Canine Support Team and me – Personal Story of Dr. Yanoschik

Canine Support Team and me – my story

by James D. Yanoschik, DDS

US Navy 101118-F-5586B-144 Marine Sgt. Brian J...

What is the best thing being involved with the puppies does for me?

1.  Love.

Puppies are examples of unconditional love.  No matter what kind of day I am having, when I walk through the door, that tail is wagging and they are jumping up and down – just so happy to see me.  My problems melt away when I take the dog in my arms and they start to lick me.  Have you ever heard the laughing of a young child being caressed by the licks of a puppy?  You just smiled to yourself didn’t you?  That is who I become again too.

2.  Community.  

I enjoy is that I get to be around people that want to help other people.  

My wife and I have found some wonderful friends through the CST puppy raising programs. We have outings called “Yappy hours”  and visit various training locations throughout Southern California. 

3.  Me.

When I get into these situation where I volunteer, I wonder who really gets more out of these situations?  The person being helped or me?  I find that I feel better when I help my fellow-man sometimes in small ways and others in big ways.  But in a self-care way, I help others to help myself.

4.  Saving Dogs and People.

This organization has partnered with breeders and animal shelters to recognize the temperament in puppies that would make a good service dog.  When these puppies reach 14 to 18 months they are put into the Prison Pup program at the Women’s Prison in Chino, CA for their advanced training to become full fledged service dogs.  To date, any prisoner that has been involved in the Prison Pup program that got out of prison, has not re-offended.

My wife and I are now raising our second puppy in the program.

It hard to give up the puppy.  But what makes the transition easier is that we have met, in person, folks that have benefited from the service dogs.  For example, I met a young veteran who said that he has called the suicide hotline several times and made plans for his “transition” into the next life.  Fortunately, however, he got matched up with a service dog that helped him want to live again.  Another example is a mother who said that she saw a distinct change in her child since they got a service dog from CST.  These people are now able to have relationships and live.

Please get involved. Become a puppy raiser to a service dog. 

James D. Yanoschik, DDS

Dentist and Puppy Raiser

A little about Canine Support Teams (www.CanineSupportTeams.org).

Their goal is to provide service dogs for disabilities other than blindness.  This organization has partnered with breeders and animal shelters to recognize the temperament in puppies that would make a good service dog.  When these puppies reach 14 to 18 months they are put into the Prison Pup program at the Women’s Prison in Chino, CA for their advanced training to become full fledged service dogs.  To date, any prisoner that has been involved in the Prison Pup program that got out of prison, has not re-offended.

The program is lacking is puppy raisers.  Our job as a puppy raiser is to train the puppy with basic command skills, and to socialize them to various situations and environments that they may come into contact with in the course of a normal day.

Be as Good To Yourself As You Want Your Loved Ones to Be to Themselves

English: Danboard holding a Christmas gift.

So what brought you here today?  What are you looking for?

Want to parent better?   Kids don’t take care of themselves?  They aren’t responsible?  Accountable for their actions?  They are disobedient?

They don’t realize our loving motives?  If they do, they will be able to find more pleasure in life.  If they …they will have more freedoms, they will have spending power, they will have decision making ability, they will be present in their life, able to connect with others and with their own personal journey, they will.  You name it.  They will find the shortest, most direct route to their brilliance and resources to achieve what they were designed to do – service in any form.  Is this so much to ask?  Wink.

How can we help them see?  By starting with Me.  Do this generosity for ourselves.  How many times do we point outside of Me to find a place of control for Me?  Even to the small about packing lunch – as if forced to pack our children’s lunch, we point out.

Drifting down, how many times does our child complain of what we put in their lunch?  What would happen if they packed it for themselves?  What would happen if they ate what they packed?  Oh, just junk.  …Who purchased the junk food?  Where did it come from?  It swirls on. This reminds me of the musical, “Into the Woods.” “It’s her fault! It’s your fault.!”…

But here’s the anchor.  We are free.  We are free caregivers.

Freedom is like a lovely package wrapped in the most exquisite paper, tied with a bow so lovely that we know it came from God.  It is sitting in front of us.  Like all real gifts, the gift of freedom is free.  It has nothing to do with my bank.  It came because of the Giver, not because of the merit of the recipient – Me.

Me, that is to say any one of us, cannot unearn the gift either.  Freedom is like that gift that keeps reappearing no matter how we try to get away from it.  Does it become a curse?  We are free to make it one because even if we don’t claim it, even if we don’t choose to be accountable to our decisions, it doesn’t change that we are.  And when we are finally able to look in, with insight, and have knowledge – we are accountable to what we see.

Paul said,

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  

Job said,

“therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.  …but now mine eye seeth thee.”

Does the gift, freedom, turn into a curse?

 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Every person who grows in knowledge and understanding at some point hopefully says that they grow also in understanding how little they know and have yet to learn.  This is what comfort we have in knowing that in the eternity of forever that comes ahead after this life, we won’t run out of things to do.

We all talk as if we know more than we know, with pride and forgotten humility.  I want to turn this over, but repentance in this case cannot be as implied – once and for all.  It is recurrent at best and I surrender the frequency and my degrees of insight to God and you.  Feel free to take Me gently along with you on our travels.  I hope our kids will be that good to Me when given the opportunity.  I have no doubt, they hope the same of us.  But you can see, it starts with Me.

What is a true friend?  It is one who loves.  Starting with Me.  What is parenting better?  It is giving to yourself what you want your kids to have.

The Stoic, Seneca the Elder, wrote,

“What progress, you ask, have I made?  I have begun to be a friend to myself.” That was indeed a great benefit; such a person can never be alone.  You may be sure that such a man is a friend to all mankind.

(And here I thought I was the one who came up with, “Friend to Yourself!!!!”  Oh nasty tumble.)

This is what it is; hard, easy, soft and difficult.  Having each other to help Me be friendlier to myself is a big advantage.  You are so valuable to Me.  Knock Me down and catch Me – whatever pride and forgotten humility leave Me needing.  Thank you.

Question?  How does being a friend to yourself improve your parenting or caregiving of others?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  Be as good to yourself as you want your loved ones to be to themselves.  Be a friend to yourself.

Related articles

If You Love Me, Give Me Less But Give To Me Bigger and Better

Repost

Good news.  Marcy was better.  She was feeling better emotionally, less triggered by simple stressors, and parenting better.  Marcy didn’t think it was anywhere near easy, but it was better.

It had started for her about six months ago, when she realized her children were on edge around her, when she realized she didn’t want to be around her children and when she didn’t like much else either.  Was she a “crabby woman?”  Ouch.  It hurt her to think that.  Were some people just mean?  And she was one of them?  Marcy said no.  She couldn’t make anyone believe her these days but she knew she was designed for something better than that.

When this happened, Marcy hit self-care boot camp.  She cut her time with her kids, husband, any extras.  She didn’t cut them out, but she did cut back.  With that time, she went back to the starting point – herself.  She gave less to them, and more to herself so she could give bigger and better to them whom she loved, not excluding herself.

Good news.  Marcy is better.

Self-Care Tip – Give more to yourself.

Question:  What has your self-care taken from those you love?  What has it done with what you still give to those you love?  Please tell me your story.

Take Care of Yourself And You Will Be Taking Care of Others – “Care-Givers”

Caregiver is a name that many of us own.  From basic parenting scenarios to families complicated with end-of-life, spinal cord injuries, congenital diseases or employees of group homes – care-givers is the generically applied term.

Is it difficult to ID care-givers that “did it right.”  Seeing them is a muscle that operates better by practicing the magical and material skills of empathy, doing rather than saying, so to speak.

By the way, I’m on hold right now with the service provider for our currently nonfunctioning internet.  The hold-music is so bad that I had to put the phone in a closed drawer to muffle it.  #selfcare.  Much better.

There are many people who have cared for me and do care for me.  You for starters have cared for and do care for me in your reading, your time, your thoughts, and comments, you are my givers of care.

I am cared for, and you know I get all fluttery when I start talking about you so I’ll stop before you throw-up.  Unless it’s too late.

There are others who gave and give care, obvious names like parents, spouse and friends. And there are many less obvious names – my dogs talking to me when I get home, the lady who came up to me in the 99-cent store and handed me $20.00 to buy treats for my kids, my psychotherapist who told me to “grow up.”  All these and more have and do care for me.

But do we call these people, (or other living creatures,) caregivers?  Is that a name for what you do for me? Not traditionally but it really is.

The differences are found between those who believe they take care of others when they don’t take care of themselves and the inverse – those who take care of themselves, and as part of that effort to be their own friend see caring for others as a natural maturation of their own needs(Remember, agendas again.) In any other design, taking care of others when we don’t take care of ourselves is not sustainable nor congruent with our intentions.  We become the hare who lost the race to the turtle, angry and confused by our results.

Care for the Caregiver Day
Image by Christiana Care via Flickr

I agree that this attempt to share space with the angels who so lovingly nurture and give to those who can’t give to themselves can be perceived as arrogant, ignorant and other names – creep, idiota, a– h—, pompous, fools, bigots, oblivious, uninformed, (this is fun), benighted, blind, old gum under the picnic table jerks.

Be that as it may, please believe that we speak of caregivers without malice.  And if we are ignorant, please let our flaws inspire you to grow us as empathically as you would like us to grow you.  I know it takes a lot of love to deal with someone like us and it is much easier to walk away.

Questions:  Where do you find yourself in the care you give to others?  What helps you remember your intentions to love yourself when stigma or guilt bang you upside the head?  How do you see that caring for yourself is consistent with your goals to serve others?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip – Care for yourself and you will see yourself giving care to others.

Related articles

How To Feel Understood

Feel Good Together

Image via Wikipedia

To feel understood, do your best to understand others.  To feel connected, work to connect others.  To feel less lonely, help others see that they are not alone.

Take your pick.  What’s your gripe.  To be your own friend, use the stage around you to discover what to do with your needs.  Doing things for others starts with Me, motivated by Me and it ends satisfying and rewarding Me.  That’s the key to service.

Today is my birthday by the way.  I’m off to spend the day with my wonderful kids who don’t understand me, who are often self-absorbed, argumentative and feel misunderstood.  I’m going to spend the day with them for Me though.  I’m going to because I am going to get a lot out of it.

I’m not going to blame them for anything today if I can.

Happy Birthday to me :).

hugs to you all.

Serving Others May Not Have As Much To Do With Giving As You Thought

Près de la fontaine

Image via Wikipedia

Self-Care Tip – To be our own friend, be accountable for the service we do.

Bree was someone who was into details.  The moment of now was her reality.  She didn’t naturally consider the, “What if’s,” of tomorrows – but she did for the now.  And in her moments, if she slowed her day down so we could see all the threads individually weaving themselves together, we would see her doing lots of things.  Whirr.  She was busy.

I am a giver.  I know that I give all the time.  And I don’t get much from others.

Bree states she wasn’t getting much.  Giving, yes.  Getting, no.  Hm.  Let’s look at the threads that she spins and weaves.  Is this true?

Question:  Using the biopsychosocial model, what are the

things that Bree, or you, might be getting from giving?  Break it down! 

She Is Worth It, But Maybe Not Because Of What You Think

Woman in satin dress holding mirror

Image by George Eastman House via Flickr

She is worth it!

Have you said that? Half crazed from this-way-that-way behaviors, your battered psyche crawls out of the smoking heap from your most recent relationship collision. There are times when this is absurd to continue. But have you ever seen those people who crawl out smiling? Sure their eyes are rolling around on their face but they are smiling. That might be you too. And there’s a reason for it. However the reason may not be what you think.

She is worth it!

I’m not disputing “her” value in this admirable exchange that takes all your energy. But what I do dust off from the good “encounter” we just spoke of is that although she may be worth it, I propose that isn’t the reason you think it is. The reason is you.
You find pleasure in it because of what it does for you. You think you are worth it, and you are.

Even the Bible says,

We love because He loved me first. 1 John 4: 19

We love because of what it does for Me. God isn’t surprised by that or looking down His nose at our motivation. It sounds like He is actually embracing it – fully consented.
Remember when we talked about inevitable selfish motives, secondary gain and the absence of altruism in us? Is that an ugly thing about us? I don’t think so. It is what it is.

Now this does not evaporate the connection, the realness of the exchange between two, the value of the bond or its quality. See blog-post, Things Will Always Be About “Me.” It does nothing else but discuss the motivation. I believe understanding our motivation to remain in a relationship is important not to devalue it or value it differently, but to help us take care of our own selves.
She is worth it. That isn’t the question.

What can go wrong in our self-friendship when we think we are motivated by reasons outside of what is in it for Me? What do you think? I think it distracts us. It’s wasted energy and we don’t have enough to waste. Getting it right, puts energy into us. Getting it wrong, takes energy away.

Yesterday we talked about wanting to connect with someone who has character pathology. Any of us can say that this is hugely energy depleting at times. If we think we are doing this for any other reason than for ourselves, we will get “burned” much more often than we might if we understand that we choose, consented, freely and for ourselves. We will wear the victim-crown and die the death of worn out do-gooders who lived to do nothing really but bemoan their special suffering existence. See blog-post, Please Don’t Say “But.”

Self-Care Tip – Do things for yourself with self-knowledge.