Celebrating Senior Dogs

I came across  wonderful piece in the New York Times this morning, celebrating senior dogs. Having always been a fan of old Gold, this struck a chord with me. Dogs age just as we do; our bodies sometimes failing us, but our spirits as they always were. They lack the frantic energy of puppies, and are content to watch the world passing by, inhaling every scent that wafts by on the breeze.

Photographer Nancy Levine has truly captured the beauty of these old souls. Read whole the article here.”

Service Dogs For Soldiers

I found this in my inbox this morning, and think it is a worthy cause that requires nothing more than a click.

 

“From now through Independence Day (July 4th), Dog Bless You, a community created and led by filmmaker, Annenberg Foundation Director and Founder of explore.org, Charles Annenberg Weingarten, is spearheading a campaign to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder.  Dubbed Dog Bless U.S.A., the initiative provides people with an easy way to show support. Organizers aren’t asking for donations, but rather for people to show support by “liking” the Dog Bless You Page.  Every 5,000 Likes on the Dog Bless You Facebook Page brings a service dog to a war vet suffering from PTSD.

“We want to raise awareness about the amazing role dogs can play in the lives of veterans and people who suffer from emotional and psychological damage – while giving everyone a chance to participate through a zero-cost contribution,” said Weingarten.

The Annenberg Foundation, Explore.org, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and a collection of nonprofit organizations are collaborating on this $500,000 challenge grant to bring dogs to soldiers in need.

The campaign launched over Memorial Day weekend and within ten days enlisted over 30,000 people, resulting in donations to six service dog organizations that support our troops.”

June 24th Is Take Your Dog To Work Day.

 

Yep, there’s a day for that….June 24th is Take Your Dog To Work Day. From the day Raja joined our family, he came to work at the studio with us. His presence was invaluable in many ways.

Once I was recording a band in a Hollywood recording studio. After hours of trying to record a good performance on a song, the drummer became very frustrated and accompanied by much cursing, flung his drumsticks across the studio. He then sat behind his drum set silently steaming, angry he could not get the performance he needed. As the producer, it is my job to get the best performance out of artists and to defuse situations like this, which do arise from time to time. Creative artists can be shall we say, more than a little emotional at times. What to say in such a delicate situation? Without a word to the drummer, I got up and let Raja out into the recording studio from the control room. Raja proceeded to trot over to the drummer and plop his head on his lap, where he looked up at him with those big brown Retriever eyes, while wagging his tail in sweeping friendly arcs.

The drummer laughed and petted Raja’s head as he said, “Okay, I’m an idiot.”

It defused the tension immediately and he got the track in the next take. Raja always has a way of sensing just the right thing to do at the right time. This is what made him so valuable in the studio.

Our current Golden Retriever, Kona comes to work with us everyday, so it’s nothing new for him, but it may be an eye opening experience for others. It doesn’t hurt that Kona is a registered therapy dog either; he knows all the ins and outs of working. Having a well behaved dog around the office can do some of the following:

  • reduce stress
  • lower your blood pressure
  • ease anxiety
  • enhance communication
  • improve motivation

We know having Kona around makes the long hours in the studio go by with lots of smiles, besides who doesn’t love to take a break and throw a frisbee around? And Kona is one of the coolest producers we know.

A Long Journey…

 

It has been a long journey down a sometimes rocky and other times smooth road, but I have finally finished my fifth draft of Red Dog Diary. For five years Raja’s story has made me laugh out loud, cry silent tears and dig deep within myself. It has taken a long time and I am glad. This was not a task to be hurried nor forgotten but to grow. With that growth came healing. I only hope it can give a little comfort and perhaps a few hardy chuckles to others.