As you know, the name of my blog is Sanctuary Acres. Today I’m going to share with you the origins of this name.
Sanctuary Acres is what I call my home. And this house is not the first Sanctuary Acres. I picked this name when I was a single divorcee living at my last house in Mantua, Ohio. After my first husband left, one of the things I decided to get into was dog rescue to spend time making a difference. I volunteered with a few different rescue groups. These covered the gamut. I was: a Board Member for the Portage County Animal Protective League, and volunteered for Northeast Ohio Collie/Sheltie Rescue, and Greyhound Adoption of Ohio. I did these concurrently.
I wanted my home to be a place where any who came, felt safe and cared for. This included animals as well as friends. I wanted it to be a place that all felt safe and welcome. I thought the name Sanctuary Acres covered it. I took in a few dogs on my own and found them new homes, before fostering for any organized groups. I fostered dogs and a few kittens while at the first Sanctuary Acres.
I was in the process of founding Northeast Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Rescue, Sheltie Rescue in Ohio (neossr.org) when I moved to our next and current home. I wanted the same feelings of safety and welcome to apply to my new home, so I kept the name. Sanctuary Acres is as much a feeling as it is a location. Shortly after moving to this home more than 17 years ago I gained a husband and a daughter. We have fostered over 50 dogs, mostly shelties with a few others sprinkled in for good mix. And I continue to hope this is a place where all feel welcome and safe. One of the hopes as we work in the gardens here, is that we have the opportunity to share the joy they bring with others.
So, when it came time to pick a blog name, I thought Sanctuary Acres summed it up best. I wanted to write and share various things that make my life what it is. This gives me the freedom to decide with each post if I want to write about dogs, cats, rescue issues, cooking and baking, gardening, books and reading, or share thoughts that I happen to be having. They are all part of my Sanctuary Acre’s life.
I hope you take joy in following along with me on the journey, whether it happens to be with an every day happening or one of the crazy occurrences that is bound to happen around here!
This post features each of our animals here at Sanctuary Acres. We currently have six dogs and two cats. They were all feeling sleepy earlier this week when the weather was cold. I took the opportunity to capture their restful moods in these photographs.
Baxter is 12 years old now. He was a drop off that someone left when he was a young pup of about three months. He has spent his entire life here. This is notable because we don’t often get many of our dogs as puppies. He grew up to be a wonderful dog with amazing frisbee skills. He is also very obedient and an easy dog to have around. He has taught the ropes to many a foster dog. His calm nature teaches them that it will be ok.
Shelby just turned 11 years old. She came here as a foster dog through Northeast Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Rescue (NEOSSR). She arrived when she was 18 months old. The folks who dropped her off said she was hyper and too much dog. Shelby is anything but hyper. She just happened to be in her teenage years when her previous owners left her here. She has grown into an obedient, serious, hard working girl. She is a certified therapy dog who I can count on for nursing home visits, walks with kids, staffing public events, and assisting with training or testing future therapy dogs. She is my right hand “man” and working partner.
Claire is 6 years old. She is our newest addition, joining our pack in January of 2020 as a foster dog. She became a permanent member in July when I realized that I was too attached for her to leave. She is a bit of an airhead and not as serious or intense as our other dogs. She is, however, a clown and keeps us laughing and wondering what she will come up with next. She is also eternally happy. She makes us smile every day.
Zekie came to us as a foster sheltie. He is not very sheltie-like in looks or temperament. He is a sweet and loving boy. Due to his extreme separation anxiety and leash reactivity, we decided that he was not adoptable (except by crazy people-us!), so he became a member of our pack in 2016. He is fairly obedient, but you have to keep him busy all the time. His mind doesn’t stop and he can come up with lots of things to get into. This dog has an amazing, and sometimes frightening, command of the English language. One day he was running from the pasture to the house with the frisbee and dropped it half way there. I told him to pick that up and take it back to the pasture before he went in the house. He did. That’s just one example of the things he understands.
Cassius is our retired racing greyhound. We adopted him from Greyhound Adoption of Ohio. He is our fourth greyhound. He is the opposite of the shelties. Large, lazy and laid back, with little grooming required. He adds a nice balance to our crew. Oh, and did I mention, he’s a momma’s boy. He loves nothing better than to lean against me when I am trying to cook, or to lay up against me on the couch with his head in my lap. He’s a 70+ pound love bug. He loves riding in the car nearly as much as he loves me.
Nikki turned 13 last fall. Not only is she our oldest dog, she is also our smallest weighing in at 20 lbs. Don’t let her small size fool you. She is a tough little thing with a big bark. She came to us when her owner became ill and was no longer able to care for her. Nikki was four years old then, so she has been here a long time. She was very good at her commands-sit, down, and stay. She can’t hear them any more, but if I work her in tandem with Shelby, Nikki will follow her lead and perform the commands. She is a favorite at the nursing home because she has that cuteness factor down pat.
Orange Kitty will turn five this year. He has been with us since he was just under a year old. He is a very sweet cat. Our other animals are fortunate that Orange Kitty is mild mannered. Thank goodness, because he is also VERY large. We put him on a diet and he is now slimmed down but still weighs 17 lbs. He has the loudest purr I have ever heard. You can hear him from other rooms of the house.
Morty will be 10 this year. I still think of him as a kitten because he is tiny. He only weighs 8 lbs. but he and Orange Kitty are fast friends. They often sleep together and groom each other. Once in a while, play gets too rough and Orange Kitty will chase Morty and there will be a bit of hissing and spitting. Shelby does not allow this sort of behavior and will run to stand between them and break it up. And it works. No one messes with Shelby.
All of our animals get along quite well. There is no serious fighting, and very little grumbling. Sometimes a dirty look will be cast but that’s generally as far as it goes. As I look around now, I see all the animals sleeping and know all is right in their world.
I’m taking a different approach towards today’s blog post. I’m going to write on a topic that I’ve picked from a list of suggested posts on another website. Number 1 is “A recent picture of yourself and 10 interesting facts about yourself”. I’m not sure how interesting they will be, but here we go!
I grew up in a small town. Beach City, Ohio is a village of about 1,200 people. As a child, I always thought we lived in an average sized city. Don’t all children think their lives are the norm? My mother always told me that we lived “in town” and she wouldn’t want to live in the country where neighbors and relatives were far away. Between this and the fact that our village had the word “City” in its name, I assumed we lived the city lifestyle.
I was an only child until I was 16 years old. My younger brother was born the day after my sixteenth birthday. Since our birthdays were one day apart, we always celebrated with one cake. My eighteenth birthday (and my brother’s second) was celebrated with a Cookie Monster cake. At the time, I found this to be annoying. Now I look at things differently. Since there are two birthdays, there is twice the fun, almost on the level of a national holiday! And it turns out that my baby brother is one of the greatest gifts of my life.
Growing up I was an extremely introverted child. I did not want any attention brought to myself. I hunkered down in my chair at school, so the teacher wouldn’t call on me and I never wanted to answer any questions even if I knew the answer. I rarely had much to say unless we were in small groups. This is probably a hold over from when I was growing up. When there were adults around, children were to be seen but not heard. My, how times change!
I love all animals! This may be an interesting fact, but I don’t think it is news to anyone who knows me. Over the course of my life I have had many dogs and cats, dozens of fish, a hamster, several turtles, parakeets, various cage finches, and a rabbit. If it were up to me, I would also have a couple of goats and an alpaca.
My career for most of my life was as an environmental scientist. I am certified to run drinking water and wastewater treatment plants. I am a certified laboratory analyst. Technical work in various forms, has been what I do. Since I am currently retired, I have been focusing on tasks that require the other side of my brain. Writing, crafts, and thinking in more creative and less regimented ways.
I could spend hours reading every day and still not be tired of it. Mostly I stop reading because I have other things to do. Some women shop. A treat for me is a leisurely trip to the library. Just the smell of the books as you walk through the doors to library brings a feeling of peace, and a little excitement. All the magic in those unopened books!
I am a vegetarian. It’s not that I don’t like the taste of meat. I can’t bear to contribute to the way the current industry treats animals as they grow and live. Or the way they are slaughtered. I don’t want to be a party to the cruelty. Technically I am a pescatarian. I do eat fish and other seafood. I see them as lower on the evolutionary scale when it comes to feelings and the ability to suffer. Sometimes I worry that I am wrong about the fish.
I love to bake. I like to cook in general, but baking is my passion in the kitchen. Yeast breads, quick breads, cookies, scones, cheesecakes, layer cakes from scratch (or a mix will certainly do!), cookies, pies. You name it, and I will happily bake it. And eat it!
I practiced Tai Chi for 10 years and Kung Fu for about 3 years. I started when I was in my mid-twenties at the local vocational school adult education program, and then on to a martial arts school in Akron, Ohio. Now that I am a little older (wink, wink) I have taken a few yoga classes and find it enjoyable. I would love to try goat yoga!
My favorite place, of those I have been, is the Maine Coast. Especially the Acadia National Park area where you can climb a mountain and look out over the ocean. There is a certain satisfaction and magic, knowing that you have made it up a mountain and are looking down at the ocean and areas of coastline that you were on recently.
So, there are 10 random bits of information that you may, or may not have known about me before. If you have any interesting random facts about yourself that you are willing to share, please do!
I was reviewing my notes from when I started this blog. One of the bits of advice was to let the audience know your qualifications. Hmmm, I need qualifications so people will listen to me spout random thoughts and ideas? Apparently so. Well, since the majority of my musings have something to do with dogs, I will provide my “dog” résumé. This the résumé I had to provide when I applied to be an evaluator for therapy dogs.
I did update it to be current. To be honest, I am more proud of this than my professional work résumé. It is a summary of what I am passionate about. It makes me think of a quote I saw on Facebook recently. “I don’t always talk about dogs…sometimes I’m asleep.” Guilty as charged. But proud of it.