Category Archives: animal communication

Finnegan’s First Weeks

Finn1Finnegan, our new service dog trainee, has different virtues than Spice, our certified guide dog.  He’s a “designer dog” cross between a Goldendoodle and Standard Poodle. Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, photos

Coexisting With the Deer

FenceFawnIn my back yard Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, Ethics and Morality, photos

Cleaning, Feeding, Preparation

BenchSpotForget about the wars, revolutions and the gubmint listening in on your cell phone calls!  You’ve found a peaceful spot where you can sit and listen to birds sing, where gentle waters flow as you read.

I am fixing some problems I have procrastinated about, and feeling dumb because I didn’t address them before.  We didn’t cook much until I began dieting.  We didn’t know how to clean the oven.  We are now entering our third day in the process of cleaning the oven Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, Technology, Thinking about thinking

Welcoming Change

TwoFauns-001How would you like having to nurse your twins in a stranger’s yard?

People love habit.  Having the feeling of knowing what comes next is comforting.  But you can’t fix problems or grow from a place of complete safety.  You have to take risks, spend resources, embrace the insecurity of undetermined outcomes, and dream of better things that might be. Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, Music, photos, Thinking about thinking

Graduation Day

GDB OregonThe Visitors Center @2010 lindabenson.blogspot.com 

Our second guide dog puppy, Spice, was the first one to complete her work to become fully certified.  Guide Dogs for the Blind operates two campuses on the West coast, one in Oregon where we were going, and one in California.  Mary and I (the puppy raisers) and the Brodys (former playmates) drove down the night before.  We had the same kind of joy and anticipation parents get when their children graduate from college, ready to enter the working world. Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, photos, Self-Esteem

Loud & Clear, Big & Fast, Slow & Just Right

A newsy, catch-up post

BigFast1When the world is full of danger, fear and catastrophe, it’s a good time to plant.  At my house, we make improvements slowly.  We’ve been looking over our property borders for two years, considering what might make them more inviting to our senses, and to neighboring wildlife. Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, Music, photos, Travel

A Perfect Day Out

FarmMart A

It was time to shake up my routine.  I decided to take a half-day off to do fun, unusual things my wife would also enjoy.  We began by arriving for the Grand Opening ceremony of our little town’s Farmers Market.  All the newspaper said was “9am Goat Parade” Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, humor, Literature, photos

A Story in 4,011 Words

GDtruck1 Continue reading

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“You’re Going on an Adventure!”

That’s what we always say as we’re heading out the door.

It’s our guide dog trainee’s last week with us.  I’ve been concentrating on that instead of writing.  On Sunday we’ll be driving Spice to Tacoma to meet the puppy truck. Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, photos

An Inclusive Border

Our front deck is 35 years old.  It’s been rained on often enough over the years to penetrate the paint and sealant and cause rot.  We considered how to repair and replace it, and talked with local carpenters over the past two years. Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, photos, symbolism

Puppy Club Day Trip

An important part of raising potential guide dogs is exposure to any kind of travel a blind person might undertake.  People who live in northern Washington use ferries. Continue reading

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Substitute Puppy

This little Lab is our guest for a few days, and our regular guide dog trainee Spice is staying with another couple.  Her name is Pippa. Continue reading

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This is How

Here’s a better answer than I wrote before for those of you who wondered how it’s possible to emotionally handle giving up a wonderful dog like Spice, after raising her for a year in preparation to train as a guide dog.  This is excerpted from a letter we recently received from the new owner of one of our graduates, a black lab named Camille. Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, Emotions, Ethics and Morality

Thanks All Round

It’s been a good week.  The rest of the country has been uncomfortably hot, but until yesterday it was raining most days in my little town, and I sometimes felt sad without reason.  I chose to live at the geographic edge of a rain forest.  It would be silly to expect it to be drier.  Perhaps I’m still adjusting to not living in the artificial oasis of El Lay. Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, Music

This One Starts Out Boring

Firing the big gun (1915)

My recent inability to access the most interactive features here on WP.com are producing interesting results. Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, Metaphysics, symbolism, Thinking about thinking

Sunday’s Challenges

Our guide dog puppy-in-training has made it to the halfway point. Continue reading

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Evaluation Day

I’m encouraged.  Our guide dog puppy in training is now five months old, a little older than the last one was at this point in the regimen, but she has retained her docile temperament. Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, photos

Born That Way

Our guide dog hopeful’s training regimen has been increasing in complexity. Continue reading

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Superdog II

Saturday was our seventeenth wedding anniversary.  We had a nice Mexican dinner at a place on Highway 19, and turned in early.  We both knew our gift would arrive Sunday.  Sunday was the day we picked up our second (potential) guide dog puppy. Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, photos

Career Change

Yesterday I had to work late at the Urgent Care.  As a result, I was unable to accompany my wife and our guide-dog-puppy-in-training to the meeting of the puppy club. Continue reading

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Filed under animal communication, Emotions