I might just be falling in like…

Emmy is getting to me. It’s not just her nose kisses, or the way she follows me around like I’m the most important person in the her world, more the way she’s filling in the vacancy in my heart left by my Buddy. Completely different to him, not trying to walk in his footsteps (muddy pawprints, I mean) she’s just Emmy. Bob and I sit on the porch in the evening and marvel at her energy, where just a few days ago we cringed. We have taken to inviting her up on the couch in the evening and onto our bed partway through the night. Emmy is learning a lot of new things, and being the incredibly intelligent breed that she is, it seems too easy sometimes.

Call me crazy, but I’ve been praying about Emmy and us. I believe God cares about all the details of my life… even the dog. So, I asked him to help me, to let me see some improvement (or not) in Emmy that would help my decision making process and get me off the fence of indecision. God works in mysterious ways, as they say, and I’ve found that listening to various experts and applying knowledge and paying attention and seeing success is God’s way of saying, “This is going to be OK. Really!”

For example, after watching ‘The Dog Whisperer’ the other night, I decided to use Cesar’s techniques to teach Emmy some boundaries and respect at our front door. I took command of the space in front of the closed door first, then standing up straight with my chest puffed out, head upright, and a serious ‘Cesar-esque’ look on my face, I opened the door and Emmy… didn’t bolt!!! So, I promptly exited said door and stood on the front landing, and Emmy… didn’t bolt! She laid down and looked at me. Then I called her to me and told her to sit, and she did and Emmy… didn’t bolt! This is the same dog that we’ve been holding back from the front door since day one, the same dog that has bolted on several occasions across the road into our senior neighbour’s yard. Too good to be true, I’m thinking. But I continued to do this same routine with Emmy several more times yesterday and again today and Emmy… stayed put!!!

If you’ve never watched Cesar Milan and witnessed his techniques of dog rehabilitation and obedience training, you should. He is a miracle worker in the dog world. He can fix any dog, any problem… and most problems (interestingly enough) are with the dog owners lack of being a strong pack leader! And after my success with being the boss at the front door, it appears that some of Cesar’s miracles can be recreated at home, despite the disclaimer on his show stating, “Do not attempt these techniques without a professional trainer.”

So, with some successful bike rides apres Emmy, some bonding times, crate training for ‘zooloo times’, stronger leadership, and some indication that she is beginning to fit into the rhythm of our lives, I find my heart softening and I might just be falling in like with her. And I’m OK with that.

Now I really should email all the wonderful local dog training people whose shoulders I’ve cried on, to explain where I’m at now with Emmy. Sounds like I’ve almost made up my mind… on the cutie who is asleep at my feet while I sit in my favourite writing chair and write. A perfect moment the fulfills my vision of my life with dog. Dog as companion, dog as added value to a balanced family life.

Perhaps not so ‘ruff’ after all. Thank you Cesar. Thank you God.


Peace, at last.

Rest in peace my beautiful boy. I will miss you and all you have done to enrich my life. Some day we will walk again on streets of gold.

I love you, Buddy.


B U D D Y   E V A N S

Adopted home to live with us Thanksgiving 2005, at approximately 5 yrs of age.

Cancer took him from us far too soon, April 15, 2010

Good things

Remember Martha Stewart and her magazine, Martha Stewart Living? Before the turmoil in her life, the prison days, the fall from grace? Well, I had a subscription to the magazine for a year once, and I loved it, its graphic design, and the contents of beautiful ideas to make my life a more manageable and attractive thing, really clicked with me.

One feature was called ‘Good Things’, highlighting a series of items that had the potential to make life ‘good’. Helpful cleaning items, organizational gadgets, pretty things, unique inventions for the happy homemaker in all of us. I enjoyed that feature, encouraged by all the good things I could do to make my life better, all the good things I could buy to organize my life, all the good ways to further control it.

Well this past week has been full of many things, not many good, and most completely outside my control. Funny how things can pile up like situational clutter. As I mentioned in ‘comments’ on my last blog posting here, I was unable to access this blog or any of my writing for a few days because the hard drive on my desktop computer is ‘failing’. YIKES… not so good when you haven’t been a faithful backer-upper of your work. A new computer is on the horizon, and I’m praying that all the data on my old one is retrievable. And you already know about the dog being sick, and perhaps even about the struggles of my current stage of life if you’ve followed me here from Sometimes Suicidal Mama.

In any event, this past few days has been a struggle. And, when I followed the dog outside for the hundredth time to assess his bowel movements, I was not hopeful. As a matter of fact it seems that my mood has been directly connected to the dogs’ bowels. That sounds pretty pathetic when I read it back to myself, but it’s the truth. So, I followed Buddy outside, and much to my amazement, he pooped! Not a fire-hose diarrhea type poop like he has had since November, but a nicely formed ‘stool’. I ran inside to tell the kids. I phoned the vet’s office to tell them. And when my husband came in the door at the end of the day, I greeted him with, “Guess what? Buddy had a good poop!”

I suddenly realized that even poop can be a ‘good thing’. Certainly not something to publish in a blog magazine, but, in this case, better than the newest organizational tool or pretty thing. This good thing pointed to Buddy’s life getting better and my life getting better, and it was completely outside of my control or my influence. Sure it was a result of the latest drugs that the vet had put Buddy on, but the effect of the drugs on his body is not within my ability to control. Which is why, in part, it is wonderful. When I control things, are they really good, or blessed, or just the natural outcome of me forcing my way? When a truly good thing comes my way, I recognize that it is a gift.

Any good things in your life lately? Did they come about because of you or in spite of you altogether?

The sun just broke through the clouds… one more ‘good thing’.


Living in the tension

I came across a couple of things today that stood out, a poem and a song. I was reminded again of how often difficult, even horrific life circumstances and hope can coexist for us as humans.  You know, that spirit of overcoming, of withstanding, of bouyancy. And this seems so unexplainable, contrary to logic, and completely unexpected. Like Anna Zizi’s story yesterday, there are many stories that we hear, read in the headlines, or see in documentaries and movies. Stories that leave us wondering how that can be? Asking if I am capable of that too?

One such story, or stories (details vary) that I came across, surrounds a poem that was found by allied troops in 1945, on a basement wall in Cologne, Germany.  The poem is anonymous, yet attributed to someone hiding from the Gestapo.  In it’s simple language is a profound message of hope and faith in a time of horror and adversity.

Even When God Is Silent

I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.

I believe in love even when feeling it not.

I believe in God even when God is silent.

And I recognized that a life of faith, whether new or maturing, requires a lot of us. It asks us to live in the tension of experiencing one thing and believing in another. Like so many things in my life, the tension is constant and is sometimes hard to bear. But in the end it comes down to one thing, BELIEVING. Hope is really all about BELIEVING too.

The poem, “Even When God is Silent,” inspired BarlowGirl, an American Christian Rock group of three sisters, to write their song, ‘I believe in Love.”

I Believe in Love

How long will my prayers seem unanswered?
Is there still faith in me to reach the end?
I’m feeling doubt I’m losing faith
But giving up would cost me everything
So I’ll stand in the pain and silence
And I’ll speak to the dark night

I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe

Though I can’t see my stories ending
That doesn’t mean the dark night has no end
It’s only here that I find faith
And learn to trust the one who writes my days
So I’ll stand in the pain and silence
And I’ll speak to the dark night

I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe
No dark can consume Light
No death greater than this life
We are not forgotten
Hope is found when we say
Even when He is silent

I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe.