International Day of Acceptance

Today, January 20, 2017 is a difficult day in my home. It is a day when we swear in the 45th President of the United States. Today also happens to be the International Day of Acceptance. I am going to ask each of you to read those two opening sentences again, just in case the irony didn’t slap you across the face the first time you made it to the second period.

I did not plan on writing this today, as a matter of fact, I’ve been at a loss for words for quite a while now. The problem is that I woke up and realized what day it is. The day of International acceptance. This is usually a day I celebrate like Halloween, Mardi gras or Christmas. It’s an important day, it’s the day when the rest of the globe catches up to what happens in my home every day. You see we celebrate our uniqueness. A family full of disabilities. A home that opens its doors to the odd, the different, the outcast. We have a tendency to see the beauty in what others prefer to cast into the shadows.

Acceptance is defined as The action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group. That doesn’t seem so difficult right? The action of being deemed adequate or suitable… it’s really not that high of a bar. Adequate, or being satisfactory or acceptable in quality or quantity. As I look at these words my empathy alarms go off. Granted, I’ll admit I may be higher on that scale than others, based on what I’ve been told, but as we apply these definitions to people it seems a bit queer. It shows me just how much we judge everyone we come in contact with. The fact that there is a day dedicated to reminding us to accept others as they are is frankly off-putting. We have a day to remind each other that we are satisfactory, and the sad point in all this is that we NEED days like this, and we do.

Let’s take just a moment to mourn what else is happening today.  We, as a nation, have decided to elect Donald Trump to our highest elected office in the country. Like it or not he is now the face of our nation. The nation has decided that Donald Trump represents us in international affairs. Because this is MY blog, and for now I CAN say what I want I am going to remind you what is already happening in this country. The government has convinced you that corporations are people. Not only are they people, but they are people who are better than you, more important than you, they have a louder voice than you, they certainly have more money than you. This country has trade, environmental, and health regulations, just to name a few, that are written by these corporations and passed into law by people we elected, people who we allow to personally financially gain from passing a bill with so many pages no real person can make it through to the last page, and even if you read the words, could most understand the language? Already the regulations that accompany the Affordable Care Act are being dismantled. Even if you don’t have coverage directly under the Act it brought sweeping changes to the Insurance industry in the way preexisting conditions are handled, just to name one. I have come to understand at least one facet as to why we’d allow someone like Trump to be elected, over and above the shell game we all witnessed. The people of this country are finally starting to become aware, that we should be treating each other with more compassion. I won’t claim equal, and I won’t trip down the hole of what equal treatment would be now, but maybe you should look into why full on libertarian policies may have a negative impact on a society. I feel that we elected our current President because the populous feels the weight of being undervalued and misrepresented. As I wrote that the corners of my mouth turned up slightly.  Undervalued and misrepresented, maybe like the communities of the disabled, LGBTQ, Blacks, Jews? The list goes on, but you get the point. Many people voted for a candidate of change, except there were far too many that weren’t aware of the shell game, or the sleight of hand they were witnessing. Now, I find myself at a point where I need to be accepting.

I accept that my candidate didn’t make it past the primary. I accept that we have a broken system that is stuck on greed. I accept that we are at a point where we need to make hard choices. What I do not accept is that the fight is over. While I will not make the “Not My President” statement, I will make a statement that I will work to transform this country. I will make my voice heard through the appropriate channels. I will be awake. I will resist what I feel is wrong by contacting my Congressmen, Senators, Mayor, and other elected officials. I will vote.  I will find a way to peacefully resist what is unjust and advocate for what is right, not only for myself but on behalf the disabled community and all others who need their voices heard. We have more access to information now in minutes than generations prior had in weeks. It is our job to understand that we must become filters for that information. It is our job to become self-reliant, self-educated, and empathic enough, not only to understand what is correct but to act appropriately.

Today is a day of acceptance, but remember that we can accept what is and still work toward change. We need to be advocates for each other as people, no matter how different we may be. We need to be advocates for this planet to ensure generations to come have a chance to do better than we did. Love and compassion is the answer. We need to do our best to remember that we are responsible for each other. If we all do the best we can with what we have there will always be more than enough. You are more than enough and you are loved.


Going to sleep away camp is fun!

Hi Friends

This was going to be a short Facebook post but you know how I get.

We have Wednesday-pup back with the family as of yesterday afternoon. She has been away at camp since Thanksgiving week when we had to go on our trip to Florida by way of Georgia. (Yes, I know I still owe you all a full blog post of that adventure. I wish I had more time…) She has learned so much in just two weeks! The trainer she stayed, and worked with told us she wasn’t sure how she would do based on their first meeting. As they got to know each other she found what we already knew, that Wednesday is part bully-part attention hound. She just has a lot of energy and wants to be told she is a ‘Good-Girl’. She will do just about anything for positive feedback and a cookie. (Who doesn’t like cookies?)

Wednesday learned a new command, called “out”. Out tells her that she needs to take a break from her play and that she may be over excited and rough. The trainer advised that she only play with male dogs, and dogs that are bigger than her. (Check, and Check) She has a tendency to be a miss bossy pants and smaller dogs wouldn’t be likely to understand her the way I do. Dad watched us play in the back yard and used the ‘out’ a couple times when I needed a break and she didn’t notice; it really helps us to play more evenly matched because I need more breaks and can only control so much.

The trainer also gave Mom & Dad more tips on helping to get her to be a happy member of the family when she is in-doors, since she always wants to play and the cats and I don’t. The new rule is NO PLAY IN THE HOUSE! This means that we will get daily supervised yard romps, but we all need to respect each other’s space inside. Mom said, “Great, how do we do that!” – It’s a new technique for us, the trainer calls ‘sit on the dog’. So I said “No problem, I can sit on her and she won’t move at all” – woof! Them Mom explained, that it was for them to do. They keep her on a lead and sit on the end of it. So…nobody sits on the dog?  That’s misleading! I can’t have ANY fun. Hmmpfh! Mom explained that it means Wednesday is always on a lead, Mom or Dad sits on the lead. (Then call it “sit on the lead” you guys!! – Geez) The dog on the lead then has to stay with you until they learn the house rules, like no play inside, no chasing the cats (formerly the basement monsters), etcetera. I’m going to ask if we can add another rule: No EATING your brother’s TOYS!!! This should also help with her anxiety. I thought it was funny until Dad said I had to do it too! We’re going to work outside on my anxiety over other dogs.

Mom & Dad also think that she may have some sight issues that also play into that anxiety. When she is in the yard she barks at things like falling leaves. Yesterday, dad was telling me how when she drove up with Mom, dad was outside replacing a bulb in the porch fixture. When she saw him she barked until she was just a few feet away and realized who it was, then he got waggles and kisses. Mom says she has to go see the v.e.t. and have her eyes checked. While they are there Mom is going to ask if doggy Prozac might help her while working to get over the anxiety. Most likely this will be short term usage and many dogs can come off medication once they are worked with and assured that the world is not that scary of a place. In fact, most dogs just need socialization and assurance from their handler to “get over it”; but like we said, there may be sight issues as well.

We’re just happy to have her back with the pack.