Thursday, January 29, 2015

Dog Bless Us All






I had a delightful day yesterday with Sarah Beth and Monkey. I love being an independent groomer. I don't have limits on how much time I have to finish a bath, no quotas, no upsales, no corporate bullshit. I have cuddle time, play time, bath time with includes a full body massage, no cage drying, everyone is fluffed dried, everyone gets custom bows and bandanas that I take great care in designing. I will never be rich but what is rich??? It's a word subject to interpretation.

Today I had an ER groom at the shelter. Occasionally friends will ask me how I can stand to spend so much time at the shelter. I am blessed to be so welcomed at the shelter. The days I am not at the shelter are the hardest days for me. People are conditioned to think cold and scary when they think "shelter". Our shelter is beautiful. The staff are absolutely wonderful. On a typical day there will be a dog following Trudy around doing her chores. Karen has a baby gate up at her office door and another is keeping her company and learning socialization, Donna is rocking a baby kitten and getting it used to being held.....everyone is busy.....Momma Dog (the pound dog) is supervising as is the pound cat. I think they fill out staff employment evaluations :-)

The kennels are clean, there is a doggie door to access the outdoors. There is a play yard. Every dog has a raised cot and blanket, fresh water, full food bowl. It is a shelter .... safety from the streets, bad weather, fresh water, food, a warm bed, veterinary care, behavior assessments and therapy to address behavior problems to make sure the next home they have is their forever home. When a dog is there for a while I begin to notice they take on a little bit of Trudy's personality. That is a beautiful transition to behold.

Contrary to what you might assume there is not constant barking from "unhappy dogs begging to get out of that place." When the door is closed and there are no new visitors they are generally quiet. Of course when people walk by their kennel they get happy. Dogs are ambassadors of love after all.

When I groom a dog at the Shelter I have story time. I remind them they are little Earth Angels and God has special plans for each of them. They will be on a new assignment especially chosen for them. I believe that with all my heart.

Everything is as it is meant to be yesterday, today and tomorrow. Sometimes our greatest blessings are unanswered prayers. Divine wisdom exceeds both human and canine understanding.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Watch out for that Bus! ...... coming tomorrow

Peace by Piece




With due diligence piece by piece we recreate our lives after the storm has passed. It often seems as one storm front passes another follows. No one is ever fully ready for the havoc the rains bring or can predict the duration of the rainy season.  I am grateful I had a strong foundation to rebuild upon. Regardless of whatever losses you have incurred, the pain and sorrow you endured,  if you retain your faith, integrity and character you will eventually find Peace.

I am perfectly imperfect. I am alone but I am not lonely. I am at rest in a very peaceful place on the path of healing. I am now able to look back at that journey as a third party observer would and understand with a greater wisdom than I had before.

Alcoholics notoriously externalize and shift blame. They have their excuses why they drink or behaved a certain way. It is an illness and categorized as a disease. You often hear you are that reason. Something you have said or done created that situation. Unfortunate for those of us who have found ourselves buying into those excuses or who begin to feel a shame and guilt that is totally misplaced. If you hear something often enough you begin to believe it. Hopefully, there remains a small part of you that is not quite convinced. That small part holds the key that will open a door that sets you free. Not knowing what is behind that door and turning that key is what takes courage and faith. Faith in yourself.

Friday, January 16, 2015

May God Bless Us All





Every picture tells a story, or two or three. I ordered "Christian's Story" written by a friend of mine Chrisite L. Appel, RN, CLNC in 2011. Illustrated on the cover is a picture of an Angel, eyes cast downwards, her hands against her cheeks resting on a cloud. 

Her dedication reads, "This book is dedicated to my son, Keith, for having the Faith, Courage and Wisdom to change the things he can."

It's a book she helped her grandson, Christian,  write. Christian wrote, "It's a story of hope and courage to all of you kids out there who've live with alcoholism. There is a God and he wants us all to have a great and happy life. So....let me try and help by telling you about our family's journey to salvation through the power of Jesus Christ."

On page 31 there is a piece ABOUT THE AUTHOR. "CHRISTIE IS A PRACTICING RN, CLNC at Yampa Valley Medical Associates in Steamboat Springs, CO. She was raised in Steamboat and continues to live there with her husband, Larry. She is blessed to be surrounded by her children, grandchildren, mother, sister, niece and numerous family members and friends. Christie has a real passion for her family. She is truly blessed to be writing this story with a happy ending. By sharing this story she sincerely hopes to provide faith, hope and encouragement to all who read it." 

Christie was my doctor's nurse and she was my friend. She died July 11, 2012. She was shot by her husband before taking his own life. 

Christie emailed me regularly. We would chat on Facebook late at night. One of my last messages from Chris appeared on Friday, June 22, 2012. 19 days later she died. She closed all her messages and emails "May God Bless us all! Chris". 



"Christian's Story" is Christie's Story and Christie's Story is my story. It's the story of many wives, husbands, children, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters whose voices have been silent or many times silenced before they could be heard. Each tear shed tells a story and each tear is a prayer of hope, "May God Bless us all!" I'll see you Chris on the other side of tomorrow, Love Becky. 


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Happiness Within and Without



It is often the one who has the least to give who gives the most and all that is given comes from the Heart.
That is a rich man. 







Thankful for all the lessons you taught me girl.
Run those wildflower meadows in Heaven
until we meet once again at the Rainbow Bridge. 


I've learned many lessons over the past few years. Perhaps most importantly never place your happiness in the hands of another. Your happiness is your own  responsibility. Pull up "those big girl panties" and saddle that horse because you are pretty much the sole rider on this path. You'll have visitors that will share part of the trail with you. Don't expect them to stay. They are on their own path, their own journey.

If they are on foot you may feel inclined to offer them a ride, give them a hand up and share the saddle with them. I might suggest you take a moment to examine your intentions. Are you expecting something, anything in return??? If you are you have attached an expectation to your kindness. You might as well ride alone. There is no merit in giving if your intention is in receiving. Whatever you do, do with kindness and without expectation. True Loving Kindness comes directly from the heart. Your soul. That part of you which is a spark of creation originated  from the Heavens and eventually returned.

Never accept responsibility for someone else's happiness. They need to take ownership of that themselves. You will lay blame for your unhappiness on others many times throughout your life and others will do the same. You will never find resolution or peace unless you take full responsibility for your happiness. No one can take it away from you unless you give them that power. Once you put your happiness in another person's hands you have handed over the keys to that door. How can you cast blame? You handed them the keys. You may have even left the door unlocked.

By all means share your happiness with others but live life with no expectations. Expectations and attachments lead to disappointment. Disappointment leads to suffering (the sister of unhappiness). This is a planet of pain. We've been sent to rise above the pain and recognize our true nature which is Love and Joy and we are meant to find it ourselves.  If our happiness depends on any external forces then it really isn't true happiness and it can leave as quickly as it arrived. Count all the times you have been miserable and ask yourself "why?".

You most certainly DO have a responsibility NOT TO BE the cause, directly or indirectly, of someone's unhappiness. Do no harm. It's meant to be a peaceful path. If recognize you have offer forgiveness. I would not ask you to forget. Forgiving and forgetting don't always go together. If you forget you may lose the lesson you were meant to learn. Most lessons in life are hidden in sorrow. They are as great a treasure, if not greater, than those uncovered in our joys although much harder to recognize and find. If you take the time to polish them they will shine and radiate a light of pure understanding. Toss them aside and by the time you leave the confines of this existence you might have accumulated a pile that never recognized the brilliance they were meant to shine upon your life.

I strive and struggle daily. I strive to understand the lessons I have learned through the pain and suffering and struggle every day to genuinely forgive the source. Ultimately that means not only directly forgiving the person who contributed to your pain but forgiving yourself because nothing happens in your life by accident without your awareness. What do you do about it? If you are asking anyone but yourself you are asking the wrong person. You, my friend, are the source. Ouch!

Your arrival and departure from this planet will be alone. I believe people fear being alone more than anything else in the world. You have always been alone. Everything else has been an illusion. You bought into that illusion out of fear. You know there is a void but remain clueless what to fill it with. You begin accumulating stuff which only brings temporary happiness which is short lived. You buy more stuff. You surround yourself with people who admire your stuff. Having someone that appreciates "your stuff" stretches out the happiness for a little while longer so you get more stuff and your stuff becomes more important than anything else in your world because you mistakenly believe that stuff is filling the void in your heart which makes you feel so empty.

You will never see a hearse pulling a U-haul behind it unless your family has rented one after your demise so they can quickly start filling it with all your stuff hoping it fills that void in their life too.

The perfect relationship would be one where there are no expectations, void of attachments and need to fill a void. The perfect relationship would be between two people who are complete alone and complete together. Two people living from the heart and separate from their egos. Good luck lovers!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

For Sale


Whatever You  Do,
Do it with Love






I have not spun in several years now. Doubtful I have forgotten how. I don't think you ever forget how to spin once you have spun. Even if your life has spun out of control there are certain things you don't forget.

Ghandi was a spinner. I do believe there is a spinning wheel on the Indian flag. Spinning is calming. I always found the effects of spinning much like those we realize in meditation. Whenever you are mindful and focused you become peaceful. I find that same calm cooking, chopping vegetables and fruits. When I was younger I jogged. Knitting, crocheting, needlework of all kinds are a form of meditation. http://time.com/3639043/gandhi-and-his-spinning-wheel-the-story-behind-an-iconic-photo/

I've decided to sell at least one of my wheels and offer roving for sale. I have bags upon bags of roving. If you are interested you can email me at powderhooves@gmail.com Please tell your friends as well.

I still create.  I make dog bows and scarves. I will be offering those for sale as well. I was never satisfied with simple bows. That surprises no one I'm sure. The same love I put into actual grooming I also put into creating the finishing touches. I'll re-open my Etsy store for yarn and roving and open another for my dog grooming creations.

It's a funny thing about the bows. I remember taking Lilly to be groomed in Steamboat. The groomer was originally from Brazil. I never took notice that most people in town took their Poodles and Bichon's to her. She had an excellent reputation. I really wasn't aware how much separation there is between groomers. Never gave it a thought. There was a jar on the counter with simple little bows. You know I had to ask if Lilly could have bows! I'm the mother who always wanted a daughter and is forever braiding everyone's hair. I asked if I could have one for myself. Lilly and I matched that day. It was something so simple. So very, very simple but I remember how happy I was. I just thought Lilly and I looked so cute that day. That random memory has come back to me many, many times over the past two years. My grooming instructor also took considerable care and pride in her finish work. I loved making bows so much I would make them on my free time and put them out for other students to use. My teacher taught me how to embellish my bows and I often took it a step further.

Each of the dogs I groom not only gets bows in their hair or on their collar, they also get either a guardian angel medallion or a St. Francis of Assisi medallion for their dog tags. St. Francis of Assisi was the Patron Saint of Animals. I  personally believe animals also have guardian angels. I can't believe human beings are the only ones who have favor with that Higher Power. It seems very clear to me that the same spark of creation that flows through each of us flows through our animal friends. Many may argue animals don't have souls. I disagree.

I often think of God shaking his head when he looks at humanity and smiling deeply when he looks into the hearts of our animal friends. Perhaps He put them here as teachers. That would not surprise me at all. My dogs have been more loyal, more trusting, more loving and more compassionate than either of my husbands. I'm not saying that to be critical. It's a truthful statement. There have been times I would  have done well myself being more like them.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow





The full moon pulls the covers up over the Dark Night of the Soul and the Sun shinned brightly over the Ridge and far beyond.

It's good to be back! I'm no longer on the Ridge but it remains forever on my heart. You can lose many things in life, some tangible, others intangible but no one can take away your memories. Those are forever yours.

I never thought I would find a passion that would fill the void left by my goats and critters but I have. I left Colorado and moved to New Mexico where I went to grooming school. I studied under a Master Groomer for over  9 months. When I'm grooming I'm suspended in a place that is neither here nor there losing all concept of time. There are no hurts. There is no pain. I'm nearly lost in a state of complete bliss. Nearly???? Well.....there are those little rascals that remind you with a nip here and there that they do not like to be groomed.

Yesterday is gone. We are continually reminded that we have no guarantees on any tomorrows. Today is our gift. This moment. You can grieve over the past but it is gone. Hopefully, you learned the lessons your were meant to learn.  I'll share much of that with you later. I didn't blog but I did write and journal. Stacks and stacks of journals, pages and pages. My personal journey of healing. For many of us there is no stronger medicine than that which a pen and a piece of paper can deliver.
You can worry about tomorrow but the sun has not yet come up over that horizon and there may not be a tomorrow. I choose to live this moment with gratitude.  I am blessed to be filling much of it with the companionship of furry friends.

Have faith that all is as it is meant to be ...... yesterday ..... today ..... and tomorrow. All things transpire in Divine Order and in Divine Timing. Never lose faith.