Tag: Sue Dreamwalker

Five years: Just like that!

How time flies!

I was outside working yesterday afternoon and came back into the house some thirty minutes before Jean and I were due to visit a neighbour. Ergo, I was looking for a shortcut in terms of putting together a post for all you good people.

The notion came to me that I would republish something that was on Learning from Dogs some fives years ago: October 8th, 2011 to be exact.

Here it is!


Sit back and Smile

With thanks to Ellen M. for passing this across to Learning from Dogs.


Then to prove how quickly time flies by, guess what! Dear Sue Dreamwalker left a message to that post back in 2011.

What a great story and video…🙂 .. Love this guys last comment about his Best Friend being less expensive than a girl friend.. lol.. Dogs Rule..

Just as Sue is still doing and, I bet, will be leaving a wonderful response today!

Freedom with a capital ‘F’.

Sometimes the most obvious solutions take the longest to find.

I feel a little embarrassed that this introduction may come across as rather self-indulgent; I don’t intend that.

My purpose is to offer an introduction to a recent blogpost from Sue Dreamwalker that explains why her post really ‘spoke’ to me and why it felt important to share Sue’s post with all you good people.

Yesterday morning I left a comment to a Transition Times article, penned by Jennifer Browdy. The article was headed: Hillary Clinton: Holding the Center in These Complex Transition Times, So We Can Do the Essential Work of Creating a Better World.

Subsequently, I left a follow-up to my first comment, replying to a comment from Diane Husic. This is what Diane wrote:

Many of us realize what a critical junction the country faces in this election cycle. As an academic, I am trying to figure out the appropriate role I should play. We need to teach students to be respectful of difference, to be tolerant, to be problem solvers, and to be civically engaged, but we aren’t supposed to use our positions to “force” our political views on them. But given the magnitude of issues confronting the planet and humanity and the importance of having leadership that “gets it” (and displays compassion and empathy), this is a tough balance to try to find.

and this was my reply to Diane:

Diane, as someone who previously has run his own business and then, after selling it in 1986, spent a number of years as a mentor with the Prince’s Youth Business Trust in the UK, I have come to the conclusion that the best role model we adults can offer our ‘students’ is this: “Be the best you can be!” That flows from being fully aware of the person that one is. For self-awareness is the key to understanding oneself and, consequently, of understanding others. Understanding why people think and behave the way they do, for good and bad, is the only effective way of engaging with others and seeking that ‘civic engagement’ so critically important.

Apologies, that paragraph sounds like a damn speech! I didn’t intend it to be so. Plus, my own journey of self-awareness has been a long and tortuous one – but that doesn’t change my view just expressed.

Coincidentally, I have been having some informal chats with Jan Schmuckle: http://www.janconsults.com/home

Her recently released book on the effectiveness of Role Montage in building leadership skills is highly relevant to today’s students. In Jan’s words (and I have no commercial or financial link with Jan):

Role Montage: A Creative New Way to Discover the
Leader Within You is written from Jan’s experience
with her client work and her research. It helps
leaders explore self-awareness and leadership using
the role montage process.

I’ll creep back into my hole!😉

You can see why I offered a warning about coming across as self-indulgent!

But if you have stayed with me so far (and thank you) you will now understand why Sue’s post spoke so clearly to me. Republished here with Sue’s very kind permission.


Set Yourself Free..

by Sue Dreamwalker. July 28th, 2016.

This morning I switched on the radio and the first record I heard was this one.. It was the very first time I had listened to this recording, never hearing it before.. It made me smile.. Especially when it mentioned taking Calcium and taking care of our knees..  So I decided to YouTube it to listen to again and to my delight found several versions..

Life has been busy within the Dreamwalker’s Domain this last week.. Last night I was so tired I went to bed at 7pm and slept for 12 hours.

Today the Universe thought to allow me to cool  down in the showers of rain,  so I thought I would share about my Busy time in the Sun on my Gardening Blog. And to share what brought such a smile to my face first thing this morning..

I particularly enjoyed the lyrics in the middle of this narrative of the inclusion of Rozalla’s Song Everybody’s Free to Feel Good, which is an old favourite of mine..



Sending Love and Blessings

Next time I will share with you the village I grew up in as we went  back to see the Well Dressings.. Along with some of my thoughts..



Feeling good about ourselves is the result of knowing and liking who we are. The foundation stone of knowing and liking all the many good people we interact with throughout our lives.

And now go and hug a dog!

Affairs of the heart.

Warning: Emotional post coming up!

This is the second time I have used Affairs of the Heart as a title to a post. The previous time was January 20th, 2012 (and I’m republishing that post tomorrow). How time flies!

Indeed, in a little over two week’s time, on July 15th, all you dear, dear readers and I will be celebrating me writing this blog for seven years! Indeed, how time flies!

Yesterday, John Zande from down in Brazil, another great friend of this place, posted a comment that included a most powerful video. His comment was, “Not sure if this link will work, but this is a lovely story of an adoption that saved a life.

Sue Dreamwalker watched the video and responded:

John that was one amazing video, still wiping away tears.. Thank you.. Through our choices we CAN make Changes in our lives..:-)❤

I then followed Sue with this comment, written at 05:45 local time (PDT) yesterday:

John, Jean awoke just a few moments ago and I have just played your video in front of us both. It is so beautiful and important that I want some time to fully compose my response. Plus Jean and I need some time to stop weeping!

Just had this idea to feature your video and my reply as tomorrow’s post.

Thank you, John, for sharing this. Thank you so much.

Even if you watched this video yesterday do watch it again before continuing. Same applies to those that haven’t yet watched it. Do that now!🙂

So now we head for my emotional response to that video.

Change is inevitable. Another word for change would be time. Time is the most fundamental principle of the Universe. Call it the Arrow of Time. It flows only in one direction. From order to disorder.
Or to put it in the words of physics (my emboldening in 2.2):
noun: entropy; plural noun: entropies; symbol: S
  1. 1.
    a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system’s thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.
  2. 2.
    lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.
    “a marketplace where entropy reigns supreme”
    synonyms: deterioration, degeneration, crumbling, decline, degradation, decomposition, breaking down, collapse; More

Entropy – “the gradual decline into disorder.

It has to be that way. For evolution is a product of the decline of one variant of life (plant, animal, insect, higher order ‘animals’, etc. ) and a new aspect of that life emerging (or not). That’s how it has to be for the beauty of life, the beauty of life in all its forms (even including politicians!😉 ). Life is a function of a “gradual decline into disorder“.

I’m not a religious person, nor is Jean, and do not believe in any form of afterlife. When I die that’s it.

I was born in 1944. I am ageing. I have suffered some brain atrophy that means that my recall is terrible. I know that the ageing process is going to continue. It scares me. At least it motivates me to keep as physically and mentally fit as I can.

I have tried hard most of my life to stay fit, physically and mentally. I’m only now aware of the reward of such an attitude.

But I haven’t been emotionally fit. In the sense of not truly knowing who I am and what my values are. That darkness was illuminated for me in the Summer of 2007, thanks to Jon.

That very moving video of Eric and Peety speaks of Eric being saved by Peety. I so deeply understand Eric.

For in December, 2007, just a few months after Jon (as in being the best we can be) made me fully aware of my distorted view of myself I travelled out to Mexico and met Jean and all her dogs.

Jean has saved me. Directly from the love, companionship and  intimate friendship that she offers me. But Jean has also saved me indirectly. By that I mean from me living my daily life these last nearly ten years surrounded by the most beautiful dogs that one could imagine. Those dogs, each one of them in their own special way, also offering me love, companionship and intimate friendship.

Prior to December, 2007 I didn’t know how to feel my true emotions and, in consequence, didn’t know how to express them. Jean and the dogs have enabled me to feel my true emotions, and to express them.  Dozens of things pain me and it’s rare day when I don’t have the odd weep or two. However, dozens of things please me each day and now bring out a laugh, or a giggle. Even better, dozens of times each day I am loved by our dogs and the gift that goes with that love is me feeling so beautifully accepted; accepted in an utterly unconditional manner.

The love given to me from our dogs and the love from my beautiful Jean make it so easy for me to be good to myself. That love, from Jeannie and the dogs, has been a gift to me beyond my imagination.

I have hanging on my office wall a framed print of a poem by Roy Croft. I gave it to Jeannie on the first anniversary of our marriage. I want to share Roy Croft’s words with you. For they so beautifully describe the gift of love I receive from Jean. But in a way that I suspect Mr. Croft didn’t imagine when he first penned his poem, his words also so beautifully describe the gift of love I receive from our dogs.


“Love” by Roy Croft

I love you,

Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.


I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.


I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.


I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.


If you have read my post through to the end, thank you!


The stranger the times the more we need to ‘ground’ ourselves.

Without doubt these are incredibly strange and unsettling times. For the United Kingdom, for the USA, for the British Commonwealth, for Scotland, for Gibraltar; and for many other places.

When we are faced with unsettling periods then it is essential to ‘ground’ ourselves, and there are many effective ways of doing this.

One way that always works for me is to gaze into a clear, night sky. The night sky over one’s head is captivating beyond words. Perhaps I should have written that it is captivating beyond my words.

Not so for Sue Dreamwalker. Just read this most beautiful poem that Sue published a little over two weeks ago. Republished here with Sue’s kind permission.

(And to demonstrate how your’s truly is becoming a forgetful old fart when I read this out to Jeannie last night she reminded me that I had already published it! It’s worthy of another showing!)


Mother Gaia ~ The Blue Dot.

11 Jun 2016

Three Sisters Glen Coe Scotland
Three Sisters Glen Coe Scotland

How many times have you gazed at the stars?

To ask the question of whom we are

This Blue Dot in the vastness of space

Have you questioned the existence of the Human Race?


Did we really evolve from Neanderthal Man?

From Ape to Human imagine if you can

Woolly Mammoths along with Sabre Tooth Tigers

Ice Ages and Floods, Volcanoes and Fires


Mountains crashing, rising from ocean floors

Fossils created into stony forms

Petrified wood in glaciers saved

While Crystals grow beneath deep dark cave


How many times have you asked ‘Who am I?’

As you gaze longingly at the starlit sky

So many treasures now upon this Blue Dot

So sad that we’ve evolved, but we also forgot


That we Humans just like the Dinosaur race

Could soon disappear without a trace

As our superior brains seemed to have lost the plot

Of our coexistence within this amazing Blue Dot


As we pollute our Mother who brings such life

While we rage in greed creating more strife

We poison our land modifying crops

Caring less and less until the last Bee drops


Long after we’re gone as the planets realign

A new dawn will break over the memory of mankind

His legacy I’m sure one day will be discovered

As some future traveller his fossils will uncover.


But it’s never too late to alter our future

When we live in harmony and learn to nurture

Holding onto LOVE and Letting go of Hate

We can all help our Blue Planet Regenerate.

Copyright Sue Dreamwalker 2016.


Just meditate on those thoughts for a while without doing anything else.

Treasures Within and Without.

We must never let go of admiring beauty.

It’s Sunday lunchtime and I have come in from outside to check my emails and to put together the post for today. For reasons I can’t exactly put my finger on I’m feeling a little distracted. I sense a yearning for being transported away from the ‘outside world’ and turning inwards: Even giving blogging a rest for a couple of weeks (but I won’t).

So thank goodness for the blogging contacts we make all around the world. Just last Saturday Sue, of Sue Dreamwalker’s blog, published an exquisitely beautiful poem. Sue very promptly gave me permission to republish it in full. Sue’s poem speaks to me just now; speaks to me in this rather introspective place. I hope her wonderful words speak to you as well.

Here it is.


Mother Gaia ~ The Blue Dot.

11 Jun 2016 .

Three Sisters Glen Coe Scotland.

How many times have you gazed at the stars?

To ask the question of whom we are

This Blue Dot in the vastness of space

Have you questioned the existence of the Human Race?


Did we really evolve from Neanderthal Man?

From Ape to Human imagine if you can

Woolly Mammoths along with Sabre Tooth Tigers

Ice Ages and Floods, Volcanoes and Fires


Mountains crashing, rising from ocean floors

Fossils created into stony forms

Petrified wood in glaciers saved

While Crystals grow beneath deep dark cave


How many times have you asked ‘Who am I?’

As you gaze longingly at the starlit sky

So many treasures now upon this Blue Dot

So sad that we’ve evolved, but we also forgot


That we Humans just like the Dinosaur race

Could soon disappear without a trace

As our superior brains seemed to have lost the plot

Of our coexistence within this amazing Blue Dot


As we pollute our Mother who brings such life

While we rage in greed creating more strife

We poison our land modifying crops

Caring less and less until the last Bee drops


Long after we’re gone as the planets realign

A new dawn will break over the memory of mankind

His legacy I’m sure one day will be discovered

As some future traveller his fossils will uncover.


But it’s never too late to alter our future

When we live in harmony and learn to nurture

Holding onto LOVE and Letting go of Hate

We can all help our Blue Planet Regenerate.

Copyright Sue Dreamwalker 2016.

This is just one of the beautiful slides from Sue’s slide show. As she writes, “The above slide show are the photo’s I took that inspired the poem above. They were taken in Scotland where I visited a crystal and mineral centre near Fort William. It was a delightful find holding a wealth of Treasures of The Earth which can be found here. “


 (Please view the full slide show here.)

Sue then completes her beautiful post; as follows:

There is so much more that lays hidden beneath our Earth Mother, as well as within ourselves.

If only we dig deep enough to find the Treasures Within.  

Love and Blessings


I am still digging Deep How about You?

Life is an endless dig to find treasures within.

Beautiful, Sue!

Reaching out with love.

Giving back, in so many different ways, is fundamental to who we are, and to whom we must be!

I introduced yesterday’s Earth Day post with the sub-heading, “A fabulous example of how we reach out to others across the internet!” Today’s post is another fabulous example.

Not that long ago, Sue Dreamwalker, a great friend of this place, posted an article that she introduced, thus:

I just had to share this lovely post with you all from a beautiful friend. You have to explore her blog to see all the transformations she does when she gives a new lease of life to furniture. And her home.. What is even more remarkable, and I hope Lois will not mind me mentioning this is that Lois does all of this work from the confines of a wheelchair..

I hope you visit and see just how generous a nature she has ..
Love and Blessings


Curious, I went across to Lois’s blog Living in Denim and to the particular post that Sue had spoken about. Without hesitation I asked if I might republish that post here and share it with you all. Lois was delighted to offer me such permission.

Read it and you will see why I asked so quickly.


Giving Back: A Yard Sale Redo for a Deserving Child

dresser5You must apply the paint in the same direction, with the grain of the “wood” for the best results. It took 2-3 coats of paint to get the desired effect. When the dresser was dry I added two coats of polycrylic to seal the finish, but I’m getting ahead of myself a bit.

I was told flowers were important to this child. As I sanded the dresser down I contemplated the best way to add flowers to the piece.  At first I thought maybe I’d sketch grass using green milk paint to the lower drawer then stems up the drawer fronts to use the knobs as the center of the flowers and sketch around them different colored flowers.  This didn’t feel right to me but still I played with the idea.

Then I realized I didn’t have enough colors of paint to do this.  I briefly considered heading to the store to purchase an assortment of different colored permanent markers, but again I dismissed this.  I worked until I lost daylight on Saturday and woke with an idea.

For months now my granddaughters and I have enjoyed coloring Patricia Zapata’s Flower Nook. Patricia is a well-known blogger at A Little Hut. I’ve already removed some of the completed pages to frame for the girl’s room upstairs, now I would remove more and use them on the dresser.

flower-nookI added three designs to the drawers and one to the top of the dresser.

Top of the dresser.
Top of the dresser.

These are the designs I used on the drawer fronts.

dresser-after2The most time consuming part of this was trimming the designs to remove the excess white paper.  I laid them out and when I was happy with the placement decoupaged them on and sealed the entire drawer fronts with polycrylic.

In questioning the little girl I learned she liked gold over silver so I headed to my hardware stash and pulled out all the heavy substantial gold knobs. I toyed around with using two knobs on the left with one pull on the right, the way the drawers were to begin with. In the end I didn’t have enough gold pulls I liked and decided to use only knobs.  I used wood filler to fill in the holes from the original pulls then drilled new holes.  I kept the distance from the side of the drawer for the new knobs the same as the existing knobs on the other side and then centered them on the fronts.

Once I took this photo I saw that I hadn’t painted the very bottom and did go back and paint them, if you were wondering.

The top drawer I simply used a permanent marker, I have a couple in the house, and a four inch stencil to add her first initial.

By Sunday at 3pm I called to let the family know the dresser was ready to pick up.  They arrived with the little girl and a friend of hers. I wish I could show you their faces, but I can’t.  The girls didn’t miss a thing. They spotted the little girl on the middle drawer, they loved the heavy gold knobs and the white washed paint effect.

dresser-comparisonI know a little about this foster parent, I know she adopted a previous foster child and raised him as her own even though she has very little disposable income. She herself is on disability. She loves these children and has given this little child so much love that when the question arose again as to how much they owed me, I informed her the child’s expression was well worth the work and I wanted to make this a gift from me to them. Thankfully, the family accepted my gift as long as I promised to call if there is ever anything they can do for me.

Tonight I am tired and even sore. I did get a bit of work done outside after all but while I thought getting more accomplished on the house would perk me up, in reality it was the dresser that made the weekend a success for me.


Reaching out in love, indeed!

Loving relationships

A very Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you.

(And that, of course, means all you humans and your pets.)

I am sharing three very appropriate items for today.

Firstly, a recent article over on the Care2 site.


Showing Love for the Animals This Valentine’s Day

1374408.largeBy: Katie Medlock February 8, 2016

About Katie Follow Katie at @offbeatherbivor

Whether you’re on board with celebrating a “traditional” Valentine’s Day this year—chocolates, cards, romance—or not, this year should be the year we also show some extra love to the animals in our lives. Whether we focus on our own companion animals or forgotten creatures out there in the world who also need compassion, this Valentine’s Day could be the start of a new tradition. Here are a few ideas to really bring the love to our furry and feathered friends this year:

1. Plan a trip to an animal sanctuary

Animal sanctuaries are wonderful places to visit solo, with your partner or with the kids. Most, if not all, states have at least one farmed animal sanctuary where pigs, cows, goats, chickens, geese, horses and many others have found a permanent home after being rescued on the way to slaughter or from their terrifying lives in the animal industries. There are few ways to connect with an animal and appreciate all they have been through in their lives that shine brighter than spending time petting a goat or cuddling a pig.

 There are also other types of sanctuaries open to the public with different types of animals to behold, such as bats, tortoises, exotic birds, wolves and wild cats. The difference between reputable and respectable animal sanctuaries and zoos is, in many cases, the dedication to the animals’ needs. Some zoos may have great conservation programs, yet any profit-driven establishment who puts animals on display in unnatural living environments and social groupings does not have the animals’ true interests at heart. Sanctuaries strive toward giving the animals the best lives they can have—public observation is not at the heart of the matter. By supporting reputable animal sanctuaries, you are showing immense love and compassion to animals.

2. Dine on a meatless meal

To have a truly animal-friendly Valentine’s Day, don’t serve any of them on your plate! By choosing to dine on a plant-based meal full of fresh vegetables, hearty legumes, sweet fruits, wholesome grains and satisfying nuts and seeds, you are showing the animals the utmost respect. Try these Valentine’s recipe ideas, ethical wine suggestions and delicious vegan chocolate truffles for the big day! And, if you are interested in reducing the amount of animal products you consume beyond V-Day, visit the Meatless Monday website to learn how to tip the scales gradually toward regular vegan meals.

3. Reach out to an animal in need

Do you have a friend who could use a dogsitter for an upcoming trip? Does your local animal shelter or adoption agency need an extra hand with walking the dogs, cleaning cages and spending time with furry friends? Have you spoiled your own companion critter lately with a new toy, extra play time or some homemade treats? Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to extend our love to our own companion animals and to those around us who also need a little extra love. The rewards from reaching out to a pet in need are tenfold what we expend putting forth the effort. Use this February as an excuse to spend more time with some critters!


The second was recently seen over on Mother Nature Network.

9 ways dogs say ‘I love you’

Laura Moss February 10, 2016
 This dog is serious about keeping the title of 'man's best friend.' (Photo: Best Friends Animal Society)
This dog is serious about keeping the title of ‘man’s best friend.’ (Photo: Best Friends Animal Society)

Dogs have lived alongside us for thousands of years, earning the reputation as “man’s best friend” for good reason. But while some people may be quick to dismiss a dog’s devotion as simply a relationship based on need, experts say that’s just not true.

“Dogs have developed the strongest ability of all animals on Earth to form affectionate bonds with humans,” says Dr. Frank McMillan D.V.M., director of well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society, an organization helping adopters find loving companions. “Dogs don’t just love us — they need us, but not just for food and physical care. They need us emotionally. This is why the attachment bond a dog feels for his human is one of deep devotion and is, as has been often stated, unconditional.”

But how exactly does a dog say, “I love you”? Read on to find out.

Your dog wants to be close to you.

If your dog is always in your lap, leaning against you or following you room to room, it’s clear your pooch is attached to you.

“A dog’s affection is most evident in their desire to be physically close to you. This can sometimes appear to be a clinginess, and it isn’t always easy to distinguish healthy positive clinginess from insecurity, but in both cases your dog is deeply attached to you,” McMillan says.

Your dog gazes into your eyes.

When you and your pup share a long look, your dog is “hugging you with his eyes,” according to Brian Hare, a professor at Duke University who studies canine cognition, and research shows that this “hug” has a profound effect on both man and animal.

When scientists at Japan’s Azabu University took urine samples from dogs and their owners before and after 30 minutes of interacting, they found that the pairs that spent the most time gazing into each others’ eyes showed significantly higher levels of the hormone oxytocin, the same hormonal response that bonds us to human infants. “It’s an incredible finding that suggests that dogs have hijacked the human bonding system,” Hare told Science.

Loving glances like this can say a lot. (Photo: Best Friends Animal Society)
Loving glances like this can say a lot. (Photo: Best Friends Animal Society)

Your dog excitedly greets you.

Does your pup jump up, wag his tail and barely seem able to contain his excitement when you arrive home? If so, that’s a sure sign of affection.

“This becomes even more obvious when your dog learns, like Pavlov’s dogs, that some sound signals your upcoming arrival, like the garage opener or sound of your car, and they show excitement upon hearing that sound,” McMillan says.

Your dog sleeps with you.

Dogs are pack animals that often huddle together at night for warmth and protection, so when your dog snuggles up with you, it means he considers you to be part of the family. And these canine cuddles may even help you get a better night’s sleep.

You are your dog’s safe haven.

“Much affection in animals and humans is based on how much you can be relied on as a source of comfort and support in scary situations,” McMillan says. “If your dog seeks your comfort during thunderstorms, car rides, vet visits or other frightening occurrences, then you are seeing another aspect of her attachment bond to you.”

Your dog ‘reads’ you and reacts accordingly.

A close bond with your dog may enable him to sense your mood and respond with affection. “Many dogs who sense that you are upset or not feeling well will demonstrate their affection by spending even more time by your side. They might give you licks or rest their head or paws on some part of your body,” McMillan says.

dog snuggling sick owner
A cuddly canine can make the day a little better. (Photo: Brian Goodman/Shutterstock)

Your dog yawns when you yawn.

If you’ve ever yawned after witnessing another person’s yawn, you’re aware how contagious the act can be. This contagious yawning is unique to only a few species, and man’s best friend is one of them.

Researchers have even found that not only are dogs more likely to yawn after watching familiar people yawn, but also that dogs will yawn when hearing only the sound of a loved one’s yawn. So if your canine companion yawns in response to your yawns, odds are good that his affection for you enables him to empathize with you.

Your dog focuses on you.

It’s not unusual for dogs to delight in positive attention from virtually anyone, but just because your pooch loves on everyone, doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you most. Pay attention to how your dog acts when in a room full of people. If he stays focused on you or ignores others while awaiting your return, you know you hold a special place in your dog’s heart.

Your dog forgives you.

“Part of the affectionate feelings your dog has for you shows up in their willingness to forgive you for things you do that make them feel bad, such as raising your voice, or misplacing your frustration on your dog by ignoring them,” McMillan says. “Forgiveness is your dog’s attempt to maintain the loving bond they share with you.”

However, even if your canine best friend doesn’t show affection in these ways, it certainly doesn’t mean your pooch doesn’t love you. Just as some people can care deeply without expressing their feelings, so can your pup.

“Be sure not to go through the list above and think that because your dog shows very few or even none of these things, he or she doesn’t love you. Odds are, love is very much there. After all, we’re talking about a dog here,” McMillan says.

And how can you show your dog some love? Engage in playtime, take a long walk, bake some yummy dog treats, or give your pup a homemade toy. Above all, McMillan says the best thing you can do is simply give your dog more of you because that’s what man’s best friend wants most of all.


Finally, enjoy this fabulous video. (Thanks Sue Dreamwalker)

Published on Oct 20, 2014

As humans animals can be also friends. If animals live together they became often friends. Friendship between different species can be cold as unlikely animals friendship. In this you can see friendship between dogs and cats, Lion tiger and bear friends, Baby Chick and Chihuahua best friends, cat and own friendship etc.

So many loving relationships! So many lessons for us to learn from our dogs!

Back to trees

This week is starting to develop into a theme!

On Monday I published a post Hope Has A Place. It was based upon the hauntingly beautiful track of the same name from Enya. Then yesterday, serendipitously, came The watering hole. Both of those posts, although miles apart in terms of content, nonetheless seemed to subscribe to a common theme. That being that the more that everyday people, good common folk from all around the world, share their feelings, the more likely that those self-same people will make a difference. A positive difference!

Now don’t get me wrong! By presenting these recent posts I am not setting myself up to be anything other than just another everyday person and dog lover who just happens to enjoy sharing stuff via this blog.

Regular readers of this place will recall that a week ago I celebrated Earth Day with a post called Our beautiful, life-giving trees. It included this picture:

We must sing for our trees.
We must sing for our trees.

Then on the following day in a post called Now life-giving geese (by the way, the five baby goslings are doing really well!) I included this photograph:

A baby oak.
And sing for them at all ages!

Yesterday morning I received the latest post from Sue Dreamwalker. It was an impassioned plea to do something and to stop the madness. Sue, in turn, had republished the post that had appeared on Endless Light and Love.

The theme that seems to be developing this week, unplanned I should hasten to add, is that it is all too easy to be overwhelmed by the scale of change that has to take place, must take place, if this generation (I’m a 1944 baby) can die knowing that it will be alright in the end. Because it is my generation that has been responsible, has created the circumstances, for the end of life as we have all known it if nothing is done, and done in the next decade or two.

So to trees.

Our trees are both a symbol for and an indicator of the overall health of our planet.

To close off this part of my two-day post, please watch this short video.

Uploaded on Apr 1, 2015
Trees give us beauty, shade, food, clean water, oxegen, medicine, housing, fresh air, habitat and happiness. For the cost of a craft beer, or a couple of cups of coffee you can protect a specific threatened forest. Each Stand for Trees certificate offsets 1 ton of carbon from the atmosphere while providing income to local forest communities. Income that supports education, healthcare, clean water and sustainable livelihoods. Trees stand for us, isn’t it time we stand for trees?

Tomorrow, I will return to hope. Perhaps better written, return with hope.

Written with a hopeful heart.

Good people must never do nothing!

Last Friday, I published a post under the title: Written with a heavy heart! It was about the appalling atrocities being carried out by ISIS. I was humbled by the many replies.

Yesterday, Su sent me another email that contained a link to a short video of what happened in Holland in September, 2011 when a Muslim attempted to make his personal beliefs known to Queen Beatrix of Holland.

All will become clear when you watch the video.

Love is the answer!

Now at first sight this may seem a silly, naive comment from a Brit who is way past longing for the hippie days of the 60s.

But maybe not!

Here’s a comment left by Lois on a recent Sue Dreamwalker’s post:

Sue, I looked at Paul’s post and came away with tears rolling down my face. Why isn’t this shown on our news, why aren’t we doing more to save these people? We start wars for oil and political ideology but not to save children. Today i just heard that the last group of the Peace Corp just pulled out of Israel because it was no longer safe enough to be there. We can’t keep ignoring what is going on in other parts of the world yet what can we as individuals do? Your poem was perfect for the subject and brings out much of the same questions I have swirling in my head now.

Here’s another reminder of the power of love; a reminder of the role of dogs in allowing us humans to open our hearts and practice unconditional love.

It’s what Jean and I experienced when we were out shopping in Grants Pass yesterday morning.

We were in a largish store when I saw a grey-haired woman pushing her shopping cart. Nothing unusual about that! But this shopping cart had a small, black puppy riding in the section where handbags are placed; just beyond the push-bar.

Halfway down the same aisle that we were in, the lady paused, lifted the puppy into her arms, and was looking at some food items on a shelf.  It was more than Jean and I could resist and we both approached the woman.

It turned out that the lady was 71 and had recently lost a dog from old age. As we petted the little puppy we learnt that he was 10 weeks old and that his name was Shadow.

Then without any prompting she went on to say:

People said I’m too old to be taking on a puppy. But I was so heart-broken when my dog died; so lonely without having him in my life. Now I have Shadow and I can face my days again. Little Shadow means the world to me. And I’m not going to worry about the future – I’m sure someone will take Shadow when I die. I just know that there is nothing better than the love of a little dog.

The power of love.
The power of love.

Of all the many things we can learn from dogs love is the greatest.

How to finish today’s post?

To me, only one way. Over to you: Simply Red.

Lives and loves
Don’t tell me about it
To respond to something permanent
You’ve got to be strong

Lives and loves
Only you know in your heart
How the pain felt
How the love made you melt

Me and you love
We have a way that seems to brighten up the day
We have our problems
Is the whole world asking, “Is it worth it?”

All the lovers in the world
Should they go on?
After all, they say
“You only live once”

Lives and loves
Only you know in your heart
How the pain felt
How the love made you melt

Me and you love
We have a way, that seems to brighten up the day
We have our problems
Is the whole world asking, “Is it worth it?”

All the lovers in the world
Should they go on
On and on and on

Lives and loves
Don’t tell me about it
Someone always gets hurt in it
You’ve got to be strong

Yeah lives and loves
Only we know in our hearts
How the pain felt
Oh your love made me melt

Me and you love
We had a way that seemed to brighten up the day
We had our problems
Is the whole world asking, “Is it worth it?”

All the lovers in the world
Should they go on?
After all, they say
“You only live once”

The Pen: Conclusion.

Reflections on what makes us who we are.

(Please note that this is a long post that potentially may be upsetting for some readers. Please trust me when I say there is no intention to upset anyone. I should add that the motivation for writing The Pen is from reading Sue Dreamwalker’s recent post Cracking our Inner Shells.)

Yesterday, I wrote about the circumstances of my father’s death on December, 20th 1956. I wrote:

I became twelve-years-old in November, 1956. Just six weeks after my twelfth birthday, on the evening of December 19th, 1956, my mother, as normal, came into my bedroom to kiss me goodnight. However, what transpired was very far from normal.

For she sat down on the edge of the bed and told me that my father was not well and may not live for much longer. To this day, I can still see her sitting on the edge of the bed, adjacent to my knees covered by the sheet and bedcover, a very drawn look on her face.

I had been aware of my father being at home in bed for a while but had no notion whatsoever, prior to this moment, that he was seriously unwell. In hindsight, it was more than I could emotionally embrace for not only did I not go back into my parent’s bedroom and again say goodnight to my father, I went off to sleep without any problem.

During that night, in the early hours of December 20th, my father died, the family doctor attended and my father’s body was removed; I slept through it all and awoke in the morning to find my father gone.

It’s also relevant to reveal that it was deemed potentially too upsetting for my sister, Elizabeth, my junior by four years, and me to attend my father’s cremation.

Upper Barn, Harberton.
Upper Barn, Harberton.

OK! Fast forward to 2006. I was happily married to Julie, my third wife, and had been since the year 2000. Her daughter from a previous marriage, Amy, was also part of the family.  We were living in a three-bedroomed converted stone barn known as Upper Barn in the village of Harberton, a few miles west of Totnes, Devon, South-West England. A lovely tranquil home in a very tranquil village; population 300 persons.

I had my two wonderful sisters, Corinne and Rhona, from my father’s first marriage, living within short distances. My  work, home-based, involved offering entrepreneurial mentoring to local business owners, and my wife and I had a wonderful local network of good friends. Indeed, in the last months of 2006 I had been working with a professional psychotherapist, Jon, as he was expanding his client base from individuals to working within companies. And Pharaoh had been in the family since 2003!  It seemed about as perfect as it could be for me.

December 20th, 2006 was the fiftieth anniversary of my father’s death. I could never settle into the pre-Christmas mood until after the 20th December each year and this anniversary day seemed more poignant than ever. I had missed my father since the day he had died in 1956.

As it happened, that same day Julie seemed off-colour. She was frequently in the bathroom during the day and, naturally, I was concerned. Towards the end of the day I asked what was troubling her. Julie replied that she had had a miscarriage earlier that afternoon.  A year after my son and daughter had been born to my first wife in 1972/1973, I had opted to have a vasectomy! Julie’s miscarriage was not of my making.

I won’t go into the details of how my life exploded but will just say that it was traumatic in every way imaginable.

In desperation, a few weeks into the New Year of 2007, I called my psychotherapist business client, Jon, and begged him to take me on as his client.  He was initially uncertain, stating that we already had a relationship, but agreed on the understanding that if he thought the counselling relationship wasn’t properly established then he would ask me not to continue working with him. Of course, I agreed.

I want to offer what has been written elsewhere by me, explaining what happened in my fourth counselling session with Jon back in 2007. Clearly my memory of what was said can’t be word perfect but the essence of the dialogue is accurate.

“Paul, when we had our first session and I asked you to relate the key life events that came to you, the first event you spoke of was the death of your father. Tell me more about that time of your life.”

“I don’t have clear memories of my father much before he died that year. He was a lot older than my mother, some eighteen years, and I had been the product of a liaison between them; my father being married at the time. They met when they were both members of an amateur orchestra in London during the height of the Second World War. My father had had two daughters with his wife and longed for a son. I came along just six months before the end of the war.”

I paused for a few moments, sensing how dipping back to that December in 1956 was making me feel uncomfortable.

“I had turned twelve-years-old in early November 1956. Just finished my first term at Grammar School. To be honest, I can’t recall when my father became ill and how long he had been bed-ridden. But on the evening of December 19th, after I had kissed my father goodnight and jumped into my bed next door, my mother came in, closed my bedroom door, sat on the edge of my bed and told me that my father was very ill and that he may not live for much longer.

It clearly didn’t register with me at any significant emotional level because I went off to sleep without any problem. But when I awoke in the morning, Mum told me that my father had died during the night, the family doctor had attended and my father’s body had been removed from the house.”

Jon looked at me and quietly asked, “What feelings do you have about that night and that morning?”

“To be honest, Jon, I have an almost complete absence of feelings. I’ve often tried to discover what I truly felt at the time or, indeed, what I feel all these years later. But the best I have ever been able to come up with is that I was never able to say goodbye. In fact, because it was decided that it would be too upsetting for me, I wasn’t even present at the funeral and cremation, thus reinforcing my sense of not saying goodbye to my father.”

There was a pause before Jon asked his next question. “So, Paul, you have a son and a daughter. What are their ages?”

“My son, Alex, is now thirty-five and my daughter, Maija, thirty-four.”

Jon put his hands together fingers-to-fingers and lent his chin against them. “So your son would have been twelve in 1984. That was when you were very busy running your own business, if I recall.”

I nodded in reply.

“So Paul, let’s say that during that year of 1984 you had been diagnosed with some terminal illness, say cancer, as with your father. That you were given a life expectancy of six months or so. What thoughts come to mind?”

“Jon, you mean in the sense of what it would have meant for Alex and Maija?”

Jon nodded.

“Wow, what a truly terrible thing to reflect upon. But what comes to mind without doubt is that I would have walked away from my business immediately. After all, it very soon wasn’t going to be my business. My kids were still living at home, of course. I would have wanted to share every minute of my life with them. Try to let them understand as much about me, who I was, what I believed in, what made Paul Handover the person he was.”

Jon almost breathed the next question into the air of the room. “Translate the circumstances of the death of your father across to your son. What I mean by that is Alex experiencing the same circumstances from your death. What’s your reaction to that situation, admittedly hypothetical situation, thank goodness?”

I reacted with an immediate passion. “To know that I was terminally ill and to keep that from my son and daughter; that’s terrible, no it’s disgusting. Then to compound it by having everything associated with my death and the disposal of my body denied to Alex and Maija …..,” I left the sentence unfinished before adding, “It’s cruel beyond description. My poor children wouldn’t have a clue as to why they were excluded from what is, whether or not one agrees with it, one of life’s most important moments.”

Jon seemed to hold my anger in the room all about us, as he asked, “How would you reword your last sentences in the manner of a headline; in just a few words?”

I hardly hesitated. “The word that comes to mind is rejection. Alex and Maija, aged twelve and eleven, losing their father in a way that suggested they weren’t important. Yes, that’s it. They would see it as a total rejection of them by their father. Not unreasonably, I might add.”

There was a silence in the room that seemed to go on forever. Then Jon said, “Paul, we are not quite up to the hour but I’m going to suggest you just sit here quietly with Pharaoh and let yourself out when you are confident of being OK to drive home.”

He added, almost as an afterthought, “Just let today settle itself into your consciousness just however it wants to. Don’t force your thoughts either way, neither dwelling on today nor preventing thoughts naturally coming to the surface of your mind. As we have discussed before, pay attention to your dreams. Maybe have a notebook by your bedside so you can jot down what you have been dreaming about. I’ll see you next Friday same time, if that’s alright with you.”

When a crossroads is neither a roadway, nor a choice of pathways, when that crossroads is in our minds, we seldom know it’s there or that we’ve made the choice to take one path and not the other until it’s long past. Sometimes, the best you can do is look for the tiniest clues as to which path one has taken in life and where one is really heading.

I had read that in a book quite recently although, typically, could no longer remember the name of the said book. It had spoken to me in a way that I couldn’t fathom, but of sufficient strength and clarity for me to jot it down on a sheet of paper. I had been sorting papers out on my desk on the Sunday following that last session with Jon when I came across the sheet. The words hammered at me again, but in a way that was now so much more full of meaning than the first time around.

Because, to my very great surprise, my nights’ sleeps on Friday and Saturday had not only been dream free but had taken me to a place of such sweet contentment that it was almost as though I had been reborn. Alright, perhaps reborn was a little over the top, but there was no question that I was in an emotional place quite unlike anything I could ever before recall. Almost as if for the first time in my life I truly liked who I was.

On the Sunday morning, after I had taken Pharaoh over to the woods for our regular walk, I called in on Corinne and shared a cup of tea with her. As I was leaving, Corinne asked me if I was alright. In querying why she had asked, Corinne simply said, “Oh, I don’t know. There’s something different about you today that I can’t put my finger on. A happiness about you that I haven’t seen in ages, possibly never seen in you.”

I gave my sister a long and deep hug and gently said, “I miss our father at times, don’t you?”

She answered, “Oh, I miss him too, miss him so much at times. He was such a wonderful, gentle man who lived for his children. Then to die at such a young age.”

As the week rolled by, I found a truth that had been denied me for the whole of my life. I couldn’t wait to share it with Jon. As I drove across to Torquay, I was full of what I wanted to say.

Jon could tell that I was fit to burst. Indeed, I had hardly sat down on the chair when Jon asked me how my week had gone.

“Jon, It’s been an amazing week. I’ve at last understood some fundamental aspects of my life.”

“That sounds wonderful, Paul, do tell me more.”

“Well, it’s this. I have now realised the emotional consequences of the way my father’s death was handled. In other words, what became hidden deep in my subconscious, far from sight, so to speak, was a belief of having been emotionally rejected. That despite that being so far down in my subconscious world, it clearly explained two conscious ways in which I behave.”

Jon’s demeanour, his wonderful listening demeanour, encouraged me to continue. “The first thing that came to me was the reason why I have been so unfortunate in my relationships with women. Well this is how I figured it out. Whenever a woman took a shine to me, I would do anything and everything to come over as a potentially attractive spouse. In other words, I was being driven by a terrible fear of rejection, rather than rationally wondering if this woman had the potential to be a woman I would love as a wife. Ergo, I oversold myself and, inevitably, made poor long-term relationships; Julie being the classic example.”

I paused and took a sip from the glass of water that was on the small table by my side.

“But the positive aspect of my fear of rejection is that throughout the whole of my business and professional life, I have been successful. Because, I have always put the feelings of the other person above my own as a means of avoiding rejection. Jon, I can’t tell you what a release this has been for me.”

“Paul, that’s a fabulous example of how when we really get to know the person we are, how it then gives us a psychological freedom, a freedom to be the person we truly are, to be happy with ourselves.”

He continued, “One thing I should mention is this. It’s likely that what happened to you back in December 1956 is not necessarily ‘hard-wired’ but certainly is a very deep-rooted emotional aspect of who you are. This new-found awareness will be of huge value to you but that sensitivity to rejection is not going to disappear; probably never will. The difference is that you are now aware of it and quite quickly you will spot the situations, as they are happening, that stir up those ancient feelings. The difference is this new self-awareness will deliver a much deeper emotional understanding of who you are and why you behave in the way you do.”

There was a wonderful sense of peace and calm in the room that ran on for some minutes.

Then Jon just voiced what seemed like the perfect closing thought. “Paul, this mindfulness you have so beautifully revealed is wonderful. You do know you are fine, don’t you!”

I was motivated to reveal these details of my past by what Sue wrote in her recent post Cracking our Inner Shells. She included these words:

Sometimes we have to go within to the silent places we all have in order to find out what is really going on with our emotional bodies. Even knowing all the things I do, we are within our Human form to learn and grow..

I needed to ask myself a few questions as to why I was feeling so lost, depressed and sad… More was going on than just bereavement. Yes the fall I had had,both bruised and shook me, but what else was shaking me to the core?

For those who know a little about my Soul Journey, You will also know that my own Mother and I had not spoken for 10 years prior to her passing some eleven years ago now….Despite many attempts I knew I was only wounding myself more by continually trying to bridge the rift, to be continually rejected.. So this rejection and other issues related to overwork and stress, resulted in a Nervous Breakdown in my mid forties..

So when my Mother died, while I was sad, I guess I never really grieved her loss. Because to me.. I had grieved her long before her death as lost to me.. As I had had to shut down my emotions to cope with her rejection.. I had undergone counselling within my breakdown, and my Mother jumped up at every dark corner of why even in my teens I had suffered from deep depression.

We often go through whole chapters of our lives creating a protective shell around ourselves because we need it in order to heal from some early trauma. I know I had built many such Layers of shell around myself from various experiences over the years..

I recommend you read Sue’s post in full.

But more than that, I recommend that if you have any sense of there being hidden parts of your consciousness that would be better brought to the light, then you involve a professional counsellor or psychotherapist. For the reward will be beyond measure.

As mine was.

For on December 14th, 2007 I first met Jean when invited to San Carlos in Mexico for the Christmas period by Suzann and Don Reeves; Suzann being the sister of my very long-term Californian friend Dan Gomez.

Jean and I have now known each other for over seven years and have been married for over four years. I love her beyond imagination. Because I can reveal to Jean the strange, quirky, often fragile person that I am. And I am loved for who I am by Jean.

6th January, 2008. Jean and me on a beach in Mexico.
6th January, 2008. Jean and me on a beach in Mexico.

This is the poem I wrote for Jean for this Valentine’s Day just gone.

What’s in a number?

Numbers spell out so much.

From a year of birth,
To a year of death,
From a chance event,
To a predictable breath.

Numbers spell out so much more.

From the day that we met,
To the year we were joined,
From the day we married,
To this day of love today.

So many days of happiness.

Yet numbers that spill beyond the digits.

For they are reflections of times a past,
And they are beacons of our lives,
Numbers that carry so much meaning,
To places so far beyond their count.

Yet today there is a number,
A number that carries all thoughts of love,
Almost endless thoughts of love from me to you,
Two little figures that say seventy-four.

For seventy-four months ago,
This very day,
I met you,
And you met me.

I loved you so soon,

Loved you so well.

And still do.

If you have read this far then well done!🙂 If only one person has been touched by my experiences then that is wonderful.

I shall close by publishing a paragraph towards the end of Sue’s blog post.

Only you can know the how’s and why’s of your life. The answers that you seek can be found when you start answering your own questions, Sometimes we have to get a little lost in order to find oneself again.. But the journey in finding oneself is all part of our Earth Journey.

All of you take very good care of yourself.