Black dogs are notoriously resistant to obedience training. They skulk around your legs when they should be off fetching; they get in the way and trip you up; they bark so much you can’t hear yourself think. Coming when you call is seldom a problem the typical black dog is rarely far from your side anyway but try and get one to roll over, play dead or even sit. It’s fair to say that no black dog has ever sat atop the podium at Crufts. Such disobedience is endemic across breeds.
For some reason it doesn’t seem to matter if the beast in question is a Shih Tzu or a sheepdog, a beagle or a bloodhound, just as long as it’s black. The black dog of a friend of mine is a kelpie, and boy can it go. Kelpies, I’m told, are highly intelligent and eager to please, with a tractable disposition. But not if they’re black. Her swarthy shadow is active day and night, rounding up thoughts that should be left to graze, herding others in the wrong direction, snapping and worrying at their heels until they stampede relentlessly through her brain.
She whistles and she calls, but it does no good. That dog is deaf, or set on its own dumb course. But it doesn’t have to be that way. My own black dog is a Chihuahua, though it started life as a Great Dane. That’s one good thing about black dogs. They’re no good with children, and they’ll never bring your slippers, but they can evolve. (Not manyK Ladd http://www. blackdoginstitute. org. au/media/eventscal/index. cfm 31 May 2006 2 people know that. For such a common species it’s astonishing to note that Burke’s Backyard never roadtested the black dog. )
Or maybe it’s the owner that adjusts, man and beast finding ways to coexist. Your average black dog will never be a pet, but it can be a companion. Perhaps not one you’d necessarily choose, but one you can abide. I know one man whose Rottweiler became a corgi. Only after a bit of hard work, mind you, and that furry coffee table isn’t one Her Majesty would welcome, but nonetheless the cur is now a hell of a lot easier to live with. In the case of my own black dog, exercise was a key factor. Everyone had told me that being active would help, but at first his sheer size made it almost impossible.
I’d think about going for a run but there he was, blocking the door, his great paws threatening to knock me down every time I tried to get the leash round his throat. It was easier just to stay on the couch. One day though I got up early and took him by surprise we were out of the house and into the park before he’d properly woken up. The funny thing was though, that once we were there I’m sure he enjoyed it. Endorphins, I’m told, chemicals released during exercise that act as a natural form of antidepressant. Since then I’ve tried swimming, dancing, cycling, and always the daily walk.
My black dog usually comes with me, but I swear that by the time we finish he never looks as big as he did at the start. Along with exercise, grooming is also important. By and large, black dogs are ugly creatures all melancholic eyes and lacklustre coats. Take the trouble to dress yours up a bit though and you’ll be surprised at the difference. A quick brush or a new collarK Ladd http://www. blackdoginstitute. org. au/media/eventscal/index. cfm 31 May 2006 3 may all feel like a bit too much effort at times, but have a look at the effect on your dog.
Isn’t he picking up his feet a bit more, sniffing the lampposts with renewed interest? And note how others are noticing, and in turn find your beast less frightening, more approachable. That makes him feel better too. It’s only a little thing, but looking good can advance the transformation to feeling good. Then there’s diet. The natural black dog tendency is to eat too little, though some go to the other extreme. Whippets and Labradors the former surviving on air, the latter those mongrels you’re always chasing away from the front of your house on bin night.
Instead, to better manage your back dog you should be watching what he eats: ideally the sort of balanced diet they’re always banging on about in the Pal commercials. In other words, make sure your black dog’s breakfast isn’t a dog’s dinner. And watch out for chicken bones. And of course no obedience training can be completed without appropriate discipline. Sure, it would be easier just to let him have his way, but let’s remember who’s the master here. Do you really want to listen to him howl all night, or have him scare all your friends away?
Discipline is about working through the hard yards every day making sure you eat enough; doing some exercise; getting up, brushing your teeth and going out even when it doesn’t feel as if any progress is being made. It is, even if only by the simple act of not giving in. And above all, don’t punish yourself. You didn’t ask for the dog, but it’s not your fault he’s there either. Chances are he just followed you home. K Ladd http://www. blackdoginstitute. org. au/media/eventscal/index. cfm 31 May 2006 4 Just remember that training takes time and effort. Every black dog is different, and of course they all have their days.
It’s hard to turn a pug into a poodle, and it has to be said that success isn’t guaranteed. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. There are bound to be times when you will feel you’re fighting a losing battle, and often that’s when you need to get others involved. Some people like to call in the professionals, the Barbara Woodhouses or Hugh Wirths of black dogs, if you will. When you’re stuck these people will know what to try next or can make sure you’re headed in the right direction. There are rarely quick fixes, and you’ll have to commit yourself to staying the course.
But if you do you might just find that after a while your black dog is significantly more obedient or has even skulked off all together. Others might simply want to call on a friend or two. Black dogs are exhausting sometimes you just need someone else to help you hold the leash for a while, or at least follow behind with a pooper scooper. Friends can help by listening, talking, reassurance, by sticking by you and getting you involved in other noncanine activities. It’s hard to do this entirely by yourself in most cases it really does help to see a man (or woman) about a dog. And that’s about it.
Nothing too magical, nothing miraculous, but the black dog can be brought to heel by a combination of things. Regular exercise for a start, good grooming, the right diet (and make sure you stay away from the hair of the dog). Try to get plenty of rest let sleeping dogs lie and don’t be too hard on yourself. Find someone you can talk to, be that a professional or a friend, someone who acknowledges your black dog and knows how to handle him. The black dog will never be man’s best friend, but with a bit of work and help with any luck you will eventually be able to put your own dog days behind you.
Imaginary Friend To preface this, I have eidetic memory and therefore can remember large chunks of my early childhood. I grew up in a fairly normal middle-class home, with two parents, a roof over my head and a great education. However, ever since I was young, my parents have been so busy working and taking care of my two younger sisters who have autism and bipolar disorder, that I have been emotionally and psychologically neglected. To this day, I crave attention and have abandonment and attachment issues. This is going to sound strange, so please stay with me.
My parents have always been huge Queen fans, and I grew up surrounded by their music and pictures of the band members. When I was 5 months old, I saw for the first time, Freddie Mercury smiling at me over my crib. He has been my constant companion and best friend all my life. No one else can see him, and I know he isn’t real. Freddie Mercury died in 1991, and I was born years later. My imaginary friend Freddie has never said any negative things to me and has never tempted me towards negative or suicidal behavior. He has been nothing but a great friend and confidante.
I have lots of other social relationships and am doing well academically. Having had this “imaginary friend” for 17 and 1/2 years now, he’s never caused me any problems. I’m not paranoid, I don’t hear disturbing voices, and I don’t believe I’m the anti-Christ or anything. But I do see Freddie, clear as day, flesh and blood, around me all the time. He’s the only hallucination I’ve ever experienced. Depression and Cancer new report asserts that approximately half of all patients with terminal or advanced cancer suffer with poor mental health.
Specifically, depression, anxiety, and adjustment disorders plague people with advanced or terminal cancer, according to the results of a new study. A research team at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital located in Boston, Massachusetts, examined previously published studies on cancer and mental health to determine how many cancer patients have mental health problems. The researchers noted that cancer treatment has improved significantly over the past decade, yet mental health treatment has not been fully integrated into the treatment of cancer patients.
They further asserted that studies have shown that depression and anxiety can impact patients’ feelings and attitudes about life and death as well as their quality of life more than their physical illness. While half of terminally ill or advanced cancer patients suffer from depression, anxiety, and/or an adjustment disorder, less than half of cancer patients receive treatment for their mental health, according to the researchers. The researchers report that published studies show one-fifth of terminally ill cancer patients and more than one-third of advanced cancer patients suffer with an adjustment disorder.
An adjustment disorder is characterized by feelings of anxiety and depression, which can be manifested in different ways. Some people with adjustment disorders isolate themselves. Others break social norms or rules at work, school, or within the family. Still others become physically ill or, if they are already ill, the illness may worsen with the adjustment disorder. Depression affects an additional third of patients with advanced cancer and one-fifth of those with terminal cancer the researchers report. Depression is characterize4d by feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, helplessness, and sadness.
In addition, individuals with depression may not enjoy activities they used to, eat more or less than usual, have changes in weight, sleep more or less than usual, and/or have thoughts or fantasize about suicide. Finally, anxiety affects 14% of terminally ill and 10% of advanced cancer patients. The results of this meta-analysis indicate that physicians and oncologists should be screening their patients more closely for mental health problems. Doctors can us measures such as the Beck Depression Scale and other mental health assessments to screen their patients for anxiety and depression.
Physicians and oncologists should be vigilant to any expression of anxiety or depression from their patients. When a patient has an anxiety disorder or depression, physicians should make appropriate referrals to mental health professionals who can help patients with their mental health concerns. Imaginary Friends Causing Mental Illness I’m dignosed with bipolar type 1 but this may change to schizoaffective disorder because I’m having auditory and visual hallucinations when I’m only mildly depressed. I also believe there are 3 levels of reality and that things from the dream reality are crossing over into my waking reality.
Aside from all this I also have 14 imaginary friends who talk to me from inside my head (different and very seperate from the auditory hallucinations/voices that are distinctly outside my head) Ive never mentioned the imaginary friends to my psychiatrist, I’ve had them as long as I can remember and they help me more than hinder me, but I am wondering now if this is related to my mental illness? Does having imaginary friends in adulthood imply some kind of problem? My friends are all female (like me) and range in age from 2 years to 27 years (my current age) they are all unique and have there own thoughts and opinions.