Archive for category Asperger Syndrome

Bad times sad times and timing

This weekend just gone I was due to give a question and answer surgery at a big vegan event called Vegfest. It had support from Holly Hedge where I’m behaviour and training advisor and other rescues as well. Now, anyone who knows me will know that this is not my biggest strong point – public speaking – yet I was looking forward to going and see where it took me. Scary times yes. But choosing to man up I went with the notion of ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’

The trouble is, unforeseen circumstances meant I had to cancel at the last minute and tried not to get stressed enough to go into Aspie meltdown. Those are not good times. I won’t go into the why’s and wherefore’s here but suffice to say I let people down…I may have missed an opportunity to gain new clients or at the very least extra publicity. I often find myself faced with a difficult decision being a business person and all; do I risk making an idiot of myself and go to an event where I am expected to network and talk to other humans or do I not go and wonder if just this time I may have kept my condition under control and actually had a nice time? It wasn’t the problem this time, other gremlins were afoot.

Sh!t happens though, we have to deal with it and move on, that’s life right! So this blog post is  both an apology and a timely reminder that no matter how carefully you plan ahead or cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s, life has an odd habit of pinching on you on the bottom when you least expect it. A good training plan however, is a must and should be infallible, but that’s another blog post!

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People whispering in a dog training world

All my life I have been exposed to hatred, ignorance, fear, violence, revulsion, bullying and abuse. ALL my life. I’m in my early forties now and still naive to the ways of mankind. Partly because of my Aspergers, partly because I am slightly disjointed from society.

Like many others I find myself drawn to social networking sites and yet even online you are not safe from scaremongering and petty backstabbing. There is only so much you can avoid by blocking or unfriending/unfollowing folks. As far as I am aware none of it has been directly aimed at me, although I have recently been party to a phenomenon known as ‘guilty by association’.

There are many whom, it would appear, feel it is ok to disparage others without first gathering the right information before making slanderous judgements. There are some who attack others from behind a computer screen and some who speak about others in hushed tones during private messaging, not bothering to find out the truth.

Others seem to find it prudent to jump on band wagons and mob mentality is alive well even within the dog training fraternity and in animal rescue. The dog training industry itself is heavily divided, with often disastrous results for the dog owning public, as if it all wasn’t confusing enough already! As for the animal rescue scene, I have been appalled at the treatment of some involved by people old enough to know better.

What confuses me more than anything as knowing how passionately professionals feel about their profession, how they get caught up in the waves of revolution when asked to consider a new method or a new technique is launched or dishonoured then why can’t that enthusiasm, that drive be used for the greater good instead?

If we all work together for the common ground of helping people achieve better obedience and greater control over troubling behaviours then surely it makes sense to pool resources, knowledge and experience. Can you imagine what we could achieve?

If bad practice is driven out of the industry and people learn how to communicate better, learn how to teach and become the kind of trainer they want to be without needing positive punishment this would have a ripple effect on the whole world. A good kind of ripple; one that ensures that every dog owner and every dog gets the right training, and trainers get the right training too.

Alas, I know my point is moot. Being human, people will always argue their way is the right way even when overwhelming evidence shows the contrary. Gossiping and bullying will never stop. Bad methods will live on. Shame on those who point the finger or are too blinkered or afraid to be open to new suggestions. Shame on those who force others to make uncomfortable and sometimes life-changing decisions. Shame on those who seek to exact ridicule and threatening behaviours on those trying their best or working hard to achieve their potential.

I won’t let anyone stand in my way. I won’t let anyone drag me down to their level and I won’t let anyone use my naivety against me ever again. I have been through too much and worked too hard to allow anyone to take it away from me. So say what you like. Think what you like. About anyone you like, even me. Just remember slander and libel are crimes and karma gets you in the end. My integrity is pure and assured. Is yours?

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