Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Magic Rock

This beautiful rock was painted for me by talented Portland OR artist Connie Bowen. I'm delighted to say that Connie is also a good friend!

Connie headed to the Oregon coast back in December. She wanted to spend a few days enjoying the surf and sand with her dog, Jesse, and to do some painting while she relaxed to the sound of waves crashing on the beach.

I had no idea one of the pieces she would create would be this stunning rock!
When she presented it to me a few weeks ago, I fell in love with the whimsical design and vivid colors. Connie even painted my four kitties, standing at the window. I’m sure they’re looking at the birds visiting the feeders and squirrels running on the deck!

I love rocks. They nest in bowls inside and outside my home. Many of the stones and boulders that grace my yard were handpicked by me at local quarries. The 150 ft. rock wall that runs behind my cat enclosure is a source of constant delight, as I watch the many critters throughout the year who make their homes within its nooks and crannies.

On the day that I lost my beloved dog, Martha, back in 1995, I held her furry body in my arms as the veterinarian administered the medication that ended her physical suffering. I had been saving a small rock that was special to me. I ran it over her body as she left this life, to capture and forever hold the magical essence that was the heart and soul of my dear four-legged friend.

So, you can see that rocks have a very important place in my life!

Thank you, Connie, for gifting me with such a precious piece. I will treasure it always. To learn more about Connie and see her breathtaking pet portraits be sure to visit her at

Whether it be a pebble, stone or boulder, if you hear a rock asking to come home with you I hope you will listen to it, for it may come bearing a magical gift...just for you!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

The heart is a fickle thing!

Even after 7 years I can still remember the young man in the cutlery store.

I had just seen the second Lord of the Rings movie. Little did I know I would see it 11 more times in the theater! There’s no way to count how many times I’ve seen it at home.

My heart had stopped during the scene where Eowyn pulls out her sword. It became important to me to hold a sword in my own two hands. Ah, but where to go? Try looking up swords in the yellow pages! My quest led me to a cutlery store in one of the local malls. On the wall I saw Glamdring, Gandalf’s sword. That would have to do.

I asked the young man behind the counter if I could please hold the sword. He brought it down and placed it into my trembling hands. I held it high – something they really don’t like you doing in the mall – as tears fell down my face.

“I’ll bet working around all these swords must be wonderful for you” I said, expecting him to wax poetic about his dreams of battle and choice of weaponry.

“Actually,” he told me,” I’m holding out for one of these.” He pointed to a block of kitchen knives. “I’m going to be a pastry chef!”

How wonderful!

Today I walked into that same cutlery store in the same mall, and told that story to the man behind the counter. He gave me a broad smile when I got to the part about the pastry knives.

“That was my son you spoke to. He was still in high school at the time.” So I asked the father if his son had followed his heart into the cooking world.

It turns out he did, indeed, follow his heart…and became a nuclear engineer for the Navy. But he stills loves to bake!
So here's to following your heart...wherever it leads you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chester, the three-legged cat

Meet Chester, the three-legged love of Kathy Hanson’s life.

Kathy and I have known each other for about 11 years. During that time she’s had to say goodbye to several critters. But when she called last year to tell me about the loss of her forever cat, Timmy – her love, inspiration and writing partner – it was almost hard for me to breathe.

Kathy wasn’t sure when…or how…another feline would find her, but somehow Chester did.
Chester was hanging out at a local shelter last summer, waiting for a Forever Mom who would realize that all he wanted was someone to love him…just the way he was.

And that’s exactly what happened when Kathy and Chester found each other. According to Kathy, Chester has no idea he’s short one leg. He gets around perfectly, and has no trouble keeping his canine housemates in line.

Although no one could ever take Timmy’s place, who would have known that a cat with three legs could step with so much grace, courage and presence into the four paw prints Timmy left on Kathy’s heart?

Chester knew!


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

In celebration of Tanzy

He wasn’t very big, weighing in at just 2 lbs.

But Tanzy’s small body held a large, loving spirit, which is part of what made him the beloved four-legged companion of Ellen Meade.

“He was such a gentle boy,” Ellen said, “so full of life. He was like a little wind-up toy - put him down at your feet and he would twirl around, barking so softly to get your attention. His bark was more of an angelic bark - soft and low.”

Ellen lost her beloved Chihuahua on December 14, 2009. “He made my family of five perfect for me,” she said. “Just perfect.”

Ellen told me Tanzy was a very loving, gentle dog.

"Perhaps his cute face can inspire others to love and treasure their pets all the more," she said.

Fly free, little Tanzy, and know that you will always have a forever place in Ellen's heart.

With love,

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Happy New Year for the Dog Shelter

I couldn’t wait! I woke up on New Year’s Day 2010, knowing I’d be participating once again in the annual Mt. Crumpit Run for the Clackamas County Dog Shelter.

Just as in the past few years, car after car pulled up at the drop off site with beds, food, treats and other necessities.

The dogs had been moved this year to their new facility, which I hope to visit very soon. However, many people brought their own pooches, so needless to say I got my doggie fix!

The Mt. Crumpit Run is a perfect example of what can happen when really good people come together to do something extraordinary for animals in need.

That’s exactly what happened when Sunni Liston (green hat in front) of Dogpatch Resort and Joni Taylor (Santa hat in back) Executive Director of FIDO put their heads together.

It was magic!

I'm already looking forward to next year's event. I suspect Rosie the Basset Hound is, too, considering how much she's enjoying those Milkbones!

If you're looking to bring a special critter into your heart and home, I hope you'll visit your nearest animal shelter.

Who knows - your new best friend may already be there, waiting for you.

Happy New Year!

Chris Davis
Lighthearted Press