What is PTSD? PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event. At first, it may be hard to do normal daily activities, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about. But most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months. If it’s been longer than a few months and you’re still having symptoms, you may have PTSD. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later on, or they may come and go over time. (more…)
Thu 07, May, 2015
Celebrating Fathers Day 2015 by Posting The Top 10 Daddy Blogs
Don’t Forget About Dad’s Gift On Fathers Day
Written by former psychology teacher Tim Atkinson, Bringing Up Charlie details life as a stay-at-home day with three children.
Although Tim says he began “blogging by accident”, his articles have won many accolades and seen him appear on ITV’s This Morning and numerous BBC radio shows. Plus, thanks to a tweet from Stephen Fry, Tim’s gained a loyal fan base of followers.
Dad Darren started his blog in 2011 to shares tales
of his young family. He says the family passions include “spending time together, photography, and many arts and crafts projects that normally result in a lot of mess”.
OneDad3Girls includes inspiration on family days out, recipe ideas and product reviews.
Despite “robbing us of our sleep and destroying the house” dad Tom says he can’t stop writing about his two sons, Dylan and Xander.
Thirty-something Tom shares his musings on parenthood as well as reviewing things like Clarks school shoes, grooming kits and toys.
Former didgeridoo craftsman John Adams gave up full time employment to care for his two young daughters.
He writes about all aspects of raising children such as education, health and childcare, and says he’s passionate about highlighting the gender barriers men face as parents.
John also writes guest posts for the Huffington Post and Mother and Child.
In September 2013 Ricky realized his family were in financial trouble and he needed to do something to stop them spiraling further into debt. He changed the way his family lived their lives and now shares his money-saving expertise.
The Skint Dad Blog offers advice from day-to-day budgeting, smart meal planning and ways to make money. Ricky’s blog also has a useful voucher code section.
Tue 05, May, 2015
USPS: National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 16–22, 2015
Kidz and K9’s joins the U.S. Postal Service continues its tradition of calling attention to one of the nation’s most commonly reported public health problems: dog attacks and bites. From nips and bites to actual attacks, violent dog behavior continues to pose a serious threat to our employees.
Sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service®, National Dog Bite Prevention Week is a public service campaign that offers safety tips and emphasizes the need for increased owner responsibility in the prevention of dog attacks.
This year’s National Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 16–22. The tools available in this kit, and additional tools now electronically posted, will guide you in promoting awareness of this public health concern in an effort to reduce dog attacks and bites in your community (2014 Dog Attack Rankings will appear in the next Postal Bulletin issue 22415, 5-14-15).
- n More than 4.5 million people are bitten annually.
- n Children are the majority of victims and are 900 times more likely to be bitten than letter carriers.
- n The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report that small children, the elderly, and letter carriers, in that order, are the most frequent victims. Dog attacks are the most commonly reported childhood public health problem in the United States.
- n The AVMA also reports that the number of dog attacks exceeds the reported instances of measles, whooping cough, and mumps, combined. Dog bite victims account for up to 5 percent of emergency room visits.
- n Many attacks reported by letter carriers in 2014 came from dogs whose owners used those famous last words, “my dog won’t bite.”
- n According to the AVMA, as many as 800,000 people annually are admitted to U.S. emergency departments with dog bite–associated injuries, and countless more bites go unreported and untreated.
- Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch you.
- If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, and then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
- Don’t approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.
- While letter carriers are discouraged from petting animals, people who choose to pet dogs should always let a dog see and sniff them before petting the animal.
- If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.
- Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dog in any situation.
- When the letter carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door, in another room, or on a leash.
- Dogs can be protective of their territory and may interpret the actions of letter carriers as a threat. Please take precautions when accepting mail in the presence of your pet.
- Dogs that haven’t been properly socialized, receive little attention or handling, or are left tied-up for long periods of time frequently turn into biters.
Fri 10, Apr, 2015
Dog Bite Prevention 2015
Join me as Kidzandk9s.org continue to bring awareness to this growing epidemic. In 2014 there were forty four (44) fatalities due to dog bites. The number of fatalities so far this year is already up to Nine (9) deaths. Lets have real talk about why this is happening at such an alarming rate.
We will be discussing why dogs bite and what we can do to solve this growing problem. We are also advocates supporting victims and families that are effected by dog attacks. If you or someone that can benefit from the Support Group or, would like to tell your story related to dog bites please get in touch here.
Visit www.ConciergePsyD.com for support dates or www.kidzandk9s.org. If you or someone you know would like to join our week long discussion with Psychologist Dr. Rebecca Johnson and Top Dogg the K9 Psychiatrist
Peer support group, facilitated by Dr. Rebecca M. Johnson, PsyD, and Blake Rashad, renowned dog trainer and behaviorist. Participants will share their stories and discuss their fear of dogs while providing support and guidance to each other. Group facilitators will provide psychoeducation regarding dog behavior and assist participants in talk through any trauma they have experienced involving a dog.
**Please note that this is a peer support group facilitated by mental health and dog training professionals and is not a therapy group.
Wed 14, Jan, 2015
Go Fund Me link: http://www.gofundme.com/o439uw
Lynn Steele – My story begins the summer of 2012. My life was full of daily activities and commitments to various community causes. What I did not know was that my life was about to change drastically. In the midst of planning three Community Day events, as well as a partnership walk between my local police department and residents I had a vertigo attack. I knew I was feeling a bit fatigued but kept telling myself “if I can just make it to September 8th”, the day of the last Community Day, I would take a break and rest. As fate would have it I began feeling ill early that morning. It started with a little dizziness then as the morning went by, nausea started. I continued to try and finish my clients but had to lay down in between doing so. That was the only position that the room did not feel like it was spinning. The symptoms got worse as the day passed. No longer was laying down an option, I finally had to call an ambulance. Once I arrived at the Emergency Room no one could tell me what was wrong at first. Hours later I was told that my symptoms mimicked a Vertigo attack. I began researching ENT specialist only to find there was a three to four month wait before I could get an appointment. Fortunately I was able to get a referral to a Specialist at Georgetown Hospital. I was told that the Vertigo attack was more than likely triggered by an untreated ear infection. The only recollection I had of any symptoms of dizziness were random and sporadic dizzy spells over a period of three to six months. The first happening when I got up too quickly, another falling into the wall while walking down a hallway, and one other time when I laid down the room started to spin. Each time I chalked it up to be I hadn’t eaten enough that day or I got up too fast. I remember Memorial Day weekend waking up with sharp pains in my left jaw. Self-diagnosing a tooth ache. It wasn’t until I accidently ran my fingers across my ear lobe that I felt a sharp pain. Not wanting to go to the doctor I took some antibiotics I already had and they seemed to cure the problem until the episode on September 8th. The doctor said it was very important that I start a rigorous steroid injections within the first 2-5 days of onset of hearing loss. Treatments were for three consecutive weeks then I would be re-evaluated. Unfortunately after the very first injection I loss all hearing and it would not return. I had a high school classmate who married an Otolaryngologist so I scheduled an appointment to see if anything else could be done to help me regain my hearing. After reading my MRI’s and previous hearing test results I was told that the steroids were the best chance of regaining my hearing. He did not think it would come back and would have probably treated me the same way as previous doctor. I started getting adjusted to my “new” norm as I like to refer to it, with little changes in my daily routines. I had to be sure to tell people to speak to me on my right side, had to be sure that when walking or sitting people were on my right side. The little things you don’t realize until you go to do something and realize you can no longer do it. For instance switching ears if you get tired of holding a phone in one ear, hearing emergency apparatus while driving, sleeping on hearing side renders you practically deaf, no longer being able to tell where sounds are coming from (cell phone ringing but don’t know which direction). As time went by family and friends adjusted and I got on with my life. I made a point to protect my right ear and be sure to recognize onset of any symptoms as random as they may be.
Then in November 2013 I raked and bagged leaves on a Friday and the next morning my ear felt as though I had been on a plane all night. Later during the day I began having problems hearing clearly. I thought it was something wrong with the sound on the television because everyone sounded like daffy duck. After speaking with a very close female friend over the phone, who has a heavy voice, she too sounded like a duck. I knew something was wrong. By the end of the day I noticed my hearing deteriorating. Earlier in the day I could hear the television on level 20 but by late that evening I could barely hear on level 50. I immediately phoned my Mom and then scheduled an appointment with my ENT. Ironically I had just had a routine follow up the week before. I went in on that Monday and he started steroid injections twice a week immediately as well as oral steroids. After the third week with hearing test showing no improvement he recommended me to a friend of his at George Washington Hospital that was part of a new treatment involving a hyperbaric chamber. I met with a team of specialist and underwent five weeks of daily two hour hyperbaric treatments along with oral steroids. Doctors were all baffled with my case since the episodes were spaced far apart and attacked my hearing so severely. One of my several MRI’s showed a mass on my spleen and a nodule on my thyroid. Doctors said it was probably a result of the steroid treatments.
Over the period of five months I underwent several more hearing test, numerous blood test for every possible auto immune disease, three additional MRI’s and consultations for hearing aids and possible cochlear implants. One of my doctors at GW was able to get me into the MAYO Clinic for further evaluation. Can I say that EVERY hospital should be run like the MAYO Clinic. From the initial correspondence with my schedule upon arrival to the very end of my visit was superior. While there for a week I met with the heads of the departments for five different specialist. Every detail was covered from scheduling a procedure not originally planned (removal of three nodules on thyroid), to follow up appointments and diagnoses. I was able to log in to my account daily and view detail results and written notes from doctors. A very well- oiled machine, so to speak, at no time did I have to wait more than ten minutes to see my doctors or for a procedure to be done.
After several consultations and talking over my options with my family I decided to get a hearing aid. My sister happened to have a co- worker whose wife is an Audiologist so I set up an appointment to discuss getting a hearing aid. As my family and I started to get adjusted once again to my hearing loss and I got back to work the unthinkable happened! After three months of training my brain to use the device I was able to separate conversations and sounds from background noises and presume a somewhat normal life. Then overnight the unthinkable happened! I started having problems hearing and thought it might be the device. I was encouraged that it had to be the device because it seemed to be positional. Meaning as I removed the aid, sound “popped” back in but as soon as I put it in my ear it went out again. The next day I got an emergency appointment with my Audiologist who changed the connections and found nothing wrong with it. The Audiologist attempts to adjust the level of sound were futile because this time the hearing loss was different. This time I could not make out the words clearly, all sounds were blurred and muffled. She had me take a hearing test and found my hearing had decreased and suggested I see my ENT and have further test. In the meantime she would order a new mold to see if that resolved my issues. I noticed she had written notes on my diagnostic sheet of “sudden severe” and extreme” but blacked out all of notes before she gave it to me to take to my ENT. I remember going to my car and falling apart before making the long drive home. What no one said to me throughout this entire ordeal was the possibility of me losing even more hearing. It was never on my radar.
The visit to the ENT proved to be discouraging. My hearing had decreased in two weeks below levels prior to last steroid treatments. So literally overnight my hearing aid was rendered useless. My only option left was the cochlear implant. He referred me to his colleague at John Hopkins Hospital. Before I left his office the doctor called back and said he would check his schedule to see when I could get a consult. By the end of the day I got a call saying the earliest I could be seen was in two weeks. That didn’t seem to be that long considering normal wait time was three months out for an appointment.
My initial visit at doctor at John Hopkins went very well. I had already begun to accept the reality of the cochlear implant being my only option if I were to hear again. He was very impressed with everything I had already done and been through to try and regain my hearing. I’d always been a little nosey so reading lips actually was a little easy for me. What helped was the fact that I could use both, filling in what I could make out with the aid and reading lips. I left his office hoping for surgery by October, because I had things to do. LOL I just wanted the process to begin so I could begin moving forward. After a couple of weeks my sister received a call on a Wednesday stating my surgery would that Friday! I had two days to get my things in order and prepare for surgery. I had already forewarned my clients I may be out for a while just not this soon!
Well surgery was supposed to be in and out and last two hours. As I have not followed any precursor I ended up in the operating room for four hours. The doctors discovered more scar tissue/calcification than they expected. That was a warning that all four of the ENT’s that I saw said would complicate or even prevent me from getting the implant. I am so thankful that I chose the doctor that I did because I’m not sure anyone else would have had the determination to get as far as he did to try to ensure I would get some benefit from the implant. I learned that he was only able to implant half of the electrodes he wanted to. I will not know how much or how effective they work until the healing process is over. As of this writing, I have two more weeks to wait before the device will be turned on and activated. I have weeks of speech therapy ahead of me and up to a year before I reach full benefits of the implant. When asked if the possibility of having to go back in was an option the doctor only said “Let’s wait and see”
I am determined to forge ahead with my healing process and adapt to my “new” norm as it comes my way. The help of modern technology can only go but so far. Situations arise unexpectedly when you are forced to recognize that you can no longer do and go as you once did. Driving by yourself, running errands, going to the mall, hearing emergency apparatus, not being able to hear someone approaching you, not hearing someone calling out or speaking to you from another room or outside of a close proximity all are just a few things that I no longer have the natural luxury to do. The need for a Service Dog will be a tremendous help and support in order for me to regain my sense of security, self-confidence and independence.
I have always relied on my faith to get me through any and all situations in life and this has truly been the reason I have not lost my mind! The support of my family and friends have allowed me to stay encouraged and strong through every curve and challenge I’ve encountered. I tell everyone what a testimony I’ll have when it’s all said and done. I don’t believe in “test” of one’s faith or God because our life has already been planned and may not be to my understanding but I have a purpose to fulfill. When I look back at my challenges, I know people were placed in my life for a reason and in due season. I was born into a family to a mother of undeniable strength and resilience; two high school friends who (one married a Otolaryngologist – who in turn referred my surgeon at John Hopkin;, the other, a doctor herself, who went with me to daily doctor appointments and explained in layman terms everything); my sisters neighbor who is a nurse that relieved my family of my care giving whenever needed; my sister’s co-workers wife being an Audiologist and another friend whose husband breeds and trains service dogs. Every one of my relationships is linked to the other in some way and has helped me to become stronger and encouraged every step of the way to fulfill my purpose.
Look what Kidz and K9’s Did for Me! Me and my service dog Sammi.
GO FUND ME LINK: http://www.gofundme.com/o439uw
Tue 13, Jan, 2015
TV Pilot Top Dogg To The Rescue Preview
The subject of protection dogs are the basis for a reality show pilot Top Dogg To The Rescue that was previewed at the Porter Sanford Center June 26th. However, this isn’t your ordinary reality show preview due to the production value in its presentation. At first you think you’re watching a documentary, and to its credit, it was a documentary of sorts.
The pilot plot is taken from a true-life story about a single woman named Sharon played by Sharon Conley [“The Hunger Games” “The Blind Side”]. and her young daughter Sydney, played by Jasmin Alyse. A tale of love gone wrong is all too familiar these days unfortunately. Sharon finds a man she thinks is a good companion but in short time he proves to have psychotic tendencies and starts showing aggressive behavior against her and Sydney. She is torn because she is more protective toward Sydney and can’t seem to find a solution for her problem because the man could become even more threatening than he already has been. Someone suggested getting a dog to protect them. Not knowing about protection dogs, Sharon’s even more fearful the dog could be an aggressive problem toward Sydney. Enter Top Dogg Blake Rashad to the rescue.
What goes a long way toward helping the mother, daughter and the viewing audience is the fact that Blake takes the time to explain what a protection dog is and how he is trained in comparison to a watchdog. There is footage of this training which is inserted at various points in Sharon’s storyline. The footage also includes the interaction with the trainers Dez and Kobi. The pilot also introduces his radio talk show staff co-host Chasse James, attorney Claudine, Jay and Kathleen. With this understanding of how protection dogs work better than a watch dog when it comes to family, there’s the “a-ha” moment when Sharon and Sydney accept a German Shepherd as the dog who subsequently becomes a member of the family.
Blake Rashad, David Martin Conley and Tzarr are three names not totally unfamiliar to the public. For the uninitiated, Blake Rashad – aka Top Dogg – is in real life an ex-military/police dog trainer who also owns a successful protection dog training facility. He is also known as a K9 Psychiatrist and helps other through his internet radio talk show aptly known as “You Talk I Bark.” His iconic symbol of the show is a Giant Schnauzer named Tzarr. A really beautiful and obedient canine, he is the ultimate representation of Blake. This is not my first time with Tzarr because he is a seasoned actor in his own right and has done other movies. Seeing Tzarr interact with the public and taking his commands very seriously, I can see how Tzarr is successfully trained.
David Martin Conley is the movie’s Director, and is otherwise known as a writer and director of “Raising Izzie” on the UPTV Network. This seasoned veteran’s talent was valuable in the effort to get this pilot made. The marriage of these three main people makes the possibility for the television show to become a reality.
Briefly, I reiterate that this is based upon true story, so the mother and daughter names were changed due to the serious nature of the subject. However, Blake does stress that a protection dog differs from a watch dog because of the way they’re trained. During the Q&A session afterward, he explained that protection dogs are more ingrained into a family’s lifestyle, often becoming a member of the family. One audience member asked how protection dogs work with autistic children. He welcomed the question, pointing out they are and can be trained to be more sensitive to their language because of the way autism affects a child or person. Another audience member said she felt more at ease after viewing the pilot since she was really terrified of dogs.
Unlike other dog-themed reality shows I’ve seen, this pilot offers the ability to reach the family on a more cerebral level. If you don’t know much about protection dogs, this series offers not only to be educational but entertaining at the same time.
For more information on Top Dogg or the “You Talk I Bark” radio talk show, go to www.topdoggk9academy.comor call 855-777-9311.
Mon 12, Jan, 2015
Top Dogg on Man vs. Expert
September 22, 2014 6:30AM Est. The Top Dogg family piles into the company truck for yet another adventure, this time The Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. What awaits the Top Dogg family at the end of this adventure is an amazing opportunity with both Discovery UK and Alexis Conran for Man Vs. Expert!
Alexis Conran really needs no introduction; however if you must ask he is Mr. Magic man himself. Brining you shows that we have all come to love and know such as Hustling America and Mind Control Freaks. Now he comes to Top Dogg for his second season on The Discovery Channels hit show Man Vs. Expert. Man Vs. Expert focuses on pitting seemingly everyday individuals against challenging situations that subject matter experts face daily. In this episode the “Man” Alexis Conran attempts to flee the well-trained dogs by the “Expert”, Top Dogg that of course you will have to tune into the show to see the results of this dynamic match-up.
With this adventure in the books, Top Dogg continues to focus his efforts on serving the community around him in both a philanthropic and K9 consulting capacity. What will the next adventure be you ask, tune into our talk show “You Talk I Bark”, or our web site, http://www.kidzandk9s.org. Until then Bow Wow, and remember to always practice safe K9 Behavior.
Sat 20, Dec, 2014
The children were so excited to meet T’zarr and Ziggy, two 100lbs Giant Schnauzers. As they watched The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, caroling, and other holiday activities! Blake says “it was such a joy to put smiles on the childen’s face” as they petted and played with the dogs.
GiGi’s Playhouses are Down syndrome awareness and educational centers that provide resources, specialized teaching, and support to individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community. All of their programs are free to families.