Weekend Coffee Share, Finding Light in the Dark

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a beautiful morning, birds are singing, and I’m enjoying my breakfast with Zen green tea. It has a little bit of caffeine, so we’re all good!

If we were having a coffee chat today, I’d tell you that my school year with the students ended yesterday. It was a busy week with events but slow on the teaching requirements. I just had to make sure my grades were finalized, and I did. Class time was comprised mostly of word games and helpers cleaning out my cabinets. Some students are very kinesthetic and like to be doing things with their hands, others loved playing multiple games of Scrabble. I enjoyed teaching them strategies! Attendance dropped off after Tuesday, though.

Tuesday was the day of the school shooting in Texas. I heard nothing of it during the school day, as we were preparing at school for the 6th and 7th grade dance. I chaperoned at the dance and enjoyed watching the kids have fun while I had to admonish some now and then for running around or trying to play tag, you’re it. Some set up a Conga line/ train and made their way around the auditorium with smiles on their faces. Others got down and boogied. It was fun to watch and definitely a little bit of sensory overload that tired me out by the end of the day. After school, I attended Taco Tuesday with some teacher friends to let off some steam, and I was certainly tired when I got home.

I have many thoughts about the shooting, but I mostly am full of emotion and sorry that our kids have to grow up in a world like this. Children were searched when they got to school Wednesday morning. Backpacks were banned for the last three days of school (as they should be). Many kids were absent through the rest of the week, but I enjoyed my time with those who attended while explaining the stricter rules to them and why the current state of our nation/world requires them. I was pleased to see some 8th grade students I had taught years prior who showed me all of their awards they received at the ceremony. Some of them said goodbye on the last day and I let them take my picture in the hallway. So many mixed emotions on that day, as always. Also, a sense of relief. 🙂

I just want to say that our children deserve a better world. We also need more mental health services in our schools. Yes, they are beefing up security, but let’s curtail the problem at it’s root. Then, let’s fix our society so that our nation values children more than the bottom line. It may not happen in my lifetime. Maybe my only purpose is to let every child have a sense of belonging.

Good morning!

In other news this week, I suspect my dog, Bixby has PTSD, faltering eyesight, or slight dementia. He is getting very cranky at night if I try to pet him while he’s lying down, and he starts growling if I use that high-pitched voice that normally brings him running. Then he looks at me like he doesn’t know me. This happens most in my mom’s bedroom, so maybe the lighting is too dim and he’s tired. Maybe there is something wrong. He’s between 10 and 11 years old but was already scarred when we got him at age 3. Regardless, he has been a beacon of hope for the happiness and reduction of stress for everyone in my household!

My mom took Bixby for a haircut yesterday, and he doesn’t snap at the groomer, nor does he snap at his vet. He is only taken there during the day, though. This snapping that he does started maybe 2 years ago, which makes me think it is state of mind or PTSD from a nighttime event. He always hated fireworks. Not to mention his near-death experience last weekend. I wrote about it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2022/05/22/bixby-the-wonder-dog/

There is a slight mark where he lost some fur, but there is no wound. It’s less noticeable with his haircut, and thank God he had that fur during the incident!

Bixby had all kinds of fears when we got him and a chip on his shoulder, but he loved us when we showed him love, and he still does. This morning, he hopped on my bed early and stayed at my feet to let me sleep in, then woke me at 7:20 to let him out. He stretched when I stretched and allowed me to pet him while he wagged his tail lovingly. I know my dog’s heart is still good. I feel this is beyond dog-training and requires understanding, if nothing other than giving him space when it’s dark out. He’s a small dog. I haven’t had him around other dogs at the park in a while and plan to try this summer. And, yes, another dog training class in the near future may be needed. He is family, and family members give each other understanding.

It’s daylight, and the ghosts are gone.

So, I’m thankful he is clearheaded and more like himself this morning. I think I will take him for an extended walk. It’s my birthday weekend, so there are two good dinners planned, time with my sweetie, and a massage scheduled tomorrow. Only good things are in store this weekend! Maybe I’ll do a post like a couple of years ago on inventions a woman my age would really like to see! Maybe a posture support tank top with internal cooling fans? Underwire-free!

But I jest …or do I? 🙂

So, I have a stressful job and a crazy dog, but dealing with crazy has been my life story. You just don’t know; I seem destined for that. It doesn’t depress me anymore. I now know when to be patient and when to exercise my boundaries.

I hope you all have a joyous weekend, and a great week to follow. I’m counting this as the start of my summer!

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#Weekend Coffee Share. Dogiversary!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com!

I hope you don’t mind being sniffed! My dog is very curious around new people. Don’t worry about setting your coffee down; he has never tried to get into my cup and seems to understand the need to sit around and take one’s time with a cup of java.

Life has been busy like usual, but I had some time with old friends Thursday at dinner, and then Friday was a day off from work, so I had lunch with some old friends who have now retired, and we did a little shopping. It was a slightly indulgent day, but the best part was the laughter! I really enjoyed myself.

When I got home, my dog came running to the door to see me, as always.  He manages to always make me feel loved and missed.  Tomorrow, it will have been four years since we adopted this furry bundle of fun and days later, were allowed to bring him home!

It was Nov. 11, 2014.  Work was super-stressful for me.  My son was going through some personal trouble and had dropped out of college for the first time.  He was not working and seemed depressed most days.  I was feeling inadequate as a mom.  I’d write poems now and then to express my feelings, but nothing longer than that.  I had stories inside of me but didn’t know which story I could share with the world, or how.  My hand and arm would get sore from typing I did at work; I wasn’t sure I’d ever write the way I wanted to.  I’d thought of having a dog before, but the thought of having another mouth to feed and a living thing that needed attention just seemed like nothing but another responsibility. Still, my son was alone at home during the day, and people with dogs looked so happy and active.

So, Mom and I talked about it a lot.  She went with my son and found the sweetest dog in the puppy room.  He wasn’t a puppy, but rather three years old, and just too small for the big dog area.  Mom came home and said she was in love.  If we got a dog, she really wanted Bixby.  So, having a day off on Veteran’s Day and with Jacksonville Humane Society running an adoption special, I took my son up there to see this dog.  Mom was at work.  Guess what?  She was right.  He was special, and such a sweet dog.  The sign said “pomeranian mix.”  It was mostly in his tail.  🙂  He was skinny with a choppy haircut. The worker lifted him out of the cage; he seemed scared.  We got into a visiting room, and he sniffed like crazy, then peed on the floor.  I started the paperwork.  He let me hold him briefly, then got up to pee on the floor again.

Bixby21110141504-01 Upon meeting: Skinny, curious, and a little hopeful but unsure.  

I’d have to wait two days, because he was on a stray hold.  I requested the neutering, and they’d give him any other shots, etc.  I hated leaving there without a dog, but going back was exciting!  I’d already bought a leash, but learned it was not a good leash, so they gave me a plain, cloth leash.  I paid at the checkout, and my son held the dog.  He was an excited and scared canine.  “Get me out of here!”  “Wait, where are we going?  Is it better there?”  And then there was a defensive pit behind the cashwrap next to the cashier who barked back and forth with my dog and even lunged a little.  It had been abused and her hair was following out, due to stress, the cashier said.  I don’t think it would have fared well out with all the other barking dogs.  Poor girl.  We held on tightly to our new dog.  Finally, we were leaving, and I had to let him down to walk, but it was awkward with him on a leash.  Maybe he wasn’t used to one.

We came home and surprised my mother.  (The three of us live together).  “Oh, Mom, I have to show you something.” The dog, sniffing around like crazy.  My mom was so ecstatic when she saw him.  He was sickly for a few days, maybe due to the switch of dog food or the neutering procedure, but we gelled as a family.  I took to walking him and being awakened at sunrise by the dog to take him out to water his favorite lamp post.  The fresh air was good; seeing sunrise was wonderful.  Walking him at night was good exercise.  I really enjoyed this.  There are three of us here, so I usually only walk him once a day now.  It seems I was able to handle the responsibility; I just needed to make room in my life and in my heart for this.  I think it made my heart bigger.

BixbyOneYearAnniversary1111151346-00

My son did not take to the dog ecstatically; it was just another responsibility.  A few times, he asked why I wanted a dog.  I told him it was fun, and it was.  Our first time at the dog park months later was the cutest thing. Bixby loved it, but my son just took a long walk.  Now, years later, he plays with the dog more, and if asked, he will walk him.  He smiles when playing with the dog and when hold the leash if we go to the trails to walk.  It obviously has enriched his life as well.  The dog will be in my mom’s room at bedtime, and sometime in the middle of the night, he seems to end up on my bed.  I tell people he loves us equally.  He has two mamas to spoil him, and my son to play rough with, as well as my boyfriend who loves to play chase with him but also will stroke his belly.  Bixby will stay still at least an hour for a good belly rub.

BixbyAttentionSpring.1511017189_10204309156118039_5310059356135541166_n  Winter fur.  We normally keep him trimmed! 🙂

Since getting the dog, I have added several other things to my life, such as service to my church and writing and self-publishing.  I think getting Bixby was just the start of it, helping me to say “Yes, I can do this” and to make time for wonderful things that are rounding out my life and who I am as a person.

So, this ends my dog-centered Weekend Coffee Share.  My Cold brew Con Leche was delicious.  I hope you have enjoyed your choice of java as well.  My dog is currently at the front window, guarding me from whoever had just walked by.  You’ve got to appreciate their efforts to love us, calm us, and protect us.

 

BixbyMeCar45561404_10213540711181146_2555420320378912768_n

Bixby is the star of my short book, From Lost to Loved, a Stray Dog’s Tale.  I tried to imagine why such a great dog would ever be a stray.  It makes a great gift in paperback for doglovers young or old (Age 8 to 98+), and has a happy ending.  If you want to read it first on your own, it is in Kindle for free for a limited time.  Find your Kindle copy or order a paperback at: https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Loved-Stray-Dogs-Tale-ebook/dp/B073XTV2JF

Lost to Loved

A wonderful experience of combining two things I really love!  Have a great week!

From Lost to Loved, now a permafree download on Amazon.com & Smashwords! (Paperback, $5).#doglover

If your adopted shelter dog could tell his story, what wonders or secrets might you learn? If you’ve ever wondered why your dog reacts with fear when the kitchen timer goes off or gets defensive when he meets a tall man, consider the origin story of Bixby. Read this tale of survival, hardship, hope, and kindness in unexpected places as Pamela imagines the long journey of his life before they found each other and he became part of her family.  (Partial blurb)…

Call it a labor of love, but I wanted to publish something with a clear lesson for younger readers. However, the fact is, readers of all ages can enjoy this story.  It is a free read in e-book form, 25 pages long, written from the point of view of my beloved dog, Bixby.  It all came to mind as I was waiting on editors and beta-readers to proof my latest sci-fi manuscript.

Download “From Lost to Loved”  for free on Amazon Kindle in the U.S. at From Lost to Loved, Kindle e-book. (If not in U.S., it is priced equal to .99.  Use this link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B073XTV2JF. Or you can find it on Smashwords free for your Nook or all other e-reader formats that could be useful on your laptop,etc.  Smashwords download link:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/722693

It is also, as of December 2017, available in paperback for $5 on Amazon: From Lost to Loved, paperback and makes a great gift to a dog-lover or young reader.

“Heart-warming and moving, well-written!” -Smashwords reviewer

“We recommend it to dog-lovers everywhere!” -Amazon reviewer

Friends and fellow bloggers, I ask that you download this one for free and share a review on Amazon or Smashwords to show readers it is worth their time.  You can also give feedback here.   My goal was to teach kindness to young readers and to warm the hearts of  all other readers.  Thanks for giving it a read!

**If you navigated here by accident and want to view my overall blog, please click https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Left:  Before coming home. Notice his facial expression: anxious, a little nervous, and unsure.  Right:  Comfortable at home, after being part of our family for several months.  The lighting is also brighter on the left than it is at home.

Free Short Story, appropriate for kids age 7 to 97+. From Lost to Loved, a Stray Dog’s Tale. #shortstory

This was a labor of love.  While I reside in sci-fi and paranormal tales, I’ve loved imagining my dog’s background story.  I also wrote this with my students in mind, hoping to one day share this story with them.  Give it a download and see what you think!

Blurb: What if your adopted shelter dog could tell his story? Have you ever wondered why he freaks out when the kitchen timer goes off, or he gets defensive when he meets a tall man? Consider the origin story of Bixby, as Pamela imagines the long journey of his life before they found each other and he became part of her family. Appropriate for children and adults aged seven and up.

 

Lost to Loved

Available in many digital formats at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/722693

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