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#182608 - 10/24/08 06:49 PM Animal Education Foundation  
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I've wanted to announce this for awhile. I'm not sure if this is the right forum, so please move it if need be. Last June, along with 5 wonderful people, I co-founded a nonprofit that provides science-based training, behavior, education, and enrichment programs for parrot owners, vets, zoos, rehabilitation programs, etc. We are a fledgling group, and excited for our future. We have had a two-part seminar on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) that counted for continuing education credits for veterinary professionals, and we have made a few presentations to area groups on ABA and positive reinforcement training. One of our main objectives is to help companion parrot owners get ahead of problem behaviors to avoid increasing the number of birds being rehomed. Our profits go to support animal conservation efforts and animal welfare organizations. Our website is live, though still undergoing construction. You can read more about us and our qualifications at our website *******.

Some of the new items coming to the webpage will include; bios of the board members, founders, and our board of advisors. We have some incredible people supporting us, and Iím sure youíll recognize some of them. There will also be more information for a symposium we will be hosting next July.

I look forward to hearing feedback from all of you!
Thanks,
JJ

Last edited by Charlie; 10/24/08 11:36 PM. Reason: link removed

The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything.
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#182626 - 10/25/08 12:26 AM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: Mythree2s]  
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JJ, first of all, I am really enjoying and appreciating your contributions here on Mytoos. It is great to have knowledgeable people like yourself. The reason I removed your link is because you are not yet a bona fide 501(c)3 organization. I presume that you will be charging for your services and we do not allow advertising. The 501(c)3 status can change that but you ask for input and I have some.

From your site:

Quote:
The popularity of parrots as domestic companions is rapidly growing, as demonstrated by the increasing number of products and services devoted to psittacines, as well as the unfortunate number of rehoming and rehabilitation programs across the country.


I do not really comprehend how someone with your training can refer to parrots as "domestic companions". Parrots have long lives and most are only a generation or two removed from their wild brethren. Many of their behaviors are hardwired instinct. Do you really consider parrots "domestic" animals?

You acknowledge that there are an "unfortunate number of rehoming and rehabilitation programs across the country". Why do you think this is so? Is it because not enough people have familiarized themselves with Applied Behavioral techniques? You are a valued, contributing member of Mytoos and surely are familiar with our agenda. I guess I'd like to know if you are more concerned about the huge numbers of parrots, they are being euthanized now, or just teaching more people to train them.

I am sincerely not trying to offend you. People with psittacines in their hearts need to have discourse and hash out perceived problems. Here are other concerns along these lines:
  • A member studying under Dr. Susan Friedman and Lee McGuire was admonished for teaching the basics of ABA and positive reinforcement to our membership. This member always suggested that members refer back to the PBAS board and recommended the site heavily. That site is free, this site is free and correct me if I am wrong, ABA has been around since since B.F. Skinner after the turn of the century. I will be interested to see what you will "charge" for rendered services. I realize that your group will be attemping this under tax exept status but it is looking more commercial to me all the time, because money will change hands. Here is the thread I am referring to:

    http://www.mytoos.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=177896&page=1
  • Because of our agenda, I took interest in the presence on your Board of Advisors of Julie Murad of the Gabriel Foundation. This advertised 501(c)3 sanctuary actually endorses breeding, which we believe is the reason for the huge numbers of parrots with no homes or people to care for them. Please see the following thread for their Mission Statement:

    http://www.mytoos.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=180404#Post180404

Your own Mission statement:

Quote:
Mission Statement

Animal Education Foundation (AEF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making a positive difference for companion parrots and other animals. Using the most recent, evidence-based information available, AEF's mission is to provide education and training resources to caregivers, with particular emphasis on behavior and enrichment solutions, and support to animal welfare, conservation, and research programs. We believe in the power of human commitment to enhance the lives of animals and humans alike, and to preserve diversity of life on the planet.

AEF has applied for 501(c)(3) status as a tax-exempt charitable organization, and status is currently pending IRS approval.


In addition to training, you are dedicated to support of animal welfare, conservation and research. Is there no place for discouraging the unnatural breeding of these chicks, the clipping of wings before fledging, the forced weaning and selling them to the first person with the bucks?

I hope we can discuss these things and I will look at your link again when it has reached 501(c)3 status.



#182671 - 10/25/08 03:32 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: Charlie]  
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Hi Charlie,
Thanks for your thoughts, and be assured, no offense has been taken. I have a really full plate the next few days, but wanted you to know that I saw your reply and appreciate it. I made a change to the "domestic companion" wording. It unfortunately slipped by the proofing. Though in the writer's defense, I believe the intent was household pet rather than domesticated animal. I'll pick the discussion back up in a few days.
JJ


The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything.
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#182890 - 10/27/08 03:38 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: Mythree2s]  
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Originally Posted By: Charlie
JJ, first of all, I am really enjoying and appreciating your contributions here on Mytoos. It is great to have knowledgeable people like yourself. The reason I removed your link is because you are not yet a bona fide 501(c)3 organization. I presume that you will be charging for your services and we do not allow advertising. The 501(c)3 status can change that but you ask for input and I have some.


Thank you, kind words are always reinforcing! I hesitated to post anything until our status came through for this very reason. No problem removing the link. Hopefully the advanced ruling comes through sooner rather than later. Iím told it can take some time.

Originally Posted By: Charlie
You acknowledge that there are an "unfortunate number of rehoming and rehabilitation programs across the country". Why do you think this is so? Is it because not enough people have familiarized themselves with Applied Behavioral techniques? You are a valued, contributing member of Mytoos and surely are familiar with our agenda. I guess I'd like to know if you are more concerned about the huge numbers of parrots, they are being euthanized now, or just teaching more people to train them.


There are many reasons why birds are rehomed, and I do believe that many of those birds are relinquished because of behavioral issues that the owner did not readily know how to deal with. Educating individuals on ABA and positive reinforcement gives them tools to change their lifestyle and interactions with their animal in a positive way. After experiencing first hand (what made me a believer in positive reinforcement training) how these techniques can change what seems to be a near hopeless situation, I am certain that this is one way to help improve the welfare of any animal, not just parrots, in captivity. Rescue, rehomming, and sanctuary organizations play a large role as well, and every one of our founders, including myself, has worked as very active volunteers with a rescue organization. We know that work and respect it and value it. This is why rescue organizations are one of the biggest, if not the biggest (collectively), beneficiaries of our revenue.

Originally Posted By: Charlie
  • A member studying under Dr. Susan Friedman and Lee McGuire was admonished for teaching the basics of ABA and positive reinforcement to our membership. This member always suggested that members refer back to the PBAS board and recommended the site heavily. That site is free, this site is free and correct me if I am wrong, ABA has been around since since B.F. Skinner after the turn of the century. I will be interested to see what you will "charge" for rendered services. I realize that your group will be attemping this under tax exept status but it is looking more commercial to me all the time, because money will change hands. Here is the thread I am referring to:

    http://www.mytoos.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=177896&page=1


I am familiar with the thread. I honestly thought she had gotten Dr. Friedmanís permission before undertaking that task. I really wish she would have commented more as to Dr. Friedmanís and Leeís reasoning. The structure of the PBAS and especially LLP has TAís (thread leaders) who help guide the students through lessons and problems. They spend time behind the scenes before they ever start engaging with one-on-one with individuals, and even then, their posts are discussed and reviewed by others including Dr. Friedman and Lee before they are posted to the group. The course and teaching method that was being utilized in this thread were both designed by Dr. Friedman and Lee, and I really donít have a problem with them wanting to maintain the integrity of the creation. One of their TAís initially attempted to do a similar thing as what happened and she was quickly overwhelmed. The support and environment that is setup for PBAS and LLP help to prevent that from occurring.

There will be a charge for services. From experience we have learned that people are more likely to be actively engaged when they have put something into it. People tend to place less value on services when they are free; regardless of the validity of that assumption. The PBAS list is free, but LLP requires a donation to a named charity Ė The World Parrot Trust for the most recent class. Iím sure you aware that nonprofit can earn a profit and charge fees. Because our organization has very little overhead, the majority of our profit will go to support animal conservation and animal welfare organizations.

Originally Posted By: Charlie
  • Because of our agenda, I took interest in the presence on your Board of Advisors of Julie Murad of the Gabriel Foundation. This advertised 501(c)3 sanctuary actually endorses breeding, which we believe is the reason for the huge numbers of parrots with no homes or people to care for them. Please see the following thread for their Mission Statement:

    http://www.mytoos.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=180404#Post180404

  • We have Julie to help us in reaching welfare organizations, where she has had years of experience working with these groups.

    Originally Posted By: Charlie
    In addition to training, you are dedicated to support of animal welfare, conservation and research. Is there no place for discouraging the unnatural breeding of these chicks, the clipping of wings before fledging, the forced weaning and selling them to the first person with the bucks?


    Absolutely! But remember that our reach goes beyond the companion parrot community. I donít think something so specific belongs in our mission statement. We are working on position statements, some in conjunction with other organizations. It is more appropriate for these issues to be addressed in individual position statements where we can back up those statements with supporting evidence.

    Iím glad you asked these questions and I hope Iíve addressed your concerns. If anything I wrote appears argumentative, that is not the intent. I realize that sometimes the ďtoneĒ of my writing comes across terse. I took the spirit of your post to be well-intentioned and mean only to respond in kind.


    The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything.
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    #182899 - 10/27/08 04:14 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: Mythree2s]  
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    My Three Toos:

    We were told to go out and spread the word regarding ABA. That's what I was doing. I didn't sign on to have my behaviour controlled. The fact that this board allowed me to do that speaks volumes for the board. I have heard from other Threadleader's that trying to teach ABA on other bird lists is impossible because nobody wants to hear what they have to say. I got an e-mail from Susan and Lee that sent me to the Emergency Room with chest pain. It was never about teaching ABA, it was about my participation in the thread about Julie Murad and the 31 macaws. No matter how hard you look, you are never going to find any positive reinforcement from people who are trying to control your behaviour.

    Very soon I will be sharing that e-mail with members of this board and let's see if anyone can find anything in it that even hints at positive reinforcement.

    I can take any book on positive reinforcement and use it to teach the members here. In fact, I can eliminate the psychology terminology so that members can actually understand what I'm talking about.

    When someone teaches you something, that information becomes yours. It is not theirs to control. I don't need permission to do anything. I have one rule and that is "unless you are paying my bills, I don't really care what you think". Whenever someone tries to control another human being's behaviour, you can bet they don't have their best interests at heart. They have their own agenda. I am anti-breeding and have been for a very long time. I realize that we are never going to stop it as was pointed out to me in the e-mail but we are never going to stop pedophiles, or rape, or murder or war but does that mean we shouldn't try. Another huge aversive for me is rescue/breeders or rescues in bed with breeders. I always say if you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

    Sitting in an emergency room with electrodes taped to your chest because of an e-mail that someone you admired and respected sent you, puts a whole new perspective on things.

    LLP and Susan Friedman are not worth dying for.

    Bev

    Last edited by ZazuSally; 10/27/08 04:31 PM.

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    #182900 - 10/27/08 04:31 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: ZazuSally]  
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    Hi Bev,
    I'm sorry, I missed the post concerning your health. I just saw it now, and I'm glad to see that your recovering. Obviously, I have no knowledge of what type of contact you have had with either Susan or Lee; except what you have written in your FA thread. You have written some great articles and given great advice. I'm glad that you will continue to help educate members of this board, and the companion community at large.
    JJ


    The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything.
    Theodore Roosevelt
    #182905 - 10/27/08 05:16 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: Mythree2s]  
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    Very well said, JJ. Thank you for your understanding. As you can see, as much as I've tried to step back from the emotional aspect of that e-mail, I cannot. The hurt was too bad especially when all I was trying to do was help people who had birds with problem behaviours and to help people understand ABA so they could solve those problems themselves. I was very proud of the members who were involved in that post. I thought they did very well and hope to see them back when I continue what I started.

    Like Charlie said "B.F. Skinner" is the pioneer of ABA.

    Bev

    PS: Another board is interested in me teaching ABA as well.


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    #182914 - 10/27/08 06:03 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: ZazuSally]  
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    ABA is a very useful tool. It's used extensively with children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and other communication/processing disorders. It is the basis of almost all observation based research/study (ie: what happens when I do this? what happened before this behaviour showed?) although often the lingo is different.

    ABA is not owned. Bev, you did the bird community a huge service by offering your knowledge. I was sorry to see it go. I was also sorry to see that some believe that politics are more important than the health and well being of their birds.

    That kind of territoriality, and controlling behaviour have no place in the world of adults. I would expect it from children and perhaps some teens. However, as adults we have the ability to prioritize our reactions to things. It looks like the priority was not bird welfare. For that I've lost a lot of respect for those playing that game.

    They aren't paying your bills and you probably wouldn't want them to knowing what you know about them now.

    That gives you an awful lot of freedom.


    Wanna Bill? Wanna Bill?
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    Dontcha wanna Bill? Dontcha wanna good boy?
    #182921 - 10/27/08 07:04 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: Mythree2s]  
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    No, nothing is argumentative. I personally think "position statements" will only muddy your objective, to help people deal successfully with their animals. That goes back to domesticated animals as opposed to undomesticated or essentially wild animals. To be truthful here, I am forever more interested in the large Indonesian cockatoos but realize that avians are so far removed from other "pets". They do not make good pets and the larger ones can be outright dangerous. This will make your objective more difficult as you have a "particular interest in parrots".

    Bev brought up a good point about the course nomenclature as it now exists. Most people are going to be turned off and lose interest in the complex definitions and naming protocol.

    As far as paying, there is no problem with that, the user will decide to pay, or not. Am I correct in assuming that some active members of the organization will make a living on the endeavor? That excess revenues will be used to help conservation and research? If this is the case, any money used to put breeding in a bad light might not be beneficial to you over time. No a criticism, just a fact. Our objective is just so different. In the six years I have been involved with Mytoos, I cannot begin to understand what we are doing with these birds. Rescues and sanctuaries are actually running over and several vets have reported that parrot euthanasia is becoming more common every day. Rescues with the best of intentions are going under for lack of resources and these birds are just left floundering. But, that's the way I see it!

    Once you reach your 501(c)3 status, you are welcome to post your link because we need to reach as many people as possible. Some fraction of these birds deserve some semblance of a decent life. Applied Behavior Analysis is not new or proprietary. I took the Dale Carnegie courses and was even an intern for a short period. Many corporations are using these programs. My employer is involved with "Colors", a system to allow workplace personality categories to be analyzed and displayed so that more harmonious and safe working practices can take place, ABA. If qualified individuals want to help others here on Mytoos, I have no problem with that. I want to help some birds.

    These are all just my thoughts and ideas. I sure want to think that you are a Mytoos member because you respect our philosophy that we don't need more captive parrots, we have way too many now! Good luck.


    #182924 - 10/27/08 07:26 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: spinnyspoo]  
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    Quote:
    Like Charlie said "B.F. Skinner" is the pioneer of ABA.

    Quote:
    When someone teaches you something, that information becomes yours. It is not theirs to control. I don't need permission to do anything.

    Who taught them? You go girl.

    Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    US essayist & poet (1803 - 1882)

    Quote:
    Whenever someone tries to control another human being's behavior, you can bet they don't have their best interests at heart. They have their own agenda.


    I wonder If they've ever read Animal Farm. smile

    All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.
    -- George Orwell, "Animal Farm"


    John
    Another 24 hours down. Only a lifetime to go. God speed! ~AngiesArk~ laugh
    #182925 - 10/27/08 07:39 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: ZazuSally]  
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    Originally Posted By: ZazuSally

    I can take any book on positive reinforcement and use it to teach the members here. In fact, I can eliminate the psychology terminology so that members can actually understand what I'm talking about.


    Let's ROCK 'N ROLL!!!


    Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

    Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress
    #182927 - 10/27/08 08:22 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: TiKa's Dad]  
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    Like any new organization, Iím sure weíll feel growing pains. Mission statements, bylaws, etc. are living documents and should, and will, be revisited by the board annually, at a minimum. I donít disagree with what you say about parrots, particularly large cockatoos, as pets. But, owners who are dedicated to improving their knowledge and abilities can make the situation better for these animals. I have seen that to be true of members of this board.

    Originally Posted By: Charlie
    Am I correct in assuming that some active members of the organization will make a living on the endeavor? That excess revenues will be used to help conservation and research?

    This is an all volunteer organization. Nobody will be earning income. Excess revenues will go to conservation and animal welfare organizations (rescues), but not research. Some monies will be held back to assist in emergency situations like natural disaster recovery. Allocation will be determined by the board and animal welfare organizations will only get fund through grants.

    Originally Posted By: Charlie
    I sure want to think that you are a Mytoos member because you respect our philosophy that we don't need more captive parrots, we have way too many now! Good luck.

    Rest assured that I do respect the philosophies of Mytoos. I donít advocate any increase in the population of companion parrots. Iíd be delighted if I could focus my efforts on raptor rescue and rehabilitation efforts, because their was no longer the need for parrots.

    Thanks for your input and support. I suspect that you have my personal email address via my registration with Mytoos. You are always welcome to contact me there, too.


    The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything.
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    #182956 - 10/28/08 02:28 AM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: Mythree2s]  
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    I wonder if Dr. Friedman got Skinner's permission? Shame on her!


    Donna
    Free as a bird???
    #183009 - 10/28/08 05:28 AM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: ZazuSally]  
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    Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
    My Three Toos:

    I can take any book on positive reinforcement and use it to teach the members here. In fact, I can eliminate the psychology terminology so that members can actually understand what I'm talking about.



    This part is huge and very important: the technical babble can be a turn off to many, as I believe it makes it more difficult for some to understand the principles involved. If you want to reach more people, you have to be able to speak their language. In essence, keeping to the technical terminology, is like teaching in Spanish to an english-speaking audience, and expecting them to learn Spanish. While it would be nice for everyone to be bilingual, not everyone has the time, or the intellectual faculty to accomplish this.

    #183012 - 10/28/08 06:16 AM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: alexz]  
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    Quote:
    I can take any book on positive reinforcement and use it to teach the members here. In fact, I can eliminate the psychology terminology so that members can actually understand what I'm talking about.


    *happy dance* I found it all very difficult to understand and apply. I'm surprised anyone could understand without hands on class work, unless they already had a good foundation on the subject.


    entiendo.etsy.com
    #183045 - 10/28/08 03:10 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: charlieandme]  
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    You would be amazed at how many people I've heard this from. When someone comes to you with a screaming or biting bird, they don't care about learning the correct terminology. They are usually stressed to the max with the behaviour and need help now. Many times the bird will end up getting dumped. I say help them with that problem now and then teach them about ABA so they can solve any future problem behaviours and I can't stress enough that it is really, really important because behaviour changes all the time.

    What bothers me the most is that the problem behaviour is blamed on the bird. Wrong, wrong, wrong but we'll get back to that. LOL

    Alex, don't I know you from somewhere? LOL

    Bev


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    #183064 - 10/28/08 05:21 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: ZazuSally]  
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    Quote:
    What bothers me the most is that the problem behaviour is blamed on the bird. Wrong, wrong, wrong but we'll get back to that. LOL


    Over and over and over and over........ wink

    #183069 - 10/28/08 05:37 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: ZazuSally]  
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    Bev it is so good to see you back in the forums!!!! You have been greatly missed!!! Not sure if I am understanding, but are you now saying you will continue our training?

    Keeping fingers crossed grin

    I just want to say how very much I was able to learn from you and the way you worded things for all of us. It has made huge difference in the way that both my hubby and I approach any issue or concern with Ozzy. So even if you arent able to continue, I wanted to make sure that you knew, what a huge impact you had on our lives and the well being of our babies.

    I cant thank you enough!


    Deborah
    A Too is not a pet, it is a choice for life!


    #183104 - 10/28/08 07:57 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: FeatheredAngels]  
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    Oh I'm going to continue what I started and thanks for the show of support. You have no idea how much that means to me. You see I have what is called the "white horse syndrome". I keep riding in on my white horse to help and I keep getting knocked off. I can show you all the bruises on my *ss. Actually, I wouldn't do that to you. LOL Now any sane person would stay off that horse but not me, I just keep getting back on over and over again because I know in my heart what I am doing is right. My goal was always to help birds stay in their homes, nothing more, nothing less.

    I also know what a valuable tool ABA is because I live it every single day. Every single article I've written has been based on what I actually went through with my birds. If I haven't experienced it, I don't write about it. That way when I say it works, I know it works, know what I mean. The really incredible thing is that it really is very, very simple.

    Bev


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    #183106 - 10/28/08 08:02 PM Re: Animal Education Foundation [Re: ZazuSally]  
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    Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
    Oh I'm going to continue what I started and thanks for the show of support. You have no idea how much that means to me. You see I have what is called the "white horse syndrome". I keep riding in on my white horse to help and I keep getting knocked off. I can show you all the bruises on my *ss. Actually, I wouldn't do that to you. LOL Now any sane person would stay off that horse but not me, I just keep getting back on over and over again because I know in my heart what I am doing is right. My goal was always to help birds stay in their homes, nothing more, nothing less.


    Bev



    WOO HOOOO FOR US!!! *finds Bev a pillow for her fanny* wink

    Thank goodness for all of you here at Mytoos that have continued to get back on that horse, you all make a huge difference and sometimes it needs to be said more! Those of us just learning to ride that white horse need all of you with more experience guiding us!


    Deborah
    A Too is not a pet, it is a choice for life!


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