Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Puppy raising adjectives

Gathered by Madison W.

*Puppy Raising teaches you:*
To be Loving

*Being a puppy raiser is: *
A Roller Coaster
Life Changing
Breath taking

We raise puppies to give back to others for being so blessed ourselves.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mama Breezey and pups plus a sweet tribute

Here are the pups.
I think ours will be Wyanne (Cork), up in the right hand corner.
Hope she can transfer that mother love to her new mom - me!

Here's a description of a graduation from a first-timer, Finnegan's mom, Suzanne:

What can I say about the graduation? I knew at
least in my mind what it was all about-- dogs
being placed with children and adults (or as I
found out in facilities) after being raised by
selfless volunteers then carefully trained by the
dedicated staff of CCI. But my heart had no clue
what true miracles are created by CCI and all the
people that make up this wonderful organization.
The depth of emotion in that room, seeing
people's lives change before my eyes-- well, I
never could have imagined it or how moved I would

The speeches given by a chosen member of each
class were especially powerful, but the image
that will stay in my mind is of a boy who has
what I assume is AS or autism, whose entire body
changed when his new service dog was brought up
on stage by his puppy raisers and the leash put
into his hand. What seemed blank and withdrawn to
observers like me filled with life and feeling
once connected with that dog. Right before our
eyes we could see that this boy's life would be
forever changed, for the better!

So when I had to say farewell to Pearl's 9
adorable pups a little while later, I was
comforted by the hope that on me day one or more
of these pups might also change a person's life
like I had just witnessed. I know that whatever
happens to them, lives WILL be changed, just as
my two beloved golden retrievers have enriched
our lives. When that day comes, all other
accomplishments of my own or my dogs will pale in

Monday, November 19, 2007

A commission

I'm flattered that my sweet mail lady likes my mail art so I made a couple for her. She said she's been trying to describe them to her friends, now she can show them.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Be Happy, Dammit

Karen Salmonsohn is one of my favorite podcasters.
One of her topics on the show I listened to this morning was how we can learn from everyone including jerks.
She's not a gardener, but related a lesson learned from a man who loved to garden that was sitting next to her on an airplane, and it's a good one:
My number one gardening tip," said the man, "is to recognize that some plants and flowers are only meant to live a certain amount of time -- for a certain season -- and if you try to make them live longer, you will be a bad gardener.

Here's some more of her philosophy.
"When you feel good, you're more likely to show goodwill ... Yes, you have more to give to others when you allow yourself to give guiltlessly to yourself. Meaning? The pursuit of pleasure is not entirely a selfish act ... but a benefit to society!"
I highly recommend you check her out; her writing is full of humor and almost always touches a nerve.

Also loved her post about the Theory of Happiness...

Greater anticipation???

Whose is greater - the w's waiting for their dinner or me waiting for my pup???

A wonderful dog day!

Here are three pics from CCI graduation.
Laurie holding her big beautiful Pryde. He's definitely ready for his next step in the journey, but Laurie's going to have a hard time giving him up. To ease her pain, she's already raising darling sergei. What a cutie.
Then there's sweet Vanessa, so ready, with Bill by her side.
Once again I was overcome with emotion at the commitment of everyone connected with CCI. I'm so blessed to be a tiny part of such a wonderful organization.

On another note, here's precious Liberty with Jacqueline, ready to fill Rose's life with lots of love.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Autism poster

I have had the distinct privilege of teaching beautiful children, "on the spectrum" ( my feeling is we're all on the spectrum) and was very taken with this poster celebrating the gifts of people with autism.

Another perspective on the CCI journey

Long story about how I found Polly's Plog, pollysplog but am happy I did.
Here's a beautiful essay on our Puppy Raising roller coaster, written by Polly's puppy raiser, Paul Schwartz:

A Year of Loving Dangerously
A First-Time Puppy Raiser’s Perspective

I would summarize the puppy-raising experience like this – it starts with feeling
overwhelmed for a few weeks, which is soon followed by a year of total joy, and ends
with a short, but intense burst of emotional trauma. Sounds like fun, eh?

Those first couple of months caught me off-guard and were certainly overwhelming and
stressful at times. I often wondered what I had gotten myself into. However, with time
and a lot of help from others, things got better, much better. As these first couple of
months ended I made the decision to love her completely, to let myself get attached, fully
knowing that saying good-bye would not be easy. I decided to love dangerously.

As we began the next year, my goal was to socialize Polly so she would be well behaved
and confident in a variety of situations. I also did my best to teach her the commands she
needed to have, all 30 of them! Little did I know what she would teach me.

I may have taught her to sit, stand, and shake. But the lessons she has given me are so
much more powerful. She taught me about patience, and how to nurture growth by
making learning fun. She turned my house into a home. She taught me that a life
consisting of playing, eating, sleeping, and socializing is pretty darn great. But the most
important lesson was the reminder of how important it is to live and love for the moment.
Knowing that my time with Polly was limited, it pushed me to enjoy every day we had
together, all 365 of them. If it takes 30 days of repeating a behavior to make it a habit, I
expect this habit to continue well beyond turn-in day! That is the greatest gift anyone can

The question most people ask, especially right before turn-in is “how can you give her
up?” I could say that I signed a contract agreeing to turn her in, and if I don’t someone
will come after me. But the best answer I can up with is “we do what’s difficult to
achieve what’s extraordinary.” I’m willing to go through the hard part of saying good-
bye if it means she will be that miracle for someone who really needs her. It would be so
amazing, so extraordinary, for her to be that long-desired and cherished companion for
her graduate. (And if she ends up coming back to me, well, that would be extraordinary

My 16 months of raising Polly are now coming to a close. I know I was lucky to be
Polly’s puppy-raiser. She was a gem that just needed some polishing to allow her to
shine. It’s been an amazing experience that has exceeded all my expectations. Now it’s
time for her to move on, as she has a greater purpose to fulfill with her life.

As I face the reality of saying good-bye, it feels as though a part of me, a part of my heart
is being taken away. But being a puppy-raiser causes your heart to grow bigger, so you
can handle losing part of it.

As I approach our last days together I do so with tears in my eyes and hope in my heart.
But I know my tears are nothing compared to the tears that have been shed by her
potential graduate. Those tears of frustration that come from the desire to be
independent, and to just be accepted by society. My hope is that Polly will change all
that for her graduate. My hope is that as a team they can experience all that life has to
offer, regardless of disability.

So my dear sweet Polly I have given you my best, and now it is your turn to give your
best. I know all the pups we raise are special, but as my first you will always have a
special place in my heart. You never forget your first girl. So here’s to you Sweet Polly

P.S. 11/14/06

Monday, November 12, 2007

an extraordinary encounter

I was so happy at Cindy's art show to run into Lynn Leahy, a former parent, and artist extraordinare.
If you go to her website, lynnleahyyou'll see her amazing work.
I'm including a couple of images here, but nothing like seeing it in person.
I'm also putting on a flyer describing her workshop in tuscany next year. Wow, total motivation to win the lottery!!!

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The age of a woman doesn't mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
During a Creative Mom Podcast CreativeMomPodcast
this morning she had a wonderful quote about the preciousness of free time.
I can't find it now, but like this one instead.
Lots more at brainyquote.

This and that

Congratulations to Leeann and Denise for successfully completing the 3 day!!!
Bless my son, Mike, for working on my mac so it works like a pc. Now I get to start all over learning more which is a good thing!
To the UT, nice article today, but you're a day late and a dollar short for my money.
Great day at cindy's with the glorious art work and how fun to see Bev after way too long.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


here's what I wrote to the UT this morning....


I find it quite disconcerting that 5,000 people in this community are involved in an event and there's no coverage in your paper!
The 3 day breast cancer walk includes people of all ages, in all walks of life, in all areas of San Diego, giving of their time and money, not to mention
the fact that they're walking 60 miles, and there's no mention of it in the Union Tribune. There are walkers and cooks and Scouts and police
and cheerleaders and medical personnel who deserve to know that people are aware of their efforts. Certainly I get my news from many different
sources, but I always look forward to the news in the paper because it has a hometown flair. I guess I'll have to look elsewhere for that in the future.
Disheartened and disappointed,
Ann Deakers

day 3

some hot looking heroes ready to roll, whether on foot or wheels.
big kudos to the san jose police department who, every year, at their own expense, act as escorts to this event.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Yea, Rod's back on a bike!

The Knight Knockers,2007

the St. James team plus a shuttle driver, REAL shuttle drivers and the remembrance tent.

the inspiring 3 day

It's so inspirational to see such a large mass of people giving up a huge chunk of time, sacrificing their bodies, raising tons of money and paying $90 for the privilege to find a cure for an such an insidious disease as breast cancer.
By my calculations, estimating 4500 people taking part in each of the 12 cities this event is held in each year, 54,000 people have walked 3,240,000 miles and raised approximately $119,000,000.
Maybe this will be the year!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

thank you Sheila

I love it when people complain that I haven't added anything new to my blog, cause that means someone's reading it.

nothing new today except I love this quote from my Mary Engelbreit calendar for Nov. 7th: "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." Epicetus

People to remember in prayers: Darren Garner as he has achilles tendon surgery today, Lee Ann, Denise and Kate and all the 3 day walkers and supporters, and, always, dear Ann. I will add prayers for all your intentions and loved ones who need them.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

a lucky find

While reading through the tourist's guide to Columbus, I was lucky enough to spot this small gallery/shop tucked away in a residential area, not far from the museum.
They had a lovely display of mail art, something I'm new to, but starting to love, once again, thanks to Jane.The first picture is an altered globe, turned into a book.