Episode #1 Whats a Canine Kumu?

Episode #1 Whats a Canine Kumu?

In Hawaii "kumu" means 'the source'. As in the source of life, the source of knowledge that enables you to learn and grow.  Many of us consider our parents and school instructors as our kumu, as we should, but have you ever considered your dog as your kumu? I know we all love our dogs and most of us teach our dogs manners like sit, down, etc. but what has your dog taught you? What have you learned from your dog?

In the dog training world you often hear the words. "its the most difficult dogs that teach you the most". I always kinda waved that away as just one of those things trainers like to say. Whatever, I have had dogs since I was two...I know dogs.Small girl holding a dog on leash

But then many, many, many years after my being two years old a husky puppy came into my life. (more on how that happened in another post). Now when Pono, the piebald husky, came to live with us I was, like I said a very good many, many years past two, and I hadn't had a PUPPY for a lot of those years...It was, to say the least, way more than I was prepared to cope with at that time in my life. Pono was full of the joyful, boundless, toothy, clawing, playful energy that is a husky puppy. In the first few months my arms and legs looked like I was being attacked by a poltergeist every day. I knew I had to do something before I became anemic from the blood loss.

I admit there were times when I thought we had made a mistake...Pono could bite through a harness in 30 seconds or less, a doggy car seat belt took him 15 seconds. But I was in love with him...being a husky puppy he was so darn adorable while biting through harnesses and arms. 

So I started my search...no my quest, for knowledge. I knew two things for sure at that point; One, everything I wanted for with this puppy was going to be positive, no harsh methods! And two,whatever I thought I knew from having dogs since the age of two wasn't working.

I started looking for a new way. Looking for a new way means that you must set aside or give up the old way. Why is that so hard for people? Of course Google and Facebook were my first stops...I found Zac George..he was ok...but I needed more...I needed to find how to connect with Pono, really understand him and connect to his little doggy mind. Then I happen to see a video from Susan Garrett. (note, I do NOT get paid to endorse her, in fact I doubt she will every see this blog) What she was saying rang so true, She was stating her values and asking that you only take her classes if your values align with hers. And her dogs were SO impressive! I could see she had a connection way beyond what I ever had with a dog. So I signed up for her Recallers program. It was so much fun...and it worked! And it saved Pono's life in a very literal way. (more on that in a later post).

The more I learned from Susan and the Recallers community the more I wanted to learn...And then I found Grisha Stewart. Her loose leash walking program forever changed how I walk Pono, (who no longer eats harnesses).

But still I wanted to learn more.. Ok, I may be ever so slightly obsessed with dog training...So I earned my Dog Trainer Comprehensive certificate from the Karen Pryor Academy.

I still don't consider myself a 'dog trainer' so this blog is going to be about my adventures in walking the dogs in my life and what I have learned from them.

So here I am writing my first ever blog about a subject I love. Dogs, and what they have taught me. And all because my 'difficult dog' (who is really not 'difficult' at all) needed me to open my mind and learn in order for us to have a better life together. 

And don't we all want our canine kumu to give us that?




Share this post...

Next post


Leave a comment