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Well, shoot.

I think I might have emphasized the importance of timing in good training practices, and I really have tried to model it here. But I hope I've also been clear on how much lies outside our control and how ready we need to be to forgive ourselves and the creatures around us for our inevitable failures of composure. Life is messy, and we're messy along with it.


Here's the short story: my cancer has taken a scary new turn with a metastasis to my brain. I had thought I'd be back in the clasroom yesterday, but instead I'm in the hospital with a new hole in my head. My situation isn't yet hopeless, but it's pretty darn dire, and even in the best case scenario it's highly unlikely that I'll be able with the damage I've already sustained to work effectively and safely in the future with my favorite kinds of dogs (e.g., the unruly and the unsure). If you know me at all, though, you won't be surprised to hear that I can't leave well enough alone (especially not when hyped on the steroids they're giving me to keep my swollen  nut in the bounds of its shell): at every opportunity I get, I do slow laps in the corridors with one or another of a stream of excellent and very patient nurses, discussing the relative merits of various interventions to meet the challenges of autism and ADHD. Defending the scarred reputations of "pitties" and chihuahuas.

If you'd like the long story, it's over at

I've been frankly overwhelmed by the compassion that springs forth at the lightest touch of my twiggy little dousing rod these days. I only manage not to fall into a puddle myself for one simple, practical reason: crying makes my head ache. I can't do much in the way of visits, phone calls, etc, but virtual hugs and really dumb jokes are not only welcomed but craved. Almost as much as silly, happy, beautiful pics of furries and others (esp in small files or they crash my email server, drat).

Thank you big time.

Back soon, I hope, to carry on the adventure.Standing at the lip of a live volcano! Kilauea just a couple of weeks ago, celebrating an arduous but successful summitting.


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