Farewell to the Top Dog

Filed in

Last week, Karen Pryor had to say goodbye to her dog, Misha. Misha, a German Harlequin poodle, had been Karen’s companion for close to 15 years. Part of a long line of dog pets in Karen’s life, Misha the scaredy-cat dog gave Karen plenty to write about—and learn about—through the years.

Karen and Misha

Karen and Misha are celebrated
on the cover of Karen's newest book,
On My Mind

Karen and Misha were companions at home, walking through the neighborhood, treeing squirrels, and playing with Karen’s other dog and cat. But Misha was an office dog too, the top dog at Karen Pryor Clicker Training on the many days he accompanied Karen to work. He tested many products for the Clicker Training Store, including a comfortable harness he chose to sleep in.

Misha was clicker trained, of course. He had to be trained specifically to play with toys, as his interest in toys came later in life, and to catch a ball. With help from her peers, Karen trained Misha past his ever-present anxiety by discovering what was fearful to him, and by introducing training concepts from agility.

Misha also had his own career, his share of the KPCT business! His breeder sent Misha to Karen as a puppy, hoping Karen would use him to promote his breed. Misha’s job was to pose for photographers. He started when he was 10 weeks old and never stopped. Performing in videos, appearing on book covers (Click for Joy, for example), and posing for many other KPCT publications and ads, Misha was a star. The cover photo for Karen’s newest book, On My Mind due out in October, 2014, features Misha. It was taken during an indoor/outdoor, four-hour photo shoot for a German dog magazine. Despite being 14 years old, Misha worked cheerfully the whole time, doing whatever he was asked, with or without clicks and treats. According to Karen, the cover shot was taken toward the end of the day. She says, “My expression suggests that I was thinking I'd had about enough of this business, and Misha, I think, was also wondering ‘Isn't it getting close to dinner time?’”

Everyone at KPCT mourns the loss of Misha, and extends sympathy to Karen. Misha will be missed!