Monday, June 25, 2012


Okay it has happened!  I am cleaning, pitching, donating, and throwing away those things that I once thought I  had to have and couldn't do without.  Boxes from the liquor store will soon be filled with parts of my  life and taken to the goodwill or the curb. I plan to do one drawer, one shelf, one closet a day until I am finished.  Or one nook and cranny!

Last week I took bags of gold and silver jewelry to be sold.  It was refreshing.  It reduced the size of my safety deposit box at the bank, but it was also bittersweet.  Some family treasures, old wedding bands, gold baby bracelets and rings, some gifts from boy friends long ago, a gold locket with a photo of 'Freckles', my cocker spaniel from decades ago.  As I watched them being appraised and weighed, knowing they would most likely all be melted into a liquid, I couldn't help but think how very sad, how melancholy. A part of my life gone, melted and made into something else, that someone else would buy and treasure for a time and then one day dispose of.

I have two more bags of jewelry to go through and take to be sold.  More silent heartaches.  I wonder if others feel the same.  Watching a gold charm bracelet disappear with gold charms I gathered from my trips throughout the world...Korea, Thailand, France, Italy, Mexico, Japan, China, I felt bittersweet.  Nothing much else remains except my memories.  They can't be erased. Grandmother's broches, tie tacks from that once belonged to someone I do not know who, generations ago.  Photo albums have been sent to my daughter, most likely to be stuffed into an attic never to be seen again.

Eighteen boxes of of sixty slides in each carousel, have been transferred to one disk! Reel to reel movies transferred of my daughter's first steps, transferred to one reel. The trappings we all have at one time or another in our lives. Stuff that defines who we were and who we have become, brings back memories, some good, some not so good, of how we arrived at the destination we are now finding ourselves. 

It somehow feels I am packing to go away.  And in a sense I guess I am.  I am lessening my load. Cleaning out my head and my heart.  Holding those items one last time that once meant so much to me.  As I do so, I felt a sense of freedom from the burden of being overwhelmed by 'stuff'.  The trappings of life.  This process is done alone and with great sorrow, as I handle some of these things for the last time, turning them over and over in my hands, as if to say goodbye. Sixteen years of owning and operating 3 bed and breakfasts and 20 years on television cooking, I have accumulated more 'stuff' that one could imagine.  Anyone want 3 spaetzle makers?  A zillion cookbooks? 

I open a drawer, you know that drawer in the kitchen we all have, to find something I need, a tape measure, a pair of scissors and there is so much 'stuff' in there I can't find them.  I feel like that in my head.  I can't find out who I am until I rid myself of the burdens of the past few years, the garbage that has been dumped on me, intentionally with great malice by people who have not a clue who I am, or what I stand for, or what I have sacrificed in my life for others.

Jan Bethancourt in 'Eat Chocolate with Breakfast,' wrote "Every day is trash day somewhere.  Leave your garbage by the curb.  Start over, free of all the useless stuff." So I guess that is what I am doing.  There comes a time when you and you alone are responsible for your future.  What you are going to do next.  Who you are going to become or who you remain.  Bethancourt also wrote, " When the red wash accidentally gets tossed in with the whites...decide pink is your new favorite color.  Accessorize accordingly."

So I hope to now appreciate where I have been, because it will take me where I am going. My hope is to the mountains and the seashore and peace and open spaces and a life much less full of anguish and pain slathered on me by others and much more joy and laughter and much less solemnity and faces void of expression.  For these smiles will surely light the way. With every road I have traveled I have gotten wiser.  And one thing I know for sure,  I will remember the old life and all it taught me and I will hope for a new life with much greater joy.  For all that I have struggled through, I feel I am much stronger and my hope for joy will be closer with each box sent to the curb on trash for now everyday will be trash day for a while.


Monday, June 18, 2012


Your beliefs don't make you a better person...
your behavior does.

What is it about being a better person that few truly aspire to?  Why do most settle for who they are, and if others don't like it, it is too darn bad?  I make a conscious effort to think every day of my life how can I be better.  What can I do for others that will make them feel better about themselves.  Then I come face to face with a person I have never laid eyes on, a person I do not know, a person who has taken it upon herself to judge me and write horrific things about me to someone else I don't know. 

Guess I don't have to tell you that life and people get complicated, exhausting, depleting, annoying, aggravating, and just plain unreasonable.  But I wish someone would tell me why someone takes it upon themselves to say things about you that they know absolutely nothing about in a public forum.  Granted it was a mistake, posted to a group, not just the one individual she had intended it to go to.  Flags went up.  Massive apologizes came immediately from dozens and dozens apologizing for her, but her vitriolic, most hurtful words still stung and dug deep.  Funny and odd how I seem to have been attacked, because I had reached out for help and received venom in return. 

Why do people do this?  Why do they intentionally gossip and say things about others of which they know nothing. Isn't there something about 'walking in your shoes?" The apologizes from others helped to some degree, but the questions remain as to what makes people so unbearably insufferable and vindictive and full of hate for someone they have never laid eyes on.  Her apology for hitting the send button 'to all' as opposed to one person was simply she would apologize but really didn't mean it. So basically why bother. She has to live with her venom, not I.

I find it interesting, and somewhat ironic, that it came the day after my post MOANING AND GROANING.  People like this are tiring and 'full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.'  Their attempts at battering, belittling, and just plain being mean do nothing to others, but let you know who they are.  I could go on but she deserves no further discussion. 

What is important is moving on to your happiest life possible.  It takes great strength to let go of the ugly people and their odious and vile words, actions and deeds, for in the end they are the ones who will be hurt, not you.  We learn to accept the things we cannot change, and come to realize that letting go can be a beginning.  Part of being a winner and the best person you can be is knowing when to say enough is enough. And let go and move on.

"You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world's happiness now!  How?  By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged.  Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime." ~Dale Carnegie

"If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another. If you wish to know that you are safe, cause another to know that they are safe. If you wish to better understand seemingly incomprehensible things, help another to better understand. If you wish to heal your own sadness or anger, seek to heal the sadness or anger of another." Author Unknown

Charles Dickens wrote, "Life is made of ever so many partings welded together."  Some we are eager to see vanish and some we endure with great sorrow.  But to me it is in the welding together that we discover who we are and just what we are made of. 

As a friend wrote, "Did you know the people who exhibit the most kindness are the first to get mistreated?"  Well she couldn't have been more right in this case and in others of late. I have ceased trying to figure it out, it only gives them credibility.  So no more. 

So this Monday begins with more partings welded together in my life.  People can be cruel, unforgiving, hurtful and judgmental, but I will never allow anyone to steal my joy or throw me off balance or off course. Or I will give it my best shot!

Friday, June 15, 2012


MOANING AND GROANING people....we all know them, and I for one want to be anywhere but where they are.  They complain about their workplace, other people, unfair decisions,  everything in their lives is completely screwed up, other people are screwed up. I'm sure you know the kind of person I am speaking about. Within moments you know all the 'dirt' in their lives and other people's lives.  And the really odd part is I don't even think these people know what they are doing. It is a habit.

And trust me when I say this is a pure and simple  tendency to backstab others and to make their lives miserible.  And it is a habit that is alive and well in this world. 

What does this habit do to them?  It makes them look stupid, bad, and sound terrible. It tells us all we need to know about who this backstabbing person is. It tells us they are judgmental, irascible, and two-faced.  It also makes you want to run the other direction.  For if he/she says this about others, he will no doubt find fault with you and backstab you as well.

The negativity and stress and anxiety this causes is huge.  It quite simply makes them look bad.  Saying bad things about a person who isn't even there to defend himself is just plain wrong. 

Words said are lived with forever.  You can't take them back.  There is no delete key.

Why is it so difficult to speak kindly about others? Or if you can't find something nice to say, as I learned as a child, you simply don't say anything.  I have been backstabbed more times than I can count by people I considered at the time very close friends...and no longer are.  But what was the point?  I now know who they are.  These are people who have said voracious things about me that were not true.  They shattered me for a while, crippling my faith in people and making me put up walls, so as to never be hurt again. It has happened more times than I wish to count. 

These people who lie and back stab now have to perpetuate this lie to others.  It grows and grows and either others believe them or they don't. And most of the time they choose to believe it, so that they too can share the gossip and on and on it goes.  It is that simple. These people immediately lose my respect and trust.  I always remember if a person is capable of telling lies to me about others, then they are certainly capable of telling others lies about me.  So plain and simple...goodbye.

I had a friend in junior high school.  She was pretty and smart and admired by everyone.  Why?  Because never once in all the years I had known her, had she ever, ever said a bad thing about anyone!  That is almost unbelievable.  I am sure I have said things about others that I shouldn't have, as have you.  But to say things about others that are painful and hurtful and down right malicious is unforgivable. 

Sadly, most of these lies are perpetuated and believed.  There is no benefit of the doubt given or attempt to find out the truth.  So you move on.  You pack your toys and leave the mess behind you.  And in the process you have learned.  Learned a lesson.  Learned who really counts in your life.  Who is there for the right reasons and will not talk about you, lie about you, and malign you no matter what.

You will learn and you will feel better.  For in the end ... you know the saying...what goes around comes around.  People like this stick together and sooner or later in the end they will be the most unhappy of people.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Wow, what a statement!  I have thought about it a great deal.  I have wondered if my life has really mattered.  Previous blogs have touched on we matter...who do we matter it even important that we matter. And then I found this!  Then I thought about my life and once again questioned has it mattered. Absolutely, yes it has.  I don't need to go into detail, but 20+ years on television reaching out to 300,000 people daily, and then establishing the first pet therapy dog foundation (Delta Society) in San Antonio in the 80's, literally touching thousands of lives, and then operating three bed and breakfasts in the little German Hill Country community of Fredericksburg,Texas for 16 years, then founding two more pet therapy organizations which are still in operation, and now working solely with our wounded warriors returning with PTSD/TBI and MST in TADSAW, Train a Dog~Save a Warrior...yes I have made a huge difference.

Thinking about it further, I think the most important difference any of us can make is in lives of people we might never know.  There is no payback, no personal motives, only reaching out to someone because it is the right thing to do. Paying it forward! 

I think of times when I have needed help and those that were there for me and never left my side are the ones that really have counted...the ones that mattered.  They were with me because they wanted to be, they cared, I mattered to them.  Just as they now matter enormously to me.
There are those people in our lives that come and go, whether family or friends, but the ones that are in it for the long haul are the ones that have caused me to understand that my life will never be the same, because they came into my life, left a precious gift...for a short time or for forever.
I look back at those moments in my life where I felt I truly mattered and wondered why that was so.  Then digging a little deeper, I discovered I mattered because I did what I wanted to do for others for the right reasons....for them.  Motivation doesn't have to be about satisfying yourself.  Motivation can be about many things, but just think for a moment how amazing it is that you have within you the ability to change a life just by their contact with you.
It isn't necessarily something monumentally huge that happens, it could be as simple as engaging someone in conversation that is normally ignored. Telling someone how nice they look or you like their shoes or jewelry or telling them they did a good job...anything ... just to make them feel better about themselves and that they matter.  How seldom does anyone do that for a complete stranger.  The look you get back is questioning almost.  Almost like why are you, number one, even speaking to me a complete stranger, but, number two, why would a stranger even bother to say something nice to me.
Kelsie and I meet strangers every day.  Some have two arms and no legs, some have one arm and one leg, some of them can't remember how to tie their shoes from a brain injury, and some repeat the same thing over and over and over again, because they have no short term memory whatsoever.  But to be kind to them, expecting nothing in return, is the greatest gift I can give them.  When I see them smile, or respond positively, I know I have been able to touch them some place deep inside.
Then on the other hand, I watch as people are defensive and have a brick wall built around them and refuse to reach out in a loving, kind, and compassionate way to others for whatever reason or are afraid to let you in. Perhaps they are afraid of being hurt.  Who knows?

People don't want to be around them.  Their walls are impenetrable. And you quickly find it isn't possible to break them down.  The load is too heavy to carry.
So I invite you today to think about the small, almost minuscule things that you can do spontaneously to, even for a moment, change a person's life.  Try for that smile back. Reach out.  Let them know they matter, if only for a  fleeting moment.  You just might find yourself changed as well.




Sunday, June 10, 2012


"reposting is fine with me......"there is so much that needs to be said for others to understand that ultimately we are not weak, we are simply misunderstood. not long ago a vet from our area went into subway and killed some people, he had ptsd. i was left wondering, where has our country's patriotism gone? why didn't he get the help he needed? i hear all the time people "say" they want to help - but then there seems very little if any follow-up. when i was in the womens center at palo alto for ptsd i spent the ENTIRE time trying to convince them that i was not lying and then was discharged against medical advise. we don't need shrinks, we need mercy, and acceptance, and understanding. obviously my situation is markedly different from the man who opened fire. however, in principle it all seems the same to me. we walk around with the combat experience alive and well in our hearts and somtimes i think that if people could see what goes on in my head they would run away screaming. we all have our tramas in life, but it seems that if we know that someone or something, a dog, will love us anyway we have a better chance of some sort of "normalcy" i think it is time for everyone who enjoys their freedoms that this country offers to start giving real recognition to thoses who actively fight for it. we are not asking for worship, just kindhearted understanding."


WHISPERING, Manny and Gracie a TADSAW AMBASSADOR THERAPY DOG, exchange words we will never know. Nor do we need to. Gracie is completely blind and sees with her heart. She has an exceptional way of reaching the hearts of our wounded warriors. They understand. She understands. That is all that is necessary.
The normalcy we most all are blessed with is taken for granted. It was more than evident yesterday.

I attended a Lavender Fest in the small Texas town of Blanco, just 30 minutes north of San Antonio. The lavender fields were in full blossom and people strolled the grounds of the old courthouse on the square in the center of this tiny town.  Life seemed different somehow. In spite of the heat and the huge crowds, all seem a bit surrreal to me.  People wondered booth to booth and table to table, admiring and most of the time purchasing, handcrafted items from lavender lotions and potions to angels made from various rocks and stone, and hand crafted apparel.  It was hot and shade was a welcome commodity. Lavender Lemonade was fragrant and refreshing.  Husbands stood in the shade, shifting their weight from one foot to the other, patiently waiting for their wives, or perhaps merely tolerating this female ritual.
As we strolled, and yes made a few purchases, I wondered how many of those hundreds and hundreds of people actually realized how blessed they are.  How many warriors are in harm's way, dying, fighting, and thousands struggling to regain a sense of normalcy in their lives after returning from the hell of war.
So as I look at the little stone angel I purchased that is sitting on my desk with the American flag I placed next to her ~ a flag a returning warrior handed to me years ago from his uniform ~ I shall think of them, and pray for them, and know what they are sacrificing so that we may wander around a little town looking at lavender and purchasing things we neither want nor most likely need.  But have the luxury of doing so because of their sacrifices.

So on this Sunday, I invite you to read and re-read the warriors words above and absorb what is being expressed.  Thousands feel the same.  Thousands suffer and struggle and isolate themselves from a world that is alien to them and full of danger.
A world they fought for and is no longer accessible to them because of PTSD and TBI.

 What wouldn't they do to wonder around a festival grounds with their family! 

This morning I received an email from a warrior that is coming in a very few weeks to begin training with his service dog.  He excitedly exclaimed that the dog is already working for him, for he had gotten up the courage to venture to a store and buy a couple of more shirts.  This may not seem like much to you...but trust me it was HUGE! To go into public where you fear snipers, and IED's around every corner is a very big deal.  His journey to freedom has just begun.  He fought for our we have to recognize his freedom has been jeopardized and lost somewhere in this journey.  We need to remember and help and pray for them.  For they are fragile and need their angels to look over them.  And in his case a dog named 'Charlie' who will help guide him out of the darkness.

Have a beautiful Sunday!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


From my living room window I watched as she stooped to pick up an acorn that had fallen from a magnificent old oak tree that shelters the community bank of mail boxes across the street from my house.  Early each morning, people stop their cars on their way to work to deposit mail and drive back in the afternoon to collect more mail.

On this particular South Texas early morning, I discovered one lady was  paying homage and reverence  to this grand one hundred foot tree that shelters nests of birds in the spring and an exotic shocking pink orchid plant  in the summer.   A straw scarecrow hung behind the mailboxes, the ground littered with small acorns. It was fall in San Antonio.  Forty five degree clear, crisp mornings, with the temperature rising to seventy five mid afternoons, are the kind of days where you don’t want to be inside and you want to celebrate after a stifling summer of sixty five one hundred degree days in a row.  

In the shelter of this tree, cars come and go, as people on their cell phones drop mail in the box and the acorns go unnoticed.  But this lady picked them up one at a time, examining each as the perfect gift it was. I had never seen her before, but in this time and place I knew all I needed to know about her.  She got it!  She understood the value and meaning of the little things and that our lives are so full, mostly of ourselves, there is little room for anything else. 

As she put a few in her pocket and continued down the street on her journey of discovery, I smiled, for her, for the splendid oak tree, its offerings and the shelter provided. Then I too picked up my outgoing mail on the dining room table and walked across the street to deposit it, but not before saying good morning and thank you to the scarecrow and the old oak tree. 

What astounds and delights people, tells us everything we need to know about human nature.  I thought about how few people actually take notice of those people and things around them that provide them sanctuary, a safe haven and refuge.  It is almost like they are constantly looking through a camera lens to keep the world at arms length.   
How sad.  For it is in those people and circumstances and places where life is found.  It is in those places where we can release our fear of helplessness and pain.  It is where we can scream out and cry and hold tight to someone who understands us and yet still loves us. 

A late night phone call from a friend alone in a hotel room reaching out, wanting to say I am alone and need you.  You understand because you have been there yourself.  There’s a place in your heart that is often empty and you are not quite sure what will fill it.  Then you hear a voice on the other end of the phone that brings meaning and purpose and a sense of peace and stillness and a place where when you hang up you can sleep. A gentle sleep where you know you are sheltered and someone ‘gets it’ and someone loves you just the way you are.

Monday, June 4, 2012


The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it. David Orr

I read this recently in a blog posted by a friend.  It has a depth of meaning to me that goes beyond the norm.  It pretty much says what my life has been and is all about.  '...moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane.'  But this beautiful quote says little or nothing about the price one pays to do this.  The abuse one takes to succeed at this.  And the sacrifices one makes to succeed.

I look at those very few people around me who are doing this and doing this successfully.  There are more than enough people that pretend they are doing this, but underneath it all there is a hidden or unrealized motivation that really has nothing to do with  making the world more humane or habitable.  It is solely about the wrong things, the wrong reasons, the reasons that benefit them in some way.  How many people do you know that actually go out of their way to intentionally hurt people.  What in heaven's hame is their purpose?  Does it make them a better person, a bigger person, a more important person?  I should think not.  In fact quite the opposite.  I think it makes them a pathetic person.  One that should be pitied, not envied or applauded. An certainly not one that should be admired or emulated. 

Analyzing this a bit further...what does it mean when it says, needing 'people who live well in their own places?'  Does that mean that we who work for humanity and a better world, whether one person or hundreds at a time, are content?  Content where we are. Does it mean that we are happy with what we have and that our time is not spent laboring solely for our own profit and a bigger house, a newer car and all the approrpiate fashions and gadgets and fixin's to make us more important.  I think perhaps this is what he meant. How many people do you know that spend hours on end for people they do not know and never will meet and yet spend endless hours, for no pay, working for these very people?  How many?

I have spent hours in orientations with potential therapy dog teams, and I always ask up front why they want to do this.  What is their motivation?  What do they hope to gain from this.  The answers are brief, some curt, and some I feel are not really certain.  The trite answer has always been to take my dog to help others.  But I wonder what that means.

Having done this for more years than I care to admit, I find most fade out and away when they realize that it takes commitment and responsibility and a work ethic they just can't muster.  When it is realized that this isn't just a social party deal, but real effort is required, many disappear into the background.

So what does it take to join the fight to make the world more habitable and more humane?  I know for a fact that offering a hand to someone in great pain or grief makes the world a better place.  Listening to people when no one else will is making the world a better more humane place, loving children and animals who have been overlooked and ignored and tossed to the side is making the world more humane.  Treating others with kindness and respect and love whether they deserve it or not is making the world a better place.  Going out of your way to help a stranger, smiling at someone who you don't know, speaking kindly and softly to a person who is ordinarily ignored, doing the right thing for the right reason, putting yourself aside and being present for someone who needs you more than you might ever know is doing the right thing. 

It isn't all that hard or is it?  Can most people stop thinking about themselves long enough to even care about anybody else?  Sometimes it seems that we have lost the ability and the capability to care about others.  And as far as I am concerned being humane and making the world  a better place and more habitable takes effort. A great deal of effort, that most people won't choose to make. It takes time away from you being on facebook and tweeting and phoning and texting.  It takes effort to care.  It takes effort to make an effort.  How many people do you know that actually do this? How many people do you know with moral courage and integrity?  Who are a role model for others?  Who represent all that is right and good with this world. 

I think lately I have been in a puddle of the wrong kind of people.  People whose purposes to me have been suspect, and now proven.  Out of line, and certainly out of proportion.  People who have only self motivating purposes attached to their actions. 

So I release them and will find those who live on this earth with vitality and righteousness, and love and compassion for others...the real kind of compassion, not just the kind that makes you feel better.  For one cannot force compassion or fake it.  It is either there or it isn't.

People just want to be recognized and know they are of some matter to you.  Try it sometime.  Talk to a total stranger.  Make it your goal to make them smile.  For my friend they also, I guarantee you, are fighting some kind of battle too.  We all are.  If we are not there for each other and only sling mud and garbage at others then this world is not humane and habitable and hospitable.  And it truly will become a very sad and cold place to be. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012


A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, violent one, the other wolf is the loving compassionate one." The grandson asked him, "Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?" The grandfather answered, "The one I feed".

This has always been a favorite of mine. We all yearn to be heard, listened to, understood, and shown that we matter, that we make a difference. How often has some one actually sat with you and listened to you?

Most are too busy multi tasting to actually hear you pleading to be heard. You can hear the paper rusting in the background of the key board of the computer in fast forward or scrolling through email on their smart phone. They say they are listening but their attention is in many other places. You feel as if you do not matter in the slightest. So why even bother? Why even talk?

My most special friend stops whatever she is doing when I phone. She talks to me, hears me, and understands that I need that time to share things with her that I can't with anyone else. She isn't writing or reading or counting the cans in the cupboard, she is there for me...just me. If it is not a convenient time, and she has other things that need attention, she asks if she can call me back when she can give me her full attention. I matter to her. I am the one she is 'feeding' at that time. And for that I am grateful.

There are so many people that give you lip service. They nod their heads to indicate they are listening, but you know that their minds and thoughts are elsewhere. I find this ultimately rude, selfish behavior. But in this world of texting, tweeting, and instant gratification what happened to real communication? What happened to sitting and holding the hand of someone in pain who needs to have his/her soul fed, her tears dried, and her grief understood.

I look back on days when I was fully present for people. What it meant to them was extraordinary. Later communication indicated that that was all they had really needed at that time. A person who listened, heard and understood.

One a soldier just back from Afghanistan we was suffering from the death of his two battle buddies...why did he live...why wasn't he dead. He should be. He wanted to be. He talked I listened.

Another a lady whose son had been in a car accident and he was completely paralyzed. The tears in her eyes poured as she asked what would happen to him when she died.

Another a wife, whose husband had had a stroke. She had all the hope and faith in the world that he would recover. He did not. She fell onto my shoulder and wept.

Not all of our conversations and moments are as dramatic, perhaps just a nightmare we had, or concerns over our children, or an illness in the family. Or just wanting to share your day with someone. Or a much needed laugh. Or to see how their day is. To reach matter.

This is a gift. A human response.

I am reminded of the story of an elderly lady who often dialed the wrong number, but always the same wrong number, one number off. Her voice was always weak and frail. She was calling her son. It is always at 6:00 am...she calls so she can tell him that she is okay. Then one time she called the wrong number. The lady who always answered told her that if ever it was an emergency to feel free to call her and she would send help.

Now that is listening and caring and hearing and the kind of response we all want.

Having time to hear a story is a gift for someone who wants to tell you a story. They might be lonely, tired, afraid, ill, or desperate. Sometimes we just need an audience that just might give us vigor, peace, and comfort for the rest of the day.

Friday, June 1, 2012



The following is quoted from MORE DOG PSALMS, by Herbert beautifully and perfectly written. It answers my long time question of what is it about dogs!

"I am dog.  I heal.  I know when a wound needs a lick, when a tear needs a snuggle, and when to come close to you.  I know what is too close and too soon.  I am dog and will wait outside your door if you are isolated.  You know I am there.  When you want good news I am your good news.  When you want thumbs up I look you in the face and declare you well.  I do not see you as sick: I see you are getting well.  I bring a rag or chewed bone to test your spirit.  I am ready to play; you are not and I will wait.  I am dog and remind you of good times and how we made it before.  I cannot reach the medicine shelf, but I bring you what the pharmacy cannot bottle.  I am dog, more than a prescription drug.  Medicare cannot afford me and I come free to you.  One whistle, one look and I am at your side.  Touch me, hold me and be well."


With a dog there is a message of liberation.  You can be whoever you are.  You can express your thoughts and feelings with absolute confidence that you do not have to be fearful that love will be taken away. With your dog you know you will not be punished for your honesty.  There is no admission price, no rental fee or installment plans.  With you dog you have a commitment.  A dog will not go back on his word to you.  On days when you cannot predict your reactions or guarantee your strength, the one thing you do know is that your dog will not reject you! No matter what, you are on the same course.

I have four dogs, each varies in personality and temperament.  But the one constant is that somewhere inside of each of them, is a silent cry for love. The kind of love that conquers all.

From my good friend Terry Hershey, "Here's the deal: we don't need more remedies or advice.  We need more touch.  We become more human when we touch.  Why?  Because when we touch, we are seen.  And when we are seen, we recognize that our value is not tied solely to our sorrow." 

So many of our warriors are abandoned by their families, their mothers, their fathers, siblings, and spouses when they return from one or multiple deployments with PTSD. They are not the same person that left...this is not always understood. The warriors find themselves leading a horribly restricted and isolated life.  They have lost close relationships and have few outside interests. They have lost touch.

As Maria Robinson wrote, "Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."  Perhaps that new ending requires pushing past trying to understand and beginning a new life with a nonjudgmental friend by your side. Perhaps this friend called dog will lead you to a 'new normal,' a new life, new friends and out of isolation and desperation. 

I can guarantee you one thing...that there is a dog in a shelter somewhere that will turn your life around. So to 'our' warriors I say, "You have a chance, take it.  It will not only save your life, it will undoubtedly save the dog's. 

Nobody said it would be easy, but what I can say is that it will be worth it.  TADSAW is your champion, your cheerleader and will do everything possible to not let you down.  You have been taught to save lives...we have been taught to save warriors with our rescue dogs.  Together we are a winning team. 

Train a Dog~Save a Warrior , Inc. invites you to start a new ending