Crazy Trainer Chick…

There are days I really feel as if I am going a bit crazy and may be a little too doggy (not to be confused with dodgey, which I am definitely not). My head is just so completely wrapped up in canines, training, science, and all the like, that I sometimes struggle to make contextual connections outside the realm of dog training. I see everything through training/science/behavior/doggie lenses.

So here is a list of things that happen when you know you are a crazy clicker trainer (or just a crazy dog lady with a training focus):

1. Every time that I’m looking through the channel guide program on my TV and I see “Comics Unleashed,” I absolutely am convinced that it is a show about Control Unleashed–I quite seriously read it as saying “control unleashed”. I have a split second of excitement thinking there is some freakishly awesome show about that fantastic book….but am them disappointed a moment later when I realize that no, no TV show about Control Unleashed.

2. The last time I called tech support and “Eric” told me to “click on” various icons, I got totally and completely lost in his semantics. I thought to myself about how this phrase “click on” could be so helpful for my students. You aren’t clicking a behavior, you click ON the behavior. I wondered, to myself, if this would help people make a connection between the timing of the clicker and how it is used… until I was so rudely interrupted by Eric asking if that solved my problem. No Eric, it didn’t solve my problem but it gave me a good idea… can we start over and do it again 🙂

3. About a year ago I was at a “Dave and Busters” restaurant/arcade with some friends. After filling up on all the greasy fried food we could stomach, we ran around the arcades like kids in a… well, an arcade. We were being totally ridiculous and having a blast when I found some of those timing games (hit the button when the light gets to the top or the odd-colored bulb). I thought how much fun it would be to rig-up something that would mimic this game using a clicker to have fun practicing the timing of the click. I tried to share my excitement with my friends, who feigned excitement and then went on to battle on Guitar Hero.

4. So, I was driving in NY (notoriously aggressive drivers) and I admit it, I was speeding (compared to the limit not to ALL the cars passing me) in the right lane–yes the slow lane. I had some jerk in a corvette come flying up on my car and started riding my tail. He had plenty of space to go around me but was just sitting on my bumper. I started slowed down (yes I’m one of those people… if you sit on my bumper and I’m already speeding, I will start going the speed limit) gradually until I was going the speed limit. The guy in the car finally realized that sitting on my bumper was making me slow down, once he backed off (he STILL didn’t go around me), I thought to myself “There we go, now that you are OFF my tail, I’m happy to go faster!” I spent the next part of my drive thinking about positive punishment, negative punishment, negative reinforcement, and positive reinforcement that I just happen to use when driving.

5. I cannot count the number of times that someone says something that has absolutely nothing to do with dogs, training, behavioral science but it sounds like it could and I have to take a second to make the connection the other person was looking for. A friend was talking about crossing a threshold while visiting a historical site and I am positive that my face was all sorts of confused looking because my initial connection to the word threshold is not to a door frame/entry. It took me a minute to find the context she was talking about. Phrases like “Dominant hands” paint the funniest picture in my head. A friend of mine recently underwent a joint surgery and when I asked about the incision, she replied, “Oh, it’s healing well” and you can guess where my head went initially.

And this is how one knows one might be a little too involved in the canine world.

What have YOU done that might point to being a little bit too doggie?

  1. On a recent vacation we stopped at a fireworks store. I spent quite a bit of time talking to the owner about various “smoke bombs”. All so I could have a fun toy to take to nose work class. 🙂 I’m pretty sure he thought I was nuts.

  2. Though I don’t have any specific examples in mind, I’m pretty sure I’ve been guilty of each of those things you’ve described, at least in part. I’m CONSTANTLY getting jazzed about a dog related thing and having the people around me just kind of look blank.

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