My Mother Treats Me Like A Dog: Life Lessons From Mom, The Dog Trainer
Linda S. Spangler
Given the popularity of “how to” dog training programs, as well as the numerous nanny-teach-me-how-to-parent-my-children shows, “My Mother Treats Me Like A Dog”, Life Lessons From Mom The Dog Trainer, is a perfect bridge. In a fresh, thought provoking yet fun way, the author unleashes the similarities she discovered while raising good, socialized dogs and parenting polite, capable, children to adulthood.
Suggested by her older daughter, a new step-mom herself, the idea for the book came out of “what would you do” discussions about how to blend her new family. The response was something as simple as, “how would you approach a puppy that did X”? The light bulb moment came and the idea for the book was born.
With no child rearing experience at the birth of her first daughter, Linda turned for help to her years of dog training experience. As a search and rescue and pet assisted therapy dog trainer and handler, she knew how to train dogs, and applied those skills to teach her daughters lessons in empathy, communication, and commitment among others. Understanding what the dog tells you through behavior and body language is similar to recognizing the needs of a non-verbal child or teenager. With help from the dogs, Linda and her girls survived the challenges of her older daughter's massive facial tumor, an ugly divorce and cross-country move, plus various parenting successes and mistakes along the way.
This book demonstrates that from the beginning with a dog or a child, by showing love, communicating through clear messages and listening patiently to what is being said in return, you build a solid connection. Demonstrating commitment with empathy and caring helps the child and/or the dog recognize they belong to the family. Yes, it is possible to be an effective parent and dog owner, all without a rolled up newspaper!
Linda holds a BA degree in Anthropology from Arizona State University and is an Emergency Preparedness consultant. She is a retired nationally Certified Emergency Manager and a retired Registered Sanitarian. With over twenty years experience in emergency services as a volunteer from emergency medical technician (EMT), search and rescue (SAR) dog handler/trainer, pet assisted therapy dog handler, to volunteer coordinator, she has worked with and managed volunteers during a variety of emergency responses. Among many other wilderness search responses, in 1985 she spearheaded the US volunteer search and rescue dog deployment to the earthquakes in Mexico City where the dg teams are credited with over 20 live finds. In 2005, she was deployed to Baton Rouge, LA, by the Humane Society of the United States to serve on the Logistics Team at the animal care facility during the response to Hurricane Katrina and was on-site for Hurricane Rita. She served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR); and has authored numerous articles for professional journals and publications.
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