Tag Archives: laughter

how my dog

How My Dog Is Getting Me Through Anxiety and Grief

how my dog Let me just tell you how my dog is getting me through one of the most difficult times of my life. Just as my family was recovering from the past year of helping my Dad through a brain injury, getting him settled into his new home, doing all we could to make sure he and my Mom were safe, taken care of, and as happy as they could be, despite the circumstances…my 57 year old brother died from complications of alcoholism.

That’s when the walls came down and I couldn’t take anymore.

Written on July 31st…11 days after my brother’s death:

I’m not gonna lie. I am struggling. This past year has done me in. And just when I realized how much had been chipped away and had made kind of a plan to get those pieces back, my brother died.

Honestly, I just want to give up. I want to hide. I want to be alone. I want to avoid anything that is remotely hard.
But I can’t do that. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a teacher. I am a friend.

I CAN’T HIDE.

And I feel it in my gut, my chest, my neck, my shoulders. It literally hurts to know that I can’t hide. It hurts to know that I have to do things that are hard. Then I get mad.

So I lash out. I cry. I yell. I shut down. I ignore. I medicate. I sleep.

I look so forward to sleep. Thank God I can sleep. And right when I wake up, I am tricked into thinking that I can face this day. But the first hard thing, no matter how small, brings that pain right back.

My heart starts to beat way too fast and the tightness creeps in.

Damnit. Here we go again.

Funny how things happen. Back in the beginning of June, we got a dog. We thought we deserved a reward after housing my parents for eight months and certainly wanted to treat my six year old daughter to something fun. She had endured a great deal of hard adult stuff.

The dog, originally named Rowe, is a sweet, female, three year old yellow lab. She was a stray picked up in Savannah, GA by Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida and brought to Jacksonville, FL for a meet and greet at Petsmart. We had actually gone there to meet another chocolate lab named Libby. But Libby was younger, still puppy-like, and did not have any training. In the midst of all this doggie fun, as I was sitting on the floor, just observing, Rowe came and plopped herself in my lap and turned her belly up for a scratch. I got my husband’s attention, gave her some time with our daughter, and a week later, she was the newest member of our family.

I will admit, at first, I wondered what the heck I had done. Rowe attached herself to me. I became her person. She followed me around like a … well, a dog. I wondered, why, after just getting my parents out of my house did I just acquire another living, breathing, eating mammal who requires my attention, my time, my love, my energy?? What had I done?

Soon, I knew just what I had done and it was the best decision I could have made. The first thing we did was change her name from Rowe to Savannah. We didn’t love the name Rowe and I realized one day that it rhymes with ‘no’.  We were working hard on using her name along with commands and the idea of saying “Rowe, no” or  “No, Rowe” wasn’t going to work. So, I suggested Savannah, her old stomping grounds, and it stuck.

how my dog

The second thing we discovered was how freaking happy she is. When we wake up in the morning or come home from work, you would think we were celebrities! She greets us with such vim and vigor! She simply makes us smile and laugh, a lot.

And lastly, yes, she has made me her person. Sometimes, I complain that she is ALWAYS there. But to tell you the truth, after the anxiety of caring for my parents, and the grief of my brother’s death, I can tell you without a doubt that this dog chose me for a reason. A very sound reason. She came into our lives at exactly the right time and knew precisely what we needed: love, happiness, and laughter.

Thank you Savannah. You are an angel.

how my dog

One more thing I love about having a dog is being able to shop the pet aisle! We loved buying Savannah new toys, treats, beds, a crate, and all those fun things that come along with a fur family member. Check out Dog Product Picker for some great Christmas gift ideas for your dog. And thank you to Intellifluence and Dog Product Picker for the opportunity to write about our new family member.

Learn Lessons of Love and Laughter in the Foreign Film, HEIDI

Learn Lessons of Love and Laughter in the Foreign Film, Heidi…
Sweet, touching, and full of love, Heidi is a story of a little girl with a big spirit who overcomes the narrow minded attitudes of a few adults in her young life. She wins the heart of her grandfather and two friends from complete opposite class standings. Her smile never fades even through the darkest of times and always shows that kindness, laughter, and love will prevail.
learn lessons
Throughout the film, you are treated to the stunning countrysides and mountains of Germany and Switzerland. But it is through Heidi’s eyes and heart that we discover how her life is far more rich living in her grandfather’s primitive Alps cabin than it could ever be in the mansion of the governess.
Watch here as Heidi meets the governess, Miss Rottenmeier.
learn lessons
Heidi (Anuk Steffen) lernt Lesen in Frankfurt
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Klaras Großmutter (Hannelore Hoger) liest mit Heidi (Anuk Steffen) ein Buch

learn lessons

Heidi is available TODAY (4/4/17) as a DVD (exclusively at Walmart) or Digital.
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More from Film Movement:
“An international box office smash, filmed on location in the Swiss Alps,
this Dove Foundation “Family Approved” live-action feature based on one of the best-selling children’s novels of all time, makes its U.S. debut on DVD and Digital April 4, 2017.
DVD AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY AT WALMART
 
With more than 50 million copies in print, Swiss author Johanna Spyri’s beloved 1880’s novel, “Heidi,” is one of the all-time classics of children’s literature, which has also spawned numerous adaptations – from a 1937 Shirley Temple vehicle and several Japanese anime series to a Hanna-Barbera feature.  This April, Omnibus Entertainment invites families everywhere to head for the hills with HEIDI, a new, lavishly produced adaptation starring Bruno Ganz and marking the big screen debut of Anuk Steffen as the titular Swiss mountain girl.
 
Orphan girl Heidi spends the happiest days of her childhood with her eccentric grandfather, Alpöhi (Ganz), cut off from the outside world in a simple cabin in the breathtaking Swiss mountains. Together with her friend Peter, she tends to grandfather’s goats and enjoys freedom in the mountains to the fullest.  But these carefree times come to an abrupt end when Heidi is whisked to Frankfurt by her Aunt Dete.  The idea is for her to stay with the wealthy Sesemann family and be a playmate for his wheelchair-bound daughter Klara, under the supervision of the strict nanny, Fräulein Rottenmeier.  Although the two girls soon become close friends and Klara’s grandmother awakes a passion for books in Heidi while teaching her to read and write, young Heidi‘s longing for her beloved mountains and her grandfather grows ever stronger.
 
Spyri originally published “Heidi” as a two-volume novel – “Heidi: Her Years of Wandering and Learning” and “Heidi: How She Used What She Learned” – and, according to the original subtitle, was written “for children and those who love children.”  Aside from being translated from the original German into over 50 different languages, HEIDI has also become an enduring figure in children’s entertainment through many theater productions; television programs, including one by the BBC and one by Walt Disney; films, including a silent one; a musical play co-written by Neil Simon; a video piece with Paul McCartney and Mike Kelley, and a talking dog version with Angela Lansbury.  There is even a “Heidiland” in eastern Switzerland.
 

Called “handsomely crafted” (Edmund Lee, South China Morning Post), this most recent adaptation, an international box office smash that has played at top children’s film festivals across the U.S., also captured the award for “Best Children’s Film” at last year’s German Film Awards.  Omnibus Entertainment’s DVD features both the original German language version with English subtitles, as well as a dubbed version.

 
HEIDI (111 minutes) Directed by Alain Gsponer. Starring Bruno Ganz, Anuk Steffen, Isabelle Ottman, Quirin Agrippi, Katharina Schuettler, Hannelore Hoger, Maxim Mehmet, Peter Lohmeyer, Anna Schinz, Jella Haasse.
An Omnibus Entertainment release, distributed by Film Movement.”