A woman came to the desk, looking slightly lost. She said "I've tried to look this up in the catalog, but maybe I'm spelling his name wrong? It's a dog trainer. Cesar something..."
As you might imagine, from reading my blog, I flinched a bit. But, I looked him up, and explained that the name wasn't spelled like "Julius Caesar". I gave her a piece of paper with the call number, took a breath, and said "That's where you'll find his books, but may I make a few suggestions? I find his methods to be more coercive than strictly necessary, especially depending on the breed you're interested in. I have a Doberman, and they're just so smart, that kind of thing isn't necessary, and might backfire."
The woman kind of cocked her head, but smiled. "Oh, that would be great! I have a month to look at stuff. I mean, we've had dogs before, but we're getting the puppy in the month. A Golden."
So far so good. We just had a pet display, however, and one of my "library friends" had come in on Saturday with news of a new puppy, so I'd given away a lot of my favorite books to hand people in lieu of Mr. Cesar. But, I'm very familiar with my library's dog training section, and persevered. "Well, we have The Puppy Primer, by Patricia McConnell. And Reaching the Animal Mind, by Karen Pryor, which talks a lot about clicker training, which is really the direct opposite to those other methods. They don't have television shows, but they're great to read, and are Names in the business. Oh, and then there's Dog Friendly Dog Training." (I know I read this last one, but can't for the life of me remember a specific detail about it.
This patron was happy to hear about women in the dog training business; our Cesar is ubiquitous. She went off to look for her books, and the coworker who was on the desk with me commented that she was glad I'm the one who got the question, because it was perfect for me. I was happy that I didn't just seem like a pushy whacko, though I did end up giving her one of the business cards I have made for this blog; I hope she doesn't come here and think I'm a total weirdo for posting this entry, but I was just so excited to share those books that I like with somebody who's starting with a clean slate! I also mentioned (I couldn't help it) that I was thinking of doing the Foundations Course that the Karen Pryor Clicker Training Academy now offers, and that at least one trainer I knew of in our area does clicker training, if she found that was something she was interested in.
I wish I had known enough to start with the clicker, and with Pryor and McConnell style methods back when we first got Elka, but I know now, and am happy to talk about it any chance I get!