What’s your positive difference?

The Artdog Quote of the Week 

We know Dr. West speaks the truth. We can only do so much on our own, no matter how selflessly we dedicate our lives to making the world a better place.

That “only so much” can amount to a lot, depending on our skills, calling, and opportunities–but save the nation? Save the world? That’s a wider scope than any single human being can compass.

That’s why allies are so important. If we seek to make changes for the better, our efforts are multiplied through work in concert with others. Whatever your cause, whatever the troublement in the world that troubles you most–it troubles others, too.

Find them. Make common cause with them. Work together to create changes that no single person, no matter how influential, can create on his or her own. Not only can “many hands make light work,” but many hands can span a vastly greater distance.

And make a vastly greater difference.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Better World Quotes, from The Emily Fund for a Better World.

A “pawsitive” difference for Hospice patients

The Artdog Image(s) of Interest

This week’s “making a positive difference” (perhaps I should say a “Pawsitive” difference) Image of Interest is drawn from a video. Anyone who has followed this blog for a while has undoubtedly picked up on my love and respect for service animals of all types, but this week’s image is important to me for several reasons.

First, I have a family member whose certified Emotional Support dog has recently become a crucial part of winning her battle with addiction. Second, this week has been especially tough for several of my friends as a mutual acquaintance has gone into Hospice care for the final stage of her life.

I have long been an advocate of animal therapy for a variety of situations. this includes supporting children’s reading with dogs, therapy animals in hospitals and hospice settings, and service animals that assist the disabled, or help those with health issues (diabetes and seizure disorders to name just two) stay on top of their conditions.

Does your pet have the makings of a good therapy animal? Purebred or rescue, critters with the right temperament can make an incredible difference. I hope you’ll find inspiration in this video, which features the work of several different therapy dogs, including Lanie, who’s featured in our photo above.

IMAGE and VIDEO: Both the still photo and the video about San Diego Hospice therapy dog program demonstrate their well-deserved reputation as a “pioneering organization in end-of-life care.” Unfortunately, this program closed in 2016. I’ve chosen to post the images anyway, because they still demonstrate some of the best positive aspects of therapy animal work.

The choice is ours

The Artdog Quote of the Week 

We all know about Jane’s choices. From the very beginning, she took the opportunity to step up, to observe, to think independently, to choose compassion. No one’s perfect, but sometimes they’re the perfect person for a particular job.

Our quotes this month focus on making the world a better place. Jane did, and does, amazing things. She has demonstrated she has the will and the determination to do things that make a massive difference–for chimpanzees, and for people, too.

What opportunities lie open before you? What passions call to you, for your labors of love? What callings ignite your energies to work for a better world?

Say yes to them.

IMAGE: Many thanks to A-Z Quotes for this image!

Cleaning up our act

The Artdog Image(s) of Interest 


Last week’s Image of Interest opened my month’s Image theme of volunteering in our community as a way of making the world a better place. That photo showed kids working in a food pantry. This week it’s a photo from 2011, of the results from a cleanup effort along the Huron River. 

It reminds me of the sequence in the movie Spirited Away, when the Stink Spirit comes to the bath house for a much-needed cleansing . . . and of the aftermath left behind.

Water quality matters–just ask Flint, Michigan. Does your calling lead you to aid efforts that promote water conservation and anti-pollution efforts?

IMAGES: Many thanks to The Ann Arbor News, for the Huron River cleanup photo. I am grateful to Ouno Design for the image from the 2001 movie Spirited Away, from Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.

What does it take?

The Artdog Quote of the Week

Nelson was onto something, although “making the world a better place” is a massive goal, when we take it in the abstract.

So don’t look at it that way!

Luckily, we don’t need to have godlike powers to make a difference. As our last quote noted, it simply takes acts of kindness (random or otherwise), and the willingness to do something.

So speak up for what’s right. Pay it forward. Be gracious to those around you. Do something nice for someone, just because you can. Support a cause you believe in. Recycle. Think before you talk, or act, or hit send/post/reply. 

It really is in your hands.

IMAGE: Many thanks to The World Food Program’s Pinterest board, “Food for Thought–Inspirational Quotes.”

The value of volunteering

The Artdog Image of Interest 

One of many places where volunteers can make a world of difference is at your local food pantry.

One of the best ways you can make your world a better place is by volunteering in your community. Most places have a wealth of opportunities to volunteer.

Consider: animal shelters; food banks, soup kitchens, or homeless shelters; parks or beaches; libraries; retirement homes, nursing homes, or hospitals; charitable organizations; county elder resources, and many others. Most communities have a volunteer resource coordinator of some sort. Keep looking till you find the best fit for you!

The most amazing thing about volunteering for the betterment of your community is how good it can be for you! Making a difference in someone else’s life is a satisfaction few other pleasures can match.

Haven’t tried it? Consider doing it now!

IMAGE: Many thanks to AdmitSee for this post about the Lion’s Heart program for teens and its post “7 Easy Ways to Volunteer in Your Community.”

Random? Or not-so-random? Does it matter?

The Artdog Quote of the Week

Yes, it’s late: not Sunday night/Monday. I’m sorry. Weird week–and one in which the occasional random act of kindness would not have gone amiss. We all need them.

It’s true the random ones are unexpected blessings at unanticipated times. It’s also true they can make the world a better place.

Perhaps you’ve noticed, though: random gets harder to do, if you commit to a daily repeat. Random tends to fall into patterns, when we’re not a computer set on “randomize” (Actually, even computers set on “randomize” eventually fall into patterns, or so I’m told).

Is falling into patterns bad? Not really. Any effort to spread kindness in the world has its heart in the right place–and your patterns can tell you things about yourself, such as: what are my passions? My favorite causes? My calling?

Knowing those things about yourself is never a bad idea, either. And prepared acts of kindness? 

Well, what do you think?

IMAGE: Many thanks to the Pennies of Time Pinterest Page, “Quotes on Service and Kindness” for this image.