Harmony Doodle

You may have seen there is a new furry member of Wander in Harmony Inc.

Harmony was 11 weeks old on Wednesday. She is an F1 Goldendoodle. Which means her mom is a Golden Retriever and her dad a standard poodle.

Harmony has been under consideration for many months now.

See, we lost our 12-year-old poodle a year ago last October. This left a hole in our hearts and made Willow, our black lab, an only dog.

Willow has actually become the best-dog-ever after several years of trying our patience and growing out of puppyhood. So, adding a new puppy to a very stable and entirely potty-trained family was a huge decision.

Here’s the thing. I grew up with eight dogs. Five were German Shepards and the other three poodles. I was an only child until I was six, so these pups were not just pets, they were my pack.

As a toddler, I learned a lot about love from my animals. They were fiercely loyal, kind, and always interested in me. I could get them to do just about anything for a Cheeto. As I grew, they let me dress them up, and they were the best students when we played school. Protection was a natural instinct for them, and several of the older humans learned quickly not to reach for me or try to pick me up in the presence of the pack without careful warning. They were easily the best part of my childhood.

Back to Harmony.

As a therapist-in-training, I am fascinated by alternative therapies that help people heal. This is why oils and yoga will always have a place in my practice. As designed, while interning with an advocacy agency for children, I met a therapy dog. Watching the dog naturally and instinctively work with and love on these children was powerful. To watch the children, respond with smiles, touch, and trust, impactful.

Harmony has a long way to go, but we hope she will have a heart and disposition to tend to the hurting. Willow has a beautiful disposition, but some bad manners and is now eight-years-old. Still, Harmony and Willow began training last Saturday. As I said, we have lots of work ahead of us, but I hope to have two new furry therapists in our office in the near future.

I believe the love and protection of dog has the power to grow and heal hearts.

On a personal note, our family is smitten over our new puppy, Willow has a playmate, and everyone has an abundance of love and sloppy kisses.

Follow Harmony’s training on Instagram @harmonydoodle

Hashtags. What the ###?

Confession. I love hashtags. Social Media took a completely useless symbol from our antiquated telephone dial pad and made it into, well, a thing!

This month, I have been knee deep in a small group counseling class learning/teaching about therapeutic factors. As a bonus, I’ve been observing the masters level students through a one-way mirror, as they work, in a real-life small group, led by one of the professors/therapists.

Back to hashtags. Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 6.46.28 PM

Turns out, the popularity of hashtags may actually stem from a therapeutic factor call universality. See, universality is a critical component for establishing cohesiveness and therapeutic processing in a small group setting. It is the process by which people in the group are able to identify and connect with one another. This connection makes problems less isolating, situations unoriginal, and group less scary.

So, hashtags…

What are they? You may be new to social media or just over 30 and don’t understand the phenomenon. Friend, there is no shame in this situation. Listen, I just thought they were cute until a younger person explained them to me.

We use hashtags to identify and locate others in the world who do what we do. If you run #running might appear after a sweaty shot of your in front of a glorious sunrise. You might also add #sunrise.

Then what? Well, you can search for all the photos with the hashtag #running or #sunrise by using the search thingy with the magnifying glass or simply tapping the hashtag. Then, like magic, all the #running or #sunrise or #running #sunrise photos appear in one screen.

Did I mention I adore hashtags?

Your question now might be why do you, Writer, and the other people enjoy the hashtag? Well, my guess is, that it is mainly about connection. We want to know that we’re not alone.

Universality.Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 6.49.06 PM

Hashtags say, “#metoo #Igetyou #Iseeyou #letsconnect #youbelong #livelifetogether #journeywithfriends #neveralone #loveoneanother.”

Do you love hashtags? Tell me more!

“We are not only gregarious animals, liking to be in sight of our fellows, but we have an innate propensity to get ourselves noticed, and noticed favorably, by our kind.”

– William James