A LIFE WITHOUT A DOG IS A LIFE WITHOUT A SOUL

A LIFE WITHOUT A DOG IS A LIFE WITHOUT A SOUL

Saturday, October 22, 2016

DEEP THOUGHTS FROM A DOG



If you let me drive, I will let you stick your head out the window.

I chase my tail because it is always sneaking up on me.

I only eat one shoe or one sock because I like to save the other one for later.

I know if I stand under you in the kitchen – sooner or later you will drop some food – crumbs count.

I have a feeling about everyone who visits our home and if you watch carefully you will see it in my body language and my eyes and I am always right.

If you stuff my Kong with cookies and cheese I will wash the windows with my tongue.

I did not sleep under the sheets when you were out but I am wondering if you would consider flannel because I found the cotton a bit flimsy.

If you take me to the park I will show you how to make new friends. It starts with smelling stranger’s butts and it only gets better from there.






Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, G+ - I am all over the place - give it a break - will ya?

I am tired of walking around naked all the time so I try on your clothes while you are at work.

I know you told me not to use the computer but I haven't had a date in I don't know how long so I went onto a dating site and created a fake profile for myself and then I went onto another dating site and created a fake profile for you. Let's see who gets lucky first. 

I know when you are sad and I know when you are happy and when you are sad I am sad and when you are happy I am happy.

I know you saved me and I will spend the rest of my life saving you.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

TAKE A CHANCE ON A DOG



We take chances every day. Actually we take chances every second of every day - we just don't realize it and we therefore do not always weigh the consequences.

We take chances in allowing ourselves to fall in love for the first time. We are vulnerable and we let someone into our deepest, darkest secrets and share with them the most intense of intimacies - love making.





Many people believe that life is but a chance. It may sound Shakespearean but think about it... how many times has something happened to you that seemed like less than a coincidence? Maybe it all is one big chance sort of like leaping over a large puddle between the corner of the street and the road and you either end up in a smash landing or you make it safe and dry onto the sidewalk.

It's sometimes good to take chances because in taking them we change the path we are on and turn onto something new and refreshing and we even discover a part of ourselves that had been hidden or lost. Other times we take chances and well, we don't do so well with them but at least we tried.

When we were young, we constantly took chances - we were the greatest "risk takers" ever. That's because we were curious and we were doing most things for the first time. It's exhilarating and scary all at once to take a chance and to do something new. Chances help us learn. We learn what it feels like to fail and what it feels like to succeed. We take chances again and again no matter how many times things do not turn out as planned.

Sometimes we find ourselves asking a friend, "Should I take that chance?" Although usually when we are asking we already know how much of a chance we are willing to take.

Here's a little story for you about "Chance". Many years ago, a friend of mine (let's call him Harry)was driving to his cottage on a snowy, winter's night. He was on a dark road and the snow began to fall heavily, so much so that there was barely any visibility. He had a choice, he could either continue driving and take a chance of possibly having an accident or he could stop by the side of the road and wait the storm out. As he was pondering this decision, he saw a parking lot on his left. He recognized the abandoned property as a former B&B that his parents took him to when he was little for the best banana and chocolate chip pancakes.

He parked and chose to get out of his car and seek shelter under the awning at the front of the building. Once he was there, he chose to see if the front door was unlocked and it was so he crept inside lighting his way with his cell phone.

There was a ghastly stench of must and rotted food. He could see the breakfast benches and dining room had pretty much remained intact. Suddenly he felt something run by his feet and then he saw it moving under a table. He had a choice, he could run like hell and get back to the safety of his car or he could beam his flashlight app from his phone under the table.

He bent down and found a dog, his fur matted, his leg cut and bleeding, shivers running through him and no tags. He had a choice, he could leave the dog there and not bother with him or he could carry him out to his car. He chose to take the dog with him. He carefully lifted him and carried him in his arms. The snow had subsided and the road was clearly visible. He placed the dog in the back seat and put the heat on full blast. Then he got in the back seat and covered the dog with a blanket and held him close. The dog was shivering and short of breath. Harry hoped that he was not going to die in his arms but if he did, at least he would not die alone.

Within 30 minutes or so, the dog was almost completely respondent and sitting up placing his muzzle into Harry's neck. He was leaning his entire weight into Harry's side and he moved toward his face and gave him a big, wet kiss. Harry drove off and they arrived at his cottage shortly thereafter. Once the house was lit up and warmed by a crackling fire, Harry placed the dog in the bath tub and gave him a good scrub down, dried him and bandaged his cut. Then the dog suddenly appeared in his entirety and Harry was able to recognize that he was some variation of a Golden Retriever. He had chocolate brown eyes, a coat that looked like it has been sprinkled with brown sugar and a tail disproportionatally large for his body. His left eye was partially splashed with a white blaze that made its way down to his nose.

Throughout the next week Harry visited all the local shelters, police stations and posted signs but no one called to reclaim the dog. Harry felt badly for whomever had lost him but it seemed more likely he had been purposely left out in the snow to fend for himself. It didn't take long at all for Harry and the dog to grow closer. He decided to name the dog and in doing so to recognize that this was now his dog and his dog only.

He named him "Chance" because that's what he initially was - a chance that Harry decided to take. And for the "Chance" that choice saved his life.

I would have taken that chance - would you?

It's hard to say what chances we will or won't take because as much as we think we weigh the consequences, we are actually quite impulsive when our emotions are in play and when another "being" is part of the chance, it's all about emotion in the end.

I am all for taking chances. Most of life adventures have come my way because of the chances I have taken. I'm not afraid of losing because no matter how many times I do, it's the winning that brings me back to chance time and time again.

Chances...take them, don't take them, but never underestimate them because in doing so you are underestimating yourself. And who knows? There may just be a goofy, brown sugared Retriever out there waiting for you to take that chance.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

STUFF I TELL MY DOG



I talk to my dog all the time – in private and in public.

He is an excellent listener although easily distracted by squirrels, trucks and women – he is quite the Casanova.

I talk to him a lot before going to bed at night in the darkness when all of the sad / scary moments of my life past and present tend to creep up on me.

I tell him my fears – of being alone forever – of my chronic illness getting worse – of losing my last living parent.

I repeat the story of how we met at the shelter where I was volunteering. I arrived to walk as many dogs as possible – giving them a break from noise and discomfort. There you were being chased in circles and humped by a larger dog – all of your 12 lbs beneath a hefty 20+. I placed the other dog behind the reception desk and I picked you up and carried you around until you calmed down.

From that moment on you followed me throughout my shift. If my back was to you - you tugged at my shirt with your teeth and if I sat down you were in my lap within seconds. 

You were clearly telling me that I was not to leave the shelter without you. So I decided to foster you for the weekend as I had done with other dogs.





You turned out to be a “keeper” and a wonderful, warm gift. I saved you and you saved me.


I also talk to him about the other dogs I have had in my life and how much I miss them and how difficult it was to say goodbye.

 I think of each and every one of my dogs every day. I remember all of the wonderful walks, talks, adventures and all the love we shared in their way too short lifetimes.

Sometimes I tell him something funny or disturbing that happened in a given day and I talk to him about the upcoming weekend and all that we are going to do together.

I always tell him if a holiday is coming up that will lengthen our weekend and time together.

I ask him if he has friends over while I am at work or if he heads out and goes shopping for kongs and rawhide. 

There’s this magical moment that often occurs when I am talking to him. He looks me right in the eye as if he understands everything and he is so thankful for that moment we are sharing together.



"Whisky - you are my Saturday night, my New Year’s Eve, my weekend, my co-pilot – you are my everything and walking through life without you would be like walking through life without my soul".






What stuff do you tell your dog?






Saturday, October 1, 2016

I AM A SHELTER DOG AND THIS IS MY STORY




My name is Charlie.

I am a Retriever mix and an all around nice guy.

I wasn't always alone.

I had a family.

They bought me from a pet store when I was 4 months old and took me home and raised me and provided me with love and comfort.

I lived with them for 4 years and I loved them very much.

Three weeks ago my mother started to cry and continued to do so most nights before bed. I tried my best to comfort her but to no avail. Something was up but I had no way of understanding how it would affect me and how fast it was coming down.

Then that weekend came when they put all of our belonging in boxes. My mother and father were talking loud to one another and seemed distant. 

We went for lots of car rides from our house to another place that did not smell like our house. It was smaller and my bed was no longer in the corner of the living room by the window. My stuff wasn't anywhere.

Then it happened. My brothers and sisters kissed and hugged me goodbye and begged their parents for something but not the way they begged for candy or a friend to sleep over. It had to do with me because they surrounded me and tried to protect me.

My last car ride with my parents was to a noisy, smelly place where dogs were barking and yelping. I sensed sadness. I sensed an ending.


My parents had a long talk with a lady who gave off tired, sad vibes. She smelled the same as the place. My parents filled out some paperwork. My mother could not stop crying. I leaned against her and tried to comfort her but all she could do was hug me and kiss me - my father the same and then they were gone.

I was escorted to a small room and some guy came in and examined me. He was nice but he was short on time and also seemed ill at ease.

Then he brought me into a large room where there were all these other dogs - big - small - barking - howling - terribly unhappy.

I was placed in this pen - basically a tiny space with a dirty old bed and a water bowl and a gate blocking me from leaving.

One minute I was in the car with my parents and the next I was behind bars.

I was completely confused and felt this must be a horrible mistake and my parents would be coming back for me but hours turned into days and no sign of the people who had been my only family.

I reflected on the past few weeks trying to figure out if I had done something terribly wrong to deserve to be left at the shelter. I had destroyed a couch pillow one day out of boredom. I had barked at a stranger who was walking up and down our street late at night and that awoke my dad. I hadn't really done anything else that I could think of and I always made sure to go up to my mom and push my head into her chest and kiss her cheek whenever I was bad. 

I don't feel like myself here. I only get to go on two short walks - one in the morning and one at dinner time and the person walking me is usually on his phone the entire time. I don't get to go off leash and run around in the park and I am rarely hugged or kissed or even looked in the eye.

I don't get to play with the other dogs. We are all kept separate. I guess there is a reason for that but it is unfortunate because we are all in the same situation and could probably provide comfort and friendship to one another.

I wonder if they had families too and how they ended up here. 

I really want to go home. I want to feel the sun on my face and I want to breathe fresh air. I want to sleep in my bed and wake up jumping all over my parents - so excited to share another day with them. I want to lay next to my mom while she watches TV and pats my head. I want to go with my dad in the car to pick up burgers.

I can only hope that tomorrow will be better than today.

------------------------3 weeks later-------------------

I woke up this morning and there was this woman on her knees observing me. She was talking to me in a low comforting voice. I am not sure what she was saying but the intonation was friendly and inviting.

She left and came back with the guy who gives me my food. The best part was that he was holding a leash which meant I was going for a walk.

They both went outside with me and they were talking a lot and looking at me. We walked to a nearby park and they sat on a bench while I breathed in the fresh air and gathered as much as I could from all the action around me. I had forgotten what it was to be curious because I had not been stimulated in a while. I was so enjoying watching the kids play and the birds and squirrels. 

We walked back to the shelter and the guy went inside and me and the woman sat outside. She started talking to me. It sounded reassuring and positive although I did not know what she meant.

Then she walked me up to the same reception desk where my parents had abandoned me.

She also filled out paperwork and talked a lot to the lady there - I was sad to return to the shelter - I could not stand the smell or feel of it any longer and I really felt like giving up but then something wonderful happened.

The woman gave me a hug and a kiss and she walked me out of the shelter and into her car. She spoke in a high, excited, captivating voice and she kept kissing me and petting me.

We ended up at her house - I knew it was hers because I already knew her smell and the house had the same scent plus a million more - 

She already had a food and water bowl for me in the kitchen and lots of toys including a few jumbo Kongs filled with cookies.

I had this feeling I was not going back to the shelter and that was confirmed when she invited me onto the couch to watch TV. I wasn't sure if I would be able to trust a human again after having been abandoned by what I thought was my permanent family; but I had a good feeling about her and so I chose to open up my heart and my mind.

That night we went for a walk around the neighbourhood. We stopped to talk to lots of nice people and they all knelt down and introduced themselves to me. 

Then we returned home and although I had a bed set up on the floor - she invited me to sleep in her bed. So I hopped up and we cuddled and she kissed my head and I knew everything was going to be alright.

I guess there is a reason for everything.

I realize I am lucky that I was saved from the shelter while other dogs were stuck there behind bars.

I will forever be thankful to my new mom. I will love her everyday and be there for her when she is sad or confused or scared. I will put her above and beyond everything in my life because I am a dog and that is what I do.



                                       
    My first shelter dog - Buddy - adopted him at 4 months and he blessed my life for 13 years.


                         SAVE A DOG AND A DOG WILL SAVE YOU









Other blogs by Lisa Audrey Cohen      www.lifeisyourstory.com









Friday, September 30, 2016

A DOG FOR EVERY MOMENT OF MY LIFE


For every moment of my life there has been a dog by my side.

Every laugh, every tear.

The moments I saw coming and the ones I could never see coming.

The relationships I thought would last forever that did not last at all.

The accomplishments and the failures.

The beginning - the middle and the end.

The cold snowy days.

The warm summer days.

The leaves falling.

The birth of a child.

The death of a parent.

The days I could not get out of bed.

The nights I could not sleep.

The times I tried to change and start over just to find myself in the same place again.

The times I fell in love.

The times I fell out of love.

The many different lives I have lived thus far in this one life.

All of it - every moment - everything lost - everything gained

               
There has been a dog by my side.

Better than any friend or relative.

A love that surpasses all love.

Eyes that sparkle and eventually fade leaving my soul vacant and nothing but a collar in my hand.

But knowing - that for every moment of my life 

There has been and there always will be... 

                                   A DOG




               R.I.P. Gainey - you will forever be by my side







Saturday, September 24, 2016

SAYING GOODBYE TO YOUR DOG



Dogs are incredible souls.

They are gifts.

We don’t have them for long but while we do have them they bless and enrich our lives. They love us from the time we bring them home until the light leaves their eyes and we become so accustomed to having them around that without them our lives become silent and empty.


                                                    Buster (2007-2010) F*ck Cancer

Dogs don’t care if you are fat or skinny, old or young, having a really bad hair day or if you are rich or poor.

They just love you.

They miss you the second you leave the house and they are there to greet you the second you open the door.

They think that the greatest thing in the whole wide world (aside from rawhide) is spending time with you.

They are funny not knowing they are funny and not meaning to be funny.

They each have their own unique personalities and traits. Some like to eat your socks, others your shoes, some bark, some talk and others hump the couch but it seems no matter what they do or destroy, your love for them grows and grows.

A dog is the best kind of friend.

They listen, they don’t talk back, they remain neutral when you are discussing an incident, they let you make your own decisions, they stay by your side when you are sick or sad or both, they give freely of their affection including mega-kisses and they always want to play with you.

They know your deepest darkest secrets. They have seen everything. They protect and guard you and they watch you even when you don’t realize they are watching you.

There’s a light, a sparkle, in their eyes that remains brightly lit. They are forever curious and compassionate and they accept and love you always.

You love your dog and when the time comes for his/her journey to end whether it is prematurely from Cancer or late in their lives from age, you honour and respect them by doing what is best for them - not for you.

For anyone who has held their dog in their arms through his/her very last breaths, you know that there is nothing quite as painful, hurtful and grueling as letting them go.

You would do anything to extend their lives and wish you could keep them forever and ever but they are precious beings that sprinkle some magic ferry dust upon our existence and eventually that dust blows away and goes to a far better place.

Saying goodbye to your dog is the only negative factor in the otherwise over the top love fest that grabs you by the hand and pulls you onto the floor for the dance of a lifetime.



It sways and jives around and around in a warm wonderful circle that makes our lives whole and teaches us about love and how much of it we are capable of giving and sharing.

WHERE DO DOGS GO WHEN THEY DIE?


I have lost 4 dogs in my lifetime. I can’t convey the pain, the loss, the feeling of hopelessness but I can tell you that through this devastation, I became a believer. Actually I became a crusader. I prayed that some kind of Dog Heaven (such as Rainbow Bridge) existed; I proclaimed it the best place on earth where the most incredible souls roamed – a place too sacred and spiritual for those of human form.





One of the things that stuck with me after my dogs were gone was who will take care of them and how will they make it to wherever they go next? After all dogs need to be cared for their entire lives, they don’t grow up and move out and start a life of their own. 

I decided to Google "Doggie Heaven" and “Rainbow Bridge” and I read all this great stuff that other believers had written. Many were keeping in touch with their dogs as if they were skyping with them from earth. They imagined their dogs in this magical, beautiful place where they are eternally young, happy and healthy. All they do is play, eat and sleep ;much like they did here on earth.

I think dogs do deserve their own heaven but at the same time I selfishly wonder whether I will ever be granted a temporary pass so I can see my boys one last time.

I can’t live on rainbows or on stars and I can’t wake up and find my departed dogs by my bedside. I can’t bring them for a run in the woods or a swim in the lake and I can’t admire them from the couch as they sleep on their backs with their legs in the air.

 All I can do is close my eyes and remember their faces and hope that never fades.

I believe in rainbows, I believe in bridges that connect us to the souls we loved in our lifetimes, I believe my dogs miss me as much as I miss them and that if I write their names in the sky, they will see and know I haven’t forgotten them.

What do you believe?



10 THINGS YOUR DOG DOES WHILE YOU ARE AT WORK


10 has sex with various shaped pillows

9 invites friends over to watch Game of Thrones on Netflix

8 tries on your clothes (because he is sick and tired of walking around naked all the time)

7 farts something so awful even he has to clear the room

6 logs onto your  computer for doggy online dating and creates a completely fictitious profile

5 logs onto your computer for YOUR online dating and creates a completely fictitious profile

4 sleeps then awakes at the thought of applying to college and doing something with his life but then realizes that would mean less sleep so forgets about it and goes back to sleep

3 updates his profile on LinkedIn so he can get a job and buy a new Kong

2 unmakes the bed and rubs himself all over the sheets and thinks it's funny

And the #1 THING YOUR DOG DOES WHILE YOU ARE AT WORK:


perfects his “IT WASN'T ME” face for when you walk through the door 



                                         Whisky's "I did not do it" face (it works every time).






WHAT DOES YOUR DOG DO WHEN YOU ARE AT WORK?

YOUR DOG IS ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU


Your dog is there for you
Not sometimes
Not maybe
Not never
But always

He waits for you
He watches you
He is your best friend

And when you are alone
Living alone
A marriage or relationship in the past
Your dog is your present
Your dog is your future

He is your Saturday night date
Your excuse that is not an excuse
For just staying home

He will watch your favorite TV show
He will listen to your ongoing commentary
He will tilt his head and do his best to understand
Whatever dribble is coming from your mouth



                                              R.I.P. Buster 



He will want to share all of the moments of his life
With all the moments of yours
And then he will want more
More than time can give
In the short life he lives

A dog is a gift
He comes and goes
He teaches you to love life
To love unconditionally
To love him
To love yourself
Even if you feel no one else does

There are no stronger feelings
Than those between a dog and his owner
You can say your children
But many will tell you
Their children grow up and move out
Their children start lives of their own

But your dog never starts a life of his own
He only lives one life and that entire life is with you

A dog won’t notice if you gain weight
Or if your hair turns grey
He won’t notice if you can’t fit into your old jeans
Or if your chin doubles

He will sense if you are sad
He will sense if you are lost
Always helping you find your way
Back to yourself

He will have you under his watch
From the moment you meet until the moment you part
Giving you the greatest, purest taste of love
A constant reminder of what we are here for

So kiss your dog
And if he is gone
Think of him
And he will know you are thinking of him
For he is all around you
Making sure you never forget
What love is

And one day
You will be side by side

And he will greet you
As if you went out for groceries
And finally came home

It will be a celebration
Of an unbreakable bond
That flows between you and him
And dances beyond the clouds
Drifts through the sky
And joins you in an everlasting waltz




I AM YOUR DOG AND THIS IS WHAT I KNOW


I know you love me more than you love yourself.

I know that you think of me all day when you are at work and I am at home thinking about you.

I know you would skip a weeknight out because I have been alone all day and weeknights are for me and you.

I know that if I wait on the floor beneath your chair that sooner or later you will drop some food and I will grab it and gobble it down before you can take it away from me.

I know all of your pain and have counted all of your teardrops and I don't like anyone who has hurt you or anyone who may hurt you.

I know you made sacrifices when you rescued me and that you gave me a second chance.

I know that when you came to the shelter I noticed you right away and I wanted you to take me home.

I know that when you saw me in the shelter, you thought I was cute and you heard my story and you felt badly and as much as you wanted to save me you were concerned as to whether you would be the right parent/home for me but you decided to throw caution to the wind and take me with you instead of leaving me behind.


I know that I will be forever grateful for that and your most loyal, loving friend for as long as I live.

I know that I shed all over the place and you have to vacuum every day and wearing black is not a good idea even if you like to wear black.


                                      Buddy


I know that you like to see me first thing in the morning when you awake as much as I like to see you and I know that I wait for you to come home when you are away and it feels like a million years have passed and when you return it is quite simply the greatest thing ever.

I know that when you fill my Kong you fill it not only with cookies and cheese but with love.

I know that the day will come when we will have to part and that where I am going you cannot join me.

I know that I will watch over you and when you pass to the other side I will come and greet you if only for a moment to give you a kiss and thank you for the wonderful life you gave me and then I will return to Rainbow Bridge.

I know that one day we will find ourselves in another place and time. You will be walking along a long and winding country road amidst the fog and I will be there at the next turn and will run into your arms and you will hold me forever in a world where forever exists.

I know that I am in your heart and your soul as you are in mine and that our love began the moment you walked me out of that shelter into the fresh air and rays of the sun that I thought I may never feel again.

I know that you saved me and I know that I saved you.

And that is all I know.