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Sunday, June 2, 2013

We are still here!

We have been absent from posting for awhile now. Our family is really looking at priorities and organizing them. This blog is not at the top, sorry! Our goal is to not stress about how often we update this but as with everything else in our life, focus on quality vs quantity.

As Abbey and I both accept our diagnosis' and learn to live with them, we are focusing on turning negatives to positives. We have lived amazing lives and we aren't done yet! We know we our work has touched lives and all those lives are imprinted on our hearts as well.

We are continuing to work in the office with Tara, but I am limited to two hours a week. Abbey goes in two days a week and sees a few clients each day. Our foster siblings go in for some of the other sessions to be socialized in the office and see if they have the right temperament for the work we do and we continue to help train them at home.

We get to do extra things like go run errands and one of our favorites is to take our human brother to and from school. This week I got so much love in 5 minutes of dropping him off to school, that I was tired when we actually got to work--those kids smiles were worth it!

At the office we have launched a Commit to Get Fit initiative and we are part of Tara's goals. We hope each of you take some time to focus on physical and emotional fitness as well as looking at the quality instead of quantity of everything in your life!

Until next time,


Monday, March 11, 2013

Our health

Thankfully we have three foster siblings right now as Abbey and I have had a few rough weeks. This week we are back to ourselves and ready to be back in the office. We are thankful that Kadia, Everheart, and Lo-rida (our foster siblings from  Brooke's Legacy) were able to get some practice with socializing and stand in with a few clients. They are still available for adoption and have been learning a lot from Abbey and I.

Thank you for everyone who has sent emails, texts, and called to check on us. Tara lets us know all the messages!

For those that don't know, Abbey often gets ear infections so when she was itching her ears, Tara assumed it was that until Abbey screamed out in pain. In a very short time (6 days) Abbey had a growth inside of her left ear. They had to put her on 10 days of steroids to get the swelling down because you can't stitch the inside of the ear. Tuesday of last week she had her surgery. Anyone that has followed us long enough knows that Abbey does not do well with anesthesia so Tara avoids it as much as possible. This was not an avoidable situation as it kept growing and they needed to get it out.

We have an amazing vet who worked closely with Tara to make sure the plan was agreeable and the meds would be altered in hopes of getting her through the surgery with success and not too much pain. Well to make a long story short, it worked. Abbey came home that night and just wanted to be by herself. We all know what time the pain medicine wore off as Abbey got really sick and kept crying. Myself and the other dogs just kept watching her as Tara laid with her and tried to get her comfortable. I do not like seeing my sister hurting. It made me very nervous and I kept pacing around the house.

By morning Abbey was doing better. The vet called to check in and talked to Tara about keeping Abbey's ear dry and trying not to clean it. She said they had to go deeper than planned as the growth was in the ear canal and was probably causing Abbey to not hear well. Abbey's ear began to grow more infection (not the growth) later in the week and the vet walked through Tara how to clean it and what to do to try to prevent having to go back to the doctor.

The final update is that she is feeling much better now and has one more week of medicine and then we will also have the biopsy back to know what exactly it was and how it got so big so fast.Thankfully we think this is all behind.

Now for me. As you know, I have an autoimmune disorder that caused me a lot of distress last year. Recently I had my EKG's during some procedures and they found some struggles with my heart so my first appointment with the cardiologist was also last week.

It was a long drive there and Tara says we don't have to go back. I am thankful for that as I did not like it there. Tara told them what a great dog I am and then they put this thing on my mouth so I couldn't move it. I panicked. I was scared. I cried. Tara was mad. They didn't tell her and then when she saw it as they brought  me back in, they told her it was for my safety. I was so upset that water was coming out of my mouth and I couldn't stop panting. My belly  began to hurt really bad and I kept trying to open the door to leave. The room was small and kept feeling smaller and smaller. The good news is that while there is an "electrical issue" with my heart, it is fine structurally and nothing to worry about. The cardiologist thinks it has to do with my autoimmune disorder. I am just glad my regular vet can monitor me and we don't have to go back.

It is not fun to have someone force you to do something you don't want to do and not have any control. It was very scary to have my mouth muzzled. It took me several days to feel better so I took the whole week off last week.

I hope this post makes sense as I wanted to hurry and get it done since we haven't been on here in so long with all this going on. We are going to try really hard to do better!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Don't rescue, help!

Lately, in multiple settings, we have experienced people doing good things but for the wrong reason. We heard Tara experience this again this week and we realized we need to talk about it.

Doing a good deed should not be for recognition. It should be to help someone that needs it. If you do something nice or helpful to a living being for your own benefit then don't do it. Yes we are saying don't do a good deed. It's not a good deed if it is about you.

People don't "rescue" other people in fostering and adopting. There are reasons that humans don't go to shelters or rescues to find their forever families. To often it is assumed the children need to be rescued, but in reality the kids don't know that and the mentality of rescuing diminishes the true value of an adoption.

Volunteering to help in areas of need such as tutoring, mentoring, serving on a board of directors, or any other position to help people in need should be to help those people with needs they have. Quite simply it could be math homework, finding resources, food for their children, or a car ride to an appointment. If you then turn to others and make statements about how you are so great and gave so much of yourself for them, then it is only about you.

While volunteers and giving are always needed, it should not be the quantity of your giving, rather the quality. If a non-profit is asking for donations and you give them a vehicle (just an example) and they don't have the ability to use that vehicle for work, but could sell it for money to make the needs of the agency, yet you are disgusted at the idea of them selling it for what they really need (money), then you did not help them! It would be like giving our foster siblings a diamond necklace. Thanks, but what do they do with it?

When we hear people say "I am just a transporter" or "I was asked just to file papers". That may seem menial to you, but to that non-profit, it is HUGE. Asking the non-profit to provide you with resources to accomplish something is even more disturbing. One example we heard was a group of people who wanted to get together to help a particular non-profit, yet they considered the drive too long so they asked the charity to consider the importance of their "influence" and begged for a bus to be scheduled to take them to the location to help. This put a lot of extra work on the non-profit and really, those volunteers are not in it for the right reason. They need to find their own way to help in areas the non-profit needs, not something they feel they need to do.

Please do the right thing and get out of the mentality of your need to "rescue" others for praise. We could go on and on, or as Tara says "get on a soap box" but we won't. Let's put quality in and go back to the true meaning of volunteerism.

 Off to get another round of playtime in before bed!

Bode and Abbey

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Week Five...If I Could Freeze Time

This week Bode celebrated his 7th Birthday (Friday, February 1). It seems appropriate to see the theme of the photo of the week to be "If I could freeze time".

Aging is a reality. It isn't always fun and it affects dogs differently than humans. We bring lots of joy while we are here on Earth, but we are not here as long as humans. This is often heartbreaking for many. Some new grief books came into the office this week that discuss when a dog dies and the forever bond that remains.

Tara has been taking Bode's birthday harder than he and I have. It sounds like because he is so big, I will more than likely live longer than he does. I guess that is why he can only work one half day a week now.

If we could freeze time, we would go back to this photo of an amazing day that we spent on the beach. It is actually from Valentine's day in 2009. We were all so carefree then!

Since we can't freeze time and it does not stand still, we encourage you to live every minute as if it were your last. Don't have regrets or find yourself saying "tomorrow"; you never know how many tomorrow's you have! You always have today!


Week 4...Find the Light...

We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! What a crazy week we have had! We have never experienced so many unique situations as we did at the office. Tara was busier than we have ever seen her and her pile of work at home as surely grown.

We just kept going and and going all week long and with that came a lot of encouragement and patience with our clients.

Sometimes you have to find the light in dark situations and use that to guide you to know there is hope!

This photo we found on Tara's phone is a reminder of that. Our foster siblings, Holiday Holly and Everheart, were cuddling together so adorably after sneaking onto the bed. It was dark and hard to see, but a little light was able to capture the sweetness of this picture.

They are both still waiting for their forever homes, but we were happy they were here this weekend so they could celebrate Bode's birthday with us! More on the next post with that!

(C) Delta Family Counseling, LLC
We hope this encourages you to find light, even in the darkest situations!
~Abbey and Bode

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Week 3...Dreams...Matching

This week's photo challenge was "Dreams...Matching..."

(c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC
I came home and caught this one day. Tara and I were working all day and these three rested! Our foster siblings don't get to go on the bed too much, so they take advantage when they are invited. What do you think they were dreaming about?

It is actually a great theme for the week as we are working quite a bit with clients on sleep rituals, patterns, and habits this past month. Do you know what helps you sleep better? Is it falling asleep or staying asleep that you struggle with? Some clients think lavender is helpful. Others say relaxing baths. Positive self talk and limiting tv, phone, and computer are tips from others. It is all about creating your own sleep rituals. A friend of Tara's that is a therapist in Central Florida has a book coming out on this soon and we will plug more when we know the details.

I personally fall asleep and wake up with ease, but that has been my norm my whole life. I can fall asleep anywhere...well except in long car rides if I am in the back seat, but that is not relevant here!

Sweet dreams to all of our fans!