Archives For dogs

Pet Smiles

June 23, 2013 — 21 Comments

You may have seen some or all of these images before but I feel it’s time for some funnies! Here are a few humorous images of dogs and cats. They make me smile and I hope they bring a smile to your face as well. Hang in there! xo Hugs, Gina

alluneedislove-and a dog






IKEA cat






[with gratitude for these randomly sourced images off Google]


June 13, 2013 — 52 Comments

It’s often been said that we have much to learn from animals. Especially our pets, these beloved animals who have lived closely with us humans for long enough to have many things to teach us. My dog is teaching me acceptance right now.

light in the darkTen days ago I knew nothing about sudden blindness in dogs. Now I know an acronym SARD stands for Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration. It’s a canine disease that causes incurable and irreversible blindness within days, or a couple of weeks at most.

In the past few days my seven-years-young, medium sized mixed-breed spayed female dog has gone blind. Completely blind. It’s not cataracts or glaucoma which brings darkness gradually, or can be corrected. This event has been sudden and complete. It could be a side effect of the near-death starvation she suffered in her youth before I rescued her. Regardless of what caused it, she is my canine-daughter and we’re in this together.

She looks beautiful in her new pink harness with the padded breastplate and has quickly adjusted to walking briskly beside me instead of leading the way. When we get to the green off-leash space, there might be no more games of fetch but she happily runs beside me! We slow to a walk and I watch her happily stretch her limbs and smell the world. She has always been very attached to me so it’s not a huge stretch for her to stay close to me as we walk and run in her new darkness. The training of her excellent recall was time well spent, and especially now. After a good jaunt we head back towards the sidewalk and with a quick snap of leash to the harness ring at her withers, we’re off homeward. I am her ‘Seeing Eye Human’.

serenity-pendantWe’re getting used to new commands such as ‘Step Up’ and ‘Step down’ when arriving at steps or sidewalk curbs, and the harness is a huge improvement over the harmful neck-pulling that using her collar would have caused. I’m so glad I’d already taught her the command ‘Wait’ because it has helped immensely with having her pause and slow down (rather than fall down, or up) at the three stairs that lead into and out of our house.

Over the past few days, the example my dog offers has helped me go from time spent crying to understanding that everything is really okay. Blindness is, boiled down to a point, only one of the senses. Yes it is a very important one, but the lack of it does not end our lives. Life goes on. We go on. Life is all about accepting the things we cannot change.

Generating angst in ourselves, gnashing our teeth and pulling our hair, looking skyward and crying out Why?! This energy needs to be allowed out, as I did during my day of crying, but then we dry ourselves off, pick ourselves up, and step up. We must let go of the grief. Things change. Life is all about change. We realize that the sun keeps rising and life goes on. Day by day.

Remember the saying, ‘God does not make fruit grow on a limb too weak to bear its weight.’  This reminds me that God would not give me (or anyone) a challenge we cannot handle.

My beloved dog is handling her sudden blindness with grace and calm, displaying how to accept the things we cannot change.  And I am learning from her example, with gratitude.

It’s My Birthday!

December 2, 2012 — 69 Comments

hoar frostWhile every season has incredible beauty from nature, and every day is a reason to rejoice, I am delighted that on my birthday this year the weather outside is delightful! Hoar frost is a special weather event that coats things with a delicate and crystalline dusting of miniature icicles. It is breath-taking to behold! As a lover of trees, I enjoy how this form of frost highlights every branch, every needle, in perfect detail. It always has me breathing aloud “wow” in a quiet voice, so as to not disturb the sacred quiet that seems to accompany this event. There is no wind or else the delicate formations would blow away, and everything feels hushed. I feel especially close to God, and am feeling very grateful. 

Gina and NikkiEarly today my husband and I brought our dog for a walk in the off-leash park and it was wonderful. He brought the camera to capture some of the frost and a couple of our beloved canine-kid! What a nice way to begin this day.

Nikki and the ballThis is a special and festive time of year to have come into the world and I am ever so thankful to God that I am here. And as Tolkien wrote, I believe in giving out gifts on one’s birthday to all friends and family, so here are some gifts for you, my welcomed and cherished readers: a few posters and quotes to uplift and inspire. May we all be thankful for this day, for indeed every morning when we wake is like our birthday… a whole new day which we have been blessed with. ~Namaste.

before you were bornThank you to the lovely and wise author Joan Borysenko for these words shared today:

dear God thank youOf all your mother’s countless ova, of all your dad’s trillions of sperm, you are the lottery winner! Your gift is this life, this sacred adventure. If, as Rumi says, “The soul is here for its own joy,” why not celebrate your return to life this morning and every morning.

live everyday die onceI hope that your day was filled with joy and celebration of the very fact, that by indescribably small odds, you were born into this life on planet Earth. Remember to pray for me and I will pray for all of you. May you be at peace. May your heart be open. May you be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. May you be healed. May you be happy!

Military Homecomings

November 11, 2012 — 6 Comments

Two heart-tugging videos from the Welcome Home Blog


Note: To remove any pop-up’s on these videos, simply hover your cursor over the pop-up and click the X.



May they all come home safe. Godspeed.

Nobody stands taller than those willing to stand corrected.  ~William Safire

Being able to laugh at ourselves is incredibly freeing. And it’s not only about having a sense of humor,
~ it’s about humility.

It’s one of those self-observances that offers me another reason for gratitude at aging. Yes, aging. Getting older has rewards, such as when I observe how I react to something with an awareness that in my thirties or twenties I may not have been so calm (or humble, or mindful) to even notice. While I believe ‘growing up’ is a lifelong process, the years offer wisdom if we choose to live with awareness.

Yesterday my husband and I brought our dog for the short drive to a huge dog park, rather than just throwing the ball in the off-leash field at the end of the block. At first, our shepherd-collie cross got so excited about the other dogs that we held onto the ball and just walked the circuit for a while as she happily shared her enthusiasm for all her canine-kin. Her life spent living with three humans and three cats must wear on her at times, especially considering her life-before-me involved hardships like starvation and living year-round outdoors, neglected, but still! she was surrounded by other dogs. Now she is ever at my side, flopped on one or another floor beds (when not chasing balls!) and living an indulgent life as a loved indoor, albeit solo, dog.

So here we were at the dog park, laughing with other owners as they said to her, “Oh, you’re just so excited, aren’t you?” because her leaps and wagging tail and little barks made her joy clearly evident. It took a while for her to calm down and start to look at us with that intense ‘Ball? Where’s the Ball!’ gaze. Hubby and I paced ourselves between the groups of people and dogs walking along the path, and began to offer little throws. Short throws are rather challenging with using a ball-chucker, one of those brilliant inventions of hard molded-plastic that create distance with throwing a ball. Short spans can be difficult, however short throws are required in a crowded dog park. You can’t throw too far to have the ball come into the area of other groups of dogs and people (or risk hitting anyone) and not off the path because of the long weeds and thick grass waiting to trap and lose yet another ball. Add to that the fact that we have to keep our eyes open for ball-mad dogs, those types obsessed enough to steal any ball they see thrown! Finding the windows of opportunity to throw the ball can become rather small. 

Hubby was mastering it pretty well though. While we often trade off, he was in charge of the ball-chucker because I was carrying the poop-bag. Ah yes, the joys of responsible pet-ownership in a park with bins only in the parking lot, so you have to walk the full circuit around a massive wild area carrying your fur-kids’ trophy. And although he offers to help carry, I claim it as the primary dog-person. So he was ball-chucking and I was cheering him on. Until one time when we had an opening of some distance ahead and he got ready to launch, dog-daughter eyes entranced and breath held, and then the release went straight DOWN, hitting hard into the dirt only a couple of feet in front of us, barely missing our dog!

I gave out a sigh and said quietly, “Here” with an outreached hand for the ball-chucker. “Let me.” He handed it over to me, and we kept walking, waiting for another opening without groups too close. A minute later there was a good opening, and I was ready to let sail a short throw. So I lifted and released – and the ball went STRAIGHT DOWN, barely missing our dog, in the exact same arc that he had just thrown! I could not have more perfectly mimicked his ‘flawed’ throw if I tried. We both burst out laughing. Myself, so hard, I had to stop and bend over, placing a hand on his to steady myself. Breathless, I stood and smiled at him as I said, “Is now when you offer me some humble-pie? I’ll eat it, that’s for sure” but he said “No” through his laughter, displaying his quiet strength. “Oh you’ll just wait on fate and the Universe to serve it up to me, right?” I said with a laugh, to which he nodded and agreed with a big smile, “Apparently!”

Oh how I love that man. When I remember the cruel sarcasm and instant arguments in my long ago past, from partners fiery and impulsive like myself, I feel deep gratitude that my soul mate ended up being such a Zen-like, grounded balance for my frequently fervent, quick reactions.

I fully believe that as we grow in self-awareness, lessons come back to us much more quickly. This was an amazing example to me, because it happened right after his throw, which led to my gesture for the chucker. Yes I throw for our dog every day and he throws much more rarely. So I was thinking: My turn! Let me ‘do it right’ and the Universe (God) said ‘Here! Have some humble-pie’.

We do not always have to eat our words. Sometimes we have to eat our actions.

A fellow blogger’s quote that inspired me with writing this post:

“Life is made of tragicomically controversial moments. One man’s painful fall may cause a bystander to burst into an inappropriate laugh. While in stitches ridiculing the clumsiness of a stranger, the bystander himself may slip on a banana skin and fall hard… Though hurting really badly – through all the moaning – he’d start laughing even harder. Why? Because he sees the irony in what happened to him.” 

Please click link to read full article and enjoy further:


A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.  ~Benjamin Franklin

Blushing is the color of virtue.  ~Diogenes

We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility.  ~Rabindranath Tagore

True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes.  ~Edward Frederick Halifax

Wear your learning like your watch, in a private pocket; and do not pull it out, and strike it, merely to show that you have one.  ~Lord Chesterfield

Inside ~ Outside

June 14, 2012 — 18 Comments


Inside ~ Outside


My day started grey

Inside and out

Words waiting to write

But hidden in doubt


Until I remembered

This light of mine

Has much to share

And sometimes needs time


Time to just ponder

And spend time within

Being gentle with self

Letting go of chagrin


Accepting the tears

Yet knowing I need

To get out of my head

Let my dog intercede


She pulls me outside

And straight down the block

To the huge grassy park

For a brisk morning walk


I let the ball fly

And she runs like the wind

Always returning

Helping blues rescind


She runs the most

But I do as well

Feeling my heart pound

Kissing sadness farewell.


Copyright © 2012 Professions for PEACE


First 2 images open stock ~ Dog image source: photographer and blogger at

Most of us know that pets make great companions, but did you know they also help us heal? Studies have shown that after undergoing operations or cancer treatments, those who come home to a pet recover much more quickly than those patients without pets. For a few basic needs like food, stimulation, shelter, and of course affection, pets repay our care with abundant unconditional love and increase our well-being. In caring for our four-legged companions (or feathered friends) we feel less isolated, and it helps provide us with a sense of purpose. When children are raised in an environment where animals are treated fairly and kindly, it helps teach them about gentleness, empathy, responsibility and loyalty, which helps with their healthy development.

And then there’s the laughter! Anyone who has loved an animal discovers their amazing personalities and the many opportunities for smiles and laughter. The four pets I am lucky enough to share a home with are constantly providing my family and me with amusement and warming our hearts.

Adopting an older pet, as I have done with both cats and dogs, helps give these deserving animals a chance at a home when most potential adopters are cooing over the kittens and puppies. Older pets offer many benefits. They are past the shoe-chewing and curtain-climbing antics that puppies and kittens are prone to. Plus they are more sedate, making them an excellent choice for providing companionship for a senior.

And they really care about us, bless their hearts! My oldest cat is drawn to me when I am under the weather or suffering a bout of the blues. And my ‘Nikki’ dog definitely helps by getting me out of the house on a regular basis, even when I’d rather not. But she needs those walks and I comply. Like the old adage says: A tired dog is a good dog. And our dogs seem to know something about us as well: A walked human is a happy human.

God Bless all our feathered and four-legged family members. And if you do not have one yet, I encourage you to consider it. There are countless rescue agencies out there for every kind of pet, including equines if you have the space, with lovely animals waiting for that special human out there to find them. Let it be you.