"The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's." – Mark Twain, Letter to W D Howells, 4/2/1899


Someone once said that books find you.

I feel the same way about dogs.

I had dogs when I was a boy but actually they became my dads dogs and I got some of the fun but very little of the responsibility. My dad ‘had a way with dogs’ but I don’t think that he truly understood what dogs need to be balanced and happy, so I did not learn these things from him but that’s OK because I learned a heap of other good things from him.

After I left home it was a very long time before a dog came into my life and she arrived at just the right time. I wasn’t doing too well and life had been kicking me pretty hard and I was struggling to keep my head up. I didn’t feel that I was capable of looking after myself let alone looking after a puppy. But, I was outvoted, which was easy for them as they went out to work every day and I work at home so the raising of the puppy fell to me.

Just to make life interesting, my wife came home with a pup she had ‘rescued’ from a pet store while we were on holidays about 700 kms from home!  We all made it home and now I had two dogs to look after.

I/we made all the usual mistakes that dog owners make and one of our dogs started to show some very bad habits which needed fixing as it was making our lives very difficult, so I dived headlong into the study of dog psychology. The amazing things that I learned seemed too good to keep  to myself so I started writing a column for our local newspaper, and now I am putting some of the things that I have learned here on this blog.

Our dogs are now happy and balanced but changing our ways was not easy. It required us to admit that our basic approach was wrong and to make the necessary adjustments. Consistency is the key.

Hopefully the things we have learned will help you in some way. Good luck.




12 responses

  1. Isn’t that funny! When I first visited your blog, I thought you were in the States. Just something about the phrase ‘up in the hills’. But then this morning i trawled through your dog section (love it!) and noticed the wheelie bins and thought: definitely Australian and then I noticed the remnant Land Rover and it has a Victorian number plate(if my weary eyes do not deceive). I grew up in melbourne (born 51) and left in 77 to come to Queensland where I’ve been ever since (oh, apart from 14 years just south of the border near tweed heads).

    If the hills refer to the Dandenongs I used to own a block of land at Cockatoo, way, way back.

    Cheers, mate. David.


    June 24, 2013 at 12:08 am

    • I’ve been having the same problem.
      People do not always reveal who they are or where they are from, especially in a blog post. Sometimes it takes a fair bit of flicking through their posts to nail down what country they are in. Yanks in particular seem to assume that everyone lives in the US!
      On a few occasions, particularly on ‘writers’ blogs, I have had a lot of trouble working out if they are male or female. Good writers seem to be able to write as either gender so this only confuses things even more!
      I see from your year of birth that we are close to the same age [1950 for me] so I guess we have lived through a lot of the same stuff, although it must have been harder for you……….. stuck in the Deep North for so long!! Only kidding or should I have said lol? Your avatar makes you look quite well preserved for a medium old timer…… what is your secret? Clean living, fast cars, interesting women, or green tea?
      Hope your day is excellent.


      June 24, 2013 at 12:23 am

  2. So, what is the origin of Araneus, Terry?
    Images can deceive. I was clean and sober at the time and my sons spent four days airbrushing the image to get it passable!
    Clean living never appealed. But I am what some would call an exercise fanatic. I simply think I’m disciplined but the missus would scoff. But I’d be an alcoholic by any reasonable standard and indulge myself elsewise, too, so am a bad boy. Interesting women? I find virtually all of them interesting to some extent but ravage them only with my eyes! Green tea has much to recommend it but do like wine (and beer). Just a typical bloody Aussie, mate. What can I say?
    And, yeah, the Deep North jibe is pertinent. Has changed vastly since I came here in the late 70s and have to confess that I couldn’t stomach southern winters anymore.
    It’s good to be in touch, terry. have a ripper day, mate. David.


    June 25, 2013 at 12:14 am

    • Araneus is latin for ‘spider’ which was the nickname my mother gave me…. a long time ago… I’ve used ‘spider’ as my internet name a few times over the years but then I decided to be a smart arse and look up [three years of Latin at school but not much stuck] the Latin translation.
      I got the nick name because my mum liked the ‘story’ about Robert the Bruce hiding in the cave from the British…. he sees this little spider trying and trying to bridge the gap from one wall to another so it can spin a web… it tries and tries and eventually succeeds and Robert the Bruce thinks to himself “If that little spider never gave up neither should I”. leaves the cave, raises another army and beats the living shit out of the British.
      Let’s put it bluntly………I was a stubborn little shit…. mum called it perseverance but it was stubborness!
      I hope you are having an excellent day as well.


      June 25, 2013 at 12:59 am

  3. With the British Lions touring here we owe a lot to that little spider, Araneus, and let’s hope the legend inspires today’s ‘troops’ to repeat Robert’s lesson in how to deal with the British!.


    June 25, 2013 at 1:06 am

  4. Barney the Corgi

    Interesting! I recognize myself in a lot you are saying. I have always had dogs and ironically have often been scared of strange dogs… up until my dad who always loved dogs got us a dog.. I was intrigued by the fact that I was not at all afraid of our own dogs (we got more later) but often terrified of strange dogs.. I soon realized I was never afraid of the dogs… but of the owners and whether they had their dogs under control or not.. Just as you I have read and watched a lot about bog behavior and psychology and body language and studied different training methods and I have found a good balance between different methods that works well for me. My fear of dogs is forever a thing of the past and dogs are one of my greatest hobbies now! I will be back to read more, this seems like a very interesting blog 🙂

    Come check out my Corgi Barney’s blog on: http://bernhardtvoncorghenthal.wordpress.com/


    November 2, 2013 at 6:11 am

    • Will do. Thank you for the comments….. woof.


      November 2, 2013 at 11:57 am

  5. maijaharrington

    I’m enjoying your blog. I can’t remember if I left a comment on my earlier trips here — If I’ve said this before, my feelings won’t be hurt if you delete it:
    You may want to check out my blog, http://maijaharrington.com, where I’m posting chapters from my book-in-progress, “Funny Tails: Adventures and Misadventures in Living with Pugs.” It’s a humorous look at 10 years with 3 pugs of our own plus various foster dogs. Readers tell me it’s pretty funny.
    Best wishes!
    Maija (pronounced My-uh)


    June 8, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    • Hi Maija………… never feel the need to apologise for promoting your work…… like everyone else, I need a kick in the butt sometimes otherwise I miss stuff. I’m looking forward to reading your chapters……… I’m heading over there right now.


      June 9, 2014 at 2:12 am

  6. You have very interesting blog and I like it very much! A lot of colorful photos and very clever articles!

    Liked by 1 person

    April 27, 2015 at 5:43 am

    • Glad you like it Vlad, thanks for commenting. Terry


      April 27, 2015 at 5:49 am

  7. Pingback: Book Review: Slightly Spooky Stories. | araneus1

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