Sand Sculpture 4 of 4 – Snoopy

Normally my blog is committed to the written works of both myself and others, but sometimes a little detour in expression and form is a good thing in immeasurable ways for author/artist and audience.

On a recent beach vacation over the holiday weekend of the 4th I had a chance to forget about reality for a while and slide back into some youthful imaginations and creativity that I had let recede into the past. From this hibernation emerged four sand sculptures channelled through an adult Super Nerd Boy. I hope they each stir something within your soul.

All components of the sculpture were taken from the normal beach debris that rested in the near vicinity.


The Point of the Give (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 179)


Pretext Note: This passage begins with observations specifically related to dog behavior, but evolves into a greater message regarding instability and behavioral disorders in people. I sincerely believe this message is of vital importance in regards to anyone who suffers from mental instability and I continue to believe that such instability is primarily a product of a behavioral disorder (a nurtured or learned disorder) as opposed to a pure genetic or medically inherited disease. The parallels of comparative behavior across species are extremely useful in illustrating this theory (and tangential associated theories) in cause, effect, and successful resolution.

A dog raised in a home environment without appropriate structure and boundaries is a dog that has been over-nurtured (spoiled) into believing that it is the master or ruler or supreme authority of all. In the reality of such a situation, that “all” for the dog only applies to its own household (own isolated pack), yet the dog has no profound reason or understanding to interpret its supreme authority of being any less authoritative anywhere outside of its own home (isolated pack). It cannot differentiate the “norm” of its isolated pack as being different from the “norm” of the very different greater world which exists outside of its isolated pack. The dog is thus significantly unsocialized and will be untempered in its accurate interpretation of relational behavior that varies from the over-nurturing it has learned to accept as all that is right and proper for itself.

If we assume that no fear has been added into this developmental equation by the owners, and we take the dog illustrated above and plop him on an exam room table, directly in front of a stable dominant authority figure, the dog will first attempt to flee. If not allowed to flee and not sappily “rescued” by his over-nurturing parents/family, and he is continued to be restrained by the stable dominant authority figure appropriately, the next move of the dog will be to do everything within his power to ignore and negate the reality of the stable authority figure. The dog will try to turn its body away as much as possible and will literally look down or from side to side to avoid having to acknowledge the authority figure who stands before it. If the stable authority figure is persistent enough, they will then repetitively and commandingly make the dog face themselves while making direct eye contact until avoidance of the posture and the glance is relinquished indefinitely. That is the point of the “give” by the dog which signifies that the dog has yielded its supreme authority to another “pack leader” who is more dominant and stable than itself; to a stable dominance which does not become an adversarial force or despotic ruler per se, but a rational and balanced reactive force of structure, accountability, accurate perception, and healthy non-codependent existence and interaction.

The “give” is a beautiful moment for a trainer or behaviorist, and perhaps even more so for the dog. It creates the proper or natural psychological parameters and understandings in the dog for a stable and balanced existence forevermore. It is an escape from instability. The greatest challenge to achieving this “give” comes from the people who are too unaware or too uninterested or too unskilled to lead the dog in a truly stable dominant manner, and aggressively interfere with said stabilization process, they often do, consciously or not.

This entire “dog” scenario (behavioral pitfall, expression, and “therapeutic” intervention), also applies almost verbatim to people. I promise you that. Behavior is behavior is behavior. But, just like a dog, people may escape from such instability. It is a much more complicated endeavor to obtain a “give” from an adult person due to the glitching intricacies of the human psyche, but such a hope and epiphany is still possible. It is a viable reality.

If we are to increase the number of “gives” from/in humanity, if we are to decrease the widespread instability which is present within our numbers, then we must as a whole apply greater effort towards increasing our collective awareness, empathy, skill, and focus towards such intent.

Doing less through passive ease and/or the fostered apathy of delusion, distraction, and willful ignorance has lead to the pervasive instability and behavioral problems which are now all too commonly witnessed throughout the species of “man’s best friend” as well as humanity itself. 

We need to return collectively to openly acknowledging and embracing the grace and universal salvation which is present within the point of the “give.”

Cribb          2017

The Real Dog, Child, and Everything Else (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 176)

Pretext Note: I am a veterinarian and I have come to believe that comparative analysis of  the parallels between human to pet interaction, human to human interaction, and isolated human behavior to isolated animal behavior, is extremely helpful in illustrating and understanding the root causes of obsessive compulsive disease (drive disorders), mental instability (anxiety, fear responses, bully behavior), and egocentric projective delusion (the misunderstanding of the reality of the situation/disorder which prevents appropriate assessment and intervention/correction by external authorities as well as the victim themselves).

It is unfortunately true that many, if not the majority of, pet owners have little idea or minimal understanding about the genuine and undeniable behavior of their dog (pets in general). Pet owners are often masterful at creating and projecting intentions, motivations, and feelings onto their dog that simply have no foundation or basis in objective truth and behavioral analysis. I am not saying that it is easy for anyone to achieve the enlightened state of genuinely understanding behavior (over the projected distraction and confusing glitches in our own psyche). It took me a very long time (43-45 years in fact) that had to be coupled with an enormous amount of effort, awareness, intellect, observation, introspection, and a supreme desire to see beyond the pervasive satiating delusions that we all tend to be infected with from birth. It also took some luck at being fortunate enough to come into contact with someone who is exceptionally gifted in understanding behavior. My behavioral observations and conclusions have been challenged extensively by my own critical scrutiny and they stand solid and true in repetitive conclusion and application.

The most common response I receive from pet owners when I try to explain the true behavior of their dog is knee jerk denial and often scornful skepticism. Instead of listening and contemplating, being appreciative for the expertise of my words and explanation, most seem unsettled and agitated by the truth because it doesn’t fit in line with their preferred misperceptions and assumptions about their dog. In essence, the information I provide often shatters the illusion of what the owner has rewritten their dog to be for their own perceptional comfort. The rarer dog owner embraces the reality and revelation about their pet with appreciation and often good hearted humor. The more common dog owner honestly seems to dislike having to confront the reality of the situation even when such is required to address/treat a problem which they have come to me to inquire about.

This same misperceptive projecting glitch and egocentric delusional rewriting of another also occurs with many parents towards their children.

This same misperceptive projecting glitch and egocentric delusional rewriting of another (others) also occurs with many in regards to everything and everyone else.

It is always tragic, for such projective delusion blinds the perceiver from ever experiencing reality outside of their own head. Additionally, a dog, a child, a mate, a socioeconomic class, a foreign country, and whatever other entity, can never be seen, appreciated, understood, or stabilized/aided until such projective delusion and egocentric rewriting is shed from the perceiver’s soul.

Cribb          2017

Finding Nothing on a Routine Exam

A lady brings her 3 year old mixed dog into the hospital for an annual exam. I perform the exam and ask her the normal relevant questions that should be involved in the process. I ask her if her pet is having any problems at all.

She says “Well, she does shake her leg sometimes…like when she is just standing there.”

And I reply while examining the dog, “Your dog is displaying somewhat of a fear response at the moment. Her twisting, turning, and shaking are signs of that. It may not be obvious to you, but that is why she is currently shaking.”

“Oh, okay.”

“So, when she is doing the shaking at home is there anything, anything at all in the environment, that might produce such a fear response at that time? Noises or people or any reason at all that you can think of?”

“No. It’s just like she’s standing there with her legs extended” and the client completely extends both of her forearms out to show me, “and one leg turns a little and begins to shake. That’s all.”

“The reason I am asking is because if there is no fear response at home generating that behavior, it would logically follow that pain is the next most likely cause and that would indicate a need for us to take some x-rays of her hips to see if she has arthritis or some hip dysplasia.”

“I don’t think she’s painful. She just turns her leg a little and shakes.” The clients forearms are extended again with her left arm rotated slightly internally.

“Is it like a person who is walking down the sidewalk in a normal fashion stopping abruptly and beginning to shake one of their legs for no apparent reason?”

“Yeah, I guess, something like that.”

“Well, that’s an indication of pain or discomfort…..assuming again it is not related to a fear response.”

“I don’t think she’s painful. She doesn’t seem painful. She just turns her leg a little and begins to shake.”

“Okay. I understand completely. Ya know, it’s probably nothing….I think it’s completely normal.”

And the client smiles in return to my last response. An extremely happy, content, satisfied, blissful expression extends from her smile throughout her entire posture.

So it goes. (to borrow one from Vonnegut)

Cribb          2013

Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 22

The Truth of Measure by Children and Dogs

Interestingly, if you want to see if there is a disconnect between the stabilizing structure that a person states they are capable of implementing and the actual structure, or lack thereof, they are actually implementing, you can look directly at their children and their dogs. The children and the dogs instinctually know a bluffer and false words without consequence or true intent mean nothing to them. I might even add that the more words exchanged, especially in front of others, in such a situation tends to correlate directly with the lack of truly implemented and defined structure. Pure and simple, the measure is seen in the behavior. Such a lack of stabilizing structure radiating from a person will be identified viscerally by a child or dog, and will be accurately identified as weakness and a force that they should attempt to dominate. If these attempts are not balanced by the parent or owner, if instead the parent or owner over-dominates (instilling a fear response permanently in the psyche of the being) or under-dominates (spoils, enables, and encourages further egocentric unbalanced behavior) the child or dog, significant behavioral disorders will inevitably infect these creatures and most often remain with them for the remainder of their existence.

Cribb          2014

My Dad and his Dog

A conversation between me and my Dad;


My Dad said “She wouldn’t walk well on the six foot leash I had for her…she just kept acting up…like she didn’t really like it…and eventually she started turn’in round and chew’in on it…..and I was worried she might actually chew all the way through it one day…take off and be gone for good. So, I got ‘er one a’ those retractable leashes that goes out about sixteen feet…it’s made out of a little different material than the other one…and, ya know, it has a lever on it you can use to let out the length as ya want. She has been do’in real good on it…much better than the old one…..seems to be happier.”

And I said “ Dad, if you were holding the hand of a child, being appropriate in your manner and strength, just trying to get him to behave and listen, and not be unruly, and that child started throwing a temper tantrum; punching you in the stomach and back, dropping down to the ground with his dead weight, jumping up on you, yelling and hollering, and eventually kicking you in the balls, would you then just let go of his hand, give him a hell of a lot more freedom, and let him run all over the house or the yard or the store?


My Dad said “She just didn’t like that crate….she’d get herself so worked up….I think she went damn near crazy when I was gone…I’d come back home and find ‘er almost worn plum out. She’d be panting like hell…and the crate looked like she’d bounced it across the floor….with drool and slobber all over her and the rest of the damn place. I know she got upset when I left her….I think she was just having some sort of anxiety with me not be’in there…..and I was really afraid she was gonna hurt herself sooner or later. So, I got a much bigger pin for her that goes outside…for ‘er to stay in when I have to leave ‘er alone. She seems to really like it. I worry about ‘er a little bit out there…especially if I have to leave her for too long….but, she really is doing much better. Before I finally got her the new pin, I even tried leaving her out a few times in the house while I was gone…..did I tell you what happened?……that silly ass dog started eating the wallpaper and sheetrock in the front hallway….and, you know, I couldn’t have that. She is a sweet sweet girl, but I couldn’t have her destroy’in the house.”

And I said “Dad, if you sent your child to their room for whatever reason…it doesn’t really matter why…and you were trying to teach that child parameters and discipline, and you told her to stay in her sparse, but comfortable room until you came to get her, and she started screaming…..and jumping up and down on the bed and the furniture, knocking and throwing a ton of shit down all around her room, and then she proceeded to start slamming herself against the walls and the door with all of her might, do you think she would be doing that just because she simply missed you? And if she took a sledge hammer or a screwdriver and started punching holes in the wall or deeply etching every surface within her reach, would you think that cute or silly? Would you think that a child that did such to be a sweet sweet girl?”


My Dad said “She will run the fence with the dogs next door. There are two of ‘em….one is a little smaller, kinda medium size, and she will usually run and run with that one, up and down, until she gets tired. Then, there is a big ole black dawg that moves slower….and when he comes up to the fence, she acts a little different. Most of the time she stops runn’in and just sits down across the fence from him. She don’t bark or roll over or pace or do anything else really….she just sits there…and seems to be okay with him.”

And I said “You see it don’t you….you know what is happening, right Dad? That is almost the perfect example…it is almost too good to believe. Brandy (my Dad’s dog) is respecting and acknowledging the appropriate dominance of your neighbor’s big ole black dog. When you see that peace overtake her, and she isn’t displaying any nervous energy or destructive and rebellious behavior, that is your answer….that dog doesn’t have a leash around Brandy’s neck…and he doesn’t have her trapped in a crate or trapped in any other way at all…..and there is even a fence separating both of them, so there isn’t even any direct contact……..and…and, the big ole black dog isn’t speaking any meaningless human gibberish to her either. Don’t you see it?….all of that is irrelevant…it’s a mirage….pony tricks that really don’t work at all, but people buy all that bullshit…..hook, line, and sinker. The only thing that matters, that really matters when you are trying to stabilize or what people tend to call “helping a dog” or “loving a dog”, is your appropriately dominant posture and the structured stability of your being. It is that simple. That is what they truly crave. You have seen the proof with your own eyes. Now, you aren’t prepared to jump into that right now, and you honestly need the tools and assistance of the shorter leash and the crate to establish more parameters and structure if you want to try and fix her behavioral issues, but don’t fool yourself, you let her win the war of dominance via your response to her temper tantrums in the battles of the leash, the crate, and the destruction of the house. You rewarded her and gave her more freedom for being a bratty dominant dog. We see people do that very same thing all the time at the hospital. They think they are just “loving” their dog better by giving them more freedoms and liberties and treats and toys, and meanwhile their dog knows the truth….he or she has manipulated the relationship in a normal challenge of pack order….and he or she, often becomes the King or Queen of the house. ‘Tis true…I promise ya.”


Dr. Cribb         2014