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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...


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!


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?



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
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 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:

It's getting 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...


Saturday, March 3, 2012


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!!

Abbey and Bode