Welcome to Dawson’s Corner

Observations from the Dog Side

Dawson Huntley, CEO of the Abolish the Crate FederationPeople say they wonder what their dogs are up to while they’re away and I’m no different. Granted, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it but just the other day I came across some information that surprised me.

Many of you know I train my dogs to compete in agility. Grady has been competing for a few years now and Dawson is continuing to learn stuff so he can eventually compete. Both of them love training and have a good work ethic. And both of them hate to miss out on any fun that the other one might be having. Dawson, in particular, really hates to miss anything.

How do I know this? Because there was a long, long, long period of time when Dawson would bark in his crate while I trained Grady (or some other dog). And not just your average, run-of-the-mill barking. Oh no. What good would that do? Dawson’s bark is L-O-U-D loud with a pitch that is as irritating as nails on a chalkboard. Insistent and impossible to ignore, Dawson’s bark could make a grown man cry. For the longest time nothing could silence him although I am pleased to report that lately he has been very good in his crate. Perhaps Dawson has accepted his fate, I thought.

I was wrong.

Apparently, Dawson has started a movement. It’s called Abolish the Crate Federation and it is very popular among our canine companions.

I knew Dawson wasn’t thrilled about being crated during agility training but I really had no idea how strongly he felt about it. I found organizational documents, personal correspondence, fund raising ideas, minutes from board meetings, and so forth. Since Dawson has such strong opinions, I’ve decided to give him his own blog to express himself.

Welcome to, “Dawson’s Corner, observations from the dog-side.”

Dawson’s Corner

Biscuit Love

Dear Friends, Family, Fans and Abolish the Crate Federation Members,

I confess I don’t pay much attention to the holidays, but Grady does, and nothing bugs him more than all the attention that Valentine’s Day receives. Rather than try to explain Grady’s position, I thought I’d interview him and share the transcript with you. So, here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth:

Dawson: “Hey Grady, now that your nap is over, can we discuss your feelings about Valentine’s Day?”

Grady: “What’s to discuss? I find it rather ludicrous that just one day of the year should be devoted to expressing love. Love should be expressed everyday, period. And, Valentine’s Day unfairly steals the focus from other significant days in February.”

Dawson: “You mean President’s Day?”

Grady: “President’s Day?! No! I’m referring to three very important but often overlooked days.”

Dawson: “Which are?”

Grady: “I thought you’d never ask. February 20th is Love Your Pet Day and, although pets tend to get lots of love throughout the year, I’m hopeful that treat consumption will spike that day. After all, nothing says love like a tasty treat.”

Dawson: “Agreed. What are the other two?”

Grady: “You’ll like this one, Dawson. It’s National Walking the Dog Day scheduled for February 22nd. I know the walk won’t last as long as you would like it to

Dawson: “They never do.”

Grady: “But at least some activity is on the books, so to speak.”

Dawson: “I wish they had a National Run Like the Wind With Your Dog Day.”

Grady: “Not going to happen. Too many humans are accident prone.”

Dawson: “Darn.”

Grady: “A topic for another day. Now, last but certainly not least, is the third one which brings me so much happiness that I can hardly sleep the night before. It is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day! This year it is on February 23rd, a Tuesday!! Everyone should mark their calendar!! No one should miss it!!! It’s the best…”

Dawson: “Grady”

Grady: “…day ever!!!! Dogs everywhere will rejoice!!!!! Dog biscuits are fabulous…”

Dawson: “Grady!”

Grady: “…and I would like to eat 10, maybe 20!!!!!!”

Dawson: “GRADY!!! Get a hold of yourself!”

Grady: “I just love dog biscuits soooo much!”

Dawson: “I know you do. Quick question. Do you love dog biscuits more than Mom?”

Grady: “Certainly not. I love Mom more than anything in the whole, wide world.”

Dawson: “Me, too. Perhaps we should get her something?”

Grady: “Like a Valentine?”

Dawson: “Well, we can’t give her a dog biscuit.”

Grady: “Poor Mom.”

There you have it. Chapter and verse.

Sincerely,

Dawson Earnest Huntley
President & CEO
Abolish the Crate Federation

P.S. Grady and I wish all our readers a wonderful Love Your Pet Day, good weather for National Walking the Dog Day, a bountiful International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, and a Happy Valentine’s Day!

New Year! Love You!

New Year! Love You!

Dear Friends, Family, Fans and Abolish the Crate Federation Members,

Welcome 2021!

It has been brought to our attention that many humans feel that the start of a new year should bring about changes, referred to as New Year’s resolutions. “New Year, New You,” seems to be the mantra. Grady and I must confess, we find this perplexing. We love our human and wouldn’t dream of asking her to change (although Grady is quick to point out that he wouldn’t argue with an increase in treat allotment!).

We wondered, are we alone in our happiness with our human? Do our fellow canines feel the same way about their human like Grady and I do? We decided to investigate.

I came up with the idea to conduct a survey among the Abolish the Crate Federation Members.

The survey consisted of two questions, with a yes or no response:

1. Do you love your human just the way they are?
2. Do you find the treat distribution schedule at your home adequate?

(Grady insisted on adding this question. No further explanation needed.)

The response to our survey was overwhelming! A total of 1,080.5 canines participated (the .5 is a young puppy who cast a vote even though not a member – her parents are – but we didn’t have the heart to exclude her so this was our compromise). The results were that 100% of the canines surveyed answered YES to question #1. Question #2 is still being analyzed and results will be shared at a later date.

Grady is busy crunching those numbers as I write this.

Therefore, based on our survey, we find that it isn’t necessary for humans to change or have New Year’s resolutions. They can stay just the way they are and be loved all the same. Consequently, Grady suggested a different mantra for 2021. “New Year! Love You!” which has been unanimously endorsed by the Abolish the Crate Federation membership.

We realize some humans will have difficulty with these results and will want to set some New Year’s resolutions.

For those humans, we suggest the following:

1. Increase snuggle time with your dog.
2. Incorporate play time into your daily routine (We suggest tug, fetch, or anything with a tennis ball).
3. Lengthen the time of your walks with your dog.
4. Be overly generous with treats.
5. Daily nap time with your canine friend(s).
6. Take a joyride. (This is a pleasurable but often overlooked adventure. Be sure to stick your head out the window, smell all that you can and enjoy the wind rushing through your hair. It really is a marvelous feeling!).

Grady and I wish to thank every dog that participated in our survey. And, we wish all of you and your humans a fun filled 2021!

There you have it. Chapter and verse.

Dawson Earnest Huntley
President & CEO, Abolish the Crate Federation

Grady’s Letter to Santa

Grady’s Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Now that’s out of the way, I would like to applaud you for the awesome gig you have going – I believe you have it all figured out. Here’s why:

  1. You are loved by children everywhere.
  2. You are around a large amount of toys (including tennis balls!).
  3. When you give away toys, you receive cookies (commonly referred to in dog vernacular as “treats”).

Which leads me to something that I have been wondering about and which I’m hoping you’ll be able to confirm for me. You see, I believe you and I share the same treat philosophy and that your name, Santa, is an acronym for said treat philosophy. Am I correct?

Savory
Appetizing
Never enough
Tantalizing
Awesome

Perhaps this is a secret you’d like to keep, along with how your reindeer fly.

Fair enough.

But there is one thing that completely bewilders me. How on earth can you give away a tennis ball?

Sincerely,
Grady Buford Huntley

P.S. A heads up. Dawson, who flies through the agility course and everything else requiring movement, has always been intrigued by flying reindeer, and, using his formidable knowledge of physics, is very close to cracking the code. The flying reindeers’ time is limited.

Grady, on the origin of “Thanksgiving”

Grady, on the origin of “Thanksgiving”

Dear family, friends, fans and Abolish the Crate Federation Members,

Another year has flown by and the Thanksgiving season will soon be upon us. Every year I like to make a list of all the things I’m thankful for but Grady is a little miffed that his Holiday Feast for Dogs did not take off like he anticipated so I’m not sure he will be sharing his list. I can understand his disappointment. Grady admitted the idea of a Holiday Feast for Dogs was radical but he felt like his proposal was very rational and warranted consideration. I would certainly agree. (You can read his blog post here). I tell you all this so that the following is put into perspective.

After I had completed my list of Top One Hundred Things I’m Thankful For This Year, I asked Grady if he would like to share his thoughts about anything Thanksgiving related since it would be very easy for me to include it in the blog. I’ve found if I’m not specific about the subject matter, Grady will take it as an opportunity to express his views on farting and burping. This causes quite a commotion with the legal and marketing department so I try to cut him off at the pass, so to speak. Sadly, I’m not always successful.

But I digress. Like I said, I asked Grady if he wanted to contribute anything to the Thanksgiving themed blog. He paused before answering and said, “Do we really understand the origin of the word Thanksgiving? Do we?” Well, I know a rhetorical question when I hear one so I remained silent and, sure enough, Grady kept talking.

He pointed out that since the word Thanksgiving is actually two words put together, it is quite possible the word Thanksgiving was translated incorrectly and should be Givingthanks. Grady opined that Givingthanks was the original word for the holiday and, further, it was canine shorthand for requesting treats. “If my dear human is giving me treats then I will give them thanks,” is a cumbersome way to remind one to give their dog a treat so the request got shortened to Givingthanks, explained Grady. He wasn’t clear about how it got changed to Thanksgiving, commenting, “I think it had to do with a coordinated effort from the squirrels but who knows?”

I suspect Grady is testing the waters to see if Givingthanks would further his goal of increasing worldwide daily treat distribution. I’m not sure how well it will work but as his brother it is my duty to support him in any way I can. That said, Grady and I would like to wish each and every one of you a joyful and bountiful Givingthanks holiday!

There you have it. Chapter and verse.
Dawson Earnest Huntley
President & CEO
Abolish the Crate Federation

Reflections From The Birthday Boy

 

April 22, 2018

Dear Friends, Family, Fans and Abolish the Crate Federation Members,

Today I turn 4 years old and I thought I would share my thoughts about my past year.  Grady says it is good to take time to reflect upon one’s past so you can set goals for the upcoming year.  I had never really thought about it but it seems like a reasonable idea so here it goes.  Plus, I’ve never known Grady to give bad advice.

read more…

Treat Philosophy by Grady Buford Huntley

Dear Abolish the Crate Federation Members,

Grady has a message that he would like to share with all of you.  I believe his Treat Philosophy would be helpful so please read carefully.  I am currently working on “focus games” with my Mom which is surprisingly taking up a considerable amount of time but I hope to be blogging again soon.  In the meantime, remember to keep the faith and no barking in the crate.  That only serves to weaken our cause.

Sincerely,
Dawson Earnest Huntley,
President & CEO
Abolish the Crate Federation

Treat Philosophy by Grady Buford Huntley

As many of you know, I am a lover of all things food, particularly treats. You might even call me a K-9 treat foodie, but I wish you wouldn’t.  Here’s why. The dictionary defines a foodie as, “a person with a particular interest in food; a gourmet.”  While I undoubtably fall into that category, my “interest” in food is so much more than the average foodie (which is why I was the first to earn a PhD in Treat Management!). And, “treat foodie” sounds weird so I’d just as soon not have the term associated with my good name, thank you very much.

read more…

Grady and Dawson’s Holiday Stress Busters

Grady and Dawson’s Holiday Stress Busters

Dear Abolish the Crate Federation Members, friends and family,

Santa is coming and for some of our humans, that seems to be a particularly stressful event.  I’m not sure why.  From what I’ve heard about Santa, he seems to be a decent, generous guy who enjoys a cookie or two.  And, I have a difficult time understanding why anyone who has thumbs complains of feeling stressed out.  You can do anything if you have thumbs! What I would do if I had thumbs, even for a day.  I get very excited just thinking about it!
read more…

A Holiday Feast for Dogs

Dear Abolish the Crate Federation Members,

Good news!  Grady has agreed to write the blog for this entry so long as he could address an issue which has recently caught his attention.  I will tell you we have had many conversations about it.  While initially I was unimpressed with Grady’s viewpoint, over time I have come to agree with his position. I caution you that his ideas, if accepted, would dramatically change the status quo.

Please keep an open mind as you read his blog.

Sincerely,

Dawson Earnest Huntley
President & CEO
Abolish the Crate Federation

A Holiday Feast for Dogs

An opinion piece by Grady Buford Huntley

Dear Readers,

Just the other day I overheard my Mom talking with family members about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  From her conversation I surmised that there was a feast involved which involved delicious food and some turkey (On a side note. It was the word turkey that caught my attention.  Honestly, while on the phone Mom could talk forever about much of nothing so I was surprised she said something of interest).  Apparently, this feast only happens once a year and is very much anticipated by all those involved in celebrating Thanksgiving.  It got me thinking, why don’t dogs get holiday food too?  Who among us wouldn’t love a feast? read more…

A Whirlwind Year!

 

April 22, 2017

Dear family, friends, fans, and Abolish the Crate Federation members,

Thank-you very much for all of your birthday wishes! I celebrated with a delicious peanut butter flavored cake, lots of playing with Grady, some Nose Work, cuddling with Mom and several naps (it rained all day so I was stuck inside).  Overall, it was a great day!

read more…

Making the Case for Freestyle Agility

February 23, 2017

Subject: A Case for Freestyle Agility

Dear Abolish the Crate Federation Members,

Today I am deviating from my “Trust Me Series” to present something that is very important to me and which I believe can change the agility world.  Your attention to this is most appreciated.

read more…

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