Autumnal Blessings

20140914_101202When autumn begins making its appearance, everything in me seems to shift. All feels right in my center. I don’t just love fall, I adore it!

Projects I’ve been thinking of seem to pick up speed and actually get done. Like my front door, which was blue for about the past five years or so. Ever since the day I painted it, I didn’t like the color once it dried. It bothered me every time I looked at it.

But I didn’t know what color to change it to. I can’t even tell you how many times I thought about a new color!

My house is a darker sage of green. I wanted a color that would go with the different seasons, plus the many holidays for decorating purposes.

And then I found it… an autumnal blessing… I painted it a lighter shade in the green family called “antiquity.” Just the name itself makes me happy.

What a difference painting my front door this color has made in my spirit!

20140914_120045Now I can’t stop staring at my front door!

As I looked closer at the photo I took of Gidget who wanted to be on my lap while I painted, but finally gave in to sitting off to the side, I see she looks to be in an almost meditative state. I guess the autumnal antiquity agrees with helping her to feel in balance too!

It will be another autumnal blessing soon when I bring out all my fall decorations – but for now I just had to enjoy a few days longer the summer floral on my freshly painted door.

Meet Davey: The 30th Dog Granted a Dog Wheelchair through The Frankie Wheelchair Fund

photo 2Another happy, happy day here at Joyful Paws headquarters! Meet Davey – the 30th paralyzed dog The Frankie Wheelchair Fund recently granted a wheelchair.

Davey was with Oregon Dachshund Rescue – but not for long before his new family came along to adopt him. And you know what is so great?  Davey has a new brother that looks just like him in that he too has wheels!

This is Mickey!

1426605_10151824291556242_558388138_nWhat a sweet and inspirational site it will be to see these two handsome wheelie fellows rolling down the street, don’t you think?

These two are in excellent care with their mom, BeBe who loves and adores these special dogs. I think she is pretty special too for not only caring for one, but now two!

***Wheelchair I recommend and work with for The Frankie Wheelchair Fund is Eddie’s Wheels.

Learn more about The Frankie Wheelchair Fund

You can learn more on our website, National Walk ‘N Roll Dog Day where you can apply for funds or donate.

A Tribute to a Special Therapy Dog Named Preston.


PRESTON

While it is always heartbreaking and sad to say goodbye to our beloved furry pals, I wish to celebrate and honor the life of a special dog named Preston.

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, he was the love of Julie’s life. Preston, who brought her much joy and comfort. He filled a void in her heart as she and her husband tried unsuccessfully for years to have a baby.

As an elementary school teacher seeing how some of her 3rd graders struggled to read, she began a program for her class to help her students. It was called “Pages for Preston.”

Reading to a dog, like many similar programs around the US, helps kids feel less intimidated and more relaxed when they know they are reading to a dog. And Preston was the perfect companion for just that. Oh, the stories he was read in his lifetime!

My children’s books, Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog & Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Therapy Dog Visit Libby’s House became books Julie’s students would read to Preston.

As a trained therapy dog through Therapy Dogs Inc., Julie also wanted to help others who wanted to do therapy dog work with their own dogs. She became a trainer/observer shortly after I met her when I did a presentation with Frankie for her classroom.

Julie and Preston would become the wonderful team that trained Frankie and me. It was such a special time that summer of 2008.

Working with Preston, Julie found it rewarding in giving back and making a difference as a therapy dog team. It helped take her mind off the fact that having a baby just didn’t seem to be in the cards for her.

I remember so well in August 2008 when Julie presented me with the official certificate certifying Frankie and me as a therapy dog team after our visits together to a nursing home. I felt so blessed to have worked with Julie and Preston. We had all formed a special friendship and I didn’t want our time together to end.

As we were riding in the elevator in the nursing home, I realized something different about Julie. A petite, small framed woman, she seemed “fuller” and was glowing. She would share with me that day that she was pregnant!

Preston, who provided love and understanding for Julie during those trying years, was also just what she needed in realizing that helping others in need served a far greater purpose than she could have ever known.

Julie and I remain friends. Because of our special connection and friendship, it seemed only fitting to me that Preston and her daughter, Lyla be a part of my children’s book, Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby’s House.

Frankie, me, Preston & Lyla

Preston’s legacy lives on in the book and I’m so honored to have been a part of his journey in doing this. But I also know without a doubt that Preston lives on in the hearts of the many children who read to him over the years. What a gift he was for those kids!

But most of all, he was the best friend to Julie who he adored and loved with all his heart… and it is Julie’s heart that is forever changed because of her beloved Preston.