Dogs Have Been Special to Me

My entire life, dogs have been special to me. Do you find their pure energy  attractive too? Or are you frightened by them?

I’ve Had Scary Encounters Too

When I was young, there were a pair of German Shepherds on the corner of our street. It was possible to avoid them walking home from school, but not always easy. Their snarling, barking and rushing to the fence made my heart race. Consequently, I was always extra affectionate to our family dog, a one-eyed Pekingese named Mitzi, when I got home.

Once, I was even bitten by a police dog, though not a German Shepherd. Rather, he was a docile looking bloodhound named Beau. At that time, the comedic variety show, Hee Haw was popular. I thought the bloodhound on the credits looked sleepy and harmless.

My neighbor’s husband was an Orange County Deputy Sheriff who kept Beau in a kennel on their property. I volunteered to water the plants on their back patio while they went away a few days. Someone else was taking care of Beau, but I didn’t know who. My son was not yet two and I had him secured in my backpack. As we strolled into the enclosed patio, guess who was laying in the middle of the bromeliads? Yep, there was Beau, lounging amongst the plants, copious amounts of saliva dripping off his large head.

I didn’t want to accidentally spray Beau with the hose, so I bent down, grabbed his collar and put him back in his kennel. After I finished watering some hanging plants, I returned to the patio. There he was again.. in the same place. Once again, I went to retrieve him in the exact same manner. Only this time, he wrapped his mouth around my upper arm and clamped down enough to get my attention. Then he let go. Still not getting the message, I started, once again, to grab his collar when he emitted a low growl that stopped me cold. I kept my gaze on the ground and slowly backed away, willing my fear to drop beneath his radar.

The Aftermath

As I walked the two blocks home, I lifted my sleeve to get a look at the damage. There were small bruises forming in each place a tooth had pressed into my flesh. Thankfully there was no blood.

Once inside the house, I called 911. Who else would know how to get a police dog back in his cage? The dispatcher asked all the questions about my safety and my condition, advising me to get a tetanus shot and that an officer would be over to take my statement.

Behind the scenes, they contacted a Deputy Sheriff dog handler named Jeff, who was familiar with Beau. He knew that once Beau got riled, he was uncontrollable. Jeff arrived and suited up in full attack dog training fashion. Beau almost completely ripped up Jeff’s arm protection, before he successfully returned him to his kennel. Then Jeff secured the gate so Beau couldn’t get out again.

Lessons Learned

First and foremost, I learned you can’t forget the power that resides inside any animal that feels cornered or intimidated.

Second, I realized I could handle a potentially dangerous situation with calmness, protecting myself and my son.

Third, my instinct took over and everything I’ve ever read about dog behavior kept us free from serious harm.

Some Parting Sweetness

Dogs have been special to me regardless of my difficult encounter. Here are a few of my favorite photos of my three-year-old Brittany, Sugar. Click on a picture to view full-size in a gallery.

I invite you to comment below, email me, or sign-up for my newsletter

Sugar’s Human Mom,
Dawn

From a Suicide Survivor to PTSD Diagnosis

When I wrote my suicide survivor article a few weeks ago, I had no idea I would go from a suicide survivor to PTSD diagnosis so easily. Although the likelihood you or a loved one will develop PTSD from any traumatic event is small (6.8% according to a 2020 Psychology Today blog), it is important to recognize the symptoms.

WHAT IS PTSD?

The acronym stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It was first brought to light in 1980. Yet, some World War I survivors in the early 20th century were known as suffering from “shell shock”. Today, we realize it was PTSD.

Although the trauma typically associated with PTSD is extreme, as in combat, it can also occur from many other types of trauma, such as long term abuse. This Psychology Today article covers the basic information about PTSD in much more detail.

HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE?

Complex disorders like PTSD have a long list of possible short term and long term effects. The full list is included in another article.

A PEEK INTO MY THERAPY SESSION

As you might imagine, my therapist (I’m using her first name, Mary) asked me questions, allowed me to ‘tell my story’, took notes, and led me down the path of discovery.

When I used trigger words, like shame, she asked me where I thought that came from. I’ve been on my own path of self-discovery, so sometimes her questions were easy to answer.

“Shame was instilled in childhood by my parent,” I replied.

”Hmm.”

I continued my stories, clearly illustrating my PTSD symptoms with flashbacks followed by sudden emotional outbursts that I quickly quashed. There were many more nuances of my illness that Mary picked up on.

Near the end of the session, she took out a small book, which was a pocket handbook of PTSD symptoms. Reading each one, she noted her observations that matched my exhibited behavior. Thankfully, I didn’t exhibit every single symptom.

”Ahhhh…”

A huge sigh of relief escaped my body.

I had found the right therapist, there is a name for my suffering, and we will work together on a solution.

HOW IS THIS THERAPY SESSION DIFFERENT?

Unlike some therapists I’ve had in the past, Mary got to the root of the cause quickly. As I pondered the session this week, I believe there are a few clues about why this therapy session was more useful vs. past less useful sessions.

  1. I understood I had a problem.
    • I’ve allowed my intuition to guide me when I faced my sudden teary outbursts over the last few weeks rather than stuff down my emotion.
  2. I acted on my perceived problem.
    • Writing about the teary outbursts in an earlier blog resulted in research, which brought me to a suicide survivor group. The facilitators recognized my PTSD symptoms and recommended I seek out a therapist who specializes in trauma therapy.
    • A search on Psychology Today led me to a local therapist who specializes in trauma and PTSD.
  3. Finally, I was ready to acknowledge my true condition in order to grieve and come out of this.
    • My openness, honesty, and choice to not hold back during the session have developed over many small steps of journaling, seeking holistic and spiritually based avenues to peel away layers of self protection.

This list illustrates, in the bullet points, how small steps are truly the key to developing a life of fulfillment.

NEXT STEPS

This opportunity to share parts of my mental health journey is too precious to ignore. I invite you to join me as I move beyond viewing this week’s reality from a suicide survivor to PTSD diagnosis. In contrast I want to also share the many everyday discoveries that make us smile and keep us moving forward in difficult times.

By signing up for my newsletter, you will always receive the information in my blogs along with glimpses into more joyful moments of my life.

Hanging in there,
Dawn

Human Design is Your Next Step

This past week I realized why Human Design is your next step.

WHAT IS HUMAN DESIGN?

Simply stated, Human Design is a User’s Guide to your life. Like Astrology, it is based on the date, hour, minute and location of your birth. Unlike Astrology, which gives you an understanding of how the position of the heavenly bodies affect our world and ourselves, Human Design reveals your uniqueness, helping you find your own truth.

ASTROLOGY VS HUMAN DESIGN

Most of us have read the horoscopes in a magazine or newspaper. We looked up the one that corresponds to our birth sun sign. For me, I was born a Sagittarius. However, within my seventh year, my sun sign had changed to Capricorn. I never knew about this until I had my natal chart created in 2014.

HOW HUMAN DESIGN WORKS – A CHILDHOOD EXAMPLE

What if my parents had my Human Design Chart when I was born?

My Manifestor Human Design Chart

They would have then known that my way of being in the world without resistance is to respond. I am a Manifestor. My perfect childhood would have included a lot of freedom of movement. In contrast, my childhood had more restriction than my Human Design needed and it resulted in a passive nature at home. The one place I could live my strategy to respond was in school. I loved it and excelled.

HOW HUMAN DESIGN WORKS – A RELATIONSHIP EXAMPLE

As a Manifestor, being alone is just fine. However, a peaceful relationship involves practicing politeness and informing.

“I’m going for a walk in nature at Bok Tower Gardens, and then stopping at the grocery store on my way home.”

Ahhh. That feels good as I head to my car for some alone time. I’m living my natural path. My independence is intact and I have informed my loved ones where I will be.

YOUR NEXT STEP

If this sounds intriguing, I invite you to check out The Jovian Archive. You can get your free Human Design Chart, which will give you all the information about your specific genetic design.

Likewise, You Tube has many videos on the Jovian Archive channel. One place to start is to listen to An Introduction to the Human Design System.

When you are ready, The Definitive Book of Human Design, The Science of Differentiation awaits you. All you need to know why Human Design is your next step, lies within these pages.

Happily informing,
Dawn