Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

Worst Case Scenario

Monday, March 14th, 2011

How many times have you caught yourself saying,”Well, with my luck (fill in the blank with the worst case scenario for what you are dealing with)”? I find myself doing this more than I like to admit. Several weeks ago, during a particularly trying time in our lives, my husband and I were driving home from a very scary visit to our vet’s office. We had taken both our dogs in for their yearly routine exams having no clue anything could seriously be wrong with them. When the vet found a large, very suspicious mass on one of the dog’s chests, he soberly told us he didn’t like what he saw and would let us know the pathology results in 5-7 days. On the car ride home, I burst into tears and told my husband, “We just can’t catch a break these days.” My husband was very calm and told me to just keep my emotions in check until we knew what we were dealing with.

That was the longest week of my life. My stomach was in knots, I couldn’t eat, couldn’t find joy in anything, and basically just wanted to curl up in the fetal position. My dogs are brothers and extremely close. All the worst case scenarios of how the other dog would go on without his brother kept running through my mind. It was horrible. The test results finally came back and showed that the mass was large and in a very bad spot, but was benign. A great deal of money, a quick surgery and recovery later, and our pup is back to normal.

This whole incident made me take a serious look at why I am always ready to jump to the worst case conclusion. Am I trying to protect myself? Get my armor up and ready for battle even though it might not be needed? Why can’t I be more positive and optimistic? Does it always have to be the darkest day in my brain?

I think a lot of us do this. We expect the worst and the worst hardly ever happens (thank goodness!). But when it does happen, it rocks our world, and we decide to not be caught unprotected again. So, next crisis, our minds go into overdrive and we imagine what it will be like when the world falls on our heads so we can be “ready.”

While this is just human nature for some of us, starting now I am going to make a real effort to temper this impulse. Spending those 7 days imagining life without my beloved dog was in no way good for me or my family. And, of course, as it turns out, totally unnecessary. I am going to try to put my imagination in a lower gear, be realistic when things come up, but not panic and freak out. I know this will be harder than I think, but in the long run, it will balance my life, allowing me to be a more positive presence for myself and a more positive force in the world.

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - January 11

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $4.97, Was $28.95.

Click http://www.chinaberry.com to see today’s specially-discounted item.

Today (1/11/11) Only. Price goes back up tomorrow (1/12/11).

Shop Now!

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $3.97!

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $3.97

Click http://www.chinaberry.com/ to see today’s specially-discounted item.

Was $16.99, Today (10/26/10) Only $3.97.

Price goes back up tomorrow (10/27/10). Shop Now! One per customer.

When the Student Is Ready…

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

My “to do” list is ridiculously long. Couple my written list with the “to-do’s” that pop into my head when I’m not near pen and paper, and it’s almost comical. The number of balls I’ve got in the air is crazy, and frequently the balls hit the ground and/or I don’t accomplish all of what’s on my list. A good part of the time, I’m running in several different (and inefficient) directions at once. I mean, I recently scalded my hand as I was steaming milk for my cappuccino while simultaneously pouring boiling water over green tea leaves!

So, when an opportunity came up last month to rescue a 15-year-old “throw away” dog at the shelter where I volunteer, I figured, why not?

Now, I already have an aging, blind dog who is nearly my constant companion. Being blind, he’s very cautious about all of his movements and thus walks slowly (very slowly!). Truly, walking Homer is about the only time that I walk the speed of a normal human being, and over the years, I’ve gotten pretty good at taking a deep breath and simply moving at his pace. It’s part of the “Homer package,” and I wouldn’t give it up for the world, as challenging as that is for my Type-A personality.

My newly-rescued dog, the new “kid” on the block, Tobin, is a Dachshund, which means he has 2-inch-long legs. If anyone can walk even more slowly than Homer, it’s Tobin. (Well, he’s walking fast, but he covers so little ground with those legs that he makes Homer look like a Greyhound.) I can’t even walk the two old guys together because their gaits are so different. With Tobin on the scene, I “get” to slow down even more and do it twice as much because now I have two dogs. During these times, my “to do” list must go on “hold” and the balls I’m juggling are suspended mid-air while I tend to this new — and slow motion — addition to my life. Resistance is futile. I am finally learning the meaning of “saunter.”

There’s a Buddhist saying, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” These teachers can appear at any time, and they can simply be experiences or situations, rather than anyone/anything living and breathing. And as much as we may resist having these teachers in our lives, it helps us to learn the lesson more easily if we remember that, when class is over, we’ll be a better version of ourselves. It’s obvious to me that a teacher recently appeared in my life, and he most certainly didn’t take human form!

As another year draws to a close and a new one begins, here’s to our teachers, whoever and whatever they may be. And here’s to sauntering!

Drama Trauma Flower Essence for Pets - 4th of July & Beyond

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Who wants a quiet 4th of July? Do thunderstorms frighten your pets?  Going on summer vacation with your pets? Does Your Pet Need a Little Extra Help?

Just like people, some animals suffer from anxiety, depression, fear, and panic attacks. Although our pets can’t talk to us, we don’t have to be psychic to know when something is going on with them. Now, there is help for them when they sometimes so desperately need it.

Flower essences are remedies that work on a subtle energy level, much in the same, rather mysterious way that aromatherapy or homeopathy works. Hard to explain, but powerful nonetheless. They were developed in the 1930s and have been used for generations with people to help ease moments of tremendous shock, fear, or trauma. Now we can bring that same help to our animals thanks to Meg Harrison. A horse trainer for 20 years, Meg discovered the value of flower essences when she saw unexpected progress after giving essences to ”damaged” horses. Fast forward to today, and Meg is at the forefront of this modality, with animal care specialists and behaviorists, shelters, and Best Friends Sanctuary asking for her blends by name. Dogs, cats, horses, birds — virtually any creature can benefit from the appropriate flower essence blend.

Drama-Trauma is especially good for cats, but works for other animals as well. Use this blend if your pet suffers from anxiety, fear/panic, stress, inattentiveness, and if he/she has drama queen tendencies. This blend eases the ride on life’s rollercoaster and is very similar to the Rescue® Remedy blend sold for people.

Made especially for animals, these flower essences have proven to help soothe, comfort, encourage focus, and generally enhance the emotional well-being of your furry, feathery, or scaly pal. Packaged in a handy spray bottle, each blend can be administered by adding it to the water bowl (it is ok if other pets share the water bowl), spraying directly onto the animal, or by spraying your hands, then petting the animal. Please use the bottle within 3 months after opening.

Review by Ann Ruethling

Available on our sister site, Isabella: Drama Trauma Flower Essence for Pets.

Introducing Stanley

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Stanley was born under a pile of construction rubble in Mexico on Dec 6, 2006.

Sadly, one week later he became an orphan.  Through an honest gringa mistake at the border crossing, the wrong word for “puppy” in Spanish was used when describing what was in the box. “CUCHARA,” the Spanish word for spoon, is awfully similar to the Spanish word for puppy, “CACHORRO.” The litter of 9 “spoons” made it through customs and back to San Diego.  Ann, Chinaberry’s founder, brought the little ones to work with her the next day as they needed to be bottle fed every few hours. That is when I met Stanley for the first time. The litter was about 2 weeks old at this point.  Unfortunately, they were not thriving.   A sad Christmas Eve was spent in the emergency veterinary clinic. Only one puppy was diagnosed to have any chance of surviving, and that he did.

Stanley’s first few months of life here in San Diego were spent being schlepped back and forth to work with me every day along with a dog pen, pee pads, puppy formula, bottles, clean blankets, washcloths, and towels.  As the months progressed, toys were added to the trunk full of supplies.

Stanley is now over 2 years old and quite a character. I keep waiting for him to grow out of his puppy stage and wonder if he ever will. One of his favorite places to visit is Chinaberry.  He can hardly contain himself when we pull into the parking lot. His excitement runneth over as he systematically visits all of his friends in various parts of the building.

His constant canine companion is a 4-year-old shepherd mix named Stella, along with 4 cats (three of the cats are brothers from a litter that I fostered last year). If you have an idea what Stanley’s breed is let me know!

Who knew that a life begun under a pile of rubble in Mexico would end up bringing such joy to so many people.