well , one week down , eleven more to go . . .
i'm down here in santa rosa taking the 3 month " immersion course " at the michael ellis school for dog trainers ( google it ) , and aside from all the shit i'm learning about training dogs and people , i'm learning some other stuff too .
first of all , there are too many rats in this box , and i don't mean that as disparaging to the rats ( people ) themselves at all . it's just that every where you go , at pretty much any time , there are people . having lived in whistler for the majority of my life where you can go be alone pretty easily at any time , the fact that there are 10 times more people in an area half the size of BC just means there is less space between people .
the water situation is real . the school is in the outskirts of town , like say abbotsford is to vancouver ( but only 3 miles from downtown ) so it is primarily agricultural land . i don't know how anything grows ! everything is brown , the ground is rock hard and cracked open dry like i've never seen before . we are on a well here , and every morning when i turn the tap on ( i'm first up in the morning ) , there is a 5 second delay before any water comes out . it just brings a stark reality to mind that one day water might not come out at all .
there is a creek nearby that has some stagnant water at one end of it . i can't even figure where that water would / could have come from in the first place as the hills are miles away and there sure don't have any snow on them , and probably never do . there is evidence of high water way above the creek bed , but it must have been a hell of an event for it to have placed debris where i'm seeing it now . . . i wonder when the last time they had enough water to do that ?
land access issues . growing up in BC you never even think about where you can't go . . . you just go . if you want to bushwhack or build trail , you find a spot that someone hasn't been , and have at 'er . down here , every patch is spoken for , and the ones that aren't are so " protected " , that yer looking at jail time if you think of doing something on it .
people and cultures . there are folks down here i've never seen before , specifically spanish speaking who i presume are of mexican descent . for a total white boy from a total whitebread upbringing , growing up in whistler , some of these folk can look pretty intimidating , but i've learned that ain't the case . i've got my 'cross / commuter bike down here with me and have been doing some exploratory rides around on the bike routes . most of these folks are friendly and freely offer advice and directions when asked . the novelty of having a dog in a trailer behind helps to break the ice . . .
i do have a mountain bike with me as well , but haven't had time to check anything out yet . the schooling is pretty intense and when you are not in class ( 10 - 5 , mon - fri ) i am working with the dog practicing what i've learned .
the ocean is not far away , about 25 minutes to bodega bay and for me , the novelty of going to the beach and wiggle my toes in the sand outweighs the appeal of riding in this heat .
will post updates . . .
ps . if you want to do some training with your dog , i'll be opening my own school when i get back . it will be primarily positive , reward based training and while i do work with purely " pet " owners , my main area of interest is people who want to actually do things with their dogs . . . like ride bikes !