When Rus of R2 Fish School invited me to write a recurring column for the company's blog, I readily agreed. This is because 1) I love fish training. 2) I love talking about what I love. 3) I too have a blog, The Bubble Blog. My blog and R2's blog scratch each others' backs. Ohhh, that feels good. 3) Rus's request happened to catch me just as I was finishing the last bite of a sumptious piece of flourless chocolate cake. In the throes of Chocolate Delirium, I'll agree to anything. So you, Dear Feeder (of fish), will reap the rewards of my willpowerlessness (along with my invention of new words). Speaking of words, remember that word, "rewards." You'll be reading it early and often.
"But who is this person," you ask, "and why should we care what she thinks?" My name isn't a household word, or even two words. I'm surely no Cesar Milan. (Stop calling me Shirley. Call him Shirley, and then stop calling him. He's not worth it.) Instead, let's dial up a summary of my credentials.
I am genetically programmed for animal training. My great-uncle, Volney Phifer, was a world-renowned circus performer, intercontinental adventurer, and trainer/promoter of animals for the silver screen and Broadway. He trained and adored the original Leo the MGM Lion. I inherited Uncle Volney's fascination with animal behavior, though not his machismo. (He trained lions, I train lionhead goldfish.)
I hold a couple of degrees in Wildlife Science with an animal behavior specialty, along with an uncompleted PhD (ABD) in veterinary physiology. (That is: PhD? — Aw, Bite Dis!) And I have been training goldfish to do remarkable things for four years. (Four years is a long time to do a remarkable thing. Really, they could rest now.) I have trained puppet show actors, quadruple hoop swimmers, pole weavers, soccer stars, spin dancers, waiters, bell ringers, glockenspiel tappers, piano players, and The World's Most Famous Musical Fish.
And so can you. This column is about you, and what you and the fish you love can accomplish as a team. Carpe See'em. (Did you see 'em do THAT??!!!)
NEXT TIME: Right On Target
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