As we deal with yet another snow storm (and yet another brutal morning commute), I am finding myself thinking back to a walk we took a few days ago. On that day, the only snow the dogs and I could find was under our feet. The weather was warm (37 degrees) and only a small breeze blew on our faces as we made our way up and down the hills around Alimagnet Lake.
Jasper was able to get off leash and chase his favorite tennis ball. He can hustle like no other dog I know.
Cupcake kept up with her sister and brother, but her highly sensitive sniffer took time to check out the new smells.
My favorite part about this park is how the trail weaves through the woods. Daisy loves to explore them and I love watching her do so. It gives me great joy to see her feel her freedom this way. She loves running through them and leaping over logs. She always comes back with a smile on her face.
As we walked, the setting sun warmed our faces and our bodies. On days like these, I can feel my soul filling up. There is a feeling of contentment that comes from being in the woods as they turn an amber glow from the sun’s rays. Somewhere in those woods are deer and coyote and owls and rabbits – all waiting to emerge into the quiet night.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this past week. Not just about the past year, but about my life in general. Maybe it’s all the blog posts looking back on 2012, or all the empowering messages on Facebook, or maybe it’s Kristine’s post over at Rescued Insanity that is driving all this introspection. I’m not sure.
What I do know is that I have been in a fog for over a year now, probably a left over hangover from closing down my pet sitting business. They say losing a business is like losing a loved one. I guarantee you that in my case this was true. I loved what I did. I loved working with people’s pets every day. I loved the feeling of accomplishment from running my own business. And, I loved knowing I was making a difference in pet’s lives. Giving all of that up was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make. In fact, I delayed it for a long time. It’s no surprise that the fog was so thick and consuming for so long after all was said and done.
It is only now that I feel the fog finally starting to lift. The question is, where does that leave me? What is next?
I am starting to get hints of what it might be or where I might go, but there is so much more to be fleshed out.
What I do know for sure is that it will have something to do with animals. How can it not?
When I was a young girl, I used to sit on banks of the ponds across the street from my house and observe (and yes, even take notes) the Canadian geese (I think I imagined myself as some sort of young Jane Goodall). When I was in high school, I was so excited to discover that they offered a class in animal behavior (animal biology was my second favorite class) and soaked up as information as I could.
Throughout my early years, I rescued animals of all kinds, cats, dogs, bunnies, squirrels and even raised a baby bird after it fell from its nest and raised it to fly.
In my 30′s, I volunteered at an animal shelter and soaked up as much information as I could from the dog trainers, as well as the dogs. I used to use my knowledge of appeasement signals to help the more fearful dogs come out of their kennels to go outside for a walk or to just receive love and attention.
My favorite shows to watch are about animals and nature. And recently, when I had the chance to attend a Suzanne Clothier seminar, I jumped at the chance. I only wish I could have attended the whole weekend!
Clearly, I was meant to be around animals, to study them, to learn from them. Maybe pet sitting was the right career for me at one time, but is it now? I’m not so sure anymore. I think perhaps I am being taken in a new direction. Maybe pet sitting was simply the stepping stone that was to lead me to something better. I guess only time will tell.
So what will be next? I don’t know for sure, but whatever it is and wherever I go, I feel I am finally heading in the right direction. Maybe 2013 is a year for new beginnings. One thing is certain, I can see the sun through the fog and it is getting brighter very day.
I don’t have many words for today. I think like all of you, like all Americans, I am saddened by what happened in a small town in Connecticut on Friday. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that so many children have been lost and that those who loved them either lost their lives in trying to save them or are left to suffer the grief of being left behind without them.
I tried to think of something profound I could say today.
I tried to think of something comforting I could write.
I tried to think of something inspiring I could share.
And then, I came across the words of my fellow bloggers and others. They have better words than I.
Children aren’t supposed to understand these things. Many times, they aren’t even capable of it. And children certainly aren’t supposed to experience them, as the schoolchildren in Newtown did.Before Owen went to bed Friday night, he knelt beside his sleeping younger brother’s bed. He petted Lindell’s head and smoothed his hair. “I can’t stop thinking about those kids,” he said.I doubt any of us ever will.
Carrie (and Bunny) from Tales and Tails
My guess is that there weren’t too many people who didn’t go home yesterday and be glad that they could and that they could hug their loved ones and tell them they were glad to see them after learning the sad news of the day. I bet a lot of dogs and cats worked overtime to comfort their humans. A lot of those humans who died were still very young, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t leave a legacy for the world. Hopefully, the whole world will learn to think and act differently after what happened yesterday. Maybe Christmas and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will all mean more to people this year as they hold their loved ones a little closer. It’s still too early to know what the legacy of the very sad day yesterday will be, but I hope that it will blossom into a beautiful thing. We sure don’t need to look for the ugliness in the world any more.
Dogs to help mend hearts in Newtown; Naomi, NIx from the Chicago Tribune
A team of golden retrievers made an 800-mile journey from the Chicago area to Newtown, Conn., over the weekend to comfort those affected by the recent school massacre.
“Dogs are non-judgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone,” Hetzner said. “It creates the atmosphere for people to share.”
Pamela from Something Wagging This Way Comes
But I will share the lesson I’m trying to learn today: Allow people to be stupid in their grief…. My choice is to exercise my compassion muscles by allowing us to be stupid in our grief. And I’ll try to keep my compassion muscles toned when I see people acting out their grief in other situations.
Ann Curry, NBC News
Imagine if we all committed 20 acts of kindness to honor the lost children of Newtown..(or 26 acts, including the heroic teachers.) I’m in. A growing number on Twitter are in. #20Acts #26Acts What do you think FB friends? If yes, share!
I admit it. I fell asleep on the couch last night. I never did get around to writing a post for today. So what does one do when they aren’t prepared? Tap dance!
No. No. No. (You would NOT want to see me tap dance.)
So what do I do? I share a picture!
How about a little hide-and-seek? Can you find the Daisy dog?
As I have watched the events in Aurora unfold over the last few days I couldn’t help but wonder what has become of us a people. While all of us grieve for those who’s lives were lost, there are some who would prefer to blame those who were there. While a killer was able to obtain enough weaponry to kill 12 innocent people and injure many others, there are those of us who still insist it is a “right” to own a gun that can kill 50 people in less than a minute.
We fight with one another like we hate each other. We treat each other with such disrespect, unable to argue intelligently about gun control, health care, politics, or anything else, because we can only assume that those who do not agree with us must be stupid, ignorant or the enemy.
Yet we lament the days when we could work together as a nation. Go figure.
As I reflected over the events of this past weekend, and the many reactions people have had to what happened, extreme or otherwise, I couldn’t help but think how much I prefer dogs to people.
Dogs continue to love, even after they have been abused, neglected or ignored.
Dogs prefer to be friends vs. enemies. Even after they have had a disagreement with another dog they are quick to forgive and forget.
Dogs communicate their behavior pretty clearly with one another (if you understand dog behavior). There is no need to nuance their communication so as not to offend another dog.
Dogs don’t have ulterior motives (unless you count those longing looks they send you as you eat your dinner). Generally they are pretty clear about what they want or need.
Dogs generally assume all people are good, unless taught otherwise.
Dogs don’t judge you for being fat, gay, right, left, woman or man. They could care less about whether or not you have been “saved” or “damned to hell”.
Dogs have simple tastes. Give them exercise, a good meal, a good bed and some quality time and they are content.
Dogs are curious. They like to learn and experience new things. They don’t assume they are more intelligent or worldly than the dog next door.
Dog’s don’t need email, text messaging or Facebook to communicate with others. Pee-mail seems to work just fine for them.
Dogs don’t care about keeping up with the Jones. They don’t care if the neighbor’s dog has a nicer bed or more toys than they do.
Dogs prefer routine. Chaos and being busy for busy’s sake are not appealing to them. They like a sense of normalcy.
Dogs love to play. Give them a good game of chase or tug and they are happy.
Yes. We humans may have bigger brains, more money and more power, but the more and more I think about it, the more I prefer dogs.
I used to get a kick out of Edie Jarolim’s blog posts sharing the spam she used to get. She always made me laugh with her funny commentary. There’s just something about the spam that pours into your filter that makes you wonder – who the hell writes all this stuff?
Lately, for no apparent reason, my spam filter has been working overtime to keep up with all the spam being sent my way. It may just be me, but it seems that many of the spammers are getting quite
desperate clever these days. They’ve taken to complimenting me in the most unusual ways.
I simply want to tell you that I am just beginner to weblog and seriously savored your website. Very likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You surely have incredible article content. With thanks for sharing your blog site.
You “savored” my blog post? Wow. I had no idea it was that good! How nice to hear. But wait.. it’s only “very likely” you plan to bookmark it? Huh. So not really THAT good? Maybe you could Pin It instead?
Nice weblog over here! I’ll just wanna say thnx for that. If you like to visit my website check out: sex dating.
Hmmm… Yeah. I’m thinking I’ll pass on that one. I wouldn’t want to catch a blogereal disease. After all, we’ve only just met.
Great blog! I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one these days specially with topics about buy generic levitra. excellent work thanks a lot…
Why thank you! It’s actually not a paid or customized theme. I prefer taking the easy way out so I went with a theme provided to me by WordPress.com. You really like my writing? Well, now I’m blushing… Wait. Did you say levitra? WTH?
You think I have a penis?
I have read a few excellent stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot attempt you place to create this type of wonderful informative website, I found all related with filitra review very nice post, congratulations keep up the good work. Appreciate it
Just a “few excellent stuff”? Wow. That’s a mighty big compliment there. I’m so glad you found it informative. The thing is, I’m pretty sure I’d remember writing about a word I have never heard of before. Filitra? What the heck is that?
Wait. Is this about my non-existent penis again? Ugh!
I give up.
What does a dog blogger do when the subject of their blog is dogs and the holiday in they find themselves is Memorial Day?
I struggled with this one all day today. Not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because I didn’t want what I said to sound trite or without reverence. I also didn’t want to feel like I was doing some half-hearted, obligatory post about dogs in war without acknowledging the true sacrifices of our military men and women.
The truth is I have never faced an enemy in battle. I have never been the wife or mother or child waiting at home for my loved one to return from war. I have never even visited a military grave site (I always felt that I would be intruding on a place of reverence, one meant for those who have lost a loved one in war).
Yes. I have experienced hardship in my life, but my hardship did not involve physical discomfort, emotional pain or fear like those who have fought in war.
I have had loss, but unlike most of our military men and women, I was able to grieve, surrounded by family and friends, and I was allowed to take as much time as I needed. I did not have to quash my pain and tears and head out to battle the next day. I did not have to continue fighting after losing a best friend. I did not have to feel the guilt and the pain so many of our men and women feel in times of war.
I have also sacrificed, but my sacrifices did not include missing the birth of a child, being away from my loved ones for a year or more, missing a parent’s death, telling a child that I cannot come home for a LONG time. Yet those who serve in our military do this every single day.
Honestly, I know nothing of what it is like to be a veteran or a soldier serving in a war. I know nothing of life as a military spouse or child. I know nothing of the loss a parent feels when their son or daughter is lost in battle.
I only know that honoring those who have sacrificed so much is the right thing to do on this Memorial Day. It might not be much but it is the very least I can do.
To all those who have served and continue to serve.
To those who have returned.
To our dogs of war.
On Wednesday, I read two news stories that made me sigh with resignation. Just when I thought we were making progress in treating animals humanely, along comes the food industry to throw us another curveball. Worse yet, it makes me wonder if Minnesota isn’t far behind since the Republican-dominated legislature has introduced a bill to do the same thing here.
The two stories I read?
For those who haven’t been watching these bills being introduced in many states across this country, it is time to sit up and take notice. The term “ag-gag” is exactly that. A bill to put a gag on those organizations who have been exposing animal abuse in the factory farming industry and big agriculture.
These bills place restrictions “on free speech about agribusiness, make it a crime to take photos or video on a factory farm without the written permission of the owner. The factory farming lobby has advocated these laws as a means of keeping the public in the dark about how its food is produced.”
Go undercover to expose cows being kicked and beaten and tortured on a large dairy farm, like Conklin Dairy Farms Inc., and you could be charged with a serious misdemeanor. Film the horrible conditions in a puppy mill (yes, dogs are considered livestock under the USDA definition of livestock) and face jail time.
The only purpose of these bills is to protect the corporate factory farms and the food industry. They have no interest in letting people know what really happens to the animals they eat or what is in their food. It makes me wonder if recent documentaries that examined our food industry, like Food Inc., King Corn and Super Size Me, would have ever been made if these bills had been in place a few years ago. It’s in our best interest to know where our food comes from, how it is being treated before is processed and what is involved in the processing, from end to end. These ag-gag bills will take away that right.
Knowing that the big ag lobby is making progress in their fight to prevent the American public from being educated and informed on how their food is being treated is sad. To me it means that the fight to save puppy mill dogs and to treat animals humanely just took a huge step backwards. I can only hope Minnesota won’t be next.
I encourage you to watch the video linked below. It first aired on the Ellen DeGeneres show. It has NO graphic images or pictures that will make you squeamish, but it does show you why these Ag-Gag bills are so detrimental to society as a whole. Feel free to share it with others.
I also encourage you to find out if your own state legislators are introducing a similar bill in your state. Let your state reps know that you do not support these bills.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968)