And don't miss The Surfer's Code.
Ocean is a stern and unforgiving mentor; but joyous, too.
Here's a training video on using the flirt pole to train/exercise your dog. Dogs learn best when lessons are fun, and this is a great way to turn basic obedience practice into big excitement. We've used these in shelter situations, especially with dogs that can't play with other dogs and it's been a favorite tool for tiring them out while reinforcing new commands. To keep this valuable as a learning tool, the game must stop anytime a dog grabs the toy without permission. Great for healthy dogs, but be aware that the fast turns and jumping could aggravate faulty joints, so use wisely. Enjoy!
Breed-discriminatory legislation (BDL) refers to laws that target dogs based on how they look rather than their actions. Hundreds of U.S. cities have already enacted BDL, and more cities adopt it every year. Many cities and counties—plus Marine Corps and Army bases—have banned select breeds altogether. Other cities enact BDL that automatically labels dogs of certain breeds as “vicious” or “dangerous” regardless of their behavior. These laws may require owners of the targeted breeds to follow strict guidelines, such as sterilization, proof of liability insurance, housing of the dog in a cage with a roof and floor, and muzzling the dog when on a leash. Currently, BDL most often focuses on pit bull types (dogs that have “pit bull characteristics”), but some cities also target Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinchers, American Bull Dogs, Bull Terriers, Mastiffs, Dalmatians, Chow Chows, other large breeds and mixes of the targeted breeds. Here, we outline the inherent flaws of BDL, why it doesn’t work and why it concerns every dog lover.
Educators know that 100 percent proficiency is impossible, given the enormous variation among students and the impact of family income on academic performance. Nevertheless, some politicians believe that the right combination of incentives and punishments will produce dramatic improvement. Anyone who objects to this utopian mandate, they maintain, is just making an excuse for low expectations and bad teachers.Being scapegoated for not being miracle workers, teachers and teacher unions should remind these critics that there is no excuse for child poverty, now running close to 21% in the U.S. If poor kids don’t do well in school, then let’s address the real problem and take care of them. Knowing that sick kids don’t do well in athletics do we blame coaches for not making them winners? People would ridicule the idea.
To prove that poverty doesn’t matter, political leaders point to schools that have achieved stunning results in only a few years despite the poverty around them. But the accounts of miracle schools demand closer scrutiny. Usually, they are the result of statistical legerdemain.
There is great harm in this myth, that schools can do it all. It provides the excuse for politicians, vested interests and advocates to wrongly declare schools “failures.” It gives a false justification for firing the principals and teachers who work with our neediest. It tells us a complex society does not need to invest in its skills or its children. It serves as a moral cloak for actions that are technically unjustified — as well as just plain wrong.I’ve seen enough “data”. Next year my classroom is going to be about creativity, projects, and having fun with ideas. The way I look at it now, every year may be my last, and I don’t want to go out playing a numbers game that was rigged against me and my students from the start. Rigidly applied standards will fail the kids; that’s not my job.