Training tips for you

April 15, 2014

I recently spoke to a group of residents in the Independence community about retirement and healthy living, and I was wowed by the community center, which has an indoor pool, game rooms, a gym and a bar with cozy couches next to a fireplace. Resident Dick says, “The amenities … provide the matrix for a pretty active social and activity menu, and the best part is the people who are our neighbors have become wonderful friends.  We have all experienced some degree of dislocation in moving here - from former homes, from jobs, from family and friends - the community provides much support as a surrogate extended family if you want/need that.” So if you are planning to relocate, think beyond choosing a builder and a floor plan. The neighbors I met truly enjoy spending time together, whether playing cards, exercising or talking.

Reader Karen thought maybe I would think she was silly, but she wanted to share her feelings about putting away holiday décor, which I mentioned in January’s column. To thwart the blues, she saves one holiday decoration to place in her bedroom to remind her of the season, and that way she doesn’t feel sad when all the excitement is over. Karen decorates a small tree with snowflakes which are later replaced with colorful Easter eggs. I have this same disease. My husband says the Easter rabbits are propagating. My daughter says I decorate for every season except Groundhog Day. I can’t find a stuffed groundhog.

Thank you Karen for sharing whatever strategy helps lift your spirits. Avoiding the news on television is also helpful. Do you know “The Dog Whisperer” comes on at 7 a.m.? I drink my coffee and watch Gracie eat Ray’s hand for breakfast.

Based on several conversations, it appears that many people have tables without chairs tucked properly underneath as I mentioned in last week’s column. One person who shall remain nameless wrote to me about the enormity of crumbs around her partner’s recliner and wanted to know my solution. Borrow my puppy, please.

In my book, “Dog Training in 10 Minutes” by Carol Lea Benjamin, on page 47 it says: “If your dog scarfs up chicken bones in the street, ‘Leave it’ is the command you need. It’s serious and said with a deep tone of voice. Pardon me, Miss Carol, but what if the dog devours flattened frog legs before I utter my first syllable?  What if we all used a deep voice to train our spouses? <deep voice> Honey, here is the vacuum cleaner. This is a dishrag. It is supposed to be wrung out before use.