Above: Carl attempts to train a corgi to do circus tricks. The full page is a 9 x 12 inch page in a Fabriano Venezia journal, with just a little bit of the left page showing (unrelated items cropped out when scanned). Pentel Pocket Brush Pen sketch with gouache. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
If you don't know who Carl is please go to the category list in the left-hand column of this blog and click on "Carl." You'll find out soon enough.
If you know who Carl is, well this is what he was up to last month. Always positive he is of course now on to other things.
Don't know about Clicker Training? Well Karen Pryor sort of set the world on fire with this many, many years ago with her book, "Don't Shoot the Dog." I found out about her through search school, where we learned to use clickers to train our dogs to give alerts on cadaver samples.
There are still a lot of clickers around the house, here and there—in drawers, in boxes, in pockets of field jackets I no longer use.
I used to have one always in my pocket. Now they are around because every once in awhile I pick one up and the sharp, snappy sound as the metal pushes back against my finger takes me right back to the field with Dottie—that look in her dark brown eyes telling me that she got that I got that she got it.
That metallic sound is sort of the audio "madeleine" of my life with dogs (that and dog toenails clicking on hardwood floors).
Then I click it again to come back to life as it is now. And get back to work.
(Lighter, happier, grateful for that interspecies connection. With Malamutes you don't really tell them what you want them to do. You have a philosophical and ethical discussion about the task at hand and have to persuade them that your desired outcome is actually worthy of their effort. Once on board they become your staunchest allies, though they are always willing to discuss the nuances and finer points of finessing a result. They are partners who have entered a contractual agreement. They are the best that they can be, and they expect you to live up to your part of the contract and be the best you can be right back.)
Carl, evidently found one of these clickers lying around. Where he found the corgi however remains a mystery; though I think I saw someone two blocks over walking one a couple weeks ago.