postheadericon When I am Old and Gray


postheadericon In A World Where We “Bearly” Discipline . . .


Brown bear’s parenting method snapped in Ukraine’s Simferopol Zoo…….

What the little chap had done to incur his mother’s wrath remains a mystery, but the chances are that he won’t do it again! A baby bear made his mother angry. She tried to explain Something to him in the corner, and then shook him by the neck.

Wonderful pictures from the Zoo in Simferopol.clip_image001

She pins him in the corner for a dressing down. First, the mother glares angrily at her son as he stands a few feet away looking guilty and sheepish. Within seconds he is backed into a corner with a terrified expression

As she roars her disapproval. Shortly afterwards he finds himself airborne after She seizes him by the scruff of the neck and propels him from side to side.

Perhaps THIS will teach you a lesson: She picks him up by the scruff of the neck and swings him around.


A word in your ear: The crestfallen cub approaches his mother. Sorry Mom!!


Never mind Mommy loves you! He gets a bear-hug to show the row is over.




First a personal photo memoir followed by the listing and a partial description of a few books to help one through the grief process.  It is never easy to lose a beloved;  I still see all the faces of mine and know they are waiting for me with all my beloved family and friends who have gone before me.

My Wendy—My Heart


A Few of Our Beloveds Never to Be Forgotten

Waiting at the Rainbow Bridge



My Al with His Favorites from Our  First Bonnie in the Hotel Bed in England in 1989 to His Last Favorite Pistol in Bed Before My Beloved Al Passed


We all endure the pain of loss and grief whether the loss be of family, friends or beloved pets, in this case, dogs. Our beloved Dogs.  I still mourn my childhood pets: dogs, horses, cats, and a couple of wonderful ducks; most of all I mourn my dogs.  When people to me wanting another dog, but not knowing if they can go through the pain of loss again, I always tell them:  “One must endure the pain of losing beloved dogs in order to have the joy of having them.”  It is never easy.  The loss of my Wendy last summer was certainly not as difficult as losing my Al two summers ago, but it hurt as she was my constant companion for almost fifteen years as I expressed in a previous blog post. 

I would like to devote some time to exploring some of the books on grief that have been written about the total sadness overcoming and sometimes consuming one  at the loss of a pet.

I was asked to judge the Dog Writers Of America’s annual book review last year.  My first choice and the book that won first place for the best human/animal bond book was the following:


a 30 day guide to healing from the loss of your pet by Gael J. Ross, LCSW, is a powerful journal on the loss of a beloved.  I found this book even helpful when I lost Al.  Journaling is always a way to deal with grief and other emotions as a part of the healing process.  Using a guide to journal entries, memories, photos and more, this book chronicles the life and loss of a beloved dog.  I usually have a few copies on hand to give to those who come to me after losing a dog.  Amazon carries this book and it is well worth the purchase and the journey.

The books featured in this post on grief are all available on Amazon and are all helpful in dealing with the heartache of loss. 


By the way, grief does go both ways.


postheadericon Christmas Must See

Please take a look at the following. Absolutely beautiful flash mob performance to celebrate Christmas.  Meredith

postheadericon Giving back.

For those of you going into nursing homes with therapy dogs, especially all the Rattlebridge Cavaliers working in therapy, I salute you.  I wish I had your energy.  I may not be able to organize my schedule in my ADD way to make it to nursing homes, but I can take in a couple of senior citizen dogs to help.  The number of abandoned and neglected animals has grown with our poor economy.  Please join me in doing something for them as well as our own homeless people. 

I have a huge house for one person and have wanted to give a home to a homeless family even when Al was alive.  He wisely said no; last year I did try it on my own and it just did not work out. Long and sad story.  However, there are other ways to help: donating food, toys, clothes, or money in the Christmas season, working at soup kitchens, and finding other ways to help.  Prayer never hurts either.

postheadericon The Homeless

If one day, one does lose everything,  a dog will love one no less and will share whatever burdens one encounters.  What is so sad is that while dogs stick with us, we too many times find it inconvenient or physically impossible to stay with or keep our dog or other pets.  Natural disasters like Sandy and Katrina often force owners into abandoning their pets because they have no other choice even though many makeshift shelters do now accept pets during a national disaster as Katrina taught us all a lesson about the bond we have with our pets.  However, there are too many horror stories of people moving and leaving their animals locked in the house to starve to death or turning them loose confused and bereft with no one to care for them rather than try to contact an animal shelter to at least give their pets a chance.  As winter hits, the homeless  and their pets are in even greater jeopardy as shelters are often full and also usually do not allow pets. I would go down with the ship rather than leave my dog or dogs. Take a good look at the pictures below as they say it all:


Please pray for the homeless and homeless families as homelessness is rising among all economic levels in a country that has the resources to take care of our own. Pray also for homeless animals as winter approaches.

postheadericon Two Horses

Two Horses
Author Unknown
Just up the road from my home is a field, with two
horses in it. From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse.
But if you stop your car, or are walking by,
you will notice something quite amazing….


Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind.
His owner has chosen not to have him
put down, but has made a good home for him.
This alone is amazing. If you stand nearby and
listen, you will hear the sound of a bell.

Looking around for the source of the sound,
you will see that it comes from the smaller
horse in the field.


Attached to the horse’s halter is a small bell.
It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is,
so he can follow.

As you stand and watch these two friends,
you’ll see that the horse with the bell is always
checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse
will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to
where the other horse is, trusting that he
will not be led astray.


When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back,
Making sure that the blind friend isn’t too far behind
to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw
us away just because we are not perfect or because we
have problems or challenges.


He watches over us and even brings others into our lives
To help us when we are in need..
Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by
the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives.
Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to
find their way….


Good friends are like that… You may not always
see them, but you know they are always there..
Please listen for my bell and I’ll listen for yours,
and remember…
Be kinder than necessary-
Everyone you meet is fighting
Some kind of battle.

Live simply,
Love generously,
Care deeply,
Speak kindly…….


postheadericon Thank you!

Thank you to all our Veterans and Current Soldiers who are Heroes in every way! 

postheadericon Memorial Day Thoughts

In some cultures and countries, history is as current as if events happened yesterday. The Irish can recount every detail of every battle of the history of their country. Memories are long indeed and the same battles fought and dissected in all the local pubs. In our own local Appalachian culture, clan warfare is still hotly remembered just as in the saga of the Hatfields and McCoys. However, as a country, our memories seem very short indeed when it comes to remembering our own history as a nation and all the men and women who fought and sacrificed to keep our Flag waving. Patriotism needs a real shot in the arm in our land and maybe the following will hit its target. Memorial Day is for remembering, honoring, respecting, and emulating our heroes not only those who have won Congressional Medals of Honor like our hero below or shed blood and died to keep us free, but all those unsung heroes who have made and are still making a difference in keeping America the greatest country in the world.

Happy Memorial Day, Meredith.

VanT. Barfoot died at the age of 92 on 2 March 2012.

Remember the guy who wouldn’t take the flag down? You might remember a news story several months ago about a crotchety old man who defied his homeowners association and refused to take down the flagpole on his property and the large flag that flew on it. Now you can find out who, exactly, that old man was. On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg — probably didn’t make much news back then. Twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944, near Carano, Italy, Van T. Barfoot, who had enlisted in the US Army in 1940, set out to flank German machine gun positions from which fire was coming down on his fellow soldiers. He advanced through a minefield, took out three enemy machine gun positions and returned with 17 prisoners of war.


If that wasn’t enough for a day’s work, he later took on and destroyed three German tanks sent to retake the machine gun positions.
That probably didn’t make much news either, given the scope of the war, but it did earn Van T. Barfoot, who retired as a Colonel after also serving in  Korea and Vietnam, a Congressional Medal of Honor.


What did make news… was a neighborhood association’s quibble with how the 90-year-old veteran chose to fly the American flag outside his suburban Virginia home. Seems the rules said a flag could be flown on a house-mounted bracket, but, for decorum, items such as Barfoot’s 21-foot flagpole were unsuitable. 


He had been denied a permit for the pole, erected it anyway and was facing court action if he didn’t take it down. 


Since the story made national TV, the neighborhood association has rethought its position and agreed


to indulge this old hero who dwells among them. “In the time I have left I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference,” Barfoot told The Associated Press. As well he should. And if any of his neighbors still takes a notion to contest him, they might want to read his Medal of Honor citation. It indicates he’s not real good at backing down.

Van T. Barfoot’s Medal of Honor citation:

This 1944 Medal of Honor citation, listed with the National Medal of Honor Society, is for Second Lieutenant Van T. Barfoot.


postheadericon Merry Christmas 2011