Tag: attitude

Carol Dweck: Hero

Carol DweckCarol Dweck is our new hero because she really gets it! My older human sister is reading lots of things about her because she wants to be a great teacher someday. My sister told me some of the things that Carol Dweck has said and guess what? We think about a lot of things the same way. How cool is that?

Carol Dweck explains to parents and teachers that some kids who have challenges in their lives manage to succeed while others don’t.  She uses cool words that mean a lot. She says that kids who try hard and persevere have something called a growth mindset. Hmmm… I guess I have a growth mindset too!

As you know, I am very smart but Carol Dweck is way smarter than I am. That’s because I am just a dog and she is a doctor. She said, “…when students had more of a growth mindset, they held the view that talents and abilities could be developed and that challenges were the way to do it.

Carol Dweck

Learning something new, something hard, sticking to things—that’s how you get smarter.” The cool thing is that I have said the same kinds of things about how I got so smart here on my blog and in my books. Well, except that I have said them in a way that kids understand.  How cool is that? For an example, in The “Tail” of Rugby Jones: A Rascal’s Journey from Disability to Ability, I said, “There are so many things that make people and animals different and that is a good thing. Just remember that you might need something like Zoomie to help you work hard and remind you to believe in yourself.”

My human mom taught me that, it’s so important to let children understand that failure is okay. Failure and mistakes are crucial for success to become a reality. Children need their parents to believe in their abilities, to be proud of their efforts and teach them how to learn from the negative events in their lives.

So now you know why Carol Dweck is our new hero. She gets it!

Rugby’s Friend Has Cerebral Palsy

My friend Glenda has Cerebral Palsy and she is way cool! She is very funny and very smart and I like her a lot. She wrote a book called I’ll Do It Myself. My mom has been reading it to me and we laugh during parts of it and cry during other parts. Do you know why? Well I’ll tell you. It’s because Glenda’s story and mine have things in common and we are both very smart, determined, very funny and we overcome hurdles in our lives because of our courage and tenacity…whatever that is!  Well, except that I am a dog and she is a person but you already knew that, right?

I’ll tell you more about Glenda later but here’s one very cool part of her story. When she was little and in the hospital, she had gone through a lot because of the Cerebral Palsy and her parents knew that if she could see her little dog Bonnie, she would feel better. Guess what? They made it happen. Glenda got a visit from Bonnie while she was in the very clean and sterile hospital! How cool is that?

I wish I could have been allowed to see my human mom when she was in the hospital but I wasn’t because nobody pushed the issue. Glenda’s mom and dad must be so awesome to have accomplished what they did.  They must be very remarkable, just like I am. Well, except that I am “Remarkable Rugby Jones” and they are remarkable Glenda’s Mom and Dad. Don’t you agree?”

Don’t Go Near Him…Something Is Wrong With Him

don't be afraidDon’t Go Near Him

One day when I went to the pet supply store to get dog food, I took Rugby with me. It was a rainy day and there were very few people in the store. As always, Rugby was scoping out everything at his eye level. I was focused on my errand and we were walking in that direction when I heard people talking.

I heard a child say, “Mommy look at that doggie in the wheelchair.” Then I heard a woman’s voice saying, “Don’t go near him. There is something wrong with him. Let’s just go the other way. No. You can’t pet him. Something is wrong with him.” This was not the first time something like this happened.

It was almost like Rugby was telling himself what to do, “If they can’t come to me, I’ll go to them.”

At that moment, I felt Rugby pulling me down the aisle and around the corner to the next aisle where the children and their mother were. I saw the mother put her hands on her children’s shoulders and hold them. Rugby pulled me right over to them and then barked. It wasn’t a loud bark. It was more like a “woof.”

The little girl looked at her mother and asked her, “Mommy, can’t we pet him please?”  I don’t know if the mother was embarrassed or just confused but she still held their shoulders and said nothing. “Mommy, can we?”

I decided that I needed to put my two cents in so I said, “It’s okay. They can pet him. They won’t catch anything.” She gave me a questioning look and I told her that I knew that she was concerned and that Rugby wouldn’t hurt her children in any way, quite the contrary.

She released her hold on the children as if to tell them that they could pet him. I explained that Rugby had been in an accident and that he needed the wheelchair because of his paralysis.

As the children and Rugby interacted happily, she and I talked. When we were ready to say good bye, she told her children something that I will never forget.

“Emily and Alex, don’t ever be afraid of anyone who is different from you. Try to understand what they are going through and be kind because that is how you want to be treated.”

What a lesson those children learned on that day. What lessons are you teaching your children?

New School Year

Summer is over and the new school year is ready to begin. Guess what? Everyone gets nervous when school starts. Even the cool and popular kids get nervous. They won’t tell you that but they do! Trust me. I know about these things. Sometimes it’s even harder because it means going to a new school with all new kids. When you look around and don’t see any familiar faces you can get really scared. If that happens to you, I have a few suggestions that will make it easier.

New School Year Suggestions

  • For the first day of the new school year wear clothes the first day that are sort of “regular.” That means that it will be easier on you if you wear something that doesn’t make you stand out. After you make friends you can wear whatever you want as long as it is permitted by the school and your parents.
  • Watch the other kids. See which ones seem to be nice and friendly.
  • If someone laughs at you or makes fun of you, stay away from him or her.
  • Say “Hi” to kids and smile. Kids like to be around happy kids.
  • If you don’t know where something is, ask one of the kids that looks nice.
  • Teachers are really helpful and so are secretaries and custodians.
  • Remember that each day will get easier and each day you will meet more kids.
  • If one kid is especially nice, you can ask to sit next to him or her at lunch.

Guess what? I think that the first day of a new school year is kind of like sliding down a very big slide for the first time. (My human mom had to get me to the top because my wheelchair Zoomie doesn’t help me much when it comes to slides!) Anyway… Just like the first day of a new school year, you worry a lot as you get to the top and when you look down, you get really scared. Then you try it. Your heart pounds and you hold your breath. All of a sudden, when you get to the bottom you know you are okay and it wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, it was fun.

School is that way. It’s not so bad and in fact it is fun!!

Amy Purdy: Handicapped… NOT!

Amy PurdySo you think you have it bad? There is a quote that comes to mind, “I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.” The lesson that we must teach our children is that no matter what difficulties come our way in life, we can overcome them with the right attitude.

Today’s post is about another hero and she has an attitude that will knock your socks off. Her name is Amy Purdy and in 1999, she contracted bacterial meningitis. She was 19 years old at the time and the doctors gave her less than a 2% chance to live. As unbelievable as it may seem, Amy Purdy survived but lost both of her legs below the knee. She later needed a kidney transplant, which she received from her father a week before her twenty-first birthday.

Amy Purdy had been an avid snow boarder before the meningitis. She wanted to compete in the sport again but there were no prosthetic legs available that would help. What did she do? She built her own! Amy co-founded Adaptive Action Sports which a non-profit organization that introduces people with physical challenges to action sports. Amy was instrumental in advocating the inclusion of snowboarding into the 2014 amy purdyParalympic Games.

All of the details of Amy Purdy’s biography pale in comparison to her enthusiasm and courage. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, a video is worth thousands of words. In addition to everything else that Amy does, Amy Purdy dances. I mean she really dances. Amy and her partner Derek Hough competed in Dancing with The Stars.

If you or someone you know need some true inspiration, this video of Amy Purdy promises exactly that!

Amy Purdy is not handicapped!

As you watch, think about the words of Amy Purdy, “I can still do the stuff that I love, I just have to do it differently.”

Amy Purdy is our newest hero!


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