Edie Jarolim

Edie for Wrangling -- with Frankie.jpg

Edie Jarolim earned a Ph.D. in American literature from New York University; edited guidebooks at Frommer's, Rough Guides, and Fodor's; published myriad travel articles and three travel guides; and generally led a respectable but dogless life until 2004, when she began palling around with terriers--specifically, one small terrier mix named Frankie. Cluelessness about dogs in general and Frankie in particular inspired her to begin reading up on all things canine and, eventually, to write AM I BORING MY DOG: And 99 Other Things Every Dog Wishes You Knew (Alpha/Penguin).

She would not have had the nerve to blog in the company of the experts at Dog Star Daily -- many of whom are cited in her book -- if she hadn’t joined the APDT and, at the 2008 conference in Louisville, KY, discovered that Ian and, especially, Kelly Dunbar were not very scary. As a result, she asked Kelly to blurb her book for inclusion in the DogWise catalog and got the following:

"Edie Jarolim's new book... addresses all sorts of questions about choosing and living with a dog. But this is no ordinary dry, informational dog book. The humorous and conversational tone makes this the most palatable dog book in ages. It's an excellent book. I've never seen anything quite like it. "Am I Boring My Dog" is extremely thorough and covers an interesting and unique array of questions that pop up when one gets a dog for the first time. Questions I've never seen addressed anywhere else.

This book is must-have resource for anyone contemplating getting a dog, all first-time dog owners, dog professionals, and every dog-lover in general; really it's a book for anyone who wants to do the very best for their dog."

Edie lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she blogs at http://willmydoghateme.com. She is a frequent contributor to Your Dog, the newsletter of Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and is working on a book on pet travel. She devotes much of the rest of her time to keeping Frankie from becoming bored.

For more information on her freelance writing and editing, see www.ediejarolim.com.

Blog posts by Edie Jarolim

Your Dog's Brain Is a Rain Forest

When I take Frankie, my small terrier mix, out for a walk, he tends to avoid contact with other people and other dogs. “He’s shy,” I tell fellow dog walkers who want to approach, and often add, “But you should see him at home. He’s king of his domain, happy and brave.”

Of course dogs behave differently in different situations. So why do I feel compelled to draw various strangers’ attention to Frankie’s at-home personality? It’s because I, like many others, carry around a notion in my head of the ideal dog -- outgoing (but not too much), friendly, playful, obedient -- and consider any deviation from it embarrassing.

I never really thought much about it until recently, but we also carry around similar notions of the ideal human. "Your Brain is a Rain Forest," a fascinating article by Thomas Armstrong, puts it like this:


The Case for Dog Dressing

‘Tis the season to dress your dog -- much to the dismay of those who revile canine costuming. Such naysayers are wont to quote Fran Lebowitz: “If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater, suggest that he wear a tail.”

 I beg to differ. From a genetic perspective, dog dressing is not only acceptable but desirable.

 I’m not talking about functional clothing -- shoes to protect sensitive paw pads from corrosive salt on snowy streets, say. That’s a given for those who care about their dogs’ health. I’m making the case for dog adornment: kerchiefs, shirts, hats, and even silly costumes, clothing that serves no apparent purpose except to amuse owners.

 Why should that be encouraged?

 Because it’s far better than breeding for neotenized -- a.k.a. cute -- characteristics.


Fair and Balanced - Or Just Unbalanced?

The other day, on a website designed to find expert sources for articles, I saw the following request:

"Working on assigned story for a
 major website that covers pet health and behavior issues....designed to briefly explain both positive reinforcement as well as the owner as alpha type method... to look
 at the pros and cons of each method and to help people thinking
 of hiring a dog trainer know which method is best (for example,
maybe treats and clicker training won’t work with a dog that 
needs serious rehabilitation).

I already have a trainer to
 interview for the positive reinforcement side of the story. I’m
 looking to...interview a trainer who adheres to the owner as alpha method...what techniques they use and why they work. Specifically 
that might include hand as mouth correction, prong or choke
 collars, alpha roll, other leash techniques, or flooding and
 gradual desensitization."

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