• Kathleen Kiefer, CPDT-KA

When Ripples Collide


Imagine a pool of water. When there is one drop of water the ripples move away from the starting point eventually affecting every bit of the surface. Now imagine two drops. Two sets of ripples each independent of each other, but similar in how they change the water around them. Two drops, two sets of ripples which now have interacted and changed each other. Each set with it’s own inertia and wavelength.


It’s been said that we ‘spread the ripple’ when we change the world around us. When we commune with like minded people working to create similar change we can create a change of greater magnitude when we start interacting with each other. Just as water changes the land and the stones it flows over we can make great change if only we spread the ripple.



I have a good friend a veterinarian and like minded trainer. I am honored to be able to spend time with her and the animals in her care. Today I spent time at her farm and I worked with Sylvie, her noble unicorn of a mare. She has a gelding, a pony, goats, a pig, a donkey, geese, chickens and a rooster I’ve named Danger. Often after I’ve spent time training one of the farm animals we have tea and discuss behavior cases or share stories.


We talk about those who have influenced our paths, conferences or seminars we’ve attended. I recall my first Clicker Expo (2016-Cincinnati). The energy was infectious! I was hooked. It was a tsunami of information* (the result of which left my glial cells depleted and me binge eating emergency peanut butter from my training bag that Saturday Night). I wanted to share the buzz with the world. As an early drop I was still new to riding, sharing and surfing that wave. It’s a skill to be able to find fluidity in sharing our ripples, collaborate together and to realize the bigger goal. I don’t ever want to be a trainer in a vacuum. Being a human, training humans to use modern and positive methods to change the behavior of the animals we share our lives with, that doesn’t occur in a vacuum, there’s a ripple that comes with positive change. It starts with noticing the small things, the drops. Before we know it, our ripples will cascade across landscapes and shape the world.





*in 2017 I saw Theresa McKeon present “Information Tsunami” at the Midwest Veterinary Conference


© 2020 Created by Kathleen Kiefer  of  Saint Louis, Missouri and Louisville, Kentucky USA