A dog can help you be a better speaker

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Photo of a dog behind a chain-link fence at th...
Photo of a dog behind a chain-link fence at the Paws and More No Kill Animal Shelter in Washington, Iowa. I took this picture. This looks just like my dog Yuma. He was from a shelter in Evanston Il. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new book for potential dog parents is now available for free download – it’s National Dog Week this week. If you’re a pet owner, you know how much a dog can do for your mental and physical health. For anyone feeling unsure about adopting a dog, this little e-book gives you lots of reasons why you’ll be glad you did.

Dogs make great companions, keep you healthier and all that. But did you know dogs can serve as encouraging, non-judgmental audience members to help nervous speakers improve their presentation skills?

Here’s a quote from the opening of the book, Build a Strong Bond with Your Dog: For a Healthy Mind, Spirit, Body & Community written by Kristen Levine:

…at American University’s Kogod School of Business, anxiety-prone students practice giving presentations to dogs in order to overcome their nervousness. The school claims that, “Addressing a friendly and nonjudgmental canine can lower blood pressure, decrease stress and elevate mood — perfect for practicing your speech or team presentation.”

Think about how that might work for sharing your frustrations with your dog. Hmmm. I almost adopted a dog a few weeks ago. Wonder if this book is a sign… Read more at www.kristenlevine.com.

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Artventures – a great way to see France

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Classic art and fabulous champagne with Artventures
Classic art and fabulous wines with Artventures tours

My daughter and son-in-law have been in France for the last few weeks. Which reminds me of this excellent tour guide service I learned about a few months ago at a France tourism event.

Artventures Paris is a transportation and incoming services company based in the Paris region, founded in 1998 by Didier Jordan, a French professional licensed guide for over 20 years. He and his staff are dedicated to providing the discerning traveler with the best possible travel experience in France . You can see the great and the not-so-well-known sights, and you’ll hang out with French people who love having tourists visit (which not everyone does!).

Castles, fourmet food and wine
Castles, fourmet food and wine

The company specializes in private tours – sightseeing, museums and a multitude of creative excursions from Paris – and custom-tailored tours around France with a focus on art and wine. Wish we were planning one now! Stay in a castle and eat gourmet dinners with one of their luxury tours to these regions: Paris Ile-de-France, Normandy, Loire Valley, Brittany, Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne, French Riviera and Provence.

Feel safe and be fully informed with licensed, experienced guides, and enjoy the comfortable leather seats while you ride. Whether you’re on a romantic trip with your beloved or you and a group of friends (up to 30) want to tour together, whether you speak fluent French or none, Monsieur Jordan will personally introduce you to real people in France and, together, they will all take good care of you.

 

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How do you want to die?

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A public demonstration of aerobic exercises
A public demonstration of aerobic exercises (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Remember step? My gym stsill has classes!

I always tell people – well, when the subject comes up – I could die (assuming, of course, it’d be quick and painless) happy while engaged in any of these three activities:

  • doing aerobics (especially while also singing to great music)
  • having sex with my beloved (no comment needed)
  • sleeping (with advance notice if possible, Lord)

Wouldn’t it be great if we could choose how and when we would die? Yeah, who wants to die, right? Medical developments are making it look more and more like we may be able to live to a hundred or more – and not that far into the future. Read this long but well-researched article from The Atlantic magazine called “What happens when we all live to 100?” And stay tuned for future posts on that topic.

Meanwhile, would you rather die at home than in a sterile, unfeeling hospital? Most of us would. Would you rather have your personal dignity intact than be stuffed full of hoses and pipes and drips and needles? Most of us would. This September 29, there’s a webinar you might want to listen in on: “The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America.” Read more about it here.

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