Animal Stories Revisited

Brutus, our 1st pup, was part Beagle and Doberman and as smart as any 6- or 7-year-old human. He could count, multiply, and subtract any numbers up to 10. He would sit in my hands, giving me answers with short barks like a “Charley McCarthy.” Teaching him to fetch the morning paper took about a whole 5 minutes. I walked to the paper with him twice and picked it up. On my 3rd effort, I asked Brutus to get me the paper, and lo and behold, he went to the paper, picked it up in his mouth, and brought it to me. Amazing? There’s more.

He loved camp (Purple Sage) and followed certain groups throughout the day as if a member, but now and then, he would also find either Lenette or me to check in and on us. It is as if he knew of our responsibility to the campers and staff. This behavior continued at Camp Shasta.

Heidi came into our lives as a puppy in the mid-50s. Brutus literally mentored the little German Shepard, and they, along with Cleo, the cat, instantly become like a “Sy & Lenette!” If animals could love each other, they did. They became an inseparable threesome. Brutus was the one that figured things out. Heidi, his “point” girl, and Cleo always went along for the ride or adventure.

I may have shared this in one of my previous stories, but here is a classic example: Lenette placed a steak (rare expense) on our yard grill. I was preparing “my” Caesars Salad, and the dogs and cat were in the yard watching our preparation. While Lenette and I were inside, Brutus urged Heidi to get the meat on the grill. She easily reached the steak, and the three enjoyed a wonderful barbeque. We, starving, looked on.


Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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