We were pretty happy when our neighbour got his pilot’s license and we were able to go up and see our place from way up there. We live and work in the middle of nowhere, and love it that way.
We were so excited to be a finalist in the Center for Honeybee Research’s annual honey tasting competition. Bees collect and dehydrate flower nectar to transform it into honey. Every bottle tastes different depending on the terroir - the apiary's micro-climate, soil type, geomorphology, weather and nectar sources. And, each year, like wine, honey tastes different depending on the weather and moisture conditions.
Congratulations to Chris Beck of Michigan who was awarded the 2019 grand prize, and also to fellow Canadian Ken Coyle of Ontario who won in the Canadian category.
A funny thing happened to us this winter. The Saskatchewan Environment Society called us and asked us if they could come for a visit. They heard about how we run our small business, and wanted to do a case study and video about us. Well, that's pretty cool. SES concentrates on sustainable energy and climate solutions, water protection, resource conservation, biodiversity preservation, and reduction of toxic substances. They created a series of stories and videos from innovative businesses, organizations, communities, and farms in rural and small town Saskatchewan that are making changes that are good for the climate and good for their bottom line. They analyzed our data and found that because of the environmental choices we've made, we’ve reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 125 tonnes annually!
Congratulations to the others who SEC also selected for their low-carbon project: Axten Farms of Minton, McCreary Land and Livestock of Bladworth, Nipawin Bible College and the Northern Village of Green Lake.
Check out our case study and all of the low carbon stories.
Read more about our full environmental commitment.
One of the best things you could possibly do for your dog and your family is to get professional dog training. A dog having good manners is important for everyone, but it’s particularly important when you live in the city. Ideally, your dog should be able to demonstrate the 12 commands of the Canine Good Neighbour program. If they can, you can be confident that your dog is comfortable at home, in public places and in the presence of other dogs.
We often get asked to recommend trainers. If I was searching for a trainer, I would need to know that my trainer used only humane methods (positive reinforcement/rewards), not aversive techniques (choke or pinch collars, shocks, scruffing, etc.) The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has a position statement that explains the various training approaches.
We have tied a number of trainers with our own dogs over the years and not all trainers meet our family’s needs. Yes, they can get a dog to do stuff, but their techniques can also damage the relationship between the owner and their dog. You can easily train your dog to "comply" because they are scared, or instead you can train your dog to think and want to please you because you are everything good in their world. In one of our previous posts, we describe some of our best and worst experiences.
BC SPCA commissioned a science review of training methods. A webinar about their findings is available on YouTube.
This is what you should do when interviewing potential dog trainers:
Are they Certified by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers or another credible professional accreditation body? (Just because they are not certified doesn’t mean they are not good. They just may not have gone through the rigour of exams. But if they have the CPDT, they are more likely to be verified as competent.)
What their training philosophy?
Do they abide by the Joint Standards of Practice for professional behavior consultants and trainers, which was developed by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)?
Can you observe them in a class setting or with your dog to ensure that you are comfortable with their approach?
And, if you are ever uncomfortable with a training technique that a trainer advises, don't do it. Stop and leave. Watch points are trainers who lose their cool, yell or be at all aggressive with dogs. That is better than having your dog lose faith in you.