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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 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 to qualify. To vote for our business:
    1. Go to  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...


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Looking'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:

(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.


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:


(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
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