After a very busy week, Hubby and I decided to have a relaxing dinner with a friend. Little did we know that our meal would come with a spectacular “show” – compliments of “Mother Nature”. Enjoy the beauty of Southern California where the slightest change in weather is considered a huge “event”. These photos were taken over a time span of 45 minutes. A new “scene” every 15 minutes!
Each year thousands and thousands of dogs are placed in shelters for a variety of reasons. Some owners cite allergies while others indicate their dogs have behavioral problems – regardless the number of canines that are “given up” is astounding. Over the past few months I have visited a number of shelters in the Southern California region. It had been years since I walked in to a shelter as we had stopped fostering and adopting dogs once we had welcomed Bingo and Tess in to our home. Now that Tess is a senior and Bingo has passed, it seemed the right time to add to our family and save the life of a furry friend. First stop the Devore Shelter in San Bernardino County. I had heard about this shelter as having a “high kill rate”. I have been following the Friends of Freddie Facebook group dedicated to broadcasting the shelter’s daily list of available dogs. They also posted those with sadder outcomes with captions reading “RIP”.
One day I spotted on their Friends of Freddie Facebook wall a photo post of a little black and tan shepherd puppy. The Facebook followers were certain that the puppy would be a “goner” so off I drove with hubby for nearly two hours to come upon one of the saddest shelters I have ever seen. After walking up and down I decided the puppy wasn’t a good fit for a variety of reasons. It obviously was a dog that had a lot of interest – and indeed was adopted out the very day it was able to be released from the shelter. As for the other dogs sitting in the over two dozen kennels- many who were pit bulls or seniors of mixed breed – it would be hard to say if they all found homes or were at least had their care sponsored. Unable to handle a dog as strong as a pit bull, mastiff or doberman – we drove home sans a dog. But, we made sure that we left a donation – to help sponsor care for those who didn’t have a list of potential adopters – like the little shepherd we came to see.
Next stop was a much nicer, cleaner, and amiable shelter in San Pedro via the LA County system. There I spotted an adorable dachshund mix. But again- a lot of interest and it seemed he wanted to be an “only dog”.
Third time is the charm…
For many years I have seen comfort dogs that help children and adults post- disaster work magic! I have longed to adopt a dog that could become a comfort dog to those who need to feel safe and emotionally more stable when their world is topsy – turvy. Hence the reason I started to search direct my search for breeds that would be people friendly and could deal with a little “stress”. Via PetFinder I spotted Sparky and the Gang / West Coast Animal Rescue from Long Beach, California. They had a dog that was purportedly a retriever mix, but had survived one of the worst cases of malnutrition I had ever seen. Off I went (again) to visit this survivor only to spot in a nearby kennel a young rhodesian ridgeback- shepherd mix that had just weaned eight puppies. Yes, I said eight.
All the pups were quickly adopted and little “Annie” was left alone in a kennel that once housed nine. When I passed her she rolled over – did a little wiggle and seemed to be quite the energetic little gal. After a nice time playing and snuggling in the yard I was in love.
“Annie” was to become Bayla (Hebrew for beautiful) and with not much issue settled in to our home. Quiet as a mouse not a peep for five days. She was fine in a crate, walked well on a leash and seemed to be getting along fairly well with Tess. Then all hell broke out on Day 6! OMG – she became a teen-age dog overnight! Chewing shoes, bouncing like a kangaroo, barking like a crazy dog and gulping her food as if there was no tomorrow. Plus, she went from docile Bayla to a prize fighter in a blink! What on earth happened!?!
Quickly I searched “what to do with dog aggressive and food aggressive teen/ young adult dogs”. So much advice so I took a step back and decided to “see life her way”. First, she was a stray in Mexico and a young mom. Then was an empty nester before she even was an adult! Finally she lands in a home where she has everything she would want except for a lot of limits. Unsure of herself – she is testing her boundaries and trying to be the one in charge. Our mission – to make sure she understands that this home has a hierarchy and she is not the Queen! Secondly, she needed to feel safe, secure and that we weren’t going to “dump her” – as we suspect had been the case before.
Daily walks, quiet voices and lots of rewards at intermittent times (yes I used people psychology on her!) – she seems to be going in the right direction.
So, while we are now in “Operation Bayla” in order to seek some peace in our home – I would like to open up this blog for any helpful hints, discussion or words of encouragement.
In the meantime – we are sure progress will continue to be made as she already has come so far in such a short amount of time. Thanks to social media I have found some wonderful resources and even plan on taking her to a group doggie trot where guidance for dogs and their humans is given!
And please remember – adopt, don’t shop – there are too many shelters full of dogs (and other animals) that need homes.
Here are some of the scores of dogs that are available for adoption via the West Coast Animal Rescue. Please note that they are available the date of this post and you should check out this link for updates and to obtain information about adoption or fostering.
Thanks for reading!
The Campaign continues – Imagining a Better World – please check out this amazing story of human survival
I have added an update inviting people interested in having real conversations about #Sexting and #Teens #Tweens to join in the #TXTGenChat via TWITTER – April 8, 2015 8p Eastern
Originally posted on Where Learning MEETS Laughter...:
For those of you who are interested in a serious conversation about sexting and teens/ tweens- please join us on TWITTER APRIL 8, 2015 at 8p Eastern Time and 5p Pacific Time. Use the HASHTAG #TXTGenCHAT
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PROJECT, #TXTGen – the movie- CAN BE FOUND HERE: http://bit.ly/1DvTQy8
Looking to have the movie shown at your site? Comment below
Thank you ….
Imagine finding out that a text was received by your daughter from one of her male schoolmates – of his penis.
She is horrified. Embarrassed. Bewildered.
And eleven years old.
Now imagine being the parents of this 11 year old who find out about this incident several months later. What do you do to help your daughter? What should the school do since it happened on their campus? How do you transform your anger and negative feelings about this incident in to something positive?
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Each year Signing Families, the company I founded nearly a decade ago, adds new videos to our free online catalog available on YouTube. This year we are creating more sign language videos dedicated to the topic of travel! Learn signs for countries, ways to travel and more!
This series of videos will be focused on helping novice and intermediate sign language learners acquire basic vocabulary. Also, intended for those in hospitality management who may wish to learn how to communicate with Deaf patrons.
In addition, we will add information about Deaf travel opportunities. (Did you know that there are specific tour companies dedicated to travel with Deaf clientele?)
If you have a Deaf owned travel company or any other suggestions about this series- please comment below!
In the past few weeks I have received a bit of information regarding employers seeking employees! I thought that some of you may be interested in looking at these positions. Some utilize the skills of actors while others are seeking educators, tech and biz folks or even consultants. I thought I would take a few moments to simply list what they are and how you can connect! (Don’t contact with me as I am just a conduit of information and have nothing to do with any part of the process.)
>> Children of a Lesser God is coming back to Broadway! While the principal cast may already be casted – there is information to be found about additional roles (and when it opens in NYC) by clicking here
>> Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt has posted dozens and dozens of positions nation and world wide! From business to educators to web design. Link is here
>>School Psychologists and Educational Consultants needed around the country. I found this opportunity to be one of interest for those who like to travel! via DeSalvo Inc. http://bsdesalvoinc.com
Note – this is just because I like to share and be helpful. Please do your due diligence before applying to any of these positions!
I wanted to write this blog as a way to say thank you for posting the recent letter to the editor titled, “Signing Specialists are a Distraction”. Not only was your post from Mr. Muccolini a real “discussion starter” about the role of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, but also generated thoughts about all the rights we have as Americans.
You see by posting Mr. Muccolini’s rant, albeit in my opinion narrow minded and a few other choice adjectives, it demonstrated that we have an amazing right in the United States for freedom of speech. This right has been one of the backbones of our country and often valued above others. Blood has been shed to uphold this freedom and I for one am thankful for the right to speak my mind.
I also thank you for the opportunity to shine a spotlight on another set of rights known as the American Disabilities Act aka ADA. (Please go here to fully see them outlined) Ahhhh…. this is where I get to be an educator and discuss how important these rights are for ALL. It seems perfectly logical that the right to information meant for the general public is one equally valued and needed by both hearing and deaf. So, I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around anyone who suggests that the right to a sign language interpreter, used to ensure equal access of pertinent safety information, is a “distraction”.
In fact, I challenge any hearing person who doubts the value of the ADA laws to walk around with noise cancellation ear muffs and see how much of what is being said can be understood. Accept my challenge for an hour, a day, or a week. Were you feeling “left out”, “ignored”, “uninformed”, etc? Perhaps after this exercise it will seem as clear as crystal why the Deaf may need to have access to interpreters. And, do note that not all people with hearing challenges require the same accommodations. Just as those with visual acuity problems don’t require the same extent of corrective lenses, etc.
Next I offer to people who think that “sign specialists” are nothing more than a nuisance another challenge to learn about the hard work it takes to become a certified interpreter. In fact, it requires just as much college experience to be a certified ASL interpreter as it does to become a chemical engineer. A four year degree and several exams later this “sign specialist” is allowed to “leave the box” and be a conduit of information for those who need this assistance. (Learn more about sign language interpreters here at RID – the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.
And, I challenge those who doubt the effectiveness and need for ASL interpreters to chat with those who needed them when their lives were disrupted by disasters. These victims of disasters are in towns all around America. In Joplin, Missouri, throughout Oklahoma, Northern California, and even near Burlington. Remember Superstorm Sandy? It is because of ADA laws that interpreters can be readily available to any of our community members who need their service. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that some people who are hearing, but have some communication challenges, may also require the assistance of an interpreter to facilitate communication.
You see, this is my field of expertise – helping build communication bridges between community members, including emergency responders, and those who use sign language as their primary language. I have seen the faces of those who are thankful for interpreters who have helped in the aftermath of a disaster. These interpreters often leave their own families to help others. They should be applauded for their dedication and commitment.
Why as a hearing woman do I write this note to you? First understand that I proudly sit on several committees that help with disaster preparedness and response for those with access and functional needs. It is my passion to do so. I welcome an opportunity to share educational resources with those who are in need of some enlightenment about the reasons why ASL interpreters are essential to our communities. After all, ASL is in the top five of the most used languages in the United States.
Thank you for reminding us that our rights as Americans are to be treasured and that we still have so much to learn as a country about equality.
Lastly, thank you for allowing me to exercise my right to freedom of speech.
Louise Masin Sattler, Nationally Certified School Psychologist