Posts Tagged ‘horses’

Quinn the Hedgehog, following his blessing & a sprinkling of Holy Water.

Despite my religious upbringing, (or perhaps, in part, because of it), I often struggle with matters of a spiritual nature.  But I have come to realize that even after many years of doubt, I still have a strong faith that is always going to be a part of who I am.  There is spirit here, around us and inside us, pervading every living thing.   I still believe there is a Creator, a Plan…and there is Love.

So often I have sought comfort in organized religion, only to find it lacking in forgiveness, acceptance, and compassion…the very tenets on which it was built.  Yet from time to time, I’m reminded that real love for ALL of God’s creatures is alive and well.  One of the most moving events we attend as a rescue group each October is the Blessing of the Pets at our local Catholic church, St. Mary’s.  This year, we were fortunate enough to attend a second blessing at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Brother and sister team Daniel & Mira socialize after the ceremony.

Among the young dogs of velvety fur and puppy breath, the older but wiser canines with their grey muzzles and gentle eyes, and the occasional pretentious cat, you never know what you might see.  This year’s hedgehog sighting was a first for me.  Quinn was a little shy, but seemed to enjoy the attention.  This was also the first time I’ve seen a turtle receive God’s blessings.

"Speedy" is Blessed

 There is a reverent calm among the animals as they are receiving the sacred blessing.  It’s almost like they know, as animals so often do, with an awareness superior to our own.

JT, blessed by Msgr. Kirk: “Creature of God, be blessed in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

The writer of this poem gives credit to “the Lord God” for “all things bright and beautiful”, but I believe her words of gratitude are fitting to all, no matter what you call your Spirit, your Creator.

Maker of Heaven and Earth
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.
The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.
The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning,
That brightens up the sky.
The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.
The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
We gather every day;
He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
-Cecil Frances Alexander

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Does Hope Float?

“Where there’s life, there’s hope.” ~Cicero

On May 1, 2010, one of our dog rescue sanctuaries in West TN (also home to cats, donkeys, and horses) was completely flooded.  We were forced to evacuate the facility, and spent months repairing and rebuilding.  Part of what sustained our hope during that disaster: the flood was so rare, it was categorized by the Army Corps of Engineers as “a thousand-year flood”, an event that can only be expected statistically every 1,000 years.  

Less than a year later, in what seems a cruel deja-vu, we are back in that same nightmare.  Friday, as flood waters rose, horses panicked, and our group struggled to maintain sanity, dedicated volunteers scrambled to Melissa’s barn to evacuate the residents, including 23 dogs,  twice the number housed at the facility this time last year.


Truckload by truckload, we hauled our four-pawed kids to safety.  All were soaked, cold, and scared, but thankfully none were injured.

 This weekend, we’ve been viewing the photos of the damage, compiling lists of what we need to begin repairs, researching emergency disaster-relief funding.  I’m bouncing back and forth between panic, dread, and tears.  How are we going to do all this…AGAIN?  Where is the money going to come from?  What if people don’t help this time, there is so much devastation in the area, storm damage everywhere else to be repaired, so many others in need.  The economy is so bad, people are struggling just to feed themselves, how can they help dogs? We are a small group of women who also work full-time, deal with all the other “stuff of life”, and help care for the other 50+ animals in the rescue; this is such an overwhelming task…what if we just can’t do it this time?

While going through these photos and catching up on some work I missed Friday, I decided to take a mental break and glance at my non-work-related emails.  I subscribe to a few blogs I find inspirational, motivational, or fun.  Many of them seemed to be speaking directly to me today, so I thought I’d share what others have to say about hope and encouragement this week.  I’m a firm believer that what we send out in this life, we get back many times over, so thank you all for your support and prayers; and whatever personal obstacles you face this week, I send you hope!


“It’ll undoubtedly be a struggle, but most things worth accomplishing are.”  ~ Deborah Bryan http://www.deborah-bryan.com


“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ~A.A. Milne from “Winnie the Pooh”    http://www.momentumgathering.com


“Volunteering is the right thing to do…and studies show that it boosts happiness; those who work to further causes they value tend to be happier and healthier, experience fewer aches and pains, and even live longer.”  ~Gretchen Rubin  http://www.happiness-project.org   (someone please keep reminding me of this one, lol)


“Fear will try to stop you. Doubts will try to stop you. You’ll shy away from doing great things, from going on new adventures, from creating something new and putting it out in the world, because of self-doubt and fear. It will happen in the recesses of your mind, where you don’t even know it’s happening. Become aware of these doubts and fears. Shine some light on them. Beat them with a thousand tiny cuts. Do it anyway, because they are wrong.” ~ Leo Babuta  http://www.zenhabits.net


 “He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.”  ~ Job 5:18 NKJV.  From today’s devotional by Ron Harber.  Subscribe by emailing Ron.Harber@BMHCC.org


 “Where did Alex’s hope go?” ~ from “The Big Chill”, one of the best movies ever about lost hope 🙂


We’re going to need YOUR HELP to make this home for wayward dogs a home again.  If you can donate, even $10.00 can house one of our displaced dogs for a day, and every dollar counts.  Our mailing address is Downtown Dogs Group, P.O. Box 3043, Jackson, TN  38303.  Donations may also be phoned in to one of the great veterinarians or kennels assisting us.  Just call Countryview Kennels at 731-427-8585 or West TN Vet Services at 731-423-3332 and tell them you want to help the Downtown Dogs Group.  We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; donations are tax-deductible.








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