Archive for August, 2012
This from the I Love Dogs website:
Eleven-year-old Cole Hein’s life has been saved countless times by Bingo, his 14-year-old Jack Russell Terrier.
The dog barks whenever the boy, who suffers from an undiagnosed disorder, stops breathing.
Hein and Bingo, who live in Manitoba, Canada, have been together since 2005. Bingo was originally trained as hearing dog by National Service Dogs, an organization that trains larger dogs to help autistic children, according to a July 2010 story in The Maple Leaf.
When co-founder Danielle Forbes became aware of Hein’s disorder, she trained Bingo to recognize the gagging sound the boy made whenever he stopped breathing, and to bark when she heard it.
Within just six months after his family adopted Bingo, she saved Hein’s life three times.
Two years ago, Bingo was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame as Service Dog of the Year for her heroic efforts.
Unfortunately, Bingo was recently diagnosed with terminal canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome – which is similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans – and has only a few weeks left to live.
Hein decided to show his gratitude for his beloved pooch by paying it forward with a “lick it list” – the dog version of a bucket list.
“I love my dog,” Hein told the Winnipeg Free Press. “I’ve made a list for her final days on Earth.”
These are the five items on Bingo’s lick it list:
1. Hein would like people to send dog treats from wherever they live so that Bingo can “taste” the world.
2. Take Bingo for one last “public” outing to Ruckers, a local family fun center.
3. To walk around the block twice with Bingo.
4. A photo shoot with just Bingo and Hein.
The list has been very successful so far. The Bingo Hein Facebook group – which was created late last week and now has more than 12,000 members – reports that items 3 and 4 have already been crossed off.
As for No. 1, treats are flowing in from around the world.
“Anything people want to send is okay,” Hein told the Winnepeg Free Press. “Bingo’s a good dog.”
Note that financial donations are not needed and will not be accepted. The Bingo Hein Facebook group suggests that if you are unable to send treats, you can instead make a donation to your local shelter in Bingo’s name.
Send treats for Bingo to:
Cole Hein/Bingo Hein
PO Box 413
Inquiries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For some reason, it seems like the funeral business attracts very ‘unique’ people. And by ‘unique’, I mean weird. I’m not saying I’m normal by any means.
So with this being said, let me describe to you the ‘wonderful’ personalities you may encounter in the funeral world!!
Example #1: The stereotypical ’funeral director personality’: dry, unfriendly, and very cold.
I just don’t get it- why do people who have made a commitment to serve their community have the personality of a … well, I guess the right term would be a CORPSE. The monotone voice, lack of personality, and the thin lipped, barely-cracking-a-smile thing is just … off putting. It gives us all a bad name, since that’s how most people expect us to be like. I’ve met my fair share of Lurches, and its scary.
Example #2: The embalmer that clearly never speaks to live people anymore.
Now, I’m not saying all people turn into this. There’s times that I love not working with live people. The dead don’t talk back, nag you, or get annoying. They stay nice and quiet. But there are some people out there that seem to have lost the ability to talk to live people, co-workers and people in their personal life.
You want to meet a “socially retarded” person? Well… this is the type of guy (or lady). This type of person sometimes goes out of their way to be creepy. I’ve seen them pretend that nothing is too gross for them to deal with. The overly macho thing comes out a lot. I think most of the time, their personality just sucked and being a mortician made it even worse.
Example #3: The used car salesman.
Probably one of the most irritating things to listen to is directors pushing merchandise on people.
I’ve heard directors talking up merchadise like a car, and it makes you want to puke. This (besides the Lurch thing) is what gives this whole business a terrible image, taking advantage of people when they are very vulnerable.
I was lucky; when I was an apprentice, my boss told me that merchandise isn’t as important as the service you give to a family. As a result, I’m horrible at selling caskets, but I can’t say that bothers me.
Example #4: The ‘Player’ Funeral Director.
I know what you’re thinking, how is that even possible? For some reason, it happens. So many men I met in this business are CREEPS! Cheating on their wives, having a ‘love child’ with the local town deputy, hitting on the interns … it just boggles the mind.
I know what you are thinking. No matter what profession men and women are, there’s going to be weird sexual tension, affairs, you name it. It just creeps me out that some dude is staring at my behind when I’m trying to move a dead guy.
Example #5 The Straight Up Jerk.
This seems to dominate all the bad personalities I’ve come across. Seriously, this business is FULL of them. I didn’t realize it until I got licensed. My first boss always told me, “every funeral director out there is an A******!” I wrote this off at first as him just being old and cynical … but folks … its true.
Sorry to everyone just starting out doing this, you are going to come in contact with a ton of jerks. Its like high school all over again, but half these people are in their 40′s and 50′s. The passive aggressiveness, the two faced, smiley and bull talking; everyone pretends to be friends when they all secretly hate each other.
Just warning you out there, when you’re an apprentice, its one thing. The minute you get your license, you’re a threat. So don’t let these guys Lumbergh your experience.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! To those considering this career path, don’t let these horrible personalities take over. Its hard enough dealing with the creepo’s we have.
Today’s guest post is from Chrissy Kulcsar.
Chrissy is the author and creator of S*** Girl Morticans Say.
Chrissy is a director and embalmer licensed in N.J. and AK.
She has been working in the funeral business for the past eight years, completing her internship and education in New Jersey.
You walk into a house full of fresh grief. It’s fresh because the death just occurred. Your best friend’s husband went out to the bar last night, drowned his hard day in hard drink and he never made it back home. Fresh. Because both you and your friend have never experienced death this close.
You open the door like you have so many times before, but this time the familiarity of the house is unexpected different, dark and lonely. What once housed parties, life and love now houses something you’ve never known before. Like a river, everything is in the same place it was when you last saw it, but this home has changed.
You see your friend’s children sitting on the sofa, staring into space.
You ask them, “Where’s your mom?”
And as you reach to hug them, they snap back to reality and whisper, “Upstairs.”
Each step brings you closer to what you know is only an apparition of your friend. The nerves build. Fear begins to build. You repress it as you ready yourself to meet your closest friend who has all of a sudden become someone you may no longer know.
“Can I come in?” you ask. No response.
You push open the cracked bedroom door and see the body of your friend collapsed on her bed, with used tissues surrounding her like a moat.
You tip-toe into the room, slowly sit down on the bed, and not sure if she’s awake or asleep, you reach for your friends shoulder and begin rubbing her back. Her blood shot eyes open, look at you and then, they slowly look through you.
You fill the weird silence with an “It’s going to be alright”.
“It’s not”, she whispers. “I’m alone with two kids and no job.” Her voice suddenly raises as anger courses through her body, “Why the f*** would he do this to me?”
The curse word chides you into recognizing that you’ve not only misspoken, but you’ve spoken too soon, so you decide to wait in silence. She starts to cry. You respond to her tears with your own. Even though you want to respond with words, you know this isn’t the time for words. There’s no perfection words here. There’s no perfect anything here. And so you wait.
You stay. Listen. Silence. You take her pain into your soul. Hours pass. She rises out of bed and makes the children dinner.
You’ve spoken, not with words or advice; not by trying to solve the problem; nor by placing a limit on your time. You’ve taken the uncomfortable silence, allow the grace for tears, for brokenness; you’ve allowed yourself to sit in the unrest without trying to fix it.
With your presence. With your love. In your honest acknowledgement of real loss, you’ve spoken the language of grief.
Although the language of grief is usually spoken in love, presence and time, sometimes it’s spoken in words. And when it is, here are five practical “do”s and “don’ts”
1. At least she lived a long life, many people die young
2. He is in a better place
3. She brought this on herself
4. There is a reason for everything
5. Aren’t you over him yet, he has been dead for awhile now
1. I am so sorry for your loss.
2. I wish I had the right words, just know I care.
3. I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in anyway I can.
4. You and your loved one will be in my thoughts and prayers.
5. My favorite memory of your loved one is…