Hello everyone.  Well it didn't quite start out as a "vacation" - but it's kinda looking that way right now!  After my last post (on creating an eBook) I've been giving some time to planning for the Natural Dog Training Blog eBook, and I think I'm going to continue working on that for the next few days, so that I'll be in good shape to release it sometime in early 2008.  I've also been trying to catch up on my e-mails (for those of you who are waiting for a response).  However, I don't want to leave you totally "empty-handed" for the next few days, so here's a thought or two regarding dog training and the impending New Year.

Suggestions for dog-related New Year's resolutions, in no particular order.  While they'd all be nice, of course - if you can commit to ONE you're doing great:

  1. Give your dog a solid 20 minutes of play/training around their mealtimes every day.
  2. Take a walk with your dog every day.  The walk is focused on your dog.
  3. Choose one day per week where all of the communication between you and your dog will be nonverbal.
  4. Read a book about dog nutrition and resolve to implement a healthier diet for your canine companion.
  5. Commit to 15 minutes per evening of relaxing massage for your dog.  Then meditate for 15 minutes.  That's a total of 30 minutes each night of relaxation and renewal for the both of you.
  6. Rather than focusing on "progress", instead choose one training exercise (or play game) and spend 30 days exploring the nuances before moving on to the "next" thing.  Then spend 30 days working on your new endeavor.  And so on.
  7. Give yourself the emotional nurturing that you need.  Resolve to NOT make your dog a surrogate for a partner - or for yourself!  That's too much weight for a pooch to carry.
  8. Take a day-long hike with your dog once per month.
  9. Go easy on yourself and your dog.  Relax your perfectionism.  Enjoy the time that you spend together, even when you're "working".
  10. Tell 5 friends about NaturalDogBlog.com 🙂

Those are just some ideas.  What're your thoughts?  Do you make a resolution for the New Year, and do you consider your dog in the equation?  Let us know what you're thinking! 

It's been a great year for me - my first year of parenthood (thanks Dash - and Tonya!) has brought with it a wellspring of creativity (and productivity) - this blog being but one of the direct results.  I've really enjoyed being able to share my knowledge of Natural Dog Training with you - and your contributions, through commenting, e-mailing, or simply returning for more visits have made it worthwhile.  A special shout-out to those of you who have linked to this site from your own site and helped spread the word about NaturalDogBlog. 

I also am very appreciative of those of you who have been able to support my site, through buying leashes, visiting sponsors, and especially those of you who have chosen to donate directly to the site.  For those of you who were wondering, yes - people do actually contribute to the site!  Every way that you choose to participate helps remind me that it's worth it, and that I'm able to make a difference through the NaturalDogBlog. 

Happy New Year, and I'll see you on January 2nd!  In the meantime, if you're looking for some non-dog-related entertainment, feel free to check out the music I've been working on - my other blog has a couple demos of selections for an upcoming children's music CD.