Laughter

“Laughter is wine for the soul – laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness – the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living.” 

Sean O’Casey

So far, 2019 has certainly given me some challenges.

Many of these trials, if not all, have been a result of aging. Don’t get me wrong, I understand my life is a gift. I know these “golden years” are not given to everyone. It’s the clustering of events that’s caught me off guard.

It’s the memory of the sorrow and tears that make the attached picture so very special. I wish it came with sound effects because the laughter and the sounds of puppy kisses are beyond special.

This little bundle of energy is Abby, a pure blessing. The influence she has on all of us has been magical. It is impossible to be crabby when you start each day with Abby kisses. There are some days when we are all a little bit crabby here. Her magical powers are so impressive I have given her a new nickname–Abby-ca-dabra.

The dark days before her arrival opened my heart for a whole new level of joy. I find I am focused on the positive moments which seem to grow as she grows. Not only has she opened my eyes to a whole new appreciation of time, she has helped me see our oldest dog, Bud, differently as well. Because I take the time to notice, I see how she persistently pesters him, trying to get him to play with her. For the most part, I see how Bud is slowly accepting her, tolerating her in the same way I saw with our first Lhasa, Pearl, put up with Bud when we first brought him home over thirteen years ago. As I am learning, ready or not, I’m being given a glimpse into the future–the circle of life continues.

For this and for the life I’ve been given, I am thankful.

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” 

Kahlil Gibran

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

The New Hibdonville

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” 

Roger A. Caras

When you walk through our front door these days our house resembles a doggy day care center. Which, when you think about it, is absolutely true.

Four weeks ago Abby Rose joined our family, bringing us all joy after a month of illness and two giant losses. Of course Abby can never replace our Duffy and Ruby. What she did do was bring us pure, innocent love wrapped up in one busy little furry Lhasa body.

As I’ve watched Abby these past few weeks I’ve been amazed how different her behavior is from what I saw with my Ruby when she was a puppy. Ruby, as many of you know, was a Tibetan Terrier we had to euthanize a month ago due to genetic condition called neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL). What I see daily makes it important to me to help educate people before they bring a puppy or dog into their family.

I had so much help from other Tibetan Terrier owners and breeders when I reached out for help with Ruby. Many people spent hours with me as I tried to figure out what was wrong with my beautiful dog. NCL is a horrible disease and one I’d never heard of until I started asking questions. As things became clear, I had many loving people taking care of me while I awaited the confirming DNA tests.

One very special owner/breeder, Susan Hettinger, a lady involved with dogs since 1971, shared the following list of questions and advice when I asked her what she wished people knew before buying a puppy/dog. Until I talked with other owners and breeders, I didn’t realize I should be asking questions. I was surprised how much breeders knew about other breeders. Don’t be fooled by well run websites. When the time comes to get serious about getting a puppy, don’t hesitate to ask serious questions.

Question to ask your puppy seller:

1.  Why did you breed this litter?

2.  Do you have a pedigree for me to look at?

3.  How often do you inbreed in your pedigrees?

4.  What genetic testing / screening do you perform?

5.  What are the results of those tests?

6.  Are you a member of your parent breed club?

7.  What is your source of continuing education with respect to your breed?

8.  What do you do to socialize your puppies?

9.  Do you do any performance training (obedience, agility, etc.)

10.  How long do your dogs live? What are the ages of the dogs you have?

11.  Are you dealing with any health issues?

12. What health guarantees do you offer?

13. What are your expectations of me as a buyer?

14. Which puppy are you keeping, and why?

15. What can you tell me about breed history, and breed standard?

16. Do have references from buyers or other breeders?

In order to know if the breeder’s answers are responsible, the buyer has to do THEIR homework. You need to check out OFA, and the Parent Club website. Puppies should be individually screened for temperment. Anyone that tells you they have never had health issues, is dishonest. If they are not keeping a puppy, they are breeding for money, not to advance their bloodlines for the breed. If they can’t talk to you about breed history, breed standard,  how to socialize, care for, your puppy etc., they may not be responsible. For example, I have a 17 page booklet, I WROTE, to advise buyers, and it lists  education resources. I advise them that I attend annual education seminars at my Parent Club’s National Specialty Week. I would take back, any puppy / dog that for whatever reason could not stay with you. (I once had a 14 year old dog returned to me, when the owner had to go into a nursing home). I would replace any puppy that was found to be ill in any way. 

I was so pleased Susan shared her knowledge with me so I could pass it on to others. My goal is to educate others so we can put bad breeders out of business. Knowledge is powerful and we need to share it whenever and however we can!

“I, too, had set out to be remembered. I had wanted to create something permanent in my life- some proof that everything in its way mattered, that working hard mattered, that feeling things mattered, that even sadness and loss mattered, because it was all part of something that would live on. But I had also come to recognize that not everything needs to be durable. the lesson we have yet to learn from dogs, that could sustain us, is that having no apprehension of the past or future is not limiting but liberating. Rin Tin Tin did not need to be remembered in order to be happy; for him, it was always enough to have that instant when the sun was soft, when the ball was tossed and caught, when the beloved rubber doll was squeaked. Such a moment was complete in itself, pure and sufficient.”

Susan Orlean

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

 

Patience

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” 

David G. Allen

Life lessons come whether you’re ready or not–I’ve been reminded of that important fact this past month.

I’d become very comfortable with the status quo. I’d had this illusion of what my future held and I’d assumed things would follow that path.

I was pretty much 100% wrong.

I’ve been reminded life can change in a fraction of a second and in ways I’d never imagined. I’ve been reminded loss takes many forms, making it so important to love all those in your life without reserve. I’ve been reminded how one loss can change so many other things I’d never realized were intertwined. I’ve been reminded to pay attention to my word for the year–awareness–prompting me to stay mindful, slow down, and appreciate all aspects of my life. I’ve been reminded to stay in the present because those planned tomorrows are never promised. I’ve been reminded of the importance of my tight little cluster of friends as I’ve experienced the amazing kindness of strangers. Once again, I’ve been reminded of the depth and darkness of grief along with the renewed knowledge my faith is resilient and strong.

Most of all, I’ve been reminded to trust in myself, in my family and friends, and most of all–in God.

“No matter how close we are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog. Few human beings give of themselves to another as a dog gives of itself. I also suspect that we cherish dogs because their unblemished souls make us wish – consciously or unconsciously – that we were as innocent as they are, and make us yearn for a place where innocence is universal and where the meanness, the betrayals, and the cruelties of this world are unknown.” 

Dean Koontz, A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

“People leave imprints on our lives, shaping who we become in much the same way that a symbol is pressed into the page of a book to tell you who it comes from. Dogs, however, leave paw prints on our lives and our souls, which are as unique as fingerprints in every way.” 

Ashly LorenzanaIMG_1457

 

Choices

“Whether you choose to move on from your struggles and enjoy life or waddle in your misery, life will continue.” 

Germany Kent

This past Saturday we buckled Bud into his Fido Rido and headed off to Sequin, Texas. As we drove through the magnificent wildflowers we knew we were starting a brand new chapter in the book entitled, Life In Hibdonville.

Everyone has an opinion about just about everything. Getting a new dog after the death of another dog is certainly one. No matter who you ask, there’s always very focal “yay and nay” sayers. Now, I’m not sure how many of those opinion holders have had the experience of losing two dogs in one month. This level of loss has been hard on us all–including our oldest Lhasa, Bud. After all the anguish and tears, we felt it was time to bring in the highest level of healing-the healing energy only another dog spirit can bring.

By the grace of God, on Saturday, May 4th, we picked up our newest family member–Abby Rose.

As you can see demonstrated in the attached picture, she has already started weaving her magic.

“But that’s the wonderful thing about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and worth the doing.” 

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

A Slow Day

Everybody needs a slow day–I took one today. I am learning to listen to my body and some days you just don’t push it.

In light of that I’m sharing simple things today.

First thing to share is that our friends brought home their new puppy today. She is adorable. I’ve attached a picture of her so you can fall in love with her, too. She is described as very affectionate and ALL puppy. Cannot wait to meet her and hold her squiggly little body and smell that puppy breath.

Secondly,  I’m sharing something I discovered about a month ago. I’ve wanted to go back to school but honestly, could not commit to the time. Not sure how I stumbled upon on-line courses called MOOCs. I had to Google the acronym to see what it was and found it stood for: Massive Open Online Course. The courses are offered through several different sources for pretty low prices or free. The source I am most pleased with at this time is Coursera–you can check them out at: Coursera.org. They offer a wide variety of courses for free or a fee if you want a certificate of completion.

Lastly, but most importantly, I am thankful my husband was home today to take care of me. Thanks, Mickey. Your attention alone made a world of difference. I had three other care givers–all three dogs were beside me while I rested. Of course, part of that fact is they are allowed on the bed during the day–that might have been a huge incentive. Regardless, it was a joyously lazy day.

I took advice from Anne Lamott today:

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you. 

I am rested, renewed, mostly recharged. I am…

B…simply being…

Peace and love to all.