Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pet Loss Comfort

Some of the best journeys are the ones that go down memory lane.

That's where I've been traveling over the past several months, as I was writing the new Pet Loss Comfort section for my website.
I've had the privilege of sharing conversations with many animal lovers over the years, and most of our thoughts were of special critters we had loved...and lost. It seemed like the perfect time to create this new section, and to offer personal stories and pictures from my own experiences with pet loss.

As I wrote in the introduction, whether we call them pets, companions, critters, furballs, fuzzies or any of the endearing names people use, the loss of our precious animal friends can be a devastating experience.

After I lost my magical dog, Martha, in 1995, I was so heartbroken I didn’t know how to go on without her. I thought she’d be by my side as I left the corporate workplace and began the search for my “soul work.” As it turned out, her unexpected loss would lead to the writing of my first book, For Every Dog An Angel, and to the creation of Lighthearted Press.

With Martha’s help, I had found my soul work.

If you are grieving a lost animal friend, I hope you'll stop by our website and see if these pages might provide a safe and loving place for you to remember your lost animal companion.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sunday Brunch Part 2- The Starfish Story

So there I was after Sunday Brunch, wondering if the world was just way too risky a place for an open-hearted person like me.

I want my life to matter – I want to contribute something positive to the planet. But when you look at all the heartbreak and turmoil there are times it feels like a daunting task.

And then I remembered The Starfish Story, adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eisley:

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "I made a difference to that one!"

Here's to making a difference...even in small things. And in the universal scheme of things, there are no small things!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday Brunch Part 1: Sometimes you need a hard hat

It was a beautiful fall Sunday in Portland, OR. I was having brunch with some great people, and happened to mention that before my publishing/writing days I worked in an industry that was a supplier to the commercial construction field.

I still have my hard hat,” I mentioned.

“Sometimes you NEED a hard hat,” one of the women at the table said.

For some reason that really struck me. A hard hat is worn to prevent injury. Not only is it perfectly OK to wear one in dangerous situations, in many cases it’s required. Construction workers don’t avoid going into harm's way…they just go in prepared!

Although I’m not usually in physical danger when I head out the door each day, I often feel vulnerable on an emotional level. I'm a "wear your heart on your sleeve" kind of person, and luckily most of the people I interact with aren't really interested in smashing that old heart of mine to pieces.

But when I turn on the TV, or read the paper, or go on the Internet, and see all the stories of suffering and abuse on our planet I’m often left feeling overwhelmed…sort of shell-shocked.

Made me wonder – do they make “heart hats?”

To be continued…..


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cat Enclosure Video

I’m always so excited when someone gets in touch with me to chat about my outside cat enclosure! I know that it probably means they want to build something similar for their own cats….and as my four kitties would tell you, that’s a GOOD THING!

I finally did a YouTube Video of our kitty playground:

Stop by to see all the special features of the enclosure, including the brightly colored ramps, perches, ladders and birdhouses. You can also learn more about the building materials that were used.

Hope you'll stop by...and remember - DOGS like cat enclosures, too!