Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast
My niece walking my 110 pound Rottweiler, Mickey, many years ago. Mickey would normally drag anyone walking her, but she just knew to be gentle with my niece.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Beautiful Bond

Welcome to the inaugural entry of my new blog, The Beautiful Bond. Every week or so, will follow real life examples which detail the amazing bond that forms between animals and humans. Mind you, most of my stories will revolve around horses and dogs, and an occasional cat, not to take away from the companionship that people receive from other animals.

Growing up on a ranch in western Montana, I spent all of my childhood and into my college years, working with, and being around the ranch animals, especially our dogs and horses.  Growing older, I ventured into the dog ownership world myself, a subject for another blog post.  Little did I know that fateful decision would take me down a road that would lead to the founding of Big Sky Rottweiler Rescue, a 501c3 non-profit group that now covers five states. As a result I became very involved with the local animal shelter in Bozeman. I learned I had a gift for working with difficult dogs though, in all honesty, I had no idea what I was doing when I started.  With a career in engineering, I approached all the behavioral problems of the dogs I worked with in a methodical way.  That started with trying to understand how dogs thought and behaved, leading me to developing training material on dealing with aggressive dogs: teaching animal shelters, rescues, law enforcement and animal control officers all over the country through a company I started called, Think Dog Consulting.  I’ve had the pleasure of educating hundreds of people over the years and also the duty of being an expert witness in several court cases.  Over time I really started to become intrigued by canine-caused bite injuries.  That opened a whole new door of material to teach.   Though I have shut down Think Dog Consulting, I am occasionally requested to provide classes to various agencies around the region.  The reason I stepped back from that work was a simple one.  When I started I wanted to keep humans from being bitten and dogs from needlessly being killed. At the time there was a clear need for my material but now, thankfully, many others have started providing training like mine, much of it free. Once I saw that the need was being met, I gladly stepped back with no regrets.

My passion now is writing, with my first published book originating from my Think Dog Consulting work.  It was an educational handbook titled Management of Aggressive Canines for Law Enforcement.  The handbook is no longer in print, however it really set the groundwork for me to pursue deeper writing efforts.  In 2012 I started serious work on my first novel, Stranger’s Dance, which was published in June 2015.  This novel, and the next several future novels, involve the human struggles we all face, but in each story, an animal becomes the catalyst for change and healing, as I’ve seen hundreds of times in real life. 

The following blog posts will be memories of my life events and isn’t intended to be used for educational purposes.  Instead, this is to emphasize how animals enrich our lives, even saving us from ourselves and the darkness that the world throws at us.  Because many of the stories are from my own experience, I will do my best to be as accurate as I can, though I’m sure the fog of time will vary some details. Accept this as an advance apology for those times.  Along with my own experiences, I will tell of people I’ve known over the years who have influenced me through their experiences with animals.  When possible I will request that they write the stories themselves or at least provide me a summary to work from.  Again, the goal is to emphasize the beautiful bond between animals and humans. Overall this blog is meant to be fun, entertaining, and enlightening. 

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