Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Burying mementos with our animal companions

They each got a letter. Every critter I’ve said goodbye to brought a letter with them, saying how much I’d loved them, and how much joy they had brought to my life.

But there were other items, too, that accompanied my animals when they left my side.

Martha took a bag of cookies into the afterlife. Not dog cookies – chocolate chip cookies! And all the birdies who have flown their final flights in my yard have been buried in Martha’s rock garden, so she can guide them to their next great adventure.

Jessie was buried with a picture of my kitchen window, where I told her I’d be standing, watching over her.

I asked her not to be concerned if she peeked into that window and saw me crying…one day those tears would be replaced with smiles.

And Jake, my beloved boy, was cremated with two of my books – For Every Dog An Angel and Old Dog & the Christmas Wish - safely tucked between his front paws. It was his spirit, after all, that had helped bring those books to life.

What about you – have your animals left this life with special mementos that celebrated your timeless connection?


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Acupuncture for the Earth

Many years ago I watched a holistic veterinarian perform acupuncture on my dog, Martha. We were hopeful the procedure might help with the mysterious brain condition that was rapidly shutting her body down.

It became clear that Martha had a completely different plan for her spirit, and staying by my side was not part of that plan. However, one of the benefits of the acupuncture was the immediate relief of the high fever Martha had been experiencing.
You could actually feel the heat leaving her body.

There is much talk about the extreme climate changes and geological events that are happening on our planet.

Which got me thinking – would Mother Earth benefit from the same gift that had helped Martha with her inability to regulate her body temperature?

Today I am going to offer my walking stick to the earth. I will ease it into the ground at the rock garden where Martha is buried, and ask that all the love and respect I feel for the earth flow through my stick into the water, soil, roots and rocks, saturating the planet with healing light and love.

From my heart...through Martha's the heart of the earth.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

There's no cure for a broken heart

To everything there is a season….

But sometimes the season just doesn’t seem long enough…and that’s how it was with Cinnamin, the beloved cat of my dear Florida friend, Judy Ditfurth.

Cin was the last surviving member of the happy furry family Judy had shared her life with for many years. When her Bulldog, Jeremy, died unexpectedly on Christmas Eve 2008, the loss was unbearable for Judy…and also for Cin. The two boys had been best buddies.

So last year Judy, who is a long time supporter of Bulldog rescue, brought home two Bullie ladies who needed a forever home. The hope was these sweet girls might be interested in making friends with a beautiful orange and white cat.

Cin did everything possible to forge a friendship with his new canine family members, but the dogs just weren’t interested. So he contented himself by playing with his toys, sleeping in his cat nest, and staying close to Judy.

He held his own through 2009, but when 2010 rolled around Judy started to notice that Cin just wasn't Cin anymore. He was losing weight. He had begun sleeping in Jeremy's old resting spots. The playful cat she had known was disappearing before her eyes.

Then, about a month ago, things started to go very wrong, very fast.

A team of doctors did every possible test they could think of, but no one could come up with any conclusive answers as to what was wrong with Cinnamin. His frail little body was shutting down. On April 13th Judy made the heartbreaking decision to let her boy go.

When she called me, the first thing she said was “Cin's with Jeremy now.”

Medicine has come a long way. There are tests and treatments available that can often save or extend an animal’s life. There are drugs that can relieve pain, help old kidneys, and fight cancer.

But Judy feels Cin died of a broken heart…and there just doesn’t seem to be a medicine for that.

Farewell sweet Cin.


Monday, April 12, 2010

I DON'T THINK SO...said the cat to the postal worker

Seen in the Sunday paper:

LONDON — Britain's postal service says it has suspended deliveries to a woman following repeated attacks by her 19-year-old cat.

The Royal Mail said Friday that it had halted deliveries because postal workers had already sustained "nasty injuries" at the address in the town of Farsley, near Leeds in northern England.

The woman was identified as a 43-year-old pharmacy worker. Media reports say she found it hard to believe that her cat, named "Tiger," could be behind the attacks.

She told two newspapers the animal spent most of its day sleeping and didn't have the energy to chase postal workers.

-- Associated Press

Note - this is a picture of MY sweet cat,
Pippen...on a good day.

Chris Davis

Lighthearted Press

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder – huh?

My yard was landscaped to attract birds.

However, all critters are welcome – birds, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, and pretty much anyone else who happens to wander through.

The squirrels are very aggressive feeders. They ferociously hold their ground, so birdies attempting to stop by for lunch are often scared off.

I decided to make one feeder squirrel proof. The bird store said this metal baffle was a winner, so that’s what I went with. As you can see, it hasn’t been successful.

I’ve tried bending the baffle and coating it with salad oil, but still those little squirrels find their around it.
There are squirrel-friendly feeders all around, but the squirrels seem to like my squirrel-proof one.

Any thoughts on how to make this one feeder truly for birds only?


Thursday, April 01, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon - and lift your spirits, too!

Yesterday my spirits were sagging a bit. I had a lot of things on my mind - I just wanted to go back to bed and wake up next month.

Determined to pull myself out of my sadness, I drove to the local movie theater and purchased a single ticket to see How to Train Your Dragon in 3D.

WOW – was THAT ever the right thing to do!
The mid-day, mid-week showing was attended by parents with toddlers…and me. I got to hear all the excited sounds of the children, and realized with delight that many of those oohs and ahhs were coming from me!

The fact that this was my first 3D movie made it even better. It was a feast for the eyes, and the perfect healing balm for my heavy heart.

As I drove home my physical hands were on the steering wheel, but in another, equally real world I held onto the sparkling scales of my own dragon, as we soared above the clouds of Portland.

I felt this way when I saw The Iron Giant and Wall-E, two of my favorite all-time movies. Perhaps I’m meant to live in the world of animation…something I plan to give more thought to, when…and if…I ever get back to earth.