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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving


Does time seem to be flying? It does for us...yes, even on partial retirement I can say that! I am not thrilled that Tara put me on VERY part time work, but retirement isn't so bad. I get to nap in my favorite places every day (Tara's bed and the couch :) ).

(c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC


This year, like every year, we have so much to be thankful for. We can often get caught in the negativity of life, but we want to encourage you to focus on the good today and every day.

You can read more about the holidays in our newsletter (Delta Family Counseling Thanksgiving Newsletter)

We also wanted to share some things with you!

(With Respect to Animals)  This article touched both of us because we were also saved from being killed. Yes, you read that correctly. We were scheduled to be put to death just because we were born and ended up in the shelter. Thankfully our amazing parents found us and we give love to so many other dogs that have had the same fate and have been saved by rescues. The current rescue we foster for, Brooke's Legacy Animal Rescue, is our third no-kill rescue and we love it.  We currently have our 42nd foster sibling in our home and that doesn't count the dogs that have stayed with us for a few hours because our parents helped with transport and we took care of them until their fosters could pick them up.

Last week Tara took our human brother and did her first "pull". Do you know what that means? She went into the local kill shelter (yes, there is one in Ft Myers) on behalf of Brooke's Legacy and saved a 2 month old puppy from being put on the kill list. It just so happens this puppy was found by a friend of ours and because of rules, had to be turned over as a stray to the shelter. Thankfully "Buckeye" was saved and we are hoping he will be adopted into a home before the BIG game this Saturday. Any OSU fans looking for a great dog? (Here is his Facebook link: Buckeye and Brooke's Legacy's link: Brooke's Legacy Homepage

This woman (Lisa the hero) is truly a superhero! Our two foster dogs are currently pit bull mixes and we all get along great. We play together, they love life, and Tara takes them to the office. In some areas of Florida and across the country, they would have lost their life. That is no different than you being put down because you have freckles or a certain color eye. Yes, that is all that is equal to! Keelie and Holly, our current foster dogs are just that "dogs". They are both babies and only 7 months (so they guess) old. They struggle to get adopted because of housing restrictions, fears that don't have research to back them up. Here they are: (the first photo is Keelie and I under the covers for a nap because it was too cold, 60 degrees, today) and the 2nd is a smiley Holly

(c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC



(c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC



Well, I just learned I get to attend Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents, so off to their house I go to smell all the good food and play with my first ever foster brother, Blackey (he was adopted by my grandparents!

Happy Thanksgiving
~~Bode (and Abbey too)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Keeping updated...

Hi! It has been a long couple of days! Bode had his surgery yesterday for the "mouth" infection. His teeth are nice and pretty as they cleaned them while he was in there.

He is home and resting, but I know he doesn't feel good. He has this strange mark on his nose (see photo below) where you can see that something was on his nose. I thought Tara said oxygen. They had to stop the procedure and do a chest xray as his EKG came back abnormal. They even told Tara that they switched machines and probes after the xray showed his hear to be a normal size, but the negative enzymes on the EKG are a concern that is being reviewed by the cardiologist.

They got the infection and Bode and has medications to take now. The doctor stressed the fact that Bode not only has allergies to all those foods but also has an auto-immune disorder that we have not yet identified and that makes him more likely to not be able to fight off infections he gets. They even said that the allergies were so bad because the body couldn't fight it for him and the same as the mouth.

(C) Delta Family Counseling, LLC


Last night Bode wanted to be with just the humans, no other dogs, not even me. I was ok with that as I took care of the foster siblings for him. It was sad that he missed out on his favorite holiday...Bode LOVES Halloween. He came out to greet one set of trick or treaters, but quickly went back into Tara's room and curled up on the bed. He finally ate and then slept most of the rest of the night. He got sick over night and wouldn't eat his breakfast, but Tara and I left it for him in case he got hungry while we are at the office (I am sneaking in this quick blog between clients).

He is going to hopefully rest up and be back to himself soon. In the meantime...I think  I heard my next client walk in....

~Abbey

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Do you ever amaze yourself?

I had some amazing client sessions on Tuesday. I just knew I was going to be able to make the most out of Bode not coming to work for us, even though this decision was tough on all of us. Most clients that are more apt to pick Bode, still know me, but just don't work with me. I have a few that do the same with Bode.

I found my voice again and went back to my roots...those roots that grabbed Tara's attention that I had the ability to be a therapist, even before she really knew it was a "real thing".
(C) Delta Family Counseling, LLC
I was so engaged with the client that we spent a lot of time forgetting Tara was there. It was a very client centered session. The client asked Tara to take pictures and was so proud of this collage we made of our interactions together. You can see my engagement with her, most of which was under her direction. I even "talked" with her, which she found funny. The pouncing game she taught me was quite fun. 

This client put her guard down and processed out loud for the first time (or so I am told) that was deep and meaningful. The client was even eager to share with her mom about our session, which is also unique for her.

It is so funny when they forget Tara is even in the room! I love this job and wouldn't trade it for the world. 

I am not sure if it is knowing I have to step up and can't depend on Bode for all the help any more or if the break from having his help the past few years has energized me, but I loved my day!


(C) Delta Family Counseling, LLC
On a side note, Tara was working on her lecture for the course she teaches at one of the Universities and we decided that this session could fall into it's own version of Motivational Interviewing. I was so attentive with the client and helped her get her story out. The motivation for change came with the desire to include and share with her mother, as well as recognize how good it felt to laugh, smile, and play!

As I sit smiling, I hope you are too after reading this!

~~Abbey

Sunday, October 21, 2012

When Life Throws Lemons...

A big reality came to Bode and Tara this week. I have just watched and supported them through this as I am also struggling with it. After taking a week off from work, it became a realization that our vet was right earlier in the year. She told Tara that I was doing great, but that Bode's age was starting to show and that he should go down to part time work.

Tara was sad to hear this and tried it, but Bode resisted and was back to his self and as good as ever with clients. Life was normal as ever and we work our normal client schedules without problem. This past week, I worked a little more as Bode just wanted to be present in the office, but was struggling to engage the clients. He is tired and just wanted to observe. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is not his "normal" and clients were noticing too!

Each night we got home, Bode would go straight to bed and not even eat his dinner. I played a little with our foster siblings, but Bode would just watch. We really missed our family and working while the conference/vacation happened, but sometimes I hear Tara say "our minds and bodies don't think together, we have to teach them to do it". This photo shows how we found him hiding in one of the playrooms when no clients were there!

(C) Copyright Delta Family Counseling, LLC


This will be the first week where we try keeping Bode at home part time and focusing my efforts with the clients. I know I cannot replace him and there are things he does that I cannot do, but I will try my best as there are some clients I work with that he doesn't: it's the nature of our work for both humans and canines.

Tara's heart is heavy with this decision, but I heard her talking today to someone about how Bode will do more focused efforts with classroom visits and teaching workshops, which he loves more than I do!

We are thankful for the support of our family, our DFC family, and the community in making this difficult transition, but are reminded that life will often throw you lemons and you must decide what do with them!

Good night!

~~Abbey

Reality Check...

Hide and Seek is a game I often play with clients. I am not going to go into detail now about why and the significance as I have to finish packing. We are headed to our grandparents as the humans go on a vacation and conference where Tara is teaching about using us in play therapy.

My reason for this is to talk about the fact that we don't always know what is going on with others. We may assume and create stories, but they are not always accurate. We saw so many clients over the past few weeks who are dealing with heavy hearts as they process and adjust to new chapters in their lives, and all of them have processed how much their pain grows when they hear rumors.

My challenge for you while we are away is to do a reality check and encourage others to do the same! Are you telling a story because it impacts you or it gossips about others? Don't assume, just grieve and pray for them and all who are involved. Due to the nature of our work, we cannot get more specific than this without identifying some of our clients, however please be careful and check information before repeating it....let's not force people to feel like they have to hide in their homes because people are spreading untruths about their situation and let's let them grown and find a new normal in the collaborative communities we live in!

See you when Tara gets back!

~Bode

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Such an honor!

We have been absent from our blog again, but have a lot to share...it will just have to wait as we are busy helping Tara prepare with our friend Steve the Labradoodle and his human therapist, Meredith, for the Association for Play Therapy conference. Tara and Meredith are presenting "Pets at Play" in Cleveland, Ohio and it is all about us (and Steve!). Steve and Bode are too big to travel that far, so we are all staying behind. Tara and Meredith are busy taking photos and videos of us to share.

While we try to be very humble, Tara is insisting we share this email we just received:

"Congratulations on placing in the top 100 of the LIFE+DOG 50 contest. As a qualifier, your dog's name and photo will appear in the magazine." 

Our story of being AAPT dogs and foster siblings was shared and could make it to the magazine. No matter what, we get our photo and names in it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Be who you say you are!

Is it hard to be true to yourself and others? We don't think so! While it is fun to play dress up and pretend to be someone else with our clients, it is important to always remember who we are. Those of you that know Tara, know how ethical and honest she is and advocates for others to be. Sadly we have heard several stories over the past few weeks where others are not doing the same.

(c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC 2012
Sometimes others may want you to be the "Masked fairy basketball player", but you know deep down that it is just pretend and in reality you are still you! In case you haven't guessed...that was my title in this costumed play with one of my clients. While it may be fun to be this character, I am not. I was not trained to be that character and I don't have all the abilities and credentials to be that character.

Have you encountered someone pretending to be someone they are not? Doing something they are not qualified to do? Representing themselves falsely or discrediting others to try to to boost themselves in some way? How do you overcome it?

I wrote this blog at least three times but knew it was a hard topic so kept re-writing. It is not an easy topic to discuss, but sadly there have been three incidents in the past three weeks where we have found others misrepresenting themselves.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Celebrate College Colors Day

Today we let our new foster siblings borrow my UCF jersey. After a great first win of the season, it felt right to share in the celebrations. Keelie and Ronan are 4 month old Staffordshire terrier mix puppies and Bode and I are teaching them the ropes!

Did you wear your college colors today?

We have several blogs ready to post, just have to finish them! Sorry we have been so behind again!

~Abbey

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bullies...

What is a bully? Everyone has a definition and most are similar, but what is it really? This week we had many clients who talked about fear of going back to school and the fear of the bullies that they experienced in prior years. Bullying doesn't just happen with kids. Adults experience it and dogs too!

We often hear Tara talk about the "Bully breeds". We have had many foster siblings that come with that label, but they are not bullies, just assumed to be based on old school thinking. We have posted our thoughts on this previously. This type of "bully" does not mean the same thing as what our clients are processing! 

The expectation of power over someone else is unacceptable. Bullying can be stopped but you can't be silent! If you are being bullied, tell someone! If you see someone being bullied, tell someone. If you are an adult and see this, stop it! 

Words hurt, but bullying can go beyond bullying! Bullying is also taking place through texting, Facebook, email and more. Are you aware and up to date on the risks of bullying and the signs to look for?

Don't accept a passive answer if your child is being bullied. Stand up for what you know is right as bullying can escalate fast. If you don't like the answer or resolution and bullying continues, go higher. 

We don't ask this often, but we would like this post to be interactive.

Share with us tips to overcome bullying that you have learned or tried. You can post anonymously. We would like to get a thread going here that can help many students as they enter back into the school system after having a safe Summer away from those that cause them fear.

This graphic reminds us that bullying doesn't always go the way one would assume.......size doesn't always tell you who the bully is!

Looking forward to dialogue on this!

Abbey and Bode

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

One of those days...

Have you ever had one of those days and when you talk to others, they are also having one? You don't even need to put words to what that means, the other person understands!

Today was one of "those" days! It was exhausting! Every time we turned around there was another speedbump or obstacle that we didn't see. Bode and I may take tomorrow off because of it, but we know our human counterparts don't have that luxury.

The therapists at the office do such a great job of containing their exhaustion and personal feelings when this happens that it is able to stay in the workroom and out of the waiting room and therapy rooms.

Today there was laughter through the rough spots alongside of sarcasm and at times dancing without music.

You read that correctly, we are human (or in our case canine) and do not have some superpower that exempts us from bad experiences, it is how we work through the experience that is what is important. We could chose to shut down, close down, and walk away...but instead we chose to find a way to relieve the stress and move forward.

So next time you are having "one of those days", find someone to laugh with, run with, or whatever helps you move forward and not get stuck...or an early bed time could help too!

Sleepy...oh, so sleepy...
(c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC


Good night!
~~Abbey

Monday, July 30, 2012

People Watching

Hi Blog Fans!

Life sure does get busy here! We think daily about updating our blog and then run out of time! We would love to ask for more hours in the day, but that may not help either! One of our favorite things to do is ride in the car! We have started to realize a routine most weekdays. We get to take our human brother to school and we wait in the car while Tara takes him inside. This is a great opportunity to people watch; which is what today's topic is going to be about! More on that in a minute! We then usually get to go straight to the office where our clients arrive soon after. Tara said this is about to stop as school is starting back up and the clients cant come that early! We love having clients all day long and then getting the evenings free, but our hours are getting ready to change again! School starts early here...again!

Ok, about that people watching...it is even  more fun when people don't know you are there! Many people look at the car because it is running, but don't realize we are inside. We see lots of people fixing their hair, clothes, and some other funny things. It is amazing to see how people act differently when they  know someone is watching.

Have you ever stopped to watch people around you? Isn't it fascinating? You can learn so much! It makes you think about what people learn about you when they are just watching! Are we always on display? Is someone always watching? It may feel like it, but that should help us be able to find who we truly are and live that life!

Talk to you soon!

~~Abbey and Bode

Thursday, July 12, 2012

We were lost...

Well, not really but we felt lost without our computer! The laptop crashed and we couldn't post to keep you updated!

There has been a lot going on, but we wanted to start by talking about elections. We don't get to vote, but we hear Tara encouraging those that can to do their job and vote (or don't complain about the outcome...haha..she probably won't like that we said that!)

Anyhow, it has come to our attention that your voting information is not private. Being in Mental Health, we are BIG on keeping information private and were shocked to learn this...so, like we always do, we researched it and Tara emailed the Director of Elections here in Lee County for us. Sure enough, candidates can get all sorts of information about you! They can know your party affilitation, if you voted in the past elections and how (absentee, in person, etc). The one thing they can't see is who you voted for, but the fact that a candidate can find out your voter history.......well, it is scary! They know if you vote in all elections, primaries, etc. YIKES!

This leads us to our reminder to be careful where you post information, because there is already so much information otu there about you that you don't want to provide anymore than you already do! Check your settings on social networking sites, text messaging and photos you take as many give away your location and you may not want that!

Stay safe and we will be posting again soon now that we have access!!

~~Abbey

Monday, June 18, 2012

NASW-FL...we came, we saw, we...

What a whirlwind trip! Somer and I attended the NASW-FL conference with Tara and Liz this past week. We took a LONG car drive across the state (well, long to us but only 2.5 hrs) and arrived at a hotel. It has been quite a long time since I got to stay in a hotel and NEVER with Somer before!

We were so excited and people seemed even more excited to see us. Good thing I am a dog and don't care, but everyone kept asking how much I weigh! Good thing they didn't ask Tara or Liz how much they weigh...I don't think it has the same ring to it! Lots of people were also curious as to "what we are". Luckily our human co-therapists are used to this question and know the people realize we are dogs, but mean what is our breed.

Tara left to teach a workshop without us shortly after we arrived and I got to relax with Liz and Somer. It was much needed as there was an "incident" before that in which I did not handle myself as well as I should. I got scared and sent out a warning, which caused Somer to do the same and people around us were so nervous. We later learned our "incident" had to do with a service dog in training that was being walked around by someone other than it's trainer. They got in our space and kept coming closer and I could not handle it. I apologize to the hotel and those around us for my rude behavior. Sometimes fear makes us react without thinking.

When Tara finished her presentation, we went to a really great restaurant (Gilbert's on 17th in Ft Lauderdale was amazing!) and they treated Somer and I like royalty. They brought us big bowls of water, petted us, talked to us and event took Somer for a walk around the complex. I didn't go as I don't do well if I cant see Tara. Next stop was for ice cream. Everyone but me got some, but I knew my belly probably wouldn't handle it. Somer sure did seem to enjoy hers. Maybe soon the doctor will let me have ice cream again. A storm was creeping in so we hurried back to the hotel where Somer and I had our dinners and went out before we got poured on.

Nighttime was rough. It was loud in hotel and our air was not working right...so it was hot! We made it through the night and got up early as our presentation was at 8:30am! Yawn...that makes me tired just thinking about it! Somer and I both like to sleep in! Liz and Somer were excited but nervous...this was their first time presenting.

Lessons from a Therapy Dog...Life Can Be RUFF!!  went off without a hitch! We rocked it! You would never know it was their first time. I was tired and needy, but Tara was able to work with me.

(c) 2012 Delta Family Counseling, LLC

Here is Liz doing clicker work with Somer and talking to the audience while I keep an eye on Tara.

What fun we had! It was a great experience for all of us. I was so happy to get home to my sister, foster siblings, and the rest of our family. I love special time, but I also love routine. What about you?

Can I ask a BIG favor? Thanks to a program sponsored by Chase and LivingSocial called Mission: Small Business, your support could translate into a $250,000 grant. But we need at least 250 votes at missionsmallbusiness.com to qualify. To vote for our business:
    1. Go to missionsmallbusiness.com  click 'Log In & Support' and log in using Facebook.
    2. Search for Delta Family Counseling by name OR filter by our State and City (FL and Cape Coral).
    3. Click on the blue Vote button next to our business name to show your support for our business."
  • Thank you!! Please share with others so we can reach the vote count and be considered. All the grant money would go back into enhancing our programs in the community. Please take this short time to click the link and vote for us. It is appreciated by both human and canines alike at the practice.
With love...

Bode

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Looking deep...it's not the surface!

Today we received a reminder in the fact that we want to focus on beauty from within and not on the surface! We had two of our three foster siblings adopted this week; Gemini and Sleigh Belle. When Tara and Bo Duke came home from an adoption event, they brought home our new foster sister. Hansa Rose is unique to say the least.

Hansa Rose (we call her Rena) is 3 years old, but was treated very badly by some people who should never be allowed near animals. One of her eyes is recessed back in her head and unusable from a trauma to her face that also messed up her jaw line. She looks like she is winking at you constantly....but we aren't sure she knows she looks like this AND she isn't afraid of people at all! We aren't sure we could have that kind of resilience.

We heard Tara say that she has been in the rescue for quite awhile and that many people do not want her because of how she looks. That is horrible! We cannot control how we look, but rather how we act and this sweet foster sister of ours knows just how to do that! Hopefully someone out there falls in love with her so she doesn't have to wait much longer for her forever home!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bill of Rights for Grieving Animal Lovers

This was just shared in a Facebook Group that Tara belongs to. We have sadly had many friends experience the loss of their canine friends, so we thought we would post for you to have as well:


BILL OF RIGHTS FOR GRIEVING ANIMAL LOVERS
(author unknown)

It is Hereby Declared that Grieving Animal Lovers have the Right:

To feel the pain of grief when the bonds with our pets are broken. The bonds we have with our companion animals are deep and strong; the pain we feel when those bonds are broken is real and worthy of our grief.

To feel shocked and overwhelmed by the intensity of our grief. Since our animals' life spans are so much shorter than our own, it is inevitable that eventually we will experience the loss of our beloved animal companions. The grief we feel at such times can be far more intense than we ever expected, no different from that of losing another special family member or cherished friend.

To understand our grief reactions, feelings and behaviors as normal. Grief is a natural, spontaneous response to the loss of a significant relationship.

To express our grief in our own unique way, within our own time frame. The course of grief is unpredictable and uneven, with no specific time frame. How we express our grief will vary among individuals, but we all get through it in personally meaningful ways.

To have our grief recognized by others as significant and legitimate. Since grieving over animals isn't generally accepted in our society, we may feel uneasy or embarrassed, as if we have no right to feel or express our grief because our loss is not significant enough. But we're not grieving "just an animal". Since we're the only ones who know how much our animals meant to us, when they're gone we're the only ones who can measure how very much we've lost.

To feel supported by others in our grief. When our companion animals die, there are no formal, public rituals where we can express and share our sorrow, talk about our loss and obtain the sympathy and support of others. At the very time when we need to be with others who understand, we feel isolated and alone. We need to find someone with whom we can openly acknowledge our feelings, express and work through our pain, and come to terms with our loss.

To honor the memory of our pets in whatever way we see fit. To memorialize our beloved companion animals is to honor and acknowledge the important role they played in our lives, to bring comfort to ourselves and to help us keep their love and presence in our hearts. Among other things, we can memorialize our pets by writing about them, making an album or a scrapbook, planting a living memorial in our garden, having a meaningful memorial service, funeral or ritual, or making a donation to a charitable animal organization in our pet's name.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

From our Aunt Ezzie...

Love, laugh, sing, play.
If you want to heal your mind,
do these things every day,
and there will be very little left to heal.

 
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE PETS, THIS IS A TRUE STORY.
FOR THOSE THAT DON'T, YOU NEED A PET TO LOVE~


The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door.
Dear Dogs and Cats:

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food.

The other dishes are mine and contain my food.. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.  Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me  doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having  tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm..

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered.
 Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.

The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:


TO ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT AND LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PETS:

(1)   They live here. You don't.
(2)   If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.
(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
(4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
                    

(1)   eat less,
(2)   don't ask for money all the time,
(3)   are easier to train,
(4)   normally come when called,
(5)   never ask to drive the car,
(6)   don't smoke or drink,
(7)   don't want to wear your clothes,
(8)   don't have to buy the latest fashions,
(9)   don't need a gazillion dollars for college and
(10)  
if they get pregnant, you can sell their children

No vacation for us?

So Tara says we got a vacation, but we really didn't! The human portion of our family went on something called a cruise. We don't like the water, so we may not have enjoyed it as much as she did, but we for sure did not go on a vacation. We stayed home with our three foster siblings and Tara's brother. It was nice to be home, but we always miss work when we aren't there.

Someone mentioned that we were having a "staycation." What does that mean? We sure "stayed" in one house for the week!  We never act like ourselves when Tara is gone because we get so nervous. Two days before they left, the suitcases came out. That means we barely slept! Those suitcases also mean someone is leaving and usually without us!

With the two of us being "edgy", as Tara calls it, our foster siblings started to act funny. We don't think they know what suitcases meant...until now. We didn't have to wait long for "Uncle No-no" (that's what our human brother calls Tara's brother) to get here, however we weren't sure what he was doing here.

We aren't going to lie...we all took advantage of Tara being away and pretended like we lost our doggie manners. The foster siblings REALLY took advantage of this! Tara was not happy when she got home and learned the trouble we gave Uncle No-no! Maybe next time she will take us with her!

Do you always take your dogs on vacation? We do get to go a lot of places, but not always on vacation...

Sorry to cut this short, however Tara and Bode need to get to work on their presentation. They are headed to NASW-Fl in two weeks with Liz and Somer to teach about pet-assisted play therapy.

We will blog again soon!

Abbey and Bode

Friday, May 25, 2012

Love...

There is no doubt that we love each other other. Not all siblings get along like we do, but there is so much love that we have for each other. It all started with the day Abbey picked Bode out. We aren't sure why, but felt like we should recap the story of us!

In June of 2005, Abbey was chosen to join our family. She was a wedding present that our human parents got each other when they returned from their honeymoon. She was sad to leave her brother, as their mom and sister had already been adopted. Tara had fallen in love instantly and so did Abbey.

Abbey learned to be spoiled, like only children do. She loved going places with our parents and even more so when it was training classes or the dog park. She even made a friend names Chloe that we still get to keep in touch with. Chloe's mom lives in Orlando but her grandma lives in SW Florida like we do!

In April of 2006 Abbey really wanted a sibling. Our parents agreed and off they went looking for me. They checked around at different rescues, looked online, and more. Our Aunt was volunteering at a shelter one day and I was patiently waiting to meet my forever family. Three dogs were chosen for Abbey to meet and I was one of them. From what I hear, Abbey turned her back and wouldn't even look at the first two...then I came in. As soon as I saw her, she did a play bow and we wrestled and rolled. It was love at first sight.

The shelter told everyone I was a hound mix and about 16 weeks old. They said they guessed I would be no more than 40lbs. That was my little secret....

(C) Delta Family Counseling, LLC
Even at work, I listen and Abbey gets to claim the comfy spots first!


I followed Abbey everywhere. I didn't make Tara teach me much as Abbey took the lead. She taught be where we are allowed to go to the bathroom, how to behave to get extra treats, and more. She is an amazing big sister! She even convinced Tara to teach me how to be a good counselor and we all get to work together.

Six years later, here we are! I am not a hound and I just weighed in at the vet this week a little over 150lbs! Yup, I am a Great Dane mix.

Abbey will always be my big sister, even though I am much "bigger" than she is. She knows how to teach me still and I am a good listener.

Do you show your siblings how much you love them? You should!

With love,

Bode

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Discrimination...again!

Hi, it's Bode!

I was so excited about doing another school workshop next week but then they cancelled. My feelings are really hurt as to why, especially considering Tara and I were going to talk to the students about self esteem!

As you may or may not know, we visit schools as often as we can to talk to children about safety around dogs and then usually have a lesson with it. Mostly the teachers ask for lessons on self esteem or test anxiety.

I thought we were making waves with all the invitations and having such great feedback about our interactions, but not with this school! The teacher was able to schedule us and confirm with her administration, however when they learned that I was a "LARGE Therapy Dog", they said only if I was small. What? How is that fair? Abbey doesn't really like large group work like I do, so I go with Tara to all the schools and large workshops, and Abbey does small groups along with the clients we see.

I guess I am a little big for this house...
(c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC 2012

Again, because of my size (which I don't think I am that big), I am shut out of something! Luckily the presentation we have coming up was able to make accommodations for Somer and I to travel with Liz and Tara as originally they said we were too big to sleep in the hotel, but we were ok'd to be there to present. Strange, but like I said we are all set now!

I am wondering how you handle being told you can't do something because of something that is out of your control? Tara and I played lots of games to recoup from the news and that helped, but it still doesn't seem fair!

Now that I am typing this, I realize this is sort of how my foster sister, Gemini, must feel. She is a great dog, only 3 1/2 months and already housebroken and learning manners. When Tara takes her out to meet people and they realize she is part pit bull, they actually say she is no longer cute (after they oohed and awed over her). That is just as sad...and she will probably  be big since she is already over 20lbs!

Meet Gemini...she is still looking for her forever home
www.brookeslegacyanimalrescue.org
(c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC 2012


Until next time...

Bode

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

You should love your mom every day of your life....and show her! In case you don't, there is a day called Mother's Day, it is today (hope you already knew that!), to remind you and give you lots of ideas on how to spoil your mom.

We love our mom so much! We try to remind her every day with lots of love and closeness. We know we are adopted, so that makes our relationship even more special to us. We were chosen! No matter how your relationship with your mom happened, it is unique!

Some of our clients had trouble this week with knowing Mother's Day was approaching. When you have had your mom die, have been taken away from her for various reasons, or maybe never even knew her, you may turn to someone else. That new "mom" will never be the same as the woman you were born too, but in some cases that is so much better!

The definition of mom was also debated this week by some of our clients. Is a mom someone that you are born to or does it take more to be a mom? What about the term mother? Everyone has their own definitions for each. Sometimes they are emotionally driven and sometimes they are just words.

To us, our mom is Tara and she is not only our mom, but our trainer, coach, co-therapist, and more!

Before we sign off, we want to let you know that we are thinking of those of you that are struggling with the loss of your mom, the loss of a child, and those that are trying hard to become a mom and experiencing struggles with that. Today is hard for you and we know that!

In honor of moms of all kinds...Happy Mother's Day!

love,

Abbey and Bode

Monday, May 7, 2012

Amazing people...

So we find ourselves apologizing, again, for the delay in posting. We have been very busy had some ups and downs. First--we realized we forgot to tell you that Bode made his last step down on the meds and is looking like he is almost done and back to his new health.

We have three new foster siblings. Yes, that is right...there are five of us in the house along with our humans. Sleigh Belle came back today. We haven't heard much, other than her family decided it was not a forever placement. We will post more when Tara tells us.

Bo Duke, we call him "Duke" is a coonhound/beagle mix that has lots of energy. We have worked hard to teach him quite a bit. He was afraid of doorways and leashes, but will now go for walk (quite eagerly) and let's himself in and out of the doggie door.

Gemini came to us with her sister Virgo for the Dog Days of Summer baseball game. Virgo went back to Naples to get adopted and Gemini was supposed to, but that family backed out. She is really fun, but only 3 months old. She is a pit bull mix, but not the type of pit bull people are scared of. She is so loving and enjoys playing with our human brother.

After that baseball game, Duke and Gemini got sick. Then Bode got sick and now Abbey is coughing. Our house went on  what they call "puppy quarantine". We cant work or be around other dogs and the foster pups cant go to events. We are hoping it is gone and Sleigh Belle doesn't get it.

We have continue to keep ourselves busy and are having fun, but that is what we do best!

Bode got to go to Skyline Elementary a couple weeks ago and had an amazing time. He visited Mrs. Salyers (AKA Aunt Ezzie), Mrs. Rice, and Mrs Ruska's room. Bode was so happy to be back teaching classroom lessons that he didn't stop sharing about it for days! We all want to go next.

A few days later we received some pretty amazing cards and letters. They had pictures of Bode on them and were so talented. The cards came to Bode, Tara, and Rachael--she is our new intern at the practice.  We loved reading how much the self esteem lesson meant to the kids and how much they enjoyed interacting with Bode. Most of them seemed surprised by his size and the fact that he was so gentle to give treats to.

Some of the students asked us to respond, and we will try to do that individually, but wanted this blog to get to them too! When we need to feel better about ourselves, we do all sorts of things. Talking to a friend who always has nice things to say is one of our favorites. Tara and Rachael enjoy playing with their human and canine kids.

Due to confidentiality, we were not able to take pictures.

As you can see...we have continued to encounter many amazing people and we can't wait to see who is next! We hope the 4th graders from Skyline continue to do amazing things and remember the lesson from Bode and their teachers.

Until next time...hopefully sooner!

Bode and Abbey

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Love not hugs made the news!

We made the news with our blog. Our friend, who is also a trainer, Kelly was with us...oh and Tara too!

Check it out:

Wink News Love Not Hugs

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

All this attention...


Somer and Lexi snuggling (c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC 2012

Greetings all! Co-therapist Somer and co-therapist-in-training Lexi here signing on to offer our perspective on this "hug a dog day" thing. Personally, we appreciate the concept behind the day. We think it's GREAT that the humans are wanting to give us a WHOLE day of attention! However, the delivery of this special day makes us a little nervous. We just don't get that warm and fuzzy feeling from a human hug like I do with a nice scratch behind the ears or maybe even a belly rub! So this year for Hug Your Dog Day, lets all practice dog safety and do what your dog loves most!! For us, belly rubs all around! 
Hi! (c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC 2012

 With Love,
Somer and Lexi
Goodnight (c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC

Tickles instead of hugs, please!


Another one of our canine co-workers wanted to blog about today too!



To all my friends and fans out there, I just want to be clear on a few things.  My name is Shep and I am a dog.  I really love being a dog.  Although I may hang out with people especially children all day long, I am still a dog complete with dog behaviors and preferences.  For one thing I love people or at least I love how they smell and one of my favorite things to do is smell and kiss (lick) the hands of children, they have the best flavors!  When I do this, however, many children seem to take this as an invitation to give me a hug!  Uggg!  I really don’t like hugs; I don’t even like it when a person tries to pet the top of my head.  I tolerate it, I look to my owner for assistance, and I try to back away to safety.  If there was one thing I wanted people to know, it would be to tickle me on my chin and neck that makes me so happy!     It lets me know that you are not threatening, not intruding, and really listening to me.  If you want to see my tail wag and my ears perk up in excitement, let me come to you, lick your hand, and then tickle me under my chin!  Leave the hugs for your own kind; they seem to really like hugs!


Shep

Griffin shares his thoughts on hugging

Our new canine co-worker has written a blog to share. Welcome to the practice, Griffin!


Hi! My name is Griffin, and I am the newest canine co-therapist in training at Delta Family Counseling. My human, Heather, adopted me from Brooke's Legacy Animal Rescue just two weeks ago. Although I am only four and a half months old, I am really smart, and I have something I want to say about this thing you humans call "hugging".

Griffin (c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC 2012


When humans, big or small, wrap their arms around my neck to 'hug' me, it makes me feel uncomfortable and kind of scared. Tiny humans, ("children" Heather tells me they are called) tend to squeeze my neck when they do this hug thing; and that makes me feel like I can't breathe. I know some of my older dog friends put up with this, even though they don't like it, but I am very young with lots to learn, and I am afraid if you hug me I might struggle to get away from you, and if I can't, I might just be so scared I may snap at you, or try to bite!

When dogs meet, we have our own way of greeting each other. We approach each other from the side, we don't look each other in the eye, and we get to know each other by sniffing each other's (excuse my language) butts! We don't really understand all this direct frontal contact you primates enjoy!

(c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC 2012


I would NEVER want to hurt a human!! I LOVE my new family and my new job. I was so excited to go to the counseling office today and meet some of the children Heather works with. Please help us spread the word about the real way we dogs like to be approached and touched! Respect my space, introduce yourself to me carefully, and give me a nice rub under my chin! If you visit us at Delta Family Counseling, our human co therapists will help you understand how to interact with us. I can't wait to meet you!

Love,
Griffin

Monday, April 9, 2012

Love and Hugs are not the same

We signed on today to blog about something else...actually an update to Bode (good news)...however while we were at the vet Tara heard a story about how a major news show and a major dog food company have teamed up to host "Hug your Dog Day" tomorrow, so now we want to talk about that.

What?? A national movement to put people, children, in a place that causes the most facial bites and dogs so much discomfort? Those "hugs" usually include a squeeze...we cringe even writing that. Yes, we are saying it is not ok to hug all dogs. Yes, we realize we are dogs, but do you realize dogs are dogs and not humans or any form of primate?

 Bode (c) Delta Family Counseling, 2012

We love our humans as much as they love us...clients included. Our love is different though. Each dog is different. As we write this, we are having a discussion about what each of us like and it's not always the same (our foster brother is chiming in too)! Bode likes to ask for hugs in his own way from some people, but usually those he is closest to. Abbey never wants to be hugged, but tolerates it. Most dogs tolerate to a certain extent, but if you don't know how to speak our language and read our signs, you might miss when you cross the line.  Have you ever noticed that dogs don't hug each other?

Abbey (c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC

To greet other dogs you may see us do things that would be considered "rude" for you to do to another human and that is just how we feel about the hug. We may sniff the rear of a new dog (even one we know). If you watch, we approach from the side and not front. We may not make great eye contact. (Tara says to point you to Dr. Sophia Yin's page with free downloads on our body language and more--she uses these with the rescue we foster for: Dr Sophia Yin Downloads)

Don't get us wrong, we love contact with humans, but in our own way. There is research that shows the benefit to us (and you) from the contact. Tara says it's called our "oxytocin levels" that increase and give us the warm fuzzy feeling. There is more and more research on this coming out, but we already know how it feels and leave all that "research/reading" stuff to Tara.

So what do we like? We (the canine and human therapists at our practice) teach this to all the clients when they first come in. Most dogs like a positive, safe greeting that is not spontaneous and is controlled for all involved. Do not come (especially running or loudly) straight on. Approaching our side shows us you understand our needs. Letting us come up to you is preferred. Sudden movements, especially an open palm face down will cause us to startle. Gentle rubs/tickles on our chin is a great start.

"Rub my belly" (c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC


Like we said, we are different. Abbey will greet you and instantly roll on her side as she wants you to rub her belly as a greeting and then will usually give you lots of licks. Bode will nudge your hand once he has sniffed you and have you rub his head and top of his snout. Sometimes he will lick you too. Once there is increased comfort with a person, this greeting may change, but not at first. As we stated early, there are some people Bode seeks hugs from, but he doesn't want you to wrap your arms around him and squeeze, he nuzzles his head in between your arm and body and curves into you. That is his version of a hug (or with Tara, he will jump (under cue) onto two feet and place his hands on her shoulders.

We don't walk up and just offer a paw (c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC


So, how do we handle this? Respect your dog and dogs you meet. See if you can learn from the links provided here how to better communicate with your dog and build your relationship. Share photos of positive dog/human interactions. Talk with a trainer if you need more information. A great book on human/dog interaction is The Other End of the Leash: Amazon link to The Other End of The Leash

Dog Bite Prevention week is approaching (ironically) in May and Doggone Safe has some great information about how by educating the humans, we can save more canines (many are put to death for a bite, even if it was provoked): Doggone Safe

While we admit it is hard to judge from a still picture on the dogs communication, many show what is considered stress in the dog. Isn't the ultimate goal for mutual love, even if it means no hugs?

We would love to create some dialogue with this blog. Please comment and share to help spread the important message. If we see other blogs doing the same, we will share here.

~~Abbey and Bode

**A BIG thanks to Rise Van Fleet of Playful Pooch for her recent training that reminded us of many of these things and taught us even more! Playful Pooch


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Abbey!

It's been a weekend of celebrations, but the most important to me is Abbey's birthday. Abbey turned 7 today. I think she knows, and loves, when it is her birthday. She also knows she gets special treats from the dog bakery, so that may be it! I was sad because I couldn't have our favorite yogurt covered treats due to my new allergies, however we found somethings I could have!

Point at what she wants!


Thanks, but where is the rest?

Do you like to celebrate? There are so many things you can find to celebrate, however birthdays are extra special. Do you know why? It means that is the day the person was brought to this world with the chance to meet you! Every year we celebrate all that person has accomplished in their time here on Earth. How amazing is that?  Do you take time to do it? We do!

We love birthdays at our house...and office! Tara is BIG on birthdays and making sure we celebrate on the person's special day as that is THE day for them.

Today is Bootsy, our foster brother's birthday and he got an amazing gift....a forever family! "Gotcha" or "adoption days" should also be celebrated. Many families that adopt furry kids or human kids forget to do this, but it is such an amazing day to celebrate. It is the birth of that person coming into your family. We know both of our "Gotcha" days and celebrate them too!

Tonight is is just Abbey and I at home with no extra foster dogs. It doesn't happen often, but is sort of nice. I hear we have another foster brother coming tomorrow!

Until next time...

Bode

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Namesake

Often we don't realize the namesake of business or organizations. Today is the birthday of the namesake who we foster for. Brooke's Legacy Animal Rescue was created in honor of Brooke Miller by her mother Tink. On Friday, Tara will be presenting Tink an award for Public Citizen of the Year for the NASW-FL Southwest Unit. We will post more of this then, however wanted to share with you a video created by Cheyenne, Brooke's sister. Brooke's Birthday Video

Happy Birthday, Brooke! Even though we never had the pleasure of meeting you...we have met so many animals that were saved for you!

With love,

Abbey and Bode

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

All sorts of energy....

I got to work today!! I have gone in over the past few weeks, but today I really go to work!!! (Abbey and I realized we forgot to blog about last week's amazing training, but we will soon!) Here I am going to work...check out my smile! It was partially  because of going to work and also because Tara put the seats down so I had LOTS of room! (Abbey was too interested in what was outside so she is only part way in this photo).
We also took our foster brother, Bootsy (the Jack Russell) with us to our office (Delta Family Counseling). He was binging around the car so you can't see him. He bings around a lot. I get tired watching him.  We taught Bootsy some great things about "work" and showed him the ropes. Tara left him with our...I mean her assistant, Timmy, while we had an intake session and we heard him crying. Abbey told me later that Timmy let Bootsy sit on his lap to calm him down. Puppies get everything! No one ever invites me to sit on their lap!

Here is me during a session. I was so happy I couldn't contain it! I was able to sit in on an intake and also an ADHD session that Bootsy was brought in for.  I am glad he was able to do that one as I just was able to sit here, smile, and watch. The clients still engaged me, but I just wanted to be present today. I played if they asked, but was not really initiating as I was just taking it all in!

Do you know about ADHD? I do. I love those clients. They bing, bing, bing around the room like Bootsy does at our house. It is tiring, but they are fun and loving. They always know what they want to do it, how they want to do it, and what they want to do next.

Bootsy was able to see a parallel to his personality. As they binged around together, some mirroring took place and the client was able to provide some introspect into life, challenges, and how others may view kids with this kind of energy and attention levels.

They played golf for a bit..

and had some puppet shows...Legos, fetch, drawing...

and then something magical happened....

Out like a light! (You can see my tail...I stayed there just about the whole time)! Have you been around anyone with ADHD? You probably have but didn't realize it. It's not just kids either!

Off to bed...we have some pretty big posts coming up this week, so watch for them!

Bode

Monday, March 26, 2012

Please think about if it was you...

Dear News Media,

This letter is long overdue. We love most of you. Actually we have some pretty amazing friends that work in the news, however there are some of you that make us very sad.

Those that are amazing, you know what you do that stands out. Your ethics and personal values are in place and you know how to respect the lives of those that may be involved in some unfortunate incidents. You don't exploit the families or the professionals that you may know are working with them. You realize that bad things happen to good people.

Those that don't. Take note!

There have been times when we have been impressed and loved our time on TV, however others we are saddened at the exploitation of clients we may serve. Many of our staff have stopped watching the news, which is sad. When Tara offers interviews to other therapists in the practice, they won't accept due to fear of their words being turned around.  We have found that there are some stations locally that are "safer" than others. Do you realize this too?

Recently I assisted Tara on a session where the client expressed "hating" reporters and feeling like they are mean and don't care. I know that this is not true for all, however experience with reporters "camping out" and "stalking" the family have proved otherwise. This is not the first time a child has shared this fear with us. They see the reporters sitting, knocking, or constantly driving past their home...their safe place. They see you saddening, maddening, or causing anxiety in those adults they still trust and love.

Do you realize that these are people could be your family? Our heart breaks for them and you. Not every trauma needs you digging deep into the lives of families, especially when you may not get the whole story. Remember what we tell our clients: There are three sides to every story!

Tara specializes in trauma work, so we see a lot of crime victims. This also means we are constantly deflecting the news crew. Some of the "shady" ones know we do this and watch our office to see if they can "catch" one of our clients coming in. Sadly, we cannot allow the media to come in a lot because of this. We have heard that our practice has a reputation with the media of being uncooperative, however are we uncooperative by providing the confidentiality we promise our clients? The safe place for them to process? If that is how you define it, then we accept it; however we do not feel we are uncooperative!

I am sad to report the fear that some of our clients have about news media and I help Tara work to change it, however some reporters just reinforce this behavior.

So, my friends in news media, wont you share your ethics with your colleagues? What can we do to help in this?? What if your family was on the other side?

Sincerely,

Abbey

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

PACE Center For Girls...and Bode!

Do you know about PACE Center for Girls? I didn't until last week. It is amazing! Tara (along with Abbey and I) are friends with their amazing Executive Director, Marianne Kearns.

From their Facebook page: PACE values all girls and young women, believing each one deserves an opportunity to find her voice, achieve her potential and celebrate a life defined by responsibility, dignity, serenity and grace. Over 50 girls, ages 12 to 18, attend the Collier County day program in Immokalee and face a variety of challenges such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, academic underachievement, substance abuse, trauma, death of a parent, and/or family history of incarceration. Learn more at www.pacecenter.org
PACE provides girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy.

PACE has been recognized as a "best practices model" by the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Child Welfare League of America and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. 

Florida is one of only two states that recognized by law the benefits of a gender-specific response to juvenile offenders. PACE's programs for Florida girls has become a national model for results-based intervention.

Photo from their website

Tara told me we were going to visit the school and I thought it was just that...a school. I was so wrong! It is  so welcoming and celebratory of the girls and the community. As you enter, you cant help but smile but what is happening within their doors.

I wasn't feeling great when we were headed there as we had just left my "special" doctor that has helped me to gain most of my health back. My mood sure changed once we got there, although I tired fairly quickly!

Marianne showed us the gym area, which was being set up for a women's networking event and then we got to see her office. There was an employee that was spooked by me...I think people think I am big or something...am I? We stayed away from that lady, although I wanted her to realize how nice I am! We then went into a classroom where I was able to sniff around and try to learn more about where we were. Some staff members came in to meet me and helped Marianne bring in the girls I was able to spend time with. Some of them had some pretty surprised reactions at seeing me. Am I really that big?

There were about 15 girls that I was able to spend time with, along with some staff members, and four students from the College of Charleston that were doing community work at the school.

I visited with the girls, rested, and visited some more. I am still working back my stamina to be able to spend more time with people, but seem to be tiring much faster than I used to...I refuse to say it is due to my age and think it is just because of this illness I am working through.

Tara talked about the training Abbey and I have had, what "work" looks like for us, our other canine co-workers, and more. She attempted to get me to do my tricks, but I wasn't into it! I was able to do a few for some of the girls, but didn't feel like putting on a show...not to mention Tara did not give me treats!! She keeps refusing to do that and tries to trick me into thinking food is treats...I am not falling for it! I heard the vet say I can't have it, but I just refuse to accept that!

I received lots of hugs from the girls at PACE and could really tell some of them could use my skills and help. I hope they find someone they can trust and talk to so they don't continue to keep all their feelings inside. Maybe they will realize how much they can trust Marianne and let her help them get the support they need!

Tara and I are hoping for an invite back! We love all that is going on out there. You can follow their FB page to learn more: https://www.facebook.com/pages/PACE-Center-for-Girls-Collier-at-Immokalee/162388667107942

It's getting late...so off to bed I go... I am trying to rest up and spend more time in the office as we (Delta Family Counseling) are hosting an Animal Assisted Play Therapy training next week by Rise Van Fleet and if I feel good I get to participate!!! Abbey, Somer, and Shep are so excited and I am too, I just don't know if I will be ready!!

Sending "hearts" your way in honor of the PACE Girls!
<3 Bode <3

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Where to start

Where to start...

It has been a whirlwind these past few weeks. We have thought about posting quite often and just have not had time. Bode went to bed early tonight (I think the time change was a little much for him!)

Let me start by sharing my feelings about some recent developments at home. I LOVE fostering and having foster siblings, but not too many. Chicklette and Sleigh Belle have learned the hierarchy here and respect it. We had a great status quo going on while we are waiting for their forever homes....then another dog came home. Tara didn't do it...but he is here! We have an 11 month old foster brother who is WILD. Bootsy...who will be renamed...came home on Tuesday. Our human dad thinks he may want to adopt him. We have not had a "foster fail" yet and Tara isn't all the way on board with this, so he is still up for adoption.

This is what I thought of that:

I laid in his spot in the bed and did not want to be talked to or touched. It took me a whole day to get over it....but in the meantime I made sure that puppy knew I was the boss and the leader of the pack in this house!

Have you ever had extra people invade your house? How do you handle it? I just don't want to share! Luckily the new puppy doesn't get to go to work, so that was my safe escape!

Bode isn't back to being 100% yet, so he isn't at work either, although Tara lets him go a few places with her (he will blog about one soon).

Back to the specialist he went on Thursday and here is that update. Bode has gained back 8lbs with the new meds and special diet, however there is concern over how the weight is coming on as he still isn't able to keep everything in all the time. They made some changes to his meds to see how he would do and so far so good! The new "novel protein" bison diet smells so good, but I am not allowed to have any. Bode gobbles it up and asks for more...which is not a norm for him!  The prednisone is starting to taper off, so hopefully that will help Bode not to be so hungry and thirsty all the time. He has a digestive bacterial infection, so they started another antibiotic along with the other meds. We can tell this has been the best med change so far based on his increased energy.

We are hoping Bode makes some big strides this week as there is a BIG training coming to town that we get to be part of and I don't want to see him miss out!!

Bode will blog soon about his visit to PACE...

Abbey

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Celebration!!

Our clients come to us for many reasons. We help them find the positives through the pains. Our work always focuses on a theme of hope, however there are often times in which clients feel there isn't hope. We have several clients that feel pressed for time to process and move on because other life events are moving them forward faster than they are ready. These events could include college, moving, court cases, etc.

We would like to take a minute to focus on the celebration of events in the lives of our clients that we have heard in the past month. Most of these celebrations are from current clients, however some are from past clients who wanted to give us updates...we love updates from past clients!

Congrats to our clients who were accepted to their top college choices...some of which are prestigious, Ivy League schools!!  Congrats to our clients who lost touch with loved ones, but have found ways to reconnect and forgive (but not forget).  Congrats to our clients who were able to secure scholarships for college and private school educations! Congrats to those that have found the love of their life and are recently engaged and those that are getting married!

Won't you celebrate with us all these great things!!

Love,
Abbey and Bode

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I LOVE Work!

PLEASE...LET ME WORK!
Tara took me to work today. I was so excited...but then she told me that I could just be present and couldn't work. I am feeling a little better today, so this was very sad to me! I was only there for one client and listened to Tara, but it was hard. She caught me staring at her here and I think my eyes clearly show what I wanted... TO WORK!

I went back to the vet yesterday. I don't like it there, but I know they are trying to help me. I tried to sit in Tara's lap...that didn't go so well either! Kim (Tara calls her the tech) and Dr. Trainor are really nice, but I am so scared with the things they try to do to me. I know it is to get me healthy, but shouldn't my blood stay inside of me? Why do they need it?

I have been having some struggles since they diagnosed me and they are rather embarrassing.  Dr. Trainor feels they are side effects to the medicines (I am taking five), but I hate it! I have to go potty all the time and can't hold it. A few times I didn't even know I had to go. Tara has had to wash my bed every day and sometimes her bed (and Abbey's...). I am housebroken, so this is NOT ok! Tara doesn't get mad, but I do. I also keep panting and drinking lots of water. Oh, did I mention that I have not been eating? Dr. Trainor gave me an appetite stimulant, so yesterday and today I ate; however the last week or so I couldn't. I would eat when I had to (maybe a 1/2 cup here and there), but not my full 6 cups a day.

My blood work came back today showing some elevations in my liver, but that was not surprising considering my symptoms. We are going to check back in on Thursday to see how I am doing...today I had the best day I have had. Even though Tara wouldn't let me work, I came home and was able to have the energy to play with my two foster sisters. (We got a new foster sister on Sunday!) Tara was so proud of me for playing and so was I! I am crashing now and ready for bed...hoping I have the energy tomorrow too!


Self reflection...I do this a lot! The mirror helps!

We will continue to keep you updated!

~Bode