Sweltering Summer

Jazz, "keeping it cool" on the family couch

July 1st our 25 year old (or older!) air conditioner finally decided it had had enough of this life and gasped it's last breath. No biggie, we thought. We'll just price out a replacement. August 1st rolled around and having discovered that replacement AC units cost nearly as much as a NEW CAR.... we put in a window unit to ease our discomfort during this transitional period, which just happened to be one of the hottest summers on record!

School began August 2nd and quickly thoughts of pet therapy came to mind. Jazz visited with my son's 5th grade class last year. This year finds our boy in middle school. To our joy and anticipation, the same middle schools' special needs class is looking for pet assisted therapy. My heart sings! When I began with pet assisted therapy back in the early 1990's, my first facility was an in-patient psychiatric unit at Children's Hospital. I LOVED IT! Sadly, heath care changed, parents could no longer afford the high out-of-pocket expense for the psyche unit and it eventually closed. .....Since my son is a "special needs" kid, though Jazz wouldn't visit *his* class specifically, we would be nearby and *could* drop in.... this delights him and all adults involved in his well being.

Jazz continues to enjoy her regular Ttouch sessions which have expanded into learning to swim. Although Jazz has yet to go in the water on her own, she accepts her new life vest and being in the water fully aided by yours truly with no trembling nor freezing up. A huge step in progress! Considering few of our dogs have learned to swim "at home", being that our lake access has no shallows for doggies, it' 5' at the sea wall, this is a major hurdle for Jazz. I have also been going gentle Ttouchs around her eyes, lips, ears, nose and cheeks which has helped ease the emotional scars from possibly being hit in the head as a puppy. Her eyes are more even and balanced and will open equally now. Such a gentle soul is she, that it is nice to see her blossoming and becoming more content within her own skin. I am eager to see how her pet assisted therapy goes after such a beneficial summer break.

Fleas and ticks have been horrid this summer. Jazz switched to "Comfortis" for her critter control and happily it has worked flawlessly! No muss, no fuss but oh-so pricey! Well worth the expense for service animals as there's no monthly "oil slick" on the shoulders and no lag period just before the next monthly dose, nor the "no bath" phase surrounding dose time.

Jazz Sez: Remember humans: Doggies sunburn, too. Lighter skin under thin hair will burn (think of those pink noses). Human sunscreen carefully applied to the muzzle area works great. For the rest of the body, look for a livestock (equine) spray that contains sunscreen, it'll also keep dark coats from sun bleaching. Most livestock sunscreen sprays are a combo sun/bug spray.... this is a plus.

Doggies get poison ivy, too. They'll either carry the oil home on their coat to share with their humans... or where the hair is thin (tummy) they'll develop a slight rash. Benedryl ointment helps relieve the itch, but it sure is messy on a dog! I prefer to bathe an allergy sufferer in good old fashioned lye soap. Lye soap was a medical product before it became a general purpose skin cleanser. Use it for bug bites, poison ivy, etc. You're skin will say, "Aaaahhhh". Keep some Jewelweed salve around too, for those fresh bug bites that drive you crazy. ... Find it all from our friends at The Soap Shed.