postheadericon Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Meredith and all the Rattlebridges!

postheadericon Happy Thanksgiving

To you and yours on this day of thanks.








When  we think of all the horror in the world and the troubles in our own country,

especially now those affected by the devastating Sandy, we still have much for which to be grateful

in our still wonderful country.

We are all in God’s hands. 

Let us count our blessings and be grateful. 



This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24


one thousand gifts


There is a wonderful book that has helped me count my blessing called A Thousand Gifts  by Ann Voskamp

What an eye opener to realize the many gifts small and large we receive daily.  Written by a woman who as

a young girl watched a delivery truck run over and kill her baby sister, the book chronicles an extended family’s

wrenching heartbreak and decline into what appears to be never ending depression and loss of hope. However,

hope is always there if one trusts in God.  We all experience loss and profound grief in our journey through this

life which is only a preamble to our eternal life to come. 


postheadericon Judging In Alaska 2013

I am a little late in reporting my July trip to Alaska to judge on the beautiful Kenai Peninsula. After I got home from Alaska, I realized that I had neglected to renew my elementary principal certificate and needed to take six graduate credit hours before September first to do so.  So the crunch was on.  I took two online courses and could not believe how tough they were and how much work.  I spent the month of August letting everything go except the keyboard of my laptop.  I got little else done but study, take exams, and write a multitude of essays.  I was so obsessed with finishing by the deadline and doing well, which I did, that when I was done I did not know what to do with myself as I had been so consumed with the work.  I would like to take another course as despite the pressure I really did enjoy learning, but at $500.  a course, it will be awhile.

My friend, Dr. Rosalind Batley, went with me and we had a wonderful time.  I enjoyed the judging assignment immensely. After the judging one evening we were invited to a get together of Cavalier breeders and exhibitors. We had a wonderful time talking Cavaliers and seeing some very pretty dogs.

After the judging we took off to see a bit of the country which is so lovely and still very unpopulated and wild.  We were there in the Salmon Running season and fisherman from all over the world were their getting their catch.  Every Alaskan citizen are allowed to catch so many Salmon to stock their freezers for the year.  I do so love the state and if I were younger, who knows, I might wish to live there.  I love the Alaskan “can do” spirit and the people. 

Rosalind and I took a full day glacier and wildlife cruise.  We had a great time and found it a great learning experience.  We had beautiful weather and great sightings of wildlife.  Below I am using photos taken by the tour company itself with their permission to use them as they were better than any we could take.   The animals and scenery were truly awe inspiring


While in Homer we went to the Sea Life Museum which was fascinating.



While in Homer we visited the Mitch Seavey Iditarod Sled Dogs and even rode a sledding cart behind a team.  Being a dog person, this just may have been my favorite part of touring.  The Seavey team keeps about one hundred Alaskan Huskies and has won the Iditarod more than once.  It was so interesting finding out all about the dogs, the breeding program, raising and training, and the conditioning of the dogs.  It seems as if those involved with racing are consumed with it with their whole lives wrapped around the dogs and their welfare.  Planning breedings and bringing puppies along is very similar to raising show dogs, but so much harder.  Too much work for me!


postheadericon Grieving for a Special Cavalier Named Cash

My friend Joy lost her beloved Cash about a month ago. He was an endearing little boy-always cheerful no matter how he felt toward the end. Joy wrote this lovely poem for Cash and I think it says so much about the bond between our Cavaliers and us. Cash was a wonderful little dog.  I knew when I put him in Joy’s hands years ago, but not enough years ago as he wanted to stay with her forever, that they would be a team.  Joy now has another Rattlebridge friend, but Cash is in her heart and will never leave as he waits for her at the Rainbow Bridge. Rest in peace, dear Cash.  I loved you too as you were one of my babies all your life. 

I will walk more slowly

I will walk more slowly

For you, my dearest friend.

I will stop to give you time.

I will slow my hurried pace of mind.

I will savor what I once sped through,

Always racing to the end.

Your quickened step is now a measured tread,

So I match my steps to yours.

The wagging tail once led the way,

Now soft eyes ask for me to stay.

So I will walk more slowly.

I always knew you were all heart.

The x-rays proved me right.

So swollen from the struggle

to never fall behind.

Such danger in a love so great

That never would you cause me to wait

Until, at last, it was too late.

So I will walk more slowly

For you, my dearest friend.

I will wake throughout the night

And we will take slow midnight strolls to smell sweet grass

And draw in life we once slept through

As time moves in its flight.

But I will walk more slowly

For you, my dearest friend.

And we will spend our happy days

In measured, careful, loving ways

For you have been my friend.

postheadericon A Tribute to Snoop

I came home from judging two full days last night and as usual was greeted by the mob.  My Snoop seemed subdued but he has had some kind infection in his sinus tract and I pinned it on that and the fact that I had just found a growth in his right nostril.  He was also having trouble getting up and moving. He was on meds and had seemed to be responding, but last night after I went to bed exhausted after two days of judging dog shows on concrete with my still recuperating rebuilt foot, I was awakened by his pacing and panting, pacing and panting—sure signs of pain.  His abdomen was rock hard and he cried when I touched it.  So at three a.m. I took him to my vet who came in did an x-ray which showed no suspected bloat and did blood work.  His pain was so bad we knocked him out. It he had a mass on his liver and a gall bladder problem. My vet, my hero always, Dr. Mark Harris of Annehurst Vet Clinic in Westerville, kept him to keep him sedated and out of pain.  He seemed to respond and so I picked him up late afternoon knowing the writing was on the wall, but was hoping for more time with him; as soon as I got him home he told me that he was still really in pain and ready to go. So I called Annehurst and my friend and vet tech came up and we put him to sleep while in my arms.  He knew and I knew that it was time and he knew and I knew that we loved each other.  He was loyal, devoted and always with me.  I am grateful to God that he became really ill at three o’clock this morning and was gone at seven this evening—no lingering and suffering.  He is buried in our grove of trees in the front and I will plant a dogwood tree on his grave.  What I will do without him is beyond me.  Like my Wendy whom I lost last July, his presence is all over this house. I see him beside the bed, in his favorite chair, everywhere.


Snoop was a character in every way.  He could take a Tupperware container off the counter by his teeth by the edge of the bowl, place it gently on the floor, get the top off, and dine.  He could get into the garbage even with child locks on the cabinets.  The day I found Wendy and him with the Thanksgiving turkey on the kitchen floor each pulling on a wing, I chased him out of the kitchen with a frying pan and only his quickness saved his ass. Then there was the day he took my thick, juicy T bone.  Only the thought of my having to go to confession for murder saved his ass again.  The amazing thing is he always knew when he did things to make me crazy as I would not have to say a word, just watch him slinking before I found his latest misdeed like pulling all the paper out of waste baskets. He knew what he was doing and knew he could get away with it.

He came into our life a rescue.  He was a year and a half old and was to stay only a couple of days until I could place him.  Twelve or thirteen years or more later, he was still with me.  I just wish he was mine for longer but he is waiting for me standing by Al, Wendy and all the others at the Rainbow Bridge waiting, just waiting . . .

snoop collage1


postheadericon This and That and Revisiting

I have not been blogging since my life has gotten a bit out of hand.  Since last June I have had seven hospitalizations including three surgeries: back; foot reconstruction (I am now the bionic woman with knees, neck, and foot—all metal); and colon surgery for diverticulitis. I am behind in everything and have not had a lot of motivation or energy.   Today is the third anniversary of my Al’s death; he would have been eighty four.  Time just goes so quickly.  It seems like yesterday we were in the hospital.  I feel so lost without him so much of the time.  He was a good guy. 

I am getting quite a few emails from Cavalier families losing their beloved pets.  I lost my Wendy a year ago this month and miss her terribly.  The loss of a pet is not the loss of a husband or loved one, but still it is a wrenching loss as the pet is often by one’s side physically and I for one miss that continual comfort that was my Wendy.  My others comfort me as they lay on or by me; but no one can replace another.  So because I have gotten so many emails, some from Rattlebridge families with old dogs and some not, I am repeating the sections on grief.

Please click here to read the Grief sections.

postheadericon Rattlebridge Boys In Art

My friend, Lu Ann Rogers, has several Rattlebridge dogs-most with degrees and all working in therapy.  She has commissioned sculptures of two of her boys, Quest and Quinn. The sculptor is Kate VanNoorden ( and she does wonderful work.

Quinn’s full name is Rattlebridge Harle-Quinn Man, CD, RE, OA, AXJ, NAP, NJP, BN, THD

clip_image002 clip_image003


Quest’s full name is Rattlebridge Request the Best, CD, RE, NA, NAJ, BN, THD, CGC


postheadericon 3 minutes that make a difference in your day!

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago .. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night’s dinner. In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly-missed boarding…

ALL BUT ONE!!! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.

He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor.

He was glad he did. The 16-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her; no one stopping and no one to care for her plight.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.

When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, "Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?"She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, "I hope we didn’t spoil your day too badly."

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, "Mister…." He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, "Are you Jesus?"

He stopped in mid-stride …. and he wondered. He gently went back and said, "No, I am nothing like Jesus – He is good, kind, caring, loving, and would never have bumped into your display in the first place.

"The girl gently nodded: "I only asked because I prayed for Jesus to help me gather the apples. He sent you to help me, so you are like Him – only He knows who will do His will. Thank you for hearing His call, Mister."

Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul: "Are you Jesus?"

Do people mistake you for Jesus?

That’s our destiny, is it not?To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace.

If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It’s actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.

You are the apple of His eye even though you, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked up you and me on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.

Please share this, (IF you feel led to do so).

Sometimes we just take things for granted, when we really need to be sharing what we know….Thanks.

"Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to see beyond the imperfections."

This is as good as it gets!!!

postheadericon What a widow of a Navy Seal had to say..

I hope every Christian who is offended will forward this and keep it going. On the "Today Show", Matt Lauer interviewed one of the wives of the Navy Seals killed along with the U S ambassador in Libya.
He asked, "What she would say to her children about their dad and how she would want them to remember him." Her answer, and I quote, "His love for Christ", and then continued on with a few other things. Throughout the day and on MSN homepage, replaying the story, they have edited the "Love of Christ" part out.

Why? Because using the word Christ might offend someone! Well, I am a Christian and I am offended! I’m offended that they would edit it out.
Offended that we as Christians are asked to tread lightly so as not to offend someone of another religion. I think anyone who missed the original broadcast that morning should know what NBC has done. THIS IS PROOF OF HOW BIASED NBC IS.”

This man loved his country and loved his God and gave his life for both,

just as Christ gave His life for him. Please feel free to copy this and forward it to everyone on your email list.. There are e-mails that go around saying, "If you believe in God" then forward this. Well, I am starting one right here, right now.

I am not ashamed of God, but I am becoming more ashamed of my country.

It is time to take a stand. GOD Bless America! God Bless us one and all…

Please GOD, have mercy on us!