Monthly Archives: May 2018


“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ” – The Dalai Lama

I thought this quote would be a good concept for us to contemplate today. If you are kind, you can make a difference. If you are not kind, you can also have a different type of impact. Who do you want to be? Choose wisely.

Apathy Warrior

Sanctuary Acres


I decided to title this piece Apathy Warrior but it could just as easily be titled Having a Melt Down. It’s a fine line. I suppose one leads to the other. This is my journey.

Above you see Sassy and me. Sassy, affectionately referred to as Miss Sassy Pants, sometimes as Miss Bossy Pants. I love this little girl. She is filled with spunk and character, the likes of which you won’t often see. She is one of our sheltie rescue dogs that got returned last week. I thought her new home was a great fit. But apparently not good enough. Due to a behavioral incident she was returned. I find it suspicious that her “family” is now going to be doing long term travelling. That is neither here nor there. The policy of our rescue, as is the policy of most rescues, is that no matter the circumstance, we take…

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A New Life

As you may or may not remember, I am a member of a local Shetland Sheepdog Rescue group. I received a phone call at work on Friday from our local pound which is just next door. They said they had a sheltie who was just surrendered and not adjusting well. Would we take it?

I made a call to alert our Intake Coordinator and plans were set into motion. I was already scheduled to leave work early so I said, sure, I’ll be up shortly to get the dog.

Well, I got there and this is the dog they had. It’s a little hard to tell from the picture but this is not a Shetland Sheepdog aka sheltie. He was the right size, about 22 lbs. My first clue that he was not a sheltie was the fact that he had no tail. And upon closer inspection, he does not have a sheltie head or muzzle and the build was not right.

I finally realized that this dog, whose name is Stormy by the way, is actually a Miniature Australian Shepherd. So I made another call to our Intake Coordinator and between us, we decided that we would take him anyway. We don’t have enough shelties for everyone on our waiting list and I think a lot of people waiting on a sheltie would be quite happy with Stormy. Plus, it sprung Stormy from the pound so I see it as a win for everyone.

Stormy was markedly happier once he was in the car and getting farther away from the pound. Now to be fair, our pound is a good one. They are no kill, get the dogs vetted, and are just nice people. But still it is very loud with lots of barking and kennel runs which did not suit Stormy. He turned out to be a friendly little guy that I enjoyed my time with as I transported him to his foster home.

Stormy has since been to our vet and I’m sure will have a wonderful home soon. I am happy to have been a part of the journey on his way to a new life.

Native Plants

Walking around our property I see that many of our early bloomers are native plants. The bleeding heart or Dicentra looks so delicate.

And we are lucky enough to have a trillium with five stalks. They are not very common. I just learned recently that another name for trillium is wake robin.

Our grapevines are leafing out . They have tiny buds right now.

The dogwood in the front yard is nearly done blooming but is beautiful nonetheless.

And the honeysuckle is open now.

Mother Nature provides us with many gifts.

Scents of Spring

There are some flowers that I plant primarily because of their scent. The vase contains viburnum and lilacs. My first encounter with a viburnum was some years back. I was walking into the library when I noticed this most wonderful smell. I walked up and down the sidewalk until I determined from which plant it was emanating. Then I started poking around until I found a tag which identified the plant. Not too long after that, I was the proud owner of one of these plants.

I don’t find it to be the prettiest of bushes but the scent makes it well worth having. Mine is planted underneath a window so that we are often blessed with its scent. I also cut at least one stalk to have in a vase at all times during the bloom season.

The simple lilac is another gem. It is pleasant to look at but I consider the scent to be its greatest offering. I think many would agree with me as its flowers have been made into perfumes for many a year. Walking around the yard is a treat for the senses during the month of May.

And the humble honeysuckle will be offering up an olfactory delight shortly as well. The month of May offers an awakening of the senses after a long, frigid winter.

In the Wild Blue Yonder

To you my friend. I’ll hold you in my heart until we meet again in the wild blue yonder.

I miss finishing each other’s sentences with the exact right thing. I miss laughing with you until I double over. I miss the way that you encouraged me to do things.

With you I learned that I could:

  • Do a 180 degree turn around in a pickup truck to get to that ice cream stand we just drove by
  • Carry an abandoned kitten that we found for half a mile to get home
  • Hike up an actual mountain in the state of Maine carrying a backpack
  • Put up a tent in the dark
  • Survive getting divorced and become a better person in the end

You also taught me that no matter what happens there is some good to be found. And that when times are rough, they will be good again.

You made my life better by being the bright spot that you were to so many. I miss you but a little bit of you goes wherever I go.

Dogs in Spring

This weather is making for happy dogs! It has been around 70 degrees for most of the past week.

The pack gets to spend a few hours outdoors if it doesn’t rain, and there are walks and frisbeeing too.

Of course all that running and frisbeeing makes a dog thirsty.

I’m not sure that anyone told Cassius that he’s a retired racer. That dog does love to run. He is also a silly boy

Although Shelby the sheltie says that she is too dignified to run, thank you very much. Each of our dogs is enjoying this fine weather in their own way.

Cairns, and Ledges, and Streams, Oh My!

Spring weather is finally here and that means time for hiking! Actually we have been hiking for the past two months even when it was cold but it is much more fun now. Who knew all these rock walls were at the far end of a trail at West Branch State Park? Actually, probably lots of people knew but I wasn’t one of them.

The trail that we took on Sunday even had streams to ford in two places. Cassius, Baxter, and Shelby all crossed with daddy. Zekie was back with me.

Someone left a rock cairn in the tiny center island of one of the streams. It looks like a miniature temple against the rock cliffs rising up in the background.

We walked through some brush so we could get a better look at a couple of ponds and an old stone foundation. Here is Zekie trying to keep up with the pack but he’s stuck on leash with me.

The ponds drew lots of bird life which was fun to watch. We put in over 6.5 miles which I logged on Wooftrax, an app that will give a few cents to the registered rescue of your choice for every walk that you log. Of course mine go to Northeast Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Rescue. Shelby and Zekie insist!

We had some tired dogs when we got home. After a day that includes frisbeeing and hiking, Cassius is too tired to hold his head up!