Wednesday, February 27, 2013


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.

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.

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