Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Freedom Dogs...dogs making a difference!

Beth Russell on PAWsitive Radio.  She is a Registered Nurse and the Founder and Training Director of an organization making a huge difference in the lives of many.... Freedom Dogs.

Photo Credit: FreedomDogs.org

Her nursing career has been spent in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit/ Trauma Unit, Home Care and Nursing Education, Development and Research Department. Beth founded Freedom Dogs in 2006 with the goal of assisting those returning warriors with mobility issues.  It quickly became apparent that there was a much greater need for assistance with the hidden disabilities of PTS and TBI and the focus of the organization then changed.  In 2008 a proposal was placed before the Commandant of the Marine Corps regarding the Freedom Dogs’ Partner Program and he requested a 6 month pilot.  At the completion of the pilot, the results were so astounding that the program continues today.

Freedom Dogs is helping Military professionals return to civilian life. These well trained service dogs help reduce anxiety, create distractions to calm the individual, provide increased mobility and independence, provide comfort to those dealing with PTSD and in some cases... they are saving lives.

You can listen to Beth Russell share some beautiful stories of the animal human bond, how the Freedom Dogs are positively impacting the lives of returning military professionals, and helping keep families together.

You can also visit Freedom Dogs at www.freedomdogs.org

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Is your cat drinking enough water?

Do you know if your cat is getting enough water?  This cat is, but just how much water does a cat need, and what are some ways to ensure your cat gets enough water?

Dr. Shelby Neely, known as the Cat Doctor was a guest on  PAWsitive Radio    talking about the importance of ensuring your cat has enough water, especially now that winter is upon us. Not drinking enough water can result in a variety of health issues including urinary blocks, and dehydration.  Doctor Neely talked about pet fountains and how cats seem to enjoy drinking from the fountain, and drink more water. 

You can also put ice cubes in their water dish.

What do you do to ensure your cat drinks enough water?  We look forward to your comments.

You can listen to the incredible tips from The Cat Doctor here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/chammond/2013/05/15/guest-dr-shelby-neely

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Walk this Way... treadmills for dogs!

Toby on the Treadmill at K9 Awareness Centre 

Kaytie Stack was our guest on PAWsitive Radio

Treadmills for dogs are a great way to:

a) reduce anxiety
b) increase focus
c)  help with socialization
d) shed a few extra unwanted pounds
e) help prepare dogs for agility or other competitions

and... they are fun!

K9 Awareness Centre Treadmills. www.k9awareness.ca

Kaytie has been training dogs since she was a teenager under the tutelage of her mother, an experienced dog trainer and show judge.  Kaytie opened K9 Awareness Centre in 2009.  She has helped hundreds of dogs in her dog daycare and training centre. Her dog treadmills are a popular activity for dogs, so much that she has now designed Spot On K9 Treadmills.

You can listen to Kaytie's great tips and explanation of the dog treadmills here:   http://www.blogtalkradio.com/chammond/2013/06/05/guest-kaytie-stack

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Lead by Example- dog inspires bully prevention book

Summertime is almost here.

Just because summer is here doesn't mean that bullying on the playground ceases to exist for a couple of months. Bullying can happen in summer camps and summer programs.  Summer is a time that families often have more quality time together. Why not take the opportunity to bully proof your children. 

My friend Dr. Ganz Ferrance said that one of the frustrations express by many of the parents he works with are that they want to do something about bullying but don't know what that something is.  Dr. Ganz suggests that parents should first define bullying for their children. Often children will ignore or even get used to the negative and hurtful behaviours of their peers because it hasn't been named.  When children have a reference point for what defines good behaviour and what is considered bullying, they are more likely to act in a way that protects themselves or helps them stand up for others. when parents  put words to feelings it allows the important conversations with your children to occur, these conversations will serve them now, and in the years to come. 

After you define bulling, Dr. Ganz suggests you use dinner and drive time as the window of opportunity to have conversations with your children.  These are low key times to ask your children questions, explore how their day went, and to get insight into any challenges they might be facing. This can also be a great time to teach assertiveness and healthy behaviours.

Recently Dr. Ganz and I were on CTV News talking about this very topic...bullying.  I also suggested the importance of teaching your children a script, something like "Hey, that's not okay". These four words can often be enough to steer a bully away or have others stand up.  My new book Toby the Pet Therapy Dog Says Be a Buddy Not a Bully provides tangible and practical tips for children and their parents to deal with bullying.  Practising the script helps build confidence, and communication skills. It will help your child act appropriately in a crisis or threatening situation.

Another tip we explored was to lead by example... children pick up on everything, they are always listening, and looking. Teaching your children by example is important to help them develop the necessary life and friendship skills that will last a life time. teaching children about kindness, responsible and loving pet care, and unconditional acceptance are lessons you can also practice and model with your family pets.

The book provides questions for parents, caregivers and educators to use in conversation with children, and it also provides activities that children can do to learn more about kindness and being a good friend.

Team Toby- PAWsitively improving lives by teaching kindness, acceptance and respect.