Archive for July 1, 2014

When GOD spells DOG   Leave a comment


I had just gotten off the highway and was heading home on a local State Road.  After traveling up the long, curving hillside, suddenly, without warning, appeared a black pit-bull with white markings on her chest, standing in the middle of the road – I came to a sudden stop with her only a few feet from my bumper.  I was in a kind of flashback shock. This was how Lisa found Angel, our pit-bull in Bridgeport 13 years earlier, running through the streets.

I stopped the traffic from coming or going so she wouldn’t be harmed and then made a U-turn to find her – All the while, thinking, “Oh my God…Is this going to be our dog?”  That same morning when someone asked me about having another pet, after Angel dying only two weeks earlier, I said, “If a dog or cat walks in my door, I’ll take her but I’m not going to go looking right now.”

I drove back down the hill, searching the side streets, but the pit-bull was nowhere to be found – my adrenaline was still pumping when I pulled into the driveway minutes later.  Lisa was in front planting a flower garden in Angel’s honor. 

It was so clear to me that seeing that dog was the evidence of my willingness to parent another dog sooner than later, and it wouldn’t matter if it was a pit-bull.  As some friends know, Angel was, as someone recently so aptly put it, “Perfect minus 1” – because Angel was an injured soul who the vet suspected had been used as a bait dog for fighting and whenever she saw a dog she would try to attack before she might be attacked.

Angel required special care, and Lisa and I required a high level of awareness and discipline at all times.  I once said that after Angel went to heaven I would never get another pit-bull…and that I had done my part for the breed as an owner.

A few days ago Lisa told me she submitted an application to adopt a dog that had been extremely abused; one of the worst cases the hospital had ever seen.  Lisa said, (because I felt it was too soon), “Don’t worry, we won’t get picked…this dog is getting so much media attention, they have over two hundred applications.

The morning after my pit-bull sighting on the road home, Lisa got a phone call and ran onto the porch where I was working. She was excited beyond measure, crying, and smiling all at once.  I couldn’t imagine what happened.


“The dog…the dog…they just called and said they chose my application! I can’t believe it — I can’t believe it! Oh, please can’t we have her???”  Lisa asked.

I didn’t know which dog she meant.  Every day Lisa had been showing me photos of dogs in shelters that needed adoption.  I think it helped to soothe the pain of losing Angel.  I said, “The three-legged dog, getting the prosthetic? How are we going to care for a three-legged dog?”

“No…No, Doreen, not that one…it’s Petunia, the one with the burns all over her body.”

 Petunia’s heart and soul reached out from the pictures on my computer screen.  Tears were my only response and to nod, yes.

I later said to Lisa, those flowers you planted in Angel’s spot yesterday – most of them were petunias.

After reading more about Petunia’s horrific trials, I was able to look closer at one of the photos where she was finally able to stand and walk.  I noticed in the background that her caregiver was wearing sneakers exactly the same as a pair of mine.

Three months from now, when Petunia is finally healthy enough to be released into our care after her rehabilitation and recovery, perhaps I’ll wear those sneakers in memory of this day.


To meet Petunia and follow her recovery:

Endless gratitude for Noah’s Ark Rescue

p.s. Please say a prayer for Petunia’s continued recovery — and for all those who don’t have a voice — we can be their voice —






Self-Portrait   Leave a comment

Identify and don’t compare

Don’t withhold and always share

Combat judgment, guilt, and shame

If something’s wrong maybe I’m to blame

You know if you spot it

Then maybe you got it


My latest and my favorite

Extolled by me, so I should claim it

If you worry, pray — And if you pray, don’t worry

Then there’s easy does it – so you’re not in a hurry


If I don’t fill my heart with all this stuff

My going gets bumpy; my life gets tough

I have to live my life aware

Look at the past; but not to stare

Live in the present and be content

Thankful I’m not wonderin’ where my life went


There’s so much further yet to go

I’ll keep remembering easy does it, go slow

How will I spend the hours of daylight left

In praise and wonder, or feeling bereft

Amazing and true, there’s always a choice

Emotions don’t have to be in charge – I have a voice

To quiet ill thinking – focus on what’s good

To maintain an inner sound neighborhood

Making everything outward, seem at last, as it should



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