Tag Archives: Blessings

The Little Things

Oh happy day!

I had my first Etsy sale today. And it wasn’t even to someone I know! This is hugely exciting to me. And knowing I made enough to cover my site listings is an added bonus.

Since this was my first sale, I included a handwritten thank and an extra, small gift from my shop. It is a small step but it is a first step. Many thanks to the buyer.

I always say that it is good to be excited about the little things. Then you get to be excited often! I mentioned that I opened an Etsy Shop in a previous post located here https://sanctuaryacres.wordpress.com/2019/12/16/sanctuaryacresshop-on-etsy-is-open/

Blessed In a Big Way

This face. This boy loves me so much that I can forgive him nearly anything. Zeke is what we in Rescue call “a handful “.

He has chewed his way out of multiple crates. The guaranteed one made of aircraft steel is still holding up. He has chewed up multiple metal bowls. He chased a jogger. He is not a dog for the uninitiated. And so of course I adopted him after a few months of fostering.

This has meant a two year hiatus on our fostering. It was worth it to save his life.

Zekie has shown improvement in his nearly two years with us. His leash reactivity is much better (although not 100%) with walkers and bicyclists. He is still reactive with other dogs when out walking. Oddly enough, he is ok with dogs that come to our home when he is not on leash.

His obedience skills continue to improve. In fact, he is very obedient. You just have to give commands all the time to keep him out of trouble.

Zekie is a loyal dog and one affectionate boy. He follows me everywhere. He waits for me at the door if I go outside. If he is not crated because someone else is home, he sits on the back of the couch looking out the window at the driveway awaiting my return.

This dog does everything in a big way. His excitement for walks is over the top. His desire for treats is intense. His drive for attention is beyond his control. And his ability to love is endless.

I am blessed.

Maizie, A Good Dog

This is a tribute to Maizie who we fostered for Northeast Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Rescue. She arrived in 2013 and passed on to the Rainbow Bridge about a year and a half later, while laying on a dog bed in our living room, with me by her side. She now lies buried in our woods with our others who have passed.

The letter below is one I wrote in 2013, right after we discovered she had kidney failure. We are blessed to have known her. She enriched our lives.

Dear Person Who Abandoned this Senior Dog,

Maizie was found by the pound and when they sent you a letter to come and get her, you did not come. She spent 30 days in the pound kennel waiting for you before the efforts of two rescue groups brought her to our house as a foster dog. Today we discovered that she has kidney failure and will live out the rest of her life with us however long that may be. What lesson am I supposed to learn from this? Perhaps to have compassion for you and not be judgemental? I will work on that.

I know that I have been blessed to know this dog who is sweet, loving, and grateful for every bit of attention. She smiles at us constantly and is one of the happiest dogs I have seen. Occassionally she will try to play and has a small, joyful hop to her step. Our lives have been enriched by knowing this kind dog.

My dreams will be sweeter knowing that I have helped and loved this girl. May you be able to sleep at all.

Thank You My Friend

I had forgotten what a beautiful thing it is to have a dog that you communicate with on a personal level. It takes years of working together to achieve such a bond. I haven’t had it since my dog Duncan passed in 2013. I noticed recently that I have reached this point with Shelby.

She watches me and is generally able to anticipate what I want from her. I have had Shelby for about 7 years now. She is 9 years old and has been a certified therapy dog for 5 1/2 of those years. I was without a therapy dog after Duncan’s passing so had to train Shelby with no one for her to learn the ropes from. She learned the basic behaviors quickly and passed the test with no problem. The trusting working bond is not something you can teach though. It is something that is built, something earned. This takes time and experiences.

Shelby and her sister from another mother

It dawned on me recently that I now have this with Shelby. She is my go to dog whenever I need assistance on a job, or a reliable partner. Shelby has worked numerous public events with me including some with hundreds of people petting her. She has assisted me at county fair demonstrations. She has taught two (so far) therapy dog training classes with me at the vocational school. She has helped me test potential new therapy dog and handler teams for 5 years.

Shelby and I have put in many trips to visit at nursing facilities. She has earned the title TDIA (Therapy Dogs International Active) and is well on her way to the next title. She will “go visit” on command. She will hold a sit-stay will I put chairs away after a visit. We have done reading to kindergarteners, we have visited with college students to de-stress.

Shelby is a happy worker. She loves to work. In fact if I don’t give her a job, she will find one. Such as barking at extra cars through the window until they go away. Or stopping the cats from too much roughhousing. I can trust Shelby to do a job and do it well. I always watch her when we are working though. Unexpected situations do arise and I am her protector.

This level of relationship is rare. My hope for you is that you are able to experience it. It is a blessing and a gift.

Kind Acts

I have a day planner/journal that I use to try to keep a record of at least one kind act that I have performed for someone else each day. The idea being that it helps to keep me mindful. If I know I need to record something then I keep an eye out and look for opportunities. The journal helps me to be a little less self centered and to think about others. Now lest you think that I will have a book of 365 kind acts at the end of the year, I must admit that I miss many days. But truly, it is better to have done something, than nothing.

For today’s kind act, I was going to record that I took a day off from work to watch one of my nieces, who is 16 months old. Above is my face upon returning home so you know that it was a thoroughly enjoyable and fun day.

Upon contemplation, I realized it is a cop out to record this as a kind act that I have done for someone else. We played, we napped, we ate lunch, we went for a walk. Then we played some more. I was blessed with the opportunity for a bonding experience with my youngest niece. This was a kind act for myself!

I even got to take two of the dogs, Shelby and Nikki with me, so I was able to spend my day off with them as well. The only thing that would have made it better would have been spending the day with both of my nieces. But the older of the two is in kindergarten this year. (I did not give her permission for this growing up but I guess I will not hold it against her.) It did result in a special day that was just for me and Younger Niece.

So I will need to find something else to record in my journal of kind acts. Perhaps I will log the fact that I did not curse or yell at people who cut me off in traffic. The little acts are sometimes the hardest!

A Day at the Beach

On Thursday we had our annual trip to Lake Erie with the grandkids. Each year I am amazed that we have such a gem only a little over an hour from our house. We usually go to the beach at Geneva State Park but the beach at Mentor Headlands is a fine one too. This time, it was to Geneva.

It is always a great day. The waves and sand are relaxing. Even the cloudy days there are great because then it’s not crowded. As you can see, our weather this year was perfect.

We spend the whole day there. That is a long time for me to go without a dog fix. Luckily, other people brought dogs. This one was named Cody and built like a Labrador but had slightly longer brindle fur. It’s a good thing he was there with his family because I loved him! He wanted to go in the water but every time a wave came near, he jumped back.

There are impromptu works of art that people leave as monuments to their beach trips. I saw a couple young boys make this one. They set the sand with water and kept exclaiming to their mother “It’s so sturdy!” They were very proud. Future engineers?

My granddaughter Maddie spent some time swimming with her Papaw, while grandson Tyler hung out with Aunt Livvi and me on the beach. Later we switched and Maddie and I strolled down the beach looking for beach glass. I realized I was too late to add to my beach glass collection this year as we passed a woman with a sieve, panning for the glass.

No trip to the beach is complete for us without a trip to the ice cream stand at the end of the day. The stand has a soft serve flavor of the week which this time was banana. The banana and chocolate twist was a hit. My granddaughter and I got the Lake Erie Salt Mine ice cream. Lots of chocolate in various forms with whole cashews. No salt in evidence. (The actual salt mines are under Lake Erie, hence the name.)

After such a perfect day, I can hardly wait until we go back next year!

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. In this world of electronics we make friends far and wide via Facebook, email, etc. I know I have become acquainted with people that I value highly and who are a part of my days. Many more than I could ever get cards out to. These various media forms allow me to stay in contact with friends both old and new in addition to reconnecting with far away family. So to each of you, may the spirit of Christmas be present in your lives through the coming year.

A Very Good Girl

Shelby is a happy girl. Daddy said she is the best behaved dog we have ever had!

She has never had a potty accident in the house, at home or anywhere else either. She can go for walks off leash and come back reliably even if there are other dogs or squirrels. She does give the school bus a dirty look before she comes.

Shelby is good when meeting new dogs or cats. She doesn’t eat poop. When the cats get into a scuffle amongst themselves, she breaks it up.

She is a very good girl but indeed.