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Living with an Old Dog: Every Moment a Blessing

This morning I thought my old girl, Ingrid, had died, and I was stunned as I tried to lift her head and leg and they just fell, heavy, onto the bed. I didn't even see her breathing. It felt as if there was no life in her body at all. I surrounded her with my body, thinking she was gone, calling her name.....and then she moved. :-'(. I thought, "this is the way I want you to leave," peacefully, without drama. Maybe she was practicing. I cried much of the morning. But she's still here....a blessing.

She turned 14 last week and quietly enjoyed a small birthday party attended by her two housemate dogs and three other dog friends.  She was subdued but enjoyed enough birthday treats to the point of vomiting them up onto the couch at midnight.  
She can no longer climb into the bed and anxiously paced back and forth along the foot board until I lifted all 50 pounds of her and she curled up and slept till morning.  On occasion I would awaken in the middle of the night to f…
Recent posts

God’s Covenant With Animals: Stewardship, Not Rule

What is our human responsibility to the earth and its non-human inhabitants?  Traditional Biblical scholars would say one of master-servant and ecologists would say one of caretaker.  However, using either frame, neither movement has responded in full view of the evidence presented throughout the Bible that God clearly included animals in covenantal relationships. With Biblical scholars neglecting  the sanctity of animals and secular environmentalists neglecting God.  A closer look at the Old Testament reveals that God designed humankind’s role in relation to the animals as one of stewardship rather than domination.  Traditionally religious people often cite  Scripure justify  a master/servant relationship between humans and animals  rather than one of partnership, but  deeper investigation invites us to see texts rich with references, both literal and figurative, to the partnership between humankind and the animal world.  From Genesis through Prophets and Wisdom Literature, the write…

Listen to the Message. Really Listen.

In the late 80s and early 90s, I was just beginning serious metaphysical work and simultaneously experiencing rough patches in my exterior life. In between jobs and desperate, I did a lot of Walter Mitty type fantasizing: thought I would go work on a reservation in South Dakota, move to a village in South Africa and live among lions, and if that didn't pan out, move back to NY and resume life as a starving poet.

 I was living in Coral Springs at the time, just having moved there from Delray Beach (I have lived all over South Florida).I was broke and finally using the Publix gift certificates that my friend had given me when I'd lost my last job (most generous gift and most humbling experience). In meditation,thinking I would see myself communing with the buffalo clan, I sought confirmation from the spiritual realm and received a very clear answer: SOUTH.

 Well, first I got pissed off that my intuition was clearly not working. Then I started laughing and threw it back to my guide…

Well, We All Shine On: Karmic Lessons from the Animals

“Well, I didn’t see that coming!”  “What goes around comes around.”  “I hope he gets what he deserves."      We can all identify with having uttered or heard these phrases after falling victim to someone’s ill intentions or witnessing an unprovoked self-serving or predatory act.  Every such action has more than one victim but we will likely not see the justice we crave in this lifetime. While we might want to even the score, we are better served by allowing the laws of karma to heal the effects naturally.  And that means, essentially, learning from our mistakes on higher levels, sometimes in future incarnations.      But we want it, and we want it now!       Sometimes we expect karma to engulf us like a huge wave, and as John Lennon said, knock us off our feet, forcing us to learn that pestering lesson once and for all. But a life outside of isolation doesn't always allow for such easy returns.  Usually   karma presents itself in more evolutionary ways, and in reality, it c…

Wings Bigger Than Ours

A client just wrote to me, upset for months over an incident with an injured baby bird.  It had fallen out of its next, and she took it home to care for it, hoping to return it to the nest when it recovered.  Such rescue is always an act of love.  She was feeding it and put it down for a moment, but that moment esalated like fast forward when her dog suddenly leaped, grabbed the bird, and killed it.  For months, the woman has been blaming herself, assuming responsibility for the bird's death.  She came to me for some clarity.
I didn't have to stretch to empathize wit her.   I have been in that position a number of times.  For years,  I was actively involved in Muscovy duck rescue, retrieving scared, injured, abused and victimized ducks from lakes, parking lots, streets.Once I took in an almost newborn duckling -- tiny and still yellow -- who had been abandoned and seemed to have a broken leg.  I called the president of the rescue group to ask for instructions on its care un…

Your Animals Came to You for a Reason

I just did a reading for a woman who wanted to know why the cat she and her family  adopted was so attracted and attached to her husband when they went to the pound to look for a new cat.  She said when they approached the glass window to view the available animals for adoption, one particular cat literally leaped at the window and began scratching it as if to get to her husband, and once they were able to view the cat without barriers, he wouldn't let go of him.  She knew, she said that "there is more than meets the eye" and was seeking an explanation, so she contacted me.
I receive my information in two ways; visually and intuitively knowing.  When I close my eyes, I see images, faint pictures, some more clear than others but always vivid enough to know what I'm seeing.  On this occassion,  almost immediately, when I closed my eyes, I saw the image of the cat angled from the spiritual plane,entering our physical world and  jumping into a baby carriage. He was  rep…

All is Never Lost

When we suffer what we perceive as loss or defeat, we can abandon hope and retreat from the world. Yes, it stings.  But for some, the  loss feels insurmountable, plummeting them into  long term despair, an understandable, permssible human response after a loved one's death, a breakup, unemployment, homelessness.   In fact, not sinking into grief  would make us appear suspect.  But outside of those severe circumstances, how often do we prolong grief over self-inflicted rather than external losssuch as failed expectations and unmet goals?
We hang our hopes on particular desires, forgetting our flexibility and capacity for change, and subconsiously choose disappointment after unrealized outcomes. Then we mourn, convincing ourselves that all is lost,  and wander through  distorted emotional landscape.  Here's the truth: nothing  is ever lost. We  get lost as we muddle through those self defeating thoughts.    But we can easily reverse this buy practicing attitude adjus…