What I Packed for Clicker Expo 2017

Sincerest apologies for my lack of blogging recently. Things got a little loco a couple weeks ago because my husband and I traveled to New York to attend a close friend’s wedding. (Congrats, Rebecca and Robi!) After that we had a couple weeks to rest, catch up at work, and attend to some chores around the¬†apartment. Now it’s time for another much-anticipated trip! Clicker Expo!

Clicker Expo is Karen Pryor Academy’s inspiring, educational, and extremely fun dog training conference. This will be my second time attending Clicker Expo but the first time having my dog with me. That’s right! Severus is coming with me! I can’t wait to spend 3.5 days geeking out about all things behavior with other trainers who are passionate about positive reinforcement training like me. I was even lucky enough to score some working spots so Severus and I will enjoy the privilege of learning firsthand from some trainers that I really admire.

Clicker Expo 2016
Last year I met Michele Pouliot, a freestyle legend!

Nerves are inevitable. Severus has been to many workshops and many nosework trials, but this will be his first hotel conference. There will be a lot of people and a lot of dogs. Not to mention a lot of pretty big name trainers. I’m trying to imagine the expression on Ken Ramirez’s face when he sees my dog humping his Mutt Mat *nervous laugh*. Perhaps Sev will escape from my bathroom stall mid-stream and crawl into some other poor woman’s stall. And maybe that poor woman will be Dr. Susan Friedman! Feelings of inadequacy aside, the Clicker Expo community is extremely compassionate, and members of the community strive to treat other people the same way we treat our dogs. There’s a sense of comradery amongst complete strangers because we share a common belief that dogs are living beings, not robots, and every dog+handler team is at a different place in their journey.

For Type A people like me, the best way to combat nerves is to plan and prepare! (And then over-prepare. And then plan some more!) Here is everything I’m packing for Clicker Expo:

Carry-On Sized Suitcase:

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– Sev’s Mutt Mat
– cutting board
– snuffle mat
– 2 bags of Ziwipeak food
– toiletries
– all of my clothes
– 1 pair of sandals
– Sev’s dumbbell
– Sev’s medicine
– water bottle with attached dog bowl
–¬†reusable sandwich bags (for storing treats)
– tote bag (if I don’t want to carry around my backpack)
– lavender essential oil (to help Sev relax)
– DIY “Do not disturb” door signs (enough to share with friends too!)

Door Signs
Try not to be jealous of these stylin’ bad boys. The fact that they look so crappy makes them stand out, which is all I can really ask for.

Cooler:

Cooler Contents
Severus is one lucky dog!

– an assortment of large chews such as bones, bully sticks, and hooves
– 1 brand spankin’ new elk antler (goodbye, $25!)
– 1 large rope of dehydrated sweet potato rings (goodbye, another $25!)
– 3 different types of kibble (enough to feed all the village dogs in a third world country)
– 2 rolls of Happy Howie’s
– 2 bags of Orijen freeze-dried dog treats
– 2 cans of pumpkin
– Kong
– 1 knife
– 1 spoon
– can opener and plastic can lid
– travel-sized bottle of concentrated Castile soap (for washing dishes, clothes, or even skin!)
– nesting stainless steel containers

IMG_1375
I love these U Konserve stainless steel containers! They are super lightweight and versatile – perfect for travel! The Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap is also multi-functional.

Backpack:
– 3 rolls of poop bags
– extension cord (very handy if you’re sharing a hotel room)
– laptop and charger
– cell phone and charger
– notebook
– pens
– wallet
– Sev’s most recent vaccine records
– treat pouch
– clickers (duh!)
– Contigo travel mug

Other things that will be coming along:
– Sev’s travel crate
– a couple dog toys
– silicone water bowl for the hotel room

If it seems like I packed a lot, I did. I packed way more food and treats than Severus should eat in two weeks, never mind 4 days. However, I’m team “Rather be safe than stuck in the middle of a Hannah Branigan session with a dog who won’t shut up”.

I’m looking forward to meeting some awesome people this weekend. If you see me, please come say hi!

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