Pictures of us

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Another picture slideshow by Smilebox

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Having someone to lean on is so important. You can have mentors in each aspect of your life or one for everything you do. This week we had some ups and downs and were thankful when Tara decided to call one of her mentors, Jill. Tara usually has the right idea, but gets such support by hearing validation for what she is doing from Jill. 

Bode and I are not sure who we consider our mentors. Tara has another Play Therapist that specializes and educates in pet-assisted therapy, so we probably would pick her and her dogs. Rise Van Fleet is so knowledgeable and experienced with what dogs can accomplish in many ways, but most importantly in the therapy room. 

Who is your mentor? We would love to see some posts here about our followers and your mentors!

Onwards to a great week!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Priorities....How do you set them?

Today my priority was to sleep, as was most of us in the house, but Bode and I are the only ones that succeeded. The baby is, as Tara says, "cutting teeth". I, as a dog, do not understand that but see him biting more things. I guess human babies aren't born with teeth. 

Anyhow, now that I am well rested, I thought we should talk about family priorities. These come up often in sessions, more so lately. Who decides and who should decide do not always match up! Should the kids be involved (what about the dogs?)? I say yes (to both) and Tara agrees! 

Sitting down as a family for a planned meeting to prioritize needs is helpful to a successful family schedule.  Are family meals a part of your schedule? What about family fun or game nights? These should take precedence over anything else....after all, the family that plays together, stays together!

Are adult and child sports or extra-curricular activities taken into consideration? Are you making your child play soccer because you did (do) or do they really want to? Have you thought about volunteering or attending community events together? Does everyone agree? Is saving money a priority? What are you saving for? How can everyone in the family be involved? 

Do you notice a theme? Communication is key! Ultimately the parents are in charge, however by including the children, you can't help but have success by making them feel included!

In our house, there are many trips and places that Tara goes that we cannot go, but she always makes up for it by ensuring we take a trip we can attend. Sometimes this is just to the bank or like our December vacation, to North Carolina as a family!

I hope you take time to set your family priorities...make it your priority!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's not about your rights....

It's been on my mind for awhile and I haven't had time to sit down and write about it, but here it goes....

Bode and I hear a lot of the phone calls and parent meetings Tara has and there is often a theme that bothers us. Parent's often think it is their right in a custody situation to see their child, but the truth is that is has nothing to do with them. Do they not realize that it is the children who are hurting and the children who have a right to see both parents?

Let me explain with an example. A parent vents to Tara that they don't like the new love interest of the other parent, therefore they are restricting visitation time with the children as a punishment to the other parent. The children are the ones being punished, not the adults. The adult who isn't seeing the child(ren) may feel punished, but ultimately it is the children who are losing out on valuable time with both parents.

In the eyes of the court (based on trainings Tara has attended), the children have rights to see both parents unless there is risk or evidence of abuse (emotional, physical, or sexual) or neglect. Parents need to put aside their lack of ability to have a relationship with one another and focus on the fact that no matter what, they have a child(ren) together.

Here are some rights Bode and I came up with (at least through our eyes). We know there is more, but these stand out to us:

*Children have the right to see both parents without being subjected to arguing.
*Children have a right to know and have a relationship with both of their parents.
*Children have a right to be a kid and not know all the adult information (this includes court information)
*Children have a right to be free from hearing others talk badly about either parent.
*Children have a right to have their parents attend school or extra curricular events without causing a scene or putting the child in a position to chose one side or the other.

Can you think of other rights children have?

I can think of many, but for now I will call it a night!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sometimes there is negatives about us pups!

Tara saw this article today and is not happy....neither are we!

Fido's No Doctor....

It is one thing to report research, but one must be responsible and post reliable and valid research that has appropriate measurements for what they are reporting. There are so many articles that show the positive results of canine companionship and word in therapy.

We may seem biased, but we know we are making a difference in the lives of our clients. We shared this article with some friends and here are some responses we received.

"For myself, the animal human bond is about quality of life and that's not so easily measured. In my case, it's how I feel when I go home at night and my dog greets me with a huge smile. And how I feel when I've settled down for the night and hear his big "I'm drifting off to sleep now" sigh. To me that's as close to heaven as I can come in this life. I know that without my dog, I am a sadder, less effective person, so the research can say what it wants! If it doesn't agree with me, oh well, guess I'm just an outlier then!
LOL (A very happy outlier)"

"This author needs to read a book on the scientific research of the healing powers of canines. I recommend "Made for Each Other" by Olmert.

"The look on a child's face when they come into the therapy office and there are not any dogs is saddening; however when they come in and find a wagging tail, you can see how much it eases the anxiety of anything they are going to process in the therapy session."

Monday, January 3, 2011

Saying thanks again and again....

Do you remember to say thank you when someone surprises you? We do! We love getting packages in the mail and our friend at NASW sends us goodies every now and then. We have never met her, but she celebrates our work with us by sending yummy treats! In this picture, we are sitting and waiting for Tara to open the package so we can try some. They were delicious!!!

We have had a week and a half off work and ready to get back! We start back tomorrow and can't wait to work with all of our clients and hear about their Christmas and New Year's.

Thank you for following our blog!

Abbey and Bode!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Getting cuddly by the fire
Welcome to 2011! Are you as excited as we are? There are so many things to be thankful for and to be excited for in the next year.

We ended 2010 with a new adventure...we saw snow! We (the whole family) drove to North Carolina and got snowed in. We didn't know what that meant until Tara tried to take us outside to go potty and we learned there was this white stuff (snow) all over the ground that was cold and sticky. Even when you come inside, you fight for a place by the fire to warm up! It was so high that Abbey had to walk in shoveled areas and when Bode went into the snow, it came almost up to his belly.

Bode running after the sled

Abbey not sure about leaving the porch

Bode playing football in the snow
We are back in Florida now and warmed up to the point that we were able to do one of our favorite things this weekend: Sunbathe in the yard! Our time in the yard allowed us to reflect on our goals for this year. We keep hearing Tara talk about resolutions, but we prefer the word goals. We will share them later this week. Until then, here are some pictures of us in the North Carolina snow storm.