Posted by: Steph | howtogirl.net | June 18, 2010

A quick update while I secretly pray for lunch to fall from the sky

I suppose breakfast would be more accurate considering it’s 10am, but hey, technicalities.

Not much going on in Steph-land right now, hence the lack of updates. I haven’t really had time between all the psych work I need to be doing. I’ll be ridiculously relieved when this month is over.

On the rare occasions that I’m NOT up to my eyebrows in statistics and psych notes, I’ve been re-reading Cesar Millan’s “How to raise the perfect dog: through puppyhood and beyond”. If only human psychology interested me as much as dog psychology does, right? But truly it’s quite impressive. He reminds me of Monty Roberts (the horse whisperer, for those of you who have never seen/heard of his amazing work). They both basically have spent huge amounts of time observing the animals in their natural state, and in doing so have ascertained how the animals naturally establish their hierarchy and communicate with one another. They then use this knowledge to communicate with the animals through their body language, which was a much more forward thinking measure than the whip or rolled up newspaper.

To see what I mean, check this one out:

Suffice to say, most people couldn’t mimic this at home. There’s a lot of subtleties in it that are really hard to pick up on. I, for one, can’t read the dog’s cues to save my life. No matter how many times I watch videos of different dogs behaving different ways, I still don’t think I could separate different forms of aggression or be able to tell a playful puppy from a dominant one. I had similar problems when I worked at the Animal Welfare League, particularly because all of those dogs are caged for so long that they’re already hyper and you need to get things done on a deadline so you can’t necessarily wait for them to be calm submissive before setting out. All of that is exactly why I find Cesar Millan’s book so interesting – it teaches you how to go about raising your dog to be happy and obedient from day one, which really eliminates a lot of the problems later in their lives. I recommend it to anyone who has an interest in dogs. It’s a pretty cool insight into how they think. And yes, some people disagree with some of his methods, but I don’t have the time to go into that right now. I will say that, as far as I can tell, the ones who disagree with it are the ones who really can’t grasp that dogs are not people, and simply do not see things the way that people do.

In other news, Canada is coming up quick!

The smaller buildings in front will be my home πŸ™‚

I took a look at the university on google earth the other day. Turns out that the town houses where we (Hollie and I) will be staying are right next to the Guelph arboretum. If you’ve never heard of an arboretum, then basically think of it as a botanic park. So we’ll pretty much be living on a botanic park. Cool, right?

Will I be spending every day here before the snow hits? ... Yes. Yes I will.

Mind you, by the time I’m there all those trees will be orange. But hey! That means piles of leaves to frolic in πŸ˜‰

Also, mum bought me my necessary winter jacket πŸ˜€

Fashionable? No. Warm and toasty? Heck yes!

I got it in black, but I’m quite enamoured of it. It’s goose down, so not only is it RIDICULOUSLY warm, comfortable and delightfully squishy, it also folds down really small. I’m really thrilled about that feature, because it means that when it starts snowing I’ll be able to wear it on my walks to uni in the morning, then roll it up, chuck it in its tube, and keep it out of the way in my uni bag while I’m in classes. Not having to carry around a giant ski jacket is an epic win in my books.
Also, dad’s decided to replace the family video camera that got stolen when he went to Rome. This means I won’t be buying my own camera, which is a mixed blessing πŸ˜‰ on the one hand, dad’s more likely to get something of better quality. On the other hand, it won’t be mine and if I lose it or get it stolen then I’m going to feel guilty about it forever πŸ˜‰ Still, I’m pretty pleased about this. One less thing I have to concern myself with getting sorted! Truly it’s been a bit of a nightmare lately. The insurance is really confusing because you have to go through the uni, and it’s a lot more expensive than I’d have thought. The health cover policies are confusing (it says they only pay out $200 if you break an ankle, yet under “health expenses” it says it’s unlimited up to 24 months… say whaaaat?) and the whole thing is just hurting my head. Plus I need to sort out changing my major next year, but I haven’t had the chance to get in contact with the woman in charge of such things due to the nightmarish exam period.

And on that note, time for me to go study! I need to be at uni in a few hours. Oh that’s the other thing – I’m off crutches. Still in the moon boot for another two weeks, but that’s still easier than getting around with the bulky crutches… or the wheelchair for that matter.

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