Thursday, September 29, 2016

Dog Is My Co-Pilot

I'm trying something a little different tonight.
Several months ago, I was asked to speak to an Alzheimer support group on September 29; it's a group I've spoken to twice before so I'm pleased they like me enough to invite me back.This time, however, they asked for something specific: "Could you make it light? We've had a lot of heavy stuff the past couple of meetings."
An idea has been sitting in the back of my mind for over a year, waiting for the opportunity to be tried out -- so tonight I'm doing that. Tonight's presentation is called "Everything I Know About Caregiving, I Learned From My Dog". The unofficial sub-title is "Dog Is My Co-Pilot". I decided this was the opportunity to grasp (familiar venue, supportive audience) to try out this concept and see if it works.
Based on the five years I helped take care of a father with Alzheimer AND raised Stella from a puppy, and inspired by all the mistakes I made, this presentation is meant to present familiar information in a lighter, less formal way: the titles are from dog training and the photos are of Stella.
After a couple of run-throughs, I realize the only snag I could hit while making this presentation is providing too many anecdotes. There are so many stories to illustrate my points and stories are often how we remember information best. So that's the one thing I have to watch out for tonight: following my outline (which includes the most pertinent stories) and not getting too chatty.
If the presentation flops, at least I know it ends well: with Stella's advice to "Just keep smiling!"

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