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Zeke

Zeke…

best Zeke picture My beautiful, mild mannered, sweet boy, isn’t anymore. I’m shaking like a leaf and have already called my hubby, near tears.

On our walk, just minutes ago, we met a neighbor out with her 2 puppies. Her boxer-mix, a huge, but utterly sweet goofball, immediately ran to us and rolled over on his belly for a pat and good sniffing over by Zeke. We’ve done this a hundred times. Have, in fact, known each other since both the boxer and Suzie were tiny puppies.

Zeke stood over him for a moment, then without warning, attacked and bit the poor boy. Bedlam ensued with me pulling Zeke up and as close to my body as possible, while Suzie ran in terror, wrapping her leash around my legs. The owner of the boxer had to release her pup because leashes had become tangled. The goofball immediately tried to show submission to Zeke again while I tried desperately to keep Zeke from having another go at him. She finally managed to get her pup under control and away as I stood there helpless. I apologized profusely as I fussed at Zeke. The walk was over, I untangled myself and we headed back to the apartment. I was unable to see if her DSCF0911a dog was hurt seriously and have no idea which apt. they live in to go check.

I feel horrible, just horrible. I am in disbelief that Zeke would, without warning, attack another dog. Zeke is neutered, as is the boxer. Suzie is spayed. No competition for either of them. Just this morning, Zeke was sniffing a much smaller pup – I shudder to think what could have happened while I stood blissfully by.

I’ve never had a dog do something like this. Granted, I’ve had only 2 males in my life time, but I would think that their personalities don’t change like this unless they’re ill, so it’s a trip to the vet for Zeke and a muzzle in his future.

I have no idea what will happen if there is a complaint lodged against us and I am frightened for Zeke and frightened by his change in behavior. The joy in our walks is ruined for me. I’ll have to be on constant alert for other owners, especially the ones that allow their dogs off lead, and warn them about my dog. I’ll never be able to let Zeke off lead again to romp with Suzie either, which breaks my heart for them both.

What a horrible ending to the day.

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BADGE OF LIFE

 

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bolThe Myths Surrounding Police Suicide

It’s always good to dispel a few of the myths surrounding police suicide, some of which have been perpetuated to keep them hush-hush or carefully closeted within departments.

 

 

We Know How Many Police Suicides Happen Each Year

 

No one knows how many.No one.

 

Much of the fault lies with police departments themselves, who have done harm to their own officers by muddying the waters, concealing and misclassifying clear cases of suicides as “accidental” or “unknown cause.”

 

Regardless of which side of the argument one stands, one thing is clear–no formal program has been established by law enforcement to track these figures. This is shameful when you think thatdepartments are spending large amounts to solve a problem for which they have no useable data or reliable information.

 

Several private organizations claim to have The Numbers.The National Police Suicide Foundation is frequently quoted, for example, when it gives annual numbers (397 for 2007) and averages of 450 per year.Unfortunately, they are unable to back their number with any organized documentation, give numbers for previous years, dates of suicides, departments, ages, or time on the job.While well intentioned and perhaps of some informal use, we cannot give credibility to numbers that can’t be backed up.

 

 

 

Several private organizations claim to have “The Numbers.”The National Police Suicide Foundation is frequently quoted, for example, when it gives annual numbers (397 for 2007) and averages of 450 per year. Unfortunately, they are unable to back their number with any organized documentation, give numbers for previous years, dates of suicides, departments, ages, or time on the job.While well intentioned and perhaps of some informal use, we cannot give credibility to numbers that can’t be backed up.

 

 

 

Our position is that unsubstantiated data is worse than no data at all.

 

For more on this, as well as our recommendations, read the page “Sloppy Data.”

 

 

“PTSD must be traced to one big event.”

 

It can be.It’s nice and neat that way.Some police agencies are loathe to recognize the important role played by cumulative stress in police work—the daily wounding of the soul over years, over decades.Yes, cumulative stress is a real thing–ask an officer who has been crippled by it.Sadly, it’s the nature of police work and police officers are taught not to talk about it for fear of appearing weak.Banned from the locker room by a code of silence are phrases like:

 

 

“I was really afraid.”

 

“I didn’t know what to do.”

 

“I was lost.”

 

“I made a terrible mistake.”

 

“I wish I could have done something.”

 

“Sometimes I wonder if this is the job for me.”

 

 

Under the heading of “cumulative” are the repeated exposures to screams, to rotting cadavers, assaults, spittings and verbal abuse.

 

Cumulative PTSD, while still rejected by a few hardliners, has finally been accepted in the medical community as real and diagnosable. To quote one expert, “In some ways, a cop’s work may be even more traumatic than that of a soldier sent into a war zone.The police officer’s job, over many years, exposes and reexposes them to traumatic events that would make anybody recoil in horror.”

 

 

Law Enforcement is an Intimate “Family.”

 

If it is, it’s a classic of dysfunctional families.Law enforcement has always been a world of “dirty little secrets.”The armor must remain intact, at all costs.Even officers love shows like “NYPD Blue” because officers smash mirrors and rip towel racks off the walls in the rest room and call the district attorney “a bitch!”–and get away with it.“Angst” is the name of the game–and it’s great entertainment.In the real world, however, the cop knows she can’t rip down the towel rack–and knows it wouldn’t really help, anyway.

 

 

“When in emotional trouble, seek out your fellow officers.”

 

When you’re in emotional trouble, seek out the help of a licensed professional therapist or medical mental health professional!If you have a peer support officer program in your department, take advantage of them for guidance on how to find one.

 

 

“Suicide is an ‘angry act.”

 

Suicide is a painful act.No person wants to die. For some of us, however, the choices seem so few and the pain so great that the only way of finding escape from the pain seems to be suicide.When I exchanged my gun for the telephone and went to the hospital, my first step was to begin crying—the pain was that deep.No one had told me I could do that.I didn’t realize there was an alternative.

 

 

“When you retire, you can relax.”

 

The suicide rate for retired cops is frightening, and far higher than that of active duty officers.For medically retired officers (which includes those retired on PTSD) the suicide rate is even more shameful.The California Association of Highway Patrolmen (CAHP) reports that the suicide ratefor retired officers triples that of the general population.For medically retired officers, they report, the suicide rate is believed to soar to phenomenal levels.

 

 

 

The California Association of Highway Patrolmen (CAHP) reports that the suicide ratefor retired officers triples that of the general population.For medically retired officers, they report, the suicide rate is believed to soar to phenomenal levels.

 

 

Officers cling to the belief, in part based on truth, that they are part of a huge “family” (the ‘brotherhood’) during their careers.When they retire, they suddenly lose that family.They become a nuisance when they show up at their old office to join in coffee breaks.They are relegated to “retiree groups” that render some camaraderie, but which can never equal the feeling of “family” they once felt wearing the badge.

 

Worse, if they had the misfortune of being retired on a stress related injury, such as PTSD, they are regarded, as one officer said, “like the crazy aunt in the basement.” Some drink.Others lose relationships or engage in reckless behaviors.Some isolate and slide into depression.Average life expectancies are low, for officers.Many, as the figures show, choose to simply end it early.What is that telling us?That we have successfully put a band aid on their wounds, by golly, until we could sweep them away, forgotten and suicidal.

 

Badge of Life Staff:

 

1 EDITOR:  Andy O’Hara is a 24 year veteran of the CHP who spent his last day on the bedroom floor with his gun trying to decide whether to shoot himself in the mouth or side of the head.  Hospitalized twice with the effects of his post traumatic stress, he has both written on this topic and spoken to cadets of police agencies in his area.  Through those, he has realized the tremendous potential of a carefully planned, implanted message in this group.  O’Hara was the subject of a Sacramento Magazine article, Relieving the Trauma, in October, 2007.  In addition to his work on police trauma, O’Hara has been a freelance writer and journalist and maintains another site, “Jimston Publishing.” He has authored one book and is writing a second with Dick Augusta on police trauma and sucide.

 

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ASSISTANT EDITOR: Richard (Dick) Augusta‘s career with the California Highway Patrol was cut short in his twelfth year  when, on a traffic stop, a felon got the drop on him and gunned him down.  Dick recovered from his serious wounds but when he tried to return to the road, he was haunted by the post traumatic stress that made him hypersensitive on traffic stops and fearful that he would overreact and harm an innocent person.  In spite of therapy, he was medically retired and now suffers a different kind of depression shared by many medical retirees who suffer not only financially but from feelings that they have been abandoned by their “family” and their wisdom dismissed as useless.  His story can be found in Randy Sutton’s, True Blue, Police Stories by Those Who Have Lived Them.   

 

  

3ASSISTANT EDITOR:  Michael Gotfried, was an officer in the California Highway Patrol and served in the San Francisco/Contra Costa offices.  He vividly recalls the moment he was run down by a motorist, sustaining severe injuries that required extensive surgery. He was disability retired in 2004.

 

 

 

 

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 SENIOR MEMBER:   Ed Estes, CHP, retired on disability with 28 years from the Stockton Area.

 

A truck had overturned and the driver was dead, pinned in the driver’s seat.  Two brothers, ages 2 and 4, were trapped beyond the frantic efforts of Officer Estes and rescue personnel to reach them.  The children were talking softly, gently as diesel fuel poured into the cab and flooded the space occupied by the 2 year-old.  They continued their soft talk until, soon, the compartment filled and the boy was quiet.

 

The silence still haunts Ed 25 years later.  A survivor of a major trauma in Vietnam, as well, he brings a hard-won wisdom to our program.

 

 

Advisory Consultant:  Catherine Leon, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), is on staff to advise on program planning and development, technical/medical issues and speaking engagements/training when available.  Her experience with PTSD and knowledge of law enforcement issues bring valuable expertise to our program.

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If you read comments on my post, Spousal Abuse, you will have seen the comment left by rdlght regarding child abuse. I’m not sure why this was commented on as if I’d deliberately left children out of the equation. The post was about spousal abuse. 

Child abuse is a subject I infrequently comment on. Not that I don’t want to help the millions of abused children, I do. But, I also realize that unless I actually see or hear actual abuse, there is very little I can do.

I can write my Congressman, my Representative, the President and the newspaper… things I have done in the past. I also know that unless it’s an election year and this happens to be a “hot” issue, I will get no response and it won’t change a thing.

This country plays a lot of lip service about the protection of it’s children, but until we lock pedophils away for life, give real protection to children who are abused by their mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, etc., that’s all it is – lip service.

It’s been my sad experience that families will protect the abuser in their midst. They would rather let the abuse continue than to make themselves uncomfortable or embarrassed by stopping the abuse. The child suffers in silence – knowing that there is no help and the abuse will only get worse if they do tell.

So, dear rdlght, I understand your anger and your pain. I am assuming that you are a survivor. I hope this is the answer you sought when you commented. Please keep up your efforts as I do.

Blessings, Glo

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F-18 Pilot Returns Home To Canine Friend From Iraqi War Zone

By Kristina Davis

Union-Tribune Staff Writer

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Scott Linnett / Union-Tribune

Marine Major Brian Dennis greets Nubs

They spent months in an Iraqi war zone cementing a special bond.

But after more than a month of being apart, Marine Maj. Brian Dennis began to worry if Nubs the dog would still remember him, especially in a new place like San Diego.

Their reunion early Saturday at Camp Pendleton clearly showed otherwise.

The 2-year-old old dog, named for his two nubby ears, drenched Dennis’ face with doggie kisses and said hello with excited whimpers.

“You remember that, huh?” Dennis said as he rubbed the dog’s head.

Dennis, an F-18 pilot stationed at Miramar Marine Corp Air Station, was among several Marines to return home from a seven-month tour in Iraq early Saturday.

Among those who also returned was a group that fell in love with seven puppies and also had them brought back to San Diego. They plan to reunite with their new dogs at 3 p.m. At the Rancho Coastal Humane Society.

Nubs, a German shepherd/border collie mix, came to San Diego a month earlier after friends, family and complete strangers raised $3,500 for the dog’s trip out of Iraq.

“It’s almost like ‘Lassie Come Home’ in Iraq,” said Dennis’ mother, Marsha Cargo, who anxiously waited for the unit’s arrival in the wee hours of the morning.

Dennis met Nubs in the Al Anbar Province where the dog ran wild at an Iraqi Border Fort. When Nubs was a puppy, an Iraqi sliced off most of his ears in an attempt to make the dog tough and more alert.

Another time, Nubs was stabbed with a screwdriver, and Dennis nursed him back to health.

When Dennis’ unit, the Border Transition Team, moved camp 70 miles away, Nubs somehow tracked them to their new location two days later.

It was against the rules to keep the dog in camp, and friends jumped in to bring Nubs to San Diego.

“Once he found us there, it seemed like this was supposed to have happened,” Dennis said Saturday. “After he walked all that distance, it seemed like he was supposed to end up in San Diego.”

For the past month, Eric Sjoberg, one of Dennis’ Marine buddies, has been caring for Nubs along with Dennis’ other dog, Bogey.

Nubs has also been learning new tricks and how to behave in a different environment with some help from a dog trainer.

“After running two years out in the desert, he’s got a personality on him,” Sjoberg said.

Dennis said his first outing with Nubs will be a jog on the beach.

“It will consummate the whole journey, going from the sand of Iraq to the sand of San Diego.”

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28.JPGThe first nice day in a week and we’ve enjoyed our outings. I took advantage of the warm sun and bathed both of my stinky furfaces. They need to smell good for Zeke’s vet visit and our trip to the mountains.

Now they both smell of jasmine and have fluffy, shining coats. Both are pouting with me. They are now out on the balcony wishing evil upon me. This will last until they need another walk or dinner. At which time, all will be forgiven. 

Jeff is having a week of warm sun and driving southern roadways… his favorite. Actually, he thinks all of us are nuts, can’t drive and should be banned from the roads.

24.JPGHe gets so cranky with the leisurely pace of southern drivers! Stop and smell the roses, I tell him! He growls, “I’d love to… if these people would just get out of my way so I could leave the interstate! The speed limit is 65! They’re going 35! What’s wrong with these people! I hate Georgia, Alabama, etc.!” Grouch!

Being a damn yankee, he just doesn’t get it. Poor man. I love him, so I try to make allowances for his misconceptions and constant need to get there in a hurry.

And he doesn’t like peas or beans, collards or turnips, either. And he hasn’t once begged me to make cornbread… and I make great cornbread.

                       He had a deprived childhood.

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Blessings… Glo

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calvinhobbes

My friend, Meg, sent the following safety points for women to me and I wanted to pass it along.

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We live in a world that is full of predators. Sometimes we women need to be reminded of this.

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Because of recent abductions in daylight hours, I am passing along these things to do

in an emergency situation…

This is for you, and/or for you to share with your wife, your children, everyone you know.

After reading these 9 crucial tips, forward them to someone you care about.

It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

  

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do : The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2. From a tourist guide in New Orleans:  If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you…. chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. (DON’T DO THIS!) The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR , LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.

5. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF!

Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

6. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

 

A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat

 

B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

C.) Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger tiger side.. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

 

7. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)

8. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, Preferably in a zig -zag pattern!

9. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of suspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked “for help” into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted  his next victim.

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Another Safety Point:

Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door. The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.He told her that they think a serial killer has a babys cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear babys cries outside their doors when they’re home alone at night.

Please pass this on. DO NOT open the door for a crying baby —-

This e-mail should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on Americas Most Wanted this past Saturday when they profiled the serial killer in Louisiana

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Id like you to forward this to all the women you know.

It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle.

I was going to send this to the ladies only, but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you may want to pass it onto them, as well.

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Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it and its better to be safe than sorry..

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