The Roses and Thorns of Life

This morning, I saw a pawprint in my pancake. Okay, you say…….It’s just a lighter area, not as tinged from the heat. I say it’s a pawprint.

I choose to look for the magic in the mundane. To me, why can’t a pawprint be a morning hello in my breakfast choice.

Why can’t an orb of dust (as some “experts” claim) be grandma passing through the parlor to say hello…….

Make life magical. Look for the pawprint, not the burnt spot. Look for the spirit, not the dust particle……After all, aren’t we all particles of dust anyway…….

Look at the little weeds poking through the cement ………..look for the little ants carrying heavy loads to home………look for the birds carrying bits of twig and twine for their nests.

Browse through the childrens’ book section. I find my best books there. And eat your pawprint pancake off a fairy plate. Life…

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“I’m Convinced….My Poodle Reads in the Night”

The Roses and Thorns of Life

Two mornings ago, in my dogs’ toy chest……..yes, they have a toy chest, were a few of my paperback books…..

Strange?……..Perhaps, but I have a poodle who likes to “take” stuff…..usually in the early morning hours……Sometimes, it’s my knitting, one time it was my scissors…..(thankfully, no injury sustained.)

This morning, I found my reading glasses lying in her dog bed.   So, mystery solved, I have a poodle who reads during the night…   🙂

Ruby’s “Book of the Month” selections are, as follows……..

“Blind Hope, A Dog and the Woman She Rescued”

“Nantucket, Ghost Stories”

“The Pig who Sang to the Moon”

Eclectic tastes……just like her mom  ♥p1200329

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“Spreading Light in China” Part 2

The Roses and Thorns of Life

Ruby and Rusty continue to spread furry light in China.

I received this touching message from the retired teacher who rescued Rusty and Ruby in China…….

Dear Shirl, today some of my student teachers were sent to a country primary school to help the students there with their English study! I recommended your stories to them! They told them the story of your adopting Rusty and Ruby, and read them the stories you wrote about the dogs! They were greatly touched by the fact that there are so many Americans helping the abandoned dogs in China! Here are some of the pictures and videos we took!

Every writer hopes her words will have impact on the world; every writer hopes the words written from her heart will reach out and enter the hearts of others….. With the help of my two tiny poodles, my heart is filled with joy that…

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“Lessons from a tiny Mouse”

The Roses and Thorns of Life

My mouse died during the night.   I watched him suddenly grow old this past week.   I could literally see him become an old man before my eyes.    I guess time speeds up for a tiny mouse; mine lived two years, the normal life span of a pet mouse.   In the wild, I guess a mouse has so many dangers to face, two years is a miracle.

I learned in those two years how special it is to love a mouse.   And it is possible for a mouse to “love” me.   He waited each morning for his tiny crumb of cookie, right up to yesterday, he struggled and fell back three times trying to reach for that crumb.   I knew he was dying; but his will to live paralleled any man’s.

I think a mouse is a wonderful pet for a child.   In two years, that child learns love, care…

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“Ruby, My Thief in the Night”

The Roses and Thorns of Life

Ruby is my miniature poodle.   She is about five years old, the age when Chinese meat farm breeders find less use for their “cash cows” and sell them to the slaughterhouse.   Ruby was rescued on her way to that slaughterhouse.   Devoted angels on both sides of the sea enabled me to rescue her along with her poodle brother, Rusty,  rescued from the streets of Shanghai, as well.

Ruby never knew life outside her cage, never held a toy in her paws.   Now, she delights in collecting them…..She collects her own, her siblings, and visiting canine relatives who must relinquish all stuffed toys to her.

By day, Ruby sits by my side on the sofa while I read or knit.   By night, my reading glasses, my entire knitted piece, a skein of wool, or just a few strands of yarn make their way to the sofa.   Maybe it’s Ruby’s hoard.   …

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“Chicken Bone Broth with Lavender and Chamomile…….Are you kidding me!!!!”

The Roses and Thorns of Life

I went to my pet store today.   While in line at the register, I happened upon a package of chicken bone, organic, free range broth.   I smiled and pointed it out to my husband, thinking how the pet food industry has played right into loving owners’ hands and pockets.

Now, not just any bone broth will do…….it must be organic and free range for the price I imagine one can make and freeze a large supply at one’s own stove or crockpot.

But then, my eyes drifted towards something else……..Chicken bone broth with lavender and chamomile.

Ah……a nice cup of tea with lavender and chamomile sounds inviting tonight…….but do our pets need this in bone broth?

Who knew dogs craved the taste of lavender and chamomile.   Do we warm up a cup before bedtime so they will have a pleasant sleep?

I smirked to the cashier….Are you kidding me…

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“Wolfhound, Savage Killer of Beasts……..NOT”

The Roses and Thorns of Life

Behind a closed bathroom door, my wolfhound is hiding.  She closes the door by herself, usually during a thunderstorm or fireworks.

Today, the monsters are the home renovators next door, tearing the second floor off our neighbor’s house.

People fear wolfhounds; how could you not be fearful of a “beast” that sometimes weighs more than you…….Mine does, and is taller on her hind legs than I am.

Wolfhounds are said to be gentle giants, unless provoked into fierce protectiveness for their owners.   I wonder how my Aura Lea would react, though I hope I never have to test that belief, especially if in danger during a thunderstorm or roof repair………

For now, she feels safe in her bathroom……meanwhile, my toy poodle is gazing up at the workers with serious intent in his eyes……….God forbid one of them gets too close with that hammer…….He will have to protect all of us …

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“Just an Old, Brown Dog”

The Roses and Thorns of Life

I took Aura Lea, my wolfhound, to the vet today.   Thankfully, just a routine check up.    We usually spend an hour or two chatting at my vet’s office.   You see, I have been going to him for over 30 years now; he knows my children, my grandchildren, and I think I have cried in front of him more than anyone outside of my own family.

Today was different.   From what my ears gleaned from the receptionist office, someone was bringing their dog in earlier than the scheduled appointment, the dog was having trouble breathing.   They would wait in their car.

We didn’t want to hold the vet up; I know what it is like to be that person on the other side of the waiting room……

We took Aura Lea out to our car and saw shadows in the back of the SUV parked next to us.   Then, two…

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“Teaching Rusty the “Ropes” …(how poodles become collies”

The Roses and Thorns of Life

Collies like to bark.   You learn that the hard way, usually when you are standing at the door in your robe and pajamas in the early morning and you are screaming for the barking to stop.   You can try to train, try to be the dominant one, bribe with cookies……all futile…..For a collie must release his song to the world at all times…..especially in the very early morning or very late night……..

Now, little Rusty is following his big brother’s lead.   The minute his tiny paws step over the door threshold, his poodle song is released…….

A collie needs only the air to bark, why wait to find something at which to voice the alarm……Voice it first and tell every squirrel, bird, or human within a block radius that you have arrived.    No matter that your mom is screaming at the door to be quiet, that just makes sounding…

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“Mornings of Mischief”

How two little poodles changed my life

The Roses and Thorns of Life

They work as a team….Aura Lea, my Irish Wolfhound, swishes her tail and knocks my reading glasses off the living room end table…..Ruby, my poodle,  carries them into her bed……..
My knitting needle and yarn strewn across the rug….now having a thousand collie fur strands attached to it…..
A home without them is no home for me ……..

I gather up their breakfast bowls.  ………  They each have their designated place; I carry Ruby’s into the living room and hear Rusty, my other poodle,  darting toward the kitchen……

He sits upon my kitchen chair and starts to eat……. he just started doing this and now claims his place at the table for breakfast and dinner each day.    I have him a little more than a month now; when he came, he seemed to be apprehensive of any dog bowl I put out for him.    I literally had to…

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