November is Adopt a Senior Month


For me, I love having an older dog. Maybe its because they are so often forgotten in the over populated shelters, or perhaps it is because they need love and attention, like I do. Either way you look at it, as much as I love puppies, they are a lot like having a toddler and honestly I don’t have the energy all the time to be watching for every little thing they can and will get into.

Below is a list of reasons why it is an excellent idea to adopt a senior dog.

10 Great Reasons to Open Your Heart to a Senior Pet

  1. Older dogs have manners. Unlike puppies, many grown-up dogs have spent years living with a family and being socialized to life with humans.

    They may have received obedience training and respond to commands like Sit, Stay, and Down.

    Many are house trained and it takes a matter of hours or a day or two to help them learn the potty rules in their new home.

  2. Senior pets are less destructive. Most older adoptive pets are well past the search-and-destroy phase.

    You don’t need to worry so much about finding your favorite pair of shoes or a table leg chewed beyond recognition. Chances are your senior kitty has no urge to overturn your potted plant or shred the handmade quilt your grandma gave you.

  3. What you see is what you get. A senior pet holds no surprises as to how big he might get, what color his adult coat will be, or whether his hips will be healthy. A senior pet comes to you with his own history, which makes his future much more predictable than that of an 8-week old puppy or kitten.
  4. You can teach an old dog new tricks. Adult dogs can focus on the task at hand (unlike many of their much younger counterparts). If your adopted older pet needs to learn a few things in her new life with you, not to worry. Enroll her in an obedience class, contact a trainer, or go the do-it-yourself route. Older dogs are more attentive than puppies, and more eager to please their humans.
  5. You can custom order your senior pet. If you’re looking for a short-haired cat, for example, or a kitty with no history of dental disease, you can search until you find an older pet with exactly those attributes. If you already have a cat and need your adoptive dog to get along with cats, again, you’ll have a much better chance of finding an older adoptive dog who is a perfect companion for your family.
  6. You can adopt a purebred pet if you want. If you really love a certain breed of dog or cat, chances are there’s a breed rescue club that can point you in the direction of older purebred pets in need of homes.
  7. Senior pets are great company for senior citizens. Many elderly people find the calm presence of an older pet very comforting. They appreciate having a companion who is also ‘getting up there’ in age, doesn’t mind hearing the same stories again and again, and is content to move through life at a slower speed.
  8. Older pets are relaxing to hang out with. Senior dogs and cats have all the basics down and aren’t full of wild energy to burn. Because you’re not constantly chasing around or cleaning up after your older pet, you have a lot more time to spend finding fun things to do or just relaxing together.
  9. Adopted senior pets are grateful for your kindness. Somehow, older pets seem to know you gave them a home when no one else would. Many new owners form a close bond very quickly with their senior dog or cat, because the pet shows them a level of attention and devotion that is unique to older adopted animals.
  10. You can be a hero to a deserving dog or cat. Almost without exception, people who adopt older animals feel a special sense of pride and purpose in opening their heart to a hard-to-place pet. Doing a good thing really does make you feel good!

Article provided by http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/02/15/benefits-of-adopting-an-older-pet.aspx?x_cid=20141101_ranart_benefits-of-adopting-an-older-pet_facebookpets

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Meet our girl Tika, she is our adopted 12 year old Chi/JRT

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Our other adopted sweetheart is Lucy, she is 8 years old

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Our boy Blaze who is 9 years old

Have a great Sunday! Please remember to ADOPT NOT SHOP!!

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Quick Update


ImageFirst I must thank my friend katiecoolady for the photo above. For those who haven’t checked out her blog, you really should. Here is her link http://twoinnocents.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/quick-update/.

I apologize for not updating since my last post which was about my feeling out of body (or as some call disassociating) from the 3 car fatality last weekend, March 15, 2014.

I’ve been trying to process my visions and feelings around all of this. I’ve been updated and can say that all who were transported to the hospital, (minus the deceased) have now gone home, and the 4 dogs involved are home safe with their families. My spouse and I took flowers to the cross that had been set up by someone (which is right across from my home).

I experience Anxiety to sirens now. I have to talk myself down and remind myself my feet are on the ground and that the sounds will pass. That has never happened before.

I’m between group therapy sessions right now, so my weekly sessions aren’t happening. The first opportunity is April 23,2014.

I’m home a lot, I’ve struggled with getting outside and doing things other than what my brain has decided is ok. So I have given myself permission to garden, go to the store, doctor, appointments, stuff like that. But, social settings I won’t go by myself, and if I were, I stand somewhere where I I’m invisible.I often wonder if I will have balance and ability to go to the beach, sit on a log and watch the sun set and just know that everything will be ok?

We have had a dynamic change with not having 2 vehicles right now. I’ve experienced a huge trigger that I wasn’t expecting, but I’m trying to deal with it as best I can.

ImageThe other thing I have been working on is my senior dog Tika’s fundraising page on YouCaring. You can click on Tika’s Fundraising link here http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-tika-eat-without-pain/143569 so share and donate. I also post updates. I will be honest, It hasn’t been going very well. I decided to create a Facebook page to help share the importance of dental hygiene for your pet, I’m hopeful that there will be some increased shares. Teeth for Tika’s Facebook page can be found here https://www.facebook.com/pages/Teeth-for-Tika/436711099808170

So in an attempts to change what I do have control over, I spent some time at my local home hardware store and bought a new bird feeder as well as garden hose and window washer as I am gearing up to wash my outside windows before I put in new soil to help raise existing soil for gardening. Winters here are quite wet and it isn’t unusual to rototiller and mix last season and this season before planting. 

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I’d like to take a moment and thank the followers who have joined my blog in the recent weeks. It gives me courage to know that what my life is like makes a difference and my hope is it helps someone else out there.

Well I’m off on this slightly sunny Monday afternoon, to enjoy a cup of tea or my raspberry/strawberry smoothie I made.  I plan on sitting near my fish tank and enjoying my hard work I did on it yesterday, to seeing the new babies :). My bird feeder has been busy too!

 

 

 

 

Reaching out to YOU


I have been reading and researching ways to reach more bloggers and those wanting to understand living with a mental illness; or perhaps they too have a mental illness and are feeling very alone. 

So here’s an idea!! I’m going to write a Top 5 Blog! I want it to include things I have learned from blogging, or perhaps you have shared, and tips I have picked up!

Now let’s get started:

  1. What topics interest you my reader? Are you wanting more topics that are about my daily life, or more about our mental health community and things I learn?
  2. What do you think is important to have available that is missing in our mental health community?  
  3. Have you been in remission with your mental illness? How do you feel about this? Have you grown as a person? 
  4. Do you prefer to respond to bloggers comments on their blog or on yours underneath what they have said to you?
  5. Do you have down times where you don’t blog for a while? Do you let your readers know?
 I look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for liking my blog, for following and leaving comments. I really love hearing from you!

Have a Great Easter Long Weekend! 

Sean – I kept my promise


Its hard to believe this weekend is here, your birthday is St. Patrick’s Day. To many a normal day of celebratory green drinks of ale and green shirts. 

This morning I saw a post from your brother, who also shares your birthday albeit 6 years apart. Your mom had put in a tribute to you in our local paper, so eloquently spoken that I can hear Auntie’s voice, through her tears as she reads aloud the words she has written in your honor.  I can hear your father, a prominent member of our town, but at heart a father who at times is bewildered at the little things that remind him of you. Not to be forgotten ever, is your other brother, who is quiet but has so much to say with his quiet. He hurts, he feels, he sees and hears all that this mental illness has cost his family. 

To your extended family, cousins, aunts, we all feel your presence, yet feel sadness. 

I am sharing what I wrote this morning on FB as a tribute to you:

  •  Sean, I’ve kept my promise and for the last year I have spoken loudly and proudly about mental illness and how we need more support and understanding from not just our government, but from people from all walks of life. To removing the shame and judgments associated with having Bipolar or Borderline Personality. Not to be forgotten are Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, the list goes on. To the unspoken mental illnesses that people can’t see because they are not visible. My work is not done Sean, I will continue with blogging and I am hoping to get into volunteering so that others know that there is someone, like us, who is there for them. My heart is heavy, but I must keep going forward as my own mental illness and journey to wellness will always be ongoing. I love you my sweet friend, and will honor you and your strengths. To Ryan, you and I have shared and grown in connection as cousins and as family. I thank Sean for that as I do our family.

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Shame and how it robs me


I am working hard on myself. All areas of my life. Some days kick my ass hard core, some days I can handle not too bad. 

I’m working on my physical shape, working on my inner self, both are starting to show the results of hard work, to which I am greatful for. 

Yet, my boyfriend and I have been invited out to see friends, and I have no interest in going. I don’t get it. So I have told him to go without me. 

I don’t know how to look past the shame within me at my core. I don’t feel sexy, I don’t feel attractive. I still can’t look at myself in the mirror from my neck down.  I know that my boyfriend says people miss me and I’m sure they do, however, I just can’t seem to give myself permission to go to places where friends will be. 

I can give myself permission to go to therapy, to go to the gym, to the grocery store, but I can’t give myself permission to socialize? 

Shame, it has me really confused.

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Understanding Friendships


Its been a learning experience over the years; learning who are friends and who are not. 

I know you give what you get, and having a mental illness has caused me to miss many social functions. Its been super hard to commit and to go from being a “maybe” to being more committed to attending.  I always take things very personally, which I have been learning is due to my troubles with being abandoned. When I see friends attending functions together without me, I take it personally. My negative thoughts start cycling in my head. The triggers set off, my heart starts to beat faster, my mood becomes snappy and bitchy. 

How do I get myself to stop making everything about me? I mean, it isn’t as if I could have attended last night, I was out helping with a transport rescue of 7 lil dogs that had arrived many hours past when they were supposed to, then delivering two to their new foster families. We didn’t get in til after 2am! Then we had to get up early and pick up the other pup who had been mistakenly taken away from his partner! 

So knowing that I couldn’t have attended last nights events, why does this bother me? 

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BPD and Friendships – not a jolly ride


Over the weekend, I noticed that as much as there was various opportunities to go out and socialize, I kept close to home. Sometimes the decision to not do anything isn’t hard to make and other times, it is like an internal argument. I am also dealing with a lingering ear infection and loud noises will cause me to have shooting pains to the side of my head. 

I have a girlfriend who I have been very close with since I moved back home 3 1/2 years ago. She and I clicked instantly and she literally picked me up off the ground on days where I mentally and emotionally wasn’t able to.  As time has gone on, twists and turns along the way, I have noticed that our friendship is nothing like it once was. Sure there have been events along the way, on both sides, but no matter what we always had a weekly phone call to chat, to vent, to laugh. That hasn’t been happening and I have voiced to her how I do miss that. She is busy with the opening of a new business, I get that, yet, it doesn’t help my feelings. 

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened to me. Most of my life friendships have been a challenge. I don’t make friends easily, I’ve either been too shy, or too clingy, never in the middle to a place of balance. 

Its kind of been the same with relationships. They always been intense, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that none of the ones of my past have been healthy. Even when I thought having my own “Knight In Shining Armor” was so special and wonderful, little did I realize that was so incredibly destructible it almost killed me… he almost killed me. 

My life has been steadily in “survival mode”, I don’t know any other way. I’m really great at details and duties. Yet, you won’t find much in the way of emotional connection. I’ve long since erased that from times of intense stress, convincing myself that tears don’t serve a purpose other than being in the way. There have been times I had wished someone would come and “rescue me”. That they would see how hard I am working and that no matter what it was, they would make it all feel better. Kind of like if my family had been there for me growing up and even now, things may be considerably different. 

I have another friend who has been in my life for over 20 years, she has always unconditionally been there for me. I had her on a pedestal at one time, because I looked up to her. Her selflessness with genuine kindness and support; she has always had my best interests at heart. I’ve often felt like I have not been a very good friend.  It isn’t that I would not be there, I would in a heartbeat, and I’m sure I have. 

I think what it is, is that I could never contribute to our friendship the way she has. Even when we had a falling out about a year ago and she asked for a break, I walked away; letting her have the time to do what she needed to do. This had never happened before and I really learned a lot about my friend and about me. I learned about the different dynamics of friendship and how the different definitions can really make a difference. 

The one thing that has always stood out for me though is that I now keep these two people at arms length. The very idea of having any emotional intimacy and connection with someone more than allowable has always frightened me.  I know it goes back to my many years of coping with abandonment and even now that I have been more focused on being mindful and in the present, that inner core fear is still there. 

I often wonder if that core belief will grow and change, accepting of being in the present and not stuck on patterns no longer relevant to one’s life?

I really want to be a better friend and I am hoping that I can BE a better friend. All I need is to find the first step to do so.