Wednesday, August 16, 2017


My first contact with the amazing Dr. Arlene Brooks was when I was working at Willamette Humane Society and also fostering dogs. My second foster was a one-year-old Jack Russell Terrier/Pitbull mix who needed a place to recuperate from a broken leg. 

I didn't realize the extent of the surgery until I took Batman back for his five-week check-up. A piece of the femur bone had been broken off at the top, so Dr. B had removed that chip of bone and fashioned the cartilage into a new joint. The bone had started to calcify, so she figured his leg had been broken for months before he was picked up as a stray. He was surgery #9 of the hundreds of procedures she has since done for animal rescues and shelters. 

I adopted Batman, who fully recovered and went on to many misadventures. He's now eleven and a half years old, and has slowed down some, but I will always be grateful to Dr. Brooks for giving Batman another chance at a full life.

I later learned from a friend that Dr. B had formed Homestead Veterinary Clinic Last Chance Club (HVC-LCC) to bring vet medical care to as many cases as possible by using “rescue costs” and donated free veterinary services. Their Facebook page is <>. 

HVC-LCC goes in the bowl as another animal-related organization that could win a $100 donation from me at the end of August in a random drawing by my dogs.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


My latest book, More Than Just a Dog, is available!

With a Collie, star gates, and a shotgun-toting mother, I had great fun writing More Than Just a Dog. The digital version is at the special introductory price of 99 cents; the print version is $4.99 <>. 

I have a blog tour coming up next week featuring freebies and special appearances with my beautiful Tucker, the Collie featured on the cover of this book. Will post those blog sites each day.

Friday, August 11, 2017


The first animal shelter I'm spotlighting this month is Willamette Humane Society <> in Salem, Oregon. I've volunteered for WHS, fostered dogs, worked for them, and adopted a number of dogs from this shelter. Guess it's pretty obvious why a piece of my heart still belongs to Willamette Humane Society.

Ace was my first shelter dog, way back before WHS built their new building. With one look into the golden eyes of this Border Collie mix, I knew he was smarter than most humans. 

But he was hungry! We had a package of graham crackers on the dashboard of the car the day we adopted him. Those were gone in less than a minute. For the next thirteen years he lived with us, he continued his passion for food, and showed me without a doubt that some of the best dogs come from the shelter. 

So Willamette Humane Society goes in the bowl as one of the animal shelters/rescues/organizations that could win a $100 donation from me at the end of August in a random drawing by my dogs.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


No matter your reaction to them, you probably know when your birthday is. 

But most shelter dogs don't show up with a birth certificate. So the North Shore Animal League America declared August 1 as a birthday for all the shelter animals whose birthdays are unknown. 

I want to expand on this celebration of shelter dogs and the release of my upcoming book on August 15. So throughout the month of August, I'll be spotlighting positive things done by animal shelters/ rescues/ organizations on this blog. 

I'll feature several of my own favorites, but I want to hear about your favorite animal-related organization too!

At the end of the month, my doggies will randomly select one of these organizations to receive a donation from me. Thanks to a special friend and her (now) angel dog for introducing me to this fun way to do a drawing. I write the names on pieces of paper and have my dogs draw one. It's a bit more challenging with multiple dogs, but I'll try to keep Batman from eating the papers before I can read the name. :)

If you want your favorite animal shelter/rescue/organization spotlighted and considered for a donation, please add that name to the comments along with its city and state, and your personal experience or contact with that organization. If you'd rather send that info to me privately, please let me know so we can connect.

Happy DOGust!!

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Arriving on Earth
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.

Friday, June 9, 2017


Stewart (left) knew how
to help Rascal (right)
Though he got along well with my other dogs, Rascal was terrified of most everything, and it was obvious he had been abused, especially around his head. His eyesight also wasn’t very good. You may have heard of people having wavy vision. That’s what was going on with him, so everything that approached him looked like a monster. Of course he was terrified, and biting was the only way he knew how to protect himself.

As I mentioned in one of my posts in May, my beautiful Stewart became Rascal’s therapist. Guess neither dog read the report that humans had basically thrown up their hands and didn't know how to help Rascal. However, Stewart knew what to do. Whenever Raz panicked and started biting at everything, Stewart stood over him and put him in a gentle headlock until Raz realized he was safe and no one was hurting him. When Raz calmed down, Stewart released him. It was amazing--and humbling--to watch these “therapy sessions!”

I don't think any human "intervention" could have helped Raz make such a dramatic change. He became a doggie who will stand up for himself, but isn't aggressive. As I mentioned in the previous post, that's been about eight years ago. Though he lost most of his eyesight a couple years ago--all but shapes and shadows, he says--Raz hasn't lost the lessons Stewart taught him. 

Dog to dog, miracles can happen.

Friday, June 2, 2017



I bonded with the dog who became my Rascal prior to two adoptions that didn’t work out. I had picked him up from his neuter surgery, and he rode in his kennel in the front seat beside me and pulled lots of Reiki energy. When we stopped for a bite to eat, I let him out of his kennel and he touched his nose to mine. That became our way to communicate.

I don’t know for sure what went on in his adoptive home, but I saw him when he was returned to the shelter–he tried to bite our intake worker. After a day in the shelter, he settled into being a happy dog again.

However, with his history of biting, his chances on the adoption floor were slim to nothing. He had three paws in the euthanasia room when I asked the kennel manager to give me a few days with him.

That was about eight years ago, and Rascal is still part of my herd, sleeping on my pillow like he has from the first night in our home. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


You know I’m not really gone. Our connection will not be broken by something as simple as death. Yes, Tucker and I shared the same physical body for a time. But I am eager to return in another physical form to live in peace at our farm.
All who have shared your physical lives are eager for the day when every being is as beloved as the canines who have accompanied your journey.
You feel our spirits especially strong now because the time is near. Many changes in the world have brought us to this time of birthing a new era. The separation from what many call heaven or the land across the Rainbow Bridge no longer exists. The dimensions have merged.
As you have experienced with the canine spirits who have accompanied your journey, so will others find this is true. There is no separation in the other dimensions–the dimensions where we now exist.
That is why your dreams feel so real to you. They are coming to fulfillment.
I know some of this seems outlandish even to you, who are open to so much others do not see. But you are trying to understand with your human brain that which is beyond such limited understanding. Simply continue to believe, and what you know in your heart will become a reality.

Several years after Stewart transitioned, he returned in the body of an Anatolian Shepherd named Dasha, who joined our household three years ago. 

Monday, May 29, 2017


My life changed dramatically when I studied Reiki energy healing. Soon after, when animals began talking to me, my life really went to the dogs! 

When I wrote the book, I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog, my dogs--those who had already crossed the Rainbow Bridge as well as those still living on this physical plane--gave me wonderful messages that life is much more than our five human senses can discern. Much more than our Western culture generally believes. 

Those messages spoke of connections beyond time, space, life and death. They talked about love and acceptance and love and lessons that spanned a number of lifetimes. Did I mention love? 

Our furbabies come to help us, to teach us, to protect and support us. From what animals have shared with me, they view dying much differently than most humans. When they have completed their task, they leave this physical plane. If they want to come back, they manifest a body and return. 

I've become pretty open minded about possibilities over the last decade or so. However, some of what Stewart shared still stretched the limits of my human mind. 

During our time together, Stewart confirmed what I had suspected for some time. He was Tippy--the first Collie I knew as a little girl but in a different body. And so was Duncan. What Stewart told me made sense, and verified Tippy kept his promise to be with me when I needed him most.

Tippy was with me as a Collie during my childhood abuse experiences. He came back as Duncan (a Collie/Shepherd mix) to support me when I finally disclosed my childhood abuse and the dark time of betrayal following the reaction to that revelation. Stewart arrived as a Shepherd/Black Lab mix to be with me when the foundations of my entire existence were crumbling–what I now call my meltdown of 2009.

Tippy/Duncan/Stewart also carried his own burden, which Stewart and I worked through in the week before his death. He felt smothering guilt he had not protected me from childhood abuse.

In the last intense week of his life, we both realized it was not his role to protect me, but to support me in the experiences I had chosen. And he supported me well!

That realization was good news and bad news. With the release of guilt, he could shed the physical body that had been racked with seizures. When it seemed we had found a promising treatment, my Stewart died suddenly in the midst of a seizure.

Once again I grieved the physical loss of a beloved furbaby. However, the passing of that physical body was an odd thing to grieve, because he was still with me–both spiritually and physically–in the body of Tucker, a Collie who looks like a twin to the first form Tippy took in this lifetime.

Monday, May 22, 2017


Seizures can be terrifying when they grip a beloved furbaby. My little Lady suffered occasional seizures after she ran into the tire of a car as she was dashing full speed chasing a cat. Although disconcerting, these episodes were mild compared to the grand mal seizures that ravaged my Stewart. 

They came on suddenly and frequently when he was about four years old. Sometimes several a day for two or three days in a row. Then they would subside for a week or two, giving us hope; only to return stronger and longer than before.

If your furbaby has seizures, there are support groups of other pet parents online who are living day to day with this situation. This can be helpful or more confusing as there will be a number of differing opinions on how to cope. Also, your veterinarian may not have a lot of experience in treating dogs with this condition, and that may add another layer of stress. 

When seizures occur, I take a different approach than may be recommended by others. Yes, this is where I say I'm not a vet and not allowed to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. 

I offer what has been helpful with my own furbabies. Everyone should make their own decisions on how to proceed if they have a pet who has seizures. If we notice a seizure beginning, one of the humans in our family cuddles the dog close. With small dogs, this is fairly easy. With larger animals, the thrashing caused by the seizure can be dangerous to anyone nearby as well as the animal seizing, so clearing the area of anything the animal may crash into and injure themselves is beneficial. 

Being an energy healer, the energy begins flowing immediately to help calm everyone. I'm also an animal communicator and know animals feel very disoriented and lost during seizures, so I talk to them continuously, giving them a sound to follow back to "normal," as well as loving arms that help anchor them in the physical world. 

I use mostly natural treatments and energy healing for any physical disorders that come up with me or my furbabies. I also do a lot of research on possible treatments. With Stewart's seizures, we chased a cure or at least relief for three years. Prescription medications, Chinese herbs for organ cleanses, supplements for his immune system, acupuncture, energy healing, natural flea remedies, cool temperatures, eliminating certain foods from his diet, eating every four hours.

Perhaps most distressing was the change in his personality, from happy nurturer to an unsure, hesitant dog. He didn’t feel safe around the other dogs because two of them attacked him when he was having a seizure and couldn’t defend himself.

I finally discovered a combination that stopped the seizures: running Reiki directly into the knobby bones behind his ears and wiping cold water on his face.

The cold water was Divine intervention. I was trying to get a good fix on the bony knobs to run Reiki while Stewart was seizing. In the meantime, his legs were paddling, hit the water bowl and drenched us both with cold water. Stopped his seizure instantly. This was also the last one of the cluster of seizures that had been occurring for a couple days.

This set me to thinking. I knew heat was a factor when a seizure was building for him. He paced and panted, his mouth becoming redder, and the inside of his ears ranged from warm to really hot.

When he started showing those signs, I wiped his face and head with cold water, and held a cold cloth inside his ears and wicked away the heat. I also ran Reiki directly into those knobby bones, over his head and wherever else he wanted/needed it, whenever he wanted it.

Near Thanksgiving, Stewart had a cluster of severe seizures and I thought I was going to lose him. He recovered, but kept showing me a blinking red light on the left side of his brain and told me it was an aneurysm.

Although Stewart died suddenly in the midst of a seizure several months later, please know that seizures don't have to be a death sentence. My Lady lived to be 17 years old. I've also been a pet parent to other dogs who have occasional seizures, but who are otherwise happy dogs not on medications. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Received this blog post from Dr. Dennis Thomas about looking at life through a soda straw. Would really limit your view of the world, wouldn't it? Want a broader perspective?

"Now, imagine taking the straw down and seeing your world. Your world would dramatically expand." 
--Dr. Thomas

Read the full post here.

Monday, May 15, 2017


 ~ Dog-to-dog therapy ~
One of the dogs who came to live with us had been horribly abused, especially around his head. His eyesight also wasn’t very good. You may have heard of people having wavy vision. That’s what was going on with him, so everything that approached him looked like a monster. 

Of course he was terrified, and biting was the only way he knew how to protect himself. He had three paws in the euthanasia room when I asked to bring him home and give him another chance.

My beautiful Stewart became Rascal’s therapist. Whenever Raz panicked and started biting at everything, Stewart stood over him and put him in a gentle headlock until Raz realized he was safe and no one was hurting him. When Raz calmed down, Stewart released him. It was amazing to watch these “therapy sessions!”

Friday, May 12, 2017


This interview with Ute Luppertz of Portland, Oregon is solid gold! She's an animal communicator, Reiki master, TTouch practitioner, and much more. What she says is pretty much what I've discovered in my experience with animals. It's about an hour long, but contains great information.

Monday, May 8, 2017


When Stewart returned from foster care to be put up for adoption, I wasn’t considered a good match because I already had five dogs. Reluctantly, I agreed. The kennel manager was and still is a good friend. I have learned much from her and trust her judgment. However, Stewart and the Universe had conspired on another plan.

Stewart was soon adopted. Unfortunately, someone forgot to consult the wife’s cat and he was brought back to the shelter in about a week. I was in the lobby when he came in. Usually, when animals are returned, it’s damaging to them emotionally. However, Stewart didn’t seem traumatized. In fact, he stood on his back legs and gave me a big hug. (He was part German Shepherd and taller than my nearly six-foot height when he did that.)

The kennel manager assured me they would find a good home for Stewart. In a few days, he went home with a couple who had been looking for weeks for the “perfect” dog. The next day, he was back. The process of looking was evidently more interesting than actually having a dog.

By this time, I knew without a doubt Stewart was to be my dog. Too many coincidences to be a coincidence. However, I stepped aside–once again–and told the kennel manager I would arm wrestle her for custody of Stewart if he was returned again. She assured me–again–they had the perfect home. And it seemed they did. For about a week. This time, the landlord who had approved Stewart to live with his new mistress decided he was too big. Back he came.

I simply handed the kennel manager my adoption paperwork, and Stewart came home with me. My home may not be perfect, but it’s definitely home.

Monday, May 1, 2017


I already had a pretty full house when Stewart was dumped–literally–in the lobby of the shelter. I was working in the shelter at the time and was immediately asked to stay with him and offer Reiki. Nervous or upset doggies usually relax in five or ten minutes. With traumatized animals, as Stewart was, it takes longer.

I stayed with him about forty-five minutes and, since it was almost closing time, the kennel manager wanted to let him outside to do his “bathroom business.” It took us about half an hour to coax him outside, then another half hour to come back in. Leaving him that night was tough.

When the decision was made to send him to foster care for awhile, it wasn’t with me. Too many other dogs at my house, they decided, and he needed one-on-one time. But he had already stolen my heart.

Sunday, April 30, 2017


Do I really have to tell you anything you haven’t already heard from me? We are Warriors, we girls. Stronger than the men, because our hearts lead the way and, in the end, our hearts are what matter most. We will show the way for our males to use their hearts. We will show them the way to blend their strength with their hearts and thrive in the new age that is here. Think of it! Sunshine and abundance and skinny-dipping behind a crystal waterfall! Joy will fill our hearts and ring with laughter throughout this new land. We are there, Momma! Simply open your heart to this new way of being. Let the gentleness flood your soul with light and love. Never-ending joy is yours. Simply let go of past experiences and embrace the wave that rushes toward you! I love you, Mom! Come play with me!

Sunday, April 23, 2017


About a year after she came to live with me, Sophie suffered a stroke or something similar. Totally lost control of her bladder, head tilted to the right, right eye twitching, couldn’t stand. But she was determined! Three days later she stood and went outside to do her bathroom business. She was not through with this physical life yet!

We made it two more years before Sophie started telling me her transition time was near. For four months–from the time a tumor at the base of her tail appeared–she tried to make me promise to help her across the Rainbow Bridge when the time came.

But we had already pulled off a miracle or two, and I wanted another one. I had made other promises, but wouldn’t promise to help her go.

However, her physical body became sadly emaciated, no matter how much I tried to feed her and what goodies I tempted her with. And the cancerous growth at the base of her tail didn’t heal.

Finally, she refused to leave the vet’s office, insisting it was time to go Home. I reluctantly agreed, as she knew I would, and she was gone in an instant. Only the determined survival instinct in her heroic physical body kept her hanging on. Broken-hearted once more, I took her body to be cremated.

Looking back, I can see my Sophie was a Warrior Girl who found a better way. Her survival instincts were strong, as witnessed by her living three years after others had written her off and by needing a nudge to leave the physical body behind. But she had learned to live peacefully, with grace and strength, in this modern day world.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Announcing a new cover for

Digital versions just 99 cents
for a limited time!

Daphne Madison has drifted for years in the innocent age of the 1950s. When her daughter follows her military husband to another state and her son falls in love with an elfenchaun, Daphne decides it's time to rejoin today's world. She searches for a career with the help of her sister, an eccentric artist with a penchant for bringing home stray people and talking dogs. She also longs for a new love who can accept exploding inventions and malfunctioning time machines, an everyday occurrence in her zany family.

The sale of this and other books in the Aunt Maddie's Doggone Misadventures series helps provide food and a place to sniff and play for Quantum Canines.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


I’d never had a Giant Schnauzer before. Sophie taught me all I needed to know. Heroic and strong, my Sophie relished her role as the fun police. Whenever the younger dogs would dash into the back yard and start to play, she’d hurry behind them, barking insistently until they stopped. Then she would look at me and snicker, while the younger dogs would beg me to make her stop.

Looking up the breed on the Internet, I discovered the Giant Schnauzer is a working breed of dog developed in the 17th century in Germany. It was unknown outside of Bavaria until it became popular as a military dog during World War I and World War II. The first Giant Schnauzers were imported to America in the 1930s, but didn't become popular until the 1960s. In 1962, there were 23 new Giant Schnauzers registered with the American Kennel Club; by 1987 it was around 1000 animals. Over the years the Giant Schnauzer has shown outstanding abilities in search and rescue, schutzhund, conformation, obedience and agility thus earning the reputation as a handsome, intelligent and truly versatile working dog. [from Wikipedia and Westminster Kennel Club web sites.]

Miss Sophie was a law unto herself. Though not a formal Alpha Dog, she was a respected matriarch and loved barking with much enthusiasm when the younger dogs played. Shows of affection, such as when Stewart gave her a big, sloppy doggy kiss, seemed to surprise and baffle her. However, she loved to be brushed and soaked up all the Reiki offered to her.

Saturday, April 8, 2017


Though I didn’t know it at the time, Sophie's previous owner had been ill quite awhile and not able to take care of her. When he died, the relatives kept the small dog and took Sophie to the shelter. In addition, her littermate had died a few months before. So she was mourning as well as having a massive bladder-and-more infection.

When I heard her story and learned she was considered unadoptable because she was twelve years old and incontinent, I stated, “Well, I’ll adopt her.”

Totally relieved, staff cautioned me this would probably be for hospice. I just smiled. By then, Sophie and I had talked. She said we’d have two or three years, and I promised I would keep her and love her as long as she decided to stay on this plane.

Armed with medicine for the infection and an appointment with the groomer in a couple days, Sophie went home with me. When we arrived, I realized she was matted with feces and urine. Not pleased this hadn’t been taken care of, I cleaned her up and trimmed the hair on her backside as best I could. The groomer could do his magic on the rest of her in a couple days.

With that little bit of care, Miss Sophie’s true personality began to shine through. The first evening, she proudly TROTTED down the sidewalk. Not the action of a lady ready to make her transition.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


I broke a number of personal rules with Sophie. When I worked at the shelter, I rarely insisted on a specific course of action for a dog. It wasn’t my role. I also made it a rule not to make promises to a dog I might not be able to keep. I did both with Sophie.

The first time I saw her, she was laying in deathly stillness in one of the stray kennels. A big, black dog and I was in love again.

Monday, March 27, 2017


Sweet Pea didn't much like me when we first met. I got a call from the shelter to foster a Miniature Pinscher/Chihuahua mix who had been having seizures. I had dealt with seizures in other dogs so agreed to meet this dog and see if she wanted to come home with me. 

Her reaction was to growl, bark and nip at me. So I sat on the floor and ignored her while I talked to the shelter staff. She soon approached me and checked out the treats I offered nonchalantly. 

After about fifteen minutes, I asked her if she wanted to go home with me. Kinda surprised me when she said, "Let's go." She didn't want to wait for the paperwork to be filled out, she just wanted to go! 

As usual for me, fostering turned into adoption, and Sweet Pea officially joined our household a few weeks later. When my older son moved home again, Sweet Pea promptly claimed him as her person, and his space upstairs became her personal domain. She also adores my granddaughter, who scooped her up to cuddle the moment they met. 

In talking to Sweet Pea over the years she has been with us, we've discovered she had been in some horrible situations. Sometimes things will trigger flashbacks for her and we reassure her those days are over. 

For the most part, she is a happy little girl. She naps on my son's bed and comes downstairs for meals and to enthusiastically greet her people when they come home. She rarely has seizures any more and she loves to cuddle. However, she sometimes still gives me a growl and a nip to make sure I know my son is Number One in her little world, not me. 

Monday, March 20, 2017


Mia was a sweet dog who found
herself in a bad situation.
My grandchild’s dog became caught up in a situation not safe or healthy for her. She needed a place to stay until her people moved where they could have her again. She missed them terribly and was so excited when they came to visit!

She stayed for a few months, then went home when her people found a new place to live. I felt an extra boost of joy when my little guest dog went home to be with her people!

Friday, March 17, 2017


In honor of St. Patrick's Day
I'm introducing a new cover for

Digital versions only 99 cents!
(print version also available)

An eccentric inventor is determined to reclaim his wayward time machine 
and save his beloved wife from her latest misadventure. 
If only they can travel safely past the black hole…

Monday, March 13, 2017


A miniature Pinscher rescued by my son and an ex-girlfriend from an abusive and neglectful neighbor was the next to join my pack. When my son’s relationship broke up with much drama and acrimony, Grimlin stayed with her until she decided he was “out of control” and “wouldn’t mind.”

He’s done just fine with me. Though he stays at my house for now, he knows who his people are–my son and grandson. No one and nothing else exists when my grandson is here–well, except maybe food.

As with every dog, Grimlin has a unique personality. He loves to wrap himself in blankets. Not just burrow under them, mind you, but to actually wrap them around himself like a cocoon.

Grimlin also has perfected a tough guy act for me. When I come home, he waits in another room until I peek around the corner, then he charges at me, barking almost as fiercely as his stubby tail is wagging. When I scratch him and tell him what a ferocious doggie he is, he grins at me and asks for more attention.

Monday, March 6, 2017


My younger son has moved in and out of my home a number of times as he walks his journey through life. A dog he adopted also came to stay.

Hudson is a nearly perfect dog, but had been overlooked in the adoption kennels. Perhaps because he is mostly black (a shepherd/Rottweiler mix) or so well behaved he didn’t call attention to himself.

That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a distinct personality, because he does. He gets an A+ at howling. Arooooo!

He became my timekeeper when Goliath passed and tried hard to keep me on a schedule of when it was time for breakfast, dinner, and snacks, as well as walks and outside breaks. Not an easy task with a human who becomes immersed in projects and loses track of what day it is, let alone what time.

Hudson tugged at sleeves to get someone to play and nudged my son’s arm to distract him when we played cards. Though he lived with me for quite some time, his special person was always my younger son.

Sunday, March 5, 2017


Have you ever connected with a dog on such a deep level you knew they were your furry soul mate?

Some people say they have had a once-in-a-lifetime dog like that. I've been fortunate to enjoy several of those relationships. In fact, I have a special and unique connection with every dog who has come into my life.

And sometimes I'm honored to have doggies stay with me whose hearts belong with a special person they couldn't be with for a while. Hudson, Grimlin, Mia and Sweet Pea are those kind of special dogs. During March, I will share their stories.

Monday, February 27, 2017


Some days, like today as I write this, the pain is as fresh as the day Ebony Rose passed five months ago. Sometimes it is an ache when we can't snuggle up to fall asleep. Other days I simply smile at our memories.

One ear up, one folded over. Her white toes. A silly grin. A happy dance with a spin when I pulled out the walking leash.

All tangled up with those memories are the feelings of our struggles and my failures as well as the times she frolicked with delight when we walked and how deeply connected we have been for many lifetimes.

She pushed me and challenged me and brought me deep lessons and loved me and tried to protect me--even from things that held no real threat except to her being my only dog.

And now she waits for us to move to our "self-sufficient sanctuary with elegant and edible landscaping," where she can rejoin us as a puppy. A fresh start. A new beginning. Our dream becoming a reality.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Though I shied away from fostering because I didn't want to give up furbabies I had become attached to, one dog I couldn’t refuse to foster turned out to be my next Warrior Girl, who came about a year later. She had the same miracle surgery as my Batman to repair a broken leg. 
She was a beautifully charming Pitbull about seven months old who loved to play in the sprinkler and sneaked up on the bed to snuggle with my Duncan, who was struggling with health issues. 
She also loved kids and people. She liked most other dogs, but if she had a disagreement with one, she tended to hold a grudge. As her surgery site healed, she became more aggressive toward my other dogs, especially Ebony Rose. We hung in there with her until her leg healed, then returned her to the adoption kennels at the shelter to hopefully find a home where she could be an only dog. 
She went to a family with one other dog and things seemed to be going fine for a while. Then she became aggressive toward the other dog and was returned to the shelter. At that time, she was very reactive not only to other animals in the shelter, but to the scent of other animals. Staff did all they could to give her another chance and I also worked with her. I got up early and went out in the mornings and/or went after closing to give her a potty break when other dogs weren’t out. 
But what kind of life was that for her? The decision was made to euthanize her, and I went out to see her across the Rainbow Bridge. She wasn’t ready to go and didn’t want to cross. With some extra help, she finally lit briefly on the other side, immediately got her little white angel wings and started doing acrobatics. What a beautiful spirit! Then she started back across the bridge to this side. 
She showed up at the shelter a few weeks later as a cute, cuddly little dog. A friend of mine adopted her and I knew as soon as I looked in her eyes it was Tuley come back as she said she would.
Tuley offered these words of wisdom when I was writing this book. 
You ask if you had done things differently would I have been different? Perhaps. Or perhaps my aggression might have only been delayed and taken someone else by surprise when I really hurt another. I
Some things are not for you to know or to control. Some things are only to ponder and to question. Don’t take anything at face value. If you question, you have learned. 
Now I have a cute little doggie body and a beautiful family. Let go of your sense of failure. Quit beating yourself up. Release the guilt and know I am happy. 
And, as Panza says, learn to play. That’s what we’re doing. We’ve left our Warrior ways behind. We’re playing. 
My Warrior Girls may have shown aggression at times, but I also saw strength, love, and playfulness. Tuley playing in the sprinkler and comforting Duncan when he was ill. Panza’s paw on my Jeep and wanting to go home. Miss Ebbie trying so hard to find a new way of being, as am I. 
My spirit guides say I need to lighten up. To experiment and to play. But this is new territory to me. I’ve been serious for so long, I struggle with how to play. I’m almost afraid to play. Will I get in trouble for playing? Will others think I’m irresponsible? Will they look at me and find me not good enough? Not worthy or somehow lacking because I’m not working hard? 

My Warrior Girls tried to show me it’s time to step into a different way of being. To reclaim our true warrior nature of pride and strength and love–and peace. Not to be a doormat, but to be strong in peace so fighting is no longer necessary. And to play. To somehow find a way to play again. 

Monday, February 20, 2017


When another rampage of kennel cough swept through the shelter, I took home a couple dogs to give them a break from the isolation kennels. As soon as I saw Panza, I knew she would be coming home with me. 
She had the heart of an Amazon warrior, but needed to temper her passion to live in these calmer times. She pushed every one of my buttons and forced me to look at ugly things within myself, especially the anger that still burst from me at times. I learned so much in the short time she was with us. Yet I didn’t learn enough to save her life. 
She was being aggressive in the isolation kennels and continued to show aggression toward my other dogs. She attacked my wise and gentle Lab twice. I gave her one warning and a second chance, then took her back to the shelter.
I spent as much time with her as I could. On her second day back, she led me through the parking lot, past all the other cars and to my Jeep. There she stopped, put her paw on the tail gate, looked at me, and said she wanted to go home with me. I told her I couldn’t tolerate any fights and especially no challenges to Goliath. 
The next day, she mouthed the arm of a volunteer dog walker at the shelter–didn’t break the skin–but she knew she was making the choice to go Home. 
As soon as I got the call she was to be euthanized, she started communicating with me. She was ready to go Home. She didn’t want any more play time or a last meal, she had a hot date with a male dog that afternoon across the Rainbow Bridge, so I needed to get out to the shelter so she could transition. 
Through my tears, she made me laugh. 
When writing this book, Panza told me: "I came for you. You have learned what you needed to know and now I can go Home." 
Whenever a niggling sense of failure comes up that I should have learned something more that could have saved her, Panza reminds me that dogs do not view this physical life as humans do. When their mission here is done, they transition to other realms, some of them nonphysical. If they want to return to this physical plane, they do. 

How could humans benefit from this attitude?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


One thing I learned quickly after animals began talking to me is names are very important. Dogs become their names. If people call them something uncomplimentary or something humans think is funny but in an unkind way, that is what the dog becomes. 
When dogs come home with me, I let them decide whether they want to keep the name they had been assigned at the shelter or had with a previous family or if they want a new name. 
For example, Sophie remained Sophie. My Cocker Spaniel needed a total break from previous experiences and became Rascal. Stewart was renamed Goliath when he was dumped at the shelter. With his next adoption he became Walter. Other adopters called him something else. However, I already had a dog named Goliath and in my mind he became Stewart before I even adopted him. 

The name Ebony Rose represents a beautiful spirit who still struggles with dark experiences and behaviors that don’t serve her best interests–much like me. 
So please be thoughtful as you and your dog consider names. Try one on. Ask your dog what they think. Ask what they would like to become, and choose wisely, with love and compassion.