Saturday, December 31, 2016


As I looked back on the words of wisdom Duncan offered when I was writing the book, I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog, the first thing that struck me is there’s an awful lot of “stuff” about death and dying. 

However, from the perspective that we are infinite beings who never die, his words are a message of hope and the possibility of a way of being far different than the thousands of Earth years of suffering I/we have experienced. 

Duncan also said, “We have broken the pattern…of abuse, betrayal and violent deaths.” “You can manifest the serenity and comfort and love.” “Give this new way of being time to settle into the bones of your physical body and become a gentle habit.”   

If my human default setting is struggle and suffering, of course serenity and comfort and love will feel strange—even uncomfortable. I fight them. I resist them. To relax into these emotions—to let down my guard—seems to invite an attack. 

When one of my furbabies died a few months ago, I remember telling people, “Don’t be nice to me or I’ll break down and cry.” Crying, grieving and feeling a sense of loss makes me vulnerable and open to attack—triggering the memory of abuse, betrayal and violent deaths I have experienced so many times. Yet many people want to reach out in comfort, kindness and shared sympathy.

In fact, rather than closing myself off from the kindness of others, perhaps I want this but am afraid of it because of past experiences. Perhaps this is my spirit trying to show me how to build this “gentle habit” in spite of my fear.

When Duncan said, Give this new way of being time to settle into the bones of your physical body and become a gentle habit, why did he say “gentle habit”? Does that mean quit fighting and struggling and let the Universe handle things for a while?

I rather like the idea of wrapping up this year and starting a new one with gentle habits. Be gentle with ourselves, with family and loved ones, with strangers and, of course, with the beloved furbabies who teach us so much!

Monday, December 26, 2016


The interaction between The Big Three—Ace, Goliath and Duncan—was interesting. Duncan made a few attempts to dethrone Ace as the alpha dog. Ace was a senior dog by that time. No more jumping into the car through the windows or crashing through fences. However, Goliath did not tolerate Duncan’s attempts to take over as top dog. He made it clear Ace would be the boss as long as he was alive.

After Ace became an angel, Goliath the Adored One became the reluctant alpha dog, and I realized he had shown his respect for Ace in another way. When Ace was alive, Goliath never lifted his leg to mark his territory. After Ace transitioned, Goliath started lifting his leg to mark. Another sign animals have more depth than most humans give them credit for.

Since the Alpha Dog role was taken during the time Duncan was with us, he found a different role: that of nurturing disciplinarian. 

In addition to his determination to teach Brooklyn appropriate behavior (check out the earlier post of “The Cat Who Thought He Was a Dog”), Duncan lent a paw in teaching younger dogs the house rules. When the youngsters came inside, my older dogs continued their lessons, insisting they not play. As a result, they learned to be down and quiet in the house. More effective than a human trying to teach manners!

As Duncan grew older and illness weakened his body, my foster dog Tuley became his special companion. He growled half-heartedly at her when he climbed onto the bed. She respected the warning–until he fell asleep. Then she snuck up on the bed and cuddled next to him, putting her chin on his back and comforting him.

In a reversal of roles, the nurturer was rewarded for his years of caring for others.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


Digital versions FREE
until December 31, 2016
I am deeply touched by the sympathy and caring expressed about the passing of one of my furbabies. So many of us have experienced this sadness in our lives, while at the same time knowing our beloved ones are in a better place. 

Over the years I’ve been writing, dogs have wagged their way onto the pages of my books to bring comfort, joy and silliness to the lives of many characters. It seems appropriate to celebrate Hudson’s life by offering one of these books to all of you as a gift. 

My publisher has generously agreed to offer No More Poodle Skirts FREE until December 31. Don’t know if other sites will follow suit, but here’s a link to Rogue Phoenix Press: <>. 

You do have to push a few buttons to get this digital book: Click on “add to cart” and the price will change to $0.00. If you don’t have an account, it will ask you to set one up. When you receive an email with the receipt, click where it tells you to. Make sure you’re signed into your account to download this book (ePub, HTML, Mobi—for Kindle—or PDF formats).

Cyber-(((HUGS))) to all of you!

Thursday, December 8, 2016


These words of wisdom from my Duncan came several years before Hudson’s passing and serve as a reminder to me that we are surrounded by higher beings who love us and guide us, but also give us free will. We are not alone in what many times seems like a chaotic world, but we also determine what happens in our personal sphere of influence. By changing our thoughts and our focus, we can shift what manifests in our physical world.

Sound unbelievable? Why not give it a try? What do you have to lose except worry, stress and chaos?
~ Wisdom from Duncan ~
The time of four-leggeds on this physical plane is less than the two-leggeds we have come to teach. So do not use the passing of my physical body as another excuse to punish yourself. See this passing, instead, as another experience. 
You have the knowledge and the memories of what brought you to this lifetime. So you also have the knowledge and wisdom to choose another route. You can choose a different life. You can manifest the serenity and comfort and love you say you want. If only you choose it. A life of ease, creativity and comfort may be uncomfortable at first. Like forming new habits, the path to abundance may feel strange. You have experienced thousands of Earth years of suffering.
Give this new way of being time to settle into the bones of your physical body and become a gentle habit. Let the past fall away in the gentleness of a new way of being. Don’t feel you have to share this new feeling with anyone else just yet. It’s okay to cradle this in your heart until it grows from tender seedling to strong, healthy tree. Enjoy the newness. Feel the growth and strength. But know there will come a time–and soon–when you will be asked to share your message with the world. For others need to hear these words of hope and encouragement.

Others need to know it is possible to drop away what no longer serves them and open to the new reality forming so quickly around us. Indeed, that we are bringing into reality.
(Excerpted from I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog, by Genie Gabriel)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


We said good-bye to Hudson this morning. I didn't expect him to hang around as long as he did after Ebony Rose passed at the end of August. As soon as I made the call to the vet's office he kept saying "thank you" over and over. He was really ready. Last night, my doggies who sleep downstairs with me all formed a circle around him to sleep; and my furbabies who have already passed were eagerly waiting for him on the Other Side. I know it was time and, though the tears still come unexpectedly, my heart feels his peace.  

Monday, December 5, 2016


Duncan had a special relationship with a cat who thought he was a dog who used to live in our house. Brooklyn was an adventurous soul who often was scolded for inappropriate behavior. When this happened, Duncan reinforced the corrective action by putting his mouth over the cat’s entire head. Never bit down, just put his mouth over Brooklyn’s head. The cat knew what was coming, and just sat with his ears flattened and his eyes scrunched closed. When Duncan finished correcting the cat and raised his head, Brooklyn just shook it off and went on with his misadventures.

(Excerpted from I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog, by Genie Gabriel)

Friday, December 2, 2016


In spite of fears my heart would be torn into pieces, I finally gathered the courage to volunteer at the local humane society where we adopted Ace…There is good reason volunteers aren’t allowed to adopt for a certain time after they start. The temptation to “save” animals is strong. I proudly made it past the allotted waiting time without begging to adopt any canine friends.

Then Duncan caught my attention. When he first came in, this Collie/Shepherd mix seemed aloof but with eyes that mesmerized me. (Yes, I see the same situation that brought Ace into my life.) I figured Duncan would be adopted quickly. It took me four months to realize he was there for me. By then he had become the “old-timer” at the shelter–the dog who had been there the longest. My special cases. And he came home with me.

(Excerpted from I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog, by Genie Gabriel)