#NationalPuppyDay although it’s puppy day in my house everyday!

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:44+00:00 March 23rd, 2016|adoption, animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bulldogs, dogs, pets, stress relief, totems|

Seriously, there’s a day for everything, and I’m sure there’s even a day for things that don’t have an actual official day! On this day, when there’s much to be worried about, concerned about, and upset about though, let’s try to find some cheer, and what better way to do that than to talk about our puppies! It’s National Puppy Day! This is a day to commemorate puppies, and pet adoption, and to celebrate our dogs.  Sure, there’s Totem Tamers official puppy, Bulldog, and there’s no better calming friend than that.

Bulldog 3

Sup?

As much as I love Bulldog, my life wouldn’t be complete with our furry, four-legged, family friend, Zeke! Here he is with his very own puppy!

a dog and his dog

“A dog and his puppy”

Yes, it can be hard to have to get up super early to walk the dog in the middle of the winter with the freezing cold, but the snuggles and cuddles make it all worth it. Zeke has a job in our house, he is the official waker-upper! I promised my middle that I wouldn’t post the picture I took yesterday of Zeke pouncing on his bed and waking him up with a face full of kisses. It was perfect. So let’s celebrate our puppies of all ages and sizes and if you don’t have one, adopt one! So many need homes and have so much love to give. Visit http://www.adoptapet.com and maybe you can find a puppy of your own. You can always start by adopting a Bulldog Totem, too!

Stay well.

You say you want a Revolution?

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:46+00:00 February 12th, 2016|addiction, adoption, AIDS, animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, brothers, drug use, drugs, family, gratitude, harm reduction, heroin, HIV, inspiration, Life, mental health, overdose, overdose prevention, recovery, sharing, story, strangers, stress, stress relief|

How about a Gary Revolution? That’s who I ended up in conversation with earlier this week while out walking my dog, and it’s stayed with me ever since. At first glance, Gary, also known as the Brooklyn Cowboy, seemed like a shady character. He was shuffling along with one shoe on, the other shoe in his hand, along with some newspapers and such. He wore a hat that covered most of his overly greasy hair, and the handful of teeth in his mouth that were visible, didn’t look like they’d be hanging around much longer. Normally, I might just give a nod and keep walking, but something made me slow down when Gary hollered to me. He said something about family and before I could answer, my pooch was saying hello. Dogs are great at sniffing out creepers, and my dog is super protective of me, so I know if he sensed anything “off”, he wouldn’t be wagging his tail looking for a petting.

Do you pass my sniff test?

Do you pass my sniff test?

We talked about the dog for a minute and then I asked Gary why he wasn’t wearing his shoe. He mentioned that his toe was hurting him, and with that the chat began. We walked down the block and within those 200 feet, Gary was telling me he has been sober for years and I was telling him I lost my brother to a drug overdose. He mentioned helping people in recovery, and I mentioned my work with overdose prevention. Common ground. We went on like this for a while, sharing our stories. Gary talked about being hospitalized and I asked if it was due to Hepatitis C. He looked at me incredulously and said “Hep C? Hardly! I have the full deal, the whole HIV/AIDS.” I was practically speechless, but I managed to utter a “holy s#*t”! Ever the ladies man, Gary quickly followed up with “I look good, don’t I?” Which frankly, for having HIV/AIDS as long as he has, he did look remarkably ok. He owed his health to his twin cousins who are doctors, he said. We talked a little more and it was clear Gary had a story to tell, and all I could do was urge him to write it and wish him well. Gary has told a little of his story to HIV Positive Magazine, and you can read it here.

Gary called me an angel during that conversation and with tears in his eyes he went on his way. I don’t know about an angel, but I do know that I might not normally have stopped to talk to this disheveled, gritty guy, but I am glad I did. A moment of humanity for me, and a chance for Gary to tell someone else his hopes and dreams.

Gary Revolution

Gary Revolution

So if you see Gary shuffling along, give him a “what’s up”, and you’ll feel good by making him feel good. For that matter, if you see anyone that looks like they could use a smile even, go ahead, it’s free and the return is amazing!

Stay well.

The many faces of our newest Totem Shark Tamer!

By | 2018-04-07T23:22:50+00:00 November 14th, 2014|adoption, children, family, Life, mental health, muscular dystrophy|

I don’t know Manny, but I feel like I do because I watch his trials and tribulations, his worries and his wins, on Facebook! His mom Beth, is extraordinary (I don’t know her personally either,) and I suspect we will be hearing more about her soon. Meanwhile, Manny has a host of medical woes and it’s incredible to watch him shine through every test and procedure, every hospital admission and fever, and throughout there is always a smile on his face. When Beth posted recently that Manny had to go back in to the hospital, my son was standing over my shoulder, without hesitation we both agreed that Manny needed a Totem! I messaged Beth on Facebook and asked her to find out which Totem Manny would like, and he chose Shark!! Here is Manny in the hospital receiving his Totem:

A gift!

A gift!

What's in the box?

What’s in the box?

A Shark!

A Shark!

... 9, 10, I am calm again.

… 9, 10, I am calm again.

Totem Tamers sends thoughts and prayers to Manny as he goes through this next challenge, and now he has Shark by his side. If you want to learn more about Manny and his incredible family, you can send your good thoughts to his Facebook page (this kid is a rockstar I tell you!) by clicking on this link and following him!

Stay well.

If you know someone going through a rough time and you think they might enjoy having the calming benefits of a Totem by their side, click on one of the Totem images on the page and get one today!!