Monday, July 27, 2009

This story is so sweet and brings tears to my eyes...4 year old Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey, her beloved dog that died the day before... She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her You will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies..' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey &Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by. Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much..
By the way, I'm easy to find, I am wherever there is love..


Makes you want to hug the next person you see. Have a great and loving day!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Just a Dog"

From time to time people tell me, “Lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or, “That’s a lot of money to spend on just a dog.” They don’t understand the distance traveled, time spent, or costs involved for “Just a dog.” Some of my proudest moments have come about with “Just a dog.” Many hours have passed with my only company being “Just a dog,” and not once have I felt slighted. Some of my saddest moments were brought about by “Just a dog.” In those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “Just a dog” provided comfort and purpose to overcome the day.

If you, too, think “Just a dog,” you will probably understand phrases like “Just a friend,” Just a sunrise,” or “Just a promise.” “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person. Because of “Just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.

For me and folks like me, it’s not “Just a dog.” It’s an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment. “Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday people can understand it’s not “Just a dog.” It’s the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “Just a man a woman.”

So the next time you hear the phrase “Just a dog,” smile, because they “Just don’t understand.”

~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I know having human friends is viewed as one of the greatest accomplishments in life...but to be honest, most of the time I prefer and I am more comfortable with dogs.

My dogs love me no matter what, they are always happy to see me, never lie to me, don't tick me off, always willing to do what I am in the mood to do, either play or rest. They show their honest affection every time they are with me and what more can you ask for. They are sweet, loving, adorable, and most importantly they choose me to be their best companion and to care for them for matter what, I am there for them and they are always there for me with cold noses and wet sloppy kisses.

Four legs over two in many instances make for better and longer lasting friendships.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Brock - Trying to help

I have been waiting for my little four-legged fur child Brock to allow anyone other than me to pet him. He will be two on the 30th and has lived with me and my husband now for almost a year. He is the most loving baby, but only with me...he loves to cuddle and be brushed and lay his sweet little head on my lap and watch movies.

So now I am seeking advise on how to get him to interact with...lets just start with my husband who tries so lovingly to offer him a treat or a soft pat on the head but Brock runs the other way. He does this with my best friend Sherry as well, so it is not a male thing. He loves the other two fur children that live here and when I walk in after not seeing him for a few hours he is so excited to see me he is dancing in place and around and around and excited beyond words.

So I think that he can change and allow others to love him, I just need to find out what I can do to help him experience this love so many more than just me want to give to him, as his mom I have to keep trying and searching for the answer.

Trying to help

Man driving down road, woman driving up same road.They pass each other. Woman yells out the window, PIG! Man yells out window, BITCH! Man rounds next curve. Man crashes into a HUGE PIG in middle of road and dies.

Thought For the Day:
If men would just listen...

This was just an example of how ignorant men can be at times (as much as we love them) and no actual pig was harmed in this fictional story.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A soldier's view of Michael Jackson 's death

Okay, I need to rant.

I was just watching the news, and I caught part of a report on Michael Jackson . As we all know, Jackson died the other day. He was an entertainer who performed for decades. He made millions, he spent millions, and he did a lot of things that make him a villain to many people. I understand that his death would affect a lot of people, and I respect those people who mourn his death, but that isn't the point of my rant.

Why is it that when ONE man dies, the whole of America loses their minds with grief. When a man dies whose only contribution to the country was to ENTERTAIN people, the American people find the need to flock to a memorial in Hollywood , and even Congress sees the need to hold a "moment of silence" for his passing?

Am I missing something here? ONE man dies, and all of a sudden he's a freaking martyr because he entertained us for a few decades? What about all those SOLDIERS who have died to give us freedom? All those Soldiers who, knowing that they would be asked to fight in a war, & still raised their hands and swore to defend the Constitution and the United States of America . Where is their moment of silence? Where are the people flocking to their graves or memorials and mourning over them because they made the ultimate sacrifice? Why is it when a Soldier dies, there are more people saying "good riddance," and "thank God for IEDs?" When did this country become so calloused to the sacrifice of GOOD MEN and WOMEN, that they can arbitrarily blow off their deaths, and instead, throw themselves into mourning for a "Pop Icon?"

I think that if they are going to hold a moment of silence IN CONGRESS for Michael Jackson , they need to hold a moment of silence for every service member killed in Iraq and Afghanistan . They need to PUBLICLY recognize every life that has been lost so that the American people can live their callous little lives in the luxury and freedom that WE, those that are living and those that have gone on, have provided for them. But, wait, that would take too much time, because there have been so many willing to make that sacrifice. After all, we will never make millions of dollars. We will never star in movies, or write hit songs that the world will listen too. We only shed our blood, sweat and tears so that people can enjoy what they have.

Sorry if I have offended, but I needed to say it.

Remember these five words the next time you think of someone who is serving in the military;

"So that others may live..."

A young man serving his third tour of duty in Iraq.

My thought now...No matter your thoughts or feelings on the war itself, you have to own up to the facts and the feelings of our militery men and woman, and I do think Congress needs to somehow publicly show respect for all our fallen men and woman as they did for MJ. God bless the troups, their families, and America!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jasper and the unbaked yeast rolls

Received this via email and thought I would pass along.

It has been awhile since I first told this story and thought that many may have missed it so here it is again. For those that have seen it in my first posting, if you are like can't help but read and laugh and laugh and laugh all over again. :)Those of you who have/had animals will probably appreciate it more. Enjoy

We have a fox terrier by the name of Jasper. He came to us in the summer of 2001 from the fox terrier rescue program. For those of you, who are unfamiliar with this type of adoption, imagine taking in a 10 year old child about whom you know nothing and committing to doing your best to be a good parent.

Like a child, the dog came with his own idiosyncrasies. He will only sleep on the bed, on top of the covers, nuzzled as close to my face as he can get without actually performing a French kiss on me.

Lest you think this is a bad case of 'no discipline,' I should tell you that Perry and I tried every means to break him of this habit including locking him in a separate bedroom for several nights. The new door cost over $200. But I digress.

Five weeks ago we began remodeling our house. Although the cost of the project is downright obnoxious, it was 20 years overdue AND it got me out of cooking Thanksgiving for family, extended family, and a lot of friends that I like more than family most of the time.

I was assigned the task of preparing 124 of my famous yeast dinner rolls for the two Thanksgiving feasts we did attend.

I am still cursing the electrician for getting the new oven hooked up so quickly. It was the only appliance in the whole darn house that worked, thus the assignment.

I made the decision to cook the rolls on Wed evening to reheat Thurs am. Since the kitchen was freshly painted, you can imagine the odor. Not wanting the rolls to smell like Sherwin Williams #586, I put the rolls on baking sheets and set them in the living room to rise for a few hours. Perry and I decided to go out to eat, returning in about an hour. The rolls were ready to go in the oven.

It was 8:30 PM. When I went to the living room to retrieve the pans, much to my shock one whole pan of 12 rolls was empty. I called out to Jasper and my worst nightmare became a reality. He literally wobbled over to me He looked like a combination of the Pillsbury dough boy and the Michelin Tire man wrapped up in fur. He groaned when he walked. I swear even his cheeks were bloated.

I ran to the phone and called our vet. After a few seconds of uproarious laughter, he told me the dog would probably be OK, however, I needed to give him Pepto Bismol every 2 hours for the rest of the night.

God only knows why I thought a dog would like Pepto Bismol any more than my kids did when they were sick. Suffice it to say that by the time we went to bed the dog was black, white and pink He was so bloated we had to lift him onto the bed for the night.

We arose at 7:30 and as we always do first thing; put the dog out to relieve himself. Well, the dog was as drunk as a sailor on his first leave. He was running into walls, falling flat on his butt and most of the time when he was walking his front half was going one direction and the other half was either dragging the grass or headed 90 degrees in another direction.

He couldn't lift his leg to pee, so he would just walk and pee at the same time. When he ran down the small incline in our back yard he couldn't stop himself and nearly ended up running into the fence.

His pupils were dilated and he was as dizzy as a loon. I endured another few seconds of laughter from the vet (second call within 12 hours) before he explained that the yeast had fermented in his belly and that he was indeed drunk.

He assured me that, not unlike most binges we humans go through, it would wear off after about 4 or 5 hours and to keep giving him Pepto Bismol.

Afraid to leave him by himself in the house, Perry and I loaded him up and took him with us to my sister's house for the first Thanksgiving meal of the day.

My sister lives outside of Muskogee on a ranch, (10 to 15 minute drive). Rolls firmly secured in the trunk (124 less 12) and drunk dog leaning from the back seat onto the console of the car between Perry and I, we took off.

Now I know you probably don't believe that dogs burp, but believe me when I say that after eating a tray of risen unbaked yeast rolls, DOGS WILL BURP. These burps were pure Old Charter. They would have matched or beat any smell in a drunk tank at the police station. But that's not the worst of it.

Now he was beginning to fart and they smelled like baked rolls. God strike me dead if I am not telling the truth! We endured this for the entire trip to Karen's, thankful she didn't live any further away than she did.

Once Jasper was firmly placed in my sister's garage with the door locked, we finally sat down to enjoy our first Thanksgiving meal of the day. The dog was the topic of conversation all morning long and everyone made trips to the garage to witness my drunken dog, each returning with a tale of Jasper's latest endeavor to walk without running into something. Of course, as the old adage goes, 'what goes in must come out' and Jasper was no exception.< BR>
Granted if it had been me that had eaten 12 risen, unbaked yeast rolls, you might as well have put a concrete block up my behind, but alas a dog's digestive system is quite different from yours or mine. I discovered this was a mixed blessing when we prepared to leave Karen's house. Having discovered his 'packages' on the garage floor, we loaded him up in the car so we could hose down the floor.

This was another naive decision on our part. The blast of water from the hose hit the poop on the floor and the poop on the floor with stood the blast from the hose. It was like Portland cement beginning to set up and cure.

We finally tried to remove it with a shovel. I (obviously no one else was going to offer their services) had to get on my hands and knees with a coarse brush to get the remnants off of the floor. And as if this wasn't degrading enough, the darn dog in his drunken state had walked through the poop and left paw prints all over the garage floor that had to be brushed, too.

Well, by this time the dog was sobering up nicely so we took him home and dropped him off before we left for our second Thanksgiving dinner at Perry's sister's house.

I am happy to report that as of today (Monday) the dog is back to normal both in size and temperament. He has had a bath and is no longer tricolor. None the worse for wear I presume. I am also happy to report that just this evening I found 2 risen unbaked yeast rolls hidden inside my closet door.

It appears he must have come to his senses after eating 10 of them but decided hiding 2 of them for later would not be a bad idea. Now, I'm doing research on the computer as to: 'How to clean unbaked dough from the carpet.'

Makes my story of when my three dogs ate my homemade Italian Rum Wedding Cake the night before our wedding...they were ill but not as bad as poor Jasper. I on the other hand had to stay up all night baking a new cake and Jasper's mom didn't have to remake the 12 rolls that were missing.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Human Interest Story – brings a tear…

It was toward the end of Sunday service and our Minister asked, “How many of you have forgiven your enemies?” Eighty percent held up their hands. The Minister then repeated his question, all responded this time except one very elderly lady.

“Bea? Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?" and she replied with a sweet smile “I don't have any.”

"Well Bea, that is certainly very unusual and should be commended, how old are you?”

“Ninety-eight.” she replied. Amazed the Minister said “Would you please come down in front and tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years and not have an enemy in the world?”

The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle, faced the congregation, and said,“It's simple really, I just outlived the bitches.”

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's all in the name

Well today I am a bit excited and very anxious. I have a face book account and yesterday I was searching for my birthmother’s maiden name and I came across a woman in NY with the same last name. I wrote to her with a little information of myself and asked if we could be related. She replied with her family background and I am certain we are related! She is generation ahead of me, which is awesome, as she will have much wanted family history to share with me. I recognized many of the names she supplied, but was unable to unscramble the information in my mind and place everyone in the proper place. I look forward to exploring this new adventure and most importantly, making a new friend with whom I share so much. Wish me luck!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A friend for life

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee, inspected the elephant’s foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.

Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenage son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, and then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

Just a little humor to start the week off; no elephant was harmed in this story.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sending Dogs to Prison

I think this is AWESOME, everyone is a winner in this program and many dogs that were wasting away in shelters just waiting for their number to be picked in the lottery of death are now saved and become a beloved and respected service animal for a forever grateful loving friend. How much better could it get for a shelter dog, I am happy with tears for this program and will be sending a donation. If you place prison dogs in Google search you can see many more heartwarming stories, pictures and videos.

To start a program, there must be a sincere focus in helping the lives of the inmates... and to really make a difference to help rehabilitate the inmates. To warehouse inmates, punish them and then throw them back out into the community does not rebuild damage lives but rather it builds more anger and disrespect to authorities.

For more information on how you can help,please e-mail the Prison Dog Project. The Dog programs that have allowed a personal approach are the programs that will succeed.

I hope that prison dog programs will base their programs on mutual respect and dignity... where love is the focus... more than control and intimidation because if you want people to return to society, focused on being better persons, then the ingredient of love needs to be included, rules to be followed but not to the point that a program would fold because an officer gave a hamburger to an inmate after speaking at a community school to children about the prison dog program. The DOC punished the officer for showing compassion to a prisoner. The 25 year veteran of the Department of Correction with an unblemished record was so hurt in being treated like that, that he quit the Department of Corrections and the Liberty Dog Program folded because the volunteers who were very supportive of this officer refused to carry on with a program that would treat their staff and the inmates the way this department of corrections did.

Downeast Correctional... Bucks Harbor, Maine

This is a program where inmates in prisons are training dogs to assist the disabled. The dogs are then placed with someone who needs a specially trained dog to assist them.

Also in other prison programs they raise future assistance dogs and guide dogs for the blind for existing training schools, thus cutting back the time that a disabled person must wait for a dog to assist them.

The third prison dog project is where inmates are taking unwanted dogs from animal shelters, then groom and train them to be good citizens. They are then placed back into the community as "paroled pets". This gives the dogs a second chance in life, exactly what the prisoners are wishing for in their own life.

The prison dog programs help the inmates learn how to become "other" centered, thus giving something back to society. The inmates learn needed skills in order to help them get jobs when they are released. They also learn responsibility, patience, tolerance, as well as being good trainers with kindness and love.

The Prison Dog Programs are developing in many prisons around the United States and other countries. It helps to bring a sense of calm in the institutional setting. The dogs are also a bridge between the inmates and the guards as well as with a disabled person to people in the community. When a disabled person in a wheel chair or a prisoner has a friendly dog by their side, people want to go up and greet them. The friendly dog then helps to break the tension.

One of the dogs ready for graduation from the York Correctional Institution in Niantic, Connecticut The dog is wearing a "Gentle Leader", like a horse halter... a gentle way to train. His Picture is up cute!

Money will buy a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail.
~ Josh Billings ~

These prison dog programs are mostly developed without the help of state funds. Many supplies are needed to help other prison dog programs develop, as well as to help them continue on. We need donations and supplies to make this unique rehabilitation program a continued success.