Friday, May 28, 2010

Goodbye for now...

My precious mother-in-law, Barbara went home to Jesus last night. She was truly the strongest woman of faith I have ever known. Her 81 years on this earth truly made it a much more wonderful place.  I never heard her utter one negative word or complaint throughout her entire illness.

Barbara was such a humble servant of the Lord. Her favorite phrase was:   "It’s not the bush, but God in the bush, and any old bush will do!"  She must have told us at least a thousand times (at least 200 times over the past 5 months) that her faith, hope and love comes from Christ in her.  That anything we do for Him and for others is Christ in us.  This is an extension of her favorite verse - Phil 2:13 and also Galatians 2:20. 

Here is a photo of her on New Year's Day with her grandson, Nathan, just a few days before her diagnosis of liver cancer. Cancer is such an evil thief in this world. Please pray for her husband of 60 years in June as well as the entire family.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Update on Annie and introducing my new studio mate

As hard as it is for me to post this update on Annie, I felt it was necessary to share with all of you who have been following the Annie saga. Here is the original photo I first saw of Annie at the pound.

After 2 and a half months of living and loving and working with the beautiful Annie; her fear and anxiety didn't only got worse. She was having constant episodes of anxiety related diarrhea because of me working with her. The only time she was ok, was when she was sleeping in her crate all day and night. Obviously, that is not a thriving and healthy dog's life and it was killing me that I couldn't help her.  This was so hard for me to accept and I felt like such a failure. Annie needed to be with other dogs to help her come out of this very deep rooted anxiety and mistrust she had for humans and to learn to be a dog. Unfortunately, because of my recent family's health issues and some other stresses, we just could not take on a second dog at this time in our lives.

Just to make me feel better, I thought I'd share some of the positives we were able to give Annie:

* she put on about 20 lbs while she was here(she was skin and bones when we brought her home)
* we were able to get her healthy. She had worms and had to be on several meds.
* She was easily crate trained
* Potty training was a challenge but she did well eventually

I was working with the golden retriever rescue experts throughout this entire journey and bless them, two days ago they were able to take Annie in on a live-in basis to work with her one on one. Just after one day, there was already some improvement especially being around several other dogs. They were only able to take Annie if I would be able to help them and foster another stray golden that had been in their care for the past 2 and a half weeks. So now enters...Cassie.

The only issues Cassie has is that she is very overweight, with a mild hip displasia which has only shown up because her extreme weight. In these pics, she doesn't look fat but trust me...she is a very round waddler and her little legs are having a hard time holding her up so we have her on a diet and excercise routine.

Cassie is the polar opposite of Annie regarding affection, in that she is like velcro...and wants to be as close to us as possible at all times. She is a lover and after only being in the wonderful rescue trainer's care for 2 and a half weeks, is crate trained, housebroken and is doing very well with her obedience training. She is 2 years old and extremely active and full of energy.

Needless to say...we are loving every minute of her being here! Even though we are only fostering at this point...we are already smitten and it would take a team of horses to take her away from Brad. :o).

Cassie looks so much like my old Brandy girl when she was young. More on the Cassie saga soon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dreaming of Summer

I've been gone for too long again but it's only because I'm so busy and life is so crazy right now but it's very good to be busy with work so I'm not complaining.

I thought I'd post a little painting experiment I did in honor of my sweet daughter Emily when she was little. She loved all things creepy and crawly--i.e., frogs, lizards and bugs. It's kind of my fault. When she was really tiny, she was very frightened of creepy crawlers(especially bugs) so I tried to make them less scary and maybe I went a bit overboard. I remember when she was two, I found her just about to pick up a big hairy spider so she could pet it! That's when I realized I needed to do a bit more explaining which ones to touch and which ones not to. Yikes!

Here's to you my sweet daughter who's now 23 and still loves nature. :o)