LET ME STAND NEXT TO YOUR FIRE – How To Help Our Dogs Overcome Fear of Fireworks and Other Loud Events Using Emotional Sobriety as a Leadership Tool
Earlier this month, I was reminded that the Fourth of July can be a very stressful time for our dogs. There are two reasons for this: one, their anxiety, two, our reactions. Dogs are easily rattled by loud events (like fireworks), but it’s how you respond to that stress that’ll help them overcome their fear, or push them further into it.
Compassion is one of our finest human qualities, yet it translates differently to dogs than it does to people. All animals, including humans, communicate through energy. Visual cues, sound, scent, mood, and body language are determinants in how we relate to each other as co-minglers on this planet.
RAW (Ready Active Watching) ENERGY.
The first energy your dog ever experienced was the RAW (Ready Active Watching) energy of its mother. It’s like the energy in certain martial arts disciplines, athletic competition – “being in the zone”, yoga or active meditation practices. The RAW energy of the mother creates a relaxed, safe energy for the pup. In recovery we’d call this RAW state “emotional sobriety”. It is the knowing that in this moment we have everything we need, and we experience the world as a safe place. This is the innate connection between you and a dog once you become its caretaker.
Weak energy is rarely tolerated in nature. It threatens the survival of the pack. Weak packs don’t hunt well, and poor hunters don’t eat. Animals accept this, which is why you see older dogs wander off to die, or litter runts not being fed. When your dog goes into a state of weakness (anxiety, fear, depression, shyness), you as the RAW leader must bring him out of it. And here’s where many dog owners, including me, have gone wrong.
By comforting a dog in a weak energy state: petting, cooing, reassuring (“it’s okay”), you are actually encouraging that weakness. You’re saying to the dog, “I know you’re scared and that’s a good place to be.” Instead, come from a place of emotional sobriety, our RAW state, to redirect the dog’s energy.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT DOGS AND FIREWORKS
Before the fireworks (or any unavoidable loud occasion) start, take her for a good run or a long walk. During the cacophony, have him dog do tricks or basic commands for treats, play games, challenge her to lie down and stay focused on you, bring in another dog with calm energy to share space, or mindfully ignore him until he realizes there’s nothing to be afraid of. Use any combination of these tools, but above all, be patient, and ALWAYS reward good behavior. Eventually your dog will choose your RAW energy over its own weakness.
I have a seven year-old Jindo rescue who was once paralyzed with fear by fireworks, helicopters, and general loud noises. Using these techniques he now barely flinches, often sleeping through most sounds. It has taken time but has made all the difference in his well being…and mine.
So next Fourth of July, celebrate your dog’s dependence on you by nurturing his freedom from fear.
THE ZEN DOG
1024. Remember that number.
If you were there, you may have been number 2. Or 36. or 473. or 908. Just know that you were counted. That’s how many of you turned out for the ONE80CENTER July 4th party at the Houdini Mansion last week.Let me say this again: ONE THOUSAND TWENTY FOUR…that’s a thousand twenty-four smiling faces. A thousand twenty four ice cream sandwiches, grass-fed beef sliders and gourmet mac-and-cheese hors-d-oeuvres. A thousand twenty four hands in the air (okay, two thousand forty eight, technically, but bear with us) and a thousand twenty four screaming cheers for searing hot live music on a warm summer evening. That’s a thousand twenty four new friends, a thousand twenty four old ones, and one very vital community of people committed to recovery and having a rocking good time at it.
We jammed traffic on Laurel Canyon all the way back to Sunset. We ran out of places to park cars hours before the party was over. We packed the lawns, driveways and garden terraces of ONE80CENTER’s beautiful new facility until we were shoulder-to-shoulder and still we continued to rock the house, thanks in no small part to the reunited China Club All-Star band. Picture this: MC5′s Wayne Kramer, Doobie Brother and Steely Dan alum Skunk Baxter, Kat Dyson from the New Power Generation…Malik Pointer and rock legend Michael Des Barres…all on the same stage at the same time?! Are you serious?! When I asked a co-worker this morning about her favorite moment of the night, she replied, “I don’t even remember the party!”
Well believe it because it happened. We know because you blogged about it (HERE) and (HERE), Instagrammed it (HERE) and Facebooked and Tweeted about it more times than we could count. And whether you called it a festival, a madhouse or a mini Coachella, what really happened was a show of support, friendship and love that can’t be measured in numbers or social media clicks.
To us, this was much bigger than celebrating the two years since ONE80CENTER opened its doors. It was even bigger than our being able to give a little back to you, who’ve supported us in that time. To us, this was about laying claim to our freedom and declaring our independence from addiction, a disease which has taken so much from so many of us, and from so many people we love. This sentiment was echoed by ONE80CENTER’s clinical director and founder, Berni Fried, who made a point to pay a very emotional tribute to those we’ve lost as well as those of us who’ve had the courage and grace to survive. We heard as much from a lot of different people in a lot of different ways, but to quote an anonymous guest waiting patiently for a Cool Haus ice cream sandwich:
“What I saw that night was community, laughter, energy, and smiles all around. I went looking for sweets but what I found was much sweeter. In a town where so many people pass one another like ships in the night it’s nice to see people throw out the anchor once in a while and get to know each other.”
Suffice it to say that we weren’t expecting the turnout we got…not in our wildest dreams. But for showing up, we say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. If you’re reading this, you’re part of the spirit that we captured that night, like lightning in a bottle. You helped raise money to support the 12 Angels, a non-profit organization that provides capital, education and mentorship to support sustainable businesses that hire recovering addicts. You showed newcomers in sobriety that being sober is incredibly fun, cool, hip, sexy, playful and awesome. Most of all, you showed 1023 other people that we don’t do any of this alone.
So remember July 4th, 2012 and consider yourself invited for July 4th, 2013. We promise to out-do ourselves next year (and yes…you can count on at least 1024 more Porta-Potties).
This weekend, CNN’s Sanjay Gupta interviewed Dr. Stephen Bergman, who discussed his award-winning play Bill W. & Dr. Bob. The play tells the remarkable story of the relationship between AA’s co-founders, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, and how the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous began.
In case you missed Bill W. & Dr. Bob’s smash-run at the Geffen Playhouse last summer or ONE80CENTER’s very special reading last November, efforts are well underway to bring the play back to New York in a 199-seat Off Broadway theatre not-for-profit, funded entirely by tax-exempt donations. Help is still needed and all donations are welcome. To donate, please go to www.hazelden.org/giving and click on GIVE ONLINE, then be sure to designate the “Bill W.& Dr Bob Production Fund”.
On February 11th, a dream came true. It’s one of those rare dreams that makes life better for others, and helps them make their dreams come true as well.
TEEN PROJECT’S THE P.A.D. VENICE DROP IN CENTER
Teen Project‘s The P.A.D. Drop In Center in Venice, California, held its ribbon cutting ceremony over the weekend and introduced the stylish resource center to the community. The center exists to help young adults who find themselves abruptly dropped from the Foster Care program at 18, with nowhere to go.
Many of the kids exiting the foster care program end up on the street, homeless, and resorting to crime in order to take care of themselves. These kids are put on the street without money, shelter, or a job, usually with no real training or skill, some with trauma issues that need psych meds to stabilize them. Its not hard to imagine the kind of trouble they could get into just trying to survive.
Teen Project, founded by Laurie Burns, has worked with many of these young adults, connecting them to available resources such as Teen Meeting Places Program, National Mentoring Program, Sober College Housing, Project Shelter Collaboration, and The Text Shelter Service, among others. She herself has taken in dozens upon dozens of at risk, foster kids, and has committed herself to their well being. Laurie herself was a child of the Juvenile Dependency System, and her experiences at the hands of the system, as well as the result of being dropped at 18 without any home or means of providing for herself, is what inspired her to be of service to the clients of Teen Project.
Justin Carroll of ONE80CENTER heard Laurie’s story and was so moved by what he heard that he committed himself to raising funds for the new Teen Project Drop In Center. He held a fund raising event at ONE80CENTER in Beverly Hills, where chanteuse Sarah Ault sang to a small audience of people who were clearly touched, as Justin had been, by Laurie’s story. And like Laurie, no one wanted another young person to ever go through what Laurie had been subjected to.
That night, ONE80CENTER was able to raise enough money (over $80,000) for Laurie and Teen Project LA that it funded the new TEEN PROJECT P.A.D. DROP IN CENTER.
The new center will be a place that homeless teens and young adults can come to who have no where else to go. Teen Project will then connect the teen with whatever it is they need- food, shelter, job training, medical assistance, substance abuse help,mentors, jobs- each young adult will be assessed and assisted as they transition into adulthood.
The Center itself is a lovely space. 8 interior designers volunteered to create colorful, warm spaces with clean lines, such as the mezzanine area. The walls are greyish blue with wallpaper that looks like paved stones, and hot pink cushions with slate blue carpet. The red Eames chairs in the reception area are a far cry from the institutional chairs found in most places that provide services to the disenfranchised, Such a small but well thought out detail instantly gives one a feeling of being welcome, and of being in the right place.
The overall effect of the well appointed space is that ‘everything is going to be okay’.
ONE80CENTER remains heavily involved on an ongoing basis with the homeless organization GETT LOVE, as well as its own non profit, 12 ANGELS, which helps find jobs for people in recovery. Fund raising is yet another aspect; Justin Carroll picks the charities for ONE80CENTER to champion, to help improve their effectiveness and insure they achieve their goals. This could be through fund raising, or it could be through aligning the staff and clients with the organizations to help in a hands-on kind of way.
As Laurie Burn’s cut the ribbon to the entrance of the new facility, one couldn’t help but feel the goosebumps standing up all along the back of one’s arms. Knowing the journey it took for her to be standing there, scissors in hand, really brought the concept of turning one’s life around to be of extreme service to others to light. And knowing the team of people who supported her vision, who were willing to contribute time and money to make it real, brings to mind the strength of community and the enduring feature of humanity (in spite of evidence to the contrary all over the news) which is to help each other. Teen Project is proof. For all the suffering there is in the world, there are people who have survived who want to help, and people who want to help the survivors.
As the Desiderata says- “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, its still a beautiful world.” It is.
On Novermber 17th, 2001 – ONE80CENTER was pleased to host a very special reading of “Bill W. & Dr. Bob“, an award-winning hit play by Samuel Shem & Janet Surrey about the relationship between two men that led to the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous – and their wives Lois and Anne who founded Al-Anon. Since 2007, the play has been performed all over America, to sold-out houses and rave reviews, breaking box office records in 35 states.
As a fundraiser in efforts to help this wonderful play make it’s way back to Off-Broadway, ONE80CENTER clients and guests were privileged to an extremely unique & personal in-house reading of this play by a star-studded cast of Hank Azaria, Justin Cotta, Sharon Lawrence, Martin Sheen, JoBeth Williams & Stephanie Zimbalist.
Efforts are well underway to bring the play back to New York in a 199-seat Off Broadway theatre not-for-profit, funded entirely by tax-exempt donations. On their way to reach the goal of $450K, once the play is financed it will be self-supporting – and run for many years. All revenues will be used for a national college tour to fight the epidemic of binge drinking. Help is still needed & any donation is welcome. “Producer” credit given for donations of $40,000 and up.
To donate, please go to www.hazelden.org/giving and click on GIVE ONLINE, then be sure to designate the “Bill W.& Dr Bob Production Fund”
As Announced on the KCRW Events Page, ONE80CENTER Presents Our Second Annual WELLNESS DAY, A Celebration of Holistic and Progressive Recovery (October 15, 2011)
Wellness Day 2011 — As Announced on the KCRW Events Page, ONE80CENTER is pleased to announce our second annual Wellness Day, a celebration of progressive and holistic approaches to recovery from addiction.
Join us to enjoy a day of fun, food, education, and activity. We are proud to feature passionate and integrative individuals who have devoted their lives to the concepts of addiction, mental health issues, treatment, recovery, mindfulness, spirituality and wellness.
KCRW Announces 2011 Wellness Day At ONE80CENTER
ONE80CENTER is proud to have Wellness Day listed on the KCRW Events Page. To learn more about the event, the speakers, the presenters and the sponsors, please check out the official 2011 Wellness Day Site.
ONE80CENTER believes in a holistic approach to treatment – giving equal importance and consideration to the mind, body & spirit. By treating the authentic core of our clients, ONE80CENTER examines the roots of addiction and fosters the beginning of healing. We teach our clients tools for healthy living and we nurture their path to long-term recovery.
ONE80CENTER And Wellness Day: A Holistic Approach To Recovery
At ONE80CENTER, we treat the whole person and not just the disease. By taking a holistic approach to recovery, our treatment team creates a personalized program for each client. The purpose of these treatment plans is to address the specific needs of the individual.
A holistic health perspective is based on the concept that all aspects of a client’s needs — psychological, physical and social — should be taken into account and seen as a whole Holistic health focuses on all facets of human functioning, which involves a client learning to take responsibility for ultimately maintaining their well-being.
ONE80CENTER is located at Elizabeth Taylor’s former home in Benedict Canyon. The lush, natural grounds have breathtaking ONE80 Degree views of Los Angeles and provide a peaceful refuge from the city below.
ONE80CENTER Asks In The Light Of Wellness Day 2010 — What Makes Effective Treatment And Fosters Long-Term Recovery?
Although the treatment chart below is quite comprehensive, ONE80CENTER would add the lessons learned during Wellness Day 2010 — a holistic approach to mind-body-spirit + a personalized program greatly improves the quality of treatment. Many treatment centers do not have the resources to provide great care. At ONE80CENTER, we are committed to providing individualized and holistic care to each of our clients. We provide a comprehensive combination of therapies and services that include physical fitness, optimal nutrition, and spiritual, social, and emotional health. By taking a holistic approach that focuses on the wellness of each client and fostering a positive and constructive community, ONE80CENTER takes traditional recovery approaches to the next level.
One of the ways we individualized care is with our use of “companions”. Early recovery can be treacherous. Many people after completing a 30, 60 or 90 day treatment program relapse. Why? Is treatment ineffective? It is our opinion that “traditional” treatment centers spend too much time isolating their clients from the “real world”. Our belief is that clients are returning from treatment without exposure to “real life” experiences that can be accessed through our personalized treatment programs.
This is why at ONE80CENTER, we attempt to keep our clients engaged in the “real world” with the use of our sober companions. Our clients get 24/7 support inside or outside our treatment center. Our clients to experience “life on life’s terms”. We tailor the amount of containment we provide to each client individually by treating them from an individualized and holistic perspective. Our philosophy is remarkable clients require remarkable care. Contact us at (888) 588-4180 for more information on our sober companion services and our individualized treatment program and Wellness Day 2010!
At ONE80CENTER, the holistic awareness of treatment opportunities raised during Wellness Day 2010 brought forward a new approach to tackling of America’s rapidly rising OxyContin addiction and prescription pill dependence. Since the a narcotic based OxyContin addiction leads to serious withdrawal symptoms and long-term recovery challenges, a holistic approach that addresses the mind, body, and the spirit is necessary to help treat the once successful individual brought to their knees by OxyContin dependence.
OxyContin tablets are used to treat moderate to severe pain. The extended-release form of this medication is for around-the-clock treatment of pain. OxyContin is Purdue Pharma’s brand for time-release single-ingredient Oxycodone oral medication. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1995 and first introduced to the American marketplace in 1996. By 2001, OxyContin was the best-selling non-generic narcotic pain reliever in the U.S.; 2008 sales in the U.S. totaled $2.5 billion. An analysis of data from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration found that retail sales of Oxycodone “jumped nearly six-fold between 1997 and 2005.
Through doctor shopping and illegal purchases, OxyContin abusers obtain more and more of the drug. Such abuse of a common pharmaceutical raises questions about responding to such abuse on only a pharmaceutical level. If you are addicted to prescription pills, are prescription pills the answer to your problems? When five times as many people are overdosing from prescription medication than from heroin and cocaine combined in America, is prescription medication the way to address the disease of addiction. At ONE80CENTER, we take the position that clients, from a pure alcoholic to a prescription pill addict, need an individualized program that treats their future wellness from a holistic perspective.
After all, in May of 2007, Purdue Pharma “agreed to pay $19.5 million” in fines relating to aggressive off-label marketing practices of OxyContin in 26 states and the District of Columbia. In specific, the company encouraged dosing more frequent than the recommended interval of 12 hours, and did not fully disclose the risk of hazardous or harmful use. Later that same year, Purdue Pharma and three of its top executives pleaded guilty in a Virginia federal court to charges that they misbranded OxyContin by representing it to have “less euphoric effect and less abuse potential” than it actually has, They also claimed that people taking the drug at low doses could stop taking it suddenly without symptoms of withdrawal. The FDA had not approved these claims. The company and the executives were to pay $634 million in fines for felony and misdemeanor misbranding.
When pharmaceutical companies are leading innocent Americans into the dangers of OxyContin dependence and prescription pill addiction, it becomes essential for treatment centers to take a multi-dimensional approach to recovery. By embracing the holistic awareness set forth by numerous experts at Wellness Day 2010, ONE80CENTER adopts this multi-dimensional approach in the individualized treatment of each client. By meeting the client at exactly the point at where they are at when they come to our inspiring facility and developing an individualized program for them based on their physical, mental, and spiritual needs, ONE80CENTER is taking the lessons of Wellness Day 2010 and putting them to practical and constructive use.
Inspirational ONE80CENTER Sponsored Screening Of “Lost In Woonsocket” Kicks Off the Lost & Found In America Tour, Raising Recovery Awareness Across America
On September 1 in South Pasadena, ONE80CENTER and several other organizations sponsored an inspirational screening of the stirring film about the journey and challenges of recovery — LOST IN WOONSOCKET — at the South Pasadena Methodist Church. A vibrant audience, including dozens of alcoholics and addicts in early recovery, watched the powerful screening. Afterwards, there was a question & answer session with the filmmakers and Normand Cartier, one of the subjects of the film. The first stop in the 40-City Lost & Found in America Tour, Normand Cartier is paying it forward with the filmmakers by presenting their film and message of recovery across America.
As the filmmakers explain on the LAFIA Website, “Anyone who has been touched by alcoholism or addiction deserves to see Lost in Woonsocket and hear Normand Cartier’s incredible story in person. Lost in Woonsocket has touched the hearts of thousands, and the LAFIA tour is our way of giving back.” Moved by Normand’s profound gratitude for his recovery and the dedication of the filmmakers, ONE80CENTER is proud to support the message and the tour. By reaching out with free screenings and discussions across the country, the tour will help raise awareness of the devastating effects of alcoholism an addiction and how this disease continues to afflict every segment of the American experience.
If you want to know more about the freedom of recovery and you are looking for an executive rehab in Los Angeles, please contact the trained ONE80CENTER staff at (888) 588-4180.