Actually, there is no US - it’s just little old me!
My name is Pauline Simpson, and this is my website about Cocker Spaniels.
I write all the articles for this website, and I do all my own in-depth research to ensure the information I give you is accurate and up to date.
I take lots of photos of Max and his buddies, but visitors often send me pictures of their own beautiful dogs, and I use those too.
I also sometimes buy photographs of Cockers from professional photographers - they can't all be of Max!
I also maintain and update the website as and when necessary, which, I guess, makes me the chief cook and bottlewasher!
I am retired now, but in my previous life, I was in Human Resources, which was always full-on, quite eventful and often demanding, to say the least.
The company I worked for didn’t have a personnel department. I saw an opportunity and went for it. Building upon a Diploma in Business and Finance, I studied part-time for a degree in HR and Employment Law.
When I qualified, I set up an HR department and spent 15 years running it, working for the same company.
Eventually the opportunity for early retirement arose, and I decided to grab it with both hands!
It felt good not having to join the rat race every day. I was finally able to do what I wanted when I wanted!
Life slowed down to an acceptable, relaxed pace, and I began to enjoy my newfound freedom, one leisurely day at a time.
Life was bliss!
I now had so much spare time, so I decided to get a puppy.
Now that I'd made the decision to get a puppy, the 64,000 dollar question was, which breed do I choose?
Over the years, hubby has owned several Cocker Spaniels and he absolutely adored each and every one of them.
So, after much research (on my part) and not a lot of persuasion from hubby, I decided to plump for an English Cocker Spaniel.
I just couldn't resist their adorable little faces with those big brown eyes and soft floppy ears!
Three months after retiring, I returned home from the breeders one day with a beautiful, 8-week old puppy, and that's when my passion for golden Cocker Spaniels was ignited!
It was around the same time that I decided to build this website, about 14 years ago.
Between us, hubby and I have over 30 years experience of owning dogs (and cats too!).
I was 6 years old when we got our first rescue dog, a Heinz 57 variety, which we named Jenny. She was a bit of a mutt, but she gave us many years of love and affection and was very loyal to the whole family.
Our next dog was a noble-looking Afghan hound whom we named Prince. Although he was a beautiful dog, his coat was quite labour intensive. He was also very highly strung and needed an awful lot of attention and handling!
Our next pooch was a cute Yorkshire Terrier (Sherry), who used to run for the cupboard under the stairs every time my Grandma arrived.
Eventually, we realised why.
Sherry had quite a long coat which often made it difficult to know whether she was facing you or facing away from you.
We later discovered that my Grandma, whose sight wasn’t too good, had been trying to feed Sherry with doggie treats but hadn’t realised she had her the wrong way around!
And then we acquired a wonderful German Shepherd. We took him in because his family could no longer afford to keep him. He was an enormous, fierce-looking black dog, inappropriately named Demon as he was the biggest softie I have ever known!
Sadly, as is inevitable, they all eventually left this world.
Before I even collected my Cocker Spaniel puppy, I had begun my research for this site. (It also acted as a timely refresher for me while I was raising my new puppy).
Over the years, I have carried out a ton of research, read countless books and research papers on dogs: dog and puppy care, training and behaviour, health matters, and much more.
Here are just a few of those books I really enjoyed reading and found very
helpful when building this website:
I have devoured many other good books about canines, but the above really stood out as leaders in the field of dogs and training.
Research papers include:
Aggressive behaviour in English Cocker Spaniels and the personality of their owners.
Written by: A L Podberscek and James A Serpell
I have also undertaken several courses on dog training and behaviour and continue to do so as and when I have the time to spare.
Here are some of my favourites:
This course on animal behaviour and welfare was taken with the University of Edinburgh.
It covered animal welfare policy issues, including both scientific and ethical issues.
The course involved the study of animal behaviour and the challenges associated with monitoring and assessing the emotions of animals.
I found this training to be very interesting and learned a lot from it.
Instructor: Dr Ian Dunbar
This course covers many common problems with dog behaviour, including, peeing and pooping in the house, chewing habits, barking, digging, and separation anxiety.
It also covers other behavioural problems such as jumping up, pulling on the lead and much more.
I can tell you, it has proved very helpful many times in the past!
Instructor: Dr Ian Dunbar
This course covers cutting edge and common sense concepts that make dog training easy and effective (for you both!).
It's about motiving your dog by making the training as enjoyable as possible for your pet.
But it's not all about training, it also covers correcting misbehaviour by redirecting our dogs to other more acceptable behaviours.
My favourite trainer is Dr Ian Dunbar. He is an expert dog trainer, a veterinarian, and an animal behaviourist. He has a friendly, relaxed, but professional manner.
He earned his veterinary degree and a Special Honours degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the Royal Veterinary College (London University) plus a doctorate in animal behaviour from the Psychology Department at UC Berkeley, where he researched the development of social hierarchies and aggression in domestic dogs.
Instructor: Melanie Monteiro
This is essential training to help keep your dogs safe and to give you the ability and confidence to take action in a doggie emergency.
You just never know when you might need to know how to stop a dog bleed or how to calm a dog after an accident.
Fingers crossed you never need to!
Instructor: Victoria Stilwell
This course takes a look at the inside of your dog's mind, which is extremely enlightening.
The course covers how dogs think, feel and learn to help make training them more easy and more effective.
It explores the 5 cognitive dimensions and really went into some considerable depth.
The University of Edinburgh
This course covers the science, behaviour and body language, senses and perception, and challenges for human-animal relationship and I found it very interesting.
Well, that's enough learning for now, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop researching dog training and behaviour because I find the subject so interesting, and I love to learn new things.
Watch this space for more!
I love working on my website and I love the fact that my site has thousands of visitors each month - something I'd never have been able to do on my own. Since discovering Solo Build It! (SBI!) I've never looked back.
If you'd like to hear more about how I built this website, and more importantly, how you can do the same, you can do so here.