Jul 4 2016

on liking the person you are

Human-Animal Intervention at work!

Human-Animal Intervention at work!

I’m minutes away from handing in the capstone project for my Animal Assisted Therapy certificate course, which has taken up the better part of the last 9 months of my life. It was a rigorous, challenging program (through Oakland University) and I derived much satisfaction from testing myself, academically. It’s been a long time.

Anyhow, I’m downright giddy about how good it feels to accomplish this! And I like that THIS is the sort of thing that makes me giddy, adding C.H.A.I.S. behind my name, when appropriate. That’s Certified Human-Animal Intervention Specialist, in case you were wondering. People get giddy about all sorts of things; some I get, some I definitely do not get. Hey, different strokes. But this is what gets this gal all a-giddy. I think it’s pretty cool.

1309788When I was around ten, I recall reading my mother’s “Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs, about the Capricorn child:

The Sun Signs-loving author, former Capricorn Child, age 10.

The Sun Signs-loving author, former Capricorn Child, age 10.

“Tiny Capricorns do resemble miniature octogenarians. They look old in their youth and young in their old age. That little wrinkled prune of a face in the bassinet will someday be smooth and un-lined when other faces are sagging. Maybe it has something to do with being born in January-the old year going out and the New Year coming in. The odd turnabout does match the familiar image of the old man with his care-lined face beside the fresh infant of the New Year with his Ivory soap look.”

This made me giddy at age ten, instilling in me a feeling of “I’ll never really be ‘old’.” Of course I know now that to be not entirely true, as I am indeed oldER.

But still, this little achievement today, completing this project, earning this credential, has given me a bit of self-confidence and optimism I took for granted when I was younger. I’m going to cling like a motherfucker to this feeling today, hopefully longer!

Apr 14 2016

Whiter Shade of Time

snow, two ways

I grew up with these mountains. I love these mountains. Every morning, I check in with these  snow_capmountains. When life doesn’t make sense, these mountains calm me. When nothing good seems to last, these mountains remind me that nothing could be farther from the truth. There are good things that last. Because they last.

I especially love the winter, when they are covered with snow. The sun setting behind them, there is no more serene sight. Right now there’s just this little cap of snow left, that little spot of white, and each morning it grows smaller. It makes me a little sad, but not too sad. Because I know the snow will be back next winter. And the next winter after that. Something I can count on.

Speaking of something I can count on, there’s Picard. He who has given me family, by being loyal. He has given  muzzleme a sense of purpose, by inspiring me to become an Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) volunteer team. He’s got a little “snow” going on too, just like my mountain top. His snow is in his muzzle. And while the snow on the mountain diminishes a little each day, Picard’s muzzle grows increasingly, permanently, whiter. His life, like our own, is linear, not seasonal. And I think about this so much; about the passage of time, and life, and All Things Must Pass and This Too Shall Pass. And the realizations that I’d give anything to slow it down. Not go back; just slow it down, just a little.

These mountains have been pulling me, a lot these days. The urge to go sit atop one in silence, and just observe, is a strong one. Maybe that will slow it down.


Nov 21 2014

Touch Means So Much

Picard Therapy

Picard, in Animal Assisted Therapy action!

Everyone craves touch. We need touch. Touch means so much.

Yet so many of us are afraid to touch the elderly, even a little repulsed by the thought of doing so. The elderly aren’t cute & cuddly & warm & sweet-smelling. Quite the opposite, usually.

None of that bothers Picard. Picard says, “Bring it!”