I was emptying the camera roll on my phone the other day (please tell me I’m not the only one who gets that “storage full” pop-up delay and is constantly having to delete photos because they take and save an excessive amount of them), and got lost in photos from last summer. I know, I know, I just posted about spring flowers last week and here I am again, unable to embrace the present. My kids have taught me how to appreciate a good snow day, they really have, and I will say that my distain for winter has lessened over the years, but I’m not going to pretend I’m not looking forward to warmer weather and longer days somethin’ fierce. Plus looking at these photos makes me happy. So I thought I’d share them here, because maybe they’ll make you happy too.
We were supposed to leave this morning for a last minute trip to northern California to visit a dear friend of mine who has been having a challenging time. I felt so lucky that we were able to make this happen during a small break in Robbie’s intense tour schedule with the band so we could all four go. But I let myself get so stressed about finding a way to get out there, and then got even more overwhelmed once we got the flights, trying to squeeze in work for Bubby and Bean in the few days last week that Robbie was home and able to care for the kids, followed by close to break down status when Emmett got another severe ear infection after Robbie left again that involved things like projectile vomiting antibiotics. And then, after taking Emmett for a follow up just to make sure he was better, the doctor informed us that his ear infection has gotten worse and he absolutely could not fly. So we had to cancel the trip (second trip canceled due to a sick child in three months) yesterday. I genuinely felt like I was going to explode with stress and sadness. So much had built up and I was already so overwhelmed, and that just pushed me over the edge.
Then, I suddenly had this moment where I remembered the hell my friend is going through battling a terminal illness, and the hell the parents of the kids in Parkland, Florida are going through after last week’s shooting – and how ridiculous it was that I was putting so much pressure on myself over stuff that doesn’t even matter. I rebooked the trip for early April. I went to bed early. And I gave myself permission to take a little time off work, to focus my family and myself. This isn’t easy for me to do mentally (I am not wired to take breaks) or logistically (we have a new mortgage and rely on both incomes, and I can’t justify taking time off work when I’m not out of town), but I need to do it.
The reason I’m sharing this here is that I know most of you probably go through these periods too, when life’s small struggles build up until you feel overpowered. And maybe you’re not in a situation like I am where you’d already planned to leave for a trip and took time off work and therefore have the luxury of taking a few days for your family or self care. But if you are, do it. And if you’re not, find a way to allow yourself a break in a different way. A therapist friend of mine recently said something to me along the lines of, “I understand you feel guilty when you’re not working or taking care of others. And if it’s too difficult for you to justify the fact that you deserve it just for you, that’s okay. But know that the only way to be your best as a parent and a partner and a business owner is to give yourself a break. You can’t take care of everyone else if you’re not well.” This may seem like common sense, but I needed the reminder.
So Bubby and Bean will be silent for a few days. And I hope that inspires you to do something for yourself as well. I’ll be back on the 28th (the 28th of February! That means March is almost here! Woohoo!), hopefully feeling a little less buried. I would also love to hear what you do to take breaks and take care of yourself – self care is something I crush sometimes and absolutely suck at other times. Right now I fee like I could definitely use a refresher course.
Thank you for listening, and for allowing these occasional personal ramblings in between the design and lifestyle posts. You guys are the best.
Gaur or “Indian bison” are the largest species of bovine. Dholes are about the size of Eastern coyotes, but they are superb hunters in a large pack.
These are Kipling’s “red dogs” at work.
I always look forward to opening up the mailbox. Sure, email is great – but there’s something magical and mysterious about having physical, tangible items delivered to you from somewhere beyond. The other day was no exception, as I happened to receive the latest issue of Dog Fancy magazine (November 2011). And in the “Natural Dog” section is a feature on Natural Dog Training, including interviews with me and Kevin Behan, along with a couple people who have had some very positive experiences with NDT. (Cliff Abrams and Sang Koh).
The article is entitled “Push Away Stress” – and I think it does a great job of zeroing in on one of the central principles in how we interact with our dogs – that the key to establishing a rock-solid connection with your dog is to recognize that life for your dog, especially in a human world, creates stress. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to give your dog ways to relax that tap into their innate mechanisms for releasing stress. By doing so, you are teaching your dog that no matter how the world makes them feel, you are uniquely capable of helping them get through it.
This might all sound a little mumbo-jumbo-y, but I’ve seen it now time and time again, how tapping into your dog’s primal circuitry changes things for the better. My DVD set (and this website, and Kevin’s books, and Lee Charles Kelley’s articles, and…) gives plenty of examples of how once you’re plugged in with your dog you can turn that relationship into enthusiastic “obedience.”
Note that the reason that I put the word “obedience” in quotes is because the concept becomes almost moot. Your dog doesn’t “obey” you – because there’s no need. What happens is that you learn how to communicate with your dog in a language that they understand. So your dog listens, and responds.
Not because they are suddenly blindly obeying you, or because you’ve become the “authority” in their lives – but because they care what you have to say. It makes sense to them. Even more, it FEELS good to act in harmony with your desires. Because now you both want the same thing.
If reading the Dog Fancy article is your introduction to Natural Dog Training, welcome! I’m sure you’re intrigued to know what “pushing” is all about – as the technique was essentially the focus of the article, without any detailed instruction on how to actually do it! As you might expect, I do explain thoroughly how to do it on my DVDs – but I also provide written instruction here on my website on How to Push with Your Dog (and the follow-up – Why to Push with Your Dog).
Thank you to Dog Fancy magazine (and writer Susan Chaney) for an open-minded article about what we do. And thanks, once again, to all of you. It’s your attention, questions, and feedback (yes, keep sending emails with your stories of your success!) that help remind me why I’m doing this in the first place.
In a Letter to the Editor to newspapers in local communities affected by the Pebble Mine efforts, Halo® CEO Myron Lyskanycz, lends the company’s voice to the importance of conserving the Alaskan Bristol Bay Watershed, the globally critical wild salmon fishery it supports, and the permanent protection of the Bristol Bay Fishery Reserve from the impacts of large-scale, open pit metal mining.
Below is the full Letter to the Editor:
“We at Halo pet foods wish to lend our voice to the importance of conserving the Alaskan Bristol Bay Watershed, the globally critical wild salmon fishery it supports, and the permanent protection of the Bristol Bay Fishery Reserve from the impacts of large-scale, open pit metal mining. Furthermore, we support the Natural Resources Defense Council’s belief that the proposed Pebble Mine needs to be stopped since it has the very real potential to destroy (in perpetuity) Bristol Bay’s wild salmon fishery and devastate the livelihoods of the people and communities that depend on it.
Our company’s goal is to deliver the healthiest, most bioavailable and holistic whole food nutrition to our companion animals, while fostering farming, animal husbandry and fishing practices that treat our life-giving soil, waterways and animals in a manner that is sustainable, natural, non-degrading to our environment, and respectful of every animal’s normal life cycle. It is important for communities to be conscious of global and local ecosystems and sustain the animals that maintain the balance of these fragile ecosystems. Consumers increasingly understand that they have a choice, with their purchase decisions, to select goods from companies that actively support the environment, family farmers, natural ranchers and local fisherman. This is an issue that ultimately impacts millions of Americans, pet parents, companion animals, and wild animals. We believe that people everywhere need to be aware of it and given an opportunity to have their voices heard.”
By: Myron Lyskanycz, CEO, HALO, Purely for Pets®
Many people are afraid of snakes. It’s lucky for one family in Leesburg, Florida that their cat isn’t. Without their adopted cat’s courageous actions the family likely would have suffered far more than a fright from a poisonous diamondback rattlesnake who slithered into their yard.
As first reported by Inside Edition the Peterson family had been enjoying time with their cat, Oreo, in their backyard on a warm late autumn day when they decided to go inside. They had adopted Oreo a little over a year ago and the black and white feline was already a beloved member of the family. They all enjoyed spending time with Oreo, but never assumed he would be their hero.
The family’s enjoyment came to a halt when they suddenly saw a diamondback rattlesnake in the yard. According to National Geographic these snakes can grow up to eight feet long. Although hospitals in areas where these rattlesnakes live are generally able to treat people who have been bit, their venom can be deadly as well as painful.
Oreo apparently did not want to take any chances that any members of his family would be hurt that day. He leapt into action and fought off the snake. Unfortunately Oreo was not unharmed during the struggle – the snake had managed to bite Oreos leg. Jaden Peterson, age 10, told reporters that the cat’s “leg was swollen…and he was bleeding.” The family rushed their protector to their veterinarian’s office where he was successfully treated.
Cindi Anderson, Jaden’s grandmother, told reporters, “I think he was protecting the people of the home because that’s just the kind of cat he is.” Jaden agreed, calling Oreo “a little protector.” We suspect Oreo is enjoying a lot of grateful attention and treats from the family he so bravely protected.