December 21st 2008 8:43 pm
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I am sending real Christmas cards to friends and relatives, but I received this yesterday and decided to make it my Christmas Email Card. It is appropriate for any country, nationality, and branch of the military services.
T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
T'was the night before Christmas,
He lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house,
Made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney,
With presents to give,
And to see just who,
In this home did live.
I looked all about,
A strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents,
Not even a tree.
No stocking by the mantle,
Just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures,
Of far distant lands.
With medals and badges,
Awards of all kinds,
A sober thought,
Came through my mind.
For this house was different,
It was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier,
Once I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping,
Curled up on the floor,
In this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle,
The room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured,
A Brave Gallant soldier.
Was this the hero,
Of whom I'd just read?,
Curled up on a poncho,
The floor for a bed?
I realized the families,
That I saw this night,
Owed their lives to these soldiers,
Who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world,
The children would play,
And grownups would celebrate,
A bright Christmas Day.
They all enjoyed freedom,
Each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers,
Like the one lying here.
I couldn't help wonder,
How many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve,
In a land far from home.
The very thought brought
A tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees,
And started to cry.
The soldier awakened,
And I heard a rough voice,
'Santa, don't cry.
This life is my choice.
I fight for freedom,
I don't ask for more,
My life is my God,
My country, my corps.'
The soldier rolled over,
And drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it,
I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours,
So silent and still,
And we both shivered,
From the cold night's chill.
I didn't want to leave,
On that cold, dark night,
This guardian of honor,
So willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over,
With a voice, soft and pure,
Whispered, 'Carry on Santa,
It's Christmas Day, all is secure.'
One look at my watch,
And I knew he was right,
'Merry Christmas my friend,
And to all a good night.'
This poem was written by a peace keeping soldier stationed overseas.
January 28th 2008 10:35 pm
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I'M SO EXCITED!!!
It's RACE DAY, and we leave in less than an hour. Mummy hasn't even gotten out of her jammies yet, and I keep telling her to hurry up!
Did I say I was excited??
******************************************* ************************************************************ ****************************
Yes, those were the words I wrote last Saturday morning, the 26th of January. I had grandiose visions of the races at Ascot, and was very excited at how my day would unfold.
Hoomans. I shall never understand them. Here is a brief account of my afternoon at the races, as I described it to my FUNDAWGS in my group Dawgs Just Wanna Have Fun...
************************************************** ************************************************************ ********************
Where in the WORLD do hoomans come from???
The Queen Mum got me all excited this morning, telling me we were going out for a car ride with Daddy Pete's Dad, and that I was going to see some handsome young hockey players and some fellow doxies.
I was still excited when we arrived at this huge building just as hoomans were singing Oh Canada . Oh Boy. Oh Dawg. There were lots of both...little boys and girls wanting to pat me, and of course I stand erect and look majestic, giving the little furless ones a thrill when I throw in a lick or two. And lots of doxies arriving, little ones, fat ones, skinny ones, curly ones, wire-haired ones...
No familiar smell yet of my beloved Thoroughbred horses...
I was getting a bit suspicious when I did not see any royalty, just commoners actually touching me...a few I know and am polite to, but...I AM the Queen, and must maintain my dignity.
I was carried down a huge flight of stairs to a closed glass wall where there was a lot of noise, horns, whistles, people yelling, and this weird sound I couldn't quite identify coming from the ice (skates scraping on ice). It was cold, and I was not amused.
Just as Mummy took me close to the glass to see what the noise was, BANG CRASH... ...two young men in different coloured clothes with sticks flying up and hitting the glass came crashing into the glass right in front of us! Even Mummy jumped and yelped, 'cuz we sure weren't expecting THAT!
Daddy Pete laughed and said something about a cross check...well, I don't know what a 'check' is, but it sure sounded CROSS!
DP and Mummy and the rest of the dawgs and hoomans were told to go onto the ice. DP was holding me, 'cuz Mummy was supposed to go to the FAR END of this icy surface with other hoomans. She almost went flying the first step she took!!! (Mummy and ice DO NOT get along...) The hoomans at the far end waited patiently while Mummy took baby steps the whole way down the ice. I couldn't even look at her I was so embarassed...not MY Mum I was telling the other weinies.
There was this young teenager on the ice announcing to the crowd that the race was about to start, and the 'weiner dogs' were supposed to RUN the entire distance of the arena to their Mom or Dad, whoever decided to be at that end.
PPPPPULLLLLLLLLLLLLEASE!!!! The Queen RUN? with a bunch of commoners? Heck, Mummy could come to ME for heavens sake, I was not going to run all that way to see HER. I see her at home all the time! And it was much more exciting at my end with these two big zamboni machines and nice new people I had met!
So, I turned and walked out.
Not once, not twice, but THREE times. DP kept coming after me and saying go see Mummy! while he squeaked Pinky. Is he mad? I had him, I had Pinky....I had the zambonis...
And the race was over, anyway....
January 1st 2008 12:58 am
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I am so happy to see this beginning of 2008, and have great optimism for what it will bring.
2007 had its good times...meeting Flecken and his Mama, and the Moms of Spike and Buddy was the real highlight of the year...but overall, it was not a very good year for my Mum. There were a lot of tears, and sleepless nights, but we got through it, and mostly with the help of my FUNDAWGS in my group DAWGS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN. We are now a very close-knit, loving and kind group, and my fellow FUNDAWGS would make Mummy laugh, and make her think of other things besides her own troubles.
We are ready for you 2008! This is going to be a banner year with lots of fun and excitement, and positive accomplishments! And meeting more FUNDAWGS! And Mummy getting rid of the extra weight that crept up this year...
HAPPY NEW YEAR, and welcome...2008!
January 1st 2008 12:44 am
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My best furiend in the area where I live was a beautiful, elegant German Shepherd name Tequila.
Every day, she would walk past my place, and I would run to her barking, and then jumping up and snapping at the air near her face. She was so patient with me and my 'big' attitude, and never raised a paw at me.
I am very particular about dawgs coming into my little townhouse backyard, and Tequila was no exception at first. I growled and snapped, not letting her in the gate. Eventually, I gave in (with a lot of Mum's insistence!!) and she and her Mom would come for regular visits where she and I would lie stretched out together, side by side.
Last year, I began to notice that she couldn't see me quite as well, and I think I surprised her a few times when I suddenly appeared jumping up at her. She was also walking just a little bit more slowly, but still looking like the beautiful lady as always.
A few weeks ago, she began to limp on her right hind leg. Her Mom took her to the vet, and discovered that her back toes had splayed, almost weblike, which was causing considerable tension in her tendons. She was given very expensive medication which her Mom could ill afford, but we waited with baited breath to see improvement.
We didn't. In fact, if anything, we saw her get worse. And in more pain.
Last Saturday, Mum and I were looking out the window on the second floor where the computer is and chatting online with our good furiend Flecken. We saw Tequila comeing through the snow, and as her Mom went to drop the poop bag in the garbage, Tequila had to sit down. It took her forever to get up again, and when she did, she was walking with considerable pain, putting no weight at all on the right hind leg, and having trouble now with the left. Mum started to cry, knowing the end was near, and made the decision to call Tequila's Mom to offer to go with her.
Sunday morning, we were going to call on the two of them, but something in Mummy's intuition said not to go. Instead, she called a mutual friend and got the news...just after we had seen Tequila, she had fallen down a flight of stairs in her apartment building. Saturday evening, she had gone to the Rainbow Bridge with the help of the veterinarian.
Tequila was a local fixture in the neighbourhood, and really was my best furiend. I miss her so much, and spend a lot of time licking Mummy's tears off her cheeks. Her Mom doesn't want to see anyone, and I am afraid that I am a reminder of Tequila to her, and that hurts my Mum.
Life does have its unusual twists and turns, doesn't it...
And I miss her. And always will.
Go well my dear Tequila...you will be loved no matter where you are.
December 23rd 2007 7:50 pm
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and although all of the gifts have been bought, none of them have been brought out of the cupboard to be wrapped, let alone mailed to places far away...
My Mum is working tomorrow all day, and then again on Thursday and Friday at her office. In her own way, she is 'giving back' for all of those years when SHE needed that time between Christmas and New Year's to travel, and be with family, but those days are gone. The sad thing is, nobody cares. As long as THEY get what they want, the rest of the world does not exist.
Then...just as we were about to shut down Dogster and Mummy's personal email, we opened our last Christmas note for the night. THIS one puts everything back into perspective and has grounded us yet again at a time when we need it. I share it with you here:
Dedicated to all military troops everywhere.
THE SANDS OF CHRISTMAS
I had no Christmas spirit
when I breathed a weary sigh,
And looked across the table
where the bills were piled too high.
The laundry wasn't finished
and the car I had to fix,
My stocks were down another point,
the Chargers lost by six.
And so with only minutes
till my son got home from school
I gave up on the drudgery
and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried
were about all I could take,
And so I flipped the TV on
to catch a little break.
I came upon a desert scene
in shades of tan and rust,
No snowflakes hung upon the wind,
just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood
before a laden sleigh,
Eight Humvees ran a column
right behind an M1A.
A group of boys walked past the tank,
not one was past his teens
Their eyes were hard as polished flint,
their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor
with their rifles shouldered tight,
Their dearest wish for Christmas,
just to have a silent night.
Other soldiers gathered,
hunkered down against the wind,
To share a scrap of mail
and dreams of going home again.
There wasn't much at all
to put their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey,
just a pack of MREs.
They didn't have a garland
or a stocking I could see,
They didn't need an ornament -
they lacked a Christmas tree.
They didn't have a present
even though it was tradition,
The only boxes I could see
were labeled "ammunition."
I felt a little tug
and found my son now by my side,
He asked me what it was I feared,
and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms
and held him oh so near
And kissed him on the forehead
as I whispered in his ear.
"There's nothing wrong, my little son,
for safe we sleep tonight
Our heroes stand on foreign land
to give us all the right.
To worry on the things in life
that mean nothing at all,
Instead of wondering if we
will be the next to fall."
He looked at me as children do
and said, "it's always right,
To thank the ones who help us
and perhaps that we should write."
And so we pushed aside the bills
and sat to draft a note,
To thank the many far from home,
and this is what we wrote:
"God bless you all and keep you safe,
and speed your way back home.
Remember that we love you so,
and that you're not alone.
The gift you give you share with all,
a present every day,
You give the gift of liberty
and that we can't repay."
~ Michael Marks ~
Merry Christmas and a safe New Year
to all troops so far from home!
May God bless and keep you safe.
December 2nd 2007 11:16 pm
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Mummy just received this from a friend, and I feel it is one I want to share with all of my dogster furiends...it is beautiful.
A DIFFERENT CHRISTMAS POEM
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps Canadian, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Dieppe on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in that Korean Land',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
Something red and, white, ... a Canadian flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a trench with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbour no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
May 24th 2007 10:24 pm
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My Mummy received this tonight from a very dear friend. The message is so intense, yet so simple...I just had to share it with everypup!
TWO FRIENDS WERE WALKING
THROUGH THE DESERT.
DURING SOME POINT OF THE
JOURNEY THEY HAD AN
ARGUMENT AND ONE FRIEND
SLAPPED THE OTHER ONE
IN THE FACE.
THE ONE WHO GOT SLAPPED
WAS HURT, BUT WITHOUT
WROTE IN THE SAND:
"TODAY MY BEST FRIEND
SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE."
THEY KEPT ON WALKING,
UNTIL THEY FOUND AN OASIS,
WHERE THEY DECIDED
TO TAKE A BATH
THE ONE WHO HAD BEEN
SLAPPED GOT STUCK IN THE
MIRE AND STARTED DROWNING,
BUT THE FRIEND SAVED HIM.
AFTER HE RECOVERED FROM
THE NEAR DROWNING,
HE WROTE ON A STONE:
"TODAY MY BEST FRIEND
SAVED MY LIFE."
THE FRIEND WHO HAD SLAPPED
AND SAVED HIS BEST FRIEND
ASKED HIM, "AFTER I HURT YOU,
YOU WROTE IN THE SAND AND NOW,
YOU WRITE ON A STONE, WHY?"
THE OTHER FRIEND REPLIED,
"WHEN SOMEONE HURTS US
WE SHOULD WRITE IT DOWN
IN SAND WHERE WINDS OF
FORGIVENESS CAN ERASE IT AWAY.
BUT, WHEN SOMEONE DOES
SOMETHING GOOD FOR US,
WE MUST ENGRAVE IT IN STONE
WHERE NO WIND
CAN EVER ERASE IT."
LEARN TO WRITE
YOUR HURTS IN
THE SAND AND TO
BENEFITS IN STONE.
THEY SAY IT TAKES A
MINUTE TO FIND A SPECIAL
PERSON, AN HOUR TO
APPRECIATE THEM, A D AY
TO LOVE THEM, BUT THEN
AN ENTIRE LIFE
TO FORGET THEM.
I never forward the part 'please send this to' when I forward messages to my furiends. Here, I would make an exception. No numbers are mentionned. But...it is a message within itself!
SEND THIS PHRASE TO
THE PEOPLE YOU'LL NEVER
IF YOU DON'T
SEND IT TO ANYONE,
IT MEANS YOU'RE IN A
HURRY AND THAT YOU'VE
FORGOTTEN YOUR FRIENDS.
TAKE THE TIME TO LIVE!
(Dedicated to all of my wonderful FUNDAWGS and their loving hoomans!)
I will be riding in the annual RIDE FOR DAD motorcycle run to raise money for prostate cancer this Saturday, May 26, 2007, same as I did last year. THIS year I have promised myself to write in my diary about it! And I think I shall carry a copy of the above in the pocket of my leather Harley jacket.
March 6th 2007 11:33 am
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Mummy read the following awhile back and didn't save it. Another friend sent it to her today, and I asked to save it in my Dogster Diary 'cuz it is soooooo good! I hope that other pups who read this will appreciate what this dear lady had to say about life!
In April, Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70+ birthday. Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older.
And, there on television, she said it was "exciting." Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every day...like her breasts. They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist, first.
The audience laughed so hard they cried. She is such a simple and honest woman, with so much wisdom in her words!
Maya Angelou said this:
"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow."
"I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."
"I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life."
"I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as "making a life."
"I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance."
"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back."
"I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision."
" I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one."
"I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.
People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back."
"I've learned that I still have a lot to learn."
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Just from our viewpoint alone, think about the rescue dawgs who get that second chance; the warm hugs we give our hoomans, and the friendly pats on the back we get in return! Gee, this hooman stuff is good for us, too!
March 5th 2007 7:32 am
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I cannot believe it is March already. We are finally getting the winter here in Ottawa that people had hoped for in time for Christmas, with one last (???) cold front moving in today...minus 27 overnight and tomorrow morning, with the wind chill being close to minus 40. I say that it is 'mild' when it goes 'up' to minus five with sunshine on the snow!
Which made me think about different perspectives in life. Other dawgs cringe when I say it is mild at that temperature; I cringe when it is 60 degrees fahrenheit with strong winds and blowing rain! Different perspectives, and sometimes different timing. The timing was perfect, then, that I received the following and wanted to put it here to remember for always.
One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.
They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"
"It was great, Dad."
"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.
"Oh yes!" said the son.
"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.
The son answered:
"I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.
We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.
Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.
We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.
We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.
We buy our food, but they grow theirs.
We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."
The boy's father was speechless.
Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."
Isn't perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don't have.
Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends!
February 21st 2007 11:37 am
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Always remember for 2007
Life is short,
Break the rules,
And never regret anything that made you smile.
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It may be temporary as it is only the third week of February, but today feels like spring. Spring with a lot of cold white stuff on the ground, but spring nonetheless! The frigid cold of the last two to three weeks is gone for now; a time where I could only run quickly into our little back yard, do my business, and run back in the warmth. Too long have I been like a bird in a cage, unable to spread my wings and fly, but today, WHOOO HOOO!
Mum wasn't feeling the best so opted to take the day off and sleep the morning away. As she opened the various windows upon arising, the bright sunshine and the crisp fresh air that only one who lives through four seasons in the year can fully appreciate...snow on the ground, but feeling warm enough to go outside without a coat.
She got dressed, not even putting on socks before she slipped into her boots, and I only had to wear my collar and leash! No sweaters or coats for me today! There was NO ONE around, so she took me off my leash and just let me go....and go, and go and go. The world was my limit! I practiced my wondrous agility skills, jumping over snowbanks, climbing up and down hills, weaving in between the century old trees at the top of the hills ....AND....chasing squirrels! Not REALLY chasing them, I would never want to catch one -I wouldn't know what to do with it! I would probably want to bring it home to live with me - but silently bounding after them. Mummy is so pleased that I don't bark at them any more.
We went to the ravine where I have never ever been off leash before. Mummy laughed and I played and rolled in the fun white stuff. Mum even fell into the creek...which she has almost done in the summer...but laughed like a little girl as she fell down the slope! It wasn't steep like in the summer, and only her bare feet got wet 'cuz snow got into her boots! That'll teach her not to put socks on in wintertime.
Now I am going to take an afternoon nap in my little round foam 'basket' in the sun, visions of sugarplums dancing in my head. Ooops....wrong season. Make that visions of squirrels!
How I love living in Canada! I am not a winter fan, per se, but days like today make it all worthwhile.
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