Archive for July 31, 2020

A Special Day for Your Mutt

Call him a “mutt” or “half-breed” or “exotic mix,” he’s still our treasured family member.  And today is his day.  It’s National Mutt Day, also known as National Mixed Breed Day.  Well, one of the annual days, since it’s also celebrated on Dec. 2.  But,  hey, humans’ best friend deserves two days.

Animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige established this day in 2005 to counter the trend toward designer-dogs and pure breeds. plus over-breeding, especially by puppy-mills to supply pet stores with these dogs.  The result has been sick and extremely neglected dogs.

Meanwhile, 80% of dogs in shelters are mixed breeds just waiting to be adopted before they’re euthanized.  This day is intended to point out that mutts generally live longer, are healthier, naturally better behaved, and can just as easily be trained to be service dogs, bomb/drug-sniffers, search and rescue–you name it.  And they’ll wag “I-love-yous” even when you’re grouchy.

Think about it.

Serving and Leading

Good old Mr./Mrs./Ms. Anonymous sometimes has a worthwhile thought or two. As in today’s Thursday Thought quote:

Let a Dog Teach Reading

Have you heard about “Listening Dogs”?  It’s a simple, yet effective, concept.  Back in 1999, R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) came to be. They train therapy dogs to work with children, some with learning disabilities.  A dog’s job is to help a child learn English or reading skills in a loving, non-judgmental atmosphere. Kids have no worry about mispronouncing words or overcoming shyness in speaking in front of a class, thus resulting in health benefits, as well (lower blood pressure, pain control).  The dogs are attentive listeners, rewarding the children’s efforts with soulful looks and maybe an occasional sneaked-in lick.

Kids thrive. Dogs are happy. What more can we ask for?   For additional information, go to

Chill Out

Chaos leads to discord.  The messier our lives are the more conflict we feel.  Take a look at your too-hectic routine.  Pare that frustrating, never-ending “To Do” list down to just four ways in which you can simplify your life—maybe stop obsessing about a meaningless chore, learning to say “No” to taking on a new task, deciding that having family-time is non-negotiable.  Once you have your four, adopt one a week or month, whichever is less stressful for you.  Practice that simplification until it becomes part of your life.  Soon your frustrations will lessen, leading you away from anger-inducing situations.  You and the people around you will be happier.  In fact, what you used to think of as issues to go to battle over will become ones to be discussed and negotiated.  Make your world a little warmer by chilling out.

Binding, Limiting, & Control

In today’s Thursday Thought quote, Marianne Williamson reminds us of exactly what it is that binds, limits, and controls us.

Recommendation: Crip Camp

I don’t often recommend movies or documentaries, but I think this one is worth watching. Full disclosure: I grew up with a disability (post polio), and this documentary is about kids with disabilities.

I identify with some of the kids at the camp (10 years earlier I attended Easter Seal Camp) and at the protests (I participated in anti-Nam protests). But some of what the film presents was new to me — like us “Polios” being considered at the top of the disability ladder and “Cerebral Palsies” being at the bottom.

Whether or not you have a disabled child among your friends or family, this is a worthwhile film to watch. The kids aren’t “brave” or “admirable” or “inspiring” or any of the other terms people use that grate on our nerves. They’re just what we all are — people standing up for their rights.

(Warning: sex, smoking, and pot are involved.)

If you, like me, grew up with a disability, you should watch this, too. And, by the way, fellow “crips,” remember that our group is among the lowest in voter turn-out, and nobody else will push for our rights, so VOTE!

And watch “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” on NetFlix,

Unmelted Bottle Caps

Remove caps from bottles before recycling.  Because they melt at far different temperatures, a cap mixed in with bottles can leave unmelted plastic, making the whole batch unusable for other items.

[For more easy, money-saving, Earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to or your favorite e-book seller and download to your computer or e-book device. Totally free, with no strings attached.]

How to Win that Argument

Often, our discussions, especially on hot-button issues, end up in an argument. At some point, all that matters is that we win. Today’s Thursday Thought quote reveals what actual winning looks like.

Packed planes? No safety rules?

Plan to travel by airplane anytime soon?  Why not, since the airlines are following federal guidelines to keep us safe from the coronavirus, right?  WRONG!!!  Read this, then go to Secretary Chao: Airline safety is your job and sign the petition to get enforced health and safety regulations that can help us fly safely:

Right now, air travel is a free-for-all when it comes to protecting against the spread of the coronavirus. Without enforceable health and safety rules, airlines are free to fill every seat and ignore social distancing guidelines; mask requirements vary from flight to flight; and airports don’t have to take steps to limit spread.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has the authority to set enforceable standards for airports, airlines and passengers during this health crisis, but she hasn’t. Tell her to require health and safety rules for air travel — airline safety is her job, not yours!

Family Relationships

Family is the most complicated relationship on earth.  They’re the people we most love, yet the people who irritate us the most.  And they’re right there at home, handy for us to take out our rotten day on.  Sociologists say that how we treat each other in our family reflects how we treat everyone else.  If we’re loving and forgiving within our family, we’ll likely extend that not only to our friends but into our attitude toward strangers across the country and in other hemispheres.  If we’re ready to fight within our family, we’re eager to get into conflicts and wars elsewhere.  You get the idea.  Then, what small step can you take, what little change in your patience, attitude, or treatment of family members? Only you will know the answer.  Look at your family and yourself and decide.  The relationship with your family–and with others–is worth the effort.