Friday, September 7, 2012

Following Atticus Book signing

Last night I met a friend and attended a book signing. It was a desperate move in my part to get out of the house, as we have just lost Darka, and I am not ready to face the wailing emptiness.  I had seen a FB post on this author, Tom Ryan, and how wonderful the book was.  I believe my friend Kathy said the book was one of her top 5 favorite dog books of all time, and that is a high rating coming from Kathy!  Rhonda then posted about the book signing and I readily volunteered to meet her there.

It was great!  Tom Ryan is very funny, and I loved his impromtu talk.  His dogs are sweet and obviously adore him, I really look forward to reading his book (the title is Following Atticus).

What I wanted to write a note on was how kindly and calmly Tom Ryan speaks to his dog Atticus.  His other dog Will is deaf and blind so he mostly spoke about Will not to Will.  Anyway, he kept Atticus with him with a few quiet spoken words, asking him to sit just as you might ask someone you love to pass the salt.  It reminded me of an obedience class I went to a few winters ago.  The teacher kept trying to impress upon the class that we must speak in deep voices for our dogs to take us seriously and we must sound firm and, well, bossy.  I told her I simply would not, as I had 25 dogs, and I wanted to speak in my own tone of voice.  There are so many other ways to be the leader and keep everyone safe, healthy and happy.  I can't let my dogs run free as Tom Ryan does his pups, but they are sled dogs and that is not where I want to futily spend my time.  I have many urgent things to guide them through and teach them!

It is interesting to hear my daughter learn to talk to dogs.  I realize she mirrors what she hears from me.  That keeps me honest!  I think often about another little girl who helped in a kennel and how angry and aggressive she sounded as she bossed the dogs around.  It made me sad for her and the dogs.

I am proud to say in the Wicked Local article about us the auther, Rich Harbart, mentioned how gently I speak to my entire 10 dog dog sled tour team.

Here is a link to Tom Ryans blog:
http://tomandatticus.blogspot.com/



-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc
http://www.Barking-Brook.com