Monthly Archives: November 2011

Some thoughts on…Pet Adoption

Okay, this is going to be my -“venting & complaining” maybe some sarcasm thrown in there-blog. (Just to forewarn you!).

I was at the store the other day & overheard a conversation a lady behind me was having with another lady. Apparently she’s adopting a pet from a breed-specific rescue organization & was “inconvienced” about the lengthy adoption process. Now, I am not an expert on the adoption process, in fact, I’ve never adopted a pet myself. I would (and will oneday) just not in a position at the moment to do so. I do, however, hold college degree’s in animal related fields & have working experience in multiple areas of the animal industry. I chose to not give her my opinion & I’ve regretted it ever since. Whether she would’ve even cared what I had to say, I don’t know…but at least it would’ve made me feel better. Instead I chose to remain quiet (shocking, I know!) & the missed opportunity to educate someone has passed & that’s been weighing heavily on my mind. I’ve decided to take that missed opportunity & blog about it. Maybe at some point someone will stumble across my little piece of this world, read what I have to say & think twice before they complain about how “inconvienced” doing good has made them.

When you make a decision to bring a pet into your  life, it  truly is a blessed thing. It’s a big decision & not one to be taken lightly. That pet is looking towards  you for companionship, security, & to be a part of your “family”. You’re making a contract with that animal to take care of it for the rest of their life. Sometimes that’s not always the case, life happens & unfortunately animals occasionally have to be re-homed. Giving an animal away really is a selfless act, to love something enough to want a better life for it, to realize it’s not a life you can provide…that’s commendable. You’re allowing another family to expand into the role of “pet owner” & all the perks (sometimes aggravation) that that responsibility can hold. Many animal shelters-both kill & non-kill, as well as breed-specific rescue organizations have an “adoption process” that is designed to provide both the animal & the owner with the best possible match.

Usually the first step is filling out a questionnaire. It basically asks questions about your lifestyle- your housing situation, kids, how active you are, how much time you have to spend with a pet…that kind of stuff. Then it’ll match you based on what they have in the shelter or in the network of organizations that they’re under. Don’t forget, the animal adoptee’s job is to place the best interest of the animal first & not your best interest- for instance, if your lifestyle is more sedentary the last thing they want is you to take home a high-strung, active Jack Russell. It’ll be an un-happy match for both. Breed-specific groups run the same way- if you’ve got a home with small children, but want a chow-chow (not notoriously good with kids) they will be specialized enough with that breed to know what behavior traits to watch out for. You’ll most likely have a meet & greet with the dog (or cat) of interest, both at the center & at your home. The rescue organization or shelter needs to see that you can handle the animal’s behavior & provide a safe environment for it. If you’re interested in an animal with known hip problems, & have a lot of stairs in your home, not a good match. If you’ve got a pond on your property & are looking at a lab…perfect! Those kind of assessments can only be done in person & again, is only to benefit the happiness of the potential owner & the animal. Finally, the last step of the adoption process usually involves a “contract” of some sort. An agreement that you make with the shelter to take care of all veterinary visits, if the animal is on a special diet/medications, & if you’re unable to care for the animal any longer-that you will contact the shelter & let them know (especially true for breed-specific organizations).

The adoption process is lengthy, in some cases it can take months. But, its designed that way with the intent of the animal being placed in their “forever home”. It’s certainly not done to “inconvience” the potential owner. And besides, if you’re “inconvienced” by the process, you’re really going to be “inconvienced” once the pet comes home. If you don’t have the time or patience to go through the process, than you don’t have the time or patience to own a pet.

Adopting a pet is such an incredibly caring & loving thing to do. I’m not a fan of breeders at all (that’s for a later blog) & going through a rescue shelter is giving you the chance to save an animal that could, in some cases, be sitting on death’s doorstep. With the amount of irresponsible pet owners that don’t spay/neuter (little patience for those that don’t) shelters are beyond overcrowded with grateful pets that would love to snuggle up with your family at night. Some of the most gentle, sweet, & kind animals I’ve ever come across have come from some kind of rescue organization. Maybe it’s knowing they’ve been given a second chance that makes them feel more grateful & appreciative.

Good thing I don’t work at the adoption center where that lady is going through, she might be getting a big red “denied” stamp on her paperwork from me! 🙂

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A Father’s Love Letter…an intimate message from GOD to YOU!

The end of September I traveled with a few ladies from my church to the 2011 North Central Ohio Women’s Fall Retreat held at Punderson State Park. The theme of the retreat weekend was, “Untangled”; untangling yourself from yourself, guilt, bad decisions, anything that binds us…learning to let “us” off the hook.  To say that God was with us that weekend was an understatement! He worked something in all of us woman & we came back freer, stronger, &  more committed to “ourselves”, leaving behind heavy weights that all of us had in some form. My good friend Heidi Strickler,(faith in flip-flops), has a saying, “we need each other.” And its true! What made that weekend so special was the bonding that drew us closer together.  All of us were “broken” in some form & we each specifically needed that weekend. It’s really amazing how God works. He knows exactly what we’re going through & lines up people, events, “weekends” to help in putting us back together.

Our retreat packet contained a letter titled, “Father’s Love Letter”. A love letter is something you never read in a hurry. It’s something you wait until your alone, in a quiet place, where you can absorb the words that were written just for you by somebody who loves you with their whole heart. God has written you a love letter, every line in this letter is a bible verse & the author has pieced it together into a letter format. This letter was written by GOD to YOU.

Wow!

My Child…

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. I know when you sit down and when you rise up. I am familiar with all your ways. Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. For you were made in my image. In me you live and move and have your being. For you are my offspring. I knew you even before you were conceived. I chose you when I planned creation. You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. I knit you together in your mother’s womb. And brought you forth on the day you were born. I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. For I am the perfect father. Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Because I love you with an everlasting love. My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. And I rejoice over you with singing. I will never stop doing good to you. For you are my treasured possession. I desire to establish you with all my heart and soul. And I want to show you great and marvelous things. If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. For it is I who gave you those desires. I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. For I am your greatest encourager. I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. He is the exact representation of my being. He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. I have always been Father, and will always be Father. My question is…Will you be my child? I am waiting for you.

Love, Your Dad

 Almighty God

Church is a powerful place. It’s not perfect, it can make mistakes, after all it’s run by people…but its powerful. Most churches have “groups” within the church; children’s, youth, women’s, singles, etc. They hold retreats, conferences, workshops, overnighters…its designed that way to bring people closer together, to fellowship with one another. Look into joining a group, participating in an event, at whatever church you attend. It’s an opportunity to get to know people who share your common belief, who strengthen you when you’re weak, for you to do the same in them. To survive this life we really do need each other; positive people, loving people, that stand by you. Give a church group a chance. “Jesus freaks” can be fun too! 🙂

 Okay, the “hand raising” was in response to a question of how many have been skinny-dipping. Every single one of us Vermilion ladies had…coincidence???

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Smartest things heard…in October!

October is my absolute favorite month of the year! It’s the month of apple-picking (which leads to homemade apple pie, apple fritters, applesauce…you get the idea), leaves changing to my favorite shades of orange, red, & yellow, crisp nights-that Fall is famous for, college football is in its prime, & the month finishes with the one night a year when it’s okay to dress up like anything under the sun & people give you CANDY for it. Seriously, can there be a better month???

10/3-“Be the type of woman who, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says-oh no, she’s up“-quote on yahoo-

10/4-“I encourage you to believe for things so big that they take God’s favor, his blessing, & his divine intervention to make them a reality!”-Joel Osteen-

“There’s no one on the globe that wants better for you & to see you succeed more  than your parents & your siblings.”-Dr. Phil- (I love this because its SOOO true!)

10/6-“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most helpful tool I’ve ever encountered when making big life choices.” & “Your time here is limited don’t waste it living somebody else’s life.”-Steve Jobs-

10/8“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”-John Wayne-

10/9-“At the end of the day, if your actions didn’t hurt anybody, you were compassionate towards others & brought a smile to God’s face, than I think your day was a success.”-me-(every once in a while I come up with a good one!)

10/11-“Your life begins to change the day you take responsibility for it.”-Steve Marobli-

“Trust God. Everything will be all right. Face life with a heart of trust.”-Lillian Hunt-

10/13“The truth of a person lies in their heart.”-from the novel, Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

10/15-“This is a seriously cool building!”-me- “I know! I would’ve loved to have been a prisoner here!”-my brother, Luke, in response. (Talking about the Mansfield Reformatory when we went on the Haunted Prison Halloween Walk)

10/16“Sometimes I guess there just aren’t enough rocks.”-my favorite quote from Forrest Gump.

10/19-“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”-Oprah Winfrey- she has the best quotes. I wonder if she actually comes up with them or if a writer does it for her. Genius!

10/21-“What is sweeter than a honey? A honeycomb. What is stronger than a lion? Love.”-some guy on Animal Planet’s show Fatal Attraction. Don’t think this thory stands true since he ended up getting mauled by a lion, but its something to think about nevertheless.

10/23-“If you love something & they love you, you’ll always find each other.” & “Hope is believing in the possibility of a happy ending, it’s a powerful thing.“-my new favorite show, Once Upon A Time-

10/25-“If you really want to know about me, you should try riding a horse. And if you really want me to know about you, I can learn a hell of a lot by watching you in the saddle.”-from the novel, Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult- This quote sticks out to me because I personally think its true. Most people who are horse lovers will agree that they feel most at “home” on horseback. Watching how someone interacts with animals, kids, & old people-in my opinion-will tell you everything you’ll ever need to know about them.

10/27-“What’s one harvest in a man’s life? It’s nothing.”-Charles Ingalls- Now you KNOW I had to throw a Little House quote in the  mix.

10/30-“3 stages to every great work of God; 1st it’s impossible, 2nd it’s difficult, & lastly…it’s done.”-J. Hudson Taylor.-

 

 

 

 

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Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, so when I found this novel for .75 at a library book sale AND I had never read it, it was all I could do to hold back the squeals & not make a complete fool out of myself. Jodi Picoult writes about hot, current topics in a fictional way (suicide, stem cell research, kidnappings, murders, school shootings etc), topics that are unfortunately all to common. She puts “stories” behind these issues & makes you think about these topics, how would you react if you were the shooters mom,  the caretaker of a cloned child, or the sibling of a kidnapped victim. The book jacket for Harvesting the Heart didn’t describe what it was about, but given the author I knew I’d like it. Boy, was I wrong…very, very wrong! In fact, this was up there with one of the WORST books I’ve ever read. If this had been my first Jodi Picoult novel, chances are it would’ve been my last. Fortunately I assumed she must have been having an “off” month when she wrote this because it was TERRIBLE.

I’m going to try to summarize the book very quickly. If there had been a dust jacket I imagine it would’ve went something like this: (at least if I had written it)

Paige O’ Toole-a wannabe artist, dealing with abandonment issues from her mother leaving her at a young age, abandons her father by running away in the middle of the night, then abandons her husband & child several years later, then finds her abandoned mom & abandons her because her mom isn’t sensitive enough to Paige’s whining about how hard she had it, only to return to her husband & child expecting them to be forgiving, supportive, & happy to see her, because she’s a victim of abandonment.

Ummmm…yeah! Don’t think it works like that Paige.

I think this novel was so terrible, to me anyways, because Paige felt like she was entitled to selfishness. That it was her RIGHT to be careless with other people’s feelings because she was hurting. Now I’m not the moral police & I have certainly been careless & selfish with people’s feelings & hearts. But at some point, either through your own conscience or outside factors, you wake up & face what you’ve done. Paige never did that. Throughout the whole novel she felt her actions were justified-she was an abandoned child, she had an abortion, she lost the love of her life, she married a man who was never home, she was a bad mom, her in-laws hated her, she gave up her dreams…BLAH BLAH BLAH. I got so tired of hearing her complain how hard she had it  & her continuous whining about being a punching bag for God. The whole, “What have I done to deserve this?” tantrum she threw in the middle of downtown Boston, literally made me toss my book across the room. She just never got it. She never got that regardless of your past, it’s never an excuse for bad behavior in the present. She never figured out why Nicholas was so mad at her for leaving (after all she said she would be back) & then manipulated her way into his workplace & stalked him…it was just weird. Then she preceded to have a nervous breakdown after calling her husband a liar…huh??? Weird!

I felt the most empathy for Paige’s father, who was the only character in the novel that I truly liked. He never stopped loving his wife, he gave up his dreams to raise a daughter that he loved, even when she to, left him. He was the example of what a parent should be. I wish Jodi Picoult would’ve involved his character more in the storyline.

I wouldn’t recommend this novel, but only because I personally didn’t like it. Try any of her other books (my favorite happens to be Plain Truth), but skip this one. Harvesting the Heart isn’t like her other novels, the writing is good, however, it’s just an annoying book. Especially if you get passionate & involved in books, like I do, it’ll make you wanna slap Paige. I did read some reviews about this novel on Goodreads (an online book club I’m a member of) & more people liked it than not. So it’s strictly a matter of taste.

And I happen to have excellent taste! 😉

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What your favorite Halloween candy says about you…yes, YOU!

Everyone’s got a favorite Halloween candy, the candy that you steal out of trick or treaters Halloween buckets. In light of Halloween 2011 coming to a close, I decided to do some research & see what candy choices say about one’s personality. My favorite happen to be Kit-Kat’s & Butterfinger’s, after reading what they said though, I might be tempted to switch flavors….nah, probably not! 🙂

See if your favorite’s match up with your personalities. You might be surprised!

 

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

You have a big personality! You feel things strongly & are happy-go-lucky. You enjoy life & are fun to be around. You laugh heartily, love deeply, & are a loyal friend. Peanut butter & chocolate will always be a stable combination.

 

Snickers Candy Bar

You’re energetic, impulsive, & can bring life to any idea or situation. You’re a clear thinker who is full of action.

 

Twix Candy Bar

You have many conflicting characteristics: sometimes sweet & mild-mannered, other times grumpy & temperamental. You’re very complex, interesting, & full of surprises.

 

Candy Corn

You’re very traditional, & take life seriously…sometimes to seriously. You’re inflexible & set high standards for yourself & others. You’re an overachiever, often found in leadership positions. You’re focused & driven. You’re consistent, hard-working, & logical.

 

Butterfinger Candy Bar

You’re a smooth character. Your charm is legendary. You’re the type of person that can get away with almost anything. You’ve got a wild side & can be hard to tame. You can be secretive & complicated, but can also be flaky. You tend to be high-strung & can have a hard time staying focused. You tend to be going a million miles an hour that people have a hard time keeping up. People crave to be in your company.

 

M&M’s

You’re energetic & full of inspiration. You never slow down & you’re constantly leaving people & ideas behind. Have a tendency not to follow through on what you’ve started. You’re a true visionary, & are constantly thinking about your “next” project & future. You love living & you like to stay flexible. You’re a free spirit & am open to wherever life takes you.

 

Skittles

You’re a people pleaser. It’s your goal in life to make everyone happy. You like to put a smile on everyone’s face.

 

Sweet Tarts & Sour Patch Kids

  

 You like to keep everyone guessing. You tend to not be who you say you are

 

Blow Pops

You’re very feminine & bubbly. You tend to be animated, talk with your hands, & easily excitable.

 

Kit-Kat Candy Bar

You can have an icy demeanor. You both fascinate & terrify others. You’re very intelligent, a quick thinker, crafty & tend to be a born leader.

 

Almond Joy Candy Bar

You tend to be more laid back, relaxed, & have a “go with the flow” personality. You can also have a dark, demented side & can be aggressive.

 

-I found the above information from a number of different websites, including: washingtonpost.com, northwesternstateuniversity/drcarsihughes.com, & sparklife.com.- 

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