Paul Clark's Gutter And Sheet Metal


Genetic Perfection

Posted by thegutterdude on October 18, 2008 at 11:14 PM
Long before Cesar Milan hit the airwaves, I met a dog whisperer of another breed.

My customer Amir had been a research scientist for about twenty years, exclusively studying canines. He'd been everywhere from the arctic to the Australian outback and over that time had learned a thing or two about canine behavior.

I can't say I blame him for changing professions. Being cold, hot and thirsty for months and years at a time can wear on a guy. About the only thing to do with that vast amount of knowledge is to impart it to other people (the dogs already know it, after all).

"The first thing you need to know is that it's not your dog". "Your dog is genetically perfect" was his proclamation when I asked him for some pointers to use with my dog Molly-the-Border Collie. Years of genetic programming went into Molly behaving like a dog and it was up to me to speak dog language.

According to Amir, all dogs can be traced back genetically to only seven female wolves from the Siberian steppe.

It's a little hard to believe that the rotten tempered little Shitzu, who bit my leg (and got me cussed out by his owner for having my leg where his mouth was), my girlfriends lovable lab and an Australian Dingo are nearly genetically identical, but there you go...

Stranger things have happened I guess (Just look at all the people who claim to be related to you. Scary huh!?). Aside from Amir's point, it tells me there's a whole lot of human history on this planet that would test our imaginations. Amir's point though, was that the only thing wrong with a dog, is a human (Well, Duh....That's the only thing wrong with most things.). So, like Cesar, he trained humans, pointing out that it was a much more difficult task than traing dogs. For one thing, dogs listen.

Anyway, it's all about using a dogs natural genetic response, to train them.

Now (for something completely different), I am a bit of a History buff (A claim that would cause all of my school teachers to question my true identity.), so I find it interesting that there are periods throughout history where people in different parts of the world or in dis-related fields, make almost simultaneous discoveries of the same thing. Did you know for instance, that a German mathmetician developed the Calculus at nearly the same time as Sir Isaac Newton (which we use today), and that the two were unknown to each other?

Before meeting Amir, I had read a book by Monte Roberts, a horse trainer who had developed a training system on the same basis, through his own observations of horse behavior. Having a great deal of experience with horses from the time I was little, I knew without testing that he was right on the money and had simplifed a process that had for centuries been riddled with false informaition, ego and snobbery.

And at nearly the same time a fellow by the name of David Di Angelo, developed a system for whimpy, unattractive guys to pick up beautiful women also based on his observations of genetic response in female humans. A buddy of mine tried it and it worked so well that he's still sorting out all the trouble it caused him.

I suppose this observation of simultaneous incidents of brilliance may strike a hopeful note, since it shows that --historically speaking-- humans are collectively capable of something other than mass idiocy...not Congress of course, but the rest of humanity... Unfortunately the capability doesn't translate into promise or action often enough to counterbalance the idiocy. However a little is better than nothing, keeps hope alive and make for a future of possibilities.

Anyway, those few days of installing Amir's gutter system was a real eye opener for me. I watched him work his system with his dogs and I walked away from that job with a lot to think about.It also goes to show how you unwittingly can effect someone's life to a marked degree.

A few years after that I ended up adding to my family by adopting two Russian kids in their early teens; a brother and sister.(I found out after the fact, that in most cases, for a list of reasons, Americans who can afford to adopt Russian kids, shouldn't. Especially older ones. As often as not, it turns into a disaster with the kids ending up in foster homes, doped up like a racehorse by a bureaucrat with a degree in psychology and a pressing engagement with her decorator.).My experience wasn't all that bad by comparison, and turned out to be not much different in outcome than many people have with kids of their own. I attribute a large amount of that success to Amir and what I learned from him.

As I had had a while to think about it, it finally occurred to me that humans must certainly be as genetically perfect as dogs, with the added paradox that they are humans, can't leave well enough alone, and so screw things up. So before leaving for Russia, I did a quick review of primate behavior with special attention to what "head apes" do.

When I finally met my kids, I made very sure not to equivocate in my speech, orders or actions and to work the two poles of firmness and affection. I was so certain about how to conduct myself that by the time they had spent an afternoon with me, they were quite comfortable with my being in command, and never questioned it clear through the day they left home.

The year after I got back from Russia, Amir called me out for some additional work. I made sure to tell him the story of how he effected the outcome. He was impressed by my use of his instruction, but still thought I was an idiot for having kids at all. Oh well. some of us rise above our genetic programing less than others, and being human, we all have our own ideas of how to screw things up.

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