Skip to main content


latest post

what is your passion?

Someone asked me what my passion is.  I realised that I had thought I knew, but may have been incorrect.  My passion - I used to say - Animal Behaviour!
The lesson - at some point I had identified with the passion rather than be in awe of it.

Years back I realised that my life force is driven by the concept of 'wonderment'.  A sense of awe and wonder about the mysteries of animal behaviour is where my labelled passion was identified.

On a fabulous run on Durban's ocean promenade, followed by a dip in the amazing Indian Ocean, I realised that 'wonderment' - and experiencing this sensation is in fact my passion.  This is not limited to Animal Behaviour.  Feeling the capacity of what a body can do, and the sensation of the cool ocean after a sweaty run is part of that wonderment.  Noticing a bird on the wing or the glint in a mischievous dolphins eye my experience of wonderment.  Watching fast moving clouds or grass growing through a tar road - that is amazing wonderm…
Recent posts

Playing for 2019

What is your word for 2019.

Someone asked me this question.  I slept on it (through the fire works which I judged with vehemence), while I considered my children's safety at their New Year parties (and worried), while I worked to ensure work animals were okay (with a stern sense of responsibility).  Very serious thoughts and way of being this is.  I heard that what you find yourself doing on day one of the year is a very clear indication of what you will spend your year doing.  I am at work...

But my work is great.  I work with animals  I am surrounded by people who care as much as I do about the planet and animals.  The only but on this is - will I work with a light or heavy heart.

So what is my word?


I listened to a pod cast recently by Dr Jordan Peterson.  He speaks of how we fight for rights, but few take responsibility.  This resonates with me because taking responsibility - means owning my story consciously.  Knowing when I am judging, worrying or working, and bringin…

Is Choice the real deal?

Some fellow animal trainers and I presented on this concept at an international animal behaviour conference a few years back. The paper was met with appreciation. The term “Choice and control” has gained a life of its own. In 2018 October, Dr Susta and I presented once more on a similar topic, and the topic was met with some scepticism.Initially I was perplexed.I wondered why anyone would disagree about providing animals with choice.I have read more on the topic, and now find that there is potentially good reason for the debate.So, I need to clear up what I believe choice to be all about.
The goal always is to provide us with an opportunity to be ethical in relationship – not only with animals, but with people too.So, here goes… What does choice mean?Dictionaries elaborate similarly Merriam Webster defines it as “…the power or right to choose” This is the definition that Dr Susta and I have been focussing upon in our presentations.Basically if there is no choice, the animal or person is fo…

What is really going on?

Click treat.  Click treat.  Click treat.  The theory tells us that this is secondary and then primary reinforcement.  Is this the whole story? There is always more going on, and if we pay attention - when we hit a snag - what we know will assist us to troubleshoot - because we will be aware of what we are up to and what our animal souls may be experiencing.

In every interaction we have with the world, we are experiencing many things, both intrinsically and extrinsically.  Some days we are motivated to go for that run just for the joy of movement...  Intrinsic.  Other days it is so we can get away from the office or a troublesome argument... Extrinsic.  Then there are the days where we run so that we can get fit...  Extrinsic.  We always love the feeling after the run - when the endorphins sing through our system, or in my favourite case - when I jump into the ocean to cool down - Extrinsic(the feel of the ocean as a reward for the run) and Intrinsic(the sing of the endo…

Right or Wrong is the all eternal big ass Cosmic Joke

We spend our lives justifying our actions.  We create wars and crusades in the name of right.   Being ‘right’ serves to increase our sense of what we believe to be true – BUT this justified and defended truth is an illusion.Defending our positions or justifying our actions, as the philosophers of old will tell you - creates resistance to those very positions.What does this have to do with animals – when you force an issue, you teach nothing – you only create a reactive animal who will submit or fight.  There is no respect and trust in either of those states of mind.Justification and defence puts us in the clouds.  Moves us away from the fundamental is-ness which is what we should be focussing upon.  The is-ness is the information that we can look at which will provide us options on what needs doing.  When we look at and respond to the is-ness, we are choosing to take responsibility.  The cloudy look and feel of our lives is exactly that.  Blurred and confused.  The goal – conscious ac…

Quality of Attention

When we focus with intent and without expectation we are focussing with love.
In these moments we receive true reflection from animals or people.
This is another perspective of information we already know. What we focus on expands....

The highlight here, however, is that the quality of focus or attention we afford another can punish or reinforce behaviour. 

I returned from a three week trip away to say hi to Tonic, Gandalph and Mashatu. Three horse lawn mowers. I stroked Tonic’s ears remembering how he used to “hate” that. He pushed them into the palm of my hand willing the tickle. I turned to see Gandalph initiating a game of dance by splaying out his front legs. And Mashatu flaring his lip in our game of cheese that has also been played before. I was in good humor and this was what I was experiencing in return. Funny how I needed to be not conscious of this concept to experience it with heart.

My trip away was part of that consciousness generation. I have just returned from interfacing…

Really cool penguin science update from researcher in S America

> Dear PenguinPromises
> The penguins have arrived back home in the colony after their winter
> migration. As usual the males arrived about 10 days before the females. The
> pairs split up during the winter migration because it is impossible for the
> couple to remain together out in the open ocean. The waves make it difficult
> to see very far, and the penguins all look much the same at a distance. The
> first time one of the penguins chased a fish they would loose contact with
> each other, so they don't even try. They just go their separate ways and
> meet up again back at the nest at the end of the winter migration.
> Magellanic penguins remain together for life, and the pairs meet up again
> back at the nest each October, ready for another season of egg-laying and
> chick-rearing. Like any gentleman, the males do not keep the ladies waiting
> for such an important date.
> After reuniting in mid October, the…