Anxiety And The Dog

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Anxiety And The Dog

“When you hear hoofbeats coming down the street, think horse – not zebra.”J.C.Peters

My dog Banksy and I both have anxiety. I can’t decide if that makes him the best dog or the worst dog for me. We live in Venice with a lot of scooters, bikes and dogs running free on the beach. He is fine as long as I carry him. I don’t think that he is well equipped with coping mechanisms.

Banksy is very excited to go in the car because it means he is not being left to fend for himself alone. Every time he gets in the car he has a panic attack. The heavy breathing, panting and crying begins. He is in the car a lot. If i open the window and he can look out, it is better. Is he claustrophobic as well?

Banksy also has a lot of fears of things that don’t really present any harm to him. At the moment he is afraid to walk on the wood floors in the house. He must have slipped and now the light reflection looks to him like we are on thin ice. If he has to walk he does it very slowly and carefully. I have to walk first to show him that its safe. Today we came home and the plumber was in the house. He wouldn’t walk in and ran down the stairs as if to say “Save yourself.” I realize now that all the barking he does when someone comes over is really just him falling into psychological chaos.

I have different fears but just as strong. Writing is a way to accept and work through the turbulences of life. Mindfulness helps – being in the here and now keeps my thoughts from looping down a bottomless pit to nowhere. Deep breathing, Qi Gong and sunset on the beach help a lot.

The funny thing about Banksy is that he can’t ask me what’s wrong but he knows when I’m in trouble and will shower me with affection to let me know things will be OK. If I begin to panic, I just look down and there is a wagging tail ready to distract me from my anxiety trigger. He also knows that I will pick him up if he is scared. The bond between someone and their dog is unique. We may be two completely different species, but we have a mutual understanding that we will take care of each other.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Things I Have Learned In South Africa

Things I Have Learned In South Africa

“Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that’s the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing. Nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him if he gives too much.” Alan Paton

Four of the five fastest land animals in the world live in South Africa: the cheetah, the springbok the wildebeest, and the lion.

DSC01635South Africa is the second largest exporter of fruit in the world.

South Africa has the longest wine route in the world.

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Walt Disney serves South African wine exclusively at its 73-acre Animal Kingdom Lodge in the United States.

South Africa is the only country in the world to voluntarily abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Peppermint crisp is something every South African grew up with.

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Drivers use the left-hand side of the road in South Africa and drive on the opposite side of the car  like London.

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South Africa is home to the highest commercial bungy jump in the world, called Bloukrans Bridge Bungy (216 meters).

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OR Tambo airport is the busiest in Africa processing about 9 million passengers a year.

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South Africa has the cheapest electricity in the world.

South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique are tearing down fences between the countries’ game parks to create a 13,500 square mile game park, which will become the largest conservation area in the world. It will be bigger than Switzerland, Belgium or Taiwan.

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South Africa is now the only country in the world to have hosted the Soccer, Cricket and Rugby World Cup! (Capetown Stadium)

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The oldest remains of modern humans were found in South Africa and are well over 160,000 years old. (Cradle Of Humankind)

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South Africa has a penguin colony, which thrives thanks to the cold Antarctic currents on the west coast near the Cape. (Boulder Beach)

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Rooibos tea has become a worldwide favorite for its fresh taste and excellent health properties. It is only grown in a small region (in the Cederberg) of South Africa and has to be exported in massive quantities from here.

What about beer? South African brewery SAB Miller ranks – by volume – as the largest brewing company in the world. Saffers love their beer…but the real reason the brewery is so big? SABMiller also supplies up to 50% of China’s beer.

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South Africa is rated thrd in the world in supplying safe, drinkable tap water.

This is the only country with two Nobel Peace Prize winners who lived on the same street. Both Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu had houses on Vilakazi Street in Soweto.

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South Africa has had an unsettled history, with apartheid policies made by the National Party enforcing a system of segregation from 1948 until 1994. (Apartheid Museum)

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Nelson Mandela was elected president in 1994 after South Africa’s first universal elections.

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The deepest mine is a gold mine in South Africa. in 1977 the Western Deep Levels Mine reached a depth of 11,749 feet. Most mines descend to about 3,300 feet.

Dr. Christiaan Barnard, at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, performed the first human heart transplant in the world in 1967. He was also the first to do a “piggyback” transplant in 1971, and he was the first to do a heart-lung transplant.

South Africa is the largest producer of meat in Africa.

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There are about 280,000 windmills on farms across South Africa, second in number only to Australia.

There are more than 2000 shipwrecks odd the coast of South Africa some dating back five hundred years.

South Africa has 19,004 miles of railway track – 80% of Africa’s rail infrastructure.

The world’s largest diamond was the Cullinan Diamond, found in South Africa in 1905. It weighed 3,106.75 carats uncut. It was cut into the Great Star of Africa, weighing 530.2 carats, the Lesser Star of Africa, which weighs 317.40 carats, and 104 other diamonds of nearly flawless color and clarity. They now form part of the British crown jewels.

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A South African sunset goes on forever.

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Fly safe,

JAZ

Phu Quoc, Viet Nam

Phu Quoc, Vietnam

“To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me.” Isaac Newton

By the time I arrive on the island of Phu Quoc, I had traveled for a few weeks and covered a lot of interesting sites. Phu Quoc island is located in the Gulf of Thailand and closer to Cambodia than Viet Nam, It is not a very well-known destination outside of Viet Nam.

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The sky was blue and it was hot. There was a beach with lounge chairs and umbrellas, clean water to swim in, a book about the Viet Nam War that I wanted to read and a beachfront restaurant and bar.

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Though there were things I wanted to see on this island, I suddenly had no pressing need to go anywhere.

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I mustered up the energy to walk down the beach and explore my surroundings. I was in the tourist area.

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There were many hotels. In fact, I got lost on the way back and had to ask which one was mine, There were a lot of tourists but I did not hear any American English. The non-English speaking Vietnamese waiters would say things like “‘wunderbar or nostrovia when appropriate. They were used to throngs of German and Russian tourists.

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Beds were set up along the beach competing for cheap massages, manicures, pedicures, threading, (hair removal – which hurts by the way).

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It was really funny to do that on the beach.

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There was definitely a separation of tourists and locals on this resort beach. In a few years I fear it will run the risk of being another “anywhere beach.”

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Five star resorts do a really good job of separating you from the culture of a country. There were all kinds of resorts in all price ranges on this beach which gave it a funky quirky atmosphere.

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Further south on the island there are quiet beaches with local fishermen, white sand, kids , crabs and shells that are easy to get to by boat.

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The hotel I stayed at was La Veranda. It  is a French colonial style hotel on the beach. A lot of the staff doesn’t speak English but they are so charming and helpful. The front office deals most efficiently with the language barrier. It’s nice to stay at a hotel that gives jobs to the local people .

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I think it is the staff which makes La Veranda so wonderful. From the moment I arrived Lian was making sure all my requests had been taken care of.

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I had the best morning yoga classes on the beach and best massage of a vacation ever with Tham from the spa.(going to yoga 7am)

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Definitely book him advance when you go.

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The manager is always visible talking to guests, getting feedback and making sure everyone is having the best experience there. The level of care at La Veranda is amazing.

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Watching the sunset on Phu Quoc, I can really feel the miracle of a day. I am grateful that I lived these days on a beautiful beach.

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Di du lịch một cách an toàn,

JAZ