Animal Therapy

This past Friday was my pro D day and I got to learn all about Tilly who is our therapy dog at the school I work at. She’s an Australian labradoodle. She’s like Zeke my dog. She was bred for her job at our school. It took two years for the breeder to have the right dog. I learned about the program at UBC that helps with putting therapy dogs into schools. He spoke about what their program is all about. How it helps so many children and adults. Then we got to hear the trainer speak about the 100’s of hours of training that Tilly gets. The trainer comes to our school and works with groups of children. Tilly just turned one year old so she’s still young. It’s amazing how much she knows already.

We then got to go back to school and see the tricks Tilly knows. The hands on was awesome because at school Tilly is working with the children so I don’t get to see a lot of what we saw. The trainer taught us how to read cues from her if he’s getting anxious or needs time out. This was such a needed time for our pro D day because so many of us are tired and need this to boost us up.

I love Tilly. She’s an amazing dog and every time I see her in the hallway it lifts my spirit up hugely. She’s so good with the children. I love that when a child is maxed out, Tilly just sits with them in silence or puts her paws on them to know that they are safe and she’s there for them. We saw photos of children inside her soft crate reading a book and Tilly sitting by them. Children reading to her it helps boost children that don’t like to read or are embarrassed to read out loud she just sits and listen. It calms down the children her presence when they have big emotions.

It’s not just Tilly her owner is an amazing calm person. She’s one of the school counsellors. They are the best team. Not only does Tilly make the children happy, she makes every adult at school happy as well. We are so lucky to have Tilly at our school. She’s brought so much confidence to the children and everytime they see her they want to go over and visit.

I’m so blessed that I get to be at this school. It’s been so hard for our children and adults with Covid we are tired and our children feel the effects in their homes. If we can make everyday a safe place to be and a special friend for them then it’s all worth it. I pray I can stay at this school in September. For me Tilly reminds that no matter who you are or where you have come from animals are one of the best therapies. I’ve seen it over and over again.

Resilience

I recently took a course about resilience in young children. It was a fascinating online course. I’m always fascinated about this topic. They talked about how our children express their feelings through human connection. Children who don’t feel safe do not express themselves. Instead they feel stirred up and frustrated. Their brains become hijacked by their big emotions. When children express big emotions they want us to know we are there for them. What is the message a child hears when we rub their back for comfort? When we reassure them when they are afraid or feel anxiety? Or tells them that I’m here for you. Children then trust which creates resilience. Sensitive children need more assurance and In attachment they learn to lean on us. Relisence is created in managing difficulties. It’s built overtime.

Today I learned that my friend who suffered a brain anyrusum 87 days ago she was told that she may not survive it. People said no. God said yes that her life was worth fighting for. This has been so hard for her learning how to do the basic of things we all take for granted so much. She’s beat the odds and continues every day to get stronger. Her family wrote that sometimes every step is so painful.

Lici is so resilient from her the difficulties of just normal life. Apparently she’s more funnier then ever and she’s a hoot before. Good is using what happened to her to help people see that yes we still can see miracles. He’s using every part of her story to help those who don’t Believe in Him. Lici is an amazing woman who had already endured so much already.

I have much resilience in my life with all the difficulties I have endured. When things were really tough I had to work harder then anyone to get to where I needed to be. I never gave up no matter what. I believe that’s why when things get hard with me I hate it yes but I continue on with my journey. I also Believe sharing our stories with others helps encourage and helps people move forward in their lives.

I’m so blessed……

I’m going to see a new counselor today she asked me what was I going to blog after I saw her. I decided to write about my stepdad. As I’ve written before he’s a very special man I’m my life. He’s been a dad to me way more than my real dad. He’s protective of me like a dad should be for his daughter. I came to the realization today as I was talking about him that his dementia as it progresses one day he may not know who I am. I see my mom grieving the loss of her husband. It’s really hard on her.

For now I love going and hanging out with him on weekends. We have fun together and laugh. I just embrace our time together and make it the best I can. The last time I was with him he was so excited to tell me I should go swimming with him after breakfast in the Red River. As a boy he used to swim in the Red River. He tells me about his house he grew up in and the name of the street. I google it and yes sure enough his home he talks about is right near the river. He talks to me about their cottage by the lake and helping his dad in his restaurant. My grandpa Jack died last year a month before his 105th birthday.

After we finish breakfast Barry has forgotten what we talked about, forgotten his memories as a child until something sparks out and it comes back. I cherish every moment with him. When it’s really difficult for him, I patiently wait and reassure him. I pray for him often. One of our favorite things to do is to walk the beach. We find rocks that stand out to each of us. I have a special dish to put them outside on my deck. When I put water in them the rocks ams shells change color. My dad has the best sense of humor and often makes me laugh. We laugh about the craziest things. I feel so blessed to spend this time with him. I love this man so very much. ❤️

Why is doing the right thing so hard?

People who know me well know that I love rabbits. I love them so much and they bring such joy into my life. Rabbits have such great personalities and they are super social. Not only do I love rabbits I love rabbit shows. That’s one of my favorite things to do is go to a show and enter one of your rabbits. As a child we had a rabbit named Wiggles. He ran loose in our garage and I remember that he ate the tops off our rubber boots. I was devestated when the neighbour left the door open and he got killed.

My love for rabbits grew more and now. I decided the next best thing is breeding baby bunnies. I first breed lionheads they are amazing animals. I loved them but they are hard to sell here in the island. I’ve bred rabbits for about 10 years. Yes the babies are so cute but as a breeder that comes with a lot of responsibility. There are tough decisions that need to be made. Ones I hated so much but needed to do it for the best for my rabbits. I finally thought I had the breeding pair I have been looking for forever. Turns out Huckleberry has really bad teeth. I can’t breed him with bad teeth and he’s also in pain and barely eating and drinking. It’s so expensive to get his teeth done because you have to put him under and it’s a high risk surgery and then it does not fix the problem. The kind thing will be to put him down.

I’m devestated. He’s such a sweet boy outside his cage. Inside his cage he’s super protective. He was the only kit in a litter so he and I are really bonded. This is the part of rabbits I hate so much. My old counselor told me that if I never loved my heart would not be this passionate and it’s lonely not knowing love. ♥️ I hate that love hurts so much. I’ve made a tough decision to not breed anymore but I can’t take all the loss and I need a simpler life. I have the cutest babies right now from Huckleberry and Creamsicle. I can’t do this anymore. Before I move I will be selling off almost all my rabbit things. My new place is smaller.

To not exclude rabbits from my life, because rabbits are so important to me. I’ve decided to buy a plush satin lop and have a pet rabbit one that I can love and these rabbits are so mellow that I can use it in school as a therapy rabbit. I’m sad to be ending this part of my life. Seems like my whole life is Changing so much. This is one of those hardest times. The tough decision to do the right thing is never easy.

Changing one life at a time

I love the heart God has given me for people including those precious children in my life. Tomorrow is Mother’s day and just because I never gave birth to any children but that doesn’t mean I can’t help those put into my life everyday. This year has been my first year working in one school with the same children. I love my job so much because I get to really hang out with these children and connect with them. Some of them carry huge burdens. It about breaks your heart. I see God using what I went through as a child to help and really understand the needs of all the children I work with. I’ve been able to give insight to people at school about what truama is and how it effects the children. I’ve been able to bring adults together to help understand. To build a bridge to that gap.

Last week I got to hear part of the sexual abuse training. Usually I’m on my break when it is taught. There is a puppet named Trusty which helps the children understand the material. The day I was there it was about keeping safe secrets and bad secrets to keep. I loved this curriculum so much even though it reminded me of how as a child I was given candy and told to keep quiet. I wish I had known about these things and was taught in school. It helps all of our children especially the vulnerable ones.

Even though for the longest time I hated what I had experienced as a child yes it was terrible but I also see God using it to help those around me. It helps others understand why the children are acting out and how to help them the best way we can. So even though God has healed my heart from a lot with the truama in my life. I can give back to help others. God is using me one child one person at a time. I love that so much. I go back to being an EA in Sept and I know God has that job where he wants me to be. Maybe for another vulnerable child who needs someone they can trust. For that I’m grateful to help and I am ready.

Rejection and abandonment

Rejection and abandonment are two words that I’ve not thought of for a long time. I’ve worked on myself for a long time. Recently both of those words surfaced in my life. Both bring the same feelings with them. Feelings that I don’t like. Temptations have surfaced and the lady I’m seeing right now told me that this often happens when we are under extreme stress that old ways of coping with stress, as feeling like the only way to get through. The desire to do those things is more about feeling stress now, and possibly that stress wakes up old wounds. That makes total sense to me. She explained to me that I’ve been through way worse things and that this just feels like abandonment or rejection. I’ve been giving it to God and having others pray for me. I reached out to make the first move with the Relationship and I pray it goes well on Sunday. I hate this separation between the two of us but as my teacher reminded me today I’ve done nothing wrong standing on my boundaries.

I’ve been working hard on myself to stand on those boundaries and how I feel about myself. I feel now I’m a much Stronger person and will continue to work on the old wounds that surface in my life. Every morning on the way to school I pray that God gives me peace and I really believe this is happening for a reason. I was unhappy with this relationship before because it’s a lot of take from me and I’ve slowly been setting boundaries and saying this is not ok.

My brain then goes to a place of unworthiness and it reminded me that I am worthy in Christ’s eyes. He loves me so much. I feel that love everyday from Him. People will always let us down in some way. Yes it hurts but God never leaves our forsakes us. That’s His promise for us forever. No matter what happens on Sunday I have that promise to stand on every day. With the Lord in your life you can do anything, you also can be whomever you want to be. That is the peace that I hold in my heart everyday.

When you feel shame, unworthiness, rejection or abandonment turn to God He is our comfort and strength. Reach out to those in your life that you trust and read God’s promises. That’s the best wisdom you will ever recieve. So next time that temptation comes I need to remind myself of these promises and ask God to heal those wounds.

New beginnings

I’ve been quiet on here because in one week my whole like got turned upside down. I have told people God is shaking up my life a lot and He has good plans for me, but couldn’t he do it a bit slower. A couple of weeks ago I found out because of the lack of children in school due to covid I’m getting laid off from my ECE position in Kindergarten. I love this job so much. I still have a job in the district but will have to go back to being an EA maybe in a different school. The good thing is I get super seniority so I will be able to find a job somewhere. The light at the end of this is when funding comes back for my position I can go back to my school in in now.

5 days later I found out my landlord is selling his house and he wanted me to move by the end of June. I can stay in my house until the new owners decide what they want to do. I still was trying to deal with my layoff and now another huge blow. I love my house so much but it is a lot of work for me. I love one of my wise friends she told me this home was Larry and mine and maybe God wanted me to move to a home that’s just mine and Zekes. Zeke is my labradoodle. At first I didn’t want to hear that and got irritated with her. I sat down and did the pros and cons of this house and realized after looking at homes to live, I do a lot here. Then my landlord started harassing me and telling me I had to move when he told me to. It even got ugly when he came to my doorstep and forced papers into my hands to sign. I told him I was not signing them and that I have rights as a tenant. I tried to keep my cool but it’s hard when he insulted me and started yelling at me. I hate that I had to raise my voice at him but he doesn’t listen to me. It’s hard to hear all the lies he’s telling the realitor about his house. I realized that’s not my place and this is his home. All our communication from now on is in email. I’m not getting into something like that again.

I realized that I don’t want to live here anymore. This is a chapter in my life that needs to end. I want a fresh start. So I prayed and others have come around me and last week I went and saw a place right in my neighbourhood. The couple who own the house wow they are such a great breath of fresh air. So nice and the lady she used to be an ECE. They are excited about me being in their home and I get a private yard for me and Zeke. The suite is being built now and my neighbour who helps me out so much now is good friends with them. It’s right by the creek and it’s going to be all new.

Wow I feel so blessed that I can move here and still stay in my neighbourhood. I can still get my neighbour now to walk Zeke. The couple know Zeke well from the neighbourhood and they have a dog similar to Zeke’s temperament. I can sit by the creek and just watch the world go by. Everything is included in my rent and no more having to mow and look after this huge property.

I know God has that right place for me for work as well. His plans even though we can’t see them especially when things pile up He Always knows what’s best for us. So even though my whole life seemed to get turned upside Down He had it all in His hands. Change can be hard but change can be so good and healthy. So even though it was a tough couple of weeks look at the blessings that have come out of it already. I woke up this morning excited about my new place and my new adventures.

Boundaries

Why is standing your ground on boundaries so hard? Why is it easier to just be a people pleaser and give in to those who want us to do things we don’t want to do? This week I stood my ground on two really important things and in 24 hours had two people really angry with me. To me these boundaries I set were really important the first one was my landlord he obviously is used to getting his way so when I stood my ground and told him my rights as a Tennant he stood on my doorstep and insulted me and yelled at me. I stood my ground and he finally left madder that a hatter.

The second boundary I stood on was my family. That’s a hard one. I have remained firm on my decision but now I’m getting the silent treatment. I realized that I now am so much stronger who I am and now was the time to set clear boundaries. Change is hard for everyone especially the person who has never seen me stand on any boundaries. I’m tired of always been the person who needs to do the right thing. What about how I feel? I do so much for every one it’s ok to say no once in a while and not feel bad.

God wants us to help others but not be a push over and have people walk all over us. How many times have I just said yes to something I didn’t want to do, so they would not be mad with me. Too many times. In my marriage I always gave in to smooth things over even though I hated it so much. When I spoke up it went sideways and then I felt I had to apologize so that it would get better.

As I write this I realized that I grew up with so much conflict that my biggest fear was abandonment. I hated conflict so much. Now as I get older I see that it feels good to stand up for what is right. It’s really difficult but sometimes you just have to do it. I’m sure this will work itself out. For now I must remember how far I have come and be proud of myself for standing up.

Trusting God no matter what……

Wow what a week indeed. I came off a weekend with my dad so already was feeling tired from that. I was tested and challenged so much this week. Tuesday I was laid off from my position at school because there was not enough children enrolled this year in school so cuts were huge and deep and it’s effected lots of us. My dream job for now is coming to an end the end of June. Then my housing is all up in the air because I’ve had cheap rent for a long time and it ends in June. I’m hoping that my landlord will see how well I look after his home on my own. I hope he takes into consideration that on my Christmas vacation I pumped water out of good basement for about 14 hours in total. I’m not sure how many tenants would do that.

Even though my job is ending those who got laid off will be the first to get positions at schools. I will go back to being an EA hopefully in a kindergarten class. I did find out that when the funding comes back then I can come back to my position I have now. So that’s good. There will be a job at my school but it’s only if I have enough senority it’s a mat leave. No matter what happens I trust that God will look after me and put me just where I need to be. On Thursday at school at lunch recess I was outside and two bald eagles flew around me and the children for about half an hour. It was very awesome. Anytime I’m worried or feel stressed God always sends me bald eagles and each time I feel that surreal peace that only comes from Him. I realized seeing two for me meant that both situations He’s got them in His hands. Since then I’ve felt so much better. I’ve been worried about other things as well but I know all I have is to Trust the Lord with them all.

Do you turn to God when you feel stressed or worried? Does God show himself to you through birds, rainbows etc. Does God bring people into your life that help you when things are uncertain? What kind of things help you in times of uncertainty?

Love of A Father

I just came back from another weekend with my dad. It’s so hard to see what dementia is doing to him. Despite that he and I have some awesome conversations and I’ve seen it a few times where I talk about things from my past and he jumps in to protect me. Yesterday we had a conversation and he told me if I ever get into trouble with anything that he had a spare room for me to go. He led me into the room and showed me and then into the bathroom and said no matter what I could come. It took me all I could not to cry. He told me again and often tells me how proud he is of me and that I’ve grown into an incredible woman.

This man has been in my life for a long time and I love him with all of my heart. He’s been with me through thick and thin. I love how he still wants to protect me even when I’m grown up. I love going and hanging out with him every 6 weeks. I cherish this time we have together. I hate what dementia is doing to him. Each time I go I see him more confused and he can’t understand why things are like they are. It breaks my heart to watch him struggle. I reassure him until the next thing he’s worried about. I watch him talk about where he lived in Winnipeg and today he told me he was going after breakfast to swim in the Red river. He thought he was back where he grew up as a boy. I listened and asked him questions and I pulled up a map of the street he lived on.

I saw lots of confusion after I took him out yesterday to get his watches fixed so he knew what day and date it was. When we got home he didn’t know where we were. He often said to me he didn’t know what was wrong with his mind. It’s so hard to watch. Despite all of that I have to take the good things out of it and cherish each moment with him. I will never regret any of the time we spend together and I try to make our time together the best. I see him struggling to figure out if he’s married at all. My mom has photos of them around her home so then he remembers and he’s really emotional and he tells me she’s his best friend, but he can’t figure out where she’s gone. My mom is grieving the loss of her husband and yes it effects me lots as well because here’s the dad I’ve dreamed of my whole life and I’m watching him slowly slip away. It was hard this weekend. Today was the hardest day.