Friday, February 24, 2012

Peace Begins with a Smile- Mother Teresa

I found another article featuring a slideshow of animals smiling. They must be on to something.

If you've caught your animal smiling, send me a picture and we can create our own slideshow to be featured on my blog.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why We Love the Animals in Our Lives

Today's a day that we set aside to express our feelings to those we love. When I was thinking about writing a blog post for today, I was going to find a story about an animal sharing the healing power of love. But then I realized, our animals show us that healing love 365 days of the year (or 366 days in the case of leap years).

So instead I asked my friends and family to share why they love their animals and these are the responses I got:
Christopher:  Perfect song
Amanda V's adorable dog

Amanda V.: They always know how to make you smile!

Jim: Unconditional love!

Gabe: They don't over analyze things like humans do. They live life simply.

Amanda G.: My dogs were both adopted and they know they got a second chance. They cuddle and take care of each other. I just love them so much. Russel is really old and Ringo is younger, but sometimes he'll go up to check on Russel. And Russel can't hear anymore so when it's time to eat or go out Ringo will go and get him. So sweet!

Michelle M.'s Bunny and Cat, who are sometimes friends
Michelle M.: They are so simple-minded. Makes them great companions to de-stress with!

Sharon: The way they look at you after you've had a long day. The smiling face and wagging tail, like everything is going to be okay! Also, they always think you're the coolest most amazing person in the entire world, no matter what!

Juanita: I love them cuz they love you with out questions and/or conditions. Love you Joy (my shi-tzu poodle friend)

Michelle H.'s cat aptly named Trouble
Andrew's dog , Thor, looking dapper

Alexa: Whatever you do, they're excited about it. If it's sitting on the sofa all day, fantastic. If it's a hike through the Denali wilderness, fantastic. If it's a long car ride, fantastic. If it's a day on the computer reading reddit, fantastic. Also, they, like small children, don't care who you are outside of the house, what other people think of you, what your job is or how much money you have. It's beyond unconditional love, to uncomplicated love. Love that just is. But, I really like that a nice day in a dog's mind involves playing fetch, a car ride, a walk and time curled up on the sofa.

Michelle H.: My kitten trains me :)

: I love him because he's way more loyal than any human.

Erin: There's nothing better than waking up in the morning to find the warm, soft little body of cat next to you.

Patricia: They're much more interesting to talk to than people and they don't watch Fox News.

Amy: They show me what it really means to love unconditionally.

Kim: No matter how bad your day has been, when you come home they are there waiting for you and instantly make you smile =)

Carol's two sweethearts
Debra: Because the love that they give to us every day is so unconditional. They expect absolutely nothing from us but give us all that they have.

Carol: Just look at these two... how can you not love them?

Juice Baby, who loves the sink
almost as much as he loves Matthew
Matthew: The way he thinks he can protect me from dogs, humans, or even coyotes, but when the going gets tough he hides under the bed. The way he knows if you're sick or sad and the best medicine is for him to curl up next to you and he gives you plenty of kisses. The way he makes sure to clean your face so you never walk out the door with a dirty face. The way he jumps right in the engine compartment or interior of my car to see if he can help with anything. The way he rushes to the door to see you off to work or when you come home. How he shows he's grateful for water with a kiss on the cheek. How he makes sure you are never alone. Because he comes home after a long day of being free out in the "wild". That's why I love him and I know he loves me...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dewey Readmore Books

February's book focuses on love; the love of one cat for an entire town and the town's love for that cat.

The cat's name is Dewey, to be more specific Dewey Readmore Books and the town is Spencer, Iowa.
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
By Vicki Myron with Bret Witter

Dewey's story begins when he was found in the library's book drop box on the coldest day of the year. He arrived at a difficult time for the town of Spencer; a time when people were faced with the decision to give up their family's land and completely start over somewhere else or continue to hope that things will turn around (and hopefully soon).

Vicki Myron, who found Dewey on that fateful day wrote:
I don't want to make too much of this one turn of events, because Dewey didn't put food on anyone's table. He didn't create jobs. He didn't turn our economy around. But one of the worst things about bad times is the effect on your mind. Bad times drain you of energy. They taint everything in your life. Bad news is as poisonous as bad bread. At the very least, Dewey was a distraction.

As you read the book, you learn that Dewey is much more than a distraction though. Somehow, Dewey seemed to find the people that needed him the most. He made a connection with people and somehow was able to make everyone feel special.
...Dewey jumped into their laps. That's when I saw the smiles. It wasn't just that Dewey sat with them for ten or fifteen minutes; it was that he had singled them out for special attention. By the end of his first year, dozens of patrons were telling me, "I know Dewey likes everyone, but I have a special relationship with him."

The book takes you through all 19 years of Dewey's life and his "special" relationship with several people in the town including Crystal, a girl in a wheelchair, a little boy allergic to cats, and a homeless man. Even though Dewey never left the library (except once) his story includes people from other towns in Iowa, other cities in the United States, and even people in the country of Japan.

Of course his most special relationship was with Vicki, his "mom", the one that discovered him in the library drop box. Dewey was able to help heal some of her wounds.
Somehow Dewey knew when I needed a little nudge or a warm body, and he knew when the best thing for me was a stupid, mindless game of hid-and-seek. And whatever I needed, he'd give me, without thought, without wanting something in return, and without me asking.

Ever since I finished reading this book, I've been thinking about Rocky and Boaz (my cat and dog) a little differently. I'm learning to treasure my relationship with each of them; loving them just a little bit more. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World,  touched me.
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