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In my blog I bring a sense of humor and insight to the fundamental questions people have about life, love and the experience of living!



 

Once In A Lifetime

I made a conscious decision to sit on the couch with Brooke, the last six days of her life. I learned to administer the IV fluids. I went outside with her every time she wanted to go. I took her for some rides in the car. I washed her rear end when she needed it and made sure she was comfortable for her last days.

Sometimes life sucks

Sometimes life sucks

Brooke was my once-in-a-lifetime girl and she was amazing. I lost her just days before her 10th birthday. Two weeks earlier she had stopped eating. I thought she had pancreatitis or something easily fixable. Her blood work was the best it had been in a year, but she was not. Only 6 days before she died I learned she had malignant canine stomach cancer, a rare form of carcinoma. It is one of the most aggressive cancers known for dogs. It had started to kill her only 7 weeks before. We were told there was nothing we could do. This was just the tip of the iceberg. I never saw it coming.

How could this happen? I did all the right things: no vaccines, a raw food diet, plenty of exercise and love. We were never apart. She went everywhere with me. I was the ultimate parent and she was the ultimate companion. We took walks and she played with her friends. I had lost my other beloved poodle Eli, just five months earlier. I was devastated.gladie and eli and brooke

When Brooke died my husband and I put her in my car. I checked on her that night and again in the morning. I still felt her presence. I wish I could have done more. I wish I could have had more time with her. I apologized to her that I couldn’t save her. I told her I loved her. In the morning I drove her to the crematorium. One of the hardest moments of my life was having her emaciated body carried into the crematorium — placing her on a paw print blanket on a gurney — and leaving her — walking away, then driving away — without her.

For 25 years, almost half my life, I had had a dog. Now I had none. I felt a tremendous void. My identity had been wrapped up in my dogs, and especially Brooke.

When I wrote my blog from Brooke's point of view she went along with whatever I wanted to do.

When I wrote my blog from Brooke’s point of view she went along with whatever I wanted to do.

I show people how to work through their emotions for a living, so it’s humbling when I find myself stuck, avoiding my own feelings. I felt a part of me was gone with Brooke. Just weeks earlier, my life had been feeling really good. A couple weeks later I was finding it hard to get out from under the covers – - no matter how many times I counted one, two, three. I knew I needed to get back to the things I loved. I wasn’t doing them. I needed to cycle. I needed to do yoga. I needed to be out in nature and walk. I needed to laugh.

Downward Dog

When painful stuff came up, I would dive into a project and avoid feeling empty. Some people use drugs, alcohol, food or shopping. Losing Brooke made me realize I had a choice to make between filling the void, or feeling my way through it. The easy thing would have been to just get another puppy and fill the void. I could immerse myself in the raising and training of a puppy. I could choose the path of least resistance as I had done so many times before.

We never know what the universe has in store for us. If I try and control what I know I can’t I know I will likely miss what is around the corner. So I’m giving myself time to see what is around the next corner.

I’m trying to find the balance between doing and being…between moving forward, feeling and grieving. It’s not easy. Eli and Brooke gave me so much. I learned to do my best training with them. I learned to groom for pets and for show. I learned to do obedience and agility. Eli was a therapy dog and Brooke did therapy with my clients. Brooke was the voice behind many of my blogs. I learned to play more and love more and be a better person because of my dogs.

So I have learned to trust myself and the universe more. I miss Brooke every day. I believe her final gift to me was a challenge — to step into my life and to live it fully. So I’m going to try it Brooke’s way-living in the present moment, playing with friends, feeling passionate about every single thing I do and wagging my tail.

Brooke on wall

 

 

Soaring Beyond Your Limits!

Good day everybody!  In my past blogs I’ve had the pleasure of writing through the heart and eyes of my standard poodle, Brooke.  It’s been fun…especially thinking like a poodle that is a real diva!  It felt easy to speak from her perspective.  After all, speaking canine is like a second language for me.  Brooke was great at making fun of me and I learned to take it in stride.

Brooke and I have a lot in common.  We’re both creative, love to eat raw food, game to learn new things and are high maintenance.  We both look great (especially in cycling gear) … most of the time.  (OK maybe Brooke wins here.  She looks better more often than I do, but I come in a close second, I hope).  Transitioning the blog from Brooke’s voice to mine has been a challenge.  When I wrote from her perspective I felt no limits, had fun and got my message out.  Using my own voice, being visible and feeling vulnerable is another story.  The minute I realized it was important to start using my own voice, I got stuck…paralyzed was more like it.  I see how I pulled in my energy and felt defeated before I started.  Those old tapes were playing over and over.  Funny how they don’t wear out so easily.  How many times have I told myself I couldn’t do something…I wasn’t entitled or not good enough?  Too many times…that’s for sure!

I decided it was time to climb out of that rut and get to work!  First thing I did was to pick an angel card before my morning meditation. These are cards containing words that provide insight and positive outlook.  Isn’t it funny how we get the messages that we need.  Sometimes a person who has been working really hard and made no time for themselves gets the flu. Then they realize how much they needed to rest.  Anyway, the card I chose was expansiveness.  WOW!  Lately I’ve been feeling anything but expansive (unless it’s right after drinking a 40 oz. smoothie of my latest and greatest fresh squeezed orange juice with fresh greens and basil)!  I’ve been stuck in my own muck is much more like it.

As I sat in meditation I was able to feel my own expansiveness.  I discovered how much I’ve missed this feeling.  Where have I been?   When I ride my bike it’s important to drop the shoulders and open the chest to create more space for the oxygen to flow. When we don’t do this our shoulders creep up towards our ears and we hold all that energy in tight.  Those of you living in colder winter climates  experience this when you go outside.  You pull your shoulders up as close to your ears as you can.  It’s as though you think pulling up the shoulders will warm you, but it’s when you feel your shoulders drop that the body relaxes and warms up and you create more space.

Recently I was in Jamaica and went swimming with the dolphins.  We were in this beautiful lagoon and the only barrier between the lagoon and the ocean was a rock wall.  The setting was tremendous.  The dolphins were soft and silky smooth to the touch.  Their energy felt big, alive and fun.  This was an AHA moment for me.  When I’m living my life purpose, I feel alive, grateful, passionate, fun and silly.  I feel in love with life.  I’m able to put my fears in front of me and with each step I take, stomp those fears out and bring my whole alive, shiny, big and bright self out into the world.

Swimming with the dolphins

You may be thinking that it sounds great but it’s not that easy.  Believe me, when I’m living in my fears, I feel small and insignificant and really stuck.  I used to think that someone else could make me feel small but have grown to realize that I can do that all by myself!!!  Those things that trigger us are the old wounds that we haven’t yet healed.

So how do we heal those wounds and feel our own expansiveness and then express it to the world?  I think it’s important to look inward so we can discover what we already know about ourselves and learn to live in the present moment…feel our feelings…voila!  Sounds easy enough, but it takes work, commitment and discipline.  Sometimes it takes one person’s support and guidance that can help us shift our perspective.  Other times it may take a village.  I need a bumper sticker that says, “Go consciousness.  Healing is a journey, not a destination.”  I believe when we live our life with passion and integrity we have purpose we can be proud of and we can live our life authentically.

How do you feel your own expansiveness?  What can you do today that says, “Hello world!  Here I am”!?

In The Raw

Good day y’all!!!  Here in Atlanta the leaves have been falling and the air is brisk.  The squirrels have been all over the backyard and at every tree gathering nuts for the winter.  For every one I chase, there are 3 others I can only bark at from a distance.  Maintaining control of my property is exhausting.  I know the squirrels need the nuts, but I don’t like them, the nuts I mean.  They get stuck in my paws and when I walk I sound like I’m wearing heels, which as you know I do from time to time.  Hurricane Sandy turned into quite the bitch and I hope by now y’all get your electricity back on so you can have a nice hot shower, a good meal and sit down at your computer, log on and enjoy my blog.                                                                                                                                                                                                

The question for y’all today is “How do you nourish your soul?”  After reading last week’s blog you may think that it’s all about clothes and shoes and there’s no denying they matter.  Or you may think that the way we nourish ourselves is through food, and to a large extent that’s true. This is where mom and I are similar and different.  I love to eat; Mom eats to live.  We’re both on raw food diets.  We both have silky shiny hair and hydrated skin. She is a vegan; I’m not.  I love raw beef, chicken, turkey, duck, fruits and veggies, and nuts (but not almonds-they’re toxic for dogs).   Mom is a complete raw food low fat organic vegan.  I know…she sounds like an alien and says she even feels like one sometimes.  Most people wonder what a raw, low fat organic vegan eats.  Well, let me tell you…whatever she wants as long as it’s only fruits and veggies!  She loves eating this way…fruit for breakfast and lunch and veggies for dinner. They’re not steamed, broiled, baked or stir fry.  No warming on the stove, on the grill or in the oven.  There’s no animal of any kind and that includes eggs, shrimp, and dairy.  And the fats…you know what they say…Half an avocado or a few raw nuts a day keeps the doctor away!!!  People never ask me how I do on a raw diet, but they’re always asking mom.  The truth is that this way of eating has helped her heal from Late Stage Lyme Disease.  It’s been working for her for over a year and she’s been a believer ever since.  I’ve been eating this way since I was born.  One look at me and you can see all the benefits of raw!!!

Nourishment takes many other forms.  Now dad…he loves books of almost any kind especially the ones that have research or explore ideas.  He just loves to research things, to know stuff.  It makes him happy.  A little over a month ago a woman ran a red light and smashed into him, pushing him 20 feet through an intersection and totaling his car.  Big bummer about the car, but it can be replaced.  My dad is irreplaceable and we’re sure glad that he’s okay.  Anyway, he loved that Honda Accord.  So, as you can imagine, he’s been researching cars, all 4 door sedans-a practical family car – dad is all about practical.  That’s fine with me as long as it has a big back seat and is nice looking – I like to jump in and out of a nice looking car.   And black interior please.  My white coat looks especially nice against a black background.  Anyway, Dad started researching 8 cars, went to 6 and, last I heard, is down to 4.  When he gets to 2, Eli, Mom and I assist in the process of picking the new family vehicle.  Eventually, when he narrows the choice to 2 cars we’ll go for a drive and vote (3 to 1) on what suits us best. Dad nourishes his soul through learning and I’m there to close the deal.

Eli feeds his soul with lots of sleep, good food, raw bones and cookies.  He loves when dog friends come over.  His spirit and energy level goes from 14 years old to 7 in a blink of an eye.  It’s quite the transformation.

Believe it or not…even though mom is a little bit of a thing…she is a big eater when it comes to taking care of her soul.  The list is long but here’s the top 10…meditating, cycling and taking walks, preparing her raw food, spending time with and caring for family and friends, working with clients and assisting with my blog!  And let’s not forget manicures, pedicures, massages, working in the garden and creating new things.  

And then there’s me!  Now the way I nourish myself is rather simple.  Squirrels, chipmunks, hikes in the woods, good food, marrow bones, writing my blog and assisting mom with clients.   Plus, I do love a little retail therapy every now and again.  Mom trained Eli and I many years ago for shopping and we love to window shop or sit in the dressing rooms.

However there’s one thing I’ve discovered we all need above everything to feed our souls and that’s LOVE…love nourishes the soul completely!!!  I love it when dad scratches my ears and rubs my back.  He doesn’t always think of doing it on his own, but I make sure, discretely of course, to stand near him and look at him with my big, brown eyes and, well, I’m irresistible.  He calls me “gorgeous” and that’s the truth!  I love playing tug and when I bring my biggest and best squeaky toy to Dad, he knows what to do; I’ve trained him.  Of course, I love to snuggle on the couch with Mom to watch one of our favorite shows, to take walks around the neighborhood or in the woods and to ride with Mom to the store.  Not only is this good for me, it’s great for Mom and Dad.  They feel wonderful giving me all that love.  And I love them back.  By giving and getting love, we get the comfort and sweetness we need in life.  It brings fun, adventure, discovery and joy.

What feeds you and helps you bring your magnificent self to the world? What will you nourish your soul with today?

Enjoy your weekend!

Love and licks,

Brooke

Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!

Seriously???

Surprise!!! Surprise!!!  The blog is back!  I’ve been feeling so STUCK writing (or should I say…not writing) this blog.  My creative juices just weren’t flowing and I was feeling frustrated. So believe me when I say that not getting my blog out to y’all was very disappointing.  Mom reminded me that what goes up must come down (if only that were really true about the squirrels in the trees) and this too shall pass.  She encouraged me to be patient and feel what inspires me.  I can’t tell you how thrilling it was when I got the inspirational hit!!!

These past week two weeks mom has been back up north.  She is an Assistant Teacher at the Rhys Thomas Institute for Energy Medicine.  I love when she comes home because I get to learn new stuff and it makes for fabulous new blog material!!!  This year she is assisting with the 3rd year class and said the students were amazing.  Mom asked if I wanted to see what it was like to be at the school.  I leaped with joy!!!  (Canines are not allowed at the school…no matter their brilliance)!  So mom asked me to step into her shoes…

Of course there was no way I was going to try the sneakers or the flat comfort shoes.  Oh no!!!  I do have an image to uphold! If I was going to walk in her shoes I was taking on the platforms!!! Well, I just want to say…you’ve got to be kidding.  I look like a circus dog.  This could  ruin my image!  Seriously…are these shoes really made for walking?  No way I can catch a squirrel in these!  I’ve been looking in the magazines and in the stores at all the new shoes and I’m wondering what kind of person creates shoes that are so difficult to walk in?  Are we supposed to just look good and stand still, not run or jump or play?  How can a person feel grounded and connected to the earth in shoes that have no stability?  Then you’ve got those comfort shoes that are so not attractive!  I asked mom how a person can look great, feel grounded, connected and be comfortable in their shoes all at the same time?

Mom says it’s really not the shoes that make you feel grounded and connected.  That comes from a deeper place inside each and every one of us.  She said that a person can definitely feel great for a (short) while when wearing a fabulous pair of shoes…no doubt about it…It’s like one of those commercials…limited time offer.  In order for the “fabulous” to last, it’s got to come from deep down inside!  What shows up on the outside has got to be a reflection of what’s on the inside or you’ll feel fake, even if you fool others.

I took mom too literally if you know what I mean. The way we can really see others is not by ”wearing” their shoes, but by seeing who they are.  As a first step, mom says to look in the mirror and what you see in yourself is in others and what you see in others is in you.  No matter what you’re wearing, sometimes you can feel as though you are wearing the most beautiful pair of shoes and other times…not so pretty.  On a really bad day you may even feel you’re wearing a pair of the ugly comfort ones.  These not so pretty shoes are the opportunities for growth.  Let me tell you…some of those shoes give an enormous amount of room for growth.  I know I’m judgmental about pawwear.  After all, I’m the one that lets mom put diamond decals on my toenails!!!

What I really learned walking (if you could call it that) in mom’s shoes is that whenever I start thinking like a human, I need to remind myself to stay in the present moment, think like a canine and be myself.  The minute I try to be anything else just ends up in a total disaster!!!   I discovered that even though I’m crazy about my mom, I don’t want to be her. It was too much work!  It‘s hard enough to be me every day, but the best I can do is bring the best of what I’ve got to the world.  I can feel what it might be like to stand in another’s shoes but I found it’s most important to stand on my own 4 lovely paws and be my best, which if I don’t say so myself, is fabulous!

How often do you try on shoes and know immediately that they’re not for you?  What about enjoying your day in shoes you love and feel how lovely and fabulous it is to be you?

Love and licks,

Brooke

Go For The Burn!

Good day y’all!!!  Thanks again for all your great responses to my blog on “What Could Be Lighter”?  I appreciate all of your compliments on how fabulous I look in my biking gear.  Wait until you see me in a bikini!!!  Some of you wanted to know how to get started with your cleansing.  Like I said in the blog, “Beats me.”  I keep all my stuffed animals…even if the stuffing and squeakers are pulled out and they smell bad and look nasty … like road kill. I’m not about to let them go!!!  Maybe there’s some underlying issue that keeps me wanting to hold on to them.  You have to be ready to change.  Guess what, I’m not!  If you are, check in with my mom.  She can be more helpful.

I had an issue with mom this past week.  She used to get up in the morning and take Eli and me for a walk.   Now she gets up at 5 and goes to the gym…without me.  She hasn’t been able to work out for the past 2 years due to that Lyme Disease.  Now the gym is back in and I’m out!!!  Doesn’t she know that when she gets up, I’m up and ready to start the day too!  She’s mostly been cycling.  I think she’s trying to get that junk back in her trunk!  The first couple of weeks she worked out, she’d fall asleep in the afternoons!!!  I asked her to please explain the point of the workout.  Are you not supposed to feel more energized?  For once I was pawsitively stumped!

Mom says recovery of any kind…from an illness, an addiction, a death, a divorce, drugs and alcohol, doing too much and even chocolate…is a bear!  (Actually, she said “B” word but we all know how I feel about that…so NOT appropriate)!  So, I’ve been thinking…what does it take to recover?  I’ve never really recovered from anything.  No injuries or illness…except there was one time when we were driving from Connecticut to Florida for the Eukanuba Dog Show and I started to have diarrhea 10 minutes after we left and it continued for the next 2 days.  That was one long ride!

First, mom says,  you must have an intention and a goal.  For example, if you want to lose weight…your goal needs to be more than weight loss.  You need to think wider.  Otherwise when you reach your goal you’ll probably want to celebrate…with a burger, fries and a hot fudge sundae and then, slowly you may end up back where you started, frustrated and bewildered.  So maybe your intention needs to be to get and stay healthy and weight loss will inspire you to keep pursuing your goal.  Ok…that seems clear enough.  My goal is to catch a squirrel and I know when I catch one, I’ll be even more inspired to catch the next one.

Next…you must decide how much achieving the goal would mean to you and how much time and effort you are willing to put in to get there. OK…now it’s getting a bit more complicated.  That’s what humans do…make simple things more complicated.  Canines have a much simpler approach.  We smell, hear or see what we want and we go for it.  If we don’t succeed at first we keep on going.  It isn’t just about the end result.  We love the process.  That’s why I love chasing squirrels every day.  So often humans don’t love the process and then they give up on their intention and their goals.

Once you have the right intention and goal, and the desire to succeed, mom says you go for the burn.  What is she talking about?  The burn is the effort and pain it takes to get there and it can be physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  When you start out the burn can be bad…and it’s no fun.  But then something great happens and that burn turns into inspiration and determination and it feels good because you know you’re on your way.  Now we’re talking Mama!  I love the pleasure!!!  Hold on…don’t get too excited…it feels good, but then it hurts again.  It’s a cycle…a canine nightmare!

So let me see if I’ve got this.  You’re miserable because you’re not where you want to be.  When you start making changes in your life, you feel the burn.  You begin to feel good making those changes but then you realize you have to work harder and the burn is back. You become determined, committed and inspired to face these challenges and you hope the payoff is big.

Recovery is about restoring your power and strength. It takes effort and support from others.  You feel more alive and are better equipped to create the life you want.  Isn’t it time to give that nagging voice inside of you the attention it deserves?  What are you doing now to live your life free of the obstacles that hold you back?

ENJOY LIFE!

Love and licks,

Brooke

What Could Be Lighter?

What could be lighter?

Hi y’all!  Isn’t this simply the best time of year?  There’s more time to explore the backyard, chase squirrels and chipmunks, nap on the patio and try new things..like biking.  The days are long and bright and hot.  This week was exciting for me.  I was digging around in the woods and found something big and dead!  I was so proud of myself.  The first person I thought to give it to was mom.  You can imagine how excited she was seeing this special gift hanging from my mouth as I ran down the path towards the door.  She stopped dead (ha) in her tracks when she saw me.  I just love giving gifts to the people I love most!

Mom doesn’t like keeping things around that we don’t need anymore.  As a matter of fact, she is one of the most organized people I know!  As you can imagine, our home is super organized.  I’m convinced it’s part of mom’s DNA.  So, trust me when I tell you that I wasn’t at all surprised not to see my special find around anymore.  She can’t help herself. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t have issues or baggage because believe me, she does!  However, hanging on to physical stuff is not one of hers.  Mom’s mantra is “What could be lighter?”

Humans carry baggage they don’t need. It can really weigh you down.  Some carry it in their gut or their head or in their muscles or back and they feel bad in their bodies.   Others store it in their home…in boxes, closets or stacked in piles, maybe out of sight but not really out of mind.  You get the picture.  Mom says that our outer houses reflect our inner houses and our inner houses reflect the outer.  What does yours look and feel like?   Some of the baggage is physical and some is emotional.  Could you lighten your load simply by clearing out stuff you don’t need anymore?  This can be challenging.  How do you let go of what you don’t need anymore?

Canines don’t generally carry much baggage.  To be perfectly (as only I can be) honest with you, the baggage we carry is mostly what we get from humans.  We enjoy the lower order and don’t much care for the big responsibilities.  Whatever we do, we love when the humans have more responsibilities that we do.  It makes more sense to our canine brains. Our nature is to live in the present moment.  We don’t love to take on what isn’t ours.  Humans are just the opposite.  They want to take on other people’s stuff in addition to their own.  Maybe their issues don’t seem so heavy, but did you ever stop to think that now you’re carrying double the load!!!   Don’t you think yours is quite enough?

Why do we hold on to stuff that we haven’t paid attention to in a long time?  Does it make you feel more secure to hold on to it?  Do you think you might need it one day?  What would happen if you simply let go?  Mom says that no matter how much baggage we unload, we don’t have to worry…there’s always more.  WOW!  That’s encouraging.  Is that even possible?   So what do we do?  Beats me.  I’m so grateful to be a canine and not have the issues that humans have.  Oh Lord! (We say that a lot down south).

What would it be like if you lived your life knowing that you already carry everything you need?  It’s not about all the stuff we carry.  Isn’t it about showing the world the best of what we’ve got?

Love and licks,

Brooke

WHERE’S THE BLOG?????

Hi y’all!!!  I know you’ve been wondering what’s happened to the blog and I’m flattered that I’ve been on your minds.  Well, my mom did great on her trip to Martha’s Vineyard.  She rode just about 100 miles in 3 days and wasn’t even sore…even after what she’s been through over the last 2 years!  But that’s for another blog.  It’s all about me right now. I had one heck of a time trying to ride that bike.  It’s good to have new experiences and try new things but I was trying to be someone I’m not and that just never works.  I’ve heard humans say, “Be yourself.”  I never really understood that statement.  After all, who else would you be?  Now I get it.  There’s a reason you don’t see poodles on bikes.  First, my butt is not made for that saddle and second…my butt is not made for that saddle.  Even with the extra padding in the shorts, there’s just not enough junk in my trunk!  One of my passions is chasing squirrels and I’m sticking with that for now.

As for the blog…as you can see from my photo this week, I’m enjoying some down time under the umbrella by the pool.  Don’t you just love the pink?

This is the life!!!

It’s so me!  Mom and I are working on our website-the creative juices are flowing.  However, Mom hasn’t been sharing the computer, forcing me to curtail my writing, and instead, take time to recharge my bitch batteries.

I really needed this!  I guess there’s a reason for everything that happens.  Did you ever notice how resting a bit can bring a whole new perspective to your life.  It’s not often that I take a breather.  I’m taking a lesson from Eli.  He really knows how to rest and can do it all day long.  It’s just that his batteries never seem to recharge.   How many of us have needed a rest but refused to listen to that inner voice that asks nicely for us to stop and then starts screaming as we continue to ignore it?  Before you know it, you’re sick, or have a car accident or bicycle accident or need to see a pawdiatrist.  The list is endless when we refuse to take the time to rest.  Don’t get me wrong.  It takes a long time for those physical things to manifest…lots and lots of ignoring the messages.  Sometimes we need those things to happen so we can give ourselves permission to rest and make changes.  Some of us need a big bang over the head to hear loud and clear.

Have you noticed these days how everyone is so plugged into their cell phones, ipads, computers, ipods, tv’s, e readers?  I’ve heard of people that have their navigation turned on in the car…just for the company!!!!  My mom was telling dad how great she felt at the Vineyard.  She wasn’t plugged into anything but her cell phone and didn’t feel compelled to use it very much.  The funny thing is that her phone has been dying and keeps freezing.  That looks like a message to me!!!  Once she pulled the plug, she lived one happy week basically cell phone and computer free!

Sometimes unplugging is enough to restore and replenish your energy.  I think it’s good when you can take responsibility for your own self care before it gets the best of you.  That’s why I decided to take some extra time myself this summer.  I’m finding that when I rest my brain cells I’m allowing new ideas and creativity to emerge. Besides, I need to set a good example for my parents.  You can’t imagine what it’s like to be me!!!

When was the last time you went to the beach or hiked in the woods or took a bike ride?   When was the last time you unplugged?

ENJOY LIFE!

Love and licks,

Brooke

On The Road Again!

Good morning!!!  WOW!  What a week I’ve had!  Lots of playtime outside and squirrels galore.  New food.  Record breaking temperatures and some

How many miles is it from Atlanta to Martha’s Vineyard?

really good laughs!  My life’s purpose is to experience pure pleasure and fun!

Mom has left again and is on her way to cycle on Martha’s Vineyard!!!  She’ll have a great time.  I wish she had waited for me!!!  Riding the bike has got to be easier than catching those darn squirrels. How hard can it be?  Of course I won’t even attempt to clip into the pedals. If only I could pedal faster…

I’ve been thinking about what gets in our way of enjoying life.  Canines love to play.  As puppies we play with our littermates all the time; it’s so much fun.  What else would we do anyway!  Kids play a lot too. Then something weird happens as you grow up.  You cut way back on your play.  Your parents (and other people) tell you to behave, act your age and stop fooling around.  You listen with your brain and not your heart and lose your playfulness.  You forget to listen to your heart.  You know what that makes you?  B O R I N G!!!  This is when humans need to take some lessons from me…your all around good time fun loving canine coach!

Canines know that play is a big part of living life to its fullest.  Humans think they need to be on vacation to play.  They think it’s their reward for the rest of life.  They sneak it in…a little here…a little there…a night out…a day at the beach.  What if you lived your life with only pleasure and play as your soul purpose?  How much fun would that be?  I’ll bet you’d look forward to work and laundry!

This week I asked dad to make a list of what he does for fun.  Of course…wouldn’t you know it.  At the top of his list was “reading documents”!  Are you kidding?   When mom can’t get to sleep she asks him to read them to her and she goes out instantly.  Me too!  Super BORING!

I decided I’d have a better shot with mom and had her make a list of what she does for fun.  After her whining and complaining about doing it (which clearly wasn’t fun) we got down to business.  I guess you’d like to know what was on that list.  Yeah…me too…haven’t seen it yet.  You know my mom…sometimes that “perfection” thing won’t leave her alone.

One day mom and I were driving little 5 year old Iris to school.  Mom asked Iris a question and Iris answered in a very quiet voice.  Next thing I know mom tells Iris that she’s sure Iris can talk louder and asks her to do just that.  Within seconds little Miss Iris was screaming ‘“NO” at the top of her lungs and mom was laughing her head off.  The more mom laughed the louder Iris screamed. Oh my ear canals.  I wondered if this was punishment for the times I barked at other dogs while we were in the car.

This past week mom’s been trying out some new gyms.  She thinks it’s fun to get up before 5:30 to work out.  One day this week she came home and was looking pretty…gross.  You know…sweaty, sore and in need of a shower and a little food.  Dad asked her if she had fun at the gym.  Oh boy…first she just gave him one of those blank stares, then rolled her eyes and turned away shaking her head.  All of a sudden I caught the glimmer in her eye.  YES!!!!  She turned, smiled ever so slightly and said, “A blast.  Why not come with me next time?”  Then she winked at me.  I get it. One person’s pleasure can be another person’s pain.  Sometimes having fun is work like chasing squirrels, taking care of Eli or writing a blog.

So many people work harder than they play.  They complain but keep on doing it.  Do you feel more of a sense of purpose in the work you do?  Do you feel like you are supposed to act “grown up” all the time?  Isn’t it interesting how we don’t feel that play plays (HA) an important and vital role in our lives?  Humans say laughter is the best medicine.  Well, why not drink a few bottles?  Isn’t it time to let go of those old boring beliefs and have the time of your lives?

Fun is not only an activity or something you have to go and do.    It’s in our interactions with others.  It’s in the activities you do.  It’s in your attitude. It’s not just part of your journey. It IS the journey.  This is what we’re here for.  Live life to the fullest.  Learn from everything and everyone and have a hell of a good time along the way.  Miles Davis has said, “Sometimes you have to play a long time to learn to play like yourself.” So…go. Get out there and PLAY!!!

If any readers are at the Vineyard this weekend, please wave, stop me and say hello.  I’ll be easy to spot.  If I make it there, I’ll be the one picking up the rear.  It’s one of my best features so you won’t miss me!

Love, licks and a fresh fruit popsicle stick!

Brooke

The Princess and Her Magic Wand

Helping out in Mom’s office

Good morning!  I wonder if y’all are having the same hot weather we’re having.  It’s up over 100!  I think mom has an idea in her head that she’d like to get me in that pool.  “No way” is what I say!  Then I’ll need a bath and a blow dry!  I just can’t take it when my beauty is compromised.

I’ve been thinking about work today.  Humans seem to be interested in what others do for work. They ask, “What do you do?” a lot and they reply, “I’m a doctor/ hair stylist/ garden designer/artist or, well you know.  Hardly ever does someone ask if your work represents who you are and what you love.  Canines love having jobs; it’s not work for us.  We don’t like being in charge, however, if you leave us no choice… Back in the day Eli was an awesome therapy dog and worked in hospitals.  He loved making special request visits and helping intensive care patients, especially kids.  Another one of Eli’s favorite jobs was to open the door for mom when her arms were full with groceries.  Personally, I like having the door opened for me.  I have made a conscious effort not to let on that I know how to open the door. However, lately it’s been so darn hot here that if mom leaves me out too long I have to open the door and get inside or I’ll just wilt. I’ve worked things out so that she thinks she’s left the door open a little.  HA!  Gotta love brains and beauty!!!  I just hope she doesn’t notice or I’ll end up with a new job description!

Mom loves what she does.  She helps people shift their energy and create the changes they want to make in their lives, from small ones to big ones.   One of the first things mom asks a client is this…”If I had a magic wand and could change anything in your life, what would it be”? Humans love this question, but they don’t realize that they have the power to change their own lives.  That’s why they come to my mom.  She listens to how they feel stuck, are having difficulty moving forward in their lives and what they want to change.  Although Mom works over the phone with some clients, I love when a client comes to the office because I’m happy to help with the healing (and I get one too just by being in the room)! I’m sure you’ve heard canines have a great reputation as Therapy Dogs.  Well…that’s me…Miss Therapy!  The person enters the office and I come along within arms length to give them the opportunity to love me up and down!  I can even distract the client from talking so they pay attention to me.  You should see how that alone starts to make them feel better.  It’s a known fact that Therapy Dogs help to do lots of things such as lower a person’s blood pressure and have even assisted in bringing people out of comas.  Now I don’t want you to get the wrong idea or anything…nobody coming or going here is in a coma!!!

Mom says that what people want most is to be heard, understood and loved.  We all have old physical, emotional and /or spiritual wounds that have not been healed.  Look at me.  You probably think I’ve got it all.  Looks, personality, speed and brains.  Well, I’ve never been able to feel comfortable around a vacuum cleaner.  Once I see it come out of the closet I move as far away as possible.  I have no idea why this happens but mom says it’s probably an old wound from my childhood that I obviously have not worked through yet.  Eli doesn’t have the same issue. Every time the house is vacuumed, he sleeps right through it.  Isn’t it amazing how two poodles growing up in the same house can be so different?  I guess humans are like that too.

I don’t know how healing happens, but I do know that nobody can wave a magic wand and change your life.  No matter how big or small the changes that you want to make, it’s up to you.  You just need to come to the table with the desire to change your life, discover your life purpose, heal yourself at the soul level and live with passion and joy.

Why would you want to live your life any other way?!!!

Love, licks and a popsicle stick,

Brooke

Driving Miss Daisy

Hello everybody!  I’m thrilled from all your positive feedback and encouragement for the blog.  Thank you for taking the time to read it and share it with others.  Gratitude is such a big subject and you’ll definitely hear lots more on the topic.

I mentioned in last week’s blog that while mom’s away…Well, guess what?  Mom was away again this past week. Since dad’s been at work and mom left her keys AND her car…well, need I say more? I jumped into the driver’s seat…but that’s another story.

Most times I’m the co-pilot. Canines really do prefer this seat, however being in the driver’s seat is really an adventure.  You get to choose your direction, your road and your entire journey.  The co-pilot gets to go along for the ride.  Some humans go for the driver’s seat and the adventure while others take a wrong turn or decide to be the passenger and let someone else map out their journey.  It got me to thinking about the roads we choose and places we allow ourselves to go.

Back in the early 80‘s my mom decided on a certain direction in life, but I think the woman upstairs had other ideas for her because the direction sure has changed.  I’ve heard mom say that humans get signs from above or that feeling in our gut, but often we don’t pay attention to them.  Sometimes these signs are subtle. Other times they’re awful and have severe consequences: those really grab a person’s attention.  One day mom ended up in a pretty bad car accident.  This was her wake up call.  For the following year and a half the only thing she was capable of was contemplating her next move.  She was so busy trying to figure it out with her head that she could not heal herself.  You know…humans think an accident is just an accident, but that’s not necessarily so.  One day she saw that there was a lesson to learn from the accident.  She started feeling with her heart rather than thinking with her head and found her way into the healing arts. Mom has been on this road ever since.  Sure, there were bumps in the road, some big and others small, and the road was anything but straight.  Sometimes she wished for a smooth paved road.  That’s like wishing a squirrel will stand still while I run towards it.  But, don’t you think the winding roads are more exciting?

Some humans remind me of Eli.  They are driving blind…going through life without noticing or paying sufficient attention to the signs.  I think they need to be more like me (of course) and drive with their eyes wide open! Now there’s a choice for you…drive through your life with eyes open or shut?  Oh boy!  I think I just might stay off the open roads for a bit.  It’s important to have these lessons in life.  They teach us more about ourselves and when we overcome the challenges…YIPPEE!!!  It‘s thrilling.  Mom breaks out in song and dance when she moves through her challenges.  Now I live in the present moment which allows me to watch and listen for the signs.  It’s the equivalent to how humans meditate. It takes practice to sit quietly and use all your senses to feel every moment.

How many signs do we need before we ask ourselves, “Are you talking to me?”  How many roads do you go down before you realize you’ve taken the wrong one? Do you have a good sense of direction? Have you already gotten a wake up call but missed or ignored it? What’s your wake up call looked like in the past?  Are you in the midst of a wake up call right now?

We get many wake up calls during a lifetime – each challenging us to take a closer look at the road we’ve taken and where we’re headed. One challenge will lead us through to the next.  We never know what’s around the next corner or what the future holds.  That’s why I sit by the back door every day looking…for squirrels, chipmunks, cats, humans…What I do know is that it’s important to look through the windshield of our lives and see what is clearly in front of our eyes. When we see the signs and think about what they mean for us, we can know whether we’re on the right road!

Love and licks,

Brooke