When I read the latest headline, 'Battle against time' to find quake survivors as Japan lifts tsunami warnings and death toll rises, from the bubble-wrapped, over-sensationalized CNN network, I couldn't help but launch into a tirade that unfortunately, my sweet yet mischievous hound, Grendel, is all too familiar with.
I mean, really, these headlines are always screaming doom and gloom – as if every ounce of life wasn't already engaged in a battle against the tick of that antagonistic clock. Japan has my empathies, really, they do – they're a sturdy people, not like some other countries I could mention, always looking for a handout or a shoulder to cry on. When disasters strike, they rise to the occasion. I guess being on the Ring of Fire expects resilience from you whether you want to deliver it or not.
Survivors need to be found, yes, and time is not your friend in this cruel game of hide and seek with Mother Nature, who, I might add, is indiscriminately harsh – doesn't matter whether you're left or right when a building's coming down on your head. However, it's the sob stories and eye-grabbing headlines I can’t stand, all while real issues often get sidestepped for sensationalism and picture-perfect disaster porn.
But enough of that – on to something with a little humor in this oh-so-grim world.
Enter Diamond K9 dog training. Now you may be wondering what this has to do with Japanese tsunamis, and the answer is very little; however, both are battles against time and patience. Grendel, the four-legged beast that prowls my halls, had some habits that were nothing short of hilarious for visitors and maddening for me. Imagine, if you will, a dog who thinks the postman is an intruder every. single. day. Or who believes any closed door in the house is a personal insult to his freedom to surveil his realm. My personal favorite? His ritualistic, nightly serenades to the moon.
I was at my wit’s end, and not the conservative, keep-it-together sort of wit's end. Not the ‘let’s calmly discuss’ sort – oh no. I was in a full-blown, red-faced conservative outrage. My boy was turning the Beckett household into a no-go zone for peace and decorum.
And now comes the cavalry in the form of Diamond K9’s YouTube videos. These saints in plain clothes aren't afraid to do training right. None of that namby-pamby 'positive-only' fluff. They get real about balanced training methods, and mate, they aren't afraid to tout the benefits of a properly used E-Collar.
Now before you get your animal-rights knickers in a twist, we’re talking about humane, effective training – not electro-shocking your dog into submission like some sort of four-legged Frankenstein's monster. I watched, I learned, and then Grendel and I engaged in what I can only describe as mental warfare – with treats and carefully timed beeps.
Those bad habits? Well, now Grendel struts around like a well-mannered gent, the postman can come and go in peace, the moon remains unchallenged at night, and closed doors remain the mysterious, impenetrable barriers they were meant to be.
Let me tell you, life's gotten a whole lot quieter – and for someone who's outwardly pissed about everything, that’s a very, very good thing. The transformation was nothing short of miraculous, pulling me back from the edges of ‘get-off-my-lawn’ madness. It’s given me more headspace to grumble about real issues instead of canine-induced ones, a change that Grendel and my dwindling circle of associates are most appreciative of, I’m sure.
In the face of disasters both natural and domestic, it's always a battle against time. But frankly, whether it's pulling survivors from rubble or instilling a shred of decorum in your furry friend, with the right approach, even the most cynical of us can pull off a win. Thanks to Diamond K9's practical wisdom, I've managed to wrangle an epic victory on the home front. Japan, though faced with a far grimmer battle, has the strength and resilience to tally their own – and no amount of melodramatic news coverage will change that.