zeke made it clear that he preferred sleeping in the nursery between the babies’ cribs.  There was barely room to move with five oxygen canisters, a suction machine, and all of the other medical equipment in the room. But the nurse who helped us care for the twins didn’t mind, so I decided to let Zeke stay with her and the infants.

One night, about three weeks after his arrival, Zeke jumped up on my side of the bed and thwacked me with his paw.  I glanced at the clock; it was 3:30 a.m.  "Go back to sleep, Zeke," I murmured.  Zeke refused to take no for an answer.  Instead, he ran barking back and forth between my side of the bed and the door.

"Shhhhh.… you’ll wake the children," I chided as I got up, thinking he probably had to go out.  I headed to the back door, but Zeke wouldn’t follow.  Barking, he turned and ran in the opposite direction.

"Zeke, come," I called.  Annoyed, I shuffled down the hall after him into the nursery.  Why isn’t he listening?  I wondered.  "Zeke, come," I called again.  It’s useless, I thought and resigned myself to the fact that I would just need to lead him out by his collar. I watched as Zeke jumped up with his paws on Lauren’s crib rail. I placed two fingers under his collar and casually glanced down at Lauren.  Oh my God!  She’s not breathing!

I yanked Lauren’s lifeless body from the crib as I screamed, "Forrest, call 911!"  The baby hung in my arms like a rag doll. I frantically blew the first rescue breath past her blue lips.  Her saliva tasted salty as it mingled with the tears streaming down my face.  Suddenly, I heard a choking sound.  I quickly turned Lauren over to clear her airway.  When I turned her back toward me, she started to cry.

"She’s breathing!" I exclaimed, relief flooding my body. "Why didn’t the monitor go off?"  Forrest asked the nurse.  After examining the monitor more closely, Forrest had his answer.  He turned to the nurse and said, "The wires are crossed."  Furious, I punched the nursing agency number into the phone while we waited for the ambulance to arrive.  Within minutes, we were given a new nurse. When the paramedics arrived, they checked Lauren over.  "She looks like she’s doing fine now," one of them said.  "You got to her just in time."

At the hospital the next morning, Lauren was given a battery of tests.  There was no permanent damage.  Thank God!  It was a miracle.  Exhausted and relieved we took Lauren home.  Zeke greeted us at the front door.

"Zeke, what would we have done without you?" I asked.

I carried Lauren, who had fallen asleep in the car, into the nursery.  Zeke followed closely behind and watched as I laid Lauren in her crib.  Satisfied that she was fine, Zeke contentedly plopped onto the rug in his usual spot next to Lauren’s crib.

Forrest turned to me and asked, "Do you think the baby will be all right?" I glanced at Zeke and replied, "She’ll be fine."

The Top 20 Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers
4. Saliva-coated mouse gets mighty difficult to maneuver.
3. Annoyed by lack of newsgroup, alt.pictures.master's.leg.

a.   DVD of the Month:  –The Language of Dogs – Understanding Canine Body Language and Other Communication Signals with Sarah Kalnajs, Certified Pet Dog Trainer

-    What is your dog saying to you and to other dogs?
-         How can you tell when play turns to aggression?
-         How do dogs show friendliness, fear, or stress?

This educational video features a lively presentation and extensive footage of a variety breeds showing hundreds of examples of canine behaviour and body language.

Behaviourist Sarah Kalnajs teaches you how to read these signals so that you can develop a better understanding of what’s really going on in the canine world. Perfect for dog owners and anyone who handles dogs or encounters them regularly while on the job.

Available from either: http://www.tawzerdogvideos.com/ or http://www.dogwise.com/ 

b:  Website of the Month: www.tawzerdpgvodeps/com

Tawzer Videos has made an incredible business from taking videos of great Canine Seminars and marketing them. It has made information available to those of us who live too far away to benefit from the many great trainers, behaviourist and speakers. If you are interested in a specialized topic or a specific speaker, you’ll find the best at Tawzer Videos. You can order directly from them. While it costs a bit for the airmail freight, it’s actually cheaper (lighter) than books and costs no Import duty.

c.   10 Secrets my dog taught me – Carlo de Vito (All wording taken directly from the book)

Secret 10: A true friend is a friend for life

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile…it’s the spiritual inspiration that comes to one to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and it willing to trust him with his friendship.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

At one point, I looked down at him and said, “Exley, you are the best present I ever got.” And I meant it. He was my friend and confidant. He was my salve and my pride. And there was no Christmas in my life while he was alive that I did not cherish completely his company and his being.  But the trails and tribulations of our lifetime together, the good and the bad, are happy memories now.

Exley has been gone for some time now, but he is not dead. Whenever there are large family gatherings, he is remembered with fondness and hilarity, love and warmth by many. He instantly comes back to life, wandering around the table or living room, filling the room with laughter and good cheer. He may not take up a space on the couch any longer, but he rests quietly in my heart. He lessons and love are with me and my family, everyday of our lives.

Secrets to Remember

  • Friends can be demanding; in that way they bring out the best in us.

  • Friendship is something that keeps on giving to us even when our friend is no longer there.

  • Friends are the truly invaluable things we all can count among our possessions.

  • Friendship requires effort, patience, humor, anger, honesty, flattery, and love.

The Top 20 Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers
2. Butt-sniffing more direct and less deceiving than online chat rooms.
12.   EVENTS

e.  Siberian Husky Club of Gauteng: Fundraising event!

The Siberian Husky Club of Gauteng is holding a fundraising event, part of the funds will go to assisting Joanne Van Niekerk with the wonderful job she does rescuing abandoned and unwanted Siberians.

The event will be held at the Barnyard Theatre @ Broadacres on the 20 June 2007.

The show is "Tonight’s the Night" a tribute to male vocalists from Frank Sinatra to Robbie Williams, there really is something for everyone. The cost of a ticket will be R125.00.

g. Winter Blanket Collection 2007

Last year Alan & Melissa raised R8638 and purchased 386 blankets that they split between various SPCA’s. This year they aim to raise R10000 and would like to add the Animal Ambulance and Hartebeespoort Animal Welfare Society to the recipients of these blankets.

If you would like to contribute their banking details are as follows:

Nedbank Sandton City Branch

M. Riback

Branch No.: 197005

Account No.: 1970645520
Alan & Melissa Riback 083 276 2962 or mel@ttw.co.za

h. HAIG: Human Animal Interaction Group on Solving Behaviour Problems

Venue: JHB Zoo; May 31, 2007

Experts Shannon McKay, Lotte Griffiths and Eugenie Chopin come together to share knowledge at the Joburg Zoo on Thursday, May 31st.

To Book: Contact Eugenie on echopin@icon.co.za

The Top 20 Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers
1. TrO{gO DsA[M,bN HyAqR4tDc TgrOo TgYPmE WeIjTyH P;AzWqS,. *
( * 1 Too Damn Hard To Type With Paws. )


Lucky needs a new home:
A male Dalmatian is desperately looking for a new home. He lives in Glenvista with an old couple and they have to move to a small townhouse soon. Please contact us if you can assist. Our phone number is 011 432-1094. Contact Selwyn or Priscilla.

Staffie looking for a new home:

Littlebit is a 3-year-old spayed female Staffie. If you would like to house this dog, please contact Pierre Pretorius on Tel 011 955 1339

Male Staffie:

He is about 17 months. Black and white, not the prettiest in looks, but very sweet and playful.My problem is I have flats and he likes to chew the cars bumper and mud flaps, upsetting my tenants. I have tried to give him toys and put other distraction for him but he still prefers the cars.

I need to find a loving home for him. Please can you help? Regards Lucinda 082 565 4814

Rescue Jack Russell needs a special home:

Animal Ambulance is looking for a very loving home for a Jack Russell x male 8 yrs old that was found in Tembisa.  He has no teeth because he was trying to eat stones to stay alive, he has been badly abused, but with the loving care of Maria (at animal ambulance) he has regained his trust in people again, but needs that special home!! Caron van Schalkwyk [mailto:VSchaC@health.gov.za]

Gentle Giant:

Elvis is a beautiful 4-yr old boerbul currently languishing on a plot of land just outside Jburg. The plot is being sold and Elvis needs to find a new spot in the sun. He’s a big softy who’s wonderful with puppies and children.

If anyone is willing to adopt him, please contact Bernice McLean on bernicem@ewt.org.za

Lucy, rescue from a squatter camp:
Lucy is a Cross Breed and about the size of a Fox Terrier. She was born with a defect and has two little paws on the right front leg. She also recently lost her right eyes. She is a very calm dog and quite little girl. She has been sterilized, had all her shots and deworming and comes with a microchip. She just needs a secure environment, food and lots of love. If you can change her luck, please contact Breggie on 082 336 5568 of Vivienne on 082 852 6749.

Female pedigreed GSD and her brother a long legged black and white foxy.  Both dogs are about 3 or 4 years old. Friendly with children. Call Dawn 082 921 4516

2 year old German Shepherd male - Long haired.
He’s excellent with kids, mixes really well with other dogs too. He makes a noise at the gate/fence - but wont really bite an intruder....Please let me know if you, or someone you know is looking for a really lovable GSD to love alot.
Please contact Sharron on 082 830 7291


I am Benji and I am a black Labrador. I have a very playful, pleasant disposition and I am looking for a loving home. I was used to lots of attention and love and unfortunately my owner passed away unexpectedly. I want to be loved by someone who will appreciate me. I am about 6 years old. I am very gentle with cats and children.

I am Gemma and I am a Ridgeback. My mom rescued me from Animal Anti Cruelty and so I am very gentle and shy. I need lots of TLC and a kind and loving new owner. I love the cats I live with and when I get used to people my playful side comes out

Please phone Jaqui on 083 399 1154 or 021.6580193 (work) or Michael on 082 928 0344 if you think you can help us with good homes. My late mom’s  pets are all in Johannesburg, but we will willingly pay for them to be relocated should we find good new owners in other cities in SA.

We also need to find loving homes for 3 cats, Chleo (a beautiful white cat with clear blue eyes), Agassi (a feisty little bundle who loves attention –and Face (a gorgeous Siamese Cross).

CATS: Teeka and Elektra
Both cats are extremely well looked after, with Elektra having the larger appetite to satisfy. Both have been with Helga their entire lives since being rescued as kittens.
 Elektra, the Tortoise shell, is rather boisterous and bulky, and rather playful. Teeka, the calico, is more sedate and enjoys lots of love and attention, always at your side on the couch. Todd Schoeman tel   011 575 0437 mobile 083 327 4675

Is anyone able to offer a loving home to 2 neutered, male Daschunds? They are 3 years old and are the victims of a nasty divorce, and about to be put down. Call Yolan Friedmann - Tel: + 27 (0) 11 486 1102 - Cell: 082 990 3534

Could you please pass this onto the list, people in Mooikloof Ridge on the eastern side of Pretoria lost their Husky during the night of 9 May or early morning 10 May.  They did not find any holes in the property and are afraid that he might have been stolen, the family is heartbroken and have put up signs everywhere.

It’s a red and white Husky with green eyes, he is almost one year old, at the time of his disappearance he was wearing a purple canvass collar.  He answers to the name Biago and is a male.

If anyone has seen this Husky please contact me on 082-8066437

Looking for doggie day-care...

I’m planning to get construction done to fix my house and am looking for a doggie lover to look after my babies, Fudge & Caramel, during the weekdays while the workers are busy and I’m at work. I do not want to put them in a caged kennel environment.

I would drop off my babies in the morning and pick them up at night. This arrangement would be for 3 to 4 weeks and I would need the doggie day care giver to be on my way to work - near Albertsville, Greymont, Bergbron, Northcliff, Quellerina, Fairlands, or surrounding areas. Construction dates have not been set as yet.

Thank you Lara, 083 212 6462; lara@mostinnermost.com; www.mostinnermost.com

             Eugenie Chopin, Certified TTouch Practitioner III for Companion Animal

PO Box 729, Strathavon 2031

Tel: 011 884-3156

Fax: 011 783 1515

Email: echopin@icon.co.za, Website: http://www.ttouch.co.za/                    


© 2006 TTouch - eugenie@ttouch.co.za.   All Rights Reserved.