Sunday, July 28, 2013

Only in Bucks County: Nor'wester Readers

I'm happy to announce that I'm going to be volunteering my Twitter skills to another Bucks County Non Profit!

I really enjoyed helping to bring attention to Reuseyourshoes via Twitter, and I have a ton of fun being on The United Way of Bucks County's Twitter Corps, so I decided that no matter how busy I am, I'd always like to donate my time and skills to a local cause. I am pleased to tell you that the organization I've chosen is called Nor'wester Readers.

I was first introduced to this organization in 2011 when I was asked to photograph one of their events by Northampton Patch.

I was re-introduced this past Spring, when I took Cody to their  Annual Dog Walk and Family Fair.
It was an extremely well organized, family friendly event. That evening, I sent my photos to Founder Wendi Huttner, and... well.... you already know what happened from there.
After a few meetings with Wendi and Co-Director Deborah Glessner, I hopped on board to set up an account and become their voice on Twitter. I am still learning about the program, which is not just about kids reading to dogs; Nor'wester Readers is a well-thought-out and well-researched Canine Assisted Learning Program. 

Their goal is to provide certified therapy dogs to work with area teachers to build and support student motivation; and to improve student self esteem, confidence, and focus.
My goal is to bring awareness to this wonderful organization and its need for more registered therapy dogs. (There is literally a waiting list of teachers in Bucks County - especially Pennsbury School District and Bensalem Township - who have requested a dog for their classroom)
To begin to understand more about the program, I joined Debbie at the Northampton Free Library this week to see some of the dogs in action!

Dogs make great listeners.


 A lot of the books the kids read to the dogs were ABOUT dogs.
                                (Dogs love this!)
                                       "97 Ways To Make a Dog Smile"



How Can You Help???

Nor'wester Readers needs more owners/handlers and their dogs to visit classrooms on a regular basis!
If you want to volunteer for a really worthwhile cause and own a great dog,
 or if you have a friend who has a great dog, all we ask is that you spread the word!

Here is a link on how to get your dog tested to become a Certified Therapy Dog:

When was the last time YOU curled up with a good book...
...and a good dog?

Please follow us on Twitter @NorwesterReader


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Only in Bucks County: Farewell to a Friend- The Inevitable Blog Post

On June 25th, the twins and I scattered Cody's ashes at Tyler State Park.
From the very first time we visited there, I knew we would eventually do that.
Living only five minutes away, we went to Tyler Park often. Cody liked sitting on the sun-warmed rocks; she liked to walk along the shaded trails, but what she really loved was splashing around in the shallow water of the Neshaminy Creek. It became a special place for us. A happy place... a place that evoked peace and calm and sun and earth and nature and contentment. It's where she belonged. It was inevitable.
I've also known that this blog post was inevitable.
It's a tribute to Cody - a way to celebrate her happy, gentle, sweet and silly existence in photos.
Please don't be sad! 
Because looking back through these old pictures brings me joy and light-heartedness.
It makes me smile to see a much-loved dog who was always included in events and became a star no matter where we went.
Whether we were outside walking, hanging out around the house, or driving around taking photos of Bucks County, Cody was always with me... discovering, exploring and enjoying life ... right by my side.

Tyler State Park, Summer 2010. 


She was a best friend to many!
These are photos from our very first visit to Tyler State Park in 2006. 
They were taken with my first digital camera, a clunky Sony Mavica that recorded pictures onto a floppy disk! Four or five cameras later, a lot has changed, but the calm I feel within a few seconds of entering the park, especially once I see the water, hasn't changed at all.

                                           There could not have been a better dog for me!



C. with her beloved DADDY!

  She was ALWAYS the center of attention. See what I mean?

 It's funny. She got older, and slower, and I just got used to it.
In many of these photos, she's tethered to something; reminding me how she use to take OFF at the scent of a rabbit, at the sound of a squirrel in a tree. It's been a long time since she ran after a critter in the field behind our house, dragging the patio table with her. Or jumped out of the window of my Jeep in my parents' driveway. A neighbor reminds me how one day she looked out her front window to first see a rabbit run by, then a second rabbit run by, then Cody running by to try and catch the rabbits, followed by her daughter running to try and catch Cody, with me frantically trying to catch them all! This makes me giggle. Scott still animates the story about the time she slipped out of her collar to chase a cat around and around a car; he tried so hard to catch her that his shoes flew off.
And again, this makes me smile.




  She was always included; always with her friends.
 Bucks County Tennis Association's
Scooby Doo Tennis Ball Hunt
Run The Basin 5K, Richboro PA. 
                        Riding around Newtown....
            A trip to Tyler Park usually resulted in a bath!




                                           Getting some love from the twins in 2011....

                                                            ...and in April, 2013 
We were so fortunate that she never really got sick - just slower - and sweeter.

I think I enjoyed taking care of Cody as a senior dog more than when she was younger.

Although a trip to Tyler Park required more effort than it had in the past, we were blessed that she wsa able to do enjoy what she always did.


                                                                        Early Fall, 2012

Cody loved the snow too! She had the thickest, healthiest winter coat.
Our Vet used to tell me how beautiful she was, and how lucky she was to have a healthy coat.


                    "Until one has loved a dog,
                                                                                         a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
                                                                                                                       -Anatole France

Cody Ivy, January 6, 2000 - June 12, 2013.

She touched us all, and lives on in our hearts, forever.
It took me a month to process it all, and of course I miss her,
 but I am filled with love when I see these pictures.
I mean, just LOOK at this happy, sweet dog just waiting to go on her morning walk.
This photo was taken just six days before Cody passed away, at age 13 & a half. 
It makes me happy to see that she was so happy in her last days.
Again, DON"T BE SAD!
As you can see, she had a wonderful life.
 I've already been to Tyler Park three or four times since I started this post.
I took this photo at twilight the other night and it's one of my favorite photographs I've ever taken.
I'll bet Cody had something to do with that....

"And if I listen to, the sound of white,
Sometimes I hear your smile, and breathe your light."

-Missy Higgins, The Sound of White