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

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…

Trust Me Series: The Importance of a Fast Recall

 

 

February 8, 2017

Dear Abolish the Crate Federation Members,

Today’s topic is considered by many humans to be the gold standard in good dog behavior.  It is, “coming when called” (hereafter referred to as the recall).  Now you may be wondering what the point of a good recall is and I will tell you.  Remember our goal of abolishing the crate?  Getting your human to trust you in as many circumstances as possible is vital toward obtaining our objective.  For reasons I cannot fathom, humans love a fast recall from their dogs.  I believe it is something we should capitalize on especially since it requires virtually no training on our part.

read more…

Squirrel vs. Tennis Ball

 

 

January 20, 2017

Dear Abolish the Crate Federation Members,

Today I have a special treat for you! Not that kind of treat (sorry, poor choice of words).  Grady requested to be a guest blogger and he has chosen a topic that is thought provoking if not controversial.  I’m completely swamped with training this week so Grady’s offer came at a good time.

I hope you enjoy his writing.

Until next week,

Dawson Ernest Huntley
President & CEO
Abolish the Crate Federation

read more…

Trust Me Series: The Art of Tugging

 
Tugging is one of those opportunities to show our person we can be trusted, no matter how excited we get. Almost everyone I know loves to tug but very few humans seem to understand what makes a good tugger.  Today, I’ll cover the basics of tugging and hopefully the word will spread.  Remember, my canine friends, humans do what gets reinforced so be consistent in your response to their behavior.  It is truly the only way change takes place.  Research shows the more positive experiences our person has with us, the less likely they will make us spend time in a crate!

read more…

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