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A lovely share of everyday life. A bit of ‘magic,’ indeed!

Peace, Love and Patchouli

I think of this life, how we move through it, relate to it and the people we encounter, wondering sometimes why it is we connect to those who become an attachment to our lives, stuck like a happy piece of Velcro to our hearts. We find ourselves in unexpected places sometimes, and often making a connection, perhaps with a smile, a word of positivity or a hug to console.

I heard a front screen door slam this morning and children’s voices, excitedly telling their mom that there were dogs out there. We were on our morning walk with the pups and two small boys came tentatively towards us, one asking if he could pet them. I turned and smiled, told them they’d love to be petted and that they were friendly. They took turns stroking Chi as Apple stood there with her Apple smile, staring past the boys who were…

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The Brightest Star In The Sky


April 7th is World Health Day, and this year’s theme is DIABETES. As most of my readers know, my son was diagnosed with diabetes, shortly after his sixth birthday. Diabetes is a Chronic Condition that affects nearly 6 million people. Today my son is all grown up, married and the father of two beautiful children.

A parent’s worst fears for a child living with diabetes is low blood sugar. It can happen at any time of the day or night, and may often lead to a seizure. My son’s condition was considered brittle, meaning his blood sugar dropped dangerously low in a matter of minutes. Often in seconds.

One day I heard of a possible miracle. A dog that could detect low blood sugar in diabetes patients by scent. The year was approximately 2008 or 2009. My son was graduating from college and engaged to be married. Regardless of how tight my son controlled his blood sugar, he was still plagued by unexpected seizures. As a mother, I was desperate at the time.

I did my research online and off. I spoke to doctors together with local organizations who did not support the dog-scent idea. Why? Because there wasn’t any science to back it up. No data, no human trials. This is only what I was told. I often wonder, if the powers that be were parents of a child living with seizures due to diabetes, would they have thought any differently?

To make a long story short, my son received his diabetic alert dog, a beautiful British black Labrador puppy of six weeks old in the spring of 2009. Four of us spent the weekend in Mississippi learning all that we could about D.A.D’s (Diabetic Alert Dogs). We took training classes for several days while relishing my son’s new hope of living with fewer seizures. I want to make it clear, these dogs are not to be considered pets. First and foremost, they are working dogs. They are only as good as their masters are willing to work with them. It is not easy and is a full-time commitment.

Although hard to believe, on the very first night that the dog slept in our barren motel room, sounds of “sniff-sniff-sniff” alerted my son to a low blood sugar! Tiny fur of jet black crawled and pawed to lap and lick his neck and face. Yes, the little pup knew!

Today, Nimbus, named after a cloud, has been a faithful servant to my son ever since that very first night. He’s saved him from seizures and perhaps even his life more times than I can count. In fact, I can’t recall the last time my son suffered a seizure! Nimbus loves the whole of his family, especially his younger sister and brother, who tosses him a tennis ball during his off time.

Nimbus has slowed down during the last couple of years but still goes to work with my son at the National Weather Service, where he’s treated like one of the brightest stars high in the sky.


I Took My Dying Dog on a Bucket List Adventure – by Lauren Fern Watt

A post with words to make every dog owner hug their own a little tighter today. Creative and beautifully written, you’ll love and laugh and cry for Gizelle and her owner, Lauren.

Kindness Blog

When my 160-pound English Mastiff was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, I was crushed. Together Gizelle and I had been through college, boyfriends, our early 20s, and a move from simple Tennessee to big and scary New York City.

This dog wasn’t just my best friend — she was my roommate and confidant. What does the vet mean she only has a few months left?

My sobbing seemed unstoppable, but Gizelle was sensitive and didn’t like to see me cry. I had to be strong. So I decided we would bury our worries in the dog park and create a bucket-list adventure of everything we wanted to do before she died. It was my mission for us to indulge and explore life’s joys. We’d escape the city and search for waterfalls, cook lobster, and nap in the grass. We’d jump in the ocean without towels, just to enjoy the sun…

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Prayers for “Doodle” Dog

Upon returning from vacation last Saturday evening, I learned of my beloved “Doodle” dog’s injury. Opening the door to plop overstuffed bags down on my entry tile floor, a familiar howl of excitement greeted me.  There he was!  A fluffy white head cocked to the side as if to say, “Where have you been?  “Why did you leave me?”

Doodles did not jump upon my leg in order to be petted or picked-up as expected …a telltale sign.  Instead, dark eyes stared wide and open, misty even…pleading in puppy-dog communication.  His nose, normally jet black and moist to the touch appeared coca-brown, uneven in color.  Bending down for a kiss, it felt warm and slightly rough upon my lips gentle brush.  A few seconds later, Doodles limped away from me.

It was midnight, what could I do?  Doodles lay upon my bed the whole night through.  A few hours later, the first appointment available was made at the vet for 10:00 pm.  There was nothing to be done except to make him as comfortable as possible and wait.  Sunday near midnight, I learned of the extent of Doodles injury.  In fairness to our pet sitter, she texted me earlier in the week to let me know that he had been running when suddenly he stopped with a short yelp.  Afterwards, he started limping.  It wasn’t her fault and she certainly didn’t know how serious it was.  Accidents happen.

My dog-baby has completely torn most of the ligaments in his left-rear leg and blown his ACL.  I’d like to believe otherwise, but most likely he will need surgery.  An appointment is made to see a specialist and surgeon early next week.  Until then, he’s on medication, sleeping on a fuzzy fleece bed to the side of my half-moon desk.

Normally, I take this kind of news in stride except Doodles has already had two surgeries on a different leg at two different times for the same reason.  Two surgeries, two months of rehab (each), lots of $$$$ with a tremendous risk, a lot of pain, and no guarantees…ever.  I’m used to living with “Chronic Conditions,” but my “Doodle” dog?  Ironic it is and yet….not so much.   So, here I go again, what to do?

Doodles is a member of my family.  He rises with me in the dawn of morn to sit beneath my desk until the dusk of night.  He follows behind me trotting to the coffee pot, not caring if my bathrobe is scraggly or that my hair isn’t combed.  He cherishes a ride in my convertible and loves to feel wind whisper fluffy white fur atop his cotton candy head. Glancing at him in side view mirrors, a smile spreads across my face to see such euphoria.  Each passing car toots a horn at the sight of such pooch delight!

During each and every day, Doodles sits upon my lap to watch fingers tap letters from black keys, cocking his head in wonder as they move up and down.  Sometimes a fresh groomed paw will push them away, stopping the flow.  When it does, I scoop him up.

With a furry body of four long legs together with tender paws, we seek an adventure in the out of doors.  Together, we breathe fresh air deep into our lungs while feeling the warmth of the sun.  He stops to sniff hidden scents under dark green shrubbery along chipped sidewalk paths of poured cement while walking on a leash, frayed and painted in our team of “Cardinal” red.  Happy, he is.

That’s all I want for my “Doodle” dog.  Happiness…and to live and walk again without an ounce of pain.



My Happy Place

There is a familiar spot here in great St. Louis, where people flop inside or outside, leaving their troubles behind for another time.  Actually, this hang-out is located in a toy town called Kirkwood, about ten miles from the chocolate color of my dusty garage door.

When summer begins to wane the weather is perfect, like this time of year.  Today, barely a soul of young or old can be found inside the multiple front doors of the welcoming café.  Instead, eagle eyes scan the outdoor crowd, looking for any sign of movement in case an imaginary “Vacancy” sign pops up.  Deep breaths are taken.  Fresh air is inhaled while lungs expand. Ahhh, relaxation begins!

It is here that a new discovery is made each and every time I visit.  Who would think that a simple, non-descript patio made of concrete cement would have such an impact on my life?  And, yet it does.  This is my Happy Place.  A corner of wired tables in black with matching chairs on top of grey.  Wait…take a seat, sit down to rest your feet.  Shhh, watch and listen.  This is a haven full of people who are living in the moment.

Do you see what I see?  There are mothers pushing strollers, babes in arms, Daddies giving horsy-rides and coffee cups made of china white.  Children riding scooters, chocolate milk clutched in little hands, bikers, joggers, bunnies in wagons and toasted bagels laden with cream cheese.  Kisses on cheeks, grandparents carrying toddlers, and dogs-of-all-kinds. Pacifiers in pink or blue, books being read and luxury leashes made of leather.  Working laptops, baked banana bread so good, couples on first dates, I-phones, singles and fountains splish-splashing.  Love is in the air, walkers, bottles filled with water, smiles, secrets and even bellies-SO BIG!

My husband clasps my hand to find me the best seat.  He pulls out my chair before inquiring what I’d like to sip and eat.  “A vanilla cappuccino,” he asks, expecting a “Y.E.S.” Next, his words so sweet, “A cinnamon roll warmed for you?”  He is the very best man and I am the luckiest of women.  Soon he comes back with my treats.

While nibbling, I stop to “people watch,” snap a few pictures, and meet new friends.  The sun feels warm to my skin, pinking my cheeks.  Next to me, I meet the cutest Labradoodle who excitedly poses for me.  And then, a “Hallmark” moment begins.

A few feet away, the sweetest girl of young reaches up and over on tippy-toes to kiss her loved one so dear.  She has long and lovely dark hair, wears shorts and seems to surprise the woman who is older than she.  My heart skips a beat.

Seconds go by.  The freshly kissed woman passes our table.  My husband smiles, pointing to our phone.  “Look,” he says, stopping her.  A gentle grin, big and wide slides over pretty, white teeth.  She is touched by what she sees, going on to tell us a bit about her lovely grand-daughter.

Looking across at her table, she notices more seats taken.  Chairs pulled out.  Tennis shoes underneath.  This time by her husband together with a darling, young grand-son wearing metal and leather braces strapped to thin legs.  Briefly, we talk about Chronic Conditions.  “He was born with clubfeet,” she says, speaking of her other darling one.  “He’s already had several surgeries,” she adds, “with more to come.”  She speaks matter-of-factly, with no hint of ‘woe-is-me‘ in her voice when she glances over at her loved ones.

There is no doubt, no question in my mind that this is where I am supposed to be.   Right now, right here at this moment in time.  A new Life Lesson for me today.  How special it is to have and hold this “Hallmark” tip-toed kiss upon a grandmother’s lips!  From an innocent grand-daughter to her loving grandmother.  A story of life trials chock full of smiles on this very morning.  Lucky for me.

No matter how brief, this will forever be “My Happy Place.”


“Doodle” Bandit

There I was in the midst of, ‘everything.’  Running around and about, I was busy cleaning up, sorting mail, and emptying trash when I saw them.  Crumbles of hard caramel-colored pieces sprinkled here and there.  They were left in a trail thoughout the house much like “Hansel and Gretel” would do in their fairy tale.

Nubby golden nuggets shaken like salt and pepper led me down the hall through my bedroom to the point of origin.  The door was wide open to my walk in closet.  Sitting on the floor where I had left it the night before was the small tote bag that I had carried on the plane.  Peeking through the zippered opening to see,  was only a warm fuzzy blanket.  The rest was a mystery to me.

So, I shut the door to go about my day.  I did not have time to play.  Still, everywhere I went were  reminders of the evidence.  Wherever I walked, wherever I stepped, nubby brown nuggets stuck to the bottom of my feet.  Then, up from the stairs bounded my favorite fluffy fur ball, jumping into my lap with greetings of love.  It was my “Doodle” dog.  Ha!  I had my answer now.  Surely, he was the one.   I needed to find out what he had done….

Like a white creme puff, I carried him to my closet where I opened my tote to get to the bottom.   Slowly, I unraveled the warm fuzzy blanket.  Shaking it out, more  crumbles fell out.  All of a sudden a crackling sound could be heard.  Clear cellophane paper appeared!

Sitting on the beige carpet, I looked to my left where Doodles sat upright together with two white legs and black paws, in front.   Like a small child, he knew he’d been caught.  He  knew he’d been found out.   Beneath his dark eyes and under his black nose, the evidence was clear.  Looking closer now, I could see.  It was there, underneath his chin.  Chocolate that he had tried to lick off, but couldn’t quite reach.

In my closet, in my tote, Doodles had sniffed it out.  He dug through the blanket to ‘carefully’ scratch open the cellophane, paw by paw.  The clear was not slit down the middle nor shredded to bits.  No, he was smarter than that.  He lifted a piece of my favorite sponge candy out of the fancy wrapped bag, one piece at a time.  Like you or I would do.  It was obvious he didn’t, ‘wolf it down.’  No, he finished the first before returning for the second.   Perhaps he was saving a bite for me?

You may wonder why I’m writing this, but I have a lesson here.  This is not the first time…..  I should have learned by now from this “Doodle Bandit” of mine.  My dog is addicted to chocolate.  I’ve called the vet who has told me that some dogs are allergic to chocolate.  They may get sick or even worse.   Not Doodles.   He simply steals and devours it with glee.

Long ago I came home when he was just a pup to find an up-opened box of Godiva chocolates sitting oddly on the floor.  I took the lid off.  A few were missing.  Others were pinched.  Yes, pinched by a small white paw.  The box was perfect.  No papers out of place, no chocolate to be found anywhere.

Crazy I know, but isn’t that what a cat burglar would do?