Friday, July 13, 2012


She was an "angel flying too close to the ground" as Willie Nelson sang! To this day I feel her presence in all I do, all I say, and all that I am! Penny's From Heaven Foundation was formed in 2006, in honor of Penny and today in memory of Penny. 

She ws being released from the Guide Dogs of Texas Program here in San Antonio and I was asked if I would foster home her until a permanent home was found. 

The first night she was here, at 2:00 am, my front door knob began to rattle and turn.  A burglar~Penny barked wildly and lunged at the door, while my other three dogs slept.  She has never left my heart and her home was permanent until the day she died.  That next day I discovered that we shared the same birthday.  This pretty much cinched the deal.  She became my guardian angel while I was going through emotional hell.  These days were long and painful and filled with grief and pain.  It was then that I began writing PENNY'S FROM HEAVEN: STORIES OF HEALING. 

Twice a week she and I would go to a rehab hospital here in San Antonio and the stories wrote themselves, as Penny became an inspiration and saving grace to many struggling to heal from a myriad of illnesses and injuries. She became a hero each and everytime she entered the hospital.  And with each patient she visited and snuggled and helped on their road to recovery, I found I too was improving. 

She was an angel and a hero her entire life.  Penny was inducted into the TEXAS ANIMAL HALL OF FAME,  DECEMBER 7TH, 2006. She had been in my hall of fame since the day I first met her.  Today she remains in my heart with each beat, for I know she is above watching over me and guiding Train a Dog~Save a Warrior which was an outgrowth of Penny's From Heaven Foundation.

A cancer survivor for several years she finally succumbed, but behind she left a little piece of herself in the hearts of all she reached.  Today she still reaches those that she ultimately fell in love with...her warriors. Each wounded warrior she met was also fighting some kind of battle.  It was through her interaction with them that I realized that a wounded warrior could relate in a most amazing and healing way with a dog battling cancer.  As Penny became less and less able to 'work', her torch was passed on to my blind therapy dog, a Petite Basset Griffon Vendeen (PBGV).  She too had a remarkable and almost at times an unbelieveable way of reaching into places deeply buried in her warriors that needed her more than they ever knew. 

It was during this time that Penny was spending her last days with me and Kelsie my golden lab came into the household.  The first day they were together they never left each others side.  They snuggled so closely you would have thought they had known each other for years.  But with they lay facing each other and their front two paws met for at least 30 minutes, I just knew the time was coming and the torch was being passed from Penny to Kelsie.  And indeed in just a few short days it did.  Kelsie's first visit was perfection.  Today she and I have bonded in a most special way.  Penny was the glue and no one can convince me otherwise.

Kelsie's journey from formal training with an offender in the Dominguez State Prison in San Antonio to Guide Dogs of Texas and then ultimately to me as my personal service/therapy dog and now as an AMBASSADOR THERAPY DOG FOR TADSAW, Penny should be proud.  I know I am.  The journey has been one of deep and abiding love, one for the other.  For these dogs I have been extraordinarily blessed, for they have taught me what people cannot and have not.  They have taught me what it is like to be human, to be compassionate, to be loving and caring and not malicious and full of hate.  They have taught me all that is good and right with this world and that if we try hard enough to help another living creature, then we too will find a beautiful light shines from us, just as it has from Penny, Gracie and Kelsie.  God Bless these angels for they have shed their light and love on so many people that needed them more than they could ever have imagined.

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Books will be autographed upon request.  100% of the donations will go to help a wounded warrior.

Books may also be purchased, tax deductible through website.  Just make a notation that it is for a PFH book and to whom you would like it autographed...and mailing address.

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