Archives for November 2011

Celebrating Another Year Not Shopping At Wal-Mart

no_walmart_logoThe other day I remarked on Facebook that I was marking another holiday season where Wal-Mart and I would not encounter each other. I think that this is my 11th year not shopping at Wal-Mart. Some people asked why I avoided Wal-Mart, and how could I resist the bargains? It’s not a short answer, so I decided to offer it here.

I grew up in Atikokan, Ontario well before Wal-Mart made its way into Canada. More importantly, a lot of what I think about business was informed by the experience of my family in running a local business. We had a building supply and we did some contracting.

We also had a Laundromat where I was tasked with maintaining the machinery. It was mostly Maytag equipment. My folks sent me off to Winnipeg one summer to be trained in the repair of said machinery. I guess in some fashion that makes me officially a lonely guy, but that’s another story entirely.

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CBC Radio’s Ideas Podcast: Dogs Themselves, in Three Parts

It’s been almost nine months since we brought Gwen into our household. Our early estimates of her age turned out to be higher than reality. We had initially been told that she was 12-16 months old when in fact she was less than a year. It may not seem like a big difference, but it explained some of her puppy-like behavior.

peace-love-dogs-logoIn July we sought out a trainer to work with Gwen and ourselves. Stella eventually settled upon Stephanie Bennett at Peace Love Dogs, a new facility that was in process of opening in the Spring Branch area of West Houston. Stephanie came to the house for an initial session, then had two further two-hour sessions working with us and Gwen.

In the month or more that it took to find and coordinate the training we had actually worked through many of the issues that we had with Gwen. As she was maturing she was better able to focus and stay on task.

When we went through the formal training we found, much as we expected, that Gwen’s a smart and able little Labrador. Her only issue is that she’s young and full of energy. Stephanie had her handling all the basic obedience work in just one session.

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