Posts Tagged by Puppy
|March 22, 2016||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Mindfulness, Seasonal, Training/Behavior, Videos|
I peed on the sand dune. And I’d do it again.
There I squatted, sea breeze gracing my bottom, between clumps of too-transparent sea grass.
Had it come to this? In the sweet relief of bladder desperation, I had to answer: yes. As I looked up (to be sure I was alone), I realized I had let go under the synchronized glows of the rising moon, the setting sun, and the rainbow flares of a sundog.
Bathroom deprivation threatened to soil my perfectly beachy b-day picnic.
Pink champagne is extra bubbly-sweet when poured by a charming man, sipped by soothing waves, and paired with sea salt chocolate chip cookies. But my burgeoning bladder was winning out. Something had to be done – now.
And that’s how I found myself thanking the Universe for every cursed squat I’d endured in the gym.
No wobbly legs on this girl. I scaled those dunes & released without shame or shakes. I am woman, hear me roar. (Just don’t peek behind the dune.)
Was it necessary? I could have hiked out & driven to a porta potty.
Was it legal? Probably not. Was it ethical? Who decides that? Was it pretty? Lord help me, nope.
But was it memorable? Absolutely!
I will never forget that birthday, the magic colors marking the sky or the champagne’s blush. I had unwittingly peed my way to marking a moment in time that I’ll forever cherish without regret.
The grand sand pee happened on the heels of hunkering down with my folks in Blizzardy, PA.
What to do when you’re snowed into a retirement facility by a sparkly-white historical weather event? First, you play “find the fireplace” wherever you are. Everything’s yummier by a fire’s golden warm glow: food, wine & convo. But at around 3-feet deep, I felt compelled to mark the moment myself:
Why does marking a moment with childlike wonder & abandon seem rare?
My pup, Rusty, blissfully potties on the beach without hesitation. (Now I get it, little guy!)
As a trainer, I guide clients to counter their human nature.
We are hardwired to focus on negatives: the wrongs in our world. We do this so well, we wear awareness blinders that block the sweet, magical-markable stuff from sight. So, for example, folks notice & react to a jumping puppy. Instead, we should see Pup’s more frequent 4-on-the-floor successes. But past just seeing, mindfully reward those successes with praise and/or a cookie. (No chocolate chips for Pup!) Make that moment matter. Suddenly, you see a non-jumping puppy, and Pup feels seen when calm. You get each other, and you get more of what you see.
See & seize life’s magical moments.
Make your mark on them. Watch them appear more often, in memorable technicolor.
Cake by the ocean, anyone? Perhaps, she writes with a wink.
Definitely chocolate chip cookies. And big belly laughs. Life’s sweeter when lived in full color.
Share your no-regrets stories with us. It’s at once liberating & inspiring! xo ~Ruth & Rusty~
- “See and seize life’s magical moments.” ~Ruth Hagen
- “We teach each other how to live.” ~Anne Michaels, poet
- “Life’s sweeter when lived in full color.” ~Ruth Hagen
- “If everyone would look for that uniqueness then we would have a very colorful world.” ~Michael Schenker
- “You get more of what you see.” ~Ruth Hagen
- “What makes things memorable is that they are meaningful, significant, colorful.” ~Joshua Foer
- “I’m a get-a-dress-at-a-thrift-shop-but-open-a-bottle-of-champagne kind of person.” ~Helen Mirren, actress
©2016 The Soulful Pet
|November 8, 2015||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, Music, Pup culture, Videos|
Last year, I bubble wrapped my heart.
I did this once before, after my sweet-soulmate cat, Alex, died suddenly.
His death deeply, devastatingly impacted me, emotionally & physically. Afterward, my heart wasn’t yet securely tied & bound (thanx, Pat Benatar), because I was 24/7 nursing & chefing for my senior, barely mobile & epileptic boxer boy, Gumbo. When he passed later that year, I was relieved for him. His discomfort was over. I believe with all my being that Alex & Gumbo are in a wonderful place now. But then, I sealed the wrap over my heart completely. It all hurt too, too much.
Fast forward: For 3 years I was content to be Auntie Ruth to a stream of visiting pups, as well as all of my clients’ pets.
So I didn’t miss having a pet; I worked with animals daily, with the freedom of traveling on a whim. No petsitters, daycares or pre-travel vet visits required. Just me & my bubble-wrapped heart, joyfully, obliviously traveling. Are you starting to see the downside of the wrap approach? Good. ‘Cuz I wasn’t seeing clearly yet, what with all the bubbles & plastic clouding up my soul.
Enter Rusty: a delightfully sassy-cool poodle puppy.
I knew him from the start as his Auntie Ruth, for training & puppy-sitting. For reasons for a future story, I had the opportunity to adopt him. Without a thought, I jumped at the chance. Such a gift. But my heart was still sealed….
The first few months with Rusty were blissfully healing, perhaps for both of us.
I was aware, though, that I had him at arm’s length. I wouldn’t be hurt again. Ahh, but love finds a way in & out. I woke up one day to realize that poodle-love had me wrapped around his paw – hook, line & sinker. We were both better off, more than I knew.
Last year, I was blindsided by betrayal.
People who called themselves family & friends, who said they loved me, suddenly devalued, dismissed and discarded me. I had given my heart & soul to people who couldn’t love me. I had fallen for an all-so-conditional illusion. (Fodder for a future tale.) My head knew the truth: love that was never there to start can’t be lost and needn’t be mourned. But my heart? It was in deep, deep trouble. Certain that life itself was at risk, I wrapped & sealed my hurting heart in layers of bubbles. Deep, thick, cushiony layers of the big, big bubbles. Funny, those are the most poppable ones…..
I dated my girlfriends. I leaned on true family. I cuddled my kindred soul, Rusty. I became wonder woman, reinventing and rediscovering my superpowers. I found my voice – as a writer and an intuitive. I found myself – the girl I was before I gave myself away. Legit love from & for friends, Rusty & myself – gradually healed me. The warmth and glow of it all melted bubbles away.
Today, my heart is an open, ooey-gooey, vulnerable oasis.
It’s the place where I live. I write, work and love from my heart. It guides my voice and life. It doesn’t play games. It abhors held-in emotions. Basically, if I feel it, I say it. My heart is wise & kind, so no one gets hurt. Especially me. I trust that.
A six-year old once told me with great earnest: “The problem with pets is that they die.”
That’s a jaded adult thought, not one of a wide-eyed, open-minded child. That’s bubble-wrap talk. Suffocate your heart, and it shrinks. Hurt can’t get in – true. But love can’t get in – or out, either. Yes, real love is messy-risky. But I trust the unwrapping is a worthwhile leap of faith….
Heck, it’s risky for me to write this post.
I never, ever thought I’d write about love. I don’t have a gift for annoyingly sappy, flowery prose. But is that what’s required? A bit of a think-break here, before I (gulp) bare more soul. In the meantime, I’m with P!nk (yet again): “The Truth About Love” does come @ 3 am. You do wake up f*cked up, so you grab a pen….
I unwrapped my heart.
With Rusty & friends buoying me, I found love – real love. It’s passionate, unconditional, trustable, scary-honest, rapid-growth, biped love this time around. Together, we’re unwrapping insulating layers from previous hurts. A juicy, someday story-to-be-told, indeed: a tale of love layers.
The only bubbles I need now are chillin’ in the frig. Lucky, grateful girl. xo ~Ruth~
- “Love that was never there to start can’t be lost and needn’t be mourned.” ~Ruth Hagen
- “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~Rumi
- “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. ~Rumi
- “The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.” ~Gilbert Chesterton, English writer
- “If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.” ~Mik Everett (not Drake!)
©2015 The Soulful Pet
|August 21, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Pup culture, Seasonal, Training/Behavior, Videos, Worthy reads|
I don’t know a trainer who isn’t restless around puppy season. (For me, that includes kitten season, too.)
That what’s-cuter-than-kittens? time of year is upon us again. Are you expecting the pitter-patter of four tiny furry paws in your home? You’re in for a simultaneously adorable, confounding, & sleep deprived rest-of-the-year. So I would be remiss if I didn’t temporarily don my critter-coach cap out of sheer compassion for you: I just wrote the instruction manuals you’ll need for your new family member. (Trust me: I’d be an uber-wealthy chica if had coin for every time I heard, “She didn’t come with a manual!”)
I got obsessively busy yesterday, posting 5 new how-to articles on The Soulful Pet’s sister site, Critter Consulting.
That’s where I hung out, pre-burnout. I braved the eyelid twitches & quicksand of necessary yet non-creative writing for you. And, much to my surprise, I survived. (Good girl! & Woohoo!) You may recognize these posts as my flyers that vets, shelters & some conscientious breeders put in their new-pet packages for over a decade. Now, they’re minty fresh: reworked & re-imagined, loaded with info & links, and fully printable. Only the best for y’all!
- “When You Bring a New Puppy Home”
- “Suggested Puppy Supplies”
- “House training 101”
- “When You Bring a New Cat or Kitten Home”
- “Prepare Your Home for a New Feline”
- “Adopt an Adult Cat” – Wait, that’s 6 and you said 5, girl! Yes, I added this classic as a reminder that adult pets need homes, too. Shelters are filled with lovely animals who find themselves there for many reasons. Let’s dispel the myth that they are “broken” & “risky”. Heck, we all have a story. We’re all flawed. (Did I mention obsessive?) And we’re all loveable.
What do you mean you’re not expecting a fur-kid?! Grrrr & hackles up!
Don’t you know that shelters & rescues are brimming with sweet little beings right now? Surely you know that the soul you’ll someday shake your head & swear that you can’t imagine life without is patiently waiting there for you – right? Please don’t tell me I just spent all day yesterday putting these how-to posts together for no reason. Get it together & check yourself. Adopt!!
Too much? My bad. If you can’t adopt, donate.
Give your heart, your brains, your mad skills, your goods, or your coin to the angels who care for critters-in-need. Giving will change your life. Really, it will. You’ll see…..
BTW – Did you even ask your current pets if they want to share you with someone new?
If you’re lucky & they agreed, you’ll want to read more from Critter Consulting’s always-updated resource list. There, you’ll find Dr. Lorie Huston’s new, 4-paws-up piece, “Keeping the Peace in a Multi-Cat Household”; Pat Miller’s “How to Teach Your Dog to Get Along in a Multi-Species Household“; and Mardi Richmond’s “Mixed-Aged Dog Packs“. All brilliant ladies with savvy advice….. brilliant!
My Rusty prefers the bachelor lifestyle. He picked two flicks to illustrate how adopting a second pet can go fab – or very, very bad. Enjoy!
Did you rescue or adopt a pet? We’d love to hear how they’ve touched your life!
Please share your story in the comments. Woofs & wags to you & your fur-kids! xo ~Ruth & Rusty~
©2013 The Soulful Pet
|July 2, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Recipes, Seasonal, Soul food, Videos|
Arrrgh! We’re so over the stifling 100-degree days here!
So Rusty & I set out to chill out. We busted out the Popsicle molds & the Freezy Pup trays and got busy.
These tasty morsels are perfect for heat waves & the 4th:
Ruth’s Peep & Pup-sicles
1 cup frozen, quartered strawberries & 1 cup frozen blueberries (Lay fresh berries on a wax paper-lined baking sheet, and freeze for 1 hour. Easy!)
1/2 cup 100% real fruit juice, divided. (Strawberry/apple or blueberry blends are fine.)
1 1/2 cups coconut yogurt, divided – or – 1 1/2 cups frozen coconut yogurt if you prefer it sweeter. (Kids & hubbies will want sweeter; Pup shouldn’t have sweeter.)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract, divided
Set aside 1/2 cup of yogurt for later use. Blend the strawberries, 1/4 cup fruit juice, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tsp lemon juice & 1/2 tsp until smooth. Pour mixture into a large glass. Reuse the blender (no need to rinse it) using the remaining ingredients and the frozen blueberries. You’ll have about 2 1/2 cups of filling.
Layer the berry mixtures & reserved yogurt in ice cube trays, popsicle molds, or retro-style paper cups with sticks. Start with the strawberry mixture. Top with enough yogurt to create a 1″ layer, or so. Top with the blueberry mixture. Freeze for @ least 8 hours. Enjoy!
Note: For Rusty’s pup-sicles, I layered the yogurt on top of the blueberry mixture. There’s no wrong way to go. Have fun with it. Create your own concoctions, and let us know what you tried!
~Adapted from ThugKitchen~
Heat wave aside, Rusty’s been a little under the weather this past week.
A bit of a strained muscle, we think. No worries – we’re on top of it, and he’s comfy. He’s feeling well enough now to savor a stench in the yard. Those pup-sicles seemed to be just the medicine he needed!
©2013 The Soulful Pet
|June 4, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Guest bloggers, Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle|
I’m honored to welcome Mike Lee as a guest blogger for The Soulful Pet!
A bit of bio on Mike, in his own words: “In my professional roles as executive director/nonprofit consultant; my avocation as artisan baker and slow food gourmand; and my vocational roles as friend, kindred spirit, lover and family, Cooper is my constant companion.” I first met Mike when I coached his family during handsome Cooper’s puppyhood. Cooper was a 50th birthday gift for Mike, and his first dog. Of Cooper, Mike says, “He inspired my second childhood.” Now that’s a great gift! Mike’s devotion to Cooper, friends, family and artisan baking inspires me, so I invited him to share his thoughts on life-as-Cooper’s-dad with you. When he wrote this, Mike had just spent 10 nights in the intensive care unit with his father, who had suffered a heart attack, and he was missing Cooper’s companionship. Very thankfully, Mike’s dad is well now, and Cooper’s been reunited with his dad.
“A Message to Cooper” by Mike Lee:
“You beautiful creature, I miss you so being an ocean apart. Yet when I close my eyes, listen and hold still, I feel our foreheads touch, our calm breaths meet, our hearts beat-thump-thump, beat-thump-thump, together. I feel you near me, Cooper, and we’re communicating through the cosmos, crystal clear. You beautiful creature, I see the joy and mercy of God in your loving eyes.”
Mike & Cooper, thank you for reminding us to savor the sweet things in life.
Friends and family (2 & 4-legged) are cherished gifts, not to be taken for granted. Warm hugs and baked goods made with love nurture the soul; they’re downright therapeutic. Wishing you, your father and Cooper continued health & joy, Mike.
Readers: If you’d like to honor your pet (past or present) with a story, note and/or pics, just let me know. If you’d like to respond to Mike’s post, please do in the comments. I’m sure he & Cooper would love to hear from you!
©2013 The Soulful Pet
|June 3, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Pup culture, Rusty's place, Videos|
Got a case of the Mondays, mutts? No worries.
These flicks will have you back to sniffing butts & BOL-ing in no time.
I had no idea that depressed cats were so hysterical! ROTFLMTO.
PS – Pooches, if you’re sensitive about language, skip these vids & go get a biscuit. That’ll cheer you up. It always works for me! ~Rusty~
©2013 The Soulful Pet
|May 15, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Pup culture, Rusty's place, Videos|
Hey, pooches. Poodle, here. I got game. Check it:
But life’s not always poodle-perfection. I’ve had my fido fails.
No shame in that. Can’t get game if you don’t do a few fails, dawgs.
Guess what? I’m not alone. Sometimes us pups just forget how to dog.
Then our peeps put it up on YouTube. So have a good BOL @ yourselves & move on.
Ya feel me, fidos? Cool. ~Rusty~
©2013 The Soulful Pet