Thursday, September 29, 2011


What do you have on your to do list for today?  What is so urgent and important that you wake up frenzied, frantic and frenetic? What causes your blood pressure to go up the minute your feet hit the floor and you stumble to the kitchen for your first cup of coffee?

As you search for your keys, you mutter something about life being a race're always late...there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done...everything that determines, at least  on the surface, what makes us IMPORTANT.  You know we don't have time.  We have our Ipad in one hand, Ipod in the other, GPS telling us where to go and how to get there the fastest.  All the trappings of 'the good life.'  But are they?

My question is does all this stuff excite us, does it stop us in our tracks, does it make us 'exist as though we're existing only for that very experience." as Arthur Krystal states.

I have a friend in Seattle who makes no qualms about it ~ once he was undone by the beauty of an iris growing on a cliff in the mountains!  His friends thought he was nuts, but this is what sets him apart.  He gets it.  He understands.  He holds the secret in his head and his heart.  For him, as Georgia O'Keefe says, "I think all the world has turned into what I am seeing." This I completely understand.  Why not? 

Why not have that one thing, place, person who undoes us.  That entity that is the world to us. Do you have it?  And if you do, do you recognize it?

We all move at warp speed.  Seems to me many of us think that the faster we go the more impressive we are to others.  True?  I guess at one time in my life I could relate to that whole heartedly!  But not anymore!  It is time to find my iris! 

"Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing ~ Of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."
~Winnie the Pooh

Perspective is what we need.  We are just quite simply not all that important.  But I can tell you what is!  Hundreds of thousands of warriors, who with courage, face each and every day of their lives not knowing if it will be their last. 

The tee shirt in the photograph was autographed for me by a Marine.  It clearly tells us what is important and what is on his To Do List for that day~ and every day. "To stay awake. To stay alert.  To stay alive."

So when the waiter messes up your order, or the maitre d' your reservations, or you are stuck in traffic, please take a moment and remember that our fighting men and women are not complaining!  They are existing to live through the experience, the day.

Stop and think what you really have to complain about.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Sometimes someone says something out of the blue that stops us dead in our tracks. The words cut, the tone of voice...the attitude...the pain...the disrespect. It belittles, it hurts, it shows you who they are in a way we never noticed before, or perhaps chose not to. It throws us off track. It pulls the props out from under us.

You know if you open your mouth, it will serve only to make things worse. The words replay in your head over and over again, and you can't stop them.

Lessons learned, more often than not, hurt, maim, and throw us so off balance sometimes, we wonder if we will ever be set upright again.

Every choice that any of us chooses to make in this life has consequences, some are good, others bad. So we must choose carefully what we say, how we treat others, and how we live our lives. And we must, above all, be prepared to pay the price or reap the rewards.

I remember being told once that when someone shows you who they believe them.

But this hurts. We want to pull the proverbial blanket over our heads and not see, not believe and and more importantly, not accept. So what do we do?

Perhaps when times get tough, we should never bow down to our circumstances. People can be cruel, unforgiving, hurtful and judgmental, but we should never allow anyone to steal our joy to only throw us off course. Push past other people’s judgments of you. Push past afraid. Push past those boundaries!

Okay, I agree. But isn't this just a little easier said than done?

I love this quote I stole from a friend, "Every decision you make ~ every decision~ is not a decision about what to do.  It's a decision about WHO YOU ARE!  So here is the deal, forgive and forget!  It is often easier to forgive than to forget the feelings of being hurt."

"It's a lie to say we've let go of the past.  Nobody let's go of memories.  Each tear is an unforgettable memory.  Each smile is an undeniable mark and each heartbreak is a scar that cannot be erased.  Because really, there is no such thing as forgetting.  Only acceptance!"
~Jerose Bautista

The chaos in our lives created by others is destructive! So perhaps the answer lies in learning to take care of ourselves and not let others steal our joy.  For in our hearts we will be told what is the right thing to do.

"Just living is not enough, said the butterfly, one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
~Hans Christian Anderson

I leave you with this.

"At the end of your life you will know that nothing you have done will matter ~ only who you have been while you have done it.  Have you been happy? Have you been caring, and compassionate, and considerate of others?  You will see that it is who you have been, not what you have done, that matters to your soul.
~~Neal Donald Walsch

Maybe, just maybe, more people should take heed to this!

Photo Courtesy/Gina Hill


Friday, September 16, 2011


I suppose to some extent we have all done it...find ourselves walking blind when trouble hits...doing time in darkness.  And yes, we all too quickly discover that it takes a while to get our bearings, our footing.  It is in times like this that therapy dogs and service dogs often provide the flashlight out.  For me, 'my' wounded warriors have taught me what it is like to weep, and they have taught me what makes me fall and stumble and then somehow rise and go on.  Each day with each of them, I am challenged to live with forgiveness.  Forgiveness in those ordinary moments we encounter in life. In its basic simplicity, we are grasped by something so powerful that it is quite unmistakeable. Penny's from Heaven Foundation, Inc. and one of its two primary programs, Train a Dog Save a Warrior provides extraordinary dogs serving extraordinary people.  These dogs whether therapy or service dogs provide a bridge to healing.  Dogs that steal our hearts and nestle into our souls, quietly touching lives where they are needed the most.  There is a saying that 'courage is sometmes holding on just one more minute.'  I have seen it over and over and over again. The slightly tarnished version of our former lives somehow provides us with courage and strength and a stamina that is often hard to harness.  We become more compassionate individuals, more empathetic and more human.  We find consistently that dogs are a catalyst to repairing the spirit and finding the ability to take another step. It is as if our dogs are saying to us, "There is a purpose for your being here; you must hold on."

These dogs bring clarity and passion to ordinary moments! And should we stop and think about it, these moments are our lives.  These dogs,  that are present for the rough edges of our lives, carve out places in our hearts and provide a love that is unriveled. We might find we still have one foot in the shadows, but we begin to slowly manuever forward by intuition and love.

To our wounded warriors with PTSD/MST and/or TBI, their dogs often mean as much to them as the air they breathe. In their world, a snuggle or a paw extended from their dog means everything.  

It is difficult to say where the change begins.  Sometimes it is with a phone call, sometimes with a tear, sometimes an exulation of breath.  But regardless of how, it is a step forward and it is without a doubt a wonder, extraordinarily beautiful, and a feeling that can never be taken for granted.  What is it about these dogs that is so powerful in its influence?  As our warrior's heads bow to these dogs, life takes on a different meaning through words whispered we will never know.

I hope that you all will be able to experience an intoxicating blend of courage and inspiration in
The photos are real and untouched.  The stories true and powerful. 

For advanced orders:

K9's ~ A Therapy for PTSD, MST and TBI\
13423 Blanco Road, Suite 218
San Antonio, TX 78218
$8.00 + 1.50 S/H
Payment may be made by paypal or credit card on
Tax Deductible
Autographed upon Request

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Talking to a friend yesterday through copious tears, I was allowed to cry.  I was allowed to be afraid.  I was allowed to say what is clogging up my heart. I was allowed to be heard and validated.  I was allowed to be honest. The conversation, over an hour and a half, was medicinal, therapeutic, and sunshine on a day I so badly needed it.  Some answers became clear, while others not so clear.

I spend a great, great deal of time listening to the problems of others, drying tears, and helping others to face their fears.  But somehow and sometimes I get lost in the shuffle.  Sometimes just saying the words to an attentive ear is all that is needed. I am still afraid, and still stifled, but for this one moment in time, I was allowed to pour out my soul....and be heard!

"When you're weary, feeling small.  When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all.  I'm on your side."
~Paul Simon

As I turned on my computer early one morning a few days ago, about 2:30 am, I found a 'pocket of peace', seemingly written just for me. "Every decision you make - every decision - is not a decision about what to do.  It's a decision about who you are."  It hit me head on.  I read it and reread it. That is where I have been going wrong, thinking wrong, reacting wrong.  It suddenly seemed easy.  It was clear.  So wanting to sit in a bucket of water, with no one else around, is who I am some of the time.  Many don't 'get' this or want to get this.  So be it!  It is the only way to remind myself of who I am. It is the only way I can think, solve things, salvage things, arrange things, obliterate things, change things, resolve things, refresh and remember who I am.

I feel fairly certain that most of us do what we do to please other people.  We say yes when we really mean no.  We say everything is fine and it isn't.  We ask people how they are and really don't care.  We try to sweep ourselves under the carpet and not cause waves.  Everything will be fine if I just keep my mouth shut.  If I avoid the situation or the dilemma, everything will be fine. If I ignore it, it will go away.  Doesn't work that way does it?  In fact it diminishes who we are as individuals and increases everyone else's hold on us.

None of us are too big for a little cuddling!  A little hand holding when things are rough.  Compassion fatigue is my middle name now, today and yesterday. Tomorrow I am not so sure.  But I will know.  I also know that I will feel better for remembering that I too matter.  That I said no.  That I set a boundary.  That I remembered to take care of me too.

I will find joy returned at some point.  I will make the most of every sense I have.  I will smell the aroma of life once again. Moving at warp speed has got to least for me.  No more saving things, places, people  for a special occasion.  Every day we are alive is a special occasion.  The sunset, the full Harvest Moon, my dog's head on my foot as I write this morning, the first sip of French Roast coffee before sunrise, the fragrance of a clean house, the satisfaction of finding  that life truly is in the details.

How can you celebrate the life you have...the one life?  Today be aware of what your heart notices~