The New Leash on Life program is a pairing of homeless dogs with the most unlikely of trainers, Forsyth Correctional Institute Inmates. How does this work? An inmate is paired with a dog in need of socialization and rehabilitation, both then go through a 10 week program where the dogs are crate trained, taught the basic obedience with Professional Dog Trainers then when the dog graduates it goes to a great home with adoption.
Not just the Inmates go through a rigorous training program and qualification process, but the dogs that are chosen as well as the families that adopt. Many dogs come into the system unable to be adopted, this program gets them to a point where they can find a forever home. Some of the inmates say that the program has changed their lives, in the 10 week program they have learned responsibility, and discipline, something they will take with them outside of the Correctional system.
Want to help? There are several different ways:
1. Adopt a Dog! New Leash On Life has a doggy class graduating the 7th of August, if you’ve thought about adopting take a look at the graduates you may fall in love with one.
2. It costs money to run this program, any donation from a token “we believe in you” to a gift that puts a dog through the program, as a non profit your money goes not not just helping dogs in a need of a home but the inmates as well.
3. Wear the New Leash on Life T-shirt – stop by and pick up yours. Wear it proudly around town and answer questions about the program spreading the word.
4. They are always in need of supplies, dog food, dog treats, training videos, books you name it.
5. A little time goes a long way, help volunteer with the program or with the Humane Society to put up flyers, answer phones or just help out.
These dogs and their trainers are taught to love and trust, some come from backgrounds that have broken that part of them, help Forsyth Woman and Forsyth Family give these deserving dogs a NEW LEASH ON LIFE.
Today I choose happiness over fear.
Peace over Anger
Joy over sadness.
Today I blame no one,
Today I will make mistakes
Learn and Grow
Today I stop complaining
Accepting what I cannot change
Throwing away the rest.
Today the mask comes off
I am open and honest
I am who I am
Today I make a choice
for a better tomorrow.
Where do you find peace? In the sound of the falling rain today? In holding a small child’s hand? In the soft warm arms of the one you love? Inside you heart when you sit still and listen to the quiet whisper of the universe?
Peace comes from within, then projects out in your random acts of kindness, your ease with forgiveness, your willingness to help. The Peace you feel as you help others find their peace is why this day is so important. Many feel they are just one tiny grain of sand on the beach, but when we all take the time to do something that celebrates peace our smaller actions build to a big wave that eventually will change the world.
The Day of Peace is also a ceasefire, where you can make a difference with a ceasefire in your life-what have you been fighting? Take a day and let it go, find peace in accepting things for what they are on this day of ceasefire!
Take a moment and do one thing that makes yourself or someone else feel Peace. Share something special, do something outside of yourself or simply sit still and both listen sharing the peace that comes with connecting. Share Peace and Find peace.
The resolution says, “”Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace.”
What will you do today?
It has slipped up on me the Ramblin’ Rose Triathlon. It seems like only yesterday I signed on and started my first training. In the sweep of mid-August: back to school, last minute vacations and multiple events, my training had slipped to the side-lines.
As they say “It’s the journey not the destination,” and the most amazing part of my training regime has been seeing what my body can actually do-feeling my pulse, listening to my breath, understanding the mechanics of the human body and its amazing abilities. I have been surprised over and over again about what my body could actually accomplish, setting small goals, reaching them and pushing past what I thought was my limit.
I injured my ankle three weeks ago during a training run on the treadmill, I ran hard and fast then did a spin class, later to realize I had some sort o sprain or possibly a small stress fracture in my left ankle. The pain, unfortunately, has not subsided. I initially felt defeated when I realized I would not be able to reach my personal goal of swimming, biking and running the whole triathlon with no walking and no break. With my ankle injury it was just not a possibility. But if this process has taught me anything it’s how to listen to my body, take care of it, and understand its strengths and limitations. After a lot of thought, I decided to play it safe and walk/jog the running portion of the race instead of risking greater injury.
I wake up before my alarm at six am-my heart pounding. “The race starts in two hours,” I think and jump out of bed to get dressed and gather all my gear.
I drive across town music blaring loudly trying to pump myself up for the race. I pull up at the Gateway YMCA to a sea of cars and people buzzing through the parking lot, bikes in hand, buckets of gear. I am immediately overwhelmed by the number of athletes, over 600 total, and it hits me hard. “This is it! You are here, with all these women about to race and compete for something you have all been working towards for months.”
My stomach begins to grow queasy as I set up my bike in the transition area and look at the large start and finish line gates we are to run through surrounded by balloons and crowds of people. “This is really a big deal. I really have to finish this race; people are here to cheer me on.”
I get in line to get my race chip that records my time, and a sweet lady with a fat sharpie marks me up, my race number, 574, on both thighs and right arm, my initials on my left bicep, my age on my calf. I watch as women of all shapes and sizes swarm around me doing the same thing, nervous smiles, tense giggles, and before I know it we are lining up for the swim.
Now this is the hardest part, the waiting. Since there are over 600 participants in the race, we must wait in line to enter the pool, racers are released every fifteen seconds to begin a maze of lanes that comes out to be 225 meters. I realize it’s not about who crosses the finish line first, but who has the best time.
My stomach is in knots as the adrenaline and anxiousness pump through my veins. I want to jump in line and get it started, but I know I must wait my turn. Deep breaths and meditative thoughts I remind myself. I chat with some of the women beside me in line. We share are trepidation and anticipation.
Before I know it I am jumping in the water. It feels natural and right. I move fluidly trying to remember to pace myself. Women swim all around me and what training has not prepared me for is this community of people, this movement of one together, the motivation it gives you to have women pushing themselves and competing it in front of, behind and beside you.
Suddenly, I am pushing off the wall into a back stroke on my last lap. I jog out of the pool to applause; I am overwhelmed with the number of people waiting outside the pool area to cheer us on. My husband’s sweet smile greets me. “You’re doing great baby! Keep it up!” His encouraging words of love and support are invaluable.
I change quickly and mount my bike. I tackle the first gargantuan hill at the start of the bike route. I am shocked by how much the slightest words of encouragement from a bystander or a volunteer keep me going. Their cheers make it possible, give me the motivation I needed to peddle on as I gasp for air. I chug up the hills and speed down on my trek road bike. It is in this moment the exhilaration, the thrill of this race courses through my veins.
I zip over the bike finish after eight miles “Two down, one to go,” I coach myself. The running- the hardest part lies just ahead. My mind says I should be falling over from exhaustion, but my body pounds the pavement -at this point running on pure adrenaline.
As I run/walk the final leg of this race I notice how women all around me are encouraging each other. This is the best part of this race, the support and encouragement I feel from other participants, not a cut-throat competitive edge, but a community of woman empowering each other to accomplish their goals. I could not count the number of times I saw other racers yell or fist pump a, “You can do it!” to a passing participant. It is this fellowship of kindred spirits, hopeful hearts and motivated mindsets that makes this race so special.
I may never run a triathlon again, or I may do ten. But no matter what other journeys or challenges lay ahead, I now know my mind and body are capable of accomplishing seemingly insurmountable goals.
The explosion of red, white and blue during this time of year, houses with flags, cars and motorcycles sporting our national colors, down to the lady at the beach with the red white and blue bathing suit!
Moving around the different channels on TV and seeing such a variety of opinions and being thankful that we can express who we are and what we think! I may not agree with everything everyone says, but we can all agree that the ability to say what’s on our mind is special!
Sandy hotdogs, burnt hot dogs, cold hotdogs, but the hotdog none the less. Fourth of July celebrations are not complete without our American staple – tofu, turkey, kosher, all beef as long as it’s a hot dog and fits in a bun, I love it! Add some watermelon, potato salad and ice cream and you’ve got a real celebration!
Pool parties complete with those few friends/relatives that wear the bathing suits that don’t really suit them! This gives the rest of the party plenty to talk about as they dive for that last shot at the volleyball game! A little Marco Polo, some time floating in the sun, AND a trashy romance sitting by a lounge chair!
The smell of sulfur and dogs hiding under the bed with the explosion of fireworks. In the mountains, we can lay on top of a mountain and watch them explode right above our head. I love oohing and ahhing with everyone then holding my breath during the finale with the bittersweet feeling when it’s over – of course, the traffic afterwards trying to get home!
What do you love about the 4th of July?
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