So yesterday's seminar with Silvia was super! There were like 45 people there and we all learned tons of stuff - and I think a lot of people were surprised by how funny Silvia is - she is a very funny and entertaining speaker, so the whole day was interesting and none of it was boring or slow as far as I was concerned - we started at 9am and the seminar went right until 6pm and I think people would have stayed longer except we were being kicked out of the room.
There were lots of different types of dog owners there - from puppy owners to dog trainers, so there were lots of questions for Silvia to answer, and I don't think she disappointed anyone and I'm sure everyone took something different from the day - but I think that we all learned that punitive training is so unnecessary today - "our dogs will want nothing more than to be away from us if we punish them" - we want them to connect to us voluntarily, and that when we live with them - training happens all the time - and all the behaviours that we want them to do - all we have to do is wait for those behaviours to happen, label them and then reinforce them - and after awhile - we'll have happy, well trained, super dogs. All we ever need to do is redirect - never punish. That's the kind of dog training world I personally want to live in, that's for sure. And that's the world I think that I was learning about yesterday - and I hope everyone else there was getting that too.
We also did a bit of fundraising - we sold tickets on this basket which was worth almost $200 - we sold tickets for one dollar each and this lucky lady won it! We raised $203 from this basket and we also did a 50/50 draw and Mary Haley - who just happens to be from the Antigonish SPCA won that - and she got $73 for that! Proceeds went to the local Airedale rescue for veterinary bills for 3 recent airedales that were rescued from a puppy mill - so it will be put to good use.
While the day was going on - there was also a reunion happening outside - this dog was rescued several years ago by the Antigonish SPCA and adopted here to Halifax - her name is Girlfriend - and Mary and Betty hadn't seen the dog since she'd been adopted
But yesterday they got to meet the dog for the first time since her rescue - the last time they saw her she didn't have any fur at all - so it was great to see her looking so beautiful and healthy.
This is what rescue is about in the long run - dogs living long and healthy lives - and what the front line workers like Mary and Betty don't get to see too often - so it was great for them to meet Girlfriend and her Mom - and to see the fruits of their labour. Betty and Mary certainly did appreciate the meeting I think. So it was a great day all around.