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Chicken Crossings, Dog Trainer Style

Why did the chicken cross the road cartoon

we fed the chicken on the opposite side of the road each day at 4-pm until the chicken’s autonomic system actually began causing the chicken to cross the road at 4-pm without even questioning ‘why’.

B.F. Skinner:
on prior occasions when the chicken voluntarily crossed the road,this behavior was followed immediately by a reinforcing consequence.

Barbara Woodhouse:
You just say, ‘Walkies’ with the right accent and place a crumpet on the far side.

Karen Pryor:
Associating R+ with road crossing and P- with standing still, with a VR schedule, and offering a reward in keeping with the Premack principle, we increased the intensity and frequency of the road crossing behavior.

Bill Koehler:
a few well-timed pops on the choke chain and the chicken was happy to cross the road.

Nicholas Dodman:
I gave the chicken fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, carbamazepine, and azapirone, and then it was happy to cross the road.

Patti Ruzzo:
I crossed the road, pausing every step to spit a treat out of my mouth like a human pez-dispenser, and the chicken followed along catching the treats…

Electric Collar Advocate:
Whenever the chicken does not cross the road I give it an electric shock. But do not worry, the shock is no more than you would feel if you walked on a carpet wearing socks, and does not bother the chicken at all. The feathers standing up and the smell of burning flesh mean nothing. In fact, they are happier having nice clear communication than they would be otherwise.

Chickens are just like little people in feather jackets, and if you love them and give them diamonds and feel sorry for them all the time, they will be happy to cross the road for you.

Paris Hilton:
Because I put it in a Gucci bag and carried it. (giggle)

Kill Shelter director:
Any chickens that do not cross the road will be euthanized for their own good, and the others we will adopt-out tomorrow for only $200 each. Please send us money so we can keep doing more of this important work!

No Kill Shelter Director:

We’re open from 8 am to 8 pm,  seven days per week,  to better help all chickens get homes. No need to cross the road – we and the needy chickens will cross the road to get to. Chicken crossing donations are based on ability to pay, and you receive a free one pound sack of chicken feed with every chicken you help cross the road.

HSUS member:
I do not know anything about animals, I have never been around animals and am not really fond of animals, but we passed a law mandating that chickens be kept without cages because animals belong only in the wild and cannot be happy coexisting with man, so now they are walking wherever they want.

PETA member:
Chickens have the right to live in world without roads. Any chicken that lives within a hundred miles of a road is suffering an inhumane existence and might eventually be hit by a car, so we should kill it today to ensure that it does not die tomorrow.

Welcome Home, Caleb!

Caleb and Pickle, Cream and Brindle French Bulldog puppies

Caleb and Pickle

I lost most of this weekend to a killer migraine, but even that wasn’t enough to stop me from bringing home Bon yesterday. My second pick puppy out of Butters and Versace, Bon has fitted in since he got here like he’s lived here his entire life.

The only problem? His name didn’t seem to fit him.

We tried a few out over the weekend (Winston was too Bulldoggy, Gavin made him cry, Atticus made Sean roll his eyes, Gaelen was too.. something or other), and finally settled on Caleb. From the Hebrew, Caleb means

“like, as” and Lev, meaning “heart,” making the meaning “like the heart.”  Because the name in Hebrew is spelled with the same consonants as the word for “dog,” the name is commonly thought to mean dog.”

Another interpretation is ‘faithful and dog like heart’, which fits a stoic little guy like Caleb to perfection. Like his father, Caleb is calm and relaxed about most situations. Meeting all of the strange (and sometimes less than enthusiastic) dogs in our house was a breeze for him – he played with Pickle, tried to nurse on Mae, and quickly learned to stay away from his cranky Great Grandma, Sailor. He slept through the entire night, only waking up at about 4 am when he finally realized he was all by himself. He got over it fairly quickly, and didn’t wake up again until 8 am this morning.

He and Pickle have become fast friends, a fact for which I’m grateful – Pickle needs a pal she can play with. Delilah is less than thrilled, even though he technically is her brother. She feels this house already has far too many dogs in it, and that one more (and a boy, at that) is a really bad idea. We’ve told her she has to get used to it, but that she’s still our Princess Pudding Pants.

Caleb is sleeping on my feet as I type this, and I couldn’t be happier with him. He’s been a nice end to a crappy weekend.

By the way, we’ve decided that Caleb’s brother, Hammy, will be made available to a pet home. He’s still the most adorable, smiley faced Frenchie you’ve ever seen, but he’s a tad light in bone. Our loss, some lucky family’s gain!

Here’s Hammy, being adorable –

Hammy the French Bulldog Puppy

And here’s a whole set of his photos. For more info, you can email me.

Photos of Caleb after the cut, or on Flickr

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Friday Zen – Morrissey Loves Black Bears

80s alt/new wave Musician Morrissey (along with a host of other celebs) is asking the UK Government to end the long standing tradition of using North American black bear skin to make the distinctive hats worn by the Buckingham Palace Guardsmen.

Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood and several other British designers have offered up alternative design suggestions for the tall, black fur caps which have been worn by the Queen’s Guard since 1815.

I’m all in favor of less trapping of black bears for use as stupid looking fur hats, but the mind reels at the idea of what kind of hat Vivienne Westwood might have in mind for the poor beleaguered Guardsmen, who already have to contend with idiotic tourists trying to break their concentration.

Queens Guardsmen give Vivienne Westwood designed hats a trial run

Queens Guardsmen give Vivienne Westwood designed hats a trial run, report that hats 'led to reduced mocking incidents, lessened urge to smack tourists in the head with bayonet'

In any case, this post has all pretty much just been an excuse to go looking for a video of the Smiths doing one of my favorite songs, “How Soon is Now?” (which allows me to counter Sean’s ‘please for the love of God stop playing that song’, with  ” I have to listen to it – It’s for my WRITING“).

Thanks, internet, for making time wasting something I can excuse as semi-work related!

Book Review – “Breed Lovers Guide to French Bulldogs”

French Bulldog - a Breed Lover's Guide

French Bulldog - a Breed Lover's Guide, by Lisa Ricciotti

I received a nice surprise in the mail yesterday – an advance copy of Lisa Ricciotti’s new book, “Breed Lovers Guide to French Bulldogs“.

This hard cover, spiral bound book is a wonderful introduction to the breed for new and prospective French Bulldog owners. Lisa’s well written text spells out French Bulldog basics, from winter weather care to how to choose appropriate toys and food for your Frenchie. She also does a great job summing up French Bulldog breed history (including the Frenchie’s “shady past”),  and her description of the breed’s characteristics and temperament doesn’t gloss over some of the grosser aspects of French Bulldogs (incessant gas, among other things).

The photos are colorful and clear, the nudges to purchase nylabone items (Nylabone is owned by TFH) are less blatant than in years gone past, and the chapters do a good job of spelling out the steps one should take before jumping into ownership.

Lisa even gives me credit for my much quoted, never attributed ode to French Bulldogs, “What am I?“, which I wrote up years ago specifically for FBRN rescue. Much appreciated, Lisa 😉

The Breed Lover’s Guide series of books is the newest incarnation of the TFH breed books, which have been published since the 1950s. The new books are nicely updated, and have replaced the out dated text suggesting pet stores as a great place to start looking for your new pet with tips about finding responsible breeders and links to breed club websites.

This is a great little book, and I heartily recommend it as an addition to any well rounded French Bulldog lover’s library. Two enthusiastic paws up!

Order your copy from Amazon – hurry, limited numbers are available, and only two were left in stock when I checked this morning!