This is where we feature a student who has impressed us with their knowledge and understanding of behaviour modification, and their flexible, creative approach to solving problem behaviour.
Meet Barbara Ann Brown-Iliou who lives on the Greek island of Rhodes
Barbara, pictured here in her garden with Pepi the dog and Squidley the cat tells us:
"I am 48 and married to Ilias, a wonderful Greek man. We have two lovely daughters, Anita who is 24 and Krisi who is 21. Last October we sadly had to have Chiquita, our 14 year old collie crossbreed put to sleep. She was suffering from cancer and had been through two operations in two months and the tumour was back with a vengeance. Our other dog, then five years old, went very quiet and stopped eating. Pepi, a crossbreed terrier, is a food lover so I knew she was feeling bad and I thought I would have a look on the internet to see if I could find any information that would help me to help her with her loss. To my delight I came across the Canine Behaviour Centre and enrolled on the home study course. I contacted Deborah Bragg, telling her about Pepi and she kindly gave me the advice I needed: " the same routine and plenty of action." Both Pepi and I benefited from the extra action! Living in Greece though we have had to slow our pace for the hot months and I'm looking forward to when the weather cools down to take longer walks with her along the beach when there are no people to kick sand onto!
Meanwhile Pepi has a new friend to play with. We adopted a tiny 10 day old kitten which somehow became airborne and was seen landing in my sister in law's garden. Thankfully he took to being bottle fed and is now a robust three month old rascal. We call him Squidley (remember the cartoon octopus?) as he was always wriggling.
Being a dog in Rhodes can be tough. Unwanted puppies have been found dumped in plastic bags and "badly behaved" dogs have at best been dumped in the middle of nowhere or in the worst cases, been hung or poisoned. Thankfully there are a lot more animal lovers around than when I first came to live here in 1983. Over the years the Rhodes Animal Welfare Society has helped a lot of dogs and found new homes for them. Some were even shipped abroad. Unfortunately they are without premises at the moment so there is nowhere to house unwanted animals. Now it's up to each individual to do what they can. Some people feed any strays that turn up near their homes, the jungle drums send out the word and more strays turn up. Others catch stray cats and have them neutered before putting them back where they were found. Some local vets are very helpful and charge less or nothing to neuter the strays.
The luckier dogs though have a wonderful life. There are many beautiful places to be taken for walks and if you can find a bit of unpopulated beach, the sea is cool and refreshing. I would love to practice as a dog psychologist but I'm not sure this part of the world is ready for me yet! Now that I have the qualification, I can gingerly start to offer my services and see what reaction I get.
Many thanks to the Course Director and Course team - and congratulations on making the Course so interesting!
Please note that the views and opinions of our Top Students are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Canine Behaviour Centre.
Many people ask us how we select our Top Students. Quite simply, they are those students whose work is outstanding. They display all the qualities we are looking for - the ability to think of all possible options, an empathy with human as well as dog problems, flexibility, open-mindedness, creativity - and much more!