Saturday, July 15, 2017


Coming August 15, 2017...
Three generations of independent women, 
driven in different directions by one man’s anger. 
Until his death reconnects them 
with their mystical Irish ancestors and 
wonders beyond this limited human existence.

The Collie Chronicles is a new book series I am writing 
that combines several of the passions in my life: 
Collies, of course! and other beings in the form of animals.
Growing to be self-sufficient.
A curiosity about things most people don't believe are possible.

The first book, MORE THAN JUST A DOG,
will be released on August 15, 2017.

And, yes, that is my beloved Tucker on the cover of this book.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Saturday was a major grooming day for Tucker. After a couple weeks of summer weather, he is seriously shedding that woolly Collie undercoat--with my help. We usually do this in stages. Though Tucker is one of the sweetest and most patient dogs I've ever been around, he will only tolerate me grooming him for so long before he says that's enough!

We've done a couple other grooming sessions over the past few weeks and removed enough fur for a herd of Chihuahuas. However, yesterday Tucker knew I was focused on getting rid of excess fur and finding any trouble spots on his skin.

I don't use chemical flea treatments on my dogs. However, using natural repellants to keep insect critters off my dogs does take more time and attention. If I'm not vigilant, we'll be fine one day and the next seem overrun with the wee beasties. 

Over several hours, I brushed out the majority of Tucker's undercoat--enough for several dozen Chihuahuas this time! We took a break for dinner, then into the bathtub for the shampoo and rinse. 

When his fur dried, he was still fluffy, but seemed thinner. Wish I could look thinner just by having my hair trimmed and styled! 

Not from Tucker, but
from a grooming session
with my Cocker Spaniel.
~ Brushing can be fun! Especially in the butt area. :)
~ We don't mind if you forget to clean the ears. 
~ Ditto with nail trimming. 
~ Well, maybe a little if you tell me again what a good boy I am or how smart I am or what good kisses I give. 
~ In the bathtub? With water? Shouldn't water be in puddles or mixed with dirt?

~ Always finish a grooming session with tummy rubs or, even better, a full-body massage!

Saturday, July 1, 2017


In case it's not obvious,
that's me on the left and Tucker on the right. :)
Fur against my face and the soft smell of a dog curled protectively around me existed before my first memories of this life. My mom used to tell stories of me as a toddler, sleeping with my head pillowed on our Collie’s belly...
"Collies will carry a special message for you...You will feel drawn to them, and they will appear at critical times to guide and support you." --Woofs of Wisdom from Tippy

Tippy was the first Collie to support me in this life. Then Duke came as a reminder that Collies were still watching over me. Duncan was a Collie mix. Ace was a Border Collie. Now I share my life with Tucker, another rough-coated Collie, same as my childhood doggie pillow and protector.

Thursday, June 29, 2017


One of the advantages of communicating with animals is the deep spiritual lessons they offer if we are willing to listen. My lessons seem to grow more intense as my doggies age--a reminder our time on this physical plane is limited. 

Since my Rascal is at the old dog stage, you might have guessed the messages he offers are more deeply spiritual. This post is rather long, but I struggled with editing it and keeping the message intact. So I'm leaving the entire message. Though meant for me personally, I hope his "woofs of wisdom" bring comfort and peace to other pet parents living with aging furbabies. 

Woofs of Wisdom from Rascal

Just because I can't see through these physical eyes doesn't mean I'm blind.

I can still feel your love.

I can still sense your frustration that all your efforts to heal my physical body don't make me a young dog any more. And that's OK. Even when our physical bodies are gone, the love will remain. Our connection will still be strong. 

We have grown in this lifetime. You and I both made mistakes that have been corrected. Though you may know in your heart that dogs are more evolved than humans, we are still on a path of learning. We have our own lessons. Perhaps on a different level or in different ways, but still we want to learn and have a variety of experiences. 

You will have those experiences too when you evolve to the point where dogs are. And you will evolve. In spite of the frustration you many times feel that you'll never get things "right." What is right? Does that mean perfect the first time with no mistakes? 

We both know that's not the case. Learning means mistakes as we figure something out for the first time. Then it takes practice, though doing the same things over and over triggers your frustration response. 

Yes, look for a different perspective. Can you find comfort in repetition? Can habits become a sacred ritual that bring the comfort you so desperately want? A consistency that seems so illusive in the chaos of this rapidly changing world. The reassurance that your dream will become reality if that is truly what you desire. 

Enjoy the routine. Take comfort in what may seem mundane and a waste of time. 
Relax. Draw out those breaths and connect with a world beyond where you are right now. 
Step into your dreams and make them a reality. Make them real. 
And now you are anxious to go. To do. To accomplish. 
I'll be here for a while longer. So go. My love will be with you, as yours is with me. 

We will be together again. We will always be connected. 

Friday, June 23, 2017


His eyes are clouded now, and sometimes he cries out softly, "Where are you, Mom? Don't leave me alone." 

He has always slept on my pillow--from the day he came to be with us. Others had given up on him, but he became part of our family of dogs and humans. 

Another doggie-being helped him heal; showed him how to trust again. He learned to make his way not with fear, but with confidence.

Many years later I became his seeing eye human. Not a burden, but an honor. 

Now that he is older and his physical body has challenges, he needs to know I am nearby. Or perhaps it is I who needs this reassurance. Put your hand on my belly and feel the steady in and out rhythm of my breathing. Touch my leg where the soft fur is growing back. Close your eyes and journey with me beyond this physical world. 

If I don't shy away; if I can step through my grief; if I can be still and connect with his spirit--I become part of the eternity of the Universe. That magical place where our hearts will always be connected. Where our souls merge in the utter timelessness of love. Where I can know the joy and peace of life with an older dog. 

Friday, June 16, 2017


A pile of Rascal's hair after
grooming and, yes, there's
still a lot of hair on the dog!
I didn’t know much of anything about Cocker Spaniels when Rascal came to stay with us. Nothing new there. I’ve brought home a number of different purebred and mixed breed dogs with little knowledge of breed characteristics. That’s not a bad thing, because I don’t have preconceived expectations, and the dogs will teach me what I need to know.

One thing I quickly learned was Cocker Spaniels have a lot of hair! Similar to sheep’s wool, but it keeps growing. We had a couple not very positive experiences with groomers, so I decided to get a pair of clippers and try haircuts at home. I like to have my Cocker Spaniel’s coat fairly short as it’s easier to keep him clean and bug-free. 

He is also prone to ear infections because of his long, floppy ears. Since he’s been abused around the head, he is very fearful of grooming in that area, but will tolerate it with love and tummy rubs.

Grooming can be a time-consuming task, but this also gives me special time alone with each furbaby. Rascal's style may not always be the prettiest, but I get most of the job done and he feels so much better afterward.