Q: Why do some dogs freak out when you go to pat them on the head?
A: Moving toward a dog quickly and reaching over the top of a dog’s head can feel threatening. Just like humans, some dogs are born less affectionate, not touchy-feely, and don’t like having their personal space invaded. We unfairly put pressure on our dogs to accept everything we throw at them. It’s important to know your dog’s individuality. If your pet doesn’t enjoy being picked up, snuggled, or hugged, respect those feelings. Some dogs will shun touch because of past unpleasant experiences. Dog owners who constantly pick the dog up, grab their collar, discipline their dog physically by hitting them or approach too quickly or in a threatening way are programming that dog to lose trust in hands. Dogs don’t understand our emotional reasons for doing things. Even well meaning owners who attempt to interact in a loving, affectionate way can cause a freak out. Some approaches feel overbearing from the dog’s perspective. Think about relatives who grab you too fast and hug too hard. It feels overwhelming and you hate it, right?
Q: Why do dogs look like they feel guilty when they misbehaved?
A: What we interpret as a guilty look can be a display of submission, a dog’s way of saying, “I understand that you’re not happy right now.” Signs of submission include tail down, ears down, head down, or body low to the ground or rolling onto their back to expose the belly. This type of dog body language does not mean the dog feels guilty. Many dog owners say, “My dog knows when he did something wrong.” The reality is, if you walk into a room and your favorite shoes are lying in the middle of the floor chewed to bits, and you shout, “FIDO, WHAT DID YOU DO?!” your dog may slink away and retreat to a safe place but not because he knows what you’re unhappy about. Only if you’ve caught your dog in the act of an unwanted behavior will your body language and stern tone be associated with the canine-misdemeanor taking place at that moment.
Q: Why is it so difficult to train dogs not to bark or pull on their leash?
A: Confusion is the biggest underlying factor where problem behavior is concerned. Don’t assume a dog should know how to walk on a leash. You have to teach the dog what you want. Dog owners complain, “My dog won’t come when I call him.” How much time has been spent teaching what the word “come” means? To raise a happy, well-behaved dog, owners need to commit time to teaching. Another issue that can get in the way is not providing leadership. Dogs who perceive themselves as the boss may pull on the leash or bark. Exercise is very important, too. If a dog is not physically and mentally stimulated they can suffer from boredom or anxiety and problem behavior will ensue.
Q: Does a dog have to be extremely intelligent to learn complicated tricks?
A: Some of the smartest dogs I’ve met were accused of being stupid, stubborn, or deaf. They weren’t. They were confused by their owners’ unclear communications.
Q: How can a dog be taught not to eat food off the street?
A: Take time to teach the command, “Leave It.” Begin instruction inside the house where’s there’s less distraction. That will make it easier for your dog to learn. Use less tempting items at first. Get your dog to understand that looking to you when he hears “Leave It” will get him a higher-value reward, like a piece of cheese or meat, and lots of praise. Incrementally move to more distracting environments and use more tempting items to test your dog. Don’t expect your dog to learn if you haven’t worked toward creating this habit. Also make sure your dog is getting the nutrition he needs daily. If your dog isn’t starving for nutrition he’s less likely to scavenge for food on the street.
Q: My dog swallowed pieces of toys a few times but never made a connection between that and the intestinal surgeries. Why?
A: Dog behavior is determined by immediate outcome. It makes sense to us that the dog shouldn’t want to re-live an unpleasant operation but the dog doesn’t make a connection between the two events. That’s human thinking. The dog thinks, “I like swallowing chewed pieces of toys because they smell good and make me feel full.”
The infamous case of Cannibal Cop Gilberto Valle illustrates the blurred facts and fantasy in a digital world. Valle was a New York City police officer arrested in 2012 for conspiracy to kidnap. He was convicted a year later and faced life in prison plus five years for another charge: accessing the federal National Crime Information Center database without authorization. After Valle served 21 months in prison, the judge, Paul Gardephe, shocked everyone by overturning the verdict. Now Valle has written a memoir, Raw Deal: The Untold Story of NYPD’s Cannibal Cop.
In 2012, Valle’s suspicious wife Kathleen installed spyware on their home computer and her snooping revealed gruesome chats on sexual fetish sites. In elaborate detail, Valle typed about rape, torture, murder, and eating women—including Kathleen.
In his defense, Valle swore it was all just pretend—innocuous role-playing like gamers do in World of Warcraft. But, although the intricate details sounded real, the ex-cop insists he never acted on his depraved sexual fantasies. No woman in the 3D world was ever abducted or violated. According to Valle, it was all talk merely to enhance pleasuring himself.
His arrest, trial, and conviction are reminiscent of the “Thought Police” in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Eerily, Valle was born in 1984. Oh, the irony in this creepy case. The New York Post had a ball with punny headlines. Examples include “Cannibal Cop dishes on how his twisted role plays came to a boil” and “Cannibal Cop says he’s a hot dish on the dating scene.”
Honeysuckle’s Dorri Olds landed an exclusive interview with the Cannibal Cop.
Dorri Olds: When you spent seven months in solitary confinement did you fantasize about hogtied women to satisfy yourself sexually?
No, it wasn’t an environment conducive to pleasuring myself. It was depressing and thoughts raced through my head—the court case, my ex-wife, my daughter, my family. As it got closer to the trial, I was mostly thinking about the case. My lawyer sent paperwork. The government was turning over discovery and I was reading all that stuff and thinking about how to fight the case. The prosecutors made a lot of false allegations. I have a very good memory so I was able to [reconstruct] things to help my case.
Prosecutors accused me of being in lower Manhattan on a Saturday to [find] a woman but I took a friend to see Ground Zero and showed him around the city. That’s what I was really doing. I had to find proof of the truth. I spent a lot of time thinking about stuff like that.
Are you accusing the prosecuting attorneys of lying?
Yes, they lied about a lot of things. I was a cop for almost seven years so I had the mindset that cops and prosecutors were doing the right thing. Defense attorneys were looking for a technicality to put criminals back on the streets. But it turned out to be the complete opposite. What an eye-opener.
Now I’m on board with defense lawyers and automatically tuned to look for prosecutorial misconduct. I’m not saying that every prosecutor is like that—most are fair and just. The dishonesty in my case was frustrating. Those untruths stuck to me even though it’s been proven the prosecutors blatantly misrepresented facts and lied, yet nothing was done to them. It’s like, ‘So what they lied?’”
Sounds like what’s going on in the White House—Trump and his cabinet lie frequently but fans believe them, despite evidence. Trump is a misogynist—is that why your violent sexual fantasies excite you? Do you hate women?
I understand that women read about my fantasies and don’t want to be associated with me. They may hate or even fear me. But human sexuality is complicated. You don’t choose the things you’re aroused by. But I took no actions. This was all fictional, fantasy, role-play over the internet. It never affected my real life. I was a good husband, a good father. The fantasies were just something that existed inside me and I was able to live with that.
Obviously, I wish I wasn’t aroused by this stuff but it’s just there. The main question with this case, and my book, is that I’m not looking for people to be comfortable around me. I’m looking for people to look at everything and conclude that I should not have been in prison. No matter how horrible a person’s thoughts are, without action, that isn’t a crime. That’s freedom of speech, the First Amendment. Again, I’m not looking for friends or people to like me. I’m looking for those most disgusted and revolted to still conclude that I did nothing illegal.
You just said you wish you didn’t have these fantasies. But you’ve also said that when you were younger, you didn’t see anything wrong with your fantasy life. Has your view changed simply because of the trial, jail, and public humiliation?
Yeah, that’s really it. My plan was to go through life without ever telling anyone about this stuff. I never thought there was anything wrong with me because it never affected my real life. Growing up, I was a great student, had lots of friends. I was a good baseball player and a typical American kid. Then [became] a cop. I was a good cop, a good husband and a good father.
Your wife stated that you didn’t have much of a sex life. She wanted both of you to see a sex counselor, right?
There was no talk about a sex counselor until after she found everything and left. She suggested that we maybe go to a couple’s therapist. That was her initial reaction upon finding everything.
Did you and Kathleen have a happy sex life?
Our sex life diminished a bit after the baby was born. I don’t think there’s anything unusual about that. We weren’t sleeping much and it was complicated because I worked nights.
Before the baby and working nights, were you able to have sex without fantasy?
Yeah, absolutely. Our sex life was fine. I was happy with it. She was happy with it. That’s as much as I want to say, because I don’t want to invade her space too much, but from our perspective, things were good. We were happy. Everything was going very well.
When did you last see your daughter?
She was one when I was arrested. She’s five years old now and has no idea who her dad is. That’s being worked out in family court. I petitioned for visitation rights. That’s as much as I can say, because it’s being done under seal. I’m the subject of a lot of jokes and I’m fine with that. I’d rather people laugh and make fun of me than be afraid of me. But the thing people are missing is that my family’s gone, my career is gone.
What does she know about her father?
I have no idea because I haven’t spoken to Kathleen or her family, not one word. Our communication is through lawyers. That’s unfortunate. I’m very optimistic that the judge is going to rule in my favor, that I’ll be able to reunite with my daughter. I’m also hopeful that as adults, Kathleen and I can find a way to be cordial for the sake of our daughter. I’m not sure if we’re going to get there. I hope we can.
How would you feel if a man fantasized about your daughter—tying her up, putting fruit in her mouth, cutting her up, cooking and eating her?
That’s a very tough question. No one has ever asked me that. Obviously, as a father, I want my daughter to be completely safe. That’s my number one concern. I would be uncomfortable with people thinking about her like that. On the other hand, if something’s going to happen to that person with those fantasies, then something would have had to happen to me too. It’s two sides of a coin. When it’s your own daughter, I guess I think about it differently. I wasn’t always circumspect when I was online. I think this experience has made me a little more careful and considerate about what other people would think. At the same time, if someone wants to think about stuff, they can’t be sent to prison. That doesn’t mean I’d be okay with it. I wouldn’t want my daughter anywhere near that person, but the issue is does a person belong in prison for thinking that? The answer would have to be no.
Is your father-in-law still in the picture? Is he alive?
I believe so. I’m not sure.
Did you ever have to look him in the eye during the court case?
No. The courtroom was completely packed. I didn’t notice him there.
Were your parents in the courtroom every day?
Yes, and at all the pretrial hearings. It was uncomfortable for them but it was good they came. They never believed the allegations.
What was their reaction to your sexual fantasies?
It was shocking to them. I never told anyone about this stuff. My brother is the person I’m closest to on this planet and I never told him. They knew me for 28 years, and knew I wasn’t capable of violence like this.
If you didn’t see anything wrong with your fantasies, why didn’t you tell anyone?
It wasn’t anything I spent a lot of time thinking about. When I say there was nothing wrong with my fantasies, I knew it was a little different, a little abnormal. That’s why I didn’t want to share it with anybody, because they would think I was some kind of freak. They would outcast me. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me because my life was so perfect. Other than my parents separating when I was five, I had as good a life as a person could possibly have.
When your parents divorced, did your mother get full custody?
No. My mother was the one who left, and she wasn’t working, so my father had custody, and we would be at my mom’s every other weekend. Then school vacations we’d have a week with mom.
I could see how that would make a little boy very angry at his mother.
I was so young, I didn’t think about it that much. That environment was normal. My parents separating was normal for me and my brother. Both my parents were very involved in our upbringing. My mom was always close. It’s not like she went to another state. She was always very much a part of our lives. She came to our baseball games and everything.
Did you talk to her every day?
Not every day. Every couple days, she’d call.
Did your father have time to spend with you, or you were raised by a nanny?
We had a nanny. My father worked. He was a Wall Street broker. The nanny would come early in the morning. She’d walk us to school. She’d cook dinner. We had a comfortable middle-class upbringing. We never had a ton of money but we lived within our means.
Were your parents surprised that you wanted to be a cop?
Yeah, but they were supportive of me. I explained to them my goal was not to be in a patrol car my whole life. I have a college education, and have the brains to work my way up the ranks at a police department. I had actually passed a sergeant’s exam on my first attempt. I was about a month away from being promoted before I was arrested.
You seem like a regular guy—sweet, caring, kind, moral—yet you have these dark fantasies.
Yeah, that was the reaction of a lot of people when I was arrested. I couldn’t read anything in solitary confinement but I caught up on reading since I got out of prison. Many people said, “I could never even imagine. He seemed like such a nice guy.” Those people were right, because I would never hurt anyone in real life.
There was a crime committed in this case. It was the FBI. Those people committed perjury. I’m hoping that someone reads my book and looks into this, because I’m not okay with these agents and these prosecutors continuing to practice. The way they behaved, they don’t belong within a hundred miles of a courthouse.
The judge acquitting me, that is so incredibly rare. That should show people what a travesty this prosecution was. His ruling was based on the lack of evidence. The jury’s verdict cannot stand because there’s no evidence to support it. He could have left it at that, but he even felt compelled to mention some of the misconduct that they engaged in, so I was happy to see that.
What about your charge for accessing the crime database without authorization?
They charged me with violating a hacking statute, for using the patrol car computer at work to run one woman’s name. It wasn’t 100 women. There was no hacking into a database. That was the complete misrepresentation. They charged me with hacking, which I didn’t hack into anything. At trial, the woman whose name I ran, she testified that she had asked me to look into something for her. What I did was a violation of NYPD policy, but it wasn’t a federal crime. I shouldn’t have been fired for that.
With your sexual fetishes out in public, do you meet women that are attracted to that?
Yeah, I have opportunities with women but I really can’t commit right now because I don’t know where I’m gonna be a year from now. I might be in Nevada. If the judge out there rules that I can reunite with my daughter, I’m probably gonna move out to Nevada, so I’m not in a position to settle down right now but eventually, yes, I would like to start over and meet the right woman and get married again and no secrets this time. Hopefully I can do it right. It’ll be a completely open and honest relationship.
That is one regret. Maybe if I hadn’t kept all this stuff from Kathleen, maybe if I was a little more open, who knows? But we’ll never know, so it’s unfortunate. I wish I was still married to her. I wish that none of this happened. I wish I was known for something else, but that being said, I have to continue to rebuild my life. I can’t let this hold me back. I’m doing my best to do everything a 32-year-old does. If I don’t rebuild my life, I feel like the prosecutors and the FBI, still win. The final piece of the puzzle is reuniting with my daughter. That’s the emptiness I feel every day.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive: 101 Inspirational Stories about Changing Your Life through Positive Thinking (2012). Attitude is everything. This is an inspirational and uplifting book with tales about the power of positive thinking. In bad times, and good, readers will be encouraged to keep a positive attitude.
Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover’s Soul: Stories Steeped in Comfort (2007). Is enjoying a cup of tea your favorite part of the day? Is the brewing of a ‘cuppa’ a ritual that centers and calms you? Reconnect with the silent intimacy and introspection experienced while sipping tea.
Chicken Soup for the Chocolate Lover’s Soul: Indulging in Our Sweetest Moments (2007). If you can’t live without a daily bite of chocolate, have visions of chocolate truffles dancing in your head, you will savor the decadence of this collection of stories.
Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul: Your Personal, Portable Support Group with Stories of Healing, Hope, Love and Resilience (2005). Find inspiration for change and personal growth in each story as people in this dynamic community share their experiences of transformation, of lives reclaimed, of relationships renewed and futures full of promise.
A collection of stories meant to guide, inspire, support and encourage readers throughout their college experiences.
What would you give for an afternoon in your grandmother’s kitchen? Leaning over the countertop, you watched as she added the flour, just a little at a time, to the bowl. It seemed like magic.
“Oy, Come All Ye Faithful”
An entertaining, touching, and uplifting collection of true stories and awe-inspiring photographs of holiday magic, love, family — and a bit of mania.
I had the pleasure of working with rock icon Frank Zappa’s younger brother Bobby Zappa on this coming of age memoir. The book is full of rich stories that will stay with me always. It would be fun to go back and tell my teenage self that in 2015 I would have this wonderful opportunity to write about one of my favorite musicians.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23
On February 23 at 6:30 pm “Sweet Reads” at Joyce Bakeshop (646 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn) will feature the amazing Leigh Stein, author of three books and co-founder of Out of the Binders, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to advancing the careers of women and gender non-conforming writers, and Court Stroud, writer extraordinaire; musician Andy Marino and myself, Dorri Olds.
C train to Chambers, Transfer to 2 train (Flatbush Ave/Brooklyn College), Take 2 to Grand Army Plaza and walk .2 miles (hop, skip and a jump). Head northeast on Plaza St. East. Turn left onto Vanderbilt Ave. and VOILA! You’re there. Other options: Path Train, or L to Q train. Takes 35-ish minutes.
Leigh Stein is the author of The Fallback Plan, which made the “highbrow brilliant” quadrant of New York magazine’s “Approval Matrix,” and her poetry collection Dispatch from the Future was selected for Publishers Weekly‘s Best Summer Books of 2012 list, and the Rumpus Poetry Book Club. Land of Enchantment, her memoir about young love, obsession, abuse, and loss, was recently released by Plume, and was selected by Junior Library Guild as an adult book with teen appeal. She has also written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Allure, Poets & Writers, BuzzFeed, The Cut, Salon, and Slate. For her advocacy work, Stein has been called a “leading feminist” by the Washington Post, and honored as a “woman of influence” by New York Business Journal.
Court Stroud works in the digital space after spending many years in the television industry. Stroud holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. His writing has appeared in the New York Post, Huffington Post, Out, The Advocate, Instinct, Gay City News, and many other publications. Stroud resides in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood with comic Eddie Sarfaty and their two cats, Dash and Julia.
Dorri Olds is an award-winning freelance writer whose work has appeared in book anthologies, and publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Woman’s Day, Time Out New York, The Fix, The Forward, Yahoo, and Tablet. Olds is a long-term member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA) and frequent speaker at writing and social media events including ASJA Annual Conference, National Publicity Summit, CUNY (City University of New York), Book Expo America, and a BinderCon attendee.
Andy Marino is a Brooklyn native and professional musician. He’s played sax and sung background vocals in R&B, Blues, Rock & Big Bands in such venues as SOB’s, Damrosch Park @ Lincoln Center, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Bandshell (Welcome Back to Brooklyn Festival), The Bitter End, The Limelight, Tramps, Manny’s Car Wash, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, two Elvis Impersonators’ bands &, yes, a few wedding bands. Touched by life events from the tragic, premature deaths of his two younger brothers, George & Nick; his two beloved children, Dom & Gina, having to move to the west coast after the divorce from his first wife; to finding the love of his life, Dianne, at age 49; Andy finds songwriting to be healing, joyful & surprising. Sometimes, he wakes up in the middle of the night hearing the music for an entire song and runs to record it on his iPhone.
American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) Annual Writers Conference • Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan
45 East 45th Street at Madison Avenue
Saturday, May 6 • Day 2
I will be on two panels this year at the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) annual writers conference. The first is on Friday, May 5 at 2:45. Its topic is “Using Smartphones To Tell Stories.” My second panel will be on Saturday, May 6. It’s titled “Tackling Tough Topics.”
In this workshop, moderated by ASJA member Candy Arrington with panelists Dorri Olds, Rudri Patel and Sharon Van Epps, writers will learn methods to craft tough topics through the power of story. We will be providing practical suggestions for coping and moving forward, and writing with a level of transparency that touches hearts and inspires hope.
Though many writers feel compelled to write about a difficult life circumstance, loss, or grief, it’s important to know how to structure content, what to include and what to omit. In writing tough topics, you have the opportunity to reach those who are hurting, feel alienated and alone, and are searching for ways to heal their pain. No matter what the situation, there are common threads that reach across gender, cultural, and ethical barriers to foster hope and healing.
“Using Smartphones To Tell Stories”
- Uploading to outlets from the field
- What gear to get
- Best editing apps
- Voice over narrations
- Downloading the video to your desktop
These are Tech Times
Are you tech savvy? Do you have a curious mind that likes to figure things out? If yes, then read on.
There are many considerations when choosing the right career path. Income and employment rate are usually the chief concerns. However, aside from the annual salary and obvious benefits of a job, it’s important to consider whether the position will mesh with your personality type and your preferred style of living. The smartest advice has always been to find something you’re passionate about so that it will hold your interest.
Professionals tend to produce best results and maintain better moods when they’re able to stay fully engaged at work, without losing enthusiasm. If you’re the type who often finds yourself fiddling with gadgets and software, one of the following career avenues might be a good fit for you.
1. Electrical Engineer
Many people who wish to become scientists complete their journey by earning a master of science in electrical engineering due to the broad range of topics covered in this field of study. After graduating from an online MSEE program like the one at New Jersey Institute of Technology, you’ll have the credentials needed to make entry into dozens of industries including aerospace, automotive, electronics, materials and metals, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, utilities, consumer goods, transportation, and many others.
2. Computer Programmer
If you enjoy fixing and using computers, a job as a computer programmer, web designer, graphic designer, or game developer might suit you well. In addition to high-paying salaries, the jobs also offer low unemployment rates and the promise of an increasing number of job openings. Although the pay is the most attractive benefit of this profession for most people, if you’re a techie chances are you’ll also enjoy the challenges involved.
3. Server Administrator
As businesses become increasingly reliant on online data storage and transmission, there will be an inevitable increase in demand for tech oriented people that are capable of properly maintaining and administering web servers. The web hosting industry has been continually expanding since its inception, as the number of websites online grows year after year. As a server administrator you’ll have the opportunity to play a prestigious and important role in a company, while also receiving one of the best salaries on the payroll.
4. IT Security Specialist
With cyber-attacks making headlines, it’s no wonder that the internet security industry is in need of bright young tech minds. As we approach 2020 and beyond, the seriousness of cyber threats will reach a new level, making IT security specialists pivotal employees in demand for all of the top corporations.
Challenging Yourself to Become a Master of Your Craft
If your frustrated with your current options, and looking for a tech related field that will keep your mind active and provide enough challenges to hold your interest, these four options are all paths to fulfilling careers for someone who enjoys refining and utilizing their technical skills on an ongoing basis. If you’re up to the task, the result of pursuing a degree in one of these fields could be a lengthy and lucrative career that you’ll be proud of. There’s a lot to be said for job security in tech fields offering competitive salaries and future growth.