WELCOME, LUNA! How a Puppy Helps Us Through a Pandemic
I t has been an unprecedented last couple months. The coronavirus and the forced quarantine have undoubtedly shifted lives and created loss and pain in our community. With each day, more and more information is presented on how the virus spreads and how to combat it, and we have no choice but to stay in the loop. For those who have remained healthy, it is important to continue distancing and taking the recommended measures to keep ourselves and others safe, despite the restlessness and discomfort. For our family, this season has given us more time with one another, which fortunately has brought us closer together overall. But it has definitely not been easy. Coming home to a clean house after work has transitioned into our “quarantine cleaning routine,” where we clean a part of the house and then our toddlers destroy it within the hour (This happens multiple times a day.) Then there are the kids’ daytime naps which they are no longer interested in taking. A few weeks into the quarantine, things changed for us when Myles looked on the Nextdoor app and discovered that someone in our neighborhood was selling a Bernedoodle puppy nearby. A day later, her name was Luna and she was ours. The middle of a pandemic might sound like the worst time to bring a pet into the family, but Luna turned out to be the best thing we could have done in our situation. Luna isn’t just our children’s first dog. She is also the first pet Genet has ever had. Genet was a little afraid of pets when she was young. In fact, holding Luna on our drive home from the breeder was the longest Genet had ever held any animal. Now, Luna and our family are inseparably one. While having a new dog certainly comes with stress and new responsibilities, the joy Luna gives us and the lessons she provides have been positive for us all. Our children love watching Luna and offering her their toys,
even when she is too comfortable to get up from her polka-dot doggy bed. Training Luna gives us more patience and teaches our children about discipline. Taking care of an animal that cannot speak for herself helps our children develop empathy and unconditional compassion for others. This experience has broken down a lot of walls for our family, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Having Luna around the house has shifted our focus in a positive way. Not everyone can take on the responsibility of bringing a new pet into their home right now, which is understandable. However, if you are interested, we recommend researching organizations in our community that help animals find homes. Who knows? You might find it does your family a lot of good.
–Genet & Myles Johnson
How to Stay in Touch With Family and Friends
WHILE FOLLOWING SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are encouraging communities across the U.S. to practice social distancing. While this will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, it also means that social interactions will be minimal. In addition to impeding many industries and businesses, this has significant impacts on families and friends who can no longer visit each other in person. Luckily, the technology we have today allows us to stay in touch while still practicing social responsibility.
friends while you can monitor their activity. Get in touch with other parents to set up virtual play dates over video chats for your kids. They can even watch a movie or TV show together.
Spruce up everyday activities .
Hopping on the phone or your laptop to video chat is a great way to reach out and catch up with loved ones. While folding laundry or doing other mundane chores, give a friend or your parents a call to idly chat; it can make your tedious tasks much more enjoyable. Video calls are also beneficial if, for example, you’re missing out on your daily workouts with a friend. Hop on a video chat to practice yoga, cardio, or other simple exercise routines together.
Host a movie night.
Speaking of movies, Netflix developed a unique way for people to watch movies and shows together: Netflix Party. If you have a desktop or laptop with a Chrome browser, visit NetflixParty.com to download the application. Once downloaded, open the movie or TV series you’d like to watch, create or join a “party,” then relax and enjoy the show while chatting with friends. These are only a few examples of how we can stay in touch during these concerning times. Talk with your family and friends and see what other creative ideas you can come up with together. Even though you may be apart from loved ones right now, virtual communication has never been easier or more plentiful.
Let your kids chat with friends.
Kids can benefit from video chatting by staying in touch with their friends while school and other activities are canceled. Letting your kids connect to social media is a pretty big step, so consider signing them up for Yoursphere or Kidzworld, kid-friendly networks that let them keep in touch with their
Give Your Kid the Gift of a Green Thumb
Yes, there will always be football season, basketball season, and soccer season, but right now, it’s gardening season. That means it’s time to roll up your sleeves and play in the dirt. If you’ve been searching for a way to get the kids away from technology and engaged with the real world, gardening is the perfect activity for the whole family to enjoy. Not only is it fun, but it’s also beneficial for your kids’ development. For example, gardening can improve your children’s analytical abilities. As Dr. Wendy Matthews says, “Gardening exercises important reasoning, initiation, planning, and organization skills.” Furthermore, several studies, including one at Texas A&M University, suggest that gardening improves a child’s attitude toward fruits and vegetables and may make themmore likely to choose them as snacks. Gardening helps kids identifywith where their food is coming from, and nothing tastes better than a freshly picked strawberry or pea pod they grew themselves.
Jack Gilbert, a scientist at the University of Chicago and a parent himself, and his co-author, Rob Knight, emphasize the health benefits of garden time in their book, “Dirt Is Good: The Advantage
of Germs for Your Child's Developing Immune System.” The two found that exposure to different microbes, like those found in a garden, strengthens a child’s immune system and makes them less likely to develop allergies. If this is your first time gardening, you don’t need much to get started. Grab a few shovels, a pair of gloves for each family member, and fresh potting soil, and you’ll be set. Then, you can decide together which plants you’d like to grow! Carrots are fun because of the surprise factor — just imagine your child discovering that the part they eat grows below the ground! Peas are tasty and fairly easy to grow, as are strawberries. The options really are endless. Depending on the growing season in your area, you can choose to buy seeds or opt for rooted plants.
Last but certainly not least, the best part of gardening as a family is the healthy, fresh produce you’ll get to enjoy all summer long!
What motivates people to go to law school? Like many things in life, it depends. One common reason, though, is a desire to improve the world or to help a subset of people or a particular cause. After completing law school, it can take time for attorneys to determine which practice area is their calling. For Yasaman Saeedasr, one of our Associate Attorneys, she was first drawn to criminal lawwhile obtaining her undergraduate degree in Iran. “My family always encouraged me to get a higher education,” Yasaman says. “The only question was what I would do with that education. As a female living in a male-dominated society, it was always fascinating to me to see female lawyers. The legal system in Iran is very different than in other countries, and there are many human rights that are violated in my country. People need good legal representation. This is what motivated me to go to law school.” Yasaman completed her undergraduate work for law school in Iran, but when her path changed, she began law school at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law before completing law school at the University of Denver. After passing the Colorado Bar Exam, Yasaman began practicing in workers’ compensation defense. Very quickly, Yasaman realized this area of lawwas not fulfilling to her and transitioned to family law. “I switched to family law because I feel I can make a difference in the lives of families, both for the kids and for the parents,” Yasaman explains. “It’s so important for kids to have the support of both their parents in their lives. Even though the family is changing, the love between kids and their parents doesn’t have to change. I came to Johnson LawGroup because I could see how supportive everyone is here, both to their colleagues and to their clients. They go above and beyond so families can start this new chapter of their lives in the best possible position. It always means so much to have a client call and thank me for helping them be able to spend more time with their kids. That’s how I know I have done my job well.” Outside of work, Yasaman spends lots of time cooking with her husband, JK. Their kitchen is full of various dishes, often Iranian foods, which is Yasaman’s specialty. They also enjoy camping, hiking, and hanging out with their dog, Emily.
SPRINGTIME CACIO E PEPE Inspired by EatingWell
Nothing is more comforting than a big bowl of cacio e pepe , which is Italian for cheese and pepper. This dish combines a wholesome flavor profile with fresh, seasonal ingredients to satisfy any craving.
● 6 oz multigrain spaghetti
● 8 oz fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
● 1 tbsp olive oil
● 1 tsp lemon zest
● 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
● 1/2 tsp black pepper
● 1 cup baby arugula
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. In a large pot, cook spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of water before draining and put spaghetti in a covered pot to keep warm. 3. Line a 15x10-inch baking pan with foil and toss in asparagus and olive oil. 4. Cook asparagus for 5–7 minutes and sprinkle with lemon zest. 5. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved water, Parmesan cheese, and pepper to the spaghetti. Stir until creamy. 6. Toss in asparagus and arugula before serving.
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The Best Time for Us to Adopt a Puppy
Technology Saves the Day
What Is Gardening Good For?
Yasaman Saeedasr on Preserving Love
Springtime Cacio e Pepe
Americans Step Up to Save Pets During the Pandemic
A (FURRY) FRIEND IN NEED
Animal Shelters See an Increase in Pet Fostering During the Pandemic
In times of stress and uncertainty, we all look for connections to hold on to. Many Americans are finding that connection in an unexpected, heartwarming place. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, animal shelters across the United States have seen a dramatic increase in fostering and adoptions. Petpoint, a data management system, analyzed figures from 1,200 animal welfare organizations. During the week of March 14–20, there was a 93% increase in animals going to foster homes compared to the previous week. This is wonderful news, considering that many adoption events had to be canceled due to COVID-19. “In times like these, shelters are going to be absolutely swamped with a tremendous number of pets,” says Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the nonprofit American Humane. “We have to be able to provide safety valves for those shelters to release some of their populations into fostering homes.”
themselves. By putting a pet in a safe foster home, animal shelters have more space and resources to help more animals. At the same time, foster pets better acclimate to life in a home, which can help them get adopted to a permanent home later. Additionally, volunteers experience the benefits of having a pet around, which can help alleviate some of the stress of social distancing. Many shelters are seeing more volunteers choose to adopt their foster pets themselves. “These companion animals are only going to help make us healthier,” says Ganzert. “They’re going to remove anxiety and [the stress hormone] cortisol from our bodies and allow us to have stronger immune systems to fight the pandemic.” Animal shelters have enacted safety measures, including virtual meet- and-greets and curbside pickups, to help fight the spread of COVID-19 while allowing people to safely continue fostering or adopting animals in need. Thinking about fostering a pet yourself? Visit AdoptAPet. com/animal-shelters
When people offer to foster pets, that generous act helps the animals, the animal shelters, and the volunteers
to find an animal shelter near you.
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