More than half (61%) of Americans report that no one understands them. Today, we meet sweet folks hoping to ease this health crisis … with fun! Some dogs are zooming with lonely seniors, and one human is sewing for senior dogs.
Whether you are a senior human or a senior dog, you're at risk for loneliness. Today, two stories about how folks are building fun into the lives of the lonely.
Zooming With Dogs
Therapy dogs carry a license to visit folks in nursing homes and medical facilities ... but the pandemic put a stop to that. That left an opening for Unlicensed dogs to step in! Jennifer Bashford of Pets Together explains how her nonprofit connects dogs to seniors. It turns out that dogs are excellent virtual chatters!
A Stitch in Time Can Save a Canine
Sir Darius Brown is a teen entrepreneur with an instinct for marketing shelter dogs. His compassion for lonely seniors whose fate is dire prompted him to help them get noticed. How? Hand-sewn bowties, of course! He's helped 1,000 senior dogs dress to impress and attracted praise from Barack Obama. Listen to his story of how a simple fine motor skill exercise (sewing) launched a life of activism.
Jim and Pam stop by the hydrant to sniff out the latest dog gossip, innuendo, jokes, and notes. This week, Wiggles settles into his new home after 11 years at the shelter … and weird science factoids about paw preferences.
3:31 Zooming with a Dog – Pets Together to Soothe Social Isolation
12:44 A Stitch in Time Can Save A Canine – Meet Sir Darius Brown
19:21 The Hydrant
23:18 On the Next Episode
Jennifer Bashford – Pets Together
Jennifer Bashford is Executive Director of Pets Together, a nonprofit offering free virtual pet therapy to individuals suffering from social isolation. She lives in the North Carolina mountains with her 5 special needs rescue dogs and her husband. She holds master’s degrees in both public policy and gerontology and has been involved in non-profit management for over ten years. Working with Pets Together is the perfect blend of all her passions. When she isn’t on a Zoom call with a long-term care facility, you can usually find her hiking or kayaking with one of her dogs.
Follow Pets Together on Instagram @petstogethervisits
And Facebook https://www.facebook.com/petstogether
Sir Darius Brown
Sir Darius Brown, the 14-year-old with a heart of gold is a powerhouse teen entrepreneur, speaker, philanthropist, animal advocate and founder of Beaux & Paws. He creates handmade stylish bow ties. In 2019, Sir Darius’s created the "PAW-SOME MISSION". The goal for the mission is to ship bow ties to and visit animal shelters in all 50 states. Upon visiting the animal shelters Sir Darius will be donating his bow ties personally, assisting with adoption events, and using his platform of over 50K followers on social media to highlight adoptable pets and give them even more exposure to help them find forever homes faster.
Here’s What We Found at The Hydrant
Wiggles the Senior Dog Finally Gets Adopted
Dogs Have a Hand (paw) Preference
>> James Jacobson: [00:00:00] Hi, I'm James Jacobson.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:00:03] And I'm Pamela Lorence.
>> James Jacobson: [00:00:05] Welcome to Dog Edition. The first show designed for you to listen to while you walk your dogs.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:00:12] I have some news.
>> James Jacobson: [00:00:13] Yes.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:00:14] I got to go out to dinner last week.
>> James Jacobson: [00:00:16] Ooh. Wow. Like in a restaurant where they serve you.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:00:21] Yes. Yes I did. We did sit outside, but yeah, the whole restaurant experience, it was amazing. Have you gotten there yet?
>> James Jacobson: [00:00:28] Not yet, but I'm looking forward to that. April 30th will mark 15 days since my Pfizer jab. And so May 1st, May Day is my day, uh, that my wife and I are celebrating. Molly and I are going out to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants and I made those reservations weeks ago in anticipation of this special day.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:00:49] Wow. Yeah, you were very smart to make that reservation ahead of time, because I think a lot of people are getting vaccinated now and those reservations are, are going.
>> James Jacobson: [00:01:00] They are, and it's gonna feel so good because you know, during this pandemic, we've been really, really careful about being good citizens and not, and not distributing ourselves or potentially doing bad things in the world.
And so we've, sense that feeling of what they call social isolation. Um, but I'm glad that's going to be over soon.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:01:25] Oh gosh, yeah. I haven't seen it anybody and we have a pod, we have a social pod, so we do see a very small group, uh, regularly, but that's it. And, um, I'm sick of them. No kidding.
>> James Jacobson: [00:01:34] Well, there's so many things to be sick of.
I've been looking forward to like Zoom, like we've spent so much how much time, obviously with our remote team, we have everyone across the world and we use the Microsoft version of Zoom to communicate, but it's going to be nice to not have to have like, Zoom cocktail parties. And we'll be able to get together people who are, who are, who are fully vaccinated and get together in person because I'm a little tired with everything Zoom.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:01:58] Zoom, fatigue is real. Um, but there, you know, there is a population that post pandemic will still rely on Zoom, uh, for their social connection. And there is a nonprofit organization that's making this way more fun for that population. Pets Together.
>> James Jacobson: [00:02:16] Yes. We're going to talk to the Director of Pets Together, Jennifer Bashford today, because what they do is not just connect people who are socially isolated at home, via Zoom with other people, but with other animals.
So dogs and cats and Guinea pigs, and barnyard animals, and basically every animal except a frog. And you'll hear about that. No turtles. They have no turtles.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:02:41] Yeah, they do. They may have a frog. They don't have turtles. So, and later in the show, we connect the dots from hurricanes, Harvey, and Irma, to bow ties to stay with me here, helping senior dogs get adopted.
Teen entrepreneur, Sir Darius Brown. How about that name?
>> James Jacobson: [00:02:59] That is a great names Sir Darius Brown.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:03:01] Yeah, he's a great kid. He applies his creative skills to make a difference.
>> James Jacobson: [00:03:06] And always at the end of the show, please stop by The Hydrant with us, as we take a rundown on some of the doggy headlines that captured our attention this week.
So if you love dogs as much as we do. Pause what you're doing, leash up your pup and let's take a walk. We've got a lot to talk about on today's episode of Dog Edition.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:03:27] Hey Pepper, want to go for a walk? As we shut ourselves inside to save lives during the pandemic, we gave up some of the things worth living for: dining out with friends, munching popcorn at a movie theater, sitting in the stands to cheer on our favorite sports teams, things that connect us as humans.
Maybe you've been lucky enough to quarantine with family members, but for the 28% of Americans who live alone, this pandemic has meant a stretch of months with little to no contact with others.
>> James Jacobson: [00:04:01] Let's be candid, loneliness sucks. It can also be really risky to your health. According to numerous scientific studies that have been conducted both in the United States and across Europe, the health risks of social isolation can be significant.
Listen to these statistics published on the CDC's website. Social isolation significantly increases a person's risk of premature death from all causes, a risk that may rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity. Social isolation was associated with about a 50% increase risk of dementia. It's been associated with a 29% increase of heart disease and a 32% increase risk of stroke.
In addition, loneliness was associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide. And of course, during the pandemic, this social isolation, it was only exacerbated. And so these health risks are fast becoming a huge parallel health crisis to the pandemic itself. Luckily. We have a partial solution in the form of dogs. A nonprofit organization called Pets Together is helping to mitigate the effects of loneliness.
The idea came from a Zoom bombing pit bull who's named after a former first lady. The director of Pets Together, Jennifer Bashford explains.
>> Jennifer Bashford: [00:05:29] It was one of our board members and she used to visit her grandmother regularly in a nursing home. And then after the lockdown started, she couldn't visit. So she started doing the Zoom calls with her grandmother and a couple of her friends.
And on one of the calls, her uh pit bull jumped in front of a screen, kind of photo bombed the whole screen, Rosalind Carter, Carter, the pit bull, and everyone at the nursing home loved it. And it became an ongoing thing. They wanted her to visit with Rosalyn, you know, bring her back the next day and they didn't want to visit with, with her anymore, just the dog.
>> James Jacobson: [00:06:05] Get that just the dog.
>> Jennifer Bashford: [00:06:07] We started in response to the pandemic, primarily working with residents of nursing homes who were not able to visit with people, uh, nurses and doctors on the front lines at hospitals. But as we've grown, we are now working with more people, anyone living in a long-term care facility, as well as, um, we've worked with some children's camps, libraries, and individuals who are housebound or otherwise don't have a lot of, uh, um, socialization in their lives.
>> James Jacobson: [00:06:36] Now we all know what good icebreakers dogs can be.
>> Jennifer Bashford: [00:06:40] Animal therapy is, is so powerful because the animals are just a conduit for conversation and connection between the humans. I mean, think about when you walk your dog, I mean, that's, your dog is what's know, causes you to stop and talk to the other person when you may not, you wouldn't have stopped otherwise.
>> James Jacobson: [00:06:59] Jennifer's rescue pup, a Chihuahua mix is a big hit on these virtual pet visits. Potato joined our visit and demonstrated how it all works.
>> Jennifer Bashford: [00:07:08] Potato, come here little fatty. She's just determined. If I was meeting with you as a, as a resident, I would tell you about Potato, tell you how old she is. I would tell you that she has the best fur.
We think it's because she eats so much, but her fur just feels like velvet. And we love her little standup ears, they're the softest part of her. And if you could feel them that you would just think they just are the softest thing on earth. And she's very loud. And she's about three years old and she weighs about 20 pounds.
Um, and then, you know, we like to tell stories about the naughtiest thing she's ever done, for example, which is jumping on the dining room table, then jump to the kitchen and then eat everything on the kitchen counter. It's how she got so chubby. So yeah, I mean, every dog is, every animal has a story.
>> James Jacobson: [00:07:58] But the interactions are always different and the visits elicit all kinds of reactions from the residents.
>> Jennifer Bashford: [00:08:04] And you'll get people who sometimes may not talk at all. But they just watch. And then we'll get an email from the, the coordinator afterwards that talks, that will say they talked about it the entire week afterwards, or they cried and cried and talked about their pet. And then you'll get some people who just want to tell you all about their animals.
And they want to tell you about how they had this type of animal. And you know, it was this, they have, they used to have labs and growing up and nah, nah, nah. And then you have some people that don't want to talk about pets at all. They just want to tell you about what's going on in their lives.
>> James Jacobson: [00:08:39] It's a two-way street.
Volunteers are getting as much out of these visits as the residents.
>> Jennifer Bashford: [00:08:44] I started actually as a volunteer. So I was when they were just a few volunteers. And so we were, and honestly it was as much therapy for, for us. Um, you know, cause you're not seeing anybody and you're stuck in the house, but every day you'd get to get on a Zoom call with other volunteers from all over the country and see their dogs and then see people in a nursing home or whatever.
And it was, it was therapeutic.
>> James Jacobson: [00:09:08] So clearly all the humans benefit from this program. But what about the dogs? You might be wondering, what do they get out?
>> Jennifer Bashford: [00:09:16] Everyone has a different way of putting their pet in front of the camera. Some people have hooked up these elaborate contraptions where they have sticks on the end of their laptops with a tennis ball on it so that the dogs will stare at the tennis ball, really intently and other people have taken it as an opportunity during the pandemic to teach their dogs these really amazing. Yeah. Uh, quarantine tricks. We have several piano playing dog.
Yeah. Um, they have little pianos that they can, and it's great for on camera. We have dogs that have whole routines of tricks, now we, there's one woman who does dance routines, where she and the dog dress up the same and do full, they have a whole dance to Thriller. It's amazing. My dogs don't do anything like that.
>> James Jacobson: [00:10:04] Dogs get to spend more time with their humans playing and learning new tricks, piano playing dogs. Now that is a story for a future episode of Dog Edition, but you shouldn't be intimidated by that level of skill. If your dog is more of a lap dog than a dancing dog, use Potato is your inspiration to volunteer.
>> Jennifer Bashford: [00:10:24] Some of our best volunteers are just are, are just like Potato, that just sit here and do nothing. And they're just as popular.
>> James Jacobson: [00:10:31] Of course, at Dog Podcast Network, we love to hear about the dogs, but Pets Together volunteers bring all kinds of animals to these virtual visits.
>> Jennifer Bashford: [00:10:40] And because they don't have to be therapy dogs because they're not actually going into a facility, it can be anything from, you know, someone might have some foster kittens in their house for the week. And so you've got teeny tiny kittens, or we have a lot of people who have goats and who might live on farms that have goats and sheep. And we have a mini cow that is always a big hit, chickens. Uh, bunnies.
Um, we have a bearded lizard that visits, um, Guinea pigs, alpaca, llama. I mean, you name it. We have had said pet on a call. We were, we were figuring this out. I think the only animal we don't have is a turtle.
>> James Jacobson: [00:11:21] So make note, if you happen to have a pet turtle. Jennifer went into the role of director of Pets Together with a background in nonprofit management and gerontology.
She understands the negative health consequences that come from social isolation, particularly for the senior population. That's why her goal is to keep the program active long after we've emerged from the pandemic.
>> Jennifer Bashford: [00:11:45] And so if we can find a way to reach people in their homes who don't have a lot of, uh, ways to interact with people who may not be near a senior center to go out and do activities, who may not have family near them.
But if we could. Interact with them this way on a weekly basis to kind of get to know people. Um, so yeah, we're really, we're really looking to do this as an ongoing long-term program.
>> James Jacobson: [00:12:08] While many of us may find ourselves at movie theaters or dinner parties and ballgames soon, there will always be a portion of our population facing loneliness.
Thankfully, Jennifer, a league of volunteers and Potato will be there for them. Step it up, Potato. She's sleepy now. She's a hot mess. We put information in the show notes for this episode about how you and your pet can volunteer to be a virtual visitor. We'll be right back.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:12:41] You're listening to Dog Edition.
Welcome back to Dog Edition.
>> James Jacobson: [00:12:46] Shelter workers will tell you the dogs that turn heads and get adopted quickly are the cute little puppies and the adolescent dogs. Senior dogs languish longer, often exceeding their allowable time in the shelter, making them first on the list to face euthanasia. This is an ugly side of shelter life that obviously workers don't feel good about.
It's also something that Sir Darius Brown, a teenager from New Jersey, thinks is terribly unfair. And he's been thinking that for a while. He started trying to make a difference in his pre-teen years. He's doing what he can these days to help older dogs get adopted faster. To understand how he became interested in this cause we have to go back to hurricane season 2017. This is an ABC news special report. Hurricane Harvey, state of emergency.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:13:46] Hurricane Harvey was a devastating category four hurricane that made landfall on Texas and Louisiana in August, 2017. The storm dropped more than 50 inches of rain. Flood waters rose quickly covering two thirds of Houston and stranding many people. More than 150,000 people at this hour, plunged into darkness. Talking about this 12 foot storm surge, so just getting to these people and getting them help is going to be very difficult. Hurricane Irma only came a few weeks later. It was one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recorded history. It was a category five storm when it made landfall on Barbuda. Its force was so powerful that earthquake seismometers recorded it.
Florida officials ordered over 6.5 million people to evacuate. Thousands of people in Texas are still recovering from hurricane Harvey. And now people in Florida are bracing for what looks like another massive storm. Sir Darius Brown followed the events as they unfolded. He saw groups mobilize to help the people in need.
He wondered about the pets. Who was helping them?
>> Sir Darius Brown: [00:14:57] So on social media, then there was some dogs and cats being transported from Texas to New York who were impacted from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:15:05] When he learned that some rescue dogs were being transferred from the devastation to the ASPCA in New York City, Sir Darius thought of a unique way to help them out. And all it required was some fabric swatches, a measuring tape, scissors, a bit of thread, and a sewing machine. You see, Sir Darius learned how to sell at a young age from his sister.
>> Sir Darius Brown: [00:15:29] It was my sister who started sewing first. My sister was like my second mom. Anything she does, I want to do.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:15:35] She taught him how to make bow ties, which he wore regularly. And people noticed. So he opened an online shop and started selling them. His bow ties made people look nice. Maybe they could help the displaced dogs look dapper and cute. Maybe they'd also become more noticeable.
>> Sir Darius Brown: [00:15:55] If people and dogs could look amazing, cute, dapper and precious in bow ties, why can't dogs and cats. Cause I looked at dogs and cats and people the same way.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:16:05] He stopped by the ASPCA to drop off some bow ties he made for the dogs. That's when he learned that hundreds of dogs are euthanized daily at some shelters due to overcrowding. And that many of them are senior dogs.
>> Sir Darius Brown: [00:16:20] That really hurt me a lot. And I thought about.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:16:22] It in that moment, he made it his mission to help save the lives of dogs by donating his handmade bow ties to animal shelters across the nation.
>> Sir Darius Brown: [00:16:32] If there's an older dog who's in the animal shelter for the longest, I'd normally like, make sure I choose the best bow ties, the ones that looks the most stand outish.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:16:41] And his bow ties are making a difference for dogs like Ricky.
>> Sir Darius Brown: [00:16:45] He was going through a lot. And um, but then just recently he got adopted. And he got adopted because I gave him one of my bow ties.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:16:55] This wonderful act, so simple in its idea, make a bow tie so hard to adopt dogs look more appealing, is more complex when you consider that Sir Darius was diagnosed with a speech, comprehension, and fine motor skills delay when he was two years old.
>> Sir Darius Brown: [00:17:13] So that means it was sort of, kind of hard for me to use my hands correctly or speak clearly or understand words or understand what sometimes people will say.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:17:23] He says working alongside his sister from age 8, using scissors to cut fabric and manipulating the pieces of the bow ties through a sewing machine, improved his fine motor skills.
But that's no surprise. He's made and donated over a thousand bow tie.
>> Sir Darius Brown: [00:17:39] It's one small thing can make a huge impact. I just saved the life because of a bow tie. So, it's really amazing, what I did.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:17:48] He's won a number of awards and accolades for his work. His favorite was a letter from former president Barack Obama. It's inspired him to keep on going with his mission to save the lives of dogs.
>> Sir Darius Brown: [00:18:01] So when I opened it and I read it, when I read the letter, I was just so amazed. I was, so, I was just speechless. It gave me a lot of motivation, a lot of courage a lot of confidence, to continue working on my business, continue helping the dogs and cats in animal shelters who need to be adopted, who need to have a home.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:18:25] And Sir Darius doesn't plan on stopping at bow ties. He's working on designs for a whole line of dog products. He's also writing a book about his experience as a teen entrepreneur who gives back.
>> James Jacobson: [00:18:37] And he is giving back, you know, I don't wear a ties as much less bow ties, but I think I would consider wearing one of Sir Darius' ties, bow ties because they look awfully dapper and they're doing such amazing work for, for these rescue dogs.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:18:52] Yeah, I might, you know, I might have to pick out a bow tie for Fudgie and Pepper. They'd look good.
>> James Jacobson: [00:18:58] Uh, for the dogs, okay I want. I wanna wear what I I'm, I'm one of these, like, you know, do you remember back in Friends when they Chandler was like dogs do not wear clothes?
I firmly go back to the days of Chandler and Friends and I, and I echo that, but that's my own personal bias.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:19:16] Yes. Make an exception for these bow ties, for sure.
>> James Jacobson: [00:19:19] For sure. I will do that, but I would wear one. I think. Let's take a visit to The Hydrant and talk about the news stories that are teasing us and appealing to us. What have you seen this week, Pam?
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:19:30] You know, since we were on the subject of getting senior dogs adopted, I've come across a lot of stories about, um, about senior dogs that have been in shelters for years and years and years and years. And then they make the news when they get adopted. And you know, it's such happy news and one in particular stood out.
It's a dog, it's a pit bull mix that was in an Illinois shelter for more than 11 years, 11 years, uh, he was brought to the shelter at three. The family couldn't take care of him anymore for, you know, an unknown reason, um, dropped off at three and then stayed there until he was 14 and finally adopted into his forever home.
>> James Jacobson: [00:20:12] Wow. That's great. So it's nice when a shelter can, can, uh, do that, unfortunately for too many dogs, they, they have that limited time that we talked about, and that is really sweet. 11 years that I bet, I bet that dog was like, this is my home, I don't know where you're taking me.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:20:32] Well, that's just, it, it it took a while. So this is Wiggles. The dog's name is Wiggles, and it, you know, it took Wiggles a little while to get used to his new forever home. But, um, But is doing great. The family who adopted him reports that he is going on walks around the block and you know, is meeting neighbor dogs and is doing very well.
>> James Jacobson: [00:20:52] No more cement floors. I bet he's like I like this whole carpeting. Sofas and stuff like that. Although some shelters have that, which is,
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:21:00] and the shelter workers had grown very close to this dog over the years, so it was hard for them to say goodbye, but, you know, they knew it was best for Wiggles.
>> James Jacobson: [00:21:08] That's awesome. Well, I hope he comes back and visits the shelter just to say hi to them.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:21:13] Wouldn't that be nice? Yeah.
>> James Jacobson: [00:21:15] Well, I saw a story in Psychology Today, um, which, is not usually a place where I look for stories about dogs, but it turns out that there is been a large study that is determined that a lot of dogs are left-handed. I never even thought of a dog being left-handed or right-handed, but according to the largest ever study of dog handedness, which you can see it isn't done a lot.
Most dogs are right-handed. Male dogs are more likely to be left-handed than female dogs. And younger dogs are more likely to be left-handed than older dogs. It's just pretty interesting.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:21:56] Wow. Pepper is left-handed.
>> James Jacobson: [00:21:59] Really?
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:22:00] Yeah.
>> James Jacobson: [00:22:00] How do you know that?
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:22:02] Well, because when I am sitting near him and he wants attention, he'll reach out consistently with his left paw and just paw at me. It's never with his right paw, always left.
>> James Jacobson: [00:22:12] This is really fascinating stuff. Maybe we need to get deeper into this, uh, in another episode of Dog Edition., but we will post the, uh, the link to the Psychology Today story, because it is fascinating. And, um, Who knew?
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:22:26] Not me. Pepper knew.
>> James Jacobson: [00:22:29] Pepper knew. It's just natural. Left hand, right hand. Well, well that is all we have time for on today's episode. I want to thank you for bringing Dog Edition along with you on your walk today, even if you're not walking your dog at this moment, but you will, in a future time, listen to this while you walk your dog. Uh, we'll be back with another episode, but chances are that you and your dog will be taking a walk between now and then. And we have something else for you to listen to.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:23:02] If you're interested in hearing more from some of our guests, please check out DPN's sister show The Long Leash for Jim's extended conversations.
>> James Jacobson: [00:23:11] Be sure to follow Dog Edition in your favorite podcast app so that you can take us along on your next dog walk, next time.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:23:19] On the next episode we meet Madmax the fluffy corgi, the unofficial mascot of the New York city subway.
>> James Jacobson: [00:23:25] We'll also journey to Alaska to learn what life is like raising an Alaskan Husky dog sledding team.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:23:34] You'll hear those stories and more. Dog Podcast Network is for dog lovers by dog lovers. And that means we want to hear from you.
>> James Jacobson: [00:23:41] Visit Dog Edition.com and there's a button on the bottom of every episode page where you can easily leave us a voicemail and share your stories with us.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:23:51] And check the show notes for links and information about the guests on this episode.
>> James Jacobson: [00:23:55] And remember,I've been seeing this for a while, but we are still looking for correspondents as we grow this podcast network. So if you're a content producer or a journalist, or a podcaster, or just an audio storyteller who loves dogs, check out our contest. It's called 101 Dog Stories, and we're giving away over $15,000 in prize money.
>> Pamela Lorence: [00:24:18] And join our pack. Be sure to follow Dog Edition in your favorite podcast app. And tell a friend about the show. I'm Pamela Lorence and I'll see you at the dog park.
>> James Jacobson: [00:24:27] And I'm James Jacobson. I want to thank you again for listening today. On behalf of all of us here at Dog Podcast Network, we wish you and your dog a warm Aloha.