Tag: Diversity

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?

Meltdown or Tantrum?

girl-meltdownWe were in the store and saw a child having a meltdown. We felt bad for the child but we felt even worse for the mom who was trying to handle the situation. Not even 10 feet away from them stood a couple who started talking to each other in loud voices about how spoiled the child was.

It got even worse when they began to criticize the mother for not being strict enough with the child. Then they talked about how they would never have tolerated that kind of behavior with their own children. Everyone heard them and then the mother began to sob. It was time to step in and help. After all, that’s what we do!

Meltdown or Tantrum?

GUESS WHAT? We found out that the mom was dealing with her daughter who has Sensory Processing Disorder. She was exhausted and couldn’t handle the constant criticisms anymore. We asked the onlookers if they had raised  kids with special needs? They said that their children were very normal and that using special needs as an excuse wasn’t the way to raise a child.

Have you ever been critical of a parent who was dealing with a child’s meltdown in a public place?

Think about a few things and maybe… just maybe you will be more understanding. A tantrum and a sensory meltdown are two totally different things. A tantrum happens when a child doesn’t get something he or she wants or needs.

A sensory meltdown happens when the child feels overwhelmed!

Meltdown or Tantrum?

Maybe the noises in the store or too many things to focus on send a child with SPD into a meltdown. For onlookers, a tantrum and a sensory meltdown appear to be the same but they far from being the same. For the child with SPD, too many sensory inputs flood the brain and a meltdown is a way to release the pressure.

Have you ever tried to use a funnel to fill a bottle with some liquid only to see that too much liquid causes the bottle to spill over? Have you ever turned on a hose to fill a bucket only to see that the pressure of the water in the hose causes the bucket to spill over?  Both of these situations are only mild examples of what a child with SPD is feeling. Do you feel less critical? We hope so!!

 

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Differences Make Life Interesting

People worry about differences. Animals just deal with differences in the best way possible. This is Lucy and she has only three legs… not four.

She had an accident when she was a puppy and lost her fourth leg. Is she feeling sorry for herself? Is she worrying about her future and what her life be like with only three legs? NO! Lucy is waking up each morning and facing the new day with a positive attitude. Why? Because she gets it. Lucy gets that life is what we make it and differences are not the focus! Things happen. Good and and bad happens but we have a choice. We can live our lives with gusto and happiness or we can spend our lives feeling sorry for ourselves because we were dealt a bad hand. We can focus on what others have and what others can do or we can focus on life and all that it has to offer!

What a waste it is to teach children the message that they are not the same or that they have less than other kids. Wouldn’t it be better to teach them that everyone is different? That everyone has more or less than they do? That everyone comes from a different place and everyone has an issue? Wouldn’t it be better to teach them that color, race, religion, and every other difference is just that? A Difference and not a bad thing?

Think about it. Think about your own problems. Think about what problems others have and what is happening in the world today. Then… think about Lucy! Think about how she deals with adversity and how she faces each day.

Maybe… just maybe… you might begin to understand what Lucy, the three legged dog understands. Accept differences and embrace differences! Welcome everyone who is different because they may be the very ones who change your life for the better!

Dogs: Holiday Opinions

Dogs have opinionsDogs have opinions about the holidays.

You may be wondering why a dog has an opinion about such things. Well, I’ll tell you. Dogs are smart. Dogs see happiness and they see sadness. They see kindness and they see hostility. Dogs see pain and grief and they see and they see joy. There are even some dogs who watch TV and see what is happening all over the world.

Guess what? Not only do dogs see these things but they feel them too. Dogs have are very tuned into the people they love and what happens to them. That’s why I have an opinion and that’s why it’s important that I share it with you. There are somethings that are disrupting this holiday season and I know how to fix some of them. My solution centers on kindness and the Golden Rule.

Because everyone is different, everyone values different things. That’s why life will get better when each one of us becomes more understanding, more sympathetic, more concerned and more loving. Miracles can begin with the efforts and actions of all of us.

There is world unrest and national unrest and it’s time to change that… one person, one family, one school, and one nation at a time. It’s time to be good and do good. So as difficult as it may be, we must begin to see things differently so that the future will be all that we want it to be.

Because of that, race, religion, physical ability, political view, color of skin, amount of wealth or lack of wealth, ethnicity or any other difference should be accepted as forms of diversity. Guess what? Diversity is powerful and diversity is everywhere! We need to embrace our own diversity and the diversity of others.

Dogs Have Opinions

So now back to my solution. The way I see it, The Golden Rule is a simple one. Just treat everyone the way you want to be treated.

The Dalai Lama said it best!

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion… Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love, respect for others, sharing other people’s suffering. On these lines, every religion had more or less the same viewpoint and the same goal.”

(The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a moral maxim or principle of altruism found in nearly every human culture and religion, suggesting it is related to a fundamental human nature.)

Amazon Giveaway: Rugby Jones’ “Tail”

blue-better-wch-girlAmazon Giveaway –  The “Tail” of Rugby Jones: A Rascal’s Journey from Disability to Ability (The Wit & Wisdom of a Lovable Dog with a Disability)  Hey! That’s me! This is so exciting because tomorrow we will be offering an Amazon Giveaway and you might win! How cool is that?  We sure hope that you win, especially if you know a child dealing with any difference or special need or one who is being bullied and that’s hard!  Just ask me because I know all about it from my own experiences.

I want kids to have fun with my story but I also want them to learn a lot! And there is so much in my “Tail.” I teach kids a lot about animals like dogs, horses, cats, foxes and raccoons. There are stories about people too! The best part is that this book is all about me! How cool is that? Very cool, I think and I bet you will think so too.

It’s exciting to make this book available to win by offering an Amazon Giveaway. Do you want to know why? Well it’s because of all the kids who are having a hard time dealing with life and the adversities they must face and overcome. Some kids are in wheelchairs like I am and some have other differences. They may be blind, deaf, short, black, white, tall, wide or they may speak a different language, have a different religion or have a learning disability like Autism or Asperger’s. I cant list all of the differences because there are too many.

I show kids how important it is to be understanding and accept kids with differences. Even more importantly, I give them support in gaining self-esteem and taking pride in the person they are! Just wait until you give my book to a child or read it to a child. You will be happy with the reaction that you see. Kids love me and they know how much I love every one of them!

Amazon Giveaway

So, to get back to the giveaway, there are a couple of things you need to know. When you enter, we just need you to answer two questions.

  • Do you know a child who is different or has special needs or is being bullied?
  • What kind of books does he or she enjoy?

The possible answers are listed and so it is easy. You can pick two or more of the following:

  • Different/Special Needs
  • Bullied
  • Uplifting Stories
  • True Stories or Biographies
  • Fun and Entertaining Stories

That’s all there is to it! Oh! And the giveaway will only run for 7 days so spread the word and get your entry in before the deadline! It will begin on November 5, 2016.

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