Chemical Ingredients

I am in total agreement with everything in this particular article.

I LOVE my body, and I want to stay healthy. I’m just beginning to replace all my products in my house with organic alternatives as well as essential oil options. I am careful about what ingredients I put on my body, but I don’t know everything.

For example, yesterday, I learned that aspartame = fecal matter of the E Coli bacteria. Gross, huh? Lots of other chemicals are in our foods that cause cancer, sterility, sickness, deformities, and overall – poor health.

I want to live as natural as possible, and really focus on limiting the amount of poisons I put into my body.

Diana's Healthy Living

So for a couple of months I’ve been wanting to have my Biosignature done but never got around to it.  So finally last weekend I had it done.  Basically they take skin fold measurements at 12 different sites.

Here is what Biosignature testing is:

BioSignature Modulation was developed by world-renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin. After working with athletes for 30 years (including Olympic medalists in over 10 different sports) Charles noticed repeated correlations between lab-based hormonal changes and site-based body fat changes. The beginnings of BioSignature were born. Charles went on to develop BioSignature Modulation as it is known today and began training a select group of practitioners world-wide in its systems and protocols.
Your initial BioSignature Modulation consultation takes approximately an hour and a half and includes a comprehensive assessment of your hormonal balance, your general well being (energy, digestion, patterns), your lifestyle, your exercise and nutrition habits…

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Tranquility

Mia

Mia, 2/26/13

Today, I’m at peace. Not numb, actually content.

Sometimes, just a compliment from someone can help. A friend, a family member, a coworker. Just a compliment. Last night, I received a compliment. And just a simple one, but it mattered to me. And it made a difference.

Today, I’m not happy or sad, but… content. No ripples in my lake yet.

My cat also snuggled with me yesterday. Not my boy, Max, but Mia. She wanted to. Normally, she seeks out my husband. But she found me. It was strange… yet, calming.

Just small acts of kindness from my pets, and a friend – made all the difference in the world.

I have a bit of confidence today. Which is good, because I desperately needed a break. It’s nice to feel the clouds part, even if it’s just for a short while. It may rain tomorrow, but today, I have a blue sky. 

Soothe My Pain

This blog is how depression feels. Physical pain, emotional drowning. You are alone, and along for the ride. The only thing that ends the suffering… is the one thing we can’ do.

Mushroom Soup

As I knew it would, I crashed. Got up, feeling off, feed my animals, and went to work. Got to work, and realized the massive project I had left yesterday… was still there. Been working on it for about 5 hours, and it’s just now starting to clear up. Due to a problem within our software, a project I had been working on for a week or so has crashed, leaving a huge mess of clean-up for me. Basically, it’s a lot of unnecessary, tedious work that shouldn’t have happened.

That sort of set me off this morning. But I was determined to not hit the wall. So, I plugged in my headphones and rocked out to the same song over and over again. It helped. Then I get a call from my husband, asking if we could go out for dinner with some friends tonight. Some friends who are only in town for a few more days.

I didn’t have any trainings tonight, and he knew that, so he called to see if I would like to go. This would normally be something very nice that I would enjoy. Well, being a little on the low end today, and then being OCD, I realized my plans would change tonight.

*Panic*

I wouldn’t be able to go grocery shopping this evening, which means I’m not able to make mushroom soup. I was looking forward to making mushroom soup, because we have a lot of mushrooms I need to use before the end of the week, or they will go bad. This also means that since we are going out to dinner, we are going to spend money. Which causes anxiety… this is where the tears started to well up and I started to shut down.

mushroom soupI kept thinking, because that’s what I do. I then realized that I would be getting home late this evening, and I’m already having a not-so-good day. AND I don’t get mushroom soup.

Oh SHIT! Napoleon! He is crated at home right now, and he needs to be let out before we go out tonight. Which means I have to go home first (which is 20 minutes out of the way), let him out for potty time, feed the animals, and then crate him and leave again. This almost had me in hysterics because this means he’s going to be in his crate all day, and then again while we are out at dinner. He would also not be getting exercise today, which is unfair to him. UGH! I hate when this happens.

So now, all these things are swimming in my head, and I can’t even think! My brain just shut down. My dearest husband doesn’t understand, and he’s trying to talk me down. Finally, I’m breathing. Just breathing. That’s a good thing. I stop breathing when this happens.

Ok, back to reality. SHIT! SHIT SHIT! I have someone coming tonight to pick up something she bought from me. Now I have to call and cancel or reschedule with her. I HATE RESCHEDULING!! I feel like I’m a flake and I just cancel or reschedule on everyone. And, on top of that, I can’t the rest of the week because I have dog trainings… and I can’t during the day, obviously, since I work… oh, it’s starting again… I can’t breathe.

*************************************************

Later….

I have calmed down now…though it took several hours. I’m getting ready to leave to go out to dinner. It’ll be fine. Napoleon will be fine. My mushrooms will be fine. My husband has offered to go to the grocery store tomorrow while I’m doing training, so I can come home and make mushroom soup. He also offered to go out on a walk with me later this evening with Napoleon (if it’s not too cold), otherwise, we’ll play hide ‘n seek with him when we get back. This is a big deal since he doesn’t like taking care of our animals.

… *breathe*… Just try to breathe. I feel a panic attack coming. I’m trying so hard to keep it together. WHY?? I just want to sit in a dark corner and cry…and eat my mushroom soup.

Waiting for the Crash

drinksOver the weekend, I had a great night with some friends. We decided to go to a gay bar for a night of friends, drinking, and dancing. I don’t bar hop often, mostly because I don’t have many friends to bar hop with. If I did, I would go more. I like gay bars, especially, as I can be myself without feeling judged. It’s a nice feeling that I don’t have often.

Anyway, I met some fun new people, and made a new friend. We danced, we laughed, and I was happy. Partly because I was piss-ass drunk, but that’s beside the point! My friend, who I have known for about 4 years, is moving. So, we went out to celebrate our friendship, and hang out for one last time before they leave at the end of the week. We have an interesting relationship because we both suffer from depression, and we are both bisexual. Wow, first time I have ‘said’ that out loud. (Whoo, coming out time..and it’s about time!).

I have known about my sexuality for about.. oh… 10 years or so. And while I don’t hide it, I don’t announce it either. It’s really none of other people’s business what I do intimately. Either way, I’m coming out now because it’s part of my therapeutic road. My friend, on the other hand, is married, has a couple of kids, and she is just now finding out that she is bisexual. Now, she’s wondering how it would feel to be with a woman. Her husband doesn’t understand what it means to be bisexual, so he is telling her to hook up with a girl. With time, I’m hoping he will start to understand. It’s a hard road, especially when you are in a committed relationship. It’s hard because being bisexual, you will only ever be satisfied on ‘one side’, no matter which way you choose. That’s a different blog altogether, and not relevant to this one.

The more I get ‘in tune’ with opening up about myself, the more comfortable I become. Yes, I will lose friends along the way – it seems to always happen. But the way I live my life is up to me. And I have many views that are ‘against the grain’ when it comes to sexuality, religion, politics, and generally everything. I love tattoos, piercings, and I love when people express themselves. Sometimes, you have to make the hard decisions and buck up and do it, to find out who you are.

Anyway, back to my story… we danced, had a blast, and when the bar closed at 2am, we didn’t want the night to end, so we out to eat down the street. We chatted more, sobered up a bit, and then made our way home. By the time I got home, it was close to 5am, and with songs still ringing in my head, I tell my husband what a wonderful night I had! Now, most husbands might not want their wife going to a bar, a gay bar no less, and then coming home when she pleases… at 5 am. Well, my husband doesn’t fall into that category, and truly wants me to do what I want! Which is just how we roll.

Now, today, I received a package in the mail with my membership certification from the IACP (www.canineprofessionals.com), and I’m so happy!! Yay, I was accepted, and it’s one more step for me to becoming a fully fledged, professional dog trainer! *Filled with happiness again!*IACP

As many of you also suffer from depression, it’s scary to get too happy. Because as soon as you feel good about something, one little itty bitty thing can ruin the whole happy place you have built up for yourself. Came home, watched a movie with the hubby, and then started blogging.

I hate the feeling of anticipation. I hate feeling like a crash is about to start. I’m starting to get the uneasy feeling again. What’s worse, is that when I start to feel like this, it seems I’m the one who ruins it. Because all my negative feelings, I make it happen. Just like with dog training, a dog can sense your feelings. If you are anxious, he has reason to be anxious. When these feelings start, it’s best for me to just focus on something that it’s mindless and try to get through the day. That’s how I handle things. One day at a time.

House Training for puppies and Adult Dogs

potty-training-dogsThe most common questions I get from new puppy owners are about potty training. So, I thought I would make an article about it.

Tips to Remember:

Hagen-Dogit-Puppy-Potty-Training-Kit

Puppy Pads – Big No-No!

DON’T use puppy pads or any other paper training. This is teaching the dog it is still ok to go in the house.  Crate training is a better alternative.
DON’T expect too much too soon. Puppies take a few months to be reliable in the house. Puppies have very little control over their bladder until they are over 6 months old.
-If you bring the dog outside, and it doesn’t’ eliminate, even though it is showing signs of needing to go, take him/her back inside, and crate for 10-15 minutes. Then, take him out to the same place again.
DON’T assume that because your dog didn’t go outside, that he won’t go inside. Make sure to supervise your dog AT ALL TIMES at least for the first year they are in the house.

DO keep your dog on a leash EVERY TIME they are outside. Walk outside with your dog, wait patiently in the area you want them to eliminate, and then praise calmly when they are done. THEN, let the dog of the leash (if in a fenced area) to play for a few minutes. You want to teach the ‘fun outside playtime’ is a reward for relieving itself rather than ending the fun when the puppy does his business outside.
-As soon as your dog starts to eliminate in the house, quickly move the dog outside, and then praise if she/he continues to go when they are outside.
DON’T let your dog see you clean up a mess in the house. This gives them the idea you will always be there to clean it up.
REMEMBER: House training incidents are the human’s mistake, not the dog’s. NEVER get angry or upset with your dog for having accidents in the house.

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Containment

papillon_in_crate_s

Your dog will not eliminate in places where he/she is not allowed to go. Using a crate is an excellent way to quickly housetrain.  Does will generally not go to the bathroom where they sleep.   MAKE SURE your dog is safely confined when you cannot watch them 100% of the time. This is CRUCIAL to their success while they are in training.

You can also use the Umbilical Cord Method’.

Connect a 6 foot leash to yourself (belt, pants, etc) and have it connected it to you wherever you go. Your dog should be hooked up on the leash, and be following you everywhere.

Instead of waiting for potty signals from the dog, take the dog outside every hour. Use the verbal cue “Want to go outside?” in a happy tone when you get to the door. ALWAYS USE THE SAME DOOR IN THE BEGINNING.

When the dog eliminates, praise calmly, but enthusiastically.

Whenever the dog is not in the crate, he should be attached to you. If be begins to eliminate in your presence, correct him with a loud ‘eh-eh!’ to distract him. As soon as you have his attention, lead him outside. Then praise when he does go outside.

1st Milestone:
10 days with no accidents – disconnect leash, and limit freedom. Dog needs to stay in the same room (within visual distance). 100% SUPERVISION IS STILL CRUCIAL. Continue this step for 30 days.

2nd Milestone:
30 days no accidents – you can allow more freedom. Confine to the dog to 1 room + an additional room. DO NOT give freedom to the entire house. He can be alone in these 2 rooms for a short period of time. Be sure to crate if you leave the house, even for a few minutes. Continue to take out every hour, and continue to praise when he goes outside. Continue this for 30 days.

Final Milestone:
NO accidents for 60 days: He can now be given free reign of the house. But still should be crated when you leave the house.

If there are accidents during the training, go back a step and start there. If there is another accident after you already took a step back, take another step back and try again.

Scheduling

Dog BowlHaving a consistent schedule for food, water, walks, and elimination will help your dog learn the patterns, and decrease the time it takes for them to learn to not go in the house. Here are some tips on building a schedule:

DO NOT leave food and water all day. Have mealtimes. I recommend (and this varies depending on situation, what food they are on, etc.) feeding twice a day. Once a day is fine as well, if they are eating dry kibble. But either way – have a mealtime. Give them 15 minutes to eat, and then take the rest away.  You can better predict when your dog needs to go to the bathroom based on when they ate/drank last.

WATER: This is tricky for some, because you don’t think about it. When potty training, personally, I also limit the water intake. I offer it with food, always. I offer it at times throughout the day, at least until potty training is a bit more reliable. Eventually, you will want to offer water all day.

-Puppies tend to eliminate a few minutes before or after drinking water or eating. Their elimination schedule looks something like this:
-When they first wake up in the morning.
-After playing, or something during playtime.
-After a nap.
-Right after drinking, and/or eating.
-Sometimes before eating.
-After chewing on a bone or toy.
-If he hasn’t been out for an hour or two.
-Puppies are still developing bladder control, so be patient with them!! It’s not their fault, they are still learning!
-This process works for adult dogs, too!

Praise

Always praise calmly, but enthusiastically when your dog eliminates outside in the correct place. This will ‘mark’ or teach the behavior, and they will want to earn the reward (praise) next time.

-Make sure to praise right when your dog is going. NOT when they come inside. Otherwise, they think they are being praised for coming inside with you. This is a good thing too, but not relevant for house training.

In case of an accident

Now, when you dog does go on your favorite rug, or on the couch, understand they did it for one reason. To pee!  Dogs aren’t capable of feeling “mad” or “vengeful”, they aren’t doing it “in spite of” you. With the exceptions of territorial urine marking, illness, or (rarely) separation distress syndrome, dogs go to the bathroom in the house for one reason: they have never been properly housetrained by the owner.

Training

NEVER use treats as a reward for potty training, as this can cause some confusion when you wean them
off the treats. They won’t understand why they aren’t getting them anymore.
NEVER yell or hit your dog for eliminating in the incorrect place.
NEVER rub your dog’s nose in it either. Punishment doesn’t help training. All it does it teach the dog your presence is a dangerous thing.

So, how do you correct them if they start going in the house?
If they start to go in the house, make an ‘eh-eh!’ sound or clap your hands to distract them. As soon as you have their attention, scoop them up, put on a leash, and then run outside. When your dog finishes, praise calmly, but enthusiastically.

If you want to teach your dog to go in a certain area of the yard, use a verbal cue, like ‘Go Potty!’, ‘Get Busy’, etc. Say this as soon as he starts eliminating so he can associate those words with going to the bathroom.

CSR372OriginalSO_FamilyShot_REVCarpet Cleaners

You want to make sure you get a cleaner that actually removes the odor enzymes as well as the stain. If it smells like the last time they eliminated, they will want to go in the same place over and over again.
DON’T use any cleaning supplies that have ammonia in them, as ammonia acts like an attractor, and your dog will want to mark it again.

I recommend:
-Simple Solution
-Nature’s Miracle
-Woolite Pet & Oxygen

010279110775C***NOTE: Many people also ask about using a bell on the door. This is also easily trainable, but requires additional consistency, and you have to make sure you use the dog’s paws or nose on the bell EVERY TIME you ask ‘Do you want to go outside?’ to teach the dog this means the same thing as the verbal cue.

Depression Suppressor

I have recently been thinking of things to help suppress the depression while I’m at home. There are so many days where I just want to come home from work and sleep. Or sit in a corner and not do anything. But, alas, I have responsibilities.
Like walking the dog, making dinner, feeding the animals, brushing the cats’ coats and teeth, trimming all their nails, and overall, just managing a household. A household of 2 humans, and 3 furbabies. No, that may not seem a lot to someone who has a house full of children and furkids, but in my experience with dealing with depression, getting just one thing done in a day is an achievement. Something to be proud of. You want toPS3 Controller stop the world from spinning sometimes, and just have a moment.

So, I have compiled a list of things that I HAVE to do. No matter what. A checklist helps when I am REALLY having a bad day. As long as do these things, I will feel like I have accomplished something.

– Personal hygiene: Shower, brush teeth Just the bare minimum sometimes to get through the day.
– Feed the animals.
– Eat dinner.
– Take at least 1 hour while at home to do something that does not involve work. Examples: Video game,     television episode, read a book, snuggle with dog.
– Go to work.
– *BIGGEST CHALLENGE: On Saturdays, go to my doggie social class.

Bare minimum, people. Sometimes, just doing those things is a significant challenge. Especially if I’m having a bad start on my Saturdays… which is actually one of my worst days since I legitimately feel like I don’t even have to make my bare minimum list.

Does anyone else have a ‘bare minimum list’ they use to get through the day when they are trapped?

For The Love Of Annie

This blog touched my heart, and I had to reblog this. I have also shared this on my facebook page, and included the links to the rescue. I really hope we can get this spread around. Every single person can help prevent animal cruelty!

Crazy Train To Tinky Town

Karen Wren runs a small animal shelter in Didim, Turkey trying to save abandoned and injured street dogs along with feeding up to eighty other hungry mouthsforest dogs on the beach, at the side of the road and in the forest each and every day. Sterling work don’t you think? There are no thank yous for this type of hero, because that’s exactly what she is although I don’t think she would thank me for saying that. Often when they are no funds, she is the one who puts her hands in her pocket to buy that much-needed dog food particularly during the leaner months when the tourists have all gone home.

About a month ago their shelter was flooded leaving dogs homeless with nowhere else to take refugeflood – imagine the horror of discovering your life long work gone overnight. But fight back they did and have cobbled together with…

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Overwhelmed

It seems the harder I try to make a difference in the dog training world, the more depressed I get. I have so much to learn, it feels like I am drowning in all the knowledge. I think I get ahead of the game by reading a bunch of training books, taking notes, watching seminars, going to social class on Saturday.  Then, I get one little piece of advice from another trainer. One sentence on a dog I have been working on, that’s all it takes. My whole world comes crashing down onto me. I failed…again.

I work and learn, and practice, and then execute on others’ dogs, and then I do see improvement within a week or so. More importantly, the client sees it. I’m thanked, and I’m happy with myself. This tiny moment makes me happy. I’m proud of the accomplishment the client and dog have made. And then I explain to another trainer what I have done. And instead of saying, ‘Wow, you made great progress’, they say something like, ‘Well, you should have been progress within a few minutes’. My hopes, dreams, and all the work I have done … crushed. *Poof*. Gone. And I’m back in my place of feeling worthless and unimportant.

After this happens, I’m swallowed again by the darkness and I feel small and the world would be better without me. I’m a waste of resources. There are better trainers out there, why does the world need me? I get myself all worked up feeling this way, usually crying the rest of the day, and feeling like I want to throw up. This makes my husband angry, and usually we end up fighting. I understand he doesn’t want me to pity myself and to ‘get back up on that horse’. It’s not his fault, I know – he just doesn’t like to see me sad. But I’m always sad on the inside. I just wear my happy mask and try to pretend while I am around people.

I JUST WANT TO BE GREAT! And I have always been willing to put in the effort. I study almost every day, I try to network with other trainers, I try to figure out my next steps. I don’t want a miracle, or just to magically become an awesome trainer. I enjoy learning about different techniques and methods, and I want to learn from other trainers. I want to breathe dog training. This is so much fun for me… but I don’t know if I can make it in the real world. It seems every single force there is, is trying to stop me.

Why do I continue? It’s easier to just give up. To just be a follower, don’t even try. I can’t face the rejection. Why?

Because this is what I want. And I want to put in the time and effort to make it. I love doing it, and it gives me a few moments of happiness. Those few moments are enough for me to get up, take the ‘abuse’ as I like to call it. The world is abusing me. . . and I just have to take it. I have no other choice.

What About Crate Training?

Dog Kennel

Wired Dog Kennel

You’ve heard it, and some might be hesitant about it.

Crate-training. Why is it such a controversial topic?

Well, for starters, many people like to view human emotions on animals. This is called ‘Anthropomorphism’. I have mentioned this before, but I still hear a lot of this, and wanted to talk about it again.

Definition:
an·thro·po·mor·phism [an-thruh-puh-mawr-fiz-uhm]
noun

The attribution of human form or behaviour to a deity, animal, etc.

This is a mistake many dog owners make. Dogs are not people!

Canines are different in a few ways. A few that come up immediately when I think about are:
1) Canines are pack animals
2) Canines are den animals
3) Canines are NEED a strong leader for the pack
4) Canines cannot use English or human body language to communicate

Now that we have established dogs are not people and they can happily be a member of the family WITHOUT being treated like a human, let’s move on to crating.

Plastic Crate

Plastic Crate

A kennel, crate, cage, etc – this has are 10 perks to teaching crate-training:
1) Potty training
2) Being in a safe place, creating a ‘den’.
3) Preventing destructive habits.
4) prevention of separation anxiety
5) Teaching independence
6) Getting used to being in a crate
7) Teaching a natural ‘calm’ state
8) Using as a ‘calm down/time out’ area
9) Using as a containment/quarantine or separation tool
10) Travel tool

Crating is used inappropriately when:
1) Dog is in the crate for too long (like 14 hours or something)
2) Used as a punishment
3) Crate is too big/too small
4) Putting multiple animals in the crate
5) Letting other animals or family members (especially children) be in/around the crate when the animal is in the crate.
6) Tricking the dog to go in the crate

Custom Dog House

Custom Dog House

And many others, but this is an introduction to why crates are a good idea. Many dogs end up loving their crate, and know when it’s bedtime (if they sleep in the crate at night), they know when they want quiet time, and they know they will be safe there.

Dogs do not feel ‘trapped’ (unless they have a medical condition or severe separation anxiety) in a crate, they feel safe. It’s a place for them to go when they need to calm down, or learn how to be by themselves. This is a pretty big deal if you have a puppy. You want to prevent the separation anxiety from forming by teaching them to be alone. They will need to find ways to entertain themselves (sleeping, is what we want them to do).

I will be posting how to crate train your dog in the future, but this was just to open up conversation on any experiences you want to share about it!