Friday, December 8, 2006


1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?  
wrapping paper  but the cute bags are neat , too.
2. Real tree or artificial?  
We usually get a REAL flocked tree, but they are so expensive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But you get the good smell and but not much needle droppage.
3. When do you put up the tree?  Usually the FIRST week of Dec.  Not this year though.

4. When do you take the tree down? ME TOO!  But usually that's by Jan first.  When it's over it is over!

5. Do you like eggnog?  Mmmmmmmmmmmm... YES!  Not the alcoholic kind, though. Exactly the same for us!  But the darn eggnog IS fattening!
6. Favorite gift received as a child?  My doll that said Momma is #1 and then my "Toni" doll which we gave home perms too.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?  I am always scared I am going to break it. I gave my Mom's really good one to Tim, as he likes them more than me.  I have a couple and they are smaller.  I don't especially like putting it up or taking it down, but I do love looking at it!
8. Hardest person to buy for?  Oh, everyone.  I am a stressed-out gift buyer You took the words right out of my mouth. We are a lot alike!
9. Easiest person to buy for?  A good book reading friend, or

10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?  Snail mail is more properAnd what I TRY TO DO IF 
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?  A sweater Dave got me he loved and I hated .  NOT nice, I know.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?  Jimmy Stewart starred in it,     "It's a Wonderful Life."
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?<FONT lang='0face="Comic' color=#004000 FAMILY="SCRIPT" PTSIZE="10" MS? Sans>  Early to mid December.  If I start any earlier I spend too much otherwise!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?  No way. but I thought of it (don't tell.)

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Not much on sweets.  Just good meals!  Chrismtmas Eve and Christmas Day and the presence of at least some family.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?  Dave likes the Multi and he puts them up so that is what we have.  I sorta like the white clear ones though. 
17. Favorite Christmas song(s)?  "Silent Night", "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?  Stay at my warm house, I hope I hope.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?  "On Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, on Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen!"... and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? 
We have a star but it's cuz our this years tree is artificial white.  but honest it's pretty.  And the angel is from Precious Moments in Carthage, MO and beautiful but very heavy.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Dave likes Christmas Eve but I like Christamas Day though we were raised opposite of that. Tim liked half and half. Don't know but don't think that they wlll be with us or us with them on the actual holiday....firsttime ever but for the year Tim was in Korea.  But we'll have a Christmas together sometime around that time.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?  Commercialism.  People forgetting the reason for the season.  That it goes by too fast  ALSO CHRISTMAS MUSIC IN THE STORES SO LOUD AND OVER ANED OVER AND OVER.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?  No theme, hodge-podge  (ME TOO!)

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?  Turkey first, 2nd choice roast beef........primie rib type.
25. Do you have Jesus in your heart this Christmas? ABOSLUTELY!
I would love to see your answers to this!  If you want to copy and paste and do this in your journal, please leave your entry URL in my comments section so I can come take a look!  Thanks and Merry Christmas!  xox


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Buddy's Inspiration

Hi Friends--I am sharing a good one (I think) from  It's a tear jerker, but good!  Love, Merry

by Betty King

      Many face disabilities or handicaps in this world.  Life is not
always fair.  Even the animal kingdom experiences their share of
      Buddy was a canine.  He had lost one of his rear legs in a freak accident but that did not delete his worth.  He recovered after intensive care and mountainous amounts of love.  Buddy soon showed his eagerness to resume his rightful place as friend, family member and walking partner.
      He and Betty, his owner and walking companion, slowly began
their twice daily stroll after Buddy showed an interest in resuming their daily ritual.
      It took awhile for Buddy to obtain his previous pace.  At first, Betty accommodated her three-legged pal with intervals of rest time along the way.  Soon he was back to his old self again, except for the fact he looked like a friendly pirate minus his wooden leg.
      Drawing disability benefits, myself, I can vouch for the fact
that the capability to love does not diminish when body parts are
missing, or they fail to work as once they did.  Nor does it hinder
the desire to seek, accept or give love.
      Buddy continued to love, maybe even more intensely.  And Betty's love perhaps doubled, in seeing the will Buddy possessed.  True love sees past handicaps and perceives beauty that lies within the heart that remains.
      Betty is the grandmother of my ex-daughter-in-law.  My name being Betty too, we had a kindred spirit.  Betty lives in a town a few miles away and since our son and her granddaughter's divorce, Betty and I had not seen much of each other.
      The other day out of the blue, after being away from home on an errand, I returned to a message on my answering machine.  It was Betty.  She wanted to talk with me and I returned her call.
      "Betty," she said, with a sorrowful tone to her voice, "I just
wanted to let you know Buddy died last week."  "Oh, he did?  What happened? I asked, deeply concerned. "Well, he had been slowing down on our walks.  He just couldn't keep up as before.  I found myself waiting for him a lot lately.  We heard him bark about 11:30 the other night, and didn't think anything about it, and the next morning about 6am I went to check on him in
his bed.  When he didn't move, I thought it was just his hearing.
But when I bent down, I could tell he was gone."
      I could hear the grief in Betty's voice.  I wonder if she could
detect the sorrow in mine.    Whether we are human or canine, it is not the adversities that come to us, it is not the disabilities that befall us -- but how we overcome them, and continue on that counts. Buddy had overcome his adversities.  He had not let his
disability keep him from loving life and living it.  He had not let a
missing rear leg keep him from being the same loving companion that he had been with four legs.
      Six years without a leg did not diminish Buddy's worth -- it
only emphasized his will to persevere amid hardships.  His desire to continue his daily walks with Betty were exercises in proving his will and to show love to the master he adored.
      I thanked Betty for calling.  She knew I would understand her sorrow for having lost Buddy.  She also knew that I would forever remember Buddy's will to persevere.  She also must have known that I knew Buddy was special, loved and would never be forgotten.    Indeed, Buddy, you will be loved and remembered.

               -- Betty King     <baking2 @>

Monday, November 20, 2006

Black Friday Shopping

Playing along with Val & Black Friday Shopping!!  I would be jumping at the door, well maybe not quite, but I'd be there shivering and waiting for them to open the store doors--IF I had the $$ to spend. Some other years I have, and gotten some good deals!  Had fun!  It got me in the spirit of Christmas.  It also kept me from going every year!!!!!!  LOL  It's hard work.  You have to fight people off. They try to get ahead of you in lines at counters where you pay. Even in nice department stores.  It's brutal. Only the strongest shoppers ever repeat and go another year.  But yeah, I would go, if I had the $$ to spend right now.  With our son getting married in Jamaica Dec. 5, I don't have the funds for a shopping trip on top of that trip we are taking to his wedding.  But listen, I am a tough little girl.  I will return to Black Friday shopping, probably by next year!  Be strong BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING PEOPLE!  And ENJOY, ENJOY!  BUY ONE FOR ME!


Sunday, November 19, 2006


This also comes from Jane, in Oregon.  It's just toooooooo good not to share. Turn your speakers on, sit back and enjoy.  I bet you can't watch it and not cry!!  But it's a good cry, it's beautifully written, I wish I could write like this.
Love from Merry to you and yours.  Happy Sunday!
It its good and entertaining. It isnt over until it says so.


I should be too embarrassed to even tell this one as it's about myself.  But since I am usually too serious and I have been such a cross to bear around everyone's neck lately, I decided to share it.

We had a sunny day with little wind here today, about 45.  My husband decides it's time to put up the Christmas Lights across the front of the house.  Which he did with no problems.

I "helped" by taking the two dogs on the king sized bed and turning on the bedroom TV to watch "Law & Order" episode on cable.  (I am addicted to the show.)  (And the dogs are addicted to the bed.) 

When my husband finished he came in and said to me, "Well, they are up, but we sure have a lot of bulbs burnt out."  (Now, remember I am watching TV at the time.) I looked at him and said in dead seriousness, "Well, how do you know how many are burnt out??" 

Immediately, I realized what I'd said, and he of course told me that he only had to turn on the switch to see how many were out.  LOL :)  Dumb, de, dumb, dumb.

Love from Merry

Monday, October 30, 2006


These come from my neat friend Rhonda in Oregon!


You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.

-- Alan, age 10

No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry.

God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.

-- Kristen, age 10


Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.

-- Camille, age 10


You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.

-- Derrick, age 8


Both don't want any more kids.

-- Lori, age 8


Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.

-- Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)

On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that Usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.

-- Martin, age 10


I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.

-- Craig, age 9


When they're rich.

-- Pam, age 7

The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.

- - Curt, age 7

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.

-- Howard, age 8


It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.

-- Anita, age 9 (bless you child)


There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?

-- Kelvin, age 8

And the #1 Favorite is........


Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck.

-- Ricky, age 10


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Word Play (colors)

Word Play! 

Our friend Val asked me about the colors I like and how they make me feel.  So, here goes! Usually I  like Blue tones. I agree with Val that blue tones, are calming, soothing.  But I have also read that blue can be depressing.  I once had an all blue living room, including carpeting,  I loved it at first but it got to be too much blue!  I think of the ocean and the lake I grew up swimming in when I think of blue.  I also like lime green, especially in the summertime, I love this color.  I like I think I look good in bright colors, whereas the pale ones wash me out.I like beige for my main color scheme in my house.  Oak floors, oak  cabinets, end tables, and oak dining room furniture. Our living room is beige tweed furniture with beige throw rugs. (Oak floors)   I have one brown leather chair in there but the rest is beige with blue accessories in the living room. I love red, especially on other people.  I once had a red coat, and I felt pretty every time I wore that coat.  But if I had to pick one favorite color, it would be purple!!  I guess, whether it's good or bad, I like to be noticed.  If I think I look nice, I am not shy about "showing off." I also have a pink, lavender, & white patchwork quilt on our king size bed, and pink and burgundy rugs in there.  It might not sound pretty, but it is!  Okay, I  admit, it's the little girl in me that insisted on pink.  The other upstairs bedroom is varying shades of green. Okay kids, I got way too verbal and too long here, but that's kind of just how I am.  I'd love to hear about the colors you like and why you like them!  Have a purple and red week everyone!  Love to all, Merry

Check out my other journal sometime, if you haven't already!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What we are all reading!


I was tagged by Lisa yesterday, and I sent it on to others via email.  Then today I was tagged by Val.  I decided maybe I was to put it here.  So here ya go:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your Blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet I know that is what you were thinking!
6. Tag 4 or 5 people
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I don't think we have the same reading tastes...but I am being honest!
Here goes: "A Twist of Lemon" by Chris Lemon (about his Dad Jack Lemon) pg. 123
won by a nose, or would that be a head?
    Ten seconds, five seconds, time!  Burns called.  The room was electric with energy.  "Milite, you couldn't ask for a better intro than that."
    Berle ceased bowing to the applause and took the stage as only he could, then launched into the story of Chico Marx and the Eucalooka tree, a tale that became a favorite for my father.

Monday, October 23, 2006


(Not that I would know by personal experience!  -Merry)

To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.

Being popular, to me, is simply being likeable. I think being likeable means:

  1. To like yourself. Not in a vain-glory way, but just liking who you are on the inside. If you don't like yourself, imagine how much harder is it for others to like you. Liking yourself is a matter of doing what you know is right in your heart.

  2. To listen. Everyone has a need to talk. Those that really listen will always have someone to talk with - and notice, I said talk "with" not "to".

  3. Don't talk too much about yourself. Bragging, constantly talking about yourself, and other forms of egotism are boring. If you don't believe that go look in the mirror and look yourself in the eye and tell you how wonderful you are. You'll get tired of it quickly, so do others. To be interesting to others is simply to be interested in others more than you are in talking about yourself.

  4. Smile! Sounds simple, and it is, but people like people who smile at them. It makes them smile and smiling makes you feel happy. If you smile when you first see someone, and each time you first see them, there's a good chance they'll like you just because they make you smile. It makes them feel good about themselves.

  5. Be generous of spirit. It doesn't matter how good a person feels about themselves, it's always nice for them to know others appreciate their talent, accomplishments, personality, attitude, uniqueness, etc. There are hundreds of things you can compliment someone about, just be genuine and don't go overboard with it. Insincerity can be sensed. Genuinely complimenting someone costs you nothing, but to the recipient, an unsolicited compliment is something that can't be bought at any price.

  6. Be slow to be critical. I probably get one letter critical of my web site or newsletter for every 99 that compliment me. It still thrills me to receive compliments and still bothers me to be criticized. I know you can't please everyone, but I'm human and that's just the way we are.

  7. Don't try too hard to be liked. Those that do are often perceived in negative ways - like emotionally needy, overbearing, insincere, or many other things that will put distance between you and others. Not everyone will like you, just as you're not going to like everyone. In those cases, accept that and move on.

  8. Don't be a whiner! No one wants to listen to constant complaining, fault-finding and holier-than-thou attitudes.

  9. Don't talk negatively about others. Others will realize if you talk badly to them about others behind their back, you'll also speak poorly of them when they're not around.

  10. Don't talk too loud. A whisper is listened to more closely than a shout. People that are seeking attention often talk louder than normal in an attempt to force their way to the top of the conversation chain. While the result of that can work in the short term, the long term result is usually that you have less opportunities to mingle with others. Accept your natural place in a conversation. Sometimes that will be taking a lead role, and other times it will be patiently listening and waiting for the right moment to comment.

So how'd I do? What are your keys to popularity and friendship?

"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."
- Epictetus

"Popularity is a crime from the moment it is sought; it is only a virtue where men have it whether they will or no."
- George Savile

After a bit of a disclaimer about my qualifications to answer that question, I said this...

Being popular, to me, is simply being likeable. I think being likeable means:

  1. To like yourself. Not in a vain-glory way, but just liking who you are on the inside. If you don't like yourself, imagine how much harder is it for others to like you. Liking yourself is a matter of doing what you know is right in your heart.

  2. To listen. Everyone has a need to talk. Those that really listen will always have someone to talk with - and notice, I said talk "with" not "to".

  3. Don't talk too much about yourself. Bragging, constantly talking about yourself, and other forms of egotism are boring. If you don't believe that go look in the mirror and look yourself in the eye and tell you how wonderful you are. You'll get tired of it quickly, so do others. To be interesting to others is simply to be interested in others more than you are in talking about yourself.

  4. Smile! Sounds simple, and it is, but people like people who smile at them. It makes them smile and smiling makes you feel happy. If you smile when you first see someone, and each time you first see them, there's a good chance they'll like you just because they make you smile. It makes them feel good about themselves.

  5. Be generous of spirit. It doesn't matter how good a person feels about themselves, it's always nice for them to know others appreciate their talent, accomplishments, personality, attitude, uniqueness, etc. There are hundreds of things you can compliment someone about, just be genuine and don't go overboard with it. Insincerity can be sensed. Genuinely complimenting someone costs you nothing, but to the recipient, an unsolicited compliment is something that can't be bought at any price.

  6. Be slow to be critical. I probably get one letter critical of my web site or newsletter for every 99 that compliment me. It still thrills me to receive compliments and still bothers me to be criticized. I know you can't please everyone, but I'm human and that's just the way we are.

  7. Don't try too hard to be liked. Those that do are often perceived in negative ways - like emotionally needy, overbearing, insincere, or many other things that will put distance between you and others. Not everyone will like you, just as you're not going to like everyone. In those cases, accept that and move on.

  8. Don't be a whiner! No one wants to listen to constant complaining, fault-finding and holier-than-thou attitudes.

  9. Don't talk negatively about others. Others will realize if you talk badly to them about others behind their back, you'll also speak poorly of them when they're not around.

  10. Don't talk too loud. A whisper is listened to more closely than a shout. People that are seeking attention often talk louder than normal in an attempt to force their way to the top of the conversation chain. While the result of that can work in the short term, the long term result is usually that you have less opportunities to mingle with others. Accept your natural place in a conversation. Sometimes that will be taking a lead role, and other times it will be patiently listening and waiting for the right moment to comment.

So how'd I do? What are your keys to popularity and friendship?

"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."
- Epictetus

"Popularity is a crime from the moment it is sought; it is only a virtue where men have it whether they will or no."
- George Savile

Some food for thought here anyway.

Until later on, 


Friday, October 20, 2006

Letting Go

          Character is forged in the smallest of struggles.
             Then, when the big challenges come, we're ready.
                                         -- Waiter Rant


Heidi Lynn Poakeart

      I have always found it amazing how other people's words can have
such impact on our lives...
      We tend to want to be optimistic, in such a world full of
negativity, but sometimes it is difficult to have the "glass half
full" feeling, especially when you just feel like putting your head
to the ground and wallowing in self pity.
      However, every now and again, there is someone, perhaps that
guardian angel, who appears at just the right time, to help you see
things in another perspective.
      I had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, having feelings of
sadness and depression.  Perhaps this time it was the weather, the
Monday blues, or problems of the past that I tend to let resurface
occasionally when I get in my "therapy didn't help me" mood.
Whatever it was, I was feeling down.
      I went to work, where I answer phones for a paper supply
company.  Things can be quite fast paced and challenging on a daily
basis.  It was 8am, and before I could sit down at my desk, the phone
rang.  Regardless of how I was feeling, I answered with a cheery tone.
      On the other end, a raging customer screamed, cursed and ranted
at me.  I let her get it out, for what felt like five minutes,
although what I really wanted to do was hang up.  There was no reason
I deserved that kind of treatment, that was for sure.  I told her she
should speak to a manager, as I knew there was nothing I could say to
calm her or make her feel better.  Eventually, the manager resolved
it and the whole episode was over.
      Yet, it was still in my head, and I heard those harsh words over
and over.  I became even more depressed, a victim of this crazy
lady's rampage.  I was upset, and it showed.
      At that moment, another employee who witnessed all of this came
over to me.  He put his arm around me and said, "You will live a good
life if you don't weaken," and then he walked away.
      It did not sink in at first, but after really thinking about it,
I felt a release in such a way that truly brought strength to my
entire body, and the negative and depressed feelings began to fade.
It was truly amazing, the impact those ten small words had on me.
     How true they were and how they can be applied to so many
different aspects of life.  I did not want to be weak, especially
about something I had no control over nor deserved.  I did not want
to be weak about anything in my life, past, present, or future.
     I am a cancer survivor and I certainly know what it is like to
have strength, so why weaken now, just because of one bad morning?  I
put it all into perspective, as it was reconfirmed to me that it is
best to let things go before they threaten to weaken you and your
     I told myself that life is good, and no matter what, I will stand
proud and strong the way I know how.
      I ended up having a good day after my angel, whom I needed so
desperately at that moment, spoke those ten small words to me.  Those
words will help guide me through the rest of my life.
      I am sure there will be more bad and depressing days, as well as
moments of weakness.  That is inevitable.  But after what I learned,
I do believe I won't ever weaken so easily again, because life is
      I have life and I am strong, and from now on, I will forever see
the glass as half full.

             -- Heidi Lynn Poakeart     <heid70 @>

    I Like this quote I dislike this quoteIt ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

 Mark Twain quotes

Monday, October 9, 2006


Hi everyone!

I just want to pose a silly question and see what I get for answers. If you could have one new animal right now, what would you choose?  And why would you choose that kind (breed)?

Let me know....

I will tell you tomorrow what I would choose!

God Bless and Good wishes to all!


Thursday, October 5, 2006

Weird Things

Hi Everyone!

I was tagged by Sassy to write six weird things about me.  So here goes:

My weirdo list:

1.  I like to do laundry!

2.  I like to iron.

3.  Like Sassy, I have to admit, If I hear noisey people talking loud (or worse yelling) outside my house, it really bugs me.

5. I love my cell phone, but I don't take it into public places.  It really bothers me that people talk on their cell phones in public places.  (As if the whole world wants to hear their converstations!)

6.  I really am bothered by people who are rude or who think they are better than other people.

7.  I  hate the fact that I have to wear glasses (since it became bi-focal time.  (Actually, I guess I don't like a lot of things about getting older!)  (Like I hate the gray in my hair!)

8.  I HATE going to a NEW doctor (more than almost anything on earth)!

Sorry, I guess I was only supposed to list 6 things.  Whoops!

All right then, I tag anyone who reads this to post their six "weirdo" things!

Love, Merry

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Heartbreak Eyes

I hope you enjoy this story, you know me and my dog stories by now. 

With love, Merry

by Laurie Fabrizio

      When we lose someone who is precious to us, our natural response
is to cry.
      What happens when two beloved dogs have resided together for
several years and one of them suddenly dies?
      Do they mourn or cry?
      Four years ago, I was the proud mom of a pair of sassy Airedale
Terriers.  Kelsey was my four year old wiry, spunky female and Duncan
was a three year old lovable, sensitive male.  The energetic duo were
infamous for their naughty antics.  They would spend hours outside,
finding trouble at every turn and frolicking our wet lands.
      Both had their own beds in our room, where they slept side by
side.  Meal time was always an adventure, as they competed to see who
could finish their food first.  Tug of war toys were the favorite
past time and they took tremendous joy in taunting the other.
      Almost over night, Kelsey began to exhibit bizarre behavior.
She developed a head tilt, and continually walked into walls or she
hugged them as she moved about the house.  Her appetite diminished as
her condition worsened.  Numerous trips to the vet and various
antibiotics only seemed to make the situation worse.
      Out of desperation, she was sent to the University Veterinary
Hospital.  Kelsey was admitted and released several times and they
administered every test imaginable.  The doctors were baffled as she
continued to deteriorate.
      At the time, Duncan was beside himself as Kelsey continued to
disappear and reappear as we tried to solve the mystery.  Food had
always been his passion, but even special treats couldn't appease him.
      I remember my cell phone ringing one drizzly night as I was on
my way home.  The doctor from the university was calling with her
final test results.  She told me that all possibilities had been
exhausted and she and her colleagues were stumped.
      Tears streamed down my face as I asked the dreaded question.
"What should we do?"
      Kelsey was only getting worse, and she told me that if she were
her dog, she would put her to sleep.  We broke the news to the girls
the next morning and we said our tearful goodbyes to Kelsey.
      I never dreamed that we would have to euthanize a four year old
dog.  Duncan sulked around the house and couldn't comprehend why she
wasn't returning home.  He kept searching the house room by room and
his ears perked up if he thought he heard her collar jingle.
      As I sat in my office which overlooked our cul-de-sac, I watched
Duncan wistfully glance up the street, convinced she was returning
home.  Duncan had the saddest, most heartbreaking eyes when he looked
at me and he had rightfully earned himself the nickname of Eeyore
from "Winnie the Pooh".
      If dogs can truly cry, I definitely saw tears in his eyes in the
weeks following her death.
      Maybe it only appeared that way, or was I seeing my own grief
mirrored in his eyes?

              -- Laurie Fabrizio    <laurie @>

Laurie resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband
and two teenage daughters.  She is an avid reader and spends her time
as a member of two book clubs, taking writing classes, knitting and
gardening.  She has always had a strong passion for writing and the
desire to publish. Her family continues to provide moral support in
her new venture.



Sunday, October 1, 2006

Growing Old With My Dogs

Growing Old with Dogs

When I am old
I will wear soft gray sweatshirts
and a bandana over my silver hair
and I will spend my social security checks
on wine and my dogs.

I will sit in my house on my well-worn chair
and listen to my dogs' breathing.
I will sneak out in the middle
of a warm summer night
and take my dogs for a run,
if my old bones will allow...

When people come to call, I will smile
and nod as I show them my dogs
and talk of them and about them
the ones so beloved of the past
and the ones so beloved of today

I will still work hard cleaning after them,
mopping and feeding them and
whispering their names
in a soft loving way.

I will wear the gleaming sweat
on my throat,
like a jewel and I will be
an embarrassment to all
especially my family
who have not yet found
the peace in being free
to have dogs as your best friends

These friends who always wait,
at any hour, for your footfall
and eagerly jump to their feet
out of a sound sleep,
to greet you as if you are a God.

With warm eyes
full of adoring love and hope
that you will always stay,
I'll hug their big strong necks
I'll kiss their dear sweet heads
and whisper in their very special company

I look in the Mirror
and see I am getting old
this is the kind of person I am
and have always been.
Loving dogs is easy,
they are part of me.

Please accept me for who I am.
My dogs appreciate my presence in their lives
they love my presence in their lives
When I am old this will be important to me
you will understand when you are old
if you have dogs to love too.

~Author Unknown

"One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue is that he doesn't try to find out why!" ~Anonymous~

        /) ' '  (\
~(''')~(''')~ My goal in to be the person my dog thinks I am!~

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Daytona Beach

To this I say, ME TOO! My parents retired in Lakeland, Florida and we spent all our vacations in FL for several years. We would take "side trips" to the attractions, all of which were magnicifent, Sea World, Disney World, Cypress Gardens, Busch Gardens, and so on, but it was when we saw the awesome beauty of nature at Daytona Beach that I really was impressed.    Just like this story, this is how I felt when we saw Daytona Beach, since then we have been many other places, seen many historical and beautiful places and gotten older, etc., but I have never forgotten that first view of the ocean and Daytona Beach.
by Betty King

      When our four children were young, we took our first vacation to Florida and to Daytona Beach.
      I remember I was in awe of the scenery when we entered Florida, that beautiful sunshine state.  It was much different than we were accustomed to in our homeland state of Illinois.
      The palm trees stood tall and regal and the tropical flowers among the lush greenery made me think we had arrived in a location much akin to paradise.
      Arriving in Daytona, I savored my first ever glimpse of a beach. I fell in love with the ocean rolling in from somewhere out in the deep.
      As our week provided unrelenting pleasures I came to love scanning the sand along the water's edge for sea shells, small sea critters and other possessions brought in and deposited as treasures at my feet.
      I waded out into the water up to my shoulders, and scanned the water's floor with my feet, looking for assets transported from other lands by the turning of the tides.
      Daily our children sat in the sand, constructing castles and forts, only to watch the waves carry off their fantasies to lands where only visionaries and fairies could interpret and foretell.
      Like greased babies bottoms, we stayed covered and protected from the rays.  Yet my husband, whose feet had been confinedfor years beneath dark dress coverings, was shocked to be introduced to the sun intensified by the sand, as he walked along the beach.  Soon his feet took on the appearance and pain of trapped lobsters.
      I had not known the power water possessed beyond what came through copper tubing.  I stood mesmerized as waves in their might rolled over themselves, again and again carrying me with them into the future where dreams lay and memories are collected.
      Our children stood leery of the imposing authority, fearful of the bashing abuse, petrified of yielding, but determined to step out to conquer the strength of the deep.  They soon overcame their fear, triumphant over the insults inflicted upon them.  They took their stance and tasted the salty rewards.
      At night, we walked the abandoned beaches looking out at the moon, reflecting off the blackness and listening to the tide bringing in more treasures.  What would dawn reveal buried beneath a footstep? What creatures would we find trapped behind, gasping, searching for a lost love -- the depths of the sea.
      Soon our vacation came to an end, our days swallowed up in seven rolling tides.  Seven days of paradise blissfully came to an end, carried away to be stored as future treasures, memories never to be forgotten.
      That vacation was many years ago and our children are all grown. Their children are now learning the beauty and might contained within
great bodies of water.  They are finding pleasures untold and seeking treasures of their own.  They are forming their own love affair with beaches and casting upon the waters their own dreams and visions. They are storing away albums of memories, visual pictures never to be forgotten.
      My husband and I have gone on to walk other seashores, and form other love affairs with beaches around the world, but like one's first love affair, we have never forgotten our first -- Daytona Beach.

                      -- Betty King     <baking2 @>

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Good News!!

Well, here I go:
I don't think I'm supposed to be announcing or talking about this yet, so this is "unofficial" BUT:

Our son Tim just called.  You will NOT believe this (Well, actually, maybe you will.)  Tim and Patti are having a BABY!  Do you realize what this means?????  We are going to be Grandparents!  It's not sunk in yet.  She is just 5 weeks pregnant. They are very happy and very excited.  This was VERY PLANNED, seriously.  Wedding plans remain the same.  (First week of Dec. in Jamaica.)  Patti is due in May.  Pretty soon, I am going to flip right out of my mind screaming and I may run up and down the streets naked or maybe not. Maybe with a banner though!  Tim said to me, to put Dave on the other phone, I asked if they were both okay, and he said, "Yes." So, then he said that he had something to tell us, And I said, "I think I know....and he said what & I said, You are going to have a baby."  Tim said I have good intuition.  I was sorta shocked, Dave was the one that said Congratulations.  Who would have thunk this.  It's always been a dream......but never real for me..............  It's is still not really real for me! Wow!  Isn't this something?
PS  For those of you who don't know, Tim is our 43 year old son.  Patti is in her early 30's.  They got engaged about 3 or 4 months ago.They live in a town about 3 hours from us.  (Oh, and Tim starts his new job, as a writer again (Yippee!) this Thursday!)  Things are definitely looking good in my world tonight!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lord, I am counting on you....

My days are hard lately.   Added to my pain problems, my psychiatrist is no longer practicing (here, anyway).  I call and call out of town doctors, who either aren't taking new patients or who aren't providers for our Insurance Company.  It seems I've hit a brick wall.  I have an appointment to see the one remaining psychiatrist in our little town, the end of December in case I can't find anyone someone anywhere else, but I don't  want to see him if I don't have to as he doesn't think my pain is an issue, and refuses to see that I have been on tons of drugs that don't work, and doesn't want to give me the only thing that does work (I have seen him before.)    I think the following is an appropriate and timely piece beautifully written.

Lord, I'm Counting On You........
I've fought a good fight
Done all I know to do
Lord, please lift this burden
I'm counting on you
My body is tired of this pain
My endurance is low
Please take my hand
Never let it go

I'm giving it to you Lord
You know what is best
I pray for my healing
Only you know what's in store
Many prayers have gone up
And stormed heaven's door
Your Word tells me, You are always there

Please hear my cry Lord
I am truly in despair
My faith has grown weak
Speak to my heart Lord
It's your face I now seek
Tell me Lord, my pain you share
Assure me Lord tell me
It is not more than I can bear

How many times I've given you things
Only to take them back again
And I am alone once more
To bear the pain
Help me Lord to just let it go
I know it is you that is in control
That your love will see me thru
Nothing is left now, what else Lord,
What else must I do

I know you will take care of me
And you know Lord,
I'm counting on you

© 2006 Gayle Alatia

I think this is simply beautiful!  If you are reading this, maybe this prayer can be of help to you, too, sometime.



Friday, September 1, 2006

From  (It's a GEM!)

by Roger Dean Kiser

      The rain was coming down so hard that I could hardly see the road.
      I looked behind me at the mother cat who was on the back seat of my truck.  And then I looked at the box beside me, carrying her three kittens.
      For weeks I had tried to find them a home.  Two kittens were
lucky and we found them good homes in the neighborhood.  The mother cat was going into heat again and every male cat within five miles was camping on our front porch.
      I had not slept for two days and I was grasping at my final
straw.  We already had five dogs and five cats in our home there was no way we could bring anymore inside.  For weeks I had tried to get the Humane Society or animal control to help, but to no avail.
      Over the past five years we have saved many animals who were beaten and mistreated.  Then there is little Cinnamon who had her leg torn off by five teenagers.  The cost to save her, and the all the others, wiped out our savings as well as the money we had saved for  our granddaughter's education.
      For almost a year I went off my own medications to try and save these animals.  Now, at the end of my rope, my son and I loaded the cats into my truck and I was heading to the local camp ground to drop off this family of animals.
      I just didn't know what else to do.
      By the time I reached the camp ground the rain was coming down so hard that I could not see the dirt road.  Once again, I looked back at the mama cat and she just looked and meowed, quietly, several  times.
      Trying not to look at the cardboard box, I felt the tears begin
to roll down my cheeks.  I slammed my hand onto the steering wheel, as hard as I could, knowing that my heart was taking over what my mind was trying to get me to do.
      Without thinking twice, I turned around and headed toward home.       Unable to reach my wife, Judy, on the telephone I left a message  on her answering machine.  Unable to talk without crying, I left a choked message which I know was inaudible.
      After reaching home I fed the family of cats and walked next
door to my son's house.  I was told that he had been on the phone begging his friends to take the kittens but no one was interested.
He then went into the bathroom and that is where he stayed and would not come out.  I walked outside and waited for about twenty minutes before Roger Jr. finally appeared.
      "How do you feel?" he asked me.
      "I feel pretty good," I replied.
      "How can you feel good, Dad?"
      "I suppose because the mama cat and her three kittens are up on the porch eating their supper."
      The boy's eyes got real big and he grabbed hold of me.  I have received hugs from my son throughout the years but never one like that one.
      "I'll help you Dad.  We'll find them a home, I promise," he
said, with tears in his eyes.
      "Sounds good to me, son."
      I suppose sometimes being at the end of your rope is really just the beginning of another rope.
      For some reason, I have been renewed and I will continue my work to make sure than no child, or animal, is ever abandoned, or
mistreated as we kids were in that terrible Jacksonville, Florida,
      I suppose you have to see the outside world from inside a
cardboard box to really understand.

            -- Roger Dear Kiser   <trampolineone @>


Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I thought you'd like this story.  I am not a "rescue type dog person" but a lot of these stories still touch my heart.  Jessi, my first Bichon was a Puppy Mill dog, although we didn't know what puppy mills were at that time. So, we sort of feel like she was our "rescue dog."  And it's a great story even if it's not about a Maltese or a Bichon.  LOL
Enjoy it--at you leisure.

by Peggy Ellingson

      I still remember the morning of December 30, 1999, reading the "Found" ad in the paper describing a stray female Shih Tzu who was taken to the local shelter four days earlier.
      I had moved into my first home in June and couldn't wait to add a dog to my already full home of 4 cats.  I had the fenced yard and growing up, we always had multiple pets.  I loved dogs, but living in apartments and commuting so far to work, I knew I couldn't give one the perfect home.  But now I had that opportunity.
      This was one of the breeds I was interested in for no other
reason than the size and they were cute.  I called the shelter when they opened and found out she was still unclaimed and would be available after 11:30am.
      I informed my boss I needed to take an early lunch and may be a bit longer than usual -- I was adopting a dog.  I knew, as I drove to the shelter, she would be coming home with me, no matter what.
      When I arrived I was directed to "stray lane" and there, huddled at the back of a huge kennel was a mass of black and white fur.  I asked a volunteer if I could take her somewhere a bit quieter.
We were taken to the kitchen/lunch room area. What I had before me was the most matted, tiny, stinky little girl, but all I could see was her beautiful brown eyes and we bonded  immediately.  This little girl was coming home with me -- my mind was made up.  I even had a new name for her -- Taijah.
      I completed the necessary paperwork, bought some supplies and we headed to the nearest "beauty parlor" to find out just what was under all that mess.  After work, I came back and I picked up the prettiest little Shih Tzu with red bows on her ears and sporting her new collar.  She looked like a totally different dog.
      From the moment she came home, she was a perfect little girl. Once she learned that squeaky toys were fun, she always met me at the door with one in her mouth.  She didn't have a problem sharing our home with the cats, as long as she had her spot on the bed, or on the couch with me, holding her or rubbing her belly.  
      Not long after Taijah came home, I adopted another Shih Tzu, Dolly, from the same shelter and then it started -- I got involved with rescue.
      One more into the home, then another, along with fosters, Taijah was the mama to every one of them.  She lovingly accepted every pup coming into our home and helped them feel welcome with a good ear and face bath, until they were placed with their new families.  She stood by my side as the "foster mom" for four years -- welcoming the new ones, always patient with me when things got a bit overwhelming and always on the bed, by my side.
      Everyone commented over the years, about her personality, her patience, her perfect-ness, always wanting to know where I got her and asking "how old is she?"  Well, a perfect lady never tells her real age, so we always left that to guessing.  But I always proudly shared the rest of the story. 
      Earlier this year, Taijah really wasn't looking or acting like
herself.  Tests were run and we tried everything, but there was no change in her health, no matter what we tried.  She was only getting worse.  She would still greet me at the door, but no squeaky toy was in her mouth.  
      Then came our last weekend together.  I headed off Saturday morning to pick up our newest foster pups and brought them home. When I returned, Taijah welcomed them, but I knew something was not right.
      By Monday morning, after I had just spent the early hours
holding her and telling her how much I loved her and to please get better, I knew there was nothing more I could do.  With the heaviest heart, I helped her with her journey to the Rainbow Bridge.  Our 6 years together were not enough, but no matter how selfish I wanted to be, I couldn't let her continue to suffer.  She needed me to allow her to leave.
      Within two days, I received an email from our local shelter
about a "nasty Shih Tzu" they knew they couldn't place on the
adoption floor.  I replied that I would work on something and be
there to meet her as soon as possible.  One way or another, I would help her get out of there, rather than face the alternative.
      I got to the shelter after work and met "Minnie" with the
assistance of an employee there.  We had an agreement that I could bring her home for assessment, just to get her away from that atmosphere where I knew she was scared beyond belief.
      When I spoke to my mom, she asked why I brought her home.  I told her that maybe this was something Taijah wanted me to do.
      The night went well and I picked up her paperwork the next day to help begin the search for her new family.  To my surprise her AKC  paperwork was included with everything they gave me.
      When I looked at Minnie's date of birth, I was stunned!  It read December 26, 1999 -- the EXACT day Taijah was turned into the shelter as a stray!
      I had to double check it when I got home, and yes, this was the date.  Taijah had her hand in this rescue once again.  My sweet baby girl made sure that I helped another girl who so desperately needed a mom to take care of her.
      God speed and, baby girl, we will be together again one day.
Please take care of all the pups until I get there.  I love you.

                 -- Peggy Ellingson    <Peg4tzus @>

Peggy is lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and is involved in
rescue work.  She says, "My family consists of two elderly cats,
Ebony and Maxi, along with Dolly, Jazz , Jozey and Minnie (the Shih Tzus) and Meiko, Danji and Kimi (my Japanese Chins) and numerous foster pups along the way, which right now are Artie and Sneakers

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Powers of Love

by Kathy Whirity

      By all accounts, the Powers' household was like any other in the
Mt. Greenwood community.
      With five daughters close in age, and a son, there was, no
doubt, never a dull moment for their patient parents.  And I thought
having two daughters less than two years apart was a challenge!
      Like any other family overflowing with females, they fought,
snuck each others clothes and, in coming of age years, shared the all
important teen-age secrets.  They supported each other in bad times
and shared the laughter in happy times.
      Not much has changed in the years since they have grown into
adults.  I recently read an empowering story about the Powers women.
      They have joined forces to fight breast cancer with what they
call Team KA-POW.  Membership to this team includes many friends and
family who support Annie and Kathleen, both cancer patients who are
dedicated to raising funds to find a cure for this dreaded disease.
      Breast cancer is not the only medical affliction affecting women
in the Powers family.
      Along with her mother Marilyn, Debbie frequently fights the
painful flare-ups that Rheumatoid arthritis brings.  However, it
doesn't divert her efforts to support the cause of cancer research on
behalf of her sisters.
      But there is another side to this story -- an inspiring show of
their sisterly love that is a profound example of sodality in
overcoming adversity.
      Kathleen was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001.  Her sister
Annie would also be diagnosed with the same disease, one year later.
Sadly, in 2005, Kathleen's cancer was found to have spread to her
pelvis and spine, while Annie's breast cancer had also returned.
      Through the demands of dealing with cancer and undergoing the
rigorous chemo regimens to treat it, a story of pure love and hope is
born amid the medical challenges.
      For Annie the desire to become a mother never faded though it
seemed unlikely.  Medications and cancer treatments would prevent her
from becoming pregnant.  And then, the "Powers of love" shone
brightly on a promising situation.
      Annie wanted a baby of her own but wouldn't be able to carry
one.  But, her sister Mary could.  So Mary became a surrogate mother
for Annie -- an unselfish act of love that not many women would be
able to commit to.
      Little Mary Elise was born July 2, 2006, lovingly named after
the aunt who carried her, allowing her to grow right below her heart.
To her mom, Mary is a wee angel of pure love, an answered prayer from
God above.
      Sisters, they share many things throughout a life time.  They
celebrate good times and hold each other up when bad times threaten
to knock them down.  When family ties are sewn securely within the
heart, there is nothing that can't be done or overcome.
      In writing this story I am reminded of an old expression, "It's
not what life hands you but how you handle it that counts."
      The determination of these women is a gift of inspiration to us
all and a true testament to their parents, Marilyn and Gene Powers,
who can be so proud of raising such loving, caring and compassionate
      There is no denying the Powers of sisterly love.

                 -- Kathy Whirity    <kathywhirity @>

Monday, August 14, 2006

Dear John Letter

(Again, Credit goes to Rhonda, (call me a copy-cat) but I can't resist as this is so funny, I think!  Rhonda sends the BEST stuff doesn't she?)
The Best Dear John letter:

A young girl on a years training course in South Africa recently
received a "Dear John" letter from her boyfriend back home.

It read as follows:

Dear Mary,

I can no longer continue our relationship. The distance between
us is just too great. I must admit that I have cheated on you twice, since you've
been gone, and it's not fair to either of us. I'm sorry. Please return the picture of me that I sent to you.

Love, John

Mary, with hurt feelings, asked her colleagues for any snapshots they could spare of their boyfriends, brothers, ex-boyfriends, uncles, cousins, etc. In addition to the picture of John, Mary included all the other pictures of the pretty lads she had collected from her buddies. There were 57 photos in that
envelope.... along with this note:

Dear John,
I'm so sorry, but I can't quite remember who the H*#!* you are.
Please take your picture from the pile, and send the rest back
to me.

Take Care, Mary

Growing Up

From my dear soulmate Rhonda (yeah, I copied it pal, thank you so much!
Beautifully stated

 As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably  more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best  friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry  because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you  love. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've  never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute  of happiness you'll never get back. So send this to all of your friends  (and me) in the next 5 minutes and a miracle will happen tonight.
 Don't be afraid that your life will end,
 be afraid that it will never begin!

Friday, August 11, 2006


I came across and it was just too good not to share.  I usually have NO trouble talking at the doctor's office, (or anywhere else,  -you know me!- LOL) BUT it is easy to forget things you MEAN to ask that doctor, you don't even write them down because they are such easy questions, you just "know" you will remember them!
Anyway, hope you enjoy this one.
Your pal,
by Kathy Pippig Harris

      It is something I suffer from -- a malady I have dealt with
since childhood.
      I suspect I am not the only individual who has this infirmity,
and knowing that, gives me some comfort.
      This ailment has the power to render me witless.
      My speech only functions on the primal level and my ability to
think clearly and form intelligent sentences often flees from my
ordered thought processes before I leave the house... to visit my
      If I have the wherewithal to remember ahead of time, I sit down,
and taking a calming breath, write a list of questions, comments, and
salutations I wish to use when I see the doctor.
      After arriving at the office, I sign in and pay my insurance
deductible.  I'm early for my appointment, but I'm prepared.  I've
brought a book to read.
      I look around at the folks in the doctor's waiting room.  People
who have come in after me are called before me.  I patiently tell
myself they are probably seeing another doctor.  Three doctors share the same office.
     I whip my head up from its dangling position to find several people
looking at me in disgust.  I realize those noises had come from me!
I grin weakly and nod my head, finding great interest, now, in
reading the book I've brought along.
      Finally, an assistant opens the door and calls my name.  I'm
directed to the step-up scales.  I take off my shoes; drop my purse,
keys and book on a nearby counter.  I whisper to her, "Please, I'm
going to cover my eyes.  Whatever the scale says, I do not want to
hear it.  I'm serious."
      I turn my head to one side, step up on the scale, and close my
eyes.  I can hear her fiddling with the slides on the scale until she
finds the right combination.  Then she reads the result out loud.
Out loud!
      I cringe, step off the scale, and turn around to find the entire
staff at reception staring at me.  By now, she is halfway down the
hall, waving the clipboard, beckoning me to follow her into an
examination room.
      After I'm shown into the exam room, she takes my blood pressure,
checks my pulse and asks me my purpose for being there.  I explain
what I'm there for, trying to keep it brief.  But she urges me on,
exhibiting sound interest in hearing my explanation.  Before she
leaves, she tells me the doctor will be with me shortly.
      And I wait.
      Later, the doctor enters the room, and asks me, "Well, what are
you here for today?"
      I didn't hear that!  I must have misunderstood.  I had gone into
great detail about that with the assistant.  Why did she ask me, if
not to relay that information to the doctor?
      I jabber an answer, fully saturated now in my ailment -- Doctor
Visit Dumb Syndrome.  The crude and elementary answers I am able to give leave me feeling embarrassed.  I lapse into episodes of blank
mental activity.
      Twenty minutes later it is all over and I'm in my car.
      With relief, my mental faculties return to me -- I shall not be
permanently incapacitated.  Then I realize I had forgotten the
questions and comments I'd jotted down.  The list is still jammed
between the pages of my book, useless to me now.
      Ah, well...

                 -- Kathy Pippig Harris   <kappi00 @>

Never take friendship for granted, you never know what tomorrow holds.
Catherine Pulsifer

FFriendship flourishes at the fountain of forgiveness.
<A href=">William%20Arthur%20Ward%20</a><p>There%20are%20good%20ships,%20and%20there%20are%20wood%20ships,%20the%20ships%20that%20sail%20the%20sea.%20<br>But%20the%20best%20ships%20are%20friendships,%20and%20may%20they%20always%20be.%20<br><a%20href=" http: irishproverbs index.html?>Irish Saying


Buy at
Miracle of Friendship

The "as if" principle works. Act "as if" you were not afraid and you will become courageous, "as if" you could and you'll find you can. Act "as if" you like a person and you'll find a friendship.
Norman Vincent Peale

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Dog Pounds

 A dear friend sent me this, and I am going to post it, but it is LONG and I may have to divide it up for it to work for my Journal.  Anyway, this was a definite tear jerker!  I bawled like a baby.  It was moving, that's for sure.  I could never go to the pound as I could just never pick one.
Interview at the Dog Pound
As a journalist, I decided to go to the dog pound, and interview some of the "inmates". I wanted to know what it was like in there from their perspective. What follows is not for the faint of heart.
I entered the building, and one of the workers accompanied me to the holding area. This is where dogs are kept before they are allowed up for adoption. IF they are allowed up for adoption. If the dogs are found to be aggressive in any way, euthanasia is employed. Fortunately, if "fortunately" is the word to be
used here, this is a Canadian establishment, and they use lethal injection, not a gas chamber.

The pound worker led me past a big steel door that says "Employees Only". "What is in there?" I asked. From the look he gave me, I knew that this is where dogs go in, and never return.

We moved on to a row of kennels. The dogs were barking loudly, there was the acrid smell of urine and feces, and a feeling of despair seemed to permeate the room.

"Go ahead," the worker said. "They're all yours."

I looked into the first kennel, and saw only the back of a medium sized dog who was curled up in the corner of his kennel, shivering. He was mostly white, with some black spots. "Hello?" I said. "May I come in?" He lifted his head, as though it weighed more than he could bear. When he looked at me, I could see he was a Pitbull. His eyes were gentle, but filled with grief. "Enter," was all he

I stepped in, closing the gate behind me. He put his head back down, facing away from me. I crouched down a few feet away.

"My name is Pete. Petey my Master called me," he said, still not looking at me. "Why are you here Pete?" I asked.

"I am here because Master cannot afford to move to another province. I am here because someone with power said I am vicious, and a killer. Someone who never met me. Master took me for a walk one day, and some lady started to scream when she saw me. I got frightened, and barked at her. The dog police came, and they took me away. I have been with Master for 10 years. The last time I saw him, he just held me and cried. He kept telling me he was sorry. I worry for him. Whatever will he do without me?" Pete shivered even more.

A tear slid down my face. I am supposed to remain objective, but this was wrong, so wrong.

"Thank you Pete." I said. He said nothing as I got up and left his kennel.


The kennel next to Pete's held a very young looking dog. Pure Border Collie by my guess. He stood on his hind legs, looking at me through the gate.  "Hello. My name's Popper. He tilted his head. "Are you here to take me home?" "No, I'm sorry," I replied. "But I would like to talk with you." "Sure. What would you like to talk about?"  "Popper, how did you come to be in this place?" I asked.
Popper dropped down from the gate, with a perplexed look on his face. He walked to the back of the kennel, then back to the front. I noticed he had one blue eye, and one brown. He was quite beautiful. His black and white coat was shiny and thick.

"I am not certain WHY I am here. I think maybe my family will come back for me. They bought me when I was only 6 weeks old. I remember they said how smart Border Collies are, and how it would be so easy to train me. They were very excited at first. The little ones played with me all the time. But the trouble
with little Masters is, they refuse to stay in a group. I constantly had to nip their heels to keep them together." He looked confused. "Why won't they stay in a group?" he sighed. "So I did what I thought I should do. I am not quite sure why the little ones screamed when I did my job, but they did, and the Masters
got very angry at me. They also got angry when I had to relieve myself, and did so in the house. I am not sure where they expected me to go. All they said was that I was the smartest breed in the world, and I should just KNOW better. Then they left me in the yard for a month or so. I got bored a lot, and I dug holes in the grass. The next thing I knew, the Masters brought me here."

Popper jumped back up on the gate, his white paws protruding through the links. He looked at me with his lovely eyes, and asked "Will you please let them know I want to come home? Please tell them I promise I will be good?"

"I will Popper," I said.


My heart was breaking. I was beginning to regret coming here, but their stories had to be told. I moved along. The next dog I saw looked to be easily 100 lbs., a Rottweiler. He was handsome indeed, except for the scars on his face and back. He tilted his head, and looked me right in the eyes.

"Hello. Who are you?" he asked.

"I am a reporter," I replied. "May I speak with you for a little while?"

"Most certainly. My name is Spartan. You can come in, I won't bite," he said.  "Thank you Spartan. I will."

I entered his kennel, reached out and stroked his giant head. He made a loud grumbling noise, and closed his eyes.

"Spartan, why are you here?"

Before he could answer my question, he was suddenly in the grip of a nasty coughing spasm. It sounded painful. "Please excuse me," he said when it passed. "Kennel cough. It seems all of us
who come in here get it. "Why am I here? Well, about two years ago, I was born in the backyard of some person I can't even recall. I had 11 brothers and sisters. I recall a day when a big man came and gave that person some money, and
took me away from my mother. They had to chain her up, as she was very angry that he took me. They chained her and beat her. I came to know the man by the name of Jim. I overheard him telling his friends that I would grow up to be big and mean like my mother. But as I grew older, all I wanted to do was play and be friends with everyone. Jim said I needed to be taught how to be mean, so he
chained me up in the yard. No more house for me, he said, I was too spoiled.
When people came by to visit, I was so happy to see them. I wanted them to come and play. But that made Jim angry, so he beat me with sticks and chains. When he came near, I would roll onto my back so he would know I wasn't a bad dog. That
made him beat me more." Spartan's eyes clouded with grief. "Then he brought me here."

I reached out and stroked Spartan's massive gentle head once more. "I am so sorry Spartan. Some people are just plain evil." I gave him a kiss and left his kennel. As I walked away, Spartan called out, "What will happen to me, nice lady?"  I shook my head. "I can't say Spartan. Maybe someone kind will come and get you.
We can only hope."


I walked a little further down. I could see a shape moving at the back of the next kennel. "Hello?" I called out. Suddenly the shape lunged at the gate in a fury, barking and gnashing its teeth. I stumbled backwards, and crashed into an adjacent kennel. The other dogs began barking loudly and jumping at their gates.

"Don't go near her," a small female voice came from behind me. "She's mad." I gathered myself back together, and saw a little Jack Russell Terrier behind me.

"Thanks for the warning," I was still trembling. Across the way, the other dog, apparently a Husky and German Shepherd cross, was glaring at me, lips curled back revealing brown stained teeth. Her ribs and hips showed through her dull, matted grey coat. The little dog invited me into her kennel, and I gladly went in.

"Who are you?" "My name is Patsy." The little brown and white dog held a paw up to the gate in greeting.  "My owner surrendered me. She said she wanted a cute little dog like the one on the TV show, Frasier. She didn't bother to look into the type of dog I am." Patsy heaved a sigh.  "I suppose she expected me to just lie about and only need a short walk each day, just like Eddie, but my energy was so high that I needed to run and play."
She glanced at her surroundings. "Now I am here. I suppose it could be worse. I could be like her." Patsy looked towards the still growling dog across the way.  "What happened to make her so vicious?" I asked.

"From what we could gather," she replied. "she was found tied in a back yard. She only had a three foot chain. Some days there was no water. Rarely was there any food. One day a nice neighbor came by and brought her some meat. By then it was too late. She was already mad. She broke off her chain, and bit the poor man badly. We know she will be going behind the steel door. I am sad to say, I think it will be best. Perhaps then she will know some peace."

Just then, the door at the end of the building opened, and a woman stepped inside. All the dogs began to bark wildly, then one by one, they went quiet.

I whispered to Patsy, "Who is that? Why have all the dogs gone quiet?" Patsy breathed deeply through her little nose, and closed her eyes. "SHE is a Rescuer. Can't you smell it?" she asked.
"Smell what?" I was confused.

"Compassion. Love. Sorrow. It emanates from her pores. She is here for one of us, but nobody knows who just yet." Patsy looked hopeful.

The Rescuer moved from kennel to kennel, looking at each dog. I sat quietly watching. I could see tears in her eyes as she made eye contact with each one. She stopped at Spartan's cage and spoke quietly to him.

"No more beatings my man. No more. You are coming with me. From here on in, it's all going to get better."

The Rescuer produced a leash, opened the kennel door, and took Spartan away. As he walked beside her, his little stubby tail wagged with delight.

Patsy sighed again. I could see the disappointment in her eyes, and it grieved me. They all had the same look, as they watched The Rescuer depart."I am so sorry Patsy," I said in a whisper. "But you are a little dog, and everyone loves little dogs. I am convinced you will be rescued soon." Patsy's brown eyes twinkled at me, a little bit of hope returning.

I had heard and seen enough. I needed to tell people how it was for these unfortunate creatures. They were all here through no fault of their own. I stood to leave. I passed by many other dogs I did not interview, looking at each one, wishing I could take them all home with me and give them the love they deserved.

I stood by the door taking one last glance back, when it opened, and one of the pound workers came in. His face was drawn and sad. He walked by without a word, and stopped at Pete's kennel. I heard him take a deep breath, then he paused, and opened the kennel door.

The words were muffled, but I am sure I heard him say "I'm sorry old boy." He came out, with Petey in tow. The old dog's head hung down in resignation, and they both disappeared behind the big steel door.

It had been two weeks since I visited the local dog pound and its denizen. The story, not surprisingly, had attracted a lot of attention from rescue groups in the area. They were pleased someone from the city paper had taken the time to write a story on why dogs end up in the pound. It was hoped it might raise some awareness.

I found my mind wandering back to that sad place time and again. I wondered how feisty little Patsy was, and if she had been adopted yet. I also worried for Popper, the young Border Collie. I was deeply troubled in my spirit. As I sat staring blankly at my computer screen, trying to concentrate on another story, I
felt the familiar warmth of a little chin resting on my knee.

"Hi Sweetie." I stroked the soft fur of my own dog, Sophie. She always knew when I was upset. They all seem to just know. There was then a gentle nudge of my arm on the oppositeside as my other dog, Banner, vied for my affections. Border Collies, both of them. "I have to go back," I said, looking into Sophie's intelligent eyes. "I have to know."

Return to the Pound
Once again, I found myself in that foul smelling kennel area. No matter how many times you clean a place like this, the stench is always there. It must be hell for dogs, having such a keen sense of smell.

Pete's old kennel had a new tenant, some sort of Labrador mix. She was black with small white markings on her chest and paws. There was a food dish in the corner, the kibble untouched by the look of it. She lay on her side, whining. I could see she had recently had pups by the swollen teats. Poor girl.

I moved past the Lab, to Spartan's old kennel. Empty. Good. I held my breath as I approached Popper's kennel, hoping beyond hope that he had been adopted. I was not prepared for what I saw. This once proud, handsome young Border Collie was
now a quivering mass in the corner of his kennel. He
glanced up at me briefly, a flicker of recognition in his eyes, then he began to cough violently. His tail was tucked tightly between his shaking legs. "Oh Popper!" I cried. "What has happened to you?" Popper simply cowered into the corner, shrinking away from my voice. "It's his breed," a familiar voice spoke from behind. "They're too sensitive. The noise and smells drive them crazy.
Intelligent fellows like him can't take the long hours of boredom and lack of companionship. " I turned around to see my little friend Patsy, the Jack Russell Terrier. I peered through her kennel gate.

"Ah Patsy," I shook my head. "I had hoped you would have found a nice home." "I did," Patsy replied. "Well, at least I thought I did. The day you came here, someone came in and chose me. It turned out the same. A nother person who wanted a cute little dog, but not the work it takes to keep them happy. She brought me back just three days later, tired of my constant playing and  running about, bouncing off the furniture." Patsy stood on her hind legs,
resting her little paws on the gate. "But guess what? A man and a little girl came here yesterday, they smelled VERY good too! They petted me, and played with me. Then they threw a ball for me. I brought it right back to them like a good dog!" Patsy was becoming very excited. Her stubby little tail wagged rapidly
back and forth, making me grin. "They kept talking about
something called flyball! The man said they were going to go talk to someone named Mom, and maybe they would come back."

I smiled. Maybe they would come back. In the meantime, I had some questions for Patsy. "What has happened in here since my last visit?" She dropped back down onto her haunches, and became sullen."I hate this place," she said. "That Lab down there?" I nodded. "Well, she came in with ten puppies. Someone just dumped them all like garbage at the front door. That was last week. Five days ago, some of her young became very, very ill. I remember smelling the sickness . T he smell of blood. The workers came
in, they called the sickness Parvo. They were very agitated. Six of her young died, the other four went behind the steel door." Patsy shuddered. "She has been mourning since, and will not eat."
"Lord have mercy," I whispered. "That's not all," she said. "The disease has run through the kennel, and others have gone behind the steel door. I suppose I was lucky, I was vaccinated. So was
Popper, but he has The Cough." As if on cue, Popper once again was seized by a coughing fit behind us.

"I have to get out of here," Patsy wailed. "I am so frightened!"

Once again I was questioning the logic of my return to this God forsaken place. "Oh Patsy," I opened the door to her kennel and picked her up in my arms, cuddling her close. I could feel her trembling. "You smell different," she said suddenly stopping and sniffing me.

"You smell like one of THEM."

"Them?" I asked.

"A Rescuer!" she sniffed me once more, her little tail wagging rapidly. Just then, the door to the kennel room opened, and a pound worker and a man with a little girl came in. The little girl rushed toward Patsy's kennel, but stopped abruptly when she saw me holding her. "Oh no!" she wailed. "You aren't taking my dog are you?" I quickly put Patsy into her waiting arms, and said "No young lady, she is all yours! But take very good care of her, she is one special little dog." "Yay! Daddy look!" she squealed as Patsy planted little dog kisses all over her cheeks. "Daddy, is she really mine?" "Yes Honey, she is really yours," her father beamed. The worker instructed them to be sure to bleach the bottoms of
their shoes as they left, and I saw a brilliant sparkle in Patsy's eyes as she looked at me over the shoulder of her new little master. This time, I was certain, it would be okay . A t least for this one little dog.

As I left the building, and the many sad and despairing dogs it held, I could not help but wonder how anyone with a heart could abandon their beloved and devoted pet. Ignorance and selfishness are the cause of so much grief. These amazing animals give humans their whole hearts. They serve them, protect them,
and give them unconditional love regardless of how they are treated. Their capacity for forgiveness is something I will never comprehend. And yet they are so often treated like trash by the very ones they trust. Their loyalty is repaid with blind indifference.

Opening the door to my car, I wiped a tear from my cheek, and looked down. "

Patsy isn't the only dog who will find out what flyball is, right Popper?"

Popper looked up at me, a glimmer of hope returning to his glazed eyes, his tail wagging slightly between his legs. I knelt down, cupped his sweet little face in my hands, and looked him in the eyes. "It's off to the vet with you, and then when you are well, you are going to meet your new brother and sister."
I use to volunteer at our local humane society. But the big dogs on the top kennels got to be too heavy for me to lift, and this is 15 yr. ago and my back troubles weren't bad yet, in fact, I hadn't even had surgery on it.  This was/is a "no kill" shelter.  They stay until they are adopted or die.  But we also have a pound in Mason City, and a dog catcher. If they pick up your dog you only get like so many days because they do put them down there.  The humane society that I worked at has a waiting list, because of the "no kill" rule.
I hope you were touched by this "Reality Story."  I was.