The Joy of Animals – in and out of COVID-19. | REMINDER, too, register for the “Joy of Animals” Webinar on Monday, August 31.

animals“Above right, Lincoln Fuller: My wingman, Bear. Above left, Charlotte Wells of Pendleton, Ore.: Mr. Fish was rescued 8 years ago following the death of our beloved Mr. Felix (our 2nd rescue). Fish had been returned twice to the adoption agency, most likely because he behaves like a toddler, opening doors and drawers, dragging things out of the wastebasket, and biting. We’ve cured him of the biting, but the curiosity remains! If he could talk, his favorite word would be, “why?” (as in, why is the candy paper crunchy? why can’t I have my own bar of string cheese?)

These are some of the pets and pet comments that readers sent to Teresa Hanafin at the Boston Globe. Ms. Hanafin is the editor of The Boston Globe‘s newsletter, Fast Forward.

MEB: My rescue dog, Daniel, is a loving, devoted, funny, caring companion. He is the best thing that happened to me since my kids were born 51 and 48 years ago.

Alison, Eric, and Cole Zetterquist: Our endless devotion to Pikachu, our kitty who still loves us even though we named her after a big yellow mouse.

Emily Harting: Found on the sidewalk in August 2017, on a block of junkyards in Brooklyn; we’re coming up on our 3-year gotcha-versary. Lhasa/Shih-Tzu/Maltese mix (we had his DNA done but this is to point out not a big or strong dog, but a lap dog), so badly matted you could not find his face. So badly matted I didn’t know if it was male or female. I thought it was a cocker spaniel, that’s how large it was.

I wished to name him Fenway. My (sorry to say it) Yankees fan partner said absolutely not. BUT since the dog was small and clearly scrappy, that we could name him after Dustin Pedroia, hence Petey.

Love of my life. Greatest dog ever. He came with impeccable manners and so well-trained which is good b/c he had every right to be an [expletive!] and we probably would have kept him anyway.

Betsy G: Tarra (rhymes with CAR) or like the black stuff on the road! English black Lab – 12 years old. My empty nest child that still wants to come home!

Steffen W. Schmidt of Iowa: My pet dog Mad Donna got bitten by some bees, was crying and in pain. It made me nervous and freaked out. The Vet prescribed some medication. I take 4 a day and feel better.

Right now Mad Donna is chasing some chip monks by the composter. They are running away from her laughing but tripping over their Rosaries. They work for the California Highway Patrol (CHIP) as grief counselors.

Alice McCarthy: Stella, ❤️my bull terrier,❤️ makes me laugh out loud EVERY DAY! ‘Nuff said.

Karen Tarr: Our beloved cat, Hobo, passed away last summer at the age of 16. A life well-lived, but we were devastated. In June, my sister-in-law told me she knew someone who had taken a tiny, four-week-old kitten from its feral mom in an effort to control a feral colony of cats, and the kitten was in need of a home.

Little Rusty needed a lot of care in the beginning, but is now 13 weeks old and bouncing around our house like he owns the place. I’ve been working from home during COVID, but today I am back in the office for the first time since March and I am worrying about my kitten. I will still be a stay-at-home-kitten-mom most of the time! My vet said I got a “Corona Pet!”

Colleen Evans: I have 3 small dogs; 2 are rescues from Louisiana. Until last Friday, I also had 2 cats. I had to put my beautiful Coon cat Rosie to sleep. She was 18 and very frail. I also have a black former feral cat. Love all my fur babies. They keep us anchored and give unconditional love. 🐶🐯


Animals can be wonderful companions and take our minds off the stress, anxiety, trauma and uncertainty that abounds during this pandemic period of our lives. If you love animals and want to see how animals can provide soothing, calming and relaxing vibes for you — whether or not you are a pet owner, you’ll want to register for an hour and a half break pandemic to meet several Link partners as they introduce you to their special friends: animals who are making differences in the lives of so many.

joy of animals2 draft

When: Aug 31, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: The Joy of Animals – Return engagement

Register in advance for this webinar:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AKkdy2jXRAiCk1k1J9deuw

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

IMPORTANT: Please take the United Way of Pennsylvania COVID-19 Impact Survey

This is time sensitive! 

alice

Pennsylvania United Ways seek to better understand the impacts of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic on people living in our communities. United Way of Pennsylvania is conducting a survey that will be used to inform how to best support Pennsylvania families throughout long-term recovery and beyond.

Completing this survey should take less than 10 minutes. Responses are confidential. The individual results of this survey and any other identifying information will not be shared.

Click here to participate in the survey:

English | https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FLY9TVG

Spanish | https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3YY3KXN

“Overlooked No More: Roland Johnson, Who Fought to Shut Down Institutions for the Disabled” – The New York Times

He survived 13 years of neglect and abuse, including sexual assault, at the notorious Pennhurst State School and Hospital outside Philadelphia before emerging as a champion for the disabled.”

roland johnson trailblazer

Credit … via the Johnson family”

by Glenn Rifkin

“In 1958, when Roland Johnson was 12, his parents sent him to the Pennhurst State School and Hospital outside Philadelphia. There he would spend 13 tormented years living through the nightmare of institutionalization that was commonplace in mid-20th-century America.

“Terrified and confused, Roland, who had an intellectual disability, quickly discovered the inhumane realities of Pennhurst, including neglect, beatings and sexual assault. And as a Black child, he encountered the toxic racism roiling life both outside and within the institution’s walls.

“’After that long ride up there, it was just horrible,’ Johnson wrote of his arrival at Pennhurst in a posthumously published autobiography, ‘Lost in a Desert World’ (2002, with Karl Williams). He described himself as having been ‘lost and lonely,’ as if ‘in a desert world.'”

Click here to read this article at The New York Times in its entirety.


Overlooked is a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in The Times. This latest installment is part of a series exploring how the Americans With Disabilities Act has shaped modern life for disabled people. Share your stories or email us at ada@nytimes.com.

 

“Preparing for Medical Expenses in Retirement” – US News and World Report

“Your health care costs can still add up even after you enroll in Medicare, but smart strategies can help you minimize these expenses.”

retirement health costsBecoming a smart health care shopper can help you save on medical expenses.” (GETTY IMAGES)

by Kimberly Langford

YOU MAY THINK THAT YOU don’t need to worry about health care costs after you turn 65 and are eligible for Medicare. But you still have to pay some premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, and the numbers can add up over time: A recent study by Fidelity found that a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2020 will pay an average of $295,000 in health care costs over their lifetime, a 3.5% increase over the 2019 figures. That number includes Medicare premiums, deductibles and copayments, or coverage to fill in the gaps.

“The following steps can help you prepare for these expenses in retirement and minimize your health care costs:

Click here to continue reading this article at US News & World Report.

“COVID-19 may never go away — with or without a vaccine” – WITF

covid may not go away

“Humans have never been particularly good at eradicating entire viruses, and COVID-19 might not be any different.

“More than 19 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 globally, and at least 722,000 have died. In the U.S., nearly 5 million people have tested positive and more than 160,000 have died. While scientists are racing to find a cure for the virus, there’s a chance COVID-19 will never fully go away — with or without a vaccine.

“But that doesn’t mean everyone will have to self-isolate forever.

“Dr. Vineet Menachery, a coronavirus researcher at the University of Texas Medical Branch, told NPR’s Weekend Edition that one of the more likely scenarios is that the spread of COVID-19 will eventually be slowed as a result of herd immunity. He said he’d be surprised ‘if we’re still wearing masks and six feet distancing in two or three years,’ and that in time, the virus could become no more serious than the common cold.”

Read this article in its entirety at WITFCLICK HERE.

2020 Community Alliance Summit will be virtual this year | dates and more information to come

community alliance summit

“Nursing homes grapple with a dual crisis: preparing for hurricane season amid the Covid-19 pandemic” – STATNews

nursing home evacuation“A truck transports nursing home staff and patients during the evacuation of a nursing home due to rising flood waters in the wake of Hurricane Florence in 2018. ALEX EDELMAN/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES”

Though scenes as the one above are ones not common in the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon County areas, hurricanes and flooding could happen. In Pennsylvania and “worldwide, flooding is probably the number one cause of losses from natural events.”

And from time to time, the area is visited by hurricanes and super storms.

Nursing homes face an impossible decision during hurricane season this year — whether or not to evacuate their residents amid the Covid-19 pandemic, risking the health and well-being of their patients and staff in the process.

“Even in normal times, evacuation decisions are tough: Research shows that moving frail residents can exacerbate already burdensome health conditions and increase hospitalizations. But failing to evacuate can leave residents vulnerable to power outages, flooding, and even death. This year, as the coronavirus pandemic rages across the Southeast in particular, that decision is even harder — hospitals are already overburdened and social distancing isn’t necessarily possible in evacuation vans or temporary shelters.

“Nursing home residents are also far more vulnerable to Covid-19 than the general population.” – Click here to continue reading this article at STATNews.


Evacuation is just one of the Incident Response Guides that’s listed in the Nursing Home Incident Command System.

Six tips for long-distance caregiving – National Institute on Aging

Anyone who is caring for an aging friend, relative, or parent from afar can be considered a long-distance caregiver. Whether you are helping with finances, arranging for care, or providing emotional support, long-distance caregiving can bring a host of unique challenges.

Keep these tips in mind to help make life more manageable:

  • Learn as much as you can about your loved one’s health, treatments, and available caregiving resources.
  • Organize important paperwork.
  • Consider caregiving training.

long distance caregiving

Beat It: an 8-week Veterans Group beginning Sepember 3

BEAT it Group Flyer

Breathe Again Counseling Services, LLC and Take Heart Counseling and Equine Assisted Therapy announce this opportunity for veterans who need help, to get help. We are running a therapeutic group starting Thursday September 3rd for 8 weeks. Charlene Shutika will be co-facilitating the two hour long group along with Take Heart’s very own, Dr. David Brant, LPC, PsyD. Dr. Brant’s interest in the veteran population comes not from serving, but from his first hand experiences with the draft for Vietnam. The group will only run for 1.5 hours. The last half hour will be a time to gather around the pavilion and eat a meal together. We will be addressing proper reintegration because being home is harder than being deployed, emotion regulation because emotions were not allowed so we don’t know how to have them, the effects of trauma on the physical body (IBS, pain, the trauma brain), effective communication skills and knowing that you can have an opinion, and whatever else comes up. We will be using the theory of Natural Lifemanship or Trauma-Focused Equine-Assisted-Psychotherapy (TF-EAP) to guide the group through mounted and unmounted activities which have been shown to be beneficial for in the moment experiential learning versus traditional talk therapy alone.

The goal of the group is to build skills to handle the things that get thrown at them in civilian life and a lasting community for those veterans so if they fall on hard times or start to have suicidal thoughts, they have someone they can trust to call. It’s also so that veterans don’t feel alone.

Breathe Again Counseling Services, LLC – Call 484.205.9887 – Being a veteran gives me a unique perspective and helps me build a stronger relationship to help veterans through various trials in their life so they can breathe again. Being trauma informed and working towards becoming Trauma Certified guides the focus of my practice, but helping veterans is my priority so whether you have PTSD, Anxiety or Depression, or going through a life change, please feel free to contact me. Breathe again offers individual counseling services in-person or via telehealth and will be starting group services up in January 2020. For rates and more information please visit https://www.breatheagaincounselingservices.com/ 

Take Heart Counseling & Equine Assisted Therapy – Take Heart’s mission is to empower individuals and families to find hope, healing, and wholeness through therapeutic work with horses. They integrate principles of Christian counseling, trauma-informed psychotherapy, and natural horsemanship in experiential sessions designed to bring deep healing and insight to mind, body, and soul. The outdoor farm environment is peaceful and authentic, bringing a different, down-to-earth feel to counseling sessions. No horse experience necessary – the horses are gentle and intuitive partners in healing. Contact us.

Isolation: perspectives during COVID-19

Here’s a fascinating look at social isolation from two perspectives. What makes it possible for one man to live in a cave all alone and another to crave being around others?

“A tale of two isolations

“More than 1,000 km apart, a filmmaker and the subject of his film contend with the methods and meanings of solitude.”

isolation

by Mathieu Orcel

“I take the last flight out of Paris before the borders close, travelling to Argentina to shoot the second half of a film that is two years in the making – the story of Pedro Luca, an 83-year-old who has lived in a cave by himself for longer than I have been alive.

But as I land in Buenos Aires, the city goes into lockdown.

“Suddenly, I am as isolated as Pedro – him in a cave in the middle of the Tucuman mountains; me hundreds of miles away in an apartment on the second floor of a concrete block, with a small balcony as my only window to the world.

“It takes me two days to fully realise that: 1) I am not going to be able to see anyone and 2) I am not going to be able to film either, at least not in the normal way. There I am, alone in my urban jungle, like a caged cougar.

“More than 1,300km (850 miles) away in the wilderness, Pedro has his own cougar to worry about – the mountain lion stalking his surroundings and picking off the goats whenever it gets hungry.

“Cougars for Pedro, coronavirus for city dwellers – we are all faced with our predators, our fears, and our instincts.”

Click here to read this article at Al Jazeera in its entirety.