Love At Last

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Last night I experienced a love so deep and unconditional that it has shaken me to the core.  As I sit here typing this, tears are streaming down my cheeks. Not that I haven’t experienced this type of love before.  Certainly I have, from my husband, my family and friends, my sweet little puppy.  This love, on this particular day, came from a throw away.  I spent the evening with my grandchildren while their parents attended their first quarter conferences.  We talked, we laughed, we watched and grooved along with videos that taught the 50 states and each respective capital.  We colored a Thanksgiving tablecloth in preparation of Thursday’s upcoming family feast.  I even had my hair and makeup done by my five-year old granddaughter.  Any time spent with my grandchildren is treasured.

The addition of Henny, their rescue pup, has added a new dimension to this family.  This dog has suffered so much at the hands of its former owner, most likely used for breeding purposes, then, literally thrown to the roadside.  Luckily, she was found and turned in to the local SPCA, where she remained for several months.  The organization quickly recognized just how special and full of love she was.  They often took her along to special events.  Then one day, along came the Ward family, whose elderly dog had recently crossed over the rainbow bridge.  That day, Henny, with her loving soul, and eyes that simply emanate love, belonging, and kindness found her forever home.  It seems she cannot snuggle close enough or look deep enough into the eyes of the beholder.  Two paws on the couch, eyes locked on the intended recipient, Henny inches her way onto the desired lap.  She then snuggles in, all 60 plus pounds, closes her eyes, and contentedly drifts off to sleep with a steady, contented snore.  She is safe and loved at last.  Life is good.  She knows it and she deserves it.FTNM4532

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Morning Meeting

Dropping my puppy off at doggie daycare and watching the dogs greet each other takes me back to my days as a kindergarten teacher.  Each morning began with the same ritual.  Students greeted each other on the playground, then, filed into the classroom to put away lunch boxes, hang up back packs, coats, hats, mittens or whatever the current weather situation deemed necessary.  My rambunctious crew then made their way to the carpet where we circled up for our morning meeting.  Here, everyone in the class was made to feel welcome and part of our little community.  We began our meeting by singing a greeting that allowed the students to go around the circle with a hand shake while looking each other right in the eye.  My students never tired of hearing their names sung by their classmates as part of this musical greeting.  After the greeting, students had the opportunity to share.  We heard about family events, both happy and sad, new computer games, and sometimes their hopes and dreams.  We then moved on to checking in on the day of the week and then the weather reporter updated us on the current weather situation.  Our morning meeting was a special time for us to bond, develop trust, and begin the day with positive energy and hope for a better world.

How does this relate to Jellybean going to doggie daycare?  The similarity is uncanny.  We pull into the parking lot and Jellybean immediately begins crying and jumping at the window.  She knows that we have arrived and she will soon be playing with her fellow canine friends.  As we exit the car, she catches the scent of the puppies that have arrived before her.  I give her leash a tug, and she slowly begins to make her way inside, sniffing and snuffing the whole way.  Once inside the door, she looks up at me and jumps for her little lunch box.  Today it is the Snoopy one.  If you have been reading my blog for a while you are most likely not surprised by that, as Jellybean is about as spoiled as can be and she loves to carry things.  She takes the Snoopy lunch box, handle tightly between her teeth, tail high, chin up and into the lobby she goes.  She never fails to bring a smile to the faces of clients and employees alike.  She can hardly contain herself as she is led to the actual area where the dogs romp and play for the day.

I never get tired of standing in the lobby, eyes on the TV screen, watching Jellybean enter the play area. The first thing I see is the other dogs in her group stop what they are doing and turn their attention to the gate.  One by one, tails begin wagging, and dogs make their way across the room to see which friend is about to join them.  Jellybean enters and the fun begins.  She stands in the center of the circle, her friends around her.  They greet each other nose to nose; all the while every tail is wagging.  An occasional bark can be heard from a particularly boisterous friend and that adds to the excitement.  At some unknown signal, the morning meeting comes to a close and the dogs scatter about the expansive space, chasing each other, playing with balls, and yes, even sliding down the little sliding board.  They too, in their special canine way, have bonded, learned to trust each other, and sent out some positive energy.  Who know, maybe they too have shared their hopes and dreams.