Blogging · Good News Day · nonfiction · stories

Good News Day

Hope everyone has a great and positive week!

About once or twice a month I will be having a “Good News Day”. This is when I post only good news stories from around the world. Everyone needs a good dose of good news during these trying times, so my aim is to provide you with just that.

Reading good news not only puts a smile on your face it restores your faith in humanity just a little bit at a time. So, read on and I hope you enjoy my picks for today!

Now, who could resist that face? Cutest Cadbury Bunny!

Personally, I’m all for saving the bees and this smart idea is wonderful!

Glowing Fishing Nets Could Help to Save Endangered Sea Animals

https://www.happy-headlines.com/blog-posts/glowing-fishing-nets-could-help-to-save-endangered-sea-animals

Jesse Senko working with fishers in Baja Sur California, Mexico. Photo courtesy of Arizona State University

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/nation-tree-seed-centre-indigenous-communities-1.6400008

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Great news for Canadians! I love it when we get together to do great things!

There you have it for today. I do hope you enjoyed my first post on Good News Day! Do YOU have any good news you would love to share? Go ahead and use the comment section and have a great day!

Blogging · Meditation types · nonfiction

Mindfulness Meditation

Today I will be talking about Mindfulness Meditation, what it is and how to do it. This is a first in a series where I will write about ten types of meditation, explain a bit what they are and how to apply them to your life. My post on the different types can be found here.

Mindfulness meditation is a method of paying attention to your present moment experiences with curiosity, openness, and willingness to be in that specific time without judgment. It incorporates breathing sensations and teaches how to turn one’s attention back to the experience when distractions arise. This method of meditation teaches you to slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity, and calm both your mind and body. 

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

To get started, all you need is a comfortable place to sit, three to five minutes of free time, and a judgment-free mindset. Remember, meditation is a practice, so it’s never perfect. You are ready to begin now just as you are!

A timer (preferably with a soft, gentle alarm) can help you focus on meditation and forget about time—and eliminate any excuses you have for stopping and doing something else. A timer isn’t necessary but it does help keep track of how long you meditate as I have found you can lose track of the time easily. Some people meditate for longer sessions, but even a few minutes every day can make a difference.

Personally, I do this type of meditation quite often, especially at night when I am trying to sleep and my mind is racing full tilt! It helps calm my mind and my body so I can fall asleep. So, how to do it…….

If you are not lying in bed trying to fall asleep, or it’s in the middle of the day, you can find a comfortable place to sit in a chair or on the floor with your head, neck, and back straight but not stiff. It’s also helpful to wear comfortable, loose clothing so you’re not distracted. But being that this practice can be done anywhere for any amount of time, a dress code is not required.

Okay, now that you’re comfortable, concentrate on your breathing. Become aware of your breath, feel your belly rise and fall as the air enters your nostrils and leaves your nostrils. When thoughts come up in your mind, don’t ignore or suppress them. Simply note them, remain calm, and use your breathing as an anchor. Imagine your thoughts as clouds passing by; watch them float by as they shift and change. Repeat this as often as you need to while you are meditating.

If you find yourself getting carried away in your thoughts—whether, with worry, fear, anxiety, or hope—observe where your mind went, without judgment, and just return to your breathing. Don’t be hard on yourself if this happens; the practice of returning to your breath and refocusing on the present is the practice of mindfulness.

As you practice mindfulness meditation, it helps to find ways to bring mindfulness into your everyday life, especially on those days when life is too busy to carve out a minute alone.  Everyday activities and tasks provide plenty of opportunities for mindfulness practice.

A few examples:

  • Brushing your teeth: Feel your feet on the floor, the brush in your hand, and your arm moving up and down.
  • Doing dishes: Savor the feeling of the warm water on your hands, the look of the bubbles, and the sounds of the pans clunking on the bottom of the sink.
  • Doing laundry: Pay attention to the smell of the clean clothes and the feel of the fabric. Add a focus element and count your breaths as you fold laundry.
  • Driving: Turn off the radio—or put on something soothing, like classical music. Imagine your spine growing tall, find the half-way point between relaxing your hands and gripping the wheel too tightly. Whenever you notice your mind wandering, bring your attention back to where you and your car are in space.
  • Exercising: Instead of watching television while on the treadmill, try focusing on your breathing and where your feet are as you move.
  • Getting kids ready for bed: Get down to the same level as your kids, look in their eyes, listen more than you talk, and savor any snuggles. When you relax, they will too. 

Regular practice of mindfulness meditation has benefits for your physical as well as your mental health. I can attest to this part. Mostly with my mental health.

  • It can help reduce stress
  • Lower heart rate
  • Help your body resist illness
  • Gives you better sleep

It’s important to remember that even a few minutes each day can be beneficial. Just a few minutes of being present can reap significant benefits. Even if you don’t do it every day, it’s a practice you can keep coming back to when you need it.

Photo by Nicole Avagliano on Pexels.com

Blogging · nonfiction

Get A Hobby!

Have you ever told someone that they need a hobby? Or have you heard someone say ‘that person needs a hobby!’? More than likely they said that because they or the other person were down, depressed, or mentally exhausted or exhaustive.

The idea behind having a hobby is to relax and spend some quality time with themselves, or even as a group activity that you do with people you enjoy being around.

Photo by Mateusz Dach on Pexels.com

So what counts as a hobby? A hobby can be any activity done regularly during spare or leisure time for pleasure. Whether you do something creative, athletic, academic, or something more individualized, what really matters is that it is something you find meaningful and enjoyable. Hobbies can range from spending quiet time alone, visiting or eating with others, communing with nature, playing sports, and even vacationing. When we dedicate time to voluntarily engage in pleasurable activities, research shows our mental health can flourish.

But I don’t have time!

That is something I hear a lot and I’ve even said a few times. In a world that glorifies work and/or studying so many people think they have no time for a hobby. There are however a few things you can change to find that ever-elusive time!

Rather than trying to find ‘hobby time’ every day, try thinking of time in weeks to discover extra time hidden in your schedule. Dedicate a few hours to something you enjoy each week. Still struggling to find time for fun? Take a step back and say ‘no’ (or delegate) to lighten your load and make space for hobbies.

There are many times during the day we may find ourselves in autopilot mode. It’s easy to lose track of time doing mindless things like checking social media or watching television. Tune in to how you’re spending downtime, whether it’s in the morning or evening, and consider how you might use that time to indulge in something you enjoy.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

So, start a new hobby or get back to an old one. The extra benefits are great! Your mental and physical well-being will improve so much.

For instance, you will reduce stress. Just doing something you enjoy (you don’t have to be an expert at it) helps you relax. You will also enhance your overall feeling of well-being.

If you are more extroverted join group activities. Doing a hobby doesn’t have to be something you do alone. Find other people or groups that enjoy doing what you do. You just might find yourself with some new friends which is a bonus!

Maybe your hobby can be done out in nature. Talk walks, hikes, alone or in a group. Nature has always been known for its healing and stress-relieving abilities. As little as ten minutes out in nature can lead to improved mood, focus, and overall wellbeing.

Photo by Edu Carvalho on Pexels.com

A hobby doesn’t have to be expensive. Taking a walk in nature, or visiting a library to find a book that you enjoy, even museums are usually free to get in. Maybe meditate or do yoga, or something else physical. I bet if you really thought about it you could find a dozen things to do for little to no money.

The important thing is to find something that helps you lead a life that is less stressful. You’ll thank yourself later.

Blogging · nonfiction

Positive Thinking: What is it and How can it help you?

I’m a great believer in the power of positive thinking. So, what is the definition of “positive thinking”? According to Merriam-Webster, it is……a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person’s behavior.

Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

It’s hard to think positively all the time, especially in today’s world of chaos, war, and Covid. It’s exactly at these tough times when we need it the most. Thinking positively about yourself colors your perspective on the outside world. It can’t help but overflow outward.

It doesn’t mean you won’t face some dark and hard times. You will. We all do. It just means it won’t be quite as dark, quite as hard as it could be. Staying positive is hard work. I work on it every day. The benefits are well worth it. That doesn’t mean you ignore reality or make light of problems. It simply means you approach the good and the bad in life with the expectation that things will go well.

What are the benefits of thinking positively? (There really are no downsides to staying upbeat.)

Some physical benefits may include:

  • Longer life span
  • Lower chance of having a heart attack
  • Better physical health
  • Greater resistance to illness such as the common cold
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better stress management
  • Better pain tolerance
  • The mental benefits may include:
  • More creativity
  • Greater problem-solving skill
  • Clearer thinking
  • Better mood
  • Better coping skills
  • Less depression
Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

This all sounds great. My own personal experience is it does help in a lot of those things. I think mileage may vary as everyone is wired differently.

Ok, we get that it’s very good for you to think positively but how do we get started? What do we do? HOW do we do it?

Well for one, smile more! Sounds simple right? It isn’t. Trust me on that one! They say that even if you put a fake smile on your lips while doing difficult things helps. Find the humor in things.

Put a more positive spin on bad situations. This is one area I’m always working on. I get frustrated because physically I can’t do some things I used to do with ease when I was younger. Now I struggle. When I find myself getting frustrated I smile (there’s that fake smile again) and say to myself, “well at least I can still do this, might be slower at it, or need help with it but eventually it does get done!”

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

Focus on your strengths. Each day for a week, think about one of your personal strengths, like kindness, organization, discipline, or creativity. Write down how you plan to use that strength in new ways that day. Then, act on it. People in a study who did that boosted their happiness and lowered their symptoms of depression at the end of the week. Six months later, those benefits were still going strong.

With practice, you can add more positive thoughts to your life and enjoy the benefits that come with optimism.

These are just a very few things you can practice. In later posts, I’ll go into more detail about some other things you can do to practice positive thinking but I think this is a good start.

Do you do anything to practice positivity? Let me know!

Blogging · nonfiction · strength

The Strength of Music

This past week has been darker than most. My heart goes out to the people of Ukraine. It also goes out to the people of Russia who don’t want this war any more than the people of Ukraine do.

With all this pain in the world, it was hard for me to come up with an uplifting subject for my weekly post here. Then I thought, music! Music is so strong. It resonates with everyone. Music can be soothing, healing, calming or it can be passionate, thrilling, and forceful.

Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash

Music is also very personal. It has many genres, so there is something for everyone. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like music, do you? They might like one type of music over another but what ties us all together in this world is music.

Some of the benefits of listening to music:

  • Help you rest better
  • Lift your mood
  • reduce stress
  • Improve your overall health

Did you know there are professional Music Therapists? Yes, it’s true! These are people who are trained to help you find ways to use music for your mental health. This type of therapist learns how to use music-making and listening to help people understand and process their emotions.

But you don’t necessarily need a therapist. You can also use music on your own to improve your mental well-being. I think a lot of us do this already.

Photo by FPVmat A on Unsplash

The best music for stress reduction is the kind that works for you. Find something with an upbeat rhythm, something like 60 beats per minute is recommended. Many people also find that Celtic, Native American, and Indian string or flute music tends to have a calming effect.

Again, it’s personal. Find what works for you! I think this is the best kind of research, try different genres, something you haven’t heard before, or something you thought you wouldn’t like. You might surprise yourself with what you find.

Create a mood playlist. If you’re feeling down, anxious, or upset, find a track that expresses how you feel. Feel those emotions and let the lyrics resonate with you. Then, gradually shift your listening choices so that the music takes you into a happier or calmer place. This is a popular technique used by music therapists.

Who hasn’t been hurt or angered and then listened to music that supports that feeling? I know I have. Just don’t let yourself linger in that dark mood. Slowly start introducing more uplifting and calming music to your rotation. Soon you feel better and happier and can look at a situation with fewer strong feelings clouding your judgment.

Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

Just remember, music can be a powerful tool in your mental health toolbox but it’s not a replacement for a trained therapist if you have a deeper need. Never be ashamed to need mental health!

Have you used music to heal yourself?

Blogging · Meditation types · nonfiction

Meditation: What kind is best for you?

Meditation sounds like some New Age stuff but it’s been around for thousands of years. During my research, I’ve come across over a dozen different mediations. So, what is Meditation and how can it help you?

Photo by Vie Studio on Pexels.com

Personally, mediation used to help me through migraines. I used to get them almost every week when I was a teenager. I didn’t know about ‘Meditation’ back then, this was in the late sixties, early seventies. Most people never even heard of meditation back then, I know I didn’t. It was later in life when I learned what I had been doing is a form of meditation that helps with pain.

Thankfully I haven’t had a migraine for many years now. I still meditate though, just for different reasons. Now, I use it to stay calm in stressful situations. It has also helped me find peace with the passing of my late husband. It’s certainly not a ‘cure’ for things but it definitely helps keep you calm and centered.

 Meditation has been shown to be helpful in taming stress and anxiety, reducing cardiovascular risk factors, managing chronic pain, and improving sleep.

I won’t go into specific details about each and every type of meditation in this post. I will write a post for each type of meditation going forward. Right now this is a sort of introduction to it.

Do you have to dedicate hours to meditation to achieve any benefits from it? NO, you don’t. Even as few as five or ten minutes will work. I have found it just takes practice. Like most things in life, if you want to become proficient in something, you practice it.

Photo by Spencer Selover on Pexels.com

Do you need to have a specific place to be able to meditate? NO, you don’t. That’s one of the wonderful things about this, you can literally do it anywhere! Hell, I’ve done it in the bathroom. It’s just anywhere you can find that is quiet and lets you concentrate. You don’t have to sit cross-legged on the floor with your hands doing that “ohmmmm” thing and emptying your mind. I find it almost impossible to completely empty my mind so I believe it’s not about perfection, it’s about training our minds not to wander so much. Just sit or stand relaxed and focus inside your mind and body.

Bottom line, which form of meditation is right for you? Answer: Whichever works for you! Whichever one you will do! Relax and experiment until you come up with what feels right for you and which fits with what you need. I don’t really think there is a wrong way of doing it.

In the coming months, I will write about various different types of meditation and how they can help you. Below is a list of types of meditation I will discuss in further detail in future posts. I will also discuss what beginners can do to start! If you are interested in any particular one feel free to let me know and I will make sure it moves up the list!

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Transcendental meditation
  • Cultivation practices
  • Guided imagery
  • Movement meditation
  • Future visualization meditation
  • Gratitude meditation
  • Forest bathing (my personal favorite)
  • Body scan meditation

Photo by Tina Nord on Pexels.com

If I find any others in future research that sounds interesting I will add them to the list. Hope you will join me in discovering how many ways you can do meditation to help yourselves be the best you can be!

Blogging · nonfiction · writing

A New Old Blog

I’ve been blogging for a long time now. The last few years were tough for me and lots of other people. Almost three years ago my husband died and I was in a dark place for a while. Then Covid came along. I slipped further into a dark place.

Pixabay

I stayed active on Facebook but not much else. All the dark news. The dark politics. It seemed like everywhere I looked there was darkness.

I got tired of darkness. By nature, I’m usually a very optimistic person but the last few years drew me to a place I didn’t want to be. So, I took a hard look at what I DID want and decided I had enough of dark and dreary.

A couple of friends kept asking me when I was going to start writing again. Or if I was going to continue blogging, or both. Thank you for being such good friends. Especially my best friend, Linda. She had faith in me, even when my faith was gone. So, I decided to come back to blogging. I missed it too. I missed having some sort of purpose to get up every morning, besides my dog, Sam, and my cats.

So here I am!

The blog may be old but I’m changing directions with it. It’s going to be light, airy, and full of positivity. There will be sections on meditation, zen, and just all around chilling out. The more I think of things the more I will add to the blog. Oh, there will also be an advice column! Hey, I’ve lived a relatively long life (yeah I’m old), I’ve experienced a lot, good and bad. I’m also opinionated. Ha! Plus, my friend Linda put this idea in my head so blame her!

We are going to have fun while being positive! Believe me, this is NOT going to be your normal “feel good” blog! Not with me at the helm. LOL Nope, this is going to center on fun, lightness, and love. Love for self, love for animals, love for others.

There will also be stories. Stories of hope, of light, of new beginnings, and maybe, just maybe a few with a slightly supernatural feel. So those of you (Marlene, wink wink) who enjoyed my story writing, these are dedicated to you!

Photo by Monique Laats on Pexels.com

If you have any suggestions, or ideas to make this blog full of love let me know! I have a contact page which you can find on the top of my blog. This will also work for questions for the advice column. Ask any question about anything, if I don’t know a good answer I’m sure I could help you find one. Don’t be shy! If you prefer to ask anonymously you can! No judgments.

Let’s be a beacon of peace in a world of turmoil!

Blogging

Under Construction

Remember me? I’m back! I took a three-year pause from blogging after my husband died. Now, I’m back and want to blog about fun things. After the rough three years when I dealt with my husband’s passing, then Covid, and all the stuff that comes with that, I thought it was time for something uplifting.

I want this blog to be someplace people go for smiles, laughter, and good vibes. To my readers who are still following, thank you for sticking with me! For new readers, welcome! I hope you will enjoy the blog and smile and have fun.

To the friends that have convinced me to start my blog up again, thank you! I love you guys!

For a little bit, you will probably come across some funky stuff as I work on the blog and relearn how to do things on WordPress. It’s been a while. There will be a few changes, some parts of the blog will go away while I add other parts.

Also, the name of the blog will be changing! I’m naming it: Life, Love & Strength.

So go on! Enjoy yourselves!

Photo by Gelgas Airlangga on Pexels.com
Photo by How Far From Home on Pexels.com
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Blogging · His Days (about the husband) · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction · Stories of my life · writing

Learning Compassion (again)

As some of my reader’s and friends already know my husband passed away on August 17th, 2019. I miss him every single day.

This is something I wrote in 2015 about him and me and learning compassion. Not only for him but for me also. It’s something I’m still working on. The compassion part for me.

I will eventually come back to blogging. I just don’t know when. Thank you for sticking around.

oldmansil

 

I watch him out of the corner of my eye as I do the daily dishes. I’m worried about him, as he hasn’t eaten in a couple of days. He has hardly moved from his bed in the same amount of time.

I know I can’t nag him to eat. I’ve tried that in the past and it just makes us both miserable. I feel bad because the other day he asked for something special to eat and I had to tell him no. Not because I wouldn’t cook it because we had no money to buy it to cook. He didn’t seem to understand when I explained it to him.

He doesn’t understand lots of things now. It saddens me, but I have learned not to let it linger in my mind. It’s not his fault. It’s the fault of his medications. The strong pain pills he takes several times a day. They have robbed him of his sharp mind like the pain has robbed him of his appetite, his focus, his ability to function like he used to.

When we moved into this 30-year-old mobile home almost 2 years ago. We decided to put his twin size bed in the living room. He loves his TV, but the couch was too uncomfortable for him to lay on all day. So we got rid of the old loveseat and put in a twin bed we got for free. It has worked out well. The TV gives him something to do.

I watch him as I do the dishes. I see the deep furrows of pain on his face. I wish I could do something more for him but I know I can’t. Soon his afternoon pills will take effect, his eyes will gloss over, the furrows won’t be quite so deep. For a little while.

I finish the last dish, put it in the dish rack to air dry, wipe my hands and make myself another cup of coffee. I’ve been in the kitchen for 45 minutes and not a word was spoken between him and I. Just the sound of the TV going and the clink of dishes being cleaned.

I walk down the hall to my office and sit down with my coffee cup in hand. Taking small sips, I think about the last time we spoke to each other. Was it yesterday? Or the day before? I lay my head back and close my eyes. We don’t speak much anymore. I’ve learned to accept it. As I’ve learned to accept a lot of things in the last few years.

I could sink into a pool of self-pity, but why? It’s not his fault he became disabled, so racked with pain that taking a simple shower has to be planned ahead of time, just so the pain will be somewhat manageable.

I could rage at the universe and cry an ocean of tears. Again, why? The universe is not to blame for the circumstances that made us lose our home and come to live in a broken-down trailer. It’s a roof over our heads and heat in the winter.

I could rail against it all. I have in the past, I won’t lie about that. I’m human, with faults. So, I railed against something him and I had no control over. I cried, I felt sorry for myself. Worse of all, I wanted to leave. I wanted to run away from the pain. His pain and mine. I wanted to run fast and as far as I could. Halfway across the world.

I didn’t run. I couldn’t run. I won’t run.

Instead, I learned compassion. Compassion for him. He doesn’t want to be in this much pain. Every single day, every single minute, to live in pain. Who would want that? So I find my compassion for him. My patience. My desire to help ease his suffering if I can. Which I can’t.

I can only help him suffer less. I will settle for that.

I have also learned to have compassion for myself. That was the hardest part. To be gentle with myself as much as I am gentle with him. I make mistakes, I lose my temper, I get frustrated, I get depressed. It’s ok to feel all these things. I will NOT beat myself up over having these feelings because they never last. I can’t let them. I won’t let them. I feel them and then I let them go without the guilt.

I open my eyes, sip my coffee and keep an ear out for him as I face my computer and do what I know I’m good at. Writing words.

I write the words I cannot speak out loud. I write the words that my soul feels. I write the words that I have learned. I write my heart. That’s how I learn compassion all over again.

 

 

 

Blogging · Humor · stories · Truth or Fiction · writing

Truth or Fiction (April 5, 2019)

I’m beginning to think people know me well.  As I think everyone voted right. My last story was…TRUTH. Yes, sad to say it really did happen. When I was younger I rescued a lot of animals. Dogs, cats, whatever. I’m an animal lover. If I see they are being abused I will try my best to get them out of that situation…even if it means breaking into someone’s yard and taking them. Eh, arrest me. I’d still do it.

Doesn’t happen quite so dramatically now as I’m too old for that and my fence climbing days are over…but who knows. If the situation warrants, I still might manage.

My story does have a happy ending. I managed to rescue the dog and finally got someone from the Humane Society to come to pick him up as, unfortunately, I couldn’t afford to take it to a Vet nor keep it as I had four dogs already. This very nice lady came over and I gave her an abridged version of how I got the dog. She called me several days afterward and told me their Vet had to do a major operation to remove the chain from the dog’s neck but he was doing fine and this same lady had decided to adopt him herself.

I felt so much better knowing he was going to a loving home and would have the good life he richly deserved.

Now onto my next story. Is it Truth or Fiction?

 

 

Pixabay

 

 

A Slice of Life

 

“Hmm, maybe we could make something out of these?” She asked.

Looking at her listeners as they cocked their heads to the side. She stated, “They would make a great border for the garden. I mean, no birds or animals would take them away.”

Reaching down she rubbed the ear of her closest listener. Whining softly he leaned against her leg. It was like the dogs were agreeing with her.

“I mean, look at them.” She reached over to the table and picked one of the items up, rapping her knuckles against it she spoke again. “It’s as hard as a rock, it would make a great garden border.”

Sighing she placed the object back on the table and sat down hard in the kitchen chair. Frowning she pulled the cookbook over that was laying open on the table and read the recipe again.

“I don’t understand what I did wrong. I followed the recipe. I didn’t substitute anything, which I’m usually doing.”

The three dogs lined up in front of her with expectant faces. “Sorry guys, nothing to eat here. The recipe didn’t exactly turn out like I wanted. I don’t think even you could eat this, Max. It would break your teeth.”

She picked up the item from the table and let it fall back down. It made such a loud thump that it even startled the dogs.

“See, Max? I bet I could throw them up as far as I could and let them land and they wouldn’t even break.”

She stood up and walking around the dogs she opened the back kitchen door and tossed the item out of it as far as she could into the yard. It landed several feet later with a dull thud. “I told you.” She stated to no one in particular. She watched as the dogs raced outside to find the object she threw. Max managed to lift it in his powerful jaws as the little dogs yapped and jumped excitedly beside him. Max proudly came back and laid it at her feet.

Looking down she had to laugh at the look Max gave her. “I told you, you wouldn’t be able to eat it.”

Such a sad sight, the item laying at her feet and three very disappointed dogs. She was sad too, as she had been looking forward to a warm, buttery slice of freshly made bread. All they got were four loafs of…bricks. Hard as rock bricks of bread.

Her dad had always made it look easy when he made bread. So she decided to try her hand at it. “I think I’ll let Dad keep the bread making skills, guys. I stick with my world-famous potato salad.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, is this story Truth or Fiction? Let me know! Have you ever tried a new recipe only to have it fail miserably? What was it?

 

 

 

 

Blogging · stories · Truth or Fiction · writing

Truth or Fiction

To my few (and I do mean few) loyal readers, thank you for stopping in every week. As for last weeks story, it was……false!

Not to say I haven’t heard ghostly footsteps before, or even seen them! Just not like I said in my story. One day I will write about how it came about that I actually saw them. Just not today. Or last week. ha!

Anyway, on to this weeks story. Is it Truth or Fiction? You tell me.

 

via Pixabay

 

 

 

A Good Deed

 

She had heard from a friend about a dog in need. Everyone knew how much she loved animals and this friend was very concerned about this dog. It was her friends’ neighbors dog. Tied up in the backyard with a heavy chain. No food, no water…in the middle of summer. Also, they were having an unusually hot summer, even for this hellish place.

Her friend said she tried talking to the neighbor and offered to take the dog off his hands. But no go. The neighbor wasn’t giving up the dog even if it was painfully (for the dog) obvious he wasn’t taking proper care of it. Half the time this guy wasn’t even home. Who knows how often, if ever, the dog got fed and watered. Her friend said she had been living next door for six months and never saw the dog off the chain. Once she thought she heard the man beating the dog but by the time she got outside the man was gone and the dog was shaking and crying. She felt terrible for days afterward.

The friend reported the man to the Humane Society but no one ever came to investigate. Short staffed they told her. So that’s why she told her story to her, in tears, not knowing who else to turn to.

That same night, after her friend’s tear-filled story, she went to see the dog for herself. She wasn’t sure what she expected but it sure wasn’t the pitiful sight she saw. The man should be shot! Treating any animal this way. She peered over the back fence and in the bright moonlight could make out the form of the dog cowering away from her as far as its heavy chain would let it. It didn’t bark, didn’t whine, didn’t make a sound. Which made the sight of it all the more powerful in her eyes.

She pulled out the small binoculars from her pants pocket and held them up to her eyes with one hand while she stood unsteadily on the stool she brought with her just for this reason. It was 2 am in the morning and the small breeze touching her cheek was still on the hot side. Even at night, there was no relief of the unrelenting heat. The neighborhood was quiet and dark. Just a few street lights dotted the overgrown alley she had parked in. She was glad the dog didn’t bark but her heart broke knowing it didn’t bark because it had probably been beaten too often for doing just that. She slowly looked around the backyard. No doghouse, no tree or bush for shade in the middle of the day. She didn’t see any water or food dishes which made her angry. Just the poor dog chained up with a chain that was stuck in the ground with a heavy metal stake.

As she looked at the dog, her breath sucked in and tears formed in her eyes and ran down her cheeks. Taking that closer look she could see the dog was in pain. It must be in terrible pain she thought to herself. She couldn’t see the chain that was around its neck. She couldn’t see it as it was embedded in its neck! Oh my god! The chain had been wrapped around its neck so tight that it wasn’t even visible! It clearly wasn’t hidden by rolls of fat either as the dog clearly looked malnourished and skinny.

From what she could see in the moonlight the dog was a beagle or of beagle mix. It was medium in size but so skinny it broke her heart. Tonight was to have been just a reconnaissance sort of mission. Now though, she knew she had to get that dog tonight! If she could do anything about it that poor animal was NOT spending another moment in that yard with that chain and in such misery. She was going to rescue it tonight.

She stepped down off the stool and went to the back of her car. From the trunk, she pulled out a set of bolt cutters. She had put them in her car earlier. She had learned a long time ago to go to these rescues prepared for emergencies. This definitely was an emergency situation. She tossed them over the fence then thought….”How am I going to climb over the fence with a dog in my arms?” This was more of a two-person operation but she was by herself and there was no one she could call at 2 AM.

Her mind worked furiously to come up with a solution to her problem. Even if she could call someone she didn’t want one of her friends to chance getting caught helping her and being arrested for stealing. No, she had to do this on her own and it had to be tonight!

Her eyes spotted the two old blankets she had in her car. She always kept one or two for picking up injured animals from the side of the road. Which she had done a few times.

What if she fashioned some kind of sling? She could put the dog in the sling and with her hands free, climb back over the fence. Perfect! She grabbed the bigger of the two blankets and quickly tied two opposite corners together and slung it over her shoulder. Now, back to the rescue.

Stepping onto the stool she grabbed the top of the wooden fence and hauled her body over the top and dropped the few inches to the ground. She stood to make sure nothing was changed in the quiet of the night then when she was satisfied with the silence she grabbed the bolt cutters and walked quickly to the dog. Her heart broke as the dog just whimpered and shook and strained on his chain. It must be in so much pain from the embedded chain yet still tried to get away from a potential threat.

She crouched down in front of the dog and slowly held out her hand for it to sniff. Softly talking to it she took her time so as not to scare the dog further, even though she could be caught at any time. The dogs fear was palpable. It was heartbreaking. She slowly reached in her pocket for a dog treat. A nice soft one, as she didn’t know how well it could eat just yet. The dog stopped whining but still shook with fear as it sniffed the treat. Its hunger overcame its fear and it took the treat from her hand and ate it with a few chomps. It whimpered a bit, either from the pain of swallowing or from gratefulness of having something to eat. She wasn’t sure.

The woman took precious seconds to pet and reassure the dog in soft words as she slowly lifted the bolt cutters and cut the chain. The dog winced a bit when it was done but moved closer to the woman in seemingly understanding of what the woman was about. She gently and slowly lifted the dog in her arms, all the while talking in soft warm tones to it to reassure it. She settled the dog in the sling and cradled it to her body as a mother would cradle a baby.

She picked up the fallen bolt cutters and walked quickly to the back fence. Now came the tricky part. Getting over the fence with the dog without hurting it any further. Taking a deep breath she gave a little jump and grabbed the top of the fence. She never really was very athletic and in that instant regretted it. She was determined though and with anger still burning in her heart for the mistreatment of the dog she hauled her body to the top of the fence and threw a leg over. The dog whimpered either in pain, fear, or both but didn’t struggle in the sling.

Once her leg was over the fence the rest was easy. She did manage to scrape her forearms climbing over the fence but didn’t even feel it for the adrenaline coursing through her body. Once over the fence, she grabbed the bolt cutters and stool and as fast as she could she tossed them in the trunk and closed it. She ran to the passenger side of the car and settled the dog on the passenger seat still inside the sling. Closing the door as softly as she could she quickly made her way to the drivers’ side, slid in and turned the car on and drove out of the alley.

She didn’t seem to breathe until she was safely inside her garage with the door down. No matter how many times she rescued an animal there was always that chance she could get caught. The adrenaline rush seemed to leave her then and she broke down crying. The dog in the passenger side whimpered and tried to crawl into her lap. It seemed to understand and appreciate all she had done for it.

Even though it was in pain, hungry and scared it sensed that she had just done a good thing for it and was trying to make HER feel better. Animals are like that. Full of love given the chance. Now, this dog had that chance.

 

 

 

 

 

Is this story Truth or Fiction? Have you ever rescued an animal in need? If so tell me about it!