Saturday, May 26, 2012

Are you Worthy of Love?


While relaxing in a German cafe with Erin I spotted this gem of a quote in the local newspaper. The words were read over and over as seemingly the author had us in mind when those words of love and devotion were penned...Never has there been a more faithful companion than Erin while I ensured she had much love and friendship. The quote was inconspicuously removed and slid into my wallet where it remained for nearly a decade. From that day forward whenever my wallet was opened I was reminded of Erin's unwavering loyalty, my responsibility to her, and the special creature that is Dog

A dog's love and commitment is a precious gift to mankind and they deserve the same in return but too often the dog gets the short end of the stick. Even when neglected, abandoned, and abused dogs maintain the ability to love and that says so much about the species as a whole...Their lifespan is short yet those days are spent enriching the lives of the human race so why would we not want to repay them. I was Erin's life while it's equally true that she was mine as my world revolved around her but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I'm confident I was worthy of Erin's steadfast devotion while these days I'm doing all I can to prove my worth to Cody!! 

This quote which I hold so dearly was written with dogs in mind but it could easily have been written about cats, bunnies, horses, birds, hamsters, goats or any other animal that puts a smile on our faces. The animal kingdom deserves nothing less than our respect, friendship, and love instead of being a prisoner in a cage or backyard with little social interaction!! 

Are you worthy of your animal's faithfulness and love?




































Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Mother's Love



Mother's Day is a time for reflection. A time to remember the sacrifices she makes, the wisdom she dispenses, and a love that never ceases to amaze!! I've been blessed to have a loving supportive Mom whom steadfastly believes in me even when my own faith is lacking, she picks me up, brushes me off and puts me back on track. The death of Erin was a devastating blow to my life...Everything I loved was suddenly taken away and for the first time I felt utterly alone. This was undoubtedly the most difficult period of my life but thankfully I had someone to show me the way.


I hadn't cried in front of my mother in eons but seemingly every night I was bawling on her living room couch...Streams of tears flowed down my cheeks while she sat close providing emotional support and a shoulder to lean on. Mom read bible verses, spoke of folks who loved Erin and the hearts she touched but in a state of shock I questioned her death and the meaning of life. Often no words were spoken, she simply watched me consumed with grief and sorrow. Her presence was all I required at times as I didn't want to be alone and she understood that so we just sat there and stared out the window until words and tears returned. I felt like a little boy scared and confused but Mom made everything better just as she'd done many times before.


A loving mother carries the burden of her children and I was fully aware that Mom pained as she observed me spiraling downward though she'd never admit it. She loved Erin like one of her kids as they spent much time together and while Mom shed tears a rock she remained for me. Intimate thoughts and feelings were shared and recollections of Erin brought a smile to our faces, dormant memories were brought to light and we agreed that she had the life that other dogs dream of. Mom offered encouragement, advice, and knew what buttons to push as I dealt with life without my fur angel...With her support I began writing as a form of therapy and ultimately this saved my life as I truly felt like giving up.


Mom always had my best interests at heart and that love was extended to Erin throughout the years. She often referred to Erin as her Granddog when meeting folks on daily walks and actually treated her as part of the family. Thick ham bones and slices of meat magically appeared in my frig as part of Mom's master plan to spoil Erin rotten which she did a great job of. My parents dog wasn't allowed inside their house but my mom insisted Erin accompany me inside much to the chagrin of Dad. Erin and me were so blessed to have an amazing lady watching over us and that love continues today with Cody.

A Mother's love knows no boundaries and no one knows that better than me!!










Friday, May 11, 2012

Hooked on Fishing


The water is calm except for the lure skimming the surface of the canal. Repeatedly it's cast outward then reeled towards me in an effort to entice the fish lurking below to strike but on this morning the only thing biting are the gnats. Erin has wandered off in pursuit of squirrels and other pleasures as she often does when we go fishing and before long I notice her heading in my direction. "Been exploring good girl?" With a wag of her tail she makes her way over to my side and it's at that point I notice something isn't right; there's a splash of vibrant color in a patch of brown fur. Upon closer examination I realize a yellow fishing lure has penetrated her flesh and is swinging like a pendulum upon movement. Concern and anger consume me as removal is attempted but it's much too deep to get out thus a flurry of profanity is unleashed on the world.

On cue my cousin emerges from an overgrown pathway with his head down and "guilty" clearly written across his forehead. All I desired was the truth and the incident would be forgotten but Matthew vowed innocence like a typical teenager when pressed on the issue. Sheepishly he stated Erin didn't wander down to his fishing hole, had no idea how Erin got injured and we both knew that was an outright lie so a barrage of questions and accusations were heaped upon him. With my disappointment made clear a call was placed to the vets office to inform them that I would be there shortly with Erin...Something tells me they were snickering when the conversation ended.

The bright yellow lure was quite an attraction for the vet's staff and folks in the waiting area...Guess it isn't everyday that a dog gets snagged by a fisherman. We were led to a small room where Erin was hoisted onto a stainless steel examination table for a closer look by Dr. H whom remarked that the hook would be out in a few minutes. An injection for pain plus a few snips was all it took to remove the embedded barb then he placed it in a medicine vial so I'd have a memento of the eventful day. Along the way he cracked a few jokes to lighten the mood which was helpful as I was stressed which was in contrast to Erin whom was happy-go-lucky as always.

Matthew saw the light with help from his mom and offered a tearful apology which was gladly accepted. The following day and many many days after we went fishing and thankfully something other than my girl was caught....It was an unfortunate incident but I'll always remember the day Erin got hooked.








Friday, May 4, 2012

This Moment - Fracture

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week or day or experiences . A simple moment….extraordinary moment… a moment where one can just be. A moment in time where I can pause…savor… and remember.

This Moment is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to me by Sarah-Jane of Samuel Michaels Photography. If you would like to participate….. then post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comment section and above so that I and others can visit you as well.

Friday, April 13, 2012

This Moment - Flutter

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week or day or experiences . A simple moment….extraordinary moment… a moment where one can just be. A moment in time where I can pause…savor… and remember.

This Moment is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to me by Sarah-Jane of Samuel Michaels Photography. If you would like to participate….. then post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comment section and above so that I and others can visit you as well.



Yesterday morning I noticed this beautiful creature struggling to fly and in obvious distress and for some reason I decided to attempt to save its life. "Nursing injured butterflies" was googled and I followed the advice from experts but it wouldn't eat or drink despite my efforts. Sadly it passed away last night but hopefully it knows I tried everything in my power to keep it alive. RIP!!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Eggs and Bunny Ears



The Doggie Easter Egg Hunt is an annual event where hundreds of dogs congregate in Savannah for an afternoon of fun in the sun. Erin's tail moves a million miles a hour as she greets old and new friends alike while her freckled nose remains on sensory overload from the multitude of scents. Many dogs are dressed in their Sunday best...Bonnets dresses, ribbons, jewelry and pink bunny ears are donned in an effort to catch the judges attention and ultimately claim the best bonnet award but I simply refuse to humiliate Erin in this manner.

Vendors hawking pet-related goods and services plus several pet adoption agencies with available dogs line the north side of the park and the animals are too cute to just ignore. Erin sticks her snout through the wire pens openings to say hello and becomes really excited when yelping youngsters are lifted up for closer examination. As glammed up dogs stream into a roped off area for the bonnet competition I lead Erin to the egg hunt starting point where we could get a paw up on the other pooches. Plastic Easter eggs filled with dog treats have been scattered across the field and are available on a first-come first-serve basis; it was my intention to gather as many eggs as possible in the short time allotted.

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The crowd swells behind us with every passing minute until the moment arrives...The countdown begins then the human/canine wave is released with Erin and I leading the charge. Festive colored eggs in our path are scooped up and tossed into a plastic bag, fallen leaves and Spanish moss are overturned in an effort to locate the treat-laden eggs. Young boys without dogs sprint pass us and snatch up eggs in a frenzy while my eyes dart from side to side looking for a splash of color. On the move an egg is cracked open and without breaking stride the treat is handed to Erin; this certainly got her attention and needless to say her enthusiasm for finding eggs increased. The number of captured eggs steadily rose the further we ventured out, I hear the winded boys ranting something about finding golden eggs which contain extra treats thus my attention turns to locating one. A golden egg is eventually found and tossed into the bag with the others thus our mission is complete.

Back at the starting point folks discuss their haul while dogs anxiously await their rewards; Erin is weaved through the crowd to an isolated bed of clover where we inspect the spoils of our victory. The bag is bulging with dozens and dozens of eggs and I'm giddy at the amount we were able to collect. I kneel down and slowly crack open the eggs one by one...The treats are fed to Erin while the plastic shells are heaped into a discard pile. Hypnotized she refuses to take her eyes off my hand for fear of missing out on something delicious and believe me she got her share before we headed home where the remainder were consumed over the next week. It was a magical fun day with my best friend and a time that I'll always fondly remember!!

Unbeknownst to me a photographer was snapping photos of the days events and captured the endearing images above.




Our Golden Egg


P.S.  Cody enjoyed his first Easter Egg hunt last weekend

Friday, April 6, 2012

This Moment - My Book Heaven

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week or day or experiences . A simple moment….extraordinary moment… a moment where one can just be. A moment in time where I can pause…savor… and remember.

This Moment is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to me by Sarah-Jane of Samuel Michaels Photography. If you would like to participate….. then post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comment section and above so that I and others can visit you as well.

Friday, March 23, 2012

This Moment - Read

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week or day or experiences . A simple moment….extraordinary moment… a moment where one can just be. A moment in time where I can pause…savor… and remember.

This Moment is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to me by Sarah-Jane of Samuel Michaels Photography. If you would like to participate….. then post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comment section and above so that I and others can visit you as well.







Saturday, March 3, 2012

Erin's Big Fat Greek Weekend



Fields of white stretch as far as the eye can see. Crossing the northern border into Greece one sees miles and miles of cotton ready to be harvested and with her head extended out the window that's exactly what Erin saw. On this glorious morning we're headed to Pella the childhood town of Alexander the Great and from where his father King Phillip II reigned over the world's mightiest empire. I'm giddy upon arrival at our destination while Erin is equally excited at thoughts of escaping the back seat; she is promptly leashed to ensure she doesn't desecrate a national treasure then exploration begins. I was anticipating large imposing groups of visitors but the crowd was sparse for the most part but that was alright as that meant less people blocking my views and impeding my path to whatever peaked my interest. Walkways crisscross the ancient site while barriers ensure folks stay on designated routes; we stroll about soaking up the atmosphere often stopping to take pics and as usual Erin was the only dog present thus she attracted attention from dog-loving Europeans.






The site dating from around 300 BC was under excavation and workers beneath protective awnings could be seen. Towering white columns littered the landscape while portions of thick wall give testament to how massive many structures were. Cemeteries, sanctuaries and urns taller than men sitting upright were all interesting but it was the well-preserved mosaics that provided the wow factor. Colored pebbles formed elaborate hunting scenes and symmetrical patterns but Erin was getting bored with it all so a change of scenery was necessary. Modern and ancient Pella butted against each other and this was where my travel companion was unleashed....Into the foothills she scrambled, sniffed, and ran while I kept watch over her like a shepherd over his flock. From there we wandered over to the museum which housed relics from Alexander's time...Crowns made of solid gold, coins, jewelry, statues, furniture, clay jars, weapons, etc were interesting but again it was a mosaic that stole the show. The aptly titled "Lion Hunt" depicts Alexander the Great and his son Craterus engaged in battle with a snarling beast; armed with spear and dagger they're poised to slay the creature...The detail is amazing and pictures fail to convey how beautiful the piece truly is. Over the years I'd read many books about Alexander the Great thus to see where his journey began was a dream come true but it was time to get to our next destination.





Arriving in Vergina we proceed into the hills where the royal palace and theater overlook the village below. Shattered columns the diameter of redwood trees dominate the palace ground and in stark contrast to Pella one does not find a single column that survived the toll of time. Based upon the pillar remains the palace must have been spectacular and certainly worthy of housing the royal family. We wander over to the adjoining theater where King Phillip II was murdered by a bodyguard and consequently the site of Alexander's crowning...vividly my imagination plays out those historic scenes until a wet nose nudge tells me it's time to mosey along. A quaint cafe is quite the welcome sight for us both; a macchiato and loaf of bread are ordered while Erin plops down near my feet. The bread is so unbelievably delicious that to this day I swear it was handcrafted by Greek deities themselves; chunks are torn off and dipped into olive oil which pleases Erin to no end. A handful of scraggly dogs approaching the table make me tense but Erin's wagging tail tells me they're no threat while a passing waiter vouches for their friendliness. Unleashed she socializes with her Greek brethren under my constant gaze and given the choice my travel companion would have chose to remain there but all good things must end thus we bid them goodbye.






A stones throw away one finds the Royal Tombs of Vergina which is housed beneath a massive earth mound...Walking down the sandstone slope is akin to entering another world. The dimly lit first floor contains artifacts recovered from three tombs including a solid gold casket belonging to King Phillip II as well as his gold laurel wreaths, armor, weapons, shield, and other personal effects. Phillip's ivory adorned funeral coach, marble funeral pyre and ashes of a young wife are on display behind thick glass...Items deemed worthy of burial with Macedonian royalty can be seen and as expected it's all decadent, beautiful and visually stunning. I return to the car to check on Erin and grab my camera before checking out the tombs. It's nearly pitch black and quite cold as I descend down the wooden walkways to view the marble tombs which are bathed in a soft glow...There is no viewing the tomb's interiors thus a vivid imagination is required. Exquisite paintings and inscriptions top the doors while intact columns line the entrance way to King Phillip II's burial chamber and it was all very moving to be amongst such treasures.



All alone I made the decision to sneak a photo of the tomb belonging to King Phillip II. Fumbling with the camera in the dark the flash mode was turned off and when the time was right I aimed and pressed the shutter button. Unexpectedly the area lit up like a fireworks display and the wrath of the Greek Gods came crashing down upon me; a female employee appeared in my face to scold me for using a camera which was strictly forbidden. An outstretched arm indicated she wanted the roll of film or the camera but she received neither from me; the camera was shoved deep into my pocket before returning upstairs to the exhibit area. Deemed public enemy #1 security personnel shadowed my every move; out of the corner of my eye I could feel their constant glare and it made me very uncomfortable. Feeling agitated at being treated like a criminal I confronted a female guard standing a few feet away; she held her ground as I lashed out at her before exiting the premises altogether. Returning to the car Erin greeted me with much affection which helped my mood greatly; she quickly put a smile back on my face and I was so thankful to be sharing such adventures with my best friend.



Btw the photo of the tomb didn't come out...Guess the Greek deities had the last laugh afterall. The next few days would be spent in Thessaloniki the second largest city in Greece.

To be continued....


Friday, February 17, 2012

This Moment - Cherished

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week or day or experiences . A simple moment….extraordinary moment… a moment where one can just be. A moment in time where I can pause…savor… and remember.

This Moment is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to me by Sarah-Jane of Samuel Michaels Photography. If you would like to participate….. then post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comment section and above so that I and others can visit you as well.


Erin's Therapy Dog Vest

Saturday, February 11, 2012

This Moment - Casting Shadows

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week or day or experiences . A simple moment….extraordinary moment… a moment where one can just be. A moment in time where I can pause…savor… and remember.

This Moment is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to me by Sarah-Jane of Samuel Michaels Photography. If you would like to participate….. then post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comment section and above so that I and others can visit you as well


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Walking In A Winter Wonderland


Erin's introduction to snow came upon exiting Frankfurt International Airport in Germany. Arriving in the heart of winter she was met by a deluge of white flakes but there was no hesitation or displeasure only joy at being released from her crate after an exhausting day of travel. Living in Savannah Georgia certainly limited her chances of seeing any snowfall but spending two years abroad made up for that shortfall and more. Despite Erin's lack of experience in a winter wonderland she felt at home and was quite confident in whatever conditions Mother Nature conjured up. She frolicked her way across 12 snowy European countries, explored nature, gazed upon breathtaking scenery and made friends wherever she went.

High in the Swiss Alps Erin romped around in blinding snow where cows with clanging bells around their necks greeted her with a chorus of moos. Riding cable cars from village to village she sat beside me and peered out at the frozen world below while skiers befriended the nomadic dog. On an icy observation deck a large group of Japanese tourists were completely smitten with Erin; they overwhelmed her with attention and repeated requests for photos thus a hasty retreat to a restaurant was necessary to escape the madness. German dormant vineyards made the perfect doggie playground, she ran freely and without restrictions across the endless white slopes while I hid behind vines for impromptu games of hide and seek. Living in Kosovo snow crunched under her weight as the grounds of a school were investigated, soccer playing lads begged her to play but she was more interested in livestock brought to the field for grazing. One day a high school aged kid hurled a snowball at Erin whom was minding her own business; luckily for him he missed but that didn't prevent me from shaking my leash in his direction while cussing him out until he dropped another snowball in his hand and ran off with his buddies. I was prepared to wrap the leather leash around his neck and bury his face in the snow until he stopped breathing but thankfully the situation didn't go that far :)


An elderly gatekeeper at the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe surprisingly permitted Erin to enter where she trod on sacred ground. Tombstones dating back a thousand years were layered in the thickest snow we arguably ever saw; off-leash she led the way while I followed closely to ensure she avoid trouble. Through knee high drifts I clambered to keep up with Erin whom cut the snow like a knife through butter...On days like those I yearned for a pair of snow shoes. The gatekeeper huddled in his shack was given a friendly wave before we strolled down the isolated streets. Against a backdrop of white the Christmas Market in Vienna was visited where we feasted on a variety of Austrian goodies...stalls hawking meats, cheeses, pastries, etc were much too tempting to pass. As always Erin sat near my feet never diverting her eyes off me as she waited on her share to be tossed downward. She received her portion and more as this would be our last evening together in Europe; the following morning she was placed in her crate for the return flight home to friends and family

One of our neighborhood hangouts, Luisenpark in Mannheim provided a vast open area where dogs could run to their hearts content, fetch balls and gnaw on sticks while avoiding children racing down hills on sleds. Rolling onto her back Erin squirmed with pleasure before vaulting upright to shake out the snow embedded in her fur...She made one beautiful snow angel much to the encouraging yelps of her canine friends. Exhilarating games of chase took place with billowing clouds of snow thrown upwards for the trailing dogs to inhale; it's good to be the lead dog. Wrestling matches brought a smile to my face as Erin and her competitor thrashed about in the snow without a care in the world; they nipped and used their weight to toss each other down. Hares living in thickets near our apartment proved to be too much of a temptation for Erin who gave pursuit even in the harshest of conditions; spotting one she gave chase until the prey eluded her. If given the opportunity she would have gladly spent all day in that overgrown plot of land; she always returned dog tired, fur damp, and spewing steam from her gaping mouth like a locomotive but oh so happy. The winter months spent overseas with Erin were amazingly happy times and visions of her smiling will forever be etched upon my mind....Given the chance I'd spent an eternity doing it all again with my best friend!!!






Friday, January 20, 2012

This Moment - Sunrise

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week or day or experiences . A simple moment….extraordinary moment… a moment where one can just be. A moment in time where I can pause…savor… and remember.

This Moment is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to me by Sarah-Jane of Samuel Michaels Photography. If you would like to participate….. then post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comment section and above so that I and others can visit you as well

This beautiful sunrise captured my attention and refused to let go. 


 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bark Magazine Tribute

The following is a tribute piece to Erin published by Bark Magazine in Oct 2010. This was amongst the first things I wrote and it appeared in print 6 weeks after her passing. I'm extremely proud of it  and hopefully everyone enjoys this look at one incredible life.

http://thebark.com/content/paw-prints

Paw Prints
Erin's Journey
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I didn’t know much about raising a puppy, but my eagerness to learn was undeniable. I wanted to raise a true companion, and to give the pup all the experiences the world had to offer. My furry pal would go everywhere with me but first I had to find just the right dog.

When I went to look at a litter of Springer Spaniel puppies, Erin cried out to me. All of the puppies were yelping and yearning for my attention, but I kept noticing one little bundle of liver and white fur. She went home with me that day, and what a heavenly match it proved to be.

The first few years of Erin’s life were typical of any dog’s life: playing fetch, wrestling with canine pals, lounging in the sun and, of course, chasing squirrels. What wasn’t quite typical, however, was Erin’s calm center and ability to touch hearts.

An opportunity to work in Germany came my way and since I refused to leave her behind, Erin was onboard that flight. Our lives would change forever, and living in Europe was a dream come true. For 18 months, Erin was my constant companion and she sniffed her way across a dozen countries.

She took an Amsterdam canal boat tour, frolicked in the Swiss Alps, walked the footsteps of Alexander the Great in Greece, strolled the Heidelberg Christmas market, and wandered the World War I battlefields of Verdun, France. If dogs carried passports, hers would have needed extra pages.

Erin gained access to luxury hotels, restaurants, cafes and department stores, bowling alleys, supermarkets, trains, buses, cable cars ... she took full advantage of the access granted to dogs in Europe. If a dog was permitted indoors, Erin could be found by my side.

During her European tour, Erin melted hearts everywhere she went. Whether it was a street performer in Amsterdam, French hotel innkeeper, Croatian border guard or the multitude of American soldiers in Kosovo, they all gravitated toward her and wanted to be her friend.

When my job ended, so did Erin’s adventures in Western Europe. There would be no more chasing deer in the Black Forest, munching on pancakes in an Austrian cafĂ© or investigating the many Rhine River vineyards. But that turned out to be just fine, because the best was yet to come.

Back in the United States, we returned to our hometown of Savannah, Ga. Erin was 5-years-old when I realized she would make a wonderful therapy dog. Obedient and possessed of an extraordinarily even temperament, friendly demeanor and a loving, comforting nature, Erin had all the traits of a successful service animal. The certification tests posed little challenge and Erin’s stint as a therapy dog was underway.

Hospice work was Erin’s first job. She visited the terminally ill, adults and children alike. She brought countless smiles to the suffering, comforted grieving family members as they cried, and at times was even present when patients passed away. At these times, she provided a welcome distraction to all present.

Over the years, Erin’s visits meant so much to the patients and their families. They may have been physically afflicted or depressed, but she raised their spirits, touched their hearts and gave them a moment of happiness in even the worst situations. She did her job as a therapy dog incredibly well.

Children absolutely loved Erin and the feeling was mutual. She was always available for a hug and helped them learn the gentle way to approach a dog. Kids enjoyed rubbing her long drooping ears and petting her large freckled feet. Erin never minded this attention and always responded with a broad smile, big tail-wag and kisses of her own.

Erin had an uncanny ability to disarm most people who encountered her. Gazing into her soulful, gentle eyes, even people who might not be that comfortable with dogs fell in love. Rare was the person who did not feel a connection and a tug on the heart strings.

Among those swayed by her charm were leaders of a major Savannah church, who permitted Erin to join the congregation for the morning service. She'd lie on the floor beside my feet, and often took a nap. The folks who went to church with Erin didn’t mind. They knew she had already earned her angel wings and thus could skip the sermon.

Erin’s church duties expanded with time as she became a door greeter, and she even had a short stint working with the children’s worship program. It soon became apparent, however, that the kids were more interested in the lovable dog than the lesson plans, so that was it for the children’s program. But that was okay, because the next phase of Erin’s career as dog ambassador was about to begin.

The drama department approached me with the idea of letting her appear on stage in a production of The Miracle Worker. They had heard about Erin through the grapevine, contacted me and arranged an audition. She won the role of Belle, the Keller family dog, and this was very exciting for her.

I had some concerns about how she would do, but she did exactly what was required in her three scenes, and the play was a success. After each performance, when the cast lined up to greet the audience, Erin was right there alongside her costars. Hundreds of people filed by to pet her or pay a compliment. It was a proud moment for Erin and myself.

On August 16, my longtime companion and faithful friend, Erin, passed away from complications of diabetes after a brave fight. Many friends and family gathered around me, and my Facebook page was covered with wishes for comfort. The outpouring of love and affection was amazing!

So many people loved and cared for Erin, but what was really extraordinary was how much she loved everyone. She never met a stranger, everybody was a friend, and that’s what really separated her from the pack. In Erin’s wake are many hearts with her paw print upon them. She touched and moved people until her last moments on earth as the cremation personnel remarked upon her beauty and sweet soul.

Savannah’s Historic District just isn’t the same without Erin. She could be spotted having a cold bowl of water at Gallery Espresso, napping on the well-worn heart pine floor at E. Shaver bookstore, dining on an occasional snack at Zunzi’s and checking out the tourists and SCAD students at Parker’s Market. She loved to lounge near her human friends hoping for an occasional biscuit or kind word.

I'm still struggling to come to terms with Erin being gone, but I’m so proud of Erin’s achievements—world traveler, therapy dog, church attendee and stage performer—but I take the most pride in what kind of dog she was inside. It’s hard to imagine a living creature with more affection, loyalty, and passion for life than Erin.

Erin was my best friend for nearly 12 years, and her passing is a devastating loss. The pain and sorrow are often beyond belief but someday I'll find a puppy and my angel dog Erin will be alongside, reminding me of the way to train the youngster. She was an inspiration to so many and will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, my beloved Erin!! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

This Moment - Game Set Match

A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.


Monday, January 9, 2012

A Renewed Focus


For the first time in eons I made a New Year's resolution and though the year is still getting underway so far so good. Past goals were broken almost as fast as I made them but this year is different because I'm fueled by passion to see things through to the end. As many know I began writing after Erin's passing and amongst the first penned stories was a children's picture book with Erin as the heroine; this tale (tail) was revised repeatedly to make it suitable for the target audience but still it needed much work then overnight all focus was lost. Blogging entered the picture to capture my complete attention thus other writing projects were abandoned altogether or delayed until the dormant fire rekindled itself. With the new year came an opportunity to start afresh while continuing my commitment to sharing Erin's story via all formats and that's exactly what I'm doing.

The changing of the calendar has brought renewed enthusiasm in completing what was begun over a year ago; I've tweaked and edited but still have much work to do before it meets my expectations. Energy is now being poured into the project as I haven't done in several months and it feels good to know that this book is heading in the right direction again. In the near future I hope to have professionals edit and polish my story into a book children will want to read time and time again before pitching the idea to every publisher accepting submissions. I imagine a day when kids at the library are reading about their former reading partner while the local bookstore proudly display a stack of books featuring their loyal friend Erin. One day with my nephew Brennen sitting beside me we'll read about the exploits of a dog whose pictures he sees on Nana's wall and I'll say proudly "That's my girl and we did those things together." Before that time comes much work and dedication is required so I bid you farewell so I can return to the task at hand....

"If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it"  ~Anais Nin

Friday, January 6, 2012

This Moment - Sidewalk Prints

A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.