Anonymous asked: how did you teach Buddha to growl on command? That could be incredibly useful for me to protect me against certain /bad/ and threatening people in my life.
Actually, it was pretty much a lot of luck and patience! The first time he did it was for attention, as a prelude to whining. I started asking him to growl when I had a delicious bit of beef or bacon in front of him but would discourage any barking or whining, all he was left with was growling to show his frustration with me! After the first 10 or so times in a row he caught on pretty quickly! I think the key is just rewarding them as soon as they make a growl-y noise.
Also, I always use hand signals in conjunction with commands and keeping that very constant helps a lot (now I can show the hand motion, which is me holding a fist to my chest, without asking him out loud to growl and he will still do it).
I wish I had better advice but the key for him was just recognizing the behavior the moment he did it, and eventually he caught on!
Good luck! And if you have big bully breed / pitbull please use this behavior responsibly! I only show people he can do it once they’ve met him and seen how much of a sweetheart he is.
Anonymous asked: I assume you have read up a lot about South Africa but PLEASE STAY SAFE! AND KEEP BUDDHA SAFE! I recently read an article that there is an extremely bad rape problem in South Africa. I assume you are much, MUCH more knowledgeable about where, and where to avoid and such.. But please be safe. I am scared for you!!!
Heh thanks for the love anon but there are a few things I’d like to address for other concerned followers!
Yes, south africa has the highest incidence of reported rape in the world. No, I am not letting that stop me from going there and exploring an amazing place that has a deep history of conflict, struggle, violence and a very sensitive relationship to the notion of power.
Some background about me: the first time I traveled abroad alone I was 15. I flew to Chile by myself. Since then I have been all over the world. I am extremely confident in my ability to read situations, and where to use appropriate amounts of caution. I am not saying that nothing will happen, but I feel prepared to the best of anyone’s ability to prevent the preventable, and I am certainly not going to let hypothetical danger keep me from certain wonder. Also, I lived in Miami for the last 4 years and never once experienced anything I could not handle.
Secondly, I am a microbiologist. I work with infectious diseases. My best friend who is coming and living with me in August is en route to becoming a midwife. Both of us are going to South Africa because we know, intimately, the dangers. I am hoping to work in conjunction with UCape Town on infectious diseases across the continent and my friend is going to be helping to change the horrible maternal health care policies and practices there. Both of us will be working in close contact with Hiv/AIDS in all likelihood. Both of us will be working to educate (through seminars at local schools/by invitation to various womens centers, etc) the public on sex, safety and infectious disease. If anyone is aware of the most prolific problems in South Africa, it’s us.
As for Buddha, I am more concerned about keeping him protected obviously since he cannot think for himself, but I had the same worry in Miami where pits and pit mixes are often stolen for fighting purposes. However, I guard him with my life wherever I go, and I take every precaution. Also, he knows how to growl on command :)
A little note for everyone out there looking to travel to new and exciting places: don’t let statistics and fear stop you, just be appropriate for the situation.
Any questions about travel (especially to the third world as a solo female) are excellent and always welcome! Before I got Buddha, this blog was supposed to be travel photography haha. Also, I’m happy (always) to talk about infectious disease, microbiology, biology in general!
Thanks for the love anon! And for bringing up a great talking point on South Africa, one that I’m certainly not shying away from!
-Rh and Buddha
Ok everybody, it’s official! I just got all the blood test results back and Buddha is negative for everything, which means we are getting our health certificate for importation on May 27th and he flies to Cape Town, South Africa June 3rd! Travel dog is ready to travel! This is him lording over our bags on our recent trip out to Rhode Island. I am beyond excited! And SUPER nervous! But I’m flying May 31st so luckily I won’t be around to spread my nerves for his travel date. LET’S GO TO AFRICA!