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Balanced Parenting Newsletter

To Love and Lose a Pet                                                                  August, 2009

In This Issue
Parenting Tip of the Month
Bette's Speaking Engagements
It's Better to Have Loved and Lost...
Coffee with Bette
Support for Parents
Coming Soon...Parenting Backward
Balanced Parenting Tip of the Month
Summer Splendor!
Summertime brings with it many changes in schedules and deviations galore from daily routines.  This is all good if you are hoping to teach your children flexibility, but it often makes getting kids to eat and sleep at a decent time a chore!
Even with the parties and all of the fun that summer can include, keep one eye on the clock and attempt to feed your kids within a one hour range when possible and put them to bed around the same time each night - even if it's later than they're used to during the school year!
Speaking Engagements
I am now scheduling speaking engagements for the coming school year.
Please feel free to introduce me to your child's school or your parent group. 
Dates are filling quickly!
 I would be honored to be introduced to your school, group, or company!  
That was the bank where we  deposited all our hurts and worries."
T. DeWitt Talmage

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If you have any thoughts, suggestions, class ideas, article requests, constructive criticism or otherwise great ideas, feel free to let us know! 

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Balanced Parenting
Summer is flying by! I can't believe it's already August! I hope this month's newsletter finds you relaxed and enjoying the crazy and lazy days of summer.  
This month, I thank you for allowing me to share my family's experience of losing our beloved dog, Havi, and welcoming a new member into our family.
Wishing you balance,
"It's better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all." 
Alfred Lord Tennyson 
Six years ago my kids were 12, 8 and 3 and all three of them were afraid of dogs, yet the older two thought they wanted one anyway.  After a lot of thought, research and discussion, we decided to become a dog family.   
 We approached L.I.F.E. Animal Rescue and asked them to find us the best and sweetest family dog to join our family and to break our kids of their fear of dogs. After several weeks of showing up on adoption day only to be told, "No, not yet" we arrived one Saturday to hear Emily say, "We've got your dog!"  Of course, panic filled my body and I thought, "Oh, no! What are we doing?"
Well, to say we hit the jackpot of dogs would be an understatement.  Havi quickly became a member of our family and loved us back as much as we had grown to love her. For six years, we loved our sweet Havi and she truly took care of us.  She guarded our house, faithfully scaring the mailman away each day and announcing the arrival of our visitors.  Nudging us for love if our hands were idle and always staying close so as not to miss a minute of our love.
Havi laid under my desk as I worked each day at my computer and checked on my kids in their beds each night before putting herself to bed in my husband's and my bedroom.  She was the smartest and most loving dog!
Unfortunately, in April our dear Havi was diagnosed with encephalitis and lived another 7 weeks until June 5th, when we had to say our very sad goodbye to the best dog ever.
We all learned so much from having loved and lost our dear dog.  She taught us how to be a dog family, she taught us about unconditional love by example.  Our sweet Havi also taught us how to lose someone we loved so much, how to band together to get through it and how to move through the grief that followed as a family.  The house felt so empty at first.  We all talked about Havi daily in the days after her death and lots of tears were shed - mostly by me. We loved remembering the funny things she did - like leaving me a pizza crust under my pillow when we went out of town.  That was the ultimate act of love, don't you think?  She also taught us that we could laugh through our tears. 
Well, some time has passed and we decided it was time to welcome a new pet into our home. I suppose I felt a sense of urgency as my daughter is leaving in just a few weeks for college and I didn't want her to feel left out of the process as we learn to love and adapt to our new dog. 
Last Tuesday, we welcomed Lacey into our family.  She is sweet and smart and lots of fun!  Lacey has a happy spirit and a playful demeanor.  We have grown to love her in such a short time.  Of course, we still miss our Havi, but Lacey reminds us that life moves on and even a broken heart can grow to make room to love again.
Coffee with Bette  coffee cup
Our next Coffee with Bette will be this coming Tuesday, August 4th from 9:30 to 11 A.M. at Chocolatine in Thousand Oaks.  Come ask me your parenting questions in one of my favorite settings!  Have a latte and a pastry and some stimulating parenting chat!  Check out my website for the full address.   
Balanced Parenting Website 
Parents, kids, grandparents - everyone is welcome! 
P.S.  Don't forget, the parenting advice is free, but the coffee and pastries are not.  :)

Balanced Parenting's
Groups and Classes
Our On-Going Group for
Parents of Preschoolers
will meet next on 
August 12th, 2009
7:30 - 9:00 P.M.
Thousand Oaks 
We meet monthly for learning and support
This is an open group.
Everyone is welcome! 
 $20.00 per month per person
$30.00 per couple
 Our On-Going Group for 
 Parents of Teens and Tweens
This group is on hiatus for the summer.  Feel free to contact me if you are interested in coming in the future.
We meet monthly for learning and support
This is an open group.
Everyone is welcome!
 $20.00 per month per person
$30.00 per couple
To R.S.V.P. for any of these groups, or for further information, please e-mail
or call 805-230-2464
Feel free to pass along the information to anyone you know who might be interested!
We all need support!


Watch future newsletters for my new, very exciting seminar series called PARENTING BACKWARD.   
Coming this fall!