Monday, October 31, 2011

zen habits: The 8 Habits of Healthy Living

‘The art of living well and the art of dying well are one.’ ~Epicurus

The 8 Habits of Healthy Living

1. Stop smoking. This is by far the most important habit, as it affects almost every single one of the leading causes of death. It’s also the hardest of these habits to change. It’s not at all impossible — I quit six years ago next month (read my tips).
2. Lose weight (if you’re overweight). This is not exactly a habit — the best habit to form to lose weight is to eat less. Or eat more of things that don’t have a lot of calories, like fruits and veggies. Being overweight is just below smoking the worst risk factor for many diseases.
3. Exercise. You don’t need me to tell you to exercise, but listen to this: lack of exercise is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, colon & rectal cancers, diabetes, breast cancer, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you don’t exercise, you’re just asking to get a major disease. It’s almost a magic pill: do a bit of exercise every day, and you get healthy. You don’t need much — start with 5 minutes a day in the morning.
4. Drink only in moderation. Heavy drinking is one of the worst risk factors for many diseases. That’s more than 2 drinks of alcohol a day for men, and more than 1 drink for women. A glass of red wine is a good thing, but too many and you’re greatly increasing your risk of disease.
5. Cut out red & processed meats. Eating red meats, and processed meats like sausages, bacon, canned meats and so on, is a risk factor for colon/rectal cancer, stomach cancer, and high cholesterol, which in turn is a leading risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. While this won’t sit well with many people, the overwhelming mass of research supports this. I recommend going vegetarian.
6. Eat fruits & veggies. This is obvious, but it’s amazing how few veggies most people eat. Eating fruits and veggies reduces your risk of several leading diseases, and it’s one of the easiest habits to form. Eat a salad (without heavy dressings, bacon or other meats, croutons or cheese), add veggies to soups or veggie chili, cook up veggies as a healthy side dish with dinner or lunch. Eat fruits with breakfast and as snacks.
7. Reduce salt, and saturated/trans fats. Salt and saturated or trans fats are in so many processed or prepared foods, and they increase risks of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which increase risk for heart disease and stroke. Despite what the Weston Price Foundation and other people on the Internet tell you, saturated fat isn’t healthy — read the sources. Note that this isn’t a controversy in the medical community, but the “harmlessness” of saturated fats is perpetuated by the diary and meat industries, and lay writers like Gary Taube. Cook your own healthy meals instead of eating out or eating prepared foods.
8. Reduce stress. Stress is a risk factor for heart disease and high blood pressure, which is itself a risk factor for stroke. Simplify your workday so that you’re not overly stressed, and exercise to relieve stress.

Posted: 31 Oct 2011 11:25 AM PDT  by Leo Babauta.


A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne

Secret Scrolls Newsletter Logo
A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne
Creator of The Secret and The Power 

From The Secret Daily Teachings

The tighter you try and hold on to something that you are afraid of losing, the more you are pushing it away. Those thoughts are filled with fear, and if you continue to persist, what you fear the most will come upon you.
Fear nothing - just think about what you want. It feels so much better!
May the joy be with you,

Rhonda Byrne
The Secret... bringing joy to billions

Take Heed! Lessons your pet can teach you.

Border collie chasing ball
Forget Multitasking
When dogs have a job to do, they give it their undivided attention.  It turns out people should probably do the same.  Stanford researchers found that attention and memory suffer in those who juggle work, email, and web-surfing, compared to those who focus on one task at a time.  Other studies suggest employees actually lost time when multitasking.

Cat napping on couch 
Take Naps
You won't catch your pet going from dawn to dusk without any shut-eye.  There's good evidence humans can benefit from catnaps, too.  A study involving about 24,000 people indicates regular nappers are 37% less likely to die from heart disease than people who nap only occasionally.  Short naps can also enhance alertness and job performance.

Taking the dog for a walk
Walk Every Day
Whether you've got four legs or two, walking is one of the safest, easiest ways to burn calories and boost heart health.  Taking regular walks can also help you:
*  Fight depression.
*  Lose weight.
*  Lower your risk for type 2 diabetes.
*  Lower the risk of breast and colon cancer.
*  Keep your bones strong.*  Keep your mind sharp.

Cat rubbing face on dog 
Cultivate Friendships
People are social animals, and friendships have measurable health benefits.  Researchers in Australia followed 1,5000 older people for 10 years.  Those with the most friends were 22% less likely to die than those with the fewest friends.

Happy dog on a walk
 Live in the Moment
Living in the moment may be one of the most important lessons we can learn from our pets.  In a study called "A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind,"  Harvard psychologist conclude that people are happiest when doing activities that keep the mind focused, such as sex or exercise.  Planning, reminiscing, or thinking about anything other than the current activity can undermine happiness.

Two cats looking out the window 
Don't Hold a Grudge
Part of living in the moment is letting bygones be bygones.  Let go of old grudges, and you'll literally breathe easier.  Chronic anger has been linked to a decline in lung function, while forgiveness contributes to lower blood pressure and reduced anxiety.  People who forgive also tend to have higher self-esteem.

Dog on beach wagging tail

OK, so maybe you don't have a tail.  But you can smile or put a spring in your step when you're feeling grateful.  Researchers have found a strong connection between gratitude and general well-being.  In one study, people who kept gratitude journals had better attitudes, exercised more, and had fewer physical complaints.
Cat playing with insect 
Maintain Curiosity
According to a popular saying, curiosity may be hazardous to a cat's health.  But not so for humans.  Researchers have found that people who are more curious tend to have a greater sense of meaning in life.  Other studies have linked curiosity to psychological well-being and the expansion of knowledge and skills.

Dog playing with ball 
Be Silly
Indulging in a little silliness may have serious health benefits.  Cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center found a stronger sense of humor in people with healthy hearts than in those who had suffered a heart attack.  They concluded that "laughter is the best medicine" -- especially when it comes to protecting your heart.

Cat getting petted 
Get a Back Rub
The power of touch is nothing to sniff at.  The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has found massage therapy can ease pain, give the immune system a boost, and help manage chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes.  The touch of a loved one may be even more powerful.  In one study, married women experienced less anxiety over the threat of an electric shock when they held their husbands' hands.

Black lab drinking from hose 
Drink Water When You're Thirsty
Dogs don't lap up sports drinks when they've been playing hard -- and most people don't need to either.  During a typical workout, drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated.  Water gives your muscles and tissues critical fluid without adding to your calorie count.  Be sure to drink more than usual on hot days or when you're sweating a lot.

Cat staring at goldfish in bowl 
Eat Fish
Most cats would trade kibble for a can of tuna any day.  Luckily, you can choose to make fish a regular part of your diet.  Salmon, tuna, trout, and other fatty fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and arthritis.  In addition, Rush University researchers found that people who eat fish at least once a week are 60% less likely to develop Alzeimer's disease.

Beagle licking babys hand 
If You Love Someone, Show It
Dogs don't play hard to get -- when they love you, they show you.  It's a good approach for people seeking to strengthen their relationships.  A study published in the journal Personal Relationships suggests small, thoughtful gestures can have a big impact on how connected and satisfied couples feel.

Two kittens playing
Goofing off is not just for kids and kittens.  In his book, Play, Stuart Brown, MD, writes that playing is a basic human need along with sleeping and eating.  Play enhances intelligence, creativity, problem-solving, and social skills.  So take a cue from your pet and devote yourself to an activity that has no purpose other than sheer fun.
Dog fixated on something  outside
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
A hike in the woods may be a dog's idea of bliss, but it has plenty of benefits for the human mind and body as well.  Spending time outdoors can enhance fitness, increase vitamin D levels, and reduce stress.  In children, playing in natural settings has also been linked to better distance vision, fewer ADHD symptoms, and better performance in school.

Cat grooming itself
Make Time to Groom
Aside from the obvious health benefits of bathing and brushing you teeth, grooming can have a number of positive effects on your life.  Good personal hygiene is vital to self-esteem.  A tidy appearance can also help you get and maintain a job.

Little dog and big dog
Be Aware of Body Language
Dogs are excellent at reading each other's intent from body language.  Humans, not so much.  While most of us do reveal our emotions through posture, speech patterns, and eye contact, other people generally aren't very good at reading those cues.  People get better at decoding body language as they get older.

Kitten stretching
Stretch Often
Stretching will keep you limber, but the benefits don't stop there.  In a 10-week study, volunteers who did no exercise other than stretching experienced surprising physical changes.  Besides improving flexibility, they increased their muscle strength, power, and endurance.  Although the study was a small one, the results suggest stretching may be a good alternative for people who have a condition that rules out traditional strength-training.

Great dane on bench
Seek Out Shade
When you're at the park, and your pooch is ready for a break, she'll probably find a nice shady spot to relax.  Dermatologists recommend you follow suit, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  That's when you would soak up the most UV rays, particularly during late spring and early summer.  While you're sheltered in the shade, it's a good idea to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen on exposed skin.

Woman and dog by lake
Stick to a Schedule
Pets like the consistency of a routine - they can't tell a Saturday from a Monday.  The same goes for the human body clock.  People sleep better if they go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends.  Sticking to a consistent schedule for bathing, dressing, and eating can also improve the quality of sleep.

Sunday, October 30, 2011



Eleventh Hour Rescue is a volunteer based, non profit, 501c3 organization that literally saves dogs from death row. 

We rely on the generosity of our volunteers to provide loving foster homes for dogs pulled from death row in high-kill shelters.

We invite you to explore our website and humbly offer you the chance to let one of our exceptional dogs touch your heart; the same way they each touch ours.

Without you, we couldn't do what we do for the dogs, and that is to simply give them a chance. Without you, our dogs don't stand a chance.

Eleventh Hour Rescue
P.O. Box 218
Rockaway, NJ  07866

Call the Main Office -Checked Twice Daily
9 7 3 - 6 6 4 - 0 8 6 5
W H O   W E   A R E

Miracle Dog: Daniel the Beagle

Miracle Dog: Daniel the Beagle Up for Adoption after Surviving Gas Chamber

It's a happy ending that wasn't supposed to happen for a big eared, doe-eyed beagle. Now, the dog that was found as a stray in Alabama and defied death, is searching for a new home.
Three weeks ago, the beagle was euthanized along with 18 other dogs at an overcrowded animal shelter in Florence, Ala., on Oct. 3.
But to the shock of everyone he somehow survived.
When the animal control officer in charge of the operation returned to the locked chamber he found the dog waiting at the door, wagging its tail. The other dogs were dead.
His amazing survival has attracted several charitable groups to come to his aid to make sure he isn't sent back into the gas chamber. He found a temporary home in Tennessee with Karen Rudolph, who runs Schnauzer Savers Rescue of West Tennessee with her husband Michael.
Rudolph dubbed him Daniel, inspired by the biblical story of Daniel, who walked out of a lion's den unscathed. Eleventh Hour Rescue, which brought Daniel to New Jersey with the help of Pilots and Paws, gave the dog the last name "Milagro," meaning miracle in Spanish.
When Rudolph took Daniel Milagro to see her veterinarian, he received a clean bill of health.
"Amazingly, not only did he survive the gas chamber which is very rare … he was not sick," Rudolph said. "It was almost as though angels pulled him out of there and he didn't even breathe the gas."
At 20 pounds, Daniel is underweight and his immune system is slightly compromised, but otherwise he is in good health, Eleventh Hour Rescue president Linda Schiller said. Schiller's group is trying to find a home for Daniel.
The beagle is now staying with Eleventh Hour volunteer Jill Pavlik until the organization finds an appropriate home for him.
She's his new foster mom while they search for the perfect home.
"He's very fun loving , he's very sweet," said Pavlik.
Schiller isn't worried about finding a new home for Daniel, who is highly adoptable due to his celebrity status. In fact, just an hour after the Star Ledger newspaper first covered the story, Schiller had received over 200 emails from readers interested in Daniel, and the attention hasn't slowed down since.
But she hopes at least some of the applicants will be interested in adopting other dogs.
"We have dogs that are just as wonderful as him that were on death row, but didn't walk out of a gas chamber," Schiller said. "They're happy and they're wagging their tales and ready to be adopted."
Other Miracle Dogs
Daniel isn't the first pup to be called a miracle dog.
Back in March, a little puppy from Oklahoma came back to life after being put down not once, but twice.
After becoming a Facebook phenomenon, Wall-E made it to New York and "Good Morning America."
He has since been adopted by a family in Pennsylvania.
For more information on how to adopt Daniel or another rescued dog, visit Eleventh Hour Rescue

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Extreme Makeover Animal Edition!

by  Diane Herbst
PiccoloAfter Jill Sullivan Grueter's beloved father passed away in 2008, Grueter decided her life needed a change.

"I wanted to do something bigger than myself," she says. So the New Hampshire ad copy writer and longtime animal lover visited a local horse rescue with buildings in need of TLC. "I thought, 'These people are so wonderful,'" she recalls. "I will do whatever it takes to give them a makeover and do whatever it took to do it myself.'"

Grueter, 34, her contractor friend James Byrne, and two other handy friends created their own version of Extreme Makeover Animal Edition, calling it The Project Pawsitive Foundation. Their current mission is a complete makeover of the Greyhound Adoption Service in Salisbury, Mass. The $55,000 project, Project Pawsitive's biggest yet, is funded completely by donations and includes replacing the roof, building a quarantine facility, fixing the kennels and creating a comfortable area for the dogs and their prospective new parents to meet.

Deuce"At the end of the day, at the end of my life I want to make sure I did the best I could with what I have," Grueter says. "I feel we are all here for a greater purpose and I believe that I am here for this purpose, that I can make my dad proud and help save animals, it makes me feel good."

The rescue has already found homes for over 2,000 former racing Greyhounds. "Our mission is to help place these racing greyhounds and we want to get them into good permanent homes," says Deborah Schildkraut of the Greyhound Adoption Service. "This will help us with the upgrade in the kennel, to make it a better place for the dogs.

"To do a whole renovation is beyond what we could have comprehended," Schildkraut continues. "We are all pitching in on this and expanding the scope of what we could have done on our own, since all our money goes to the dogs. We're very thankful."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Voice of Patience

Patience and Victory are twin brothers, for victory comes with patience.
Post written by Leo Babauta.
There are moments when other people just set you off, and you lose your patience.
It is the downfall of many of us — coworkers, children, spouses, other drivers, irritating people on the subway — they can grate, they can anger.
And it can ruin your day. You clench your jaw, you replay imaginary arguments in your head, or worse, you snap. And then you feel like crap.
How can we find the patience?
I will admit that I’m no saint. Just like everyone else, I get annoyed, and I will say things in a less-than-kind tone. I’m learning.
Here’s what helps me:
First, I learn to be aware of the emotions that rush up from nowhere.
I learn to accept those emotions as perfectly fine.
And I watch them, but don’t act.
I will talk to those emotions, like they’re a little child: it’s OK to be mad, but breathe. Talk to the other person, after you’ve calmed down, about the problem.
And then I breathe.
I remind my childlike emotions: other people are different, and that’s good. Celebrate humanity and all its glorious varieties. When people live and work together, there will be friction, and that is a part of the mix of humanity.
I remind: life is too short to waste my days in irritation and anger. Don’t let other people’s problems become my own.
I then give thanks. Gratitude solves all problems. I am grateful for having this friend, or stranger, in my life, and I’m grateful for the chance to even be here, and for the incredible life I have.
I talk to the other person, when I’ve calmed down, with compassion. I respond with love. It often will melt the other person’s jagged edges, and things will go better.
Patience isn’t an easy thing, but the alternative is much worse. Love will triumph if you let it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In Finding Your True Self

Simple Secret to Health and Happiness

Being True to Yourself Allows Happiness to Spread

by:  Lauren Zander, HG Life Coaching

To thine own self be true. These are the famous words from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as the character Polonius provides fatherly advice to his son Laertes as he leaves on a journey. Over 350 years later, Shakespeare’s words take on new meaning in a world overtaken by deceptive leaders (political, corporate and even religious leaders have all made headlines demonstrating their ingenuineness) and enamored by celebrity, despite it being rooted in pretention. In a world mired in fakeness and the negative energy that emanates from it, I thought it was important to look at the power of being true to “thine self” and living a life of integrity rather than falsehood. This is an important issue, in no small part because happiness contributes to good health, as many studies have demonstrated. For insights on how people can increase their authenticity ratings for better health, I spoke with executive coach Lauren Zander, principal, Handel Group Private Coaching, who regularly teaches the path to honesty as part of guiding their clients to a more fulfilling life.


According to Lauren, we put a “false persona” out to the world in an effort to protect our real self from all that is wrong or rude or offensive.  In order to stay safe, we end up doing or saying things that go against our true nature in order to please others or the world around us. Hiding behind this false persona in turn creates insecurity since people are now living a lie. Many believe this disquiet leads to disease. In contrast, personal authenticity is an unflinching recognition and acceptance of your values—what really matters to you—and the absolute truth about what you think and feel.
To become authentic means to explore in complete candor your real thoughts and feelings about yourself, others and life itself. Personal authenticity can exist only when you are willing to put aside everything you think you should believe in—in order to “fit in” to the world or to avoid conflict in relationships. You want to be free to be honest about how you feel, what you believe and what you have done. To be free is to be yourself fully with nothing hidden. Do you really believe the war on terror is a good thing when those around you are anti-Bush? Do you believe that you should stay home with your children and put your career aside when family and friends feel strongly that the life of a working mother is what you should do? How about participating in family celebrations with the in-laws… or, staying in a marriage that is not working? It’s all about not living a life of pretending to be a certain way, but instead to live a life that is true to your own soul.
This pursuit frequently takes people into sticky territory. The reason: More often than not, people have spent most of their life assuming that their innermost thoughts, beliefs and feelings are not okay. By adulthood, most people have created a broad and effective mask over their real thoughts and feelings. This is why people can rationalize that they are fine with a job they actually hate because, “all jobs are a grind,” or deny an unhappy marriage by saying, “oh, you know, no marriage is a picnic.” Without personal authenticity people can also justify that proven truths matter to them, something that is particularly dangerous when it comes to health. Smokers, for example, will excuse their lethal habit with this gem: “Everyone has to die of something.”


Finding your authentic self requires listening to the voice in your head, despite the temperament, which often changes… and everyone has many alternating temperaments, says Lauren. There is the victim voice, the irate voice, the all-knowing voice, the comedian—and on and on. Somewhere among those voices, though, if you listen carefully, is your real voice, though it may be deeply hidden. Your real voice is the one that comes to you in your quiet time and private thoughts. It’s often the voice that screams from inside whenever you say “yes” to something but really mean “no.” Or, when you say one thing out loud, but grumble something else silently to yourself later.  Accept and embrace that background voice, for this is your truth, even when it is uncomfortable to recognize. The thing that you are saying to yourself silently is the real you. Developing personal authenticity requires getting rid of the voice in the front and getting the voice in the background to be that voice in the front. As you become more practiced in establishing what is your true voice, you’ll find it has a lot to say. By keeping yourself aware and receptive to your truths, you put yourself in a position to make honest decisions about the way you conduct your life. The inner voice that is the real you needs to be actively developed, with rules and laws to weaken the other voices.  This will give you the strength and confidence to make choices in your life that are right for you.


Being authentic is crucial to good relationships—those with your spouse, a family member, co-workers or friends. Unfortunately, people routinely hide from revealing their inner thoughts about the other person for fear of hurt feelings, says Lauren. Hiding what you think doesn’t help you grow up or help relationships. It helps you be a really good pretender, says Lauren, and it is a great excuse for why something stays unsatisfying. People frequently will tell their true thoughts about, say, their spouse to a good friend, but they hide these same thoughts from their mate, the only person who could really change the situation. “I don’t talk about that because it would upset him,” is how they explain away their silence. The unhappy result, though, is that they don’t evolve and grow their marriage. By manipulating the relationship to maintain what is, on the surface, a conflict-free status quo, they maintain a relationship that is stuck in dissatisfaction and ultimately shallow.
People often have problems with the idea of expressing their true thoughts because they think the conversation will get them in trouble or will hurt someone’s feelings.
However, it is possible to be absolutely truthful without being hurtful, which is what Lauren spends much of their time teaching clients to do.  First, of course, you have to become cognizant of your own truths.  Then, to understand that just as you have “your truth,” the others in your life have their truth. By recognizing, accepting and honoring that this right exists in both you and your spouse’s heads, you can agree to explore your observations and feelings together based on mutual respect and trust. This leads to true intimacy and a more effective working relationship.
To prepare for honest communication, Lauren has her clients prepare a list that includes their pet peeves about the other person. These peeves need to see the light of day because they have existed and have been growing in the person’s head, sometimes for years… and the person has been gathering what she calls evidence for her theories all that time—the other person’s words or behaviors that back up the belief. In reviewing the list with clients, often times, Lauren says, people discover that they are carrying around a false or left-over theory that, when articulated fully, is not even accurate. Once the list has been created and reviewed, by correctly framing the conversation, even scary conversations can engender closeness.
Lauren recommends the following outline for framing the conversations called “Clearing Pet Peeves”…
  • Explain first that you recognize that the subject you are bringing up is not “the truth,” but rather how you perceive the situation.
  • Explain to the other person that your love and commitment to having a great relationship is why this conversation is important.  In other words, let him/her know he/she is not on shaky ground with you.
    • Introduce the subject that is troubling you—tell the other person that you want to share what you are experiencing with him and want his help in finding a clear path for the future.
    • Above all, do not use accusatory words… recognize you are sharing your truth and want them to share theirs… and, be as interested in their truths as you want them to be in yours.  The moment you tell your whole truth with no “couching,” lies or omissions, you and whomever you speak to will be in the same version of reality with one another.

Without question, it seems easier to stay silent about your inner voice, opinions and actions, but this long-range cost is high. Your hidden life, the unspoken gripes and concerns, the hidden experiences and behaviors, and the pretended feelings create distance in the relationship or in yourself. It is truth alone that builds and maintains health and well being for you and a strong life-long bridge in your relationships.

If dogs could talk .... but wait! They can

One dog loves 'talking' about what's in the fridge and the other just wants to share the love. You'll love them both.

Wed, Sep 28 2011 at 12:04 PM EST
If animals could talk ... that thought has crossed any pet owner's mind a few times. But these two dogs seem to be communicating just fine, thank you very much.
First, there's Mishka, the chatty husky who just wants to express herself. 

(Her chatty ways even earned her a visit to the "Today" show.)
Then there's this guy, who admittedly got an assist in the audio department, but we couldn't help ourselves.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog's Legacy Lives ON

by Caroline Golon

Dayna, Sparkles and SpannerIt may seem unusual that a dog would have a place of honor on the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Memorial Walk, but Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog, who touched many lives and even saved a few, was no ordinary dog.

Sparkles, who passed away last October, spent the majority of her life helping her owner, Firefighter Dayna Hilton, spread the message of fire safety to millions of children across the nation. Today, Dayna and two of Sparkles’ adopted brothers, Tango and Siren, carry on the legacy that Sparkles left behind.

Dayna adopted Sparkles in 2003 from the Dalmatian Assistance League of Tulsa, which had rescued Sparkles from a home with 62 other dogs. “I just fell in love with her at first sight,” she said. “And when I saw children come to her at the adoption event and she rolled over and let them pet her belly, I knew she was a very special dog.”

Sparkles’ way with children made her a natural partner in the Fire Safety program Dayna was developing for schools. And, when Sparkles showed that, on the first try, she could “crawl low” like Dayna taught kids to do in fires, the firefighter was amazed. “She knew exactly what to do. I couldn’t believe it!” Dayna said.

Angelica and SparklesDayna, Sparkles and another adopted Dalmatian, Spanner (who died in 2008), taught kids critical fire safety skills through classroom presentations, their own TV show on PBS’s Sprout channel and a children’s book, Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog.

But Sparkles’ work became life saving when two little girls from the same school but different families were involved in house fires. The girls, who had attended Dayna and Sparkles’ presentation only weeks before, remembered the fire safety lessons that Sparkles had taught them and were able to escape their homes safely.

Still emotional to this day, Dayna shares the story of one of the little girls, Angelica, who told Dayna, “I was under the ‘cobers’ and the smoke came and I got out of bed and got low just like Sparkles did!”

“I could not believe it,” said Dayna. “What’s even more amazing is that little girl helped her father, who was disoriented from smoke inhalation, get down on the floor and crawl to safety.”

Tango and SirenToday, Dayna, Tango and new Dalmatian puppy Siren continue to build on the program that Sparkles made a success. Through in-school presentations, books, a webcast and Keep Kids Fire Safe, a foundation started in Sparkles’ honor, the trio continue to teach kids – and their families – about fire prevention and safety.

Tango and Siren each bring their own talents to the program. Tango has taken the lead on the education programs and Siren is learning to ride a skateboard and surf, which helps the team engage older kids, Dayna says.

But Dayna will never forget the special dog who made such an impact on so many people. “Sparkles touched many, many lives. When she died, I thought, ‘What am I going to do without Sparkles?’ But now I know. Sparkles laid the groundwork for this program and we’ll be able to take it and continue to do great things with it. “

To honor the amazing work Sparkles, Spanner, Tango and Siren have done to help spread the importance of fire safety, will be donating 5,000 meals to the Dalmatian Assistance League of Tulsa.


Monday, October 3, 2011

From The Secret Daily Teachings

A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne
Creator of The Secret and The Power 

From The Secret Daily Teachings
People go through their whole lives chasing everything in the material world, and they fail to discover the greatest treasure of all, which is within them. Shut your eyes to the outside world. Direct your thoughts and words to the inside of you. The Master within you is the key to all the treasures in the world.

May the joy be with you,
Rhonda Byrne

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Relationship Lessons We Can Learn

Jane Goodall: Relationship Lessons We Can Learn…From Chimps

Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:33am PDT

Eric Liebowitz
Jane Goodall, right, with Angelina Jolie
When you think of chimpanzees, it’s nearly impossible to not think of Jane Goodall.
The famed primate researcher—whose social contributions often draw peace-bearing comparisons to names like Gandhi, Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela—is the embodiment of inner and outer beauty. Goodall was 29, when, in 1960, she began living alone in the jungle with chimps. With no formal scientific education, she made discoveries that forever changed the relationship between humans and animals. 
Now 77 years of age and maintaining a strenuous schedule that includes 300 days of travel a year, Goodall still delights at the opportunity to share expertise on her life’s passion—chimps. We asked the British native—who is busy preparing for Jane Goodall Live, a one-night-only event in movie theaters nationwide on September 27th (more on that at end of the article)—what, we as humans, can learn from our ape "cousins."
Goodall says it is the emotional and relationship connections between chimps that we stand to learn the most from, and that the science community’s evolving mindset on that dynamic has come nearly full circle during her decades of study.
“When I first started studying chimpanzees in 1960, it wasn’t appropriate to talk about chimps having personalities. I was told I shouldn’t give them names, I should give them numbers,” remembers Goodall, of the customary labeling practice of the time. “That has softened considerably. There has been a change in our understanding of chimps.”
MORE: Animals Offer Companionship
Goodall cites the childhood experience of growing up with a family pet named Rusty as the reason she persisted in observing relationships and personalities in chimps, in spite of academia’s consensus at the time that no such thing existed. “Well, I thought, ‘Of course animals have feelings,’” reflects Goodall. “Anyone with a family dog knows that.”
One important lesson to be learned from chimps: Don't go to bed angry at your partner.
“With chimpanzees, it’s very important to them that tensions are resolved,” explains Goodall. “The chimp who has been the victim of an aggressive incident is likely to approach the aggressor, crouching, frightened, and nervous, and sometimes even with his back facing forward, ready to run at any moment. But he will nevertheless extend his shaking hand,” continues Goodall. “The dominant will reach out to it, and sometimes even embrace the chimp. And you can immediately see the tension relax and harmony is
Michael Neugenbauer
Jane Goodall with a chimpanzee
restored to the group.”
“It’s quite funny,” continues Goodall. “It reminded me of my grandmother, who used to always quote this verse from the bible, ‘Let not the sun sink on your anger.’ She would always make us say sorry to one another before we could go to bed. It’s the same concept.”
Another compelling relationship patterns she observed in chimps was that handling during infancy seemed to directly shape the chimp’s personality and behaviors as it grew older. Chimps, as it turned out, did not just feed and protect babies; adults were often observed to be just as much as the careful parent as a human, taking care to comfort, educate and encourage their young.
COLUMN: Attachment Styles of Parenting
“I learned the impact was tremendous,” says Goodall. “Human psychologists emphasize this is also true for human infants today, but it’s easier to trace the behavioral connection with a primate. It’s direct,” she says. For example, an upbringing marked by violence very often begets a violent adult temperament in chimps.
On the other hand, studying the same phenomenon in humans proves more challenging. Humans can express emotional trauma in a multitude of unpredictable ways, which can grow further complicated if they try to conceal or suppress behavior they find shameful, says Goodall.
Attachment parenting—today, a popular concept that theorizes the emotional connection formed between child and caregiver during infancy and developmental years will shape and determine adult persona—deduces the same framework that Goodall observed in chimps.
The success of Goodall’s in-depth studies are attributed to her ability to sit and observe amongst the chimps, once even becoming a live-in member of a troop for nearly two years—an assimilation feat that has never been repeated.
And surprisingly, it was her gender that Goodall partly attributes to her ability to embed so deeply among the chimps, in order to learn their behaviors first-hand.
“Being a woman was very helpful in the early days,” says Goodall. “Tanzania had newly acquired independence, and they were often not very well at ease with white male researchers, since white males had ruled for so long over the colonies,” says Goodall, of the country where the depth and breadth of her work took place. “They didn’t perceive me as a threat, since I was a woman. It gave me access.”
QUIZ: What’s Your Attachment Style?
Goodall will appear in Jane Goodall Live, a one day only broadcast at movie theaters across the country on Tuesday, September 27 th at 8/7pm EST/CST, with a tape delay for the west coast at 8p.m. PST.
In addition to a live Q &A session hosted by Charlize Theron, the cinematic biography, “Jane’s Journey” will be shown, which follows the footsteps of Goodall’s maiden voyage to Africa at the age of 26 to study chimpanzees in the depths of the jungles of the Gombe Stream Reserve in Tanganyika, and all the way through a lifetime of legendary discoveries surrounding what she believes is the predecessor species to humans.
Unseen 8mm film found in the attic of Goodall’s U.K. home will make its debut in addition to other rare first-hand footage, as will appearances by famous friends and fellow activists Angelina Jolie, Pierce Brosnan and Dave Matthews. Ticket cost varies by city, but will average $15 per seat for the two hour and 15 minute show. To find a theater near you, check the website Jane Goodall On the Big Screen.
- Grace Gold