Tag Archives: nonprofit

Dogs Make Life Better Dog Centric Social Enterprise Almost Nonprofit

Why a people and dog centric social enterprise almost nonprofit?

Touching and Sensitivity Training
Touching and Sensitivity Training

I believe what I call the human / dog experience is the most important purpose dogs serve in a modern society. The human / dog experience includes people who do not personally have a dog. It even includes people who don’t like dogs. While the Human / dog experience is all inclusive it does place the greatest responsibility on dog enthusiasts and dog owners. People who love dogs are an important part of society, on many levels.

There is some discussion as to how much the dog has contributed to the advancement of culture in the early days of civilization. It could be that we owe dogs more than a passing thank you.

I have been thinking about what motivates me and I have realized a common theme. That theme seems to be helping, mainly helping people. The desire to help people may simply be pragmatic. Although if you delve deeper you will find there is more to it than just helping people. I don’t necessarily want to be a rescuer or an enabler, but I do want to help.

All types of people keep dogs. People who have dogs range from overbearing dominant personalities to very sensitive and caring people. What we need to do is accept who we are as individuals, and dogs can help with this. Once we accept who we are as individuals we need to accept who others are. Again we can learn many important lessons from our dogs. Accepting ourselves and others will make us happier and more loving. “To understand dogs is to understand life.”

Today I want to talk a little about a large group of people who have dogs. They are the ones who feel the social pressures of society more severely than more outgoing and gregarious personalities.

Many people who are drawn to the companionship of dogs are very sensitive. Often sensitive people find dogs more comforting than interacting with the diverse personalities we come across when dealing with other people.

There are some interesting reasons for this that I won’t dwell on here.

I tend to be on the sensitive side. So I know some of the struggles sensitive people go through. However, we can’t give up on struggling through the social landscape of humanity. We can use dogs as a model for what we find most noble in social interactions. We can rely on our dogs to take the sting out of social interactions. But we can’t abandon our fellow humans.

Sensitive people have a gift that more pragmatic people don’t always posses. As a sensitive person you need to accept who you are and contribute to the overall good. This is hard to do if you are hiding alone in contemplation. Dogs should serve as a catalyst to elevate the individual to rise above the adversities of life. Dogs not only make life better, they should also make us better as people too. This is the foundation of my book Best Friend Learning Together. It will also be the foundation of the social enterprise – not quite a nonprofit I am starting.

Today’s post was inspired by a couple conversations I had today on Google plus.

Wishing you the very best in dogs and in life,
Andrew Ledford
Dog training website


Dog Owners Lose Weight?

Dog owners How much weight do you want to lose?

As I get a little older I seem to gain weight a bit easier and it takes a whole lot more work to get rid of it. I am planning on doing a lose weight and train your dog Google hangout. Is anyone interested? It will involve light exercise.

I was told that giving nutritional advice is against the law. So please don’t take anything I say as nutritional advice. If you would like nutritional advice please consult a licensed nutritionist. Any nutritional information at this time is just my personal preference.

I bet what I eat gets better when I start growing my own vegetables.

I suspect finding a time that is good for the majority of people will be difficult.

My friend Cliff Cardin wrote a blog post yesterday about weight loss. Basically the program will follow most of his main points. Cliff says there are four areas he sees as common to all weight loss programs. I think he does mention this information is from popular weight loss books. He’s giving his observation not nutritional advice. Of these four, I plan to focus on three

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables, and to this I will add eat less processed foods
  2. Consume fewer calories
  3. Exercise

I have never done a program like this before, so for the most part it will be free. Free in that you will not be paying any dollars to me. However, I am thinking of taking donations. What am I charging participants. Well calories of course. It was my idea that participants could donate the calories they are not consuming. These need to be valid and wholesome calories, no junk calories allowed. This means no cookies, candies, or other empty calorie foods. I would actually rather have fewer calories than empty calorie.

Since I am not giving any nutritional advice if you would like to eat more calories and lot and lots of fat I am not going to tell you not to. In fact it will be interesting to see how that works. But then you won’t be able to contribute those calories to someone who really needs them.

There are still a few things that need to be worked out. One is someplace to store all those calories. I’m not going to store them on my belly. One idea is to get a small storage shed to keep at my place. But I don’t have much extra room. There may be a need to find a volunteer who will let me keep a few extra calories at their location. Then it’s a matter of getting or perhaps having someone help us make a storage shed.

There is also some hesitation on my part introducing people to my training drills. There is a good chance no one will actually want to do them. It is a big experiment. It may not even be important if the other parts of the program work for the individual.

I have started reading through much of my writings and have decided I need to rewrite most of the motivational material (meditations). I would say I am not quite ready.

I think I will be picking up my first shed today. This will let me clear my living room of furniture. That is step one to getting my social enterprise, someday nonprofit, started. Step two will either be building my aquaponics garden or getting the storage for surplus food.

There is a chance I will need to start the dog rescue for this project as well. A rescue will take more in the way of dollars. I’m trying to put the rescue off until I become somewhat established.

I am not sure about how I will distribute the donated calories. I suspect I will run into laws and regulations that’ll hamper helping those in need. Do you have any suggestions?

I have recently been thinking that the best way to help people may be to form a church. How do my readers feel about this?

I am wishing you the very best in life,
Andrew Ledford
Dog training website






My Aquaponics Nonprofit Social Enterprise Project

I am interested in comparative religion made popular by Joseph Campbell. Her I am learning about more about the philosophy of Confucianism at the Confucian temple
I am interested in comparative religion made popular by Joseph Campbell. Here I am learning more about the philosophy of Confucianism at the Confucian temple

Yesterday I had a meeting with the owner of the location where I thought I would develop the aquaponics project. The idea was to use the aquaponics as a foundation project for a nonprofit or a social enterprise. It’s now looking like this deal is not going to work out. I would say there is probably a 35 percent chance it will go through as I had planned. There are still parts of the plan that may work out, but it will be a very different operation.

I had hoped to use the facility to build aquaponics systems and also to do helpjul videos and Google hangouts. As I see it Google hangouts will be an important part of the whole concept. The third important part of this project was to use the location for a small food bank. I thought they would all work well together. We never even got around to talking about the food bank part of the operation.

Yesterday I spend a considerable amount of time thinking about what I need to do. You will notice the blog post for yesterday was a little on the sparse side. My mental energies were preoccupied chewing through and digesting the reality of how hard it’s going to be to start this project. I realized that I just don’t have the financial resources for the project as I envisioned it.

All is not lost.
One of the solutions I came up with was to get rid of my furniture and my TV to have room to do Google hangouts in my living room. I am also going to scale back on the aquaponics project from 400 to 1500 square feet to about 12 square feet. While I won’t be able to grow as much food, I will be able to design system to help others grow food. Eatable fish production is going to be put on hold.

Another part of the project I will need to put off for a while will be the food bank. But I am beginning to form a plan where I may be able to do even this, although on a very reduced scale.

There is an immediate donations that will help make my furniture free living room transition a bit easier. I need two or three small plastic storage sheds. Two of these will be used to store equipment I need for work and at least my old VCR. I keep my most often used dog training equipment and supplies within easy access, in the living room. The third shed will be used to secure some of the aquaponics equipment. I can also use other donations if you feel they are appropriate.

I am wishing you the very best in life,
Andrew Ledford
Dog training website


What Can We Learn From Primitive Dogs? and Dingos

A couple canine articles have come across my Google+ account over the last couple of weeks. One is a strange looking South American wolf. I have seen pictures of these before. There are several canidae species I am interested in South America. Unfortunately one of the most interesting species is located in some very unfriendly territory. But this strange long legged wolf would be worth looking into.

The second dog is one I am more involved with. I ran across an article expanding on and refuting the old hypothesis about the origins of the dingo.

While it is quite interesting I would like to see the entire paper the article is based on. I suspect someday I will need to get my hands on that paper, its content will require a thorough going over.

Taiwanese Dog
Taiwanese Dog

It has always been considered that the Taiwanese dogs where the ancestors of the dingo. Now that this hypothesis is challenged I may need to readjust my world picture a bit. I still think these South East Asian / Australian dogs are related and extremely interesting.

Primitive dogs of South East Asia play a large role in a future nonprofit project I would like to do. The project would be very long term and involve having an ecovillage based on studying and breeding this type of dog. It would be one of my big projects. I expect a large project on this scale will yield valuable results.

A multifaceted project will shed a good deal of light on some interesting questions, not the least of which is how cultural rules change within new economic system. The project design will provide practical information about animal management and the usefulness of different types of dog training.

However, one of the best uses of this project and its research would come from a better understanding of public dog management. A dog centric community could provide useful insight into how we can better manage large dog population in developed and developing countries.

In fact, one of my dream projects from years ago is now being done by a well funded agency and is providing successful results in the area of rabies control.

The information my dog centric ecovillage provided would have a great benefit for developed countries. That is, if policies were put into place from the research it conducted. The savings could add up to billions of dollars and it would be a very good way to project soft power into economically contested developing counties. While I am most interested in South East Asia it would also be beneficial in some parts of Africa.

The savings to developed countries will come from improved public health and safety as well as improved animal control policies. Animal control covers a wide spectrum including population control, taxing dog owners, arresting dog owners, killing dogs, vaccinating dogs, protecting personal property from dogs, etc…

Public health and animal control are the two main driving factors behind the government’s interest in dogs. The pet industry is quite large in the United States, up to 34 billion dollars. While I do not have statistics on the animal control industry it is huge. Some elements of animal control overlap with the pet industry. In this category we will find the small pet rescues and some spay and neuter programs. Other parts of animal control are primarily run by government agencies or quasi government non profits.

With the proper insight we could change a whole host of social mechanisms for the betterment of society. Improvements could be made to taxing dog owners, spay and neuter laws, animal control regulations, and the business of dog rescue (of which I hope to be a part of). To improve how dogs fit into society we would need to change how we view a wide range of social rules. We may need to rethink the rules we have about nature, law, and the cultural norms of the dogs role in society.

I am wishing you the very best in life,
Andrew Ledford
Dog training website

A Charity Of My Own

As a few of you know I have been thinking about starting a nonprofit. Most people I tell this to immediately think my charity would be a dog rescue. Well that is partially true. I did think that a type of dog rescue would be one of the first projects. However as I see it, humans need more help than do dogs. Without humans the dog as we know it would probably not exist. The great thing is, in the process of helping humans we can also help dogs.

I am thinking that the fist project I would like to do is to collect food for those in need.

Hopefully from this I will be able to raise my online presents enough that I would get more work. More paid dog training would mean I could afford insurance and a bookkeeper for a pet rescue. After the pet rescue is funded the work will really begin. This will not be an ordinary rescue. I predict a lot of people in the rescue community will not like it. At least I’m consistent, pretty much everything I do is unpopular.

Just because it is unpopular doesn’t mean it’s bad. But it might go against some culturally preconceived notions of what a rescue should be. Hence the cultural rule component of my 7 track system.

Me Doing Reinforcement Training With A Pit Bull
Me Doing Reinforcement Training With A Pit Bull

When I first started training dogs my style of training was frowned upon. I was constantly criticized. People I worked for would first ask me “how did you get the dog to do that?” Then they would tell me “you can’t train dogs that way.” Before I told them how I trained they were impressed. After I told them they told me what I did was not possible. Even if that type of training was not impossible it was at least culturally unacceptable. Now positive reinforcement training is standard in the dog training industry.

Reinforcement Dog Training
Reinforcement Dog Training

Food collection and a pet rescue would be the beginning, I will unfold the bigger picture as the blogging continues.

As always I am wishing you the very best in life,
Andrew Ledford