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.

Sunday, February 5, 2017


learning to live in
peace and love and abundance,
as well as play!
Ebony Rose was one of my Warrior Girls–doggies who came to me as fosters through the shelter. Panza, Tuley, and Ebony Rose have been with me through many lifetimes of abuse, betrayal and dying violently I had set up as atonement for past misdeeds.  

I can look back and see where angels and benevolent beings brought messages the atonement for past misdeeds was done. I could live in peace and love and abundance. Could play once in awhile. But I was so enmeshed in the old cycle I had forgotten how to live differently. Or perhaps I had never known.

I recently read a short ebook from E. Harv Eker with this quote: "People don't live the way they do because they like it. They live the way they do because they don't know what else to do."

Do you ever feel that way? Like you're caught in some crazy cycle but you don't know how to get out of it.

I'm determined to get out of this cycle. It has served its purpose: to give me the confidence to know I can overcome great odds, to make me stronger, to make me want to live a different way--a better way. 

Now I am stumbling along the journey to that better life. Struggling, confused and baffled about how exactly to get there, but putting one foot in front of another nonetheless. Yes, sometimes I slide backwards and end up with scrapes and bruises. But those times also offer lessons. And, as I learn and pay more attention to the messages of my spirit guides and beautiful furbabies, we will live more and more in an incredible world of everyday miracles.

A world where Warrior Girls (and Boys) can live in peace and love and abundance--and, of course, play.

Thursday, February 2, 2017


Miss Ripley was a wild and crazy girl. However, she also cuddled, played with Batman, and slept with her head on my pillow and her paw on my arm when she could sneak past Goliath on the bed. She started out as a foster dog, but became a permanent member of my family, choosing the name Ebony Rose after several months of consideration.