"...IF YOU FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, DOORS WILL OPEN FOR YOU THAT WOULDN'T HAVE OPENED FOR ANYONE ELSE." - Joseph Campbell

"SOMETIMES ON THE WAY TO YOUR DREAM, YOU GET LOST AND FIND A BETTER ONE." - Lisa Hammond

"IT IS POSSIBLE AT ANY AGE TO DISCOVER A LIFELONG DESIRE YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD." - Robert Brault


"IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHO YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN." - George Eliot

"WE DID NOT CHANGE AS WE GREW OLDER. WE JUST BECAME MORE CLEARLY OURSELVES." - Lynn Hall

"GO CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAMS! LIVE THE LIFE YOU HAVE IMAGED." - Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

* THIRD VGB: FROM LINDA SCHMIDT


I'm very happy to present my third VGB (Volunteer Guest Blogger), Linda Schmidt. 

I met Linda three years ago at an amazing writer/spiritual retreat in Des Moines, Iowa. If you're interested in knowing more about it, there are two or three short blog posts about it. Just click on the Des Moines and Iowa labels below. 

One is particularly funny because I wrote it in May 2010, I'd just reached my 50th Follower and I was so excited! I guess so. I'd been blogging since the end of 2008!

That particular blog post also mentions Linda Schmidt and her beautiful poetry. I asked Linda to be one of my VGBs and she agreed, sending the following poem and pictures. Linda doesn't have a blog, but she will be stopping by to read comments. 

~~~~~~~

Everything I need to know,

I learned from the dogs in my life.

From Sookie, I learned unconditional love and loyalty.

No matter whether I was away for a few minutes or hours or days,

Sookie always welcomed me with extravagant greeting.

Sookie
The runt of the litter, he developed thyroid problems and lost

large patches of hair, yet his spirit was beyond compare.

When Sookie got skunked, instead of keeping my distance,

I learned that he, too, was miserable and needed to be loved,

not less, but more.

Even though I knew Sookie's death from Cushing's disease would occur,

I was consumed with grief, but learned, somehow,

a day at a time, that life does go on.

Teddy B. Jackson
From Teddy B. Jackson, I learned the importance

of seeing situations from someone else's point of view.

An Australian shepherd with an intense herding instinct,

Teddy B. lived much of his life on probation

after corralling or biting too many persons who entered his territory.

Others would have put him to sleep or locked him away,

but I strove to understand him and develop a better way

of dealing with what humans judged as "criminal" deeds.

From Maizy Gracie, I've learned patience, social skills and adaptability.

She waited over a year in rescue before joining me

a week after Teddy B.'s death.

Gracie
Now, Gracie waits quietly at the gate when she's ready to come in,

and stops without complaint along the trail

while I linger to photograph wildflowers and birds.

She's outgoing, always making new friends,

and able to cut through friction to resolve disagreements amicably.

Though not the official therapy dog I at first thought she might be,

Gracie has developed an online fan club and ministers daily

to special people in ways far beyond my limited imagination.

When we visited Niagara Falls, a group of school girls from India

crowded around Gracie with their cell phones, excitedly snapping photos

with her instead of the rushing waters of the falls!

Indeed, in these and many more ways, the companion canines in my life

have taught me how to be a far better human being.
                                                                                         
 --Linda Schmidt, 2012


** Addendum: 11:45 am.....Linda sent me a new photo of Gracie from this morning and I just love it. I asked if I could add it to this post and she said "Sure!"  Below is Linda's caption:


Notice Gracie's eye roll in this pic I took this am...

she's saying "I've had enough of this stuff!"  





Thank you, Linda! And readers, please feel free to leave a message because she'll be checking in from time to time, to answer questions and/or comments.


* Welcome to my newest follower M.L. SwiftI hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! * 



"My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am." -- Unknown

22 comments:

  1. What an enchanting post. And it is clear that the one thing that you have been able to give to the dogs who have shared your life is something that they are more usually given the credit for - unconditional love.
    Thank you - you have brought a broad smile to my face this evening.

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  2. Aww I have a soft spot for dogs and this post made me smile. Great poetic expression.

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  3. Dogs add so much to our lives. This poem did a fine job of expressing it.

    Pat
    Critter Alley

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  4. Not everyone can do what you do, Linda. The world needs more of you. Beautiful dogs...thanks for sharing them.

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  5. Hi Linda! I enjoyed your poem and meeting your special furbabies. I like how you have shared how each one has changed you. I can't help but think it is nice for you to have Grace now, after the different worries of the other two.

    Kathy M.

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  6. Thanks so much for all the warm fuzzies this morning! I will let Gracie know about them all too. Blessings to you and your canine companions! - Linda S.

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  7. I love dog-dogs. My Weimaraner is a rescue dog and much beloved, even though he can be ornery sometimes. A lovely tribute!

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  8. The dogs in my life have taught me much too. Loved this post Linda. Enjoyed the pictures of your companions.

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  9. A big Thanks and slurpy canine kiss to Becky for inviting us to be a VGB! The invitation came at just the right time, since these late February snowstorms have been bogging our spirits down.
    Blessings,
    Linda & Gracie
    PS. If you'd like to read my daily email "Morning Muse", please email me: lischmidt@hotmail.com for a sample copy.

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  10. Hey everyone! Thank you for your comments! Linda is a woman of many talents....poet, dog lover...maybe a dog whisperer, too!

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  11. What a beautiful post in so many respects. Animals, great or small, can give us so much joy. I recently lost a precious wee friend. Heartbreaking, beyond measure.

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  12. Okay, let's see if I can comment like a "normal" person today...

    Anyone who's ever loved a dog (or cat) knows what an important role they play in our lives. I can't imagine living in a petless home, and sincerely hope I never have to. (Said the gal with one cat sleeping beside her and the other trying to convince her to put the laptop away.)

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  13. Thank you again for all the great comments. I've gone back to my usual comment setting, because I received a lot of spam while I had it available for anyone, including anonymous.
    Thank YOU again Linda S. for being my VGB of the day!

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  14. Different dogs, different personalities, but all loyal in their own way.

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  15. Nice to meet you and beautiful pictures and sweet words! Have a great week!!!

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  16. Yes, Linda--like you, I've been taught a lot from my four-legged friends. (I especially love the picture of Sookie with the sweater on.)

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  17. Aww what sweet dogs. And wonderful poems! I grew up surrounded by dogs and they were very much a part of our family in every way.

    Haha I love the eye-roll in the last picture. So true!

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  18. That was a nice post, Becky. Linda's love for her dogs shows through.

    And Linda, I'd love to live in the sweet house in the woods. Susan

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  19. I couldn't have said this any better. I am a HUGE dog person. We've had boxers and basset hounds (talk about polar opposites), and I told my husband I want to get a rescue dog or humane society dog next. I hope I am lucky enough to always have a dog in my life. Becky--thanks for letting Linda post this, and Linda, thanks for sharing your photos and your dogs' stories!

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  20. Thanks again, everyone! I'm sure if you've read my blog much at all, you know I'm a HUGE dog lover! We got Vern at Heartland Humane Society in St. Charles County. We got Tiger at another Humane Society in St. Peters, and our first "baby" Rocky from a litter of "give-a-ways." The BEST dogs....ever!

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  21. THIS IS FROM LINDA S.

    Thanks, again, for all the affirmations, especially about dogs and their many gifts to us!
    My sympathies to Wendy aka Quillfeather....the death of a dog or other companion animal
    is as gut-wrenching as bereavement for a human loved one, if not more so. People who don't have,
    or don't like dogs, simply don't understand. Here's a link to the Rainbow Bridge website for pet memorials:
    http://rainbowbridge.com/

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I love comments, especially because I know the time it takes to stop and type one, even a short one! Thanks very much!