Decision 2008: What We Can Learn from Annie the Dog

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4 Responses

  1. Frank says:

    First, very sorry to hear about your hand! that is terrible…hope it heals soon.

    Second, yes, the thinking about thinking point is key. But I think that it can also weigh down the process…for example, when tons of voters start voting on the basis of what they think other voters will accept:

    “Electability” becomes a big shell game driven by a media that prides itself on some “insider baseball” understanding of a political scene that the “insider understandings” themselves construct.

    Third, despite your wise commments on the human-animal divide, the temptation to anthropomorhize is so strong, as evidenced by Dogster:


  2. Charlie Martel says:

    Jeff–Great post. I agree with you about Senator Obama and am glad you are part of his effort.

    Reading both of his books, I am convinced he has a humanitarian code of values and that he thinks with depth and complexity about deep and complex things.

    On dogs, one of my dogs bit my wrist–it hurt and I hope you are ok. Another of my dogs is a therapy pet and we’ve visited wounded troops at Walter Reed hospital. From that I am convinced that there is nothing better than a good dog, and sometimes I think their souls are bigger than ours.

  3. CJ Anderson says:

    I really enjoyed your post and was sorry to hear of the bite. One thing for any to read this post to know, is that most states do not have a “one bite forgiveness law. In most states, the doctor is require by law to report the bite to law enforment or animal control who then will come and impound the dog, and in many locations, like Denver, even euthanize it.

    (Of Course in Dever, they will simply take and euthanize your dog even if he has never harmed anyone just because he was the wrong breed – over 1100 have died so far). So it is really important to watch for infection from bites – puncture wounds are the most dangerous of all the bleeding injuries and the most likely to become infected.(I teach safety for a living).

    I did want to add an additional view for your further consideration.

    Isnt it wonderful when positive reinforcement works?

    Cesar himself says over and over that the least energy used to control the dogs is what he is striving for, and in fact in his new DVD “Your New Dog, the First Day and Beyond”, shows how to prevent problems from even occuring and how much faster using postive techniques work when the dog isnt in a problem creating mode!

    It really would be more accurate to say that Cesar’s way didnt work for you, rather then Cesar’s way is wrong.

    Its not wrong,really! I am on my 15th problem dog rehab – everyone of them over the last year because the rescues who had them couldnt change their behavior and were going to euthanize them. They have all been rehabbed using Cesar’s techniques. I have movies of many of their rehab successes up on my youtube site at:

    I also run an over 2300 member email list of people working on their problem dog situations (with another 1000 who have come in and solved their problems and left our high volume list (100-150 posts per day) from people in 20 countries as well as US and Canada. I understand, that Cesar’s newsletter is delivered to over 100,000 people.

    So it cannot be accurate to say it is wrong when so many are being helped by it.

    Using Cesar’s way would actually prevent the problems you experienced, because it deals with the dog pyschology not training which is largely ineffective when a dogs instincts kick in.

    In my top video I think I included a picture of me on a bike with three dogs side by side but I have walked (biked) as many as 5 at a time and I am nobody – just an over weight 53 year old, 5 foot tall woman, using a turn key program as explain/demonstrated by Cesar Millan successfully, over and over to save dogs lives, when those dogs have been given up on by “professionals”.

    So I hope you will consider this position, and as I said, while Cesar’s way may not be a style you chose to use, many thousands of dogs are alive today because others chose to learn to work with it succssfully!

    With greatest respect.


  4. A.J. Sutter says:

    I hope your hand is better by now. I am still puzzling, though, over how the putative smallness of dogs’ souls explains why you have them, rather than mosquitos, as pets. … Are the souls of mosquitos too big to render them suitable? I’m inclined to agree with C. Martel on the canine soul issue, if not necessarily about Obama. (I’ve also had at least one Siamese cat who surpassed even my various dogs at empathy.)

    While the current Chief Executive certainly is an object lesson in the dangers of too little self-reflection, one wonders what degree of that trait could be more of a liability for an executive than an asset. Certainly I consider that my own self-reflective tendencies, despite my being a Myers-Briggs “J” type in most situations, could make me a crummy CEO. On the other hand, I think those tendencies do make me a better counsellor. Politically, I’m probably satisfied (apropos of this point, at least) with the weaker criterion of knowing that a President would have such reflective advisers around him or her, and listen to them. Even that would be a revolutionary change from the status quo.