Archive for August 12, 2014

Conflict of Interest

Most of my friends know that I deal with several illnesses. I won’t go into all the gory details as I don’t want them to define me. I will say I scream at them, I medicate them, I exercise them, I deny them and I bury them. And somedays they attack me with no mercy. Today has been one of those days. My motto: It is what it is.

The reason that I bring this up (I promise that I am not going to turn this blog into a woe is me blog) is that today I received a packet in the mail from our insurance company. Hubby is retired military and while it has some kinks in it, for the most part it is the best insurance a person can have and I do appreciate it.

Someone, however, needs to work on their customer service. The packet I received was all about disease management and that they are assigning a case worker, a registered nurse, to be my case manager. This person will oversee all care related to the disease. Ok, fine, I can understand that part. A little Big Brotherish but, hey, I can accept it.

What got my goat, tho, was in the letter they advised me to put my wishes into an adanced directive (living will). Now, don’t get me wrong, I already have one. And I won’t go into the details, this is a private thing between myself, my husband and God. My extended family is also aware of what I want so there should be no arguments or ‘what if’ questions.

However. Having the insurance company tell me they have assigned me a case manager to manage my disease and that I should institute an advanced directive is creepy to say the least and conflict of interest to say the most. It made me very uncomfortable.

Experience, Experienced

I absolutely love training dogs. When the dog “gets it” and you see that a behavior has clicked, the dog’s attitude shifts to one of pride, as does their human. And suddenly they are energized and ready to work on the next behavior. For me, this is the defining moment of why I do what I do.

The above is why I continue to learn, to make changes in my approach both to the dog and to his human. They should receive the best education I can provide.

Whether its the simple sit or an approach to a problem behavior that needs to be addressed. Yes, I have experience in dog training for a few years now. For some reason that experience is the item that most future clients focus on.

Believe me, experience is important, but only if you are experienced at doing the best job you can while continuing to improve your methods. Otherwise you may be experienced at doing it wrong and, because it feels safe and comfortable, you continue on that tired old path.

This was brought back to me in a Primitive Birth Control These methods vary from using shots of mercury to securing alligator dung and using it as a diaphragm. Folks were very experienced at using these methods and they taught others to use these methods. This is a point where I have point out that experience was not a plus. This is an extreme example but I think it makes the point. Experience is not always best.

Progressive Reinforcement is constantly learning, reaching for the better method that is based in science not theory. Constantly challenging myself to continue to learn and to balance that learning with practical experience.
Terrier's learning Sit and Place

I am so proud of these dogs and their human. They are working hard to learn new behaviors to replace older, unwanted behaviors.