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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Week 3...Dreams...Matching

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

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

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

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

Sweet dreams to all of our fans!


Friday, January 18, 2013

It's Natural...

Is it natural or is it coincidence? We are often asked that about the work we do. We are asked this more and more as we bring in our foster siblings to the practice and let them work on their social skills.   With Bode being on part time retirement and Abbey not being able to see all the clients herself, the foster siblings going in to meet clients helps keep a presence in the practice.

Holiday Holly has been doing well in growing her skills and has a natural ability with people. This week, Everheart got his first try at the practice. He was there just to be present and allow new people to meet him, pet him, and be in an unknown, busier environment before going to the adoption event this weekend.

Everheart spent a lot of time being the curious pup he is. He explored all the therapy rooms, greeted the UPS guy, spent time with the counselors and interns, and explored the outside as well. Everheart was nervous at times but did really well. He has the temperament to be a dog in a therapy office or doing therapy work, just needs a little more training.

The biggest moment of realizing the natural ability of Everheart was when a client came in and his gentle demeanor shined. Everheart walked up to this client as the client leaned down and he leaned right into this client. The client smiled and expressed joy at the pup seeking attention. Everheart took his paw and wrapped it gently over the kneeling client's knee to hold her close and closed his eyes as he leaned into the client. The client expressed delight in this. The counselor and Tara both made comments about how Everheart didn't seem to want to let go of the client and didn't think too much of it until later. The counselor shared that this client was actually in crisis during that arrival and the counseling session was quite emotional. Both Tara and the counselor realized Everheart had picked up on this and was working to share.

Some may say that it was a coincidence, however based on the work we do, we know it was not. We have a natural sense and pick up on the energy that you may not realize as a human is occurring. Everheart showed us that he has this instinct and we are excited to see how this can play out in his future. Hoping he finds his forever home soon, but in the meantime, we will be working with him to build his skill set.

Please share Everheart's search for forever love!

~Abbey and Bode


Yesterday it was brought to our attention that our governor does not respect the "forever" part of adoption. It was reported that he adopted a dog during his last campaign and quietly had it disappear from the mansion he lives in. Being from  Southwest Florida, this disgusts us even more. We can only pray that Governor Scott really took him back to the rescue he was saved from and not to a kill shelter, but we have not found those details yet for certain. One report says the dog is at a grooming shop in Naples. Let's hope that is not right and an actual, registered rescue has this dog safe! Here is the story: (

It is not a widely known fact, but Tara is one of the Facebook administrators for Brooke's Legacy Animal Rescue and just last week, Tara posted this to their page (

"Forever, not until. When adopting, if you expect to only "keep" your pet until the next best thing or chapter of your life happens, then adoption is not for you! If you cannot commit to forever and accept there will be transitions and learning curves, then adoption may not be for you. If you can accept that you have to build the trust and forever love, let's talk! Since all of our dogs/cats are saved and placed in foster homes, with each adoption, we don't anticipate a return. Each empty spot in a foster home gets filled as quickly as possible so another save can occur."

We are so thankful that our family knows what forever means. It is not an until I don't feel like dealing with you. Would you do that to your kids? The information in this story reflects that some basic training could have helped this pup adjust to a high stress, high activity lifestyle of being the Governor Scott's dog.  

When dogs, or any animal, are adopted, there is a learning curve for everyone! Even when we have a new foster dog come into our home, there is a transition period where we (dogs and humans) have to learn about each other. This learning includes mannerisms, behaviors, expectations, fears, and what may need worked on. It is not always a pretty, perfect situation, yet can be figured out for everyone to live together.  There are very few reasons to give up on trying and not even bringing in a professional trainer; allergies is one we can think of, yet we know there are many people that will prevent this from being a reason by seeking their own medical attention. 

We are very disappointed to see that this happened and hope more information comes out about this. The rescue world is not happy about this choice by our state leader. There is such a thing as a "Do Not Adopt" list that goes out to show which people may try to adopt that do not respect that it is forever or could/have been harmful to an animal.

We are off to think about Reagan and pray he is comfortable and truly in a rescue or forever family that will love and respect him for who he is!

~~Abbey and Bode

Weekly photo...a little late!

We took the photo but are just now getting around to posting! The theme for last week added the change of week one with week two. "A view from my window...bumpy" and "Imperfection...all lined up". 

(c) Delta Family Counseling, LLC 2013
For those that know, or have gotten to know me (Abbey), from our work, this is BIG! I love to be the boss and in charge and this is MY couch. Everyone calls it "Abbey's couch" and rarely do I share it with Bode, let alone the humans or foster siblings. 

On this particular day, the neighborhood was active and I allowed all of us to hang out together and check out what was going on in the world. There were so many dogs out walking and even some humans walking without dogs; who does that? Kids were outside playing, bike riding, and more! I heard Tara say it was going to be a warm day. We have had a lot of those (well, until this morning). 

You know Bode in the photo and next to him is Holiday Holly. Holly has been our foster sister for a few months. She is still a baby and learning. She won't be one until April (according to Tara). Next to her is Everheart. He joined us last week as a temp foster but he is pretty easy going so I bet he stays until he is adopted. Both of them are kill shelter saves, like Bode and I. They can be adopted through We also have two other BLAR dogs at the practice learning this week as Heather and Rachael (two counselors we work with) are also temp fosters; Sagittarius and Shiloh Sundance. 

So to get back on track...why did I think this fit the weekly theme? At one point in all of our lives, we were considered "imperfect" by someone, somewhere. We were discarded and disregarded. We are now saved and no longer thought of as imperfect. Bode was so little and abandoned; my mom was found right before she had us but because I was not "normal beagle colors", I was not as attractive (although Tara knew she wanted me from the start!)  Holiday Holly has been moved, transferred, adopted and moved again all for reasons out of her control (owner died, allergies of adopter, etc). Everheart was so skinny and scared (he hasn't shared everything with me yet). Imperfect to some, but nothing to even give a thought to for true, forever love.

I shared my couch and you found us all lined up! Bode and I on each side of the foster siblings. I think we fit the theme well, but don't want to focus any longer on imperfection, rather look at what makes us who we are! For example, we all four have great manners (most of the time), we love to be around people and have been successful at the practice (yes, even these two fosters have put in some time at work), we have unique coloring that shows who we are and more. Do you see imperfection or do you see others for who they are? What a lesson this week's photo opp provided! Stay tuned for the next theme from this week soon! A few more blog posts will be coming too as we have lot to share...maybe even one from Everheart as he keeps trying to steal the blog to share his one day of work experience!

Happy Friday!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge...Week 1

Yesterday we posted how we would be joining in the weekly photo challenge, so here is our first week: Evening Ritual!

This is my evening ritual. Trying to be the first one in the family bed. Yes, you read that correctly. The humans seem to think it is theirs, but it belongs to all of us! I say, whoever gets there first gets it! I personally decide to lay across the most comfy part: all the pillows at the top!! Sometimes I move pillows and those cover things fall off, but isn't a pillow a pillow? Welcome to this sneak peak of of one of our evening rituals!


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge...

We have convinced Tara to do this and will start tomorrow with the first prompt! Stay tuned to see how this works!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Let's have intentions instead of resolutions...

We would like to share with you the newsletter that the practice sent out last night. If you would like to receive the newsletter, please email to subscribe.

Let's have intentions instead of resolutions

Our past creates our present and leads to our future

As we closeout 2012 and look into 2013, we hope you are finding a way to use your past to create your positive intentions for the future. At our practice, we find that looking toward the achievable and making it positive, we are more likely to find success in all that we are searching for. A resolution has a negative sound and does not allow you to do something, rather to rid yourself of something. Reframing our thinking may just be all it takes to successfully accomplish something in our lives.

2012 has been full of growth, smiles, and amazement; sure there has been difficulty, but why do we need to focus on it? We have some collaborations lined up for continued success and growth in the community that we look forward to sharing with you as they come up. We are in the process of getting our painting party that was rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances on the calendar for early this year and announcing our Spring community fundraiser as well.

We look forward to your continued support and growing together in 2013!

Tonight we leave you with the intentions for 2013 of both our human and canine therapists. 

Appreciate the little things. Often times I forget that it's the little things that make a big difference. 

Be fully present in every moment. Too often even when I am having an enjoyable experience, I am thinking ahead to what comes next, or worrying about what chores or obligations I still need to fulfill that day. I am going to work at consciously reminding myself to be present, right here, right now!!

Griffin (AAPT dog in training with Heather):
Learn through play! Now that I am one year old, my intention for 2013 is to work really hard at becoming the very best AAPT dog I can be! I plan to spend more time carefully observing and assessing my clients for what they need from me, and less time trying to eat all the miniatures! Happy New Year! Woof Woof
Liz and Somer (AAPT dog with Liz):
Wag more, bark less! We’re going to enjoy what we have and not worry about what we can’t control.

Simplify:  letting go of the things that make it so difficult to be organized and truly enjoy what is important.  My intentions for 2013 are to downsize, simplify, and prioritize to become more organized.  Embracing the simple joys in life with less stuff!

Shep (AAPT dog to Michelle):
Keep Learning: some say you can't teach old dogs new tricks, well I don't know about that but I know I intend to learn lots of new tricks this year with all my clients.

Self Care and Graduating! Focusing more on self-care so I can better help clients and be more present, involved, and focused on family and friends. 

Make Time for those in my life that I love! Today is the day to share that special project, accomplishment, or just spend time with my friends & family! I am not going to wait for that, "Perfect Moment," instead I am going to make NOW our moment!  

See the silver lining and continue to live a transparent life. It's easy to take each negative that comes my way as a devastation, but I decide to learn and grow from each experience. After all, you are who you are because of all you have been through. When thinking about your future, don't wish for the past to disappear, embrace the lessons you have learned and create the positive intentions you have for the coming months! Live a life you can wear proudly to all you encounter.

Abbey (AAPT dog with Tara):  
Play more! I'm going to play more. With strangers and friends alike, I'm going up the kindness quotient and engage in more play. I have found myself the past few years letting Bode take over in play time with clients, family, friends, the public, and our foster siblings. This year I plan to follow the encouragements we give our clients and play more!

Bode (AAPT dog with Tara):
 Embrace retirement. This year I intend to focus on the positives of retirement instead of the disappointments in not having a say in this. I am going to seize every opportunity for speaking engagements and play time with Abbey and our foster siblings. I am going to take advantage of sleeping on the big bed and couches when no one is home…the foster dogs can’t rat me out!