A Dog is Part of the Family

I love dogs. My dog is always part of my family!

Dogs can heal you

The relationship I have with my dog is one of the strongest relationships I have in my life, as that relationship is one of the reasons I am now back to being a contributing member of society after I suffered from a burnout, PTSD and an autoimmune disease.

As a Certified Health Counselor I was helping other people live their best life, but I had to stop working for Organice Your Life for a few years, as I suddenly had to focus on my own health. I got a dog and started my process back to health. Not knowing it would take me a few years. But my dog is the reason I am back :)

My life with dogs

When my dog Vito passed away a few years ago, I was devastated for months on end and it set me back again for a while. It only got better when I ended up adopting Bane. Both dogs we found in a shelter, both did not have the best past and present, but their future was going to be for sure very great! I went to the shelter a few times to meet different dogs, to see which one fit best with me and my life. Then Vito turned out to be the best fit. Later in life when Vito had passed, I found Bane. It was meant to be. I have a special place in my heart for the dogs that are the most difficult to adopt, and I don't mind a challenge. It feels great when you can prove to everybody that the dog that everybody passed on, is now this awesome dog living a wonderful life!

Any dog - no matter how bad their situation is - can become a GREAT dog in a balanced, stable and loving environment. Do not give up on any dog!

My dog Bane
My dog Bane

A dog is part of the family

My dog is a valued family member in our home, and I take his wellbeing in consideration every single day. Taking care of my dog takes a lot of time, but what I get back is unconditional love, and a household in harmony. It takes a lot of work, but it is worth it! We are a team and wherever I go, Bane goes. He is very respectful of our home, but can sit and sleep anywhere he wants to. We have a special understanding between us, which I cherish as I invested so much time and attention into him to get us to where we are now.

A dog needs a lot of care and attention

What I don't get is that so many people get a dog, and just think that they don't have to put much time and effort into it, because hey, it is "Just a dog". Why don't they just get a stuffed animal I wonder? A dog has a soul and feelings. They crave love, understanding, attention and cuddles.

To me it seems to be just about as much work to do it right, as taking care of a child. I mean, you need to feed them, give them regular exercise (at least 1.5 hours a day but I take him everywhere and we walk sometimes 4, 5 hours a day). You need to take them to the vet regularly, you need to watch them all the time just like you have to look after a young child. (Adult dogs apparently have the mental capacity of a 2.5 year old.) All together it is full on work and a lot of responsibility! Not only for the dog, but also for your family and society, as you have to make sure all stay safe all the time.

Adopt a shelter dog

Some people don't do a lot of research and want a purebred puppy just because they like the look of it. And puppies are sooo cute of course! They then pay a lot of money to get a purebred puppy somewhere. But I will tell you the truth about dogs: The shelters are overcrowded with every type of dog - mixes AND purebreds - so it makes no sense to get a puppy. Because when you get a puppy, ANY PUPPY, one dog in the shelter gets killed. Yearly about 2.4 million dogs get killed in shelters across the USA.... I wrote about it before. Many times it turns out that the puppy people bought was not a good match, because it grew up and is not as cute anymore, or it needs much more attention and exercise than they are willing to give, and so that dog ends up in a shelter. Be smart and get a rescue dog with the help of a reputable rescue organization! There is one close to you! And it is much cheaper than getting a purebred as well!

Check out my other articles on helping shelter dogs:

5 reasons to adopt a shelter dog

10 ways to help a dog in need

Good People help dogs in need

Luckily there are many people who go above and beyond to help dogs in need. I salute every one of them, because it is a very difficult task, and it breaks your heart all the time when you see the suffering many dogs have to go through.

Quotes that I love:

"Saving one dog will not change the World, but surely for that dog the World will change Forever"Unknown

And:

"People who say money can't bring happiness, have probably never paid an adoption fee"Unknown

So true!

I love my dog Bane

My rescue dog Bane is with me now for 2 years. It amazes me how he still improves and gets better every day, after all that he has been through in his young life! I can still teach him new things, even though he already probably knows more than 99% of dogs in the World! I still can't believe that he was one of those millions of dogs that end up in the shelter yearly, and he was almost one of the 2.4 million dogs that are killed at shelters each year! Luckily he got rescued in the nick of time by Animal Haven in NYC, the place where he stayed for 10 months until we found each other.. and the rest is history!

I will share more stories about Bane, Vito and how I care and work with my dog each day, and you can follow him as well on his own instagram page Everybody Loves Bane!

And never forget:

Love, Lonneke

first published in 2018, updated in 2019

 


Lonneke Talks I'M Back Youtube video

Lonneke Talks: I'm Back!

I have decided to start making videos again! I will post them on my Youtube channel. Hopefully people will enjoy them and if my information can help a few people, that would be great!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqrnGrVrIqI&t=119s

Why I stopped filming for a while

I took a break for a while due to things that happened in my life the past years. I was forced to spend my time focusing on other things. I will address these one by one in the future. I think if I share my story of what happened to me it can help others in the process. I will do the videos in English or Dutch depending on the subject. I do a lot of research for each video, so you can call them "journalistic" pieces if you want to.

Topics of my Lonneke Talks Youtube videos will include:

  • Healthy Living
  • Animal Welfare
  • My life in NYC
  • Living in the USA under President Trump
  • Things happening in the country I was born and raised: the Netherlands

 

You can watch old videos and see what I have been working on selflessly the past years, because I felt strongly about these causes. After 20 years of working as model around the World, I took a sabbatical 7(!) years to focus on my health, and give back to my community and work on causes that I love. In my process of healing from a severe stress disorder (PTSD/Burnout/autoimmune disease) over these past years I decided together with my therapist that I would spend time on causes that made me happy and did not stress me out. I was not able to take on work, but little projects that I could do whenever I felt good enough, would be the best use of my precious time, and only if I had a good day. So I did :)

These projects included:

OrganiceYour Life.com

Giving people tips on healthy and organized living. I noticed a lot of healthy people sharing information online to stay healthy and live an organized life, but what happens if you fall ill like I did? Not many people who are living with a chronic illness or auto immune disease are open about it or share insights on how to get back to health and stay healthy. In the USA alone it is estimated that 50 million people suffer from one or more autoimmune diseases, so it is important that we help each other to feel our best! And it took me 7 (!) years to start feeling a bit normal again, still with some bad days now and then. It is all about managing my health every second of the day. And stress is definitely a big factor so I do everything to avoid it as much as possible as it is bad for my health! Unfortunately sometimes the stress comes from other people and you need to find ways to deal with it so it does not break you.

I share my tips and tricks on this website!

READ MORE: Organize Your Life: Make your House your Home

READ MORE: Managing your High Performance Life

Videos for Organiceyourlife.com

The past I did a few videos about healthy living in NYC for my website organiceyourlife.com. I liked to go to the farmers market, filmed a few recipes and interviewed a few inspiring people as I like having a good conversation with interesting individuals. You can watch all videos on my youtube channel GetOrganiced

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3VijUsmWW4&t=2s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLjPuj_MYUI&t=1s

 

Advising on laws regarding breed specific legislation in the Netherlands

Animal Welfare: We traveled to the Netherlands because we received an invitation of a dutch representative of the House, and met Dutch minister Schouten who was responsible for Laws regarding dogs in the Netherlands. There was a strong lobby to install a ban on certain breeds and having an American Staffordshire Terrier named Bane myself who is a trained service dog and who saved 2 lives so far, I wanted to introduce them to him so they know who they are targeting. I have experience with Pitbull type dogs and rehabilitating them, and have done extensive research on these bans Worldwide . Therefore I know they do not work, and in many cases they work the opposite way: more bite incidents. Because any dog can bite when in the wrong hands. You need to target the cause, not the result. Knowing the devastating deadly and costly effects of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), I urged her to not install a Law discriminating against certain breeds but install laws that are equal to all breeds and owners. I brought Bane to the Dutch House of Representatives and met different representatives and the minister herself. The best is when people see for themselves what they are dealing with. Of course the people who lobby for the ban ran away from us and did not want to get introduced. Scared little puppies they were!

Result of my efforts to stop BSL in the Netherlands

I am happy to say that despite the lobby for BSL and previous Secretary of State van Dam who wanted to instal BSL, this minister was so smart to request a research, and the report basically supported my findings as well. Instead, Minister Schouten installed laws that are equal to all breeds and she got rid of a list of 21 so called "High risk" breeds. Even though it cost me money, time and energy to be involved and I did not get paid for my advice I feel very accomplished and happy that Bane and I could do our bit to stop this madness in the Netherlands all the way from the USA. But people need to always be vigilant as at the next election another minister will enter the scene.

Below are 2 videos regarding this subject, in dutch. The first one is explaining what was happening, and the second explaining my visit to the house of representatives.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMAQ_mZwsAw&t=12s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpE5P0qgsSI&t=34s

 

Dutch Politics

I also shared a few videos explaining the political system in the Netherlands. Because I am interested how the system works and how laws are made. I do a lot of research on it and on the judicial system over there and want to explain it to the Americans over here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN0nlrziN6c&t=3s

Life in America and the election of President Trump

I predicted Donald Trump to become president and made a few videos about his election and his first weeks. I did these videos in dutch to show the people in the Netherlands what is truly happening here as many Mainstream media outlets did not show the Truth. It seems that not much has changed and I might have to do more videos on this subject.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F232UIvJ4Ug&t=15s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkCU5TmbXJo&t=26s

And of course I like to talk about supporting good work by people and charitable organizations! This video is one that is special as I went to visit Animal Haven shelter in my neighborhood. They saved my dog Bane from death row and homed him for 10 months before I adopted him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyQtRSaiNOo

Court case of my abused dressage horse U2

This case has been going on for more than 6 years believe it or not! On May 20th, 2020 we will have to go to Court again in the Netherlands to have this case examined by 3 judges in the Appeal. The issue is that my horses were not treated with respect and care. They were abused. I do not condone any abuse, especially not when you have paid a lot of money for good care and training of your horses. I have found a great place for my horses to retire and spend the rest of their lives in harmony. You will hear more about it all of course!

READ MORE: 10 Charities to Give to this Year

End of my update

That is a little update on the things I have been doing the past years while trying to heal myself and deal with things from the past.

Youtube

I promise you my videos will be different than any other Youtube channel on Youtube, simply because I am not interested in any of the extreme entertainment, celebrity, and showing off mentality that most of them expose. I want to show real stories, and aim for fair and balanced videos to give you a balanced view so you can form your own opinion. I will also write more in-depth articles for organiceyourlife.com based on these videos.

Hope to see you soon on my Youtube Channel!

Love,

Lonneke

 


Me with Betty & Jerry

A day at the beach with friends

A spontaneous trip to the beach is a great thing to do to unwind!

A day at the Beach

Let me take you down memory lane again, as this lovely memory just popped in my head: Once upon a time many years ago when I was visiting the Netherlands for work, I went to meet top model Dewi Driegen right after the job finished. So we decided to take her dogs to the beach! This beach in Wijk aan Zee was about 35 minutes from Amsterdam, and it is famous for kite surfing. So we saw many of these kite surfers on the beach. (you can see the many kites in the air if you look closely). The dogs enjoyed it a lot, and therefore we did too!

Beach Wijk aan Zee

 

I don't have a picture of me and fellow-Dutchie Dewi unfortunately ( I do have many with her dogs Betty & Jerry). Dewi and I were just there having a good time unwinding and relaxing with the Sun on our faces while catching up. I met her through modeling (during fashion week in Milan in 2006 I believe), so we both knew what our crazy modeling lives felt like, so it was always nice to catch up.

 

Me and JerryMe with Betty & Jerry

Beach club

I am always very pleased when I go to new places and restaurants that implement organic in a very natural way. Just like beach club Aloha. The food was delicious and all organic and many healthy options. And a great mindset also:

 

Pumpkin soup at Aloha

(Ok, I did have a slice of the delicious Apple pie. but sssst, don't tell anyone!)

Eating apple pie

We had a great day!

I always loved doing spontaneous things. When your life is "organiced", you have the time to do just that. I still get stressed out when my week is planned ahead. I prefer to just go with the flow. And spontaneously visiting the beach with friends to just relax and unwind, is one of those great things that bring joy to my life! I love to visit the beaches in New York State, especially in the Fall. Because I am not a bikini-beach person, I am more of a windy-Fall-bring-your-dogs- kind of beach person :) The beaches in New York State remind me of beaches on Texel, the island in the Netherlands that we visited yearly with my family when I was a child. So I hope to visit the NY coastline here with my love, family, friends and my own dog sometime soon!

Love, Lonneke

First published on August 10th 2012, updated in 2019


Support the ASPCA

One cause that is important to me, is the care of abused and neglected pets all over the world. If you live in America there is the ASPCA: the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty against Animals. 

ASPCA

The ASPCA takes in dogs, cats, horses and other animals that need our help. Please take a moment of your time and go to their website, to read one of the stories of the animals they care for.

And hopefully you want to support them by thinking of them next time you want to add a pet to your family. They have amazing dogs, cats and horses that can be adopted once they have passed the vet check.

Every rescue and treatment is paid for with donations. I have seen what they do with the money with my own eyes. It is put where it is needed the most: The animals.

The ASPCA NYC organizes many fun events to raise even more awareness and money for the animals.

Lonneke at an ASPCA event

 

With donations, they were able to upgrade their facility in the upper West side in NYC a few years ago. The dogs and cats have now bigger more open rooms and spaces to play together. It truly looks like an animal heaven.

Adopt don't shop

Unfortunately a lot of people still think of animals as just an "accessory" or "thing" and still a lot of animals are neglected or abused. We can all help to stop this, keep an eye out in your neighborhood to animal abuse, and notify your local animal rescue organization. You can also donate money; every little generous gift counts. As well as your time: You can even apply to become a volunteer! There is a lot to do, Every animal needs care, time, and cuddles!

UPDATE October 16th 2019: The ASPCA, together with the NYPD Paws cruelty investigation busted a dog fighting operation in New York City. Thirty dogs were saved and I hope they will be rehabilitated and adopted out to loving homes!

www.aspca.org

Love, Lonneke

First published on July 19th 2013, Updated in 2019