A Tribute to William Lloyd Garrison and My Precious “Shamey-Pooh”


Dearest Readers:
If you follow the page, “Following Atticus,” on a regular basis, you know that precious, Sweet William Lloyd Garrison, aka “Will” left this world yesterday, October 25, 2014 at approximately 3:30pm. Will, as you probably know, is the lost, angry oldster that Tom Ryan rescued from death’s door in May, 2012. Sweet Will, as I describe, was a beautiful white, curly haired schnauzer with one of the sweetest faces and the most beautiful, expressive eyes that one can imagine. Each time I saw a picture of him with his long eye lashes and amazing face, I melted. I asked how anyone could ever neglect or abandon such a precious life. Each time I watched him prancing and dancing around in a video, I laughed, enjoying those special moments. Although he was considered a senior dog, he certainly did not behave in such a manner.

May 2012 is so significant to me. Perhaps I failed to connect the significance of that sad month until reading about Sweet Will yesterday. May 2, 2012 is the day I lost a special part of my heart and soul when Prince Marmaduke Shamus left us due to a terminal illness. I do not remember the exact date where I discovered the Facebook page, “Following Atticus,” but I am certain it was right after the loss of precious Shamey-Pooh.

When Shamey-Pooh left, my heart felt completely empty. For weeks all I could do was cry – sometimes exploding into an ocean of tears. While it is true, I have suffered great losses prior to the loss of Shamus, I must say, never have I cried like I did with his loss. One night in a dream, Shamus spoke to me, telling me I needed to open my heart to another rescue, and so the exploration began – to find a lost animal to help ease the pain. Shakespeare Hemingway, the boss of our home, gave me great comfort after losing Shamus, but nothing could ease the pain. I searched online, checking the Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas website, in hopes of rescuing another giant schnauzer. No, I was not replacing Shamus, because I fully believe each of our animals, like children and loved ones, cannot be replaced; nevertheless, we can find a place inside our hearts to allow new love to enter. I checked other sites, failing to find ‘giant schnauzers.’

I found numerous sites to purchase a giant schnauzer, but I knew I had to find a rescue. Still, each time I looked at a picture of Shamus, my heart told me to wait and rescue. Early one morning, I opened Facebook, discovering a photograph of a solid black giant schnauzer needing a home. He was a stray that arrived at an animal shelter in Athens, GA. He was beautiful, with sad black eyes. I phoned the shelter. If I applied for him, I was told I would be the ‘fourth in line for him.’ Quickly, I filled out the application and faxed it to them, phoning to confirm receipt. The next morning, I was told he was still available and if I truly wanted to adopt him, I would need to be at the shelter the next morning at 10 o’clock. I was hopeful no one else would arrive before my husband and I did. That afternoon, I received a phone call from the shelter, letting me know that if I wanted “Schultz” I could adopt him!

Within 24 hours, I would meet “Schultz” arrange his neutering surgery and take him home. I was ecstatic!

My new guardian angel, Prince Marmaduke Shamus, helped me to find another animal needing a good and happy home. After meeting “Schultz” at the animal shelter, we fell in love. We were told he loves to jump, and he can jump extremely high, but that would not be an issue. “We accept and love our animals and I am certain we can teach him a few things in our home.”

Today, Prince Midnight Shadow is a different boy. He still loves to jump and tries to jump into trees to capture squirrels; however, he hasn’t managed to catch any, and there are a few squirrels that appear to tease him when they stop at tree level, as if to say, “Ha. Ha…You can’t catch me!” Shadow continues jumping in air, wishing and hoping that one day, he will catch a squirrel. He is quite comical with his behaviors and he loves to walk and chase balls. Shadow is the perfect friend to help with the loss of Shamus.

While writing this, my heart is still breaking over the loss of Sweet Will yesterday. If you do not know the story of Tom Ryan and his love and acceptance for animals, allow me to explain. In May 2012, Tom heard about a lost and neglected senior schnauzer that was dropped off at a kill shelter. He decided to rescue Will. Arriving at Tom’s home, Will was angry, short tempered and fearful. He bit Tom many times. Tom Ryan is a patient and gentle man, never lashing out at Will, simply remaining calm. He discovered Will’s spirit was broken, and Will was almost blind. He had the ability to see shapes, and he loved music and flowers. Tom wrote about Will. Reading his stories helped me to see how broken Shamus’ spirit was until we adopted him. Losing Shamus left me with such emptiness, but the words of Tom Ryan and his stories of “Following Atticus,” and the additional of “Will” helped ease my pain.
I still have days where losing Shamey-Pooh torment me. The emptiness I feel during those times is impossible to describe. When Shadow hears my sniffles or sees my tears, he rushes over to place a paw on me and to lick my tears away. This week, Shadow has heard me cry many, many times while reading the deterioration of Sweet Will, his inability to stand for long and the weakness in his body. As for his heart and soul, Sweet Will never lost it. If anything, he grew into a younger, feistier little fellow with expressive eyes, opened wide, ready to melt the heart of anyone he met. Yes, the body aged and was quickly giving out, but his spirit kept fighting.

Reading the compelling, touching words of Tom Ryan and his love for Sweet Will forced me to think about Shamus all over again, only this time, I recognized the guilt I had from allowing Shamey-Pooh to die with dignity while we held him was the right and dignified way to allow him to go. I did not want Shamus to ‘die on a table while bleeding out,’ nor did I wish him to suffer like my dad suffered a few weeks before his death. I wanted to sing to Shamus since he always loved to hear me singing.
One thing I have learned about the dying process is those who live deserve to die with dignity. While it is true, we allow animals to be euthanized when their life is almost over; we do not do the same with people. I believe we should. For two years, I watched my dad daily battling esophageal cancer. Gone was the privilege for him to walk, without a walker…Gone was his ability to eat, without regurgitating his food…Gone was his independence. At first, he was determined to continue living; however, the longer he fought, the angrier he became. At one point while visiting him in the nursing home, he shouted to me, “Just let me go. Go on. Get out of here…Leave me be!”

I visited my dad daily, unless I was sick. I did not want him to die alone. I refused to give up on him; however, on July 6, 1999 as he was dying, I remained strong when the nurses said they could bring him back. “Let him go,” I whispered through tears. “He wants to die with dignity.”

Today my heart aches for Tom Ryan and Atticus, while recognizing Sweet Will was allowed to leave on his own terms, just like my dad and my precious Shamus. Although he could not speak to Tom Ryan, Will’s tired, aching body was telling him that his life would end soon, and so this week, although he struggled to get up, he braced his legs and pranced around until collapsing. He was determined to smell the scent of the endless supply of aromatic flowers his fans sent to him. Sweet Will found happiness amongst scented flowers and music and when he left this world, he was surrounded by the therapeutic vibrations of music and flowers. We should all be so blessed when our life escapes us. Rest in peace, Sweet Will. May you and Shamey-Pooh prance around, making new friendships in the life beyond.

To read the inspiring, touching stories of “Following Atticus,” and “Will,” click the following link: http://tomandatticus.blogspot.com/

Animals Communicate to Us…


Dearest Readers:

Today, I awaken to another gray day in Charleston. Now, it is raining outside. Raindrops tap, tap, tap, on the windows and I’m thankful I called my four-legged family members inside only moments ago. They are so funny when it rains. When the back door opens, they rush inside, only to stop as the back door closes. They lift their little heads up. Their eyes stare at me, as if to say, “Where’s my towel? I don’t like being wet!”

Drying them is a funny site. First, Sir Shakespeare rushes to the front of the line, to get dried. Sometimes, Sandy Bear is second. He loves to feel the soft, fluffy towel rubbing his fur. Many times, he will moan, as if to say, “Um-mmm. That feels so good.”

Hankster the Prankster is usually third in line to get dried. He doesn’t really care to be touched, but he does allow the soft towel to rub his fur, while he growls, and growls and growls. I continue rubbing him until he backs away. He is such a funny and grouchy little character. Saved from a kill shelter, only to live for a bit with people who did not understand him, this precious, confused little mini-schnauzer communicates his needs to me. After he left our foster home, he communicated to me in three different dreams that he wanted to come back to us. One dream said he wasn’t happy and the people did not understand him. Later, in another dream, I awoke early one morning, in the early gray darkness of an extremely early morning, to hear whining and a familiar bark. In my dream, I slumbered towards the front door. Opening it, I discovered a cold and wet Hankster. He lifted his face towards me as if to say, “May I please come in? I ran away and I’m tired. Hungry and cold. Please, Mom.”

If you, my readers, read my blog at all, you will remember I have visions. Sometimes these visions are so strong that I know, deep inside, that this vision will come true. My last vision about Hankster was the strongest one. In this dream, I was driving along the Interstate. Traffic was bumper to bumper. I was curious as to why the traffic was moving at a snail’s pace. I didn’t see any emergency vehicles. No sign at all of an emergency; however, as my car crawled along, horns were blowing. People were shouting. I looked to the right of the road. In the emergency lane, there stood a small little dog, hovering down. Afraid. The animal advocate in me kicked in and I pulled over. Carefully getting out of the car, I prayed, “Dear God. Keep me safe and please let me capture this scared little fellow.” I moved slowly, making soft noises so the tiny dog would not be afraid of me. He crawled towards me, and when I was able to touch his fur, he howled. Carefully, I picked him up, thinking, wishing and hoping that he was Hankster.

Placing the frightened animal in the back seat, I covered him with a blanket and buckled him. I lifted his collar. “Hank,” I read.

My eyes opened. I looked into the darkened room, hopped out of bed and turned the light on. This dream was so visual…vivid…almost as if Hank was communicating with me. I kissed the pups sleeping soundly in their beds and I rushed to my computer. Downloading e-mail, I discovered an e-mail titled “Hank isn’t working out,” in the subject line. I opened the e-mail. Tears rushed down my face as I realized those dreams were now a reality that Hank needed me.

Two days later I was informed that Hank was coming back to the rescue center. He would be placed in a kennel and re-entered into the foster and adoption program for the rescue center. As silly as my dreams sounded, I notified the director that I needed to be the one to rescue and foster Hank. I mentioned my dreams. Much to my surprise, when I got a reply, the director understood my dreams. She thought our family would be perfect to assist Hankster.

That weekend, we rescued Hankster again. At first, he barked. I allowed him to smell my scent and scooped him in my arms, placing him in the back seat. On the drive home, Hank was fine. He curled himself into a little ball and slept the entire two-hour drive. Arriving home, he rushed inside to the water bowl, then to the toy box. He remembered our home and our four-legged-family.

Some people say that animals cannot communicate simply because they cannot speak our language. I correct those people, letting them know that animals do communicate their needs by their actions, and sometimes, in their dreams. I am convinced that Hankster was communicating to me for weeks and that is why I kept dreaming about him.

Today, Hankster is happy. We adopted him and slowly he took baby steps to improve his attitude and disposition. For a few weeks, he bit my husband’s hand and he chased after his feet, especially whenever my husband moved closer to me. It was obvious that Hank did not like men, nor did he appreciate Phil giving me a hug. His story is one of abuse. After he lost his first home due to death, the family members took him to a kill shelter. Fortunately, Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas stepped in to save him. He went to a foster home, then to our home for us to foster him. A few months later, a family adopted him but Hank wasn’t happy, so we re-fostered him, only to fall in love with him and adopt him. Today, Hankster the Prankster is curled at my feet while I write this. Yes, he growls at my husband, but when he realizes he has no reason to growl or be ugly to Phil, he rushes up to him, as if to say, “Hi Daddy. Pet me please.” Hankster has truly grown into a little guy capable but skeptical of trust. Yes, he is still protective with me, and I imagine he always will be my little protector, but he does know how to love and how to accept love. Baby steps. Hankster has finally found the road to happiness.

This morning as the rain pours from the heavens, I give thanks for this precious little bundle that could’ve been put to sleep alone, without anyone to care for him. People ask me why we foster animals. I think Hankster tells the story better than I, or anyone, could by his actions. I will let you, my readers, decide. As for me, I feel blessed to love Hankster and to be the one he rushes to whenever he is wet from raindrops, cold, hungry, or just needing a little pat on his head while he growls. What is his growl saying to me? One word. One syllable. “Thanks…!”

Yes, animals communicate. All we need to do is open our hearts, and our minds, to listen to and welcome them!

Gobble…Gobble…Gobble…Happy Thanksgiving!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dearest Readers:

On this date, November 28, 2013, we celebrate Thanksgiving. As we grow, there are many traditions made, and some traditions are broken. Growing up in the State of Georgia, my family taught me many traditions during the holidays, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The holidays were for family. I recall celebrating Thanksgiving with my maternal grandparents. Although when I was little, I often was curious why my maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents did not come together for the holidays. Later, I discovered how strange our families were and I did my best to welcome all of my relatives.

I remember my maternal grandmother always prepping, baking and cooking for the holidays. Our table was filled with most of the foods we celebrate and gobble down a bit too quickly. We always had a country ham, turkey, homemade biscuits that felt and tasted like a cloud and I recall eating too many of them. OK…so homemade biscuits are my weakness, and that is why I do not make them! Additional foods included cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, Southern potato salad, mashed potatoes, candied yams, and of course, we had a variety of desserts. My grandmother was a great Southern cook, so you can just imagine all of the food we ate. Another tradition we shared was always saying the blessing at the dinner table. Joining hands, we would ask my dad or grandfather to lead us into prayer.

Some traditions must be preserved, and that is why when Phil and I eat at the dining room table, or at the breakfast table, I always remind him we must ‘say grace.’ Phil did not grow up with that family tradition, and the more I discover about his family, the more I recognize that his family was more estranged than mine could ever be. His mother did not cook a Thanksgiving turkey or dinner. His mother said she hated turkey because it was dry. She changed her mind when tasting mine! After moving to Charleston, I went to the trouble of inviting Phil’s family for Thanksgiving Dinner; however, after the way his mother behaved, I was a bit annoyed with her. Just picture it. As the cook for the Thanksgiving Dinner you are tired. For many days you have prepped the foods, thawed the turkey and prepared it. Baked. Cooked. Cleaned the dishes. Dressed the dining room table with your finest linens, china, candles and all the fun things I enjoy doing for the holidays, only to be told — perhaps in a dictatorial tone — that you are hungry and want to eat…NOW!

I asked Phil if I could speak to him privately, letting him know I was furious that his mother was so demanding. He shook his head, refusing to speak with his mother. I returned to the kitchen, letting his mother know I had some peanut butter and bread and if she wanted to EAT NOW…she could fix a peanut butter sandwich. She growled at me… “Just give me a paper plate and I’ll dig in…”

“You’ll do no such a thing. Dinner isn’t ready!”

That was the last Thanksgiving I shared with Phil’s mother. New traditions were made, in hopes we as a family could teach our child that holidays were family days and were not to be dictatorial.

Now, our son is married, building new traditions with his wife and child. As for us, I still prepare a Thanksgiving meal, and I dress the dining room table with china, a lace tablecloth, and candles and we take the time to enjoy our meal. Occasionally, I invite our friends over but as life has a way, most people have plans for the holidays.

A new tradition we started two years ago is to decorate our Christmas tree on the weekend of Thanksgiving. Last year, I was so sick with acute bronchitis I did not feel like cooking Thanksgiving, although I did. Weak and exhausted by dinner time, I did something I rarely do.  I asked Phil to help with the clean up. That weekend he put the tree up. When I asked him to help with the decorating he grumbled, so like his mother —
“I HATE decorating the tree…”

I gathered the decorations and with tears in my eyes, I decorated the tree. Exhausted, I went to bed, furious with Phil and his hatred for the holidays.

This year, I’ve let him know how his cold, and demeaning words hurt me last year. There I was as sick and as weak I could be, and all he cared about was watching his stupid football games! How dare him! Never did he consider how sick I was and how hard I worked to keep the traditions going.

Traditions are important to me, and they should be for everyone, especially at the holidays. Much to my surprise, Phil has mentioned twice that we are decorating the Christmas tree this weekend. Sometimes I cannot help wondering just who is this strange man I married. His moods change quicker than the winds!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We are sharing it with friends, and on Friday, I am cooking a Thanksgiving meal at home. After all, some traditions need to continue. Since early marriage I have cooked the Thanksgiving meal. That tradition must continue. Additional traditions will continue, and a few will change. We have a family of four-legged children to celebrate the holidays with. This year, all of them — Shasta Daisy Shampagne, our 12-year-old, frail Maltese will probably share her last Thanksgiving with us. She has seizures now. Until last evening, the last was three weeks ago. Our pet sitter describes her as a frail, little old lady most comfortable in her rocking chair. Only for Shasta, she is most comfortable curled on a pillow with her blanket at my desk. Last night’s seizure scared us and I prayed, “Please God, let her live just one more Thanksgiving!” She made it through the night, and she is curled at my feet now.  Thank you, God!

Our other children are Shakespeare Hemingway, a salt and pepper mini-schnauzer, Sandy Bear Sebastian, a blonde mini-schnauzer,  Sir Hankster the Prankster, a smaller mini-schnauzer who grumbles and grumbles and grumbles… Our youngest is our biggest, a giant wiry schnauzer named Prince Midnight Shadow. We adopted him from a shelter last year after my precious Prince Marmaduke Shamus crossed Rainbow Bridge. All of these precious children will enjoy a taste of Thanksgiving this Friday with us. Yesterday, the rescue I volunteer for requested for us to consider fostering a pup from a kill shelter. Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas needs fosters willing to help these little guys adjust to a life away from kill shelters and crates. At first, I thought “No, I cannot do this again.” If you recall, my last foster was Sweet Little Cleet…Cleet…the Pup Who Ran Away, But Came Back! I confess, I fell in love with Sweet Cletus and hated to let him go when he was adopted. I am happy to report he is progressing ever so slowly with his new parents. It has been a long process for him to forget the abuse he tolerated as a puppy mill stud, but now, he has a caring family who do everything they can to give him a life filled with love and tender care. Together, Cletus, now named “Little Buddy” and his family are taking baby steps. Baby steps leads to independence and trust, and I look forward to the day when I hear that Little Buddy is now a changed guy!

I am happy to announce, Phil has agreed to take in another foster – a Maltese. So now, this Thanksgiving, even though we do not have the newest foster in our household, we have much to be thankful for on Thanksgiving 2013. This year I have good health again! We are still together in this marriage. We have love and peace in our world at home. We are thankful for our soldiers who are away this year, and we are hopeful they return home safely, soon. We are thankful for our grandchild, William; and we are thankful and so appreciative of our good friends. May we all have a toast for Thanksgiving, and may we all give thanks to God for another Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your special day!

 

Caring For A Sick Baby — Our Little Maltese


Dearest Readers:

To those of you who read my blog regularly, you recognize what an advocate I am for animals, especially rescued dogs. We are the proud family with five dogs, four which are rescues. Yes, they are expensive to keep up and care for, but words cannot express how fulfilling it is to see them grow under our care. Last month, Shasta, our aging Maltese, and Shakespeare, our oldest mini-schnauzer had their wellness checkups. We were concerned about Shasta because she has a slight growth on her nose. Our vet checked it. According to the reports, she has a slight cancer of the nose, so we are treating it with a medication. We must administer the medication — two pills every three weeks – with gloved hands. Upon giving her the pills, mixed with peanut butter so she could swallow them easier, I could not help wondering if I had to wear gloves to administer the medication, just what would these pills do to a tiny less than seven pound Maltese. Last week Shasta received her second dosage. Yesterday, I noticed how lethargic she is, lying around, barely moving at all, and she refused to eat her food. Knowing she must have fluids, I managed to get her to lick ice chips. When my husband got home, I shared with him my observations of how weakened she is. He tried to coax her to eat. She turned her head, locking her mouth. At dinner time, I had leftover mashed potatoes. Phil scooped a few bites of mashed potatoes on a spoon, and Shasta opened her mouth to eat – a bit.

Later, I noticed her blankets were soiled, so I placed fresh towels around a pillow so she could rest comfortably in the breakfast room. We managed to get her to drink ice chips again, deciding to leave her alone for the evening.

This morning, Shasta went outside to potty, flopping down in exhaustion. I’ve spoken to the vet’s office and this was anticipated. They reassured me we are giving her the proper care and this too shall pass — just like it did with the first dosage. Gathering all of her blankets and bedding to wash them, I placed a pillow inside a plastic container, a nice red blanket over it (her favorite) and I have Shasta resting next to me while I write and do laundry. Frustrated that she would not eat or drink again, I gave her ice chips. She locked her mouth down once again.

Earlier, for lunch, I decided I didn’t want to prepare anything time-consuming, so I made a fresh smoothie with bananas, yogurt, blueberries and strawberries. Shadow, my youngest, and most energetic giant schnauzer, loves yogurt. While I attempted to drink my smoothie, Shadow whined for his share. I poured a small amount into a bowl and he consumed it in moments. Now that he is outside, I decided to see if Shasta would drink a bit of smoothie. Pouring just enough to barely cover the bottom of the small bowl, I am pleased to announce, Shasta licked every bit of it and she is a bit more energetic now. Suppose it could be due to the storm and thunder brewing outside, but I suspect she is feeling just a tad better.

Her nose is almost healed now, but I cannot help wondering — when an animal gets sick from medications that they must have, should we administer them? I suppose I am questioning the ‘quality of life’ for now…and I do feel a bit of guilt while recognizing that I was the one who gave her the pills that have weakened her tiny body so much. She looks up at me with weakened eyes that cannot see me since she is blind now and can only see bright shadows. It breaks my heart to see her so weak and I have prayed that God is guiding me to care for her properly.

For today, she is enjoying her smoothie. If she wants more, you must believe her mommy will make certain she gets another one. We rescued Shasta in June 2005. She has blessed our lives with her sassy little demeanor and energy.

Looks like I must cut this short. It is lightning outside. I must cut the computer off. I will share more updates about our sweet little “Shasta Daisy Shampagne…She is white, like a Shasta daisy…bubbly like champagne. Such a little princess. At the moment, she holds her head high. Shakespeare, our oldest schnauzer that must snoop his nose into everything, is sniffing at her, making certain all is AOK.

More later, Readers — after the brewing storm!

The Journey of Cleet…Cleet Continues…


Good morning, World. It is a beautiful, sunshiny day in Charleston, SC — a beautiful day where I can see clearly now! What a relief! Thank you, God. To all who have asked, my foster child, Sweet Little Cleet…Cleet… is doing well with his new family. The moment I met them, I knew they were indeed the perfect family for him. His new name is Buddy and every day he takes a ‘baby step’ to his happiness. Truly, he was the hardest foster for me to let go of…but I learned something significant with him…I learned how to communicate with an animal. Occasionally, I will hear his bark and he and I will chat a bit.

Yesterday, he told me he was getting better…The confusion of my giving him to another family is easing, and he recognizes that he was loved by me, but he had to find a true, forever home. My mission was to teach him that humans are trustworthy, and many are loving, wanting only the best for him, a well deserving, gentle but fearful foster child. He said he was sad for a few days, and he watched the actions of his adoptive family, seeing many of the behaviors he saw in our home…the gentleness, kindness, the sweet, soft stroking of his skin…the soft whispers…no shouts…the encouragement. He said he still missed me, but he understands that he needed to go to another home where he could continue his journey to love and trust ‘humans.’ I am so happy for him. Tears drip down my face when I remember how dreadfully sad and terrified he was of me and my husband…at first…and that is probably why he chose to run away. When he saw the posters with his picture on the poles, signs and every location we could post, he recognized that someone actually cared enough to find him…to search and show that he was worthy of love. And when he returned, three weeks later, that is why he was different to us. No longer did he pull his face away, and he learned to look into my eyes! From a dog’s perspective, looking into a human’s eyes is a significant sign of trust! To quote the adoptive mommy, “Baby Steps!”

Today is a beautiful day for us, and for sweet little Buddy. Continue your journey while knowing that you are loved by many…and you are indeed worthy of L-O-V-E!

Sweet Little Cleet…Cleet Finds a New Home


Dearest Readers:

If you read my posts on a regular basis, you will know our sweet little foster Schnauzer/Maltese mix now has a happy home, filled with much love. His adoption day was Friday, March 15. After I took him to his new home, I sat down on the couch, talking with his adoptive parents, Cindy and Jeff, sharing the bits and pieces I learned while caring for him. While I was there, I watched sweet little Cleet, Cleet, moving around a bit. He kept coming to me, wanting me to pick him up, which I did, holding him close, stroking his fur for perhaps the last time. No, I did not cry. I was happy for him, knowing that this family was the most special family I had prayed so hard for Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas to find for Cleet…Cleet.

A few moments later, I left, confident and happy for him. Arriving home, I gathered my group of pups, telling them that their foster brother, sweet little Cleet…Cleet had a new home. Sandy Bear kept going to the bed that Cleet, Cleet slept in during the day. He curled his little blonde body into a tight ball, perhaps talking with Cleet Cleet.

Since his adoption, I have communicated with Cindy, the adoptive mom. After I left him, Cletus kept going to the corner of the sofa where I sat and to the front door. When I read this, I was heartbroken. In his little mind, he felt abandoned. I decided it was time to speak to Cletus…to attempt to reach out to him and communicate, just like Karen, the animal communicator, communicated to him when he was lost. I had a bit of knowledge about clairvoyancy since my grandmother had this gift, so I sat by my window, tears rushing down my face, making the attempt to contact sweet little Cleet, Cleet, to let him know it was OK to accept and love his new parents. I was thankful that my husband was asleep during this time. He has never understood how I receive visions, sometimes in dreams, other times, throughout the day. I curled my body into a restful position. My children were outside, so quiet meditation could occur. Softly, I spoke to Cleet…Cleet like I did on Thursday while bathing him.

Two days later, I heard a happy bark in the house. All of my children were outside, playing. I recognized the happy bark — Cleet…Cleet. Again I spoke with him. This time, he was telling me how nice the people were. I let him know he was in a new home now, a safe and caring home. Silence for a few moments, then he barked again…a distinctive bark that only comes from Cletus, now known as “Little Buddy.” He shared with me that he was feeling a bit better now. I asked him if he felt abandoned by me. He paused, processing his thoughts carefully. “No,” he said. “When you left I did feel abandoned, and I stayed by the couch where you sat. Then, I remembered your conversation with me when you bathed me, and I must say, I loved that bath time together. I remembered you said you loved me, and your job was to teach me that I could trust some humans. I didn’t trust humans for a long time, because they were so mean to me…and when I ran away, I was afraid that you might hurt me too…but when I came back, you smiled at me, you held me close, you kissed my head, and I knew you really were happy that I was back. I told you I’d never run away again…Remember.”

I nodded. We were communicating like I hoped we would. He understood why I had to find him a really good home, and with Cindy and Jeff, he would have a happy, caring and loving family. My job as the foster mom was successfully completed. A few nights later, I dreamed that Cletus needed a new name. The name I dreamed of was “Romeo.” That morning when I checked e-mail, I read an e-mail from Cindy. They decided to change his name to “Buddy.” They called him several different names, which he did not respond to. When they said, “Little Buddy,” he turned his head and responded. Simple…his new name is Buddy.

During his time in our home, I called him Little Buddy when I picked him up in the mornings. His new name was perfect for him! He is a sweet, timid little Buddy.

Last week, Cindy and Jeff took Little Buddy for his wellness check-up. The veterinarian gave him a complete exam, with blood work. Buddy is in great health, and the vet thinks he could be a cairn terrier. Cindy shared that she thought he was a Norfolk terrier. When I pulled the website for Norfolk terrier, I looked at a pup that was identical to “Buddy,” including the docked tail and blonde coat.

As a foster mom, it is easy to fall in love with the animal that you foster. I fell head over hills with “Cleet…Cleet…Little Buddy…” and I miss him terribly; nevertheless, my job was to care for him. To teach him that humans will not thrust a water hose in his face, to make him move…to feed him, keep him clean, and brushed…and to show him that there are humans who will treat him with respect and love. Our job at this house was completed when we found him a new, adoptive home. Yes, it was hard to give him up, but that is what fostering is about… Little Buddy is taking baby steps now to adjust to a new life. I am certain he is watching how their Schnauzer responds to them, and he will learn much from their actions. I am so happy for him.

Perhaps now, I will take a bit of time away from fostering… I grew to love Cleet…Cleet probably more than I should, but who wouldn’t love him. He was so gentle…so quiet, at first…and when I heard his happy bark one afternoon when I returned from errands, I smiled at him…so happy that he was expressing happiness. My wish for Cindy and Jeff is that Little Buddy will soon bark that happy bark. Baby steps. Patience. Love. Affection…Tenderness… only a few of the ingredients to be a foster mom.

My job is done. Sweet little Cleet…Cleet now has a new home. Wishing you much happiness, good health and much love, Little Buddy!

What Is An Animal Communicator


Six weeks ago a new foster baby was brought into our home…a frightened, sandy blonde and cream-colored mini-Schnauzer, Maltese mix named Cletus. Riding home in the car with my friend, Lyn, another foster parent, I held little Cleet…Cleet in my lap. Each time I touched him, he cringed. He would not look at me. His eyes shared such a dreadful fear that I wanted to hold him closer, and when I tried, his horrified little body trembled. It was easy to see, Little Cleet…Cleet had been mistreated, abused and never cared for like animals deserve.

Arriving home that Saturday afternoon, he sniffed at our animals, Shakespeare, Sandy Bear, Shadow and Shasta. He rushed outside, watching us to see if we were coming after him. When I moved my arms out to pick him so he could come inside, he darted away. My husband watched him. “This little guy has been beaten,” he said. Cletus had such sadness in his eyes. Looking at him I wanted to scream at the person who had been so abusive to him, but I could not. Cletus had been removed from a puppy mill, emaciated, sick, covered with fleas and an eye infection. The infection was so bad the veterinarian caring for him was afraid he would lose his sight. Thanks to the loving care of the veterinarian’s office his eye sight was saved, but nothing could treat or remove the sadness those beautiful brown eyes expressed. Every day was a challenge with Cletus. I was told by the vets office that he might not eat around people, but in the dark of night, he would eat every bite, wanting more.

Week one of caring for Cletus was a challenge. That Saturday morning, I let the dogs outside early knowing my husband and I were scheduled to pick up another foster that afternoon. I poured a cup of coffee and went outside to get the dogs. All of our family of schnauzers and a Maltese rushed inside. I looked for Cletus. He was nowhere to be found. It was 7:30 in the morning. I had to get dressed and leave to drive to Charlotte. My heart ached for Cletus. I looked in every corner of the back yard. The shed door was open, so I rushed inside. No sign of him. I noticed a hole, freshly dug. My heart stopped. Cletus had escaped. I rushed outside, “Here Cletus…come here baby…” but I knew he would not respond. Cletus had made the decision to make his own life, away from humans. After all, in his little world, humans were mean…abusive, and they hurt him. He was taking a stand to his independence. He wanted freedom!

That afternoon we had another foster to add to our little family. We had fostered him before, so when he walked inside the house, he rushed to the water bowl and the toy box. Noting how familiar he was with us, I phoned Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas, to report that our new foster, Hank, was home…and I had some bad news to report. Tears filled my eyes as I told the director that little Cletus ran away. We called Mt. Pleasant Animal Control, but they were closed. A report was filed, but nothing could be done until Monday. 24 Pet Watch was called since Cletus was micro-chipped. The animal shelter was called. I made flyers, posting them within a five-mile radius of Mt. Pleasant. I felt so guilty. I have never lost an animal before.  The independence of Cletus was teaching me a lot about what to do when an animal is lost.

For years, I have been an advocate for animals, especially abused, neglected, mistreated animals. In 2001, I was introduced to a giant schnauzer at a rescue center. He was scheduled to be euthanized because every time someone was interested in adopting him, they stopped the process because he growled. Meeting this giant beauty in June 2001, I moved closer to him. He growled at me. I moved closer, huddling on the floor to get to his level. Surprisingly, he moved closer and stuck out his paw, as if to say “Pet me.” My heart melted. Thus began my interest in rescuing schnauzers.

For 11 years, Prince Marmaduke Shamus touched my life. The day I adopted him I took off his leash in the foyer. Although he was not familiar with the surroundings of his new home, he marched into the hall, rushed towards the master bedroom, plopping his body down in the shower stall. When I found him, he wagged his tail, as if he was saying, “I’m home. This is my new bedroom.” We lost Shamey-Pooh on May 2, 2012, after a terminal diagnosis and illness. Words cannot express how empty I have felt since his passing.

My giant Shamey-Pooh taught me so much about rescuing animals and how to treat them. Now I am a volunteer foster for Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas. My life is blessed with richness when I see these scared little animals grow with love and trust with us. When they leave, I share a tear, knowing we have done our job well and a new home will be blessed with their new baby.

On Sunday, I received phone calls from neighbors saying they saw the little lost dog. He was on King Street. Next report was McCants Drive by Mt. Pleasant First Baptist Church. I searched. I walked. Deciding it might be easier to find him if I walked with my dogs while searching, I added Shadow and Shakespeare to the search, finding nothing. At night, I placed food and water on the front porch, hoping Cletus would find the scent of food and Shakespeare and Shadow and come back.

A few days later, Schnauzer Rescue suggested an animal communicator. I was totally unfamiliar with an animal communicator, but I wanted to find Cletus.  An animal communicator was located and would assist SRC pro bono. Phoning Karen, the animal communicator, she spoke with kindness and compassion, telling me not to blame myself. Funny, she was picking up on my vibes, just speaking with me. She encouraged me to send a bit of history about Cletus in an e-mail. She would review it and phone me at 5pm today.  I shared the history and photograph: Cletus is  14 lbs, a Schnauzer/Maltese Mix, and is missing. He is VERY timid, has been abused, and will run if frightened. He has never bitten but will growl if frightened. Speaking to him in a comforting voice and approaching from his level is the best approach with him.

I did a bit of research. According to the website, http://rainhummingbird.com/blog/animal-medicine-part-4-how-you-can-communicate-with-animals/

1. “Be Present, Calm and Emotionally Peaceful

The first step to communicating with any animal is to quiet your mind, relax and be fully present in the moment. Many people find it helpful to get themselves grounded by closing their eyes and gently focusing on their breath. Take a few deep breaths, relax, breathe normally and when you feel calm and present, begin.

2. Be Open and Receptive

Having an open heart and mind, free of judgments or attachments, is essential to receiving messages clearly and accurately from animals. It is important to recognize that all animals are sentient beings with intelligence, emotions and awareness, and when we are open to receiving their wisdom, there is much we can learn from them. Animal communication is not something to ‘try’ to do. It is something we allow to happen. Being open and receptive to whatever comes, in whatever way the information comes to you, will foster greater opening of your intuitive abilities and your ability to receive and transmit messages will expand and grow with practice.”

On the phone Karen shared how animal communicators use universal language, sometimes clairvoyant. The information comes in the form of pictures, stories, feelings, emotions, information. The communicator may get quiet for a few minutes to get the information soul to soul, an element of translation, If something is confusing or untrue, give her feedback. When quiet, be patient.

For hours I anticipated the phone call. Is Cletus still alive? What if this doesn’t work…what if he refuses to communicate with her?

The phone rang at exactly 5pm. She explained in detail what she would do. Then, she became quiet. I listened.

“Cletus took a talkative route from the front yard, took a turn to the right, walking along sidewalks. He said he was a bit curious; wanting to know what was out there. Cletus stated he isn’t doing so good. He’s confused. Lost. Curious as to what was out there, he walked on sidewalks. After two blocks, he ran from a boy. (I believe this was the boy who phoned me on Sunday at 4pm, telling me he saw Cletus at 3pm.) Now, Cletus says he is so lost. He is sleeping and hiding in shrubs, against a building.

Cletus showed her a big yard, or maybe a park with a bunch of grass. There are lots of trees, grass, kids. He hears machinery, maybe a lawnmower around. Maybe a groundskeeper doing yard work.” This could be Mt. Pleasant First Baptist Church!

Karen continued: “He hears voices. He says he’d like to go back. He said his curious nose got him in trouble because he smelled things and was so curious and ran away. He was a bit surprised that people are looking for him.” I encouraged her to share with him that we’ve posted flyers with his picture all over the area. He said he will look for them and he appeared a bit surprised/touched that we are looking for him. He liked the house, the people, and the other dogs, but he was so afraid. He said, “the people cared about me. The other dogs were teaching me, and I was watching all their actions.” He also said he really liked Sandy Bear.

Karen became quiet again. A few moments later, she said: “The big yard is mowed and immaculate. Kids were around earlier but they aren’t now. There is a little building around and a stream or a creek. He hears noises. Kids laughing, but he’s hiding in the bushes. He stated he has eaten. He found a sack with food in it. He ate a little. He found water from something dripping.” I asked her to tell him his foster mom is placing food out by the front porch of the house and other places so if he is hungry, come back.

We were encouraged to be flexible, when looking for him. If he runs, we might consider using a trap. The problem is I don’t know where to place the trap. I’ve placed a bag of food in the shrubs by the church. This morning, I did not see Cletus and no one I approached has seen him.

Karen stated that animals are visual. They see things as a movie camera in their heads. She encouraged me to get a leash (I have one in my bag when walking, searching for him). Let the dogs take me by leading the way. Each time I walk I use the command, “Let’s go find Cletus.” This morning, my dogs were searching in the shrubs with me. Obviously, my dogs understand what I expressed. Karen encouraged me to be open with my dreams. I mentioned that I have visions and fully believe in what she does. It was an amazing experience speaking with an animal communicator. If you lose an animal you might consider contacting one.

A week passed. Something was eating the food at night-time. Perhaps Cletus was coming back, just to eat.  Another week passed. I stopped receiving phone calls from neighbors, although they were still looking. One neighbor asked for some of my flyers. She delivered them to grocery stores, hardware stores and community bulletin boards.

Every morning the food bowl was empty, but no sight of Cletus. I was losing faith. During this time I was sick with bronchial asthma. I was so weak, I could not walk the dogs or search in the community. Much to my surprise, we received a phone message while away. I didn’t have my cell phone with me, so I didn’t get the message on my phone until returning home. Phil’s cell rang, Mt. Pleasant Animal Control had found Cletus — three blocks away from our home. He found shelter in a woman’s yard. She left the gate open and Cletus rushed into the back yard. For three days he refused to leave her yard. She fed him and called Mt. Pleasant Animal Control. When animal control came to the house, we weren’t home, but our neighbor saw them, rushing outside. Cletus was inside a trap, emaciated and hungry. She agreed to keep him until we got home.

The joy and relief I discovered when we got home was priceless. Cletus looked up at us, allowing us to pick him up. Cletus was home. Emaciated, dirty, but home! All to the credit of an animal communicator named Karen, Mt. Pleasant Animal Control, my wonderful neighbor, and the precious little lady who allowed him to stay for three days in her back yard.

With each day, we see a bit of improvement with Cletus. He doesn’t come to us willingly — yet, but we are hopeful that with our love and kindness, Cletus will grow into a trusting little guy deserving of love from humans, not abuse. He doesn’t want to go outside now, in the dark of night. Perhaps he is discovering that home is a special place, filled with love and kindness. Welcome home, little Cleet…Cleet!

Cletus Is Home


One week ago today, we were blessed with the exciting news that little Cletus “Little Cleet…Cleet” has been found!  With each day, we have watched him grow. His belly is not as emaciated as he was last week and he eats willingly, without hovering down from fear. On many occasions, I have seen his docked tail wagging with excitement. No, he doesn’t come to us yet. No, he doesn’t want to go outside in the night – in the dark. He prefers to stay inside. We are working to housebreak him. Today seems to be the best day with that. No early morning clean ups were required and he rushed outside with the other pups. He and Sandy Bear are close friends. I am hopeful Sandy Bear is teaching him, telling him that there are still good, caring people in the world of humans. People who will not mistreat a precious dog, but will love him. Yes, he still runs around in circles outside, but eventually (for me, after about 15 minutes — for my husband, less than 5 minutes) he will squat down and allow us to pick him up to bring him inside.

 

His appetite is great. He will occasionally take a treat from our hands. In all honesty, he appears to respond more to my husband, Phil, than me. Phil reports that when he is outside and sees me in the windows, he follows where I am. If I move to the front window where the fence is located, he moves closer to the window. If I move away, he watches, as if he is looking for me! He is getting more comfortable with us with every day. This morning, when I moved closer to pick him up, he barked with a happy bark and charged towards me, as if to say he wanted to play! When I moved closer, his fear gave in and he moved away! He is still very afraid of humans, but I really believe he is getting to see there is a different, kinder world within our home.

 

He doesn’t play with toys yet. He does like to have a fresh towel, with our scent, next to him at night night time. He doesn’t appear comfortable enough to rush to our bedroom to sleep with us, but he is enjoying sleeping on a pillow, with a towel and the breakfast room light on. Cletus doesn’t appear to like the dark of night, but when you consider he was lost for close to three weeks, I am certain the dark of night was probably a bit frightening.

 

Today, it is raining within the suburbs of Mt. Pleasant, SC. Cletus is happy to be in a warm home. When we pick him up now, he doesn’t struggle to jump out of our arms. All in time, he will understand that there are human arms and hands that will not strike, kick or hurt him. As his foster mom, I look forward to the day that he comes to us willingly. My first challenge was to get him to go outside willingly. That has been achieved. Second challenge – to get him comfortable enough to eat his food. Achieved. Third challenge – to get Cletus to bark and wag his tail. He accomplished that this week!

 

I am hopeful I will have more “Happy Tails” to report, via Cletus next week. He does appear to like hearing his name as “Little Cleet…Cleet…” One day, he is going to be a happy little boy. I look forward to seeing that day soon!

 

For now, I am so thankful that Little Cleet Cleet will be home at Thanksgiving!


MISSING ——-

PLEASE HELP US FIND A LOST, FRIGHTENED DOG – “Cletus” or “Clete Clete”

LOST OCTOBER 20, 2012 – Old Village area of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

Cletus is 14lbs, a Schnauzer/Maltese Mix, and is missing. He is VERY timid, has been abused, and will run if frightened. He has never bitten but will growl if frightened. Speaking to him in a comforting voice and approaching from his level will get him to allow you to pet him.
HELP US BRING THIS BABY HOME. IF SEEN, PLEASE CALL Barbie at 843-884-7631. He is microchipped, neutered, up to date on all shots, and just got to his foster home in Mt. Pleasant earlier this week. We, the foster parents are devastated. Please help us find him. Thank you!

Please call Barbie Cooper at 843-884-7631 if you see this precious baby. He is frightened, scared of people and hungry!