Benny Kisses!

Benny Kisses!
Kiss, Kiss

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gratitude is the music of the heart, when its chords are swept by the breeze of kindness. ~Author Unknown

Well, here I am in another new coat.  Who would have imagined  on January 7, 2011 that I would have ended up here in Texas with Doug buying me new clothes?   All of you who helped me, thats who.  Because of each of you, those who made a donation, shared my info, and helped in so many ways, I am healthy and alive today and very grateful.

And perhaps what matters in life is that we help each other, that we make a committment to love and care for each other, no matter what the obstacles are, and we continue in this way day in and day out.  Again and again.

Thank you for taking a chance on me,
In Love and Gratitude,

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Light In Everybody - AdiDa Samraj

May all humans become aware of the immense negative consequences of any kind of warfare. May war become completely unacceptable to all humans everywhere.
May we settle our differences with tolerance.
May all humans feel their heart connection to all life and become unwilling to hurt or destroy any non-humans.
May we all celebrate the Light in Everybody, Everything, Everywhere.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

I base most of my fashion sense on what doesn't itch. ~Gilda Radner

Benny has a new sweater......and it is taking some getting use to:

Wishing you comfortable warm clothes,

Thursday, October 6, 2011

" We must become the change we want to see." - Mahatma Gandhi

I heard about Jon and Pete from Jon's wife Diane and asked if I could share their story.  I asked because it is an example of someone being willing to stick with and help a dog no matter what his issues are.  So, copied below, as written by Diane, is the story of Pete a rescue dog who trusted no one and Jon the human who decided no matter what, that he would help Pete:

Pete’s Story

Pete is our family dog.  He is a dog that my husband, Jon, and his first wife rescued about 10 years ago.  Folks knew that they fostered rescue dogs and told them about this poor dog that was always barking, always tied up, and was being taunted by the neighborhood kids, and who looked unfed and neglected. 

So they rescued Pete, who was a young adult dog with no social skills at all, and who lacked trust in humans totally (especially young boys). Jon knew that Pete was not a candidate for adoption. He knew that Pete would have been put down due to his behavior, so he felt obliged to work with him, to see if he could “tame this savage beast”.

Over the next many months and years (and even continuing to this day), Jon works with Pete to teach him through lots of love and patience that humans can be trusted. I think he took on the challenge because he saw something greater in Pete behind all his fear and ferocity --- a strong, canine presence that he loved.

Pete bonded with Jon, knowing Jon was the alpha pack member. Jon worked with him patiently and slowly, sometimes pairing him with a specific dog that could teach Pete, but often having to sequester him from the other dogs and people until little by little he became sociable. Pete takes on the alpha roll to most other dogs but now, he obeys me and displays his love and affection daily.  He lives outside mostly, barking only rarely, but whenever I go out to feed or see him he just puts his head on my leg and soaks up the love. 

Even though Pete has come a long way, we always stay with the grandchildren when Pete is around because we feel it’s better to be extra safe.  We are just not sure of Pete’s limits – especially around young children. Last weekend, Pete came in the house without being invited (we have a dog door) and I had my 5 year old granddaughter over...she was sitting on the floor playing and Pete just came up to her and licked her little face. Before that day, my granddaughter had only pet him minimally and given him treats when I am there. For any ordinary family dog, this little licking gesture would not be remarkable, but for Pete, it’s a huge accomplishment.

Pete gets along very well now living outside with a large kennel and a big yard.  We have one other dog now named Benson, who is definitely the submissive dog.  Pete does not hurt him, although sometimes he does exert his alpha status a bit.  He used to steel his food sometimes.  Benson is his buddy,  and if Benson is not there, Pete seems to mope a bit.

I came into Jon (and Pete's) life about 2 years ago.  Jon kept him gated around me for several months until, little by little he began to trust me.  Then he began to just love the heck out of me (and I him).  Pete is a very strong, loving presence in my life.  Every day, I feed him, walk him and pet him.  I also brush and clean him. He just lays his head on my leg and moans in pleasure.  This loving dog has been through so much and has been transformed into a noble creature.  I call him noble because, unlike many dogs, he is not needy in any way.  Pete is the canine sentinel of our property.  He brings the qualities of a wise soul -- steadfast loyalty, and calm strength.

Jon and Pete are very close. I am sure that, without Jon's love, patience and dedication, Pete would not have had the opportunity to be with humans at all and we would not have had the opportunity to know such a loving, noble dog. 

 Jon and Pete

Wishing everyone the gift of selfless love,
Pete & Benny

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

“He that can have Patience, can have what he will” Benjamin Franklin

Here is our boy Benny patiently waiting his turn to eat:

And the patient waiting pays off:

Wishing you all the gift of patience,

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Okay! Will make a change

Thank you all of you Benny lovers and rescuers for your loving and insightful e-mails.  Benny will be happy to share some photos of himself on this blog from time to time.
So, probably once a month you will receive a current Benny photo.

Thank you for all you do,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How is it that people can be so cruel?

As you can see from the photo above of Benny and Teddy playing in the sprinkler, Benny is healthy and happy. This is the result of many people cooperating together. Since Benny is happily adopted and healthy this will be our last post and we deeply thank all of you.
This last blog post will be longer than previous posts. I want to respond to a reoccurring question that many of you have asked, "How is it that people can be so cruel?" I want to offer a possible perspective, starting with Darwin!
In Darwin's later years of life he wrote an almost unknown book called " The Descent of Man." In this book he shows how humankind arose through the agencies of 'love and altruism' and discusses how through the acts of, "....aiding the weak to survive......the instinct of sympathy," and other traits are perhaps" the noblest part of our nature". In the book, "Mans Search for Meaning," written by Viktor Frankel, a Holocaust survivor, he mentions how some people even in the midst of the horror of the concentration camps could still find beauty and do acts of love.
Altruism and love are not limited to humans, there are countless examples of these traits exhibited by non-humans.
What is considered to be the foundation necessary for the development of altruism and love? The answer may surprise you:
The dictionary defines nurturing as:nurturingpresent participle of nur·ture (Verb)
1. Care for and encourage the growth or development of.
2. Cherish
I have mentioned in past blog posts the leading edge research of Joseph Chilton Pearce and the development heart intelligence. Dr Pearce says this about nurturing:. " Nurturing proves to be the only way by which we can be fully developed from conception to maturity. Nurturing is the staff and stuff of human life, the one indispensable necessity, yet now having become so rare. Somewhere along the way nurturing was diluted and adulterated to the point of being sidetracked and made insignificant by our concerns for survival."
Have we given up nurturing because of our 'survival concerns?'
Consider this, nurturing provided by a consistent caregiver is what produces bonding. An unbonded human (and even non humans as shown in Jane Goodall's research about the impact of unbonded chimps, or in the book 'When Elephants Weep", about how young elephants when separated from caregivers became a rogue gang) is capable of all kinds of cruelty to others because of lack of bonding.
Dr Pearce goes on to discuss that because we have developed such a 'superior brain' we have also developed what he calls 'counterfeit nurturing'. We as a species are becoming more intellectual but not intelligent. Intelligence requires the heart. So we have come up with intellectual forms of nurturing, TV, Computers, DVDs, basically a virtual reality which we are seduced by out of our need for nurturing.
So how are we nurturing our children today?

  • two-thirds of infants and toddlers watch a screen an average of 2 hours a day

  • kids under age 6 watch an average of about 2 hours of screen media a day, primarily TV and videos or DVDs

  • kids and teens 8 to 18 years spend nearly 4 hours a day in front of a TV screen and almost 2 additional hours on the computer (outside of schoolwork) and playing video games

  • Kids are actually encouraged to watch TV by their parents as a form of 'childcare'
    48% of our infant children spend more time in childcare than with a primary caregiver
    We have developed the intellectual ability to build bombs, destroy our oceans, destroy our planets atmosphere, create weapons of mass destruction and yet what is needed to grasp that we are destroying each other, other species and the very planet we live on is 'heart-brain intelligence' whose development depends on the nurturing function itself. We have actually lost the ability to deeply 'hear' and be changed by what we hear because how we hear depends upon our receptor development. For example, generations of us have heard over and over about the importance of love and yet we do not have more loving societies, we have increasingly more violent ones. One has to be 'hearted' in order" hear" about love and make the changes that this hearing requires.
    Without heart-brain intelligence we are capable of all kinds of cruel behaviors.
    A few common examples of undeveloped heart-intelligence
    a person who is 'reactive', i.e., consistently impatient, irritable, quick to anger, blaming others, wants thing NOW
    only able to compete, not able to cooperating with others
    lack of tolerence for differences
    not able to extend caring beyond ones self or immediate family to others
    lacking skills for sustaining relationships
    lack of generosity, sharing, or being of service to others
    lack of listening skills
    Can this be changed? YES! We have built within us genetically the ability to transcend any limitation which could prevent us from developing heast-intelligence.
    If we have been deprived of adequate heart-brain nurturing then what is needed is an environment that provides nurturing, safety, love, touch and the experience of being wanted. While this may sound too simplistic this is what it boils down to.
    What is needed is loving and kind human communication, eye contact, play, body movement, time in nature, soothing sounds, and close heart contact on a physical level. Emotional and physical are the same here, how many humans have been deprived of love and touch from the beginning of their lives. No ammount of counterfit nurturing can make up for real nurturing.
    And this is where dogs like Benny come in, dogs have helped many humans begin to develop heart-intelligence through touch, nurturing, eye contact, play, body movement (taking dogs for walks), and being a soothing presence.

     A society is defined not only by what it creates, but by what it refuses to destroy ~ ♥ ~

    In gratitude, thank you everyone,

    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    All creatures are created from the same paternal heartbeat of God - Saint Francis

    The words of Saint Francis express his respect and love for all creatures, and ring true to this day:
    All creatures are created from the same paternal heartbeat of God. Not to hurt our humble brethren [the animals] is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission: to be of service to them whenever they require it.
    God requires that we assist the animals when they need our help. Each being (human or creature) has the same right of protection.
    If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
    In this photo Benny is asleep and one of his friends, Billy, is snuggling in. 
    Consider this:  Is it possible that at heart, we are all connected, all one?
    If this is a possibility then can this awareness be used to guide our choices?  Can acting as if we are 'one with all life'  help us to act with compassion?
    Try it.
    and let me know what you discover,

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…” Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Hi Benny here,
    I am  away from my computer so do not have access to my photos.  However I do have some thoughts to share.
    I was thinking the other day that isn't it amazing that we all breathe the same air and this air has been on the planet earth since, well since there was air.
    That means that I am breathing the same air that Strongheart, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Sergent Stubby, and even Leonardo Da Vinci breathed.
    How could it be that since we are all breathing the same air, a substance that we cannot see and yet depend upon for life, that we are not all connected.
    Consider this a bit.
    Love cannot be seen and yet to love and be loved is, to me anyway, the greatest gift of all.
    We share love, we share air, we share this planet together.
    Aren't all connected?
    Perhaps it is the humans who are blocked from love that are unable to know and feel their connectedness to all things.
    May we celebrate our connectedness to all,

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Human Responsibility

    1. The state or fact of having a duty to deal with something.
    2. The state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.
    1. Human, humane may refer to that which is, or should be, characteristic of human beings.
     A humane person is benevolent in treating fellow humans or helpless animals.
    Are we as humans responsible for our choices?  Do our choices matter?  Those of us who are adults, are we responsible for the kinds of families and communities we pass on to future generations? 
    If we are, what kinds of values are we passing on by our actions as parents, educators, and community participants?
    What kind of legacy are we leaving by the moral and economic choices we make today?
    Are the nation and world safer as a result of the choices we have made?
    Children need positive and authentic adult role models as well as voices challenging our cultural addictions to power, money, celebrity, violence, drugs, and materialism.
    Children need positive and authentic adult role models to learn how to be humane.
    In a humane family would it be possible to abuse a dog or cat?
    In a humane family would it be possible to casually allow ones pet to have puppies/kittens knowing that millions of 'pets' are euthanized each year?
    May my human family take responsibility and make the sacrifices needed that children and non humans are valued and safe.

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    by Chief Seattle, "We did not weave the web of life, we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves."

    What if we knew, with certainty, that every thought and action we did had an impact on everything.  Any negative thought was attracted to and joined in with other negative thoughts.  A positive thought was attracted to and joined in with other positive thoughts and in the joining created a much larger 'force'.
    What kind of 'force' would we be a part of and thus influenced by?
    What kind of influence would we be to those around us?
    Who and what would we be attracting into our lives?
    In the field of Neurolinguistics as well as in other fields of human behavior study it is believed that every action and feeling is the result of a thought.  Our thoughts have tremendous power and yet....our thoughts can be changed.
    We can change a thought from anger to compassion.
    From complaint to acceptance.
    From abuse to blessing.

    Here is our Benny snoring like a chainsaw in Doug's Lap:
    May you choose to be a compassionate, caring, and nurturing strand in the web of life,

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    For the Sake of All Earthkind

         For the Sake of All Earthkind may more and more human beings no longer accept, and speak out against, the exploitation and cruelty involved in the killing of healthy and beautiful non-humans of all kinds

        May the growing toxicity and overheating of the oceans through pollution by industrial waste and the discarded excess of human consumerism be addressed with firm resolve and cooperative agreements. May these agreements immediately reduce the most dangerous and pervasive pollutants, including heavy metals and plastics of all kinds.

              May a heart-awakening to the intrinsic indivisibility of all forms of life on earth move humanity to find sustainable means to preserve the marvelous multiplicity and beauty and grandeur of the life of the oceans and land.

    May it be so,

    Real fearlessness is the product of our tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your raw and beautiful heart.-Chogyam Trungpa

    One of the main attributes of social intelligence is the inclination towards kindness and one of the main ingredients for kindness is empathy, the ability to feel for those around you.  When we give someone (human or non human) our full attention --connection follows and kindness and generosity often follow from there.
    Interestingly, researchers have found that people who are kind are also happier.  The effects of kindness towards others are 'causal'.....kindness actually causes us to be happier and more satisfied with our lives.
    I think all of us can relate that when we become self involved and our worries take center stage we become stressed out!
    "One of the healthiest things a person can do is to step back from self-preoccupation and self-worry, as well as from hostile and bitter emotions," writes altruism expert Stephen Post.  "There is no more obvious way of doing this than focusing attention on helping others."
    In my own experience I have noticed that often, people who are able to be abusive to animals and children tend to be people who are very self involved with little or no developed ability to care for or have empathy for others. 
    Kindness and empathy are ways of being that are taught by modeling and nurtured into being.  Anytime a young person is exposed to someone being kind there is the potential for that ability to grow within them.  Equally when they are exposed to someone who is self involved that is what they learn.
    So each time any of us are expressing kindness towards a non-human or human we are making a difference toward a world more kind, a world more gentle, a world more inclusive.

    Wishing you all a tickled and beautiful heart,
    Love Benny and Raven

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

    Benny Enjoying a Sprinkler

    Yes, that is our boy Benny putting his face in a sprinkler!  I feel at times lately like I want to put my face in a sprinkler too....or my head in the sand.
    Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by how many incredibly beautiful, sensitive, and loving animals are killed  each day.  I am not talking about animals who are in horrible pain, I am talking about healthy animals.
    I sometimes feel overwhelmed with sadness by way too many people casually breeding their dogs without understanding what happens to those puppies they can't find homes for.
    We have a nice word for where we take the dogs and cats we can't find homes for, we call it a 'shelter.'  Just the word 'shelter' sounds nice doesn't it?  Sounds like a comforting and safe place.  Its what we want to believe.  But, what if we were honest?  What if we actually called this place something that actually described where we were dropping animals off?  Names like, "Euthanasia Kennel, a place where your animal has a week before being killed."  Or, "Death Camp".  Would it then be as easy to say, "oh, if I can't sell these puppies I will just drop them off at the Death Camp".  Or," well if we can't sell these kittens we'll just take them to the Euthanasia Kennel to be killed."
    I truly believe if we were more honest in our language that changing our use of killing animals as a solution would become less and less tolerable because we would be admitting what we were doing.  I actually think that we need to stop using the word 'Shelter' (unless a place truly is a shelter) and we need to start using accurate words. 
    When people bring an animal into a 'shelter' and are given false reassurances about the possibility of this animal finding a home it continues the cycle of deception which continues the cycle of killing. I think it would be far kinder for the person at the counter to say, honestly, "There is a 60% chance we will be unable to place your dog.  Your dog will be here one week before being killed." 
        What really happens to dogs and cats when they enter a 'shelter':
    -   The ASPCA estimates that 5 out of 10 shelter dogs and 7 out of 10 shelter cats are euthanized annually across the nation in large part because the number of animals entering shelters is far greater than the number of animals that are adopted from shelters.
    May Dogs and Cats not be casually breed,
    May Dogs and Cats be spayed and neutered,
    May Dogs and Cats find loving homes,

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Love Creates Change

    Sometimes to be fiercely angry is necessary and healthy.  Anger is one of the ways we deal with things that must be changed.  I am not talking about petty anger.  I am talking about anger that rises out of Love.   To make changes we must become sensitive to how things really are in the world.  Many of us struggle with parental messages telling us to stop being difficult, so we suppress our emotions in order to not create an unpleasant atmosphere.  If we follow these parental dictates then we will at some point cease to be capable of healthy anger or even the expression of anger in healthy ways.  One of the consequences of this is that whatever is going on in the world will seem fine and we will be exploitable.  We will go along with the negative and destructive forces of society.
    We must be capable of anger and sensitivity in the face of subhuman behavior.  We must express this healthy anger in creative and 'awareness' producing ways or growth will not occur.
    Do not agree to being exploitable.
    Love is alive when one is in touch with their own  fear, anger, sadness and happiness.....and Love is more than all of these emotions.  Love is strong.......and one must be strong to speak up about and respond to people who are numb in their feeling and thus capable of being cruel and destructive.
    We must continue to speak up for all of the voiceless non-humans, our oceans and all life within them, trees, bees, dogs, cats, flowers.....
    We must continue to speak up for all the vulnerable humans, children, mentally ill, elderly, homeless.....
    Love creates change and sometimes the anger that rises out of love is the fuel needed to continue.

    Wishing you all aliveness in love,

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    Bless All Others

    I don't know why it occurred and yet it did.  For some reason Benny brought more fully the experience of Blessing into my life.  Each person he met he greeted and blessed with his heart even people who were afraid of him and many people were.  He had basically no hair and scabs all over so indeed look rather scary.
    I learned from Benny that it is not possible to bless another by presuming a position of superiority for yourself and a position of inferiority on the 'other'. 
    I learned that we are each responsible for the energy we bring to any situation and that our energy communicates before we ever open our mouth.  Thus we can Bless others with every breath, every action, every thought.
    Each of us can bless.  Blessing is to ,"pronounce a wish for something upon another."  Have you noticed that when you are blessing another that your experience changes?  It is like walking into a neighborhood of kindness, our heart is moved to love life, and we become generous in love.
    What moves you to bless? Love? Beauty?
    Here is one of the amazing beings who moved me:

    May we all be blessed today to have the courage to be generous in love,

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    "Never, never be afraid to do what's right especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds on our souls when we look the other way." - Martin Luther King Jr.

    Kim, one of Benny's followers sent the quote written above.  How is it that people are able to look the other way or even watch when a vulnerable human or non human is being abused?
    Professor Robert Cialdini attempts to answer some of these questions in his  book, Influence. In it, Professor Cialdini discusses:
     "... a number of stimuli that trigger an automatic response in people, including the effect that "social proof" has on the human mind.
    The mechanics of social proof, while somewhat complex, are pretty easy to understand. Simplistically, we humans have a strong tendency to glance over at other members of the herd in an attempt to gauge the correct action or reaction to take in any given circumstance. While this tendency can be useful in identifying the right bread plate to use at a fancy dinner party, it can also have devastating consequences.
    In one of the most notorious examples of the downside of social proof, in 1964 Kitty Genovese was slowly murdered on a New York sidewalk over the course of about 30 minutes, despite 40 or so witnesses, none of whom took action. They figured someone else would."
    Likewise average people will watch as someone hits their dog or loudly swears at their child in a store.
    In any event, understanding the concept of social proof - and its close cousin "social convention" - seems to me to be of fundamental importance if we are to make changes towards protecting our vulnerable human and non human kin on this beautiful planet.
    As far as the former is concerned, if you ever find yourself doing the same thing as everyone else, it may be useful to stop and ask whether you are doing the thing because you want to, or because you think it is right thing to do - or are you doing it just because it's what everyone else does?
    As for the latter, if you rely on the cues coming from the mainstream  media and officialdom you would likely believe that being a bully in all its many forms is a valued and healthy behavior.
    Even I find myself concerned that I maybe wrong about what is 'acceptable' abuse!  As if any abuse can be acceptable.
    Here is a photo of Benny with another Reunion Rescue buddy, Mr Sweets.  Mr Sweets, like Benny recovered from a severe cases of mange.  Where are these two buddies hanging out?  At our hero Doug's place:

    and Benny with more of his friends:

    Wishing all of us the courage to continue working for a safer and healthier planet for all future generations to come,

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Communicating Peace

    Here is Benny communicating:

    Through the uniquely human characteristic of communication many positive changes have been made for our voiceless kin in the last couple of weeks.  Let me list just a couple.  Patrick, the dog that was starved and thrown down a garbage chute.  Due to the flood of communication demanding that Patricks abuser be prosecuted and this type of torture not be tolerated, Patricks abuser actually faces criminal charges.  The man who was caught in photos, beating his dog whom initially the police protected saying it was his right to beat his dog.  Well due again to a flood of communication this man now faces abuse charges.
    What power there is when we come together and communicate.  What if the majority of us are truly wanting peace?  World peace, peace for all our voiceless kin, peace for the earth?  What if the majority of us are heart-disillusioned by war?  What if the majority of us want to get along with all the different religious groups and tribes on this planet?
    What if the majority of us want to come together as one human family and say,"no more glorification of war and aggressive domination over any human or non-human?"
    And, as one family we say, "if the media is used to promote glorification of aggressive domination we will not tolerate it."
    The power when we come together for peace for all earthkind will be what changes our world.
    May we all as peace desiring humankind speak out together.
    May the truly human capability for peace-making be cultivated globally for all humans and non-humans.

    May we communicate together for Peace,

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    Water Sprays and Mothers Day

    Benny here wishing all Moms a very Happy Mothers Day.  I am celebrating being alive today by playing in the water (notice my beautiful brindle coat!)

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    We are the Voice for Voiceless Animals.

    Sometimes you read, hear or see something that is just so sadly unbelievable.  This happened to me today.  I read a story about a man who beat his dog while his friends watched.  A woman across the street called the police who told her that there was nothing they could do because it was this persons right to beat his dog.  How can that be? (here is a link to this story with photos of this bully beating his dog).
    Animal Cruelty is a form of can this be within a persons rights?  Seldom does someone who abuses animals, only abuse animals.  Animal cruelty is linked to a variety of crimes including domestic violence, violence against people, and property crimes.
    Because animals cannot speak for themselves we must speak for them.  Animal cruelty is illegal in every state.  I was taught that calling the Police resulted in help for the animal.  Since this is not apparently the case in Gloversville NY then the local humane Society must be called.  I did a search and found this humane society:

    James A. Brennan Memorial Humane Society

    437 Nine Mile Tree Road
    gloversville, New York 12078
    Phone: 518-725-0115

     Please join me in speaking up for voiceless animals.  Call or e-mail the humane society listed above and tell them about what happened in Gloversville.  If you e-mail them you can send the link to the article.  Share this information with your friends.  Every time a group of us make a stand against abuse we are making the world a safer home for all of us.

    Speaking up for Benny is what saved his life.
    May our voices be used to bring peace,

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Our task must be to free widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty - Albert Einstein

    Sometimes I am deeply moved by the unspeakable suffering that goes on in this world.  None of us escape being heart wounded.  If you take the time to talk at a depth with anyone they have experienced suffering and may even be deeply heart broken in a way you had no idea about right now.  I have noticed that when any of us reach this understanding we can no longer, at least in that moment, feel sorry for ourselves.  We are able to be a little more humorous, loving and compassionate.  We are able to overcome our critical orientation to others and ourselves.  We are able to love in a much more expansive way that goes beyond our family, our group of friends, our neighborhood, our nation.

    The woman who initially stepped forward and said, "I will do what it takes to save Benny," had her birthday on Tuesday this week.  She spent her birthday rescuing a dog named Batgirl (she had been hit with a bat as well as enduring many other abusive behaviors by humans).  This woman is Cindy Marabito of Reunion Rescue.  I rescued my beautiful dog Raven through Reunion rescue.

    As Einstein suggested in his later years we are all connected to each other, the humans and the non-humans.  Let us widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures.

    Here is a photo of compassion, our hero Doug and Benny asleep together:


    Wishing you all the beauty of giving and receiving compassion,

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Coloring Books and ABC's

    This past weekend one of my art students shared that her bunny had died.  She had had this bunny for 2 years and loved him deeply.  Her mother is also currently in ICU fighting cancer.  I asked her what might help.  She said that she just wanted to color in a coloring book.  So I purchased a LARGE box of crayons and a variety of animal coloring books for very young kids.  It wasn't long before all of us, the boys too, were all coloring.  The room was quiet for the most part.  As we finished our pictures we tacked them up on the wall.  I have to tell you all of the colored animals were truly beautiful.  We gave them to my student to take to her mother.
    Marc Bekoff, a compassionate spokesperson for non-humans has what he calls the ABC's of animal protection and compassion:  Always Be Caring and Sharing.
    To me, these ABC's are truly guidelines for all beings.

    Here is a photo of sweet Raven wanting to share my salad with me:

    Wishing you all Sharing and Caring,

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    Only When We Understand Can We Care; Only When We Care Shall We Help" -Jane Goodall

    I have been considering lately how we get to a place where we can actually harm children and animals.  I think that how we treat others has a lot to do with our upbringing.  Were we brought up learning respect and care for animals?  Many of us were not.  Jane Goodall was very fortunate, she was brought up by  a mom who encouraged her interest and respect for animals.  Jane's first memory of this was when she was almost a year old.  She brought a handful of earth worms to bed with her!  When her mom found them in bed with her she gently explained to Jane that the worms would die without earth.  So Jane took them back outside.
    Probably most of us were not brought up this way and yet we can learn to care and share with our non humans by being educated.  When children are taught good information which enables them to have an understanding of the issues of non humans they will care.  For example, if children are taught about the painful cruelty that may result from the pet trade they will come to the conclusion themselves why it makes sense not to buy an exotic animal.
    If knowledge and respect can lead a child to concern for animals then the reverse is also true.  Everytime a child sees an animal abused it will become easier for them to do the same behavior.
    Children and adults who are kind to and respectful of animals also are much more likely to show respect and kindness to humans as well.

    Wishing you kindness and respect for all beings,

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    “I am more and more convinced that our happiness or our unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves.” - Karl William Von Humboldt

    How do we help ourselves when we are feeling sad?  This can easily happen in rescue work as well as in many other types of work.  I have been feeling very sad about what is happening to so many of the non humans on this planet.  What are some healthy ways to deal with sadness?
    1.  We have to name what we are feeling and accept these feelings.  For example: I'm feeling sad.  It is okay to feel sad, angry, frustrated and it is important not to act out those feelings.  People acting out their anger for example is often how animals get hurt.

    2.  Learn from the feelings.  What did I learn from the situation?  Can I make any changes?  Is there anyone I can ask for help?  Is there a plan I can put into place?

    3.  Let Go.  When we 'let go' we are making a genuine effort to do something different.  For example we may need to list or say aloud what we are grateful for.  There is something researchers call "deep acting" which can actually change our underlying feelings.  Deep acting is not plastering on a fake smile and pretending, it is actually genuinely doing what it takes to change our feelings.  Often this takes the form of distracting ourselves from the situation.  Some examples of this are going to see a funny movie, putting on some fast music and dancing, and going for a walk.  It is an activity that helps get you into a different emotional state.

    Here is Benny discussing some possibilities for changing our emotional state:

    And while he is considering how to get the other dogs to play with him, take a look at all the soft thick hair growing along his back.

    Wishing you all the gift of letting go of the tough feelings,

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Delayed Gratification

    How many of you have heard the story of Louis Vuitton the pitbull who was badly burned?  here is a photo of him:

       Briefly, a mother told her son "No" to something he wanted and he became so angry he went out to her dog, Louis, and badly hurt him.  He had no impulse control, or another way to say this, was unable to delay gratification.  He wanted what he wanted NOW and if this wasn't going to happen someone would pay the price......someone weaker and smaller than him.  An author of the book 'Emotional Intelligence", Daniel Goleman felt that developing emotional intelligence was a way to restore, "civility to our streets and caring to our communal life."
    The ability to delay gratification is one of the elements of Emotional Intelligence.  Today I was waiting in line.....a long time.  One of the many daily opportunities to test my delayed gratification skills.  How did I do?  Well, on the inside I was grumbling and complaining and my outward behavior was one of staring off and not looking happy.  At one point a woman farther behind me began expressing her frustration in a loud voice and then, a young teenage man behind me said in a calm and friendly voice, "the checker is moving as quickly as she can." I think the whole line took a breath. 
    The line was not going to move any faster because anger and frustration were shared.  A young child or puppy are not going to learn more quickly if frustration or anger are shared.
    Perhaps one reason of why so many animals are abandoned is because they take patience and time?  Did the young man who hurt Louis grow up where most things he wanted were given to him immediately and if they weren't he threw fits?
    How many animals and people have been abused because someone was unwilling to deal with the feelings that come with feeling frustrated?
    On the other hand, how many people have been taught to deal with frustration with maturity.....i.e., delayed gratification.

    Wishing you all support in developing delayed gratification,

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Beautiful Brindle Coat

    Benny's coat is getting thicker and more beautiful.  He is still getting his fish oil caps everyday to help with his dry skin.  He is maintaining his weight at 48lbs though now he is building muscle.  Playing everyday with his pack mates and especially with his friend Billy is helping him get stronger.  He is running faster and jumping higher than ever before.
    Benny makes numerous goofy faces which keep Doug this one:
    Here Benny is enjoying the morning sun...look at his coat:

    Here is another photo where he is chewing a bone and again his thicker coat is obvious:
    He looks like a regular dog now!  This last photo is Benny playing with his good friend Billy:

    Wishing all dogs with mange the chance to be rescued,

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    What Moves the Heart?

    I have been deeply moved by a number of stories in the news.  Stories of people being heart moved to action.  There was the story of Jessie a teen girl who used the money she had saved up to buy a car to help a badly hurt dog.    Another amazing story about a maintenance worker who while emptying the trash found Patrick, a starved and barely alive dog and found help.  A story about a wolf with neurological damage and people who helped her.
     I am an artist and one of the questions I get asked a lot is what makes  The answer for me, is Love.  Whenever any of us truly Love then whatever we are doing becomes Art.  And this is art that heals....heals who see it, touch it, hear it.  Each of us have a sacred art and when we perform that art the heart of all is moved.
    It is important to ask what is my sacred art?

    With Love,

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    “It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn compassion by compassioning.” Mary Daly

    How do we learn compassion?  How do we become more compassionate?  Here is a photo of Benny, sound asleep after lunch and one of his pack-mates, Raspberry, comes over to lick his face:

    Alas, then Benny wakes up!
    So, compassion.....Augustus was about 2 years old when he was rescued by a 15 year old young man.  As this young man's mom describes it:  my son was acting strangely, and of course I had no idea why he was wandering back and forth through the yard with towels and such.  He finally needed to confess and called me down stairs.  " Tied up to my basement door was the saddest sight I had ever seen.  Augustus was emaciated, had scars like train tracks across his head and face, puncture wounds, and the pads of his feet were so swollen they were squishing up through his toes. His soft polka-dotted belly was bright pink and his fur was missing from various places on his body. The lady had given my son the dog's canine tooth in a Safeway bag and he had a rusty choke chain draped around his neck. He looked like a fighting dog and I knew we couldn't keep him. I knew people thought I was a nut already and the neighbors would be sure to report me. Well we made a bedroom up for him, with a comfy bed and agreed to keep him for the night. My girlfriend rushed over with various naturopathic remedies to sooth his body. He stunk so badly that we agreed he needed a bath. My husband looked at me and said, well this is the test, if I don't live through the bath, then you know you shouldn't keep the dog! Well to make a long love affair short, the dog was fine and loving and thankful. We all fixed him up and the next day he was brought upstairs. He met my other two dogs, and the foster pittie. And they were all fine...and so begins my fight and love for the underdog. Augustus has been with us for five years." 
    Recently Augustus's family has been devastated to learn that he has cancer and they are doing everything they can to help him win this battle.
    Here is another example of a young 15 yr old man's and his parents compassionate response.  Compassion is not frequently our first response.  In fact often when someone else is suffering our first response is likely to be one of self protection, i.e. we look for someone or something to blame.  We may protect ourselves from feeling by passing judgment or going into fix it mode.
    However, like the parents of this 15 yr old, with practice compassion can become our response.  It is not as easy or as simple as it sounds to practice compassion however the effort is worth it.
    Wishing you Compassion,

    Sunday, April 3, 2011


    Last week I was heading home from my daily walk with Raven.  It was cold and fluctuating between hail and icy rain.  As I got closer to our street I could see the young neighbor boy outside walking with his head down and dipping his hands in and out of puddles.  When I reached him and asked what he was doing he said, "saving the worms from drowning."  Sure enough, he was carefully taking the worms out of puddles and carefully placing them on higher ground.
    How is it that this young boy was moved to such an act of compassion?
    One possible explanation is Heart Intelligence.  about sixty to sixty-five percent of all the cells in the heart are neural cells which are precisely the same as in the brain,
    How do children 'learn' compassion?  How do any of us become compassionate?
    One idea, that makes sense to me as taught by Joseph Chilton Pearce is that we model it.  He says: " as adults, actually move and have our being in the state of love, we can be appropriate models and guides for our children.  What we are teaches the child far more than what we say, so we must be what we want our children to become."
    Perhaps this young boy has a compassionate mom or dad, compassionate teacher, perhaps compassionate neighbors?
    If what we are is what we are teaching and modeling....what are we teaching and modeling?
    I am waiting for some photos of Benny from our hero Doug.  So I will close today with a recent painting I did of my dog Raven.  I think many of you will be familiar with the expression on her face!
     So Raven here, filling in for Benny in wishing you all the experience of compassion,

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Do not wait for leaders. Do it alone. Person to Person. - Mother Theresa

    Hello, Patti, Benny's blog writer here!  Before sharing a couple of wonderful photo's of Benny I want to take a moment and thank so many of you for sending your e-mails and comments.  Each one of us help to make a positive difference with our caring and love for all beings.   For any one to keep taking yet another step forward on this challenging path of caring for non humans (and humans) also takes encouragement and I am grateful for all of your encouragement.
    If you would like to e-mail me personally, on the right side of the blog where it says: 'About Me' you can click on either my name or where it says, 'View my complete profile' and it will take you to a page with my e-mail address.  I would love to hear any questions, comments, and stories you would like to share. 

    Now here are some additional photos of Kathi (who has helped Benny with Reiki) and her visit with Benny.  Benny is a snuggle bug:

    Benny shares some of Kathi's time with Squirt:

    and back to having Kathi to himself:

    Wishing you all support and encouragement,

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011


    Yep, here is Benny relaxing poolside:

    And here he is basking in the sun:

    Sun bathing with friends:

    and a close up of Benny's beautiful sunbathing face:

    Now, check out his beautiful brindle coat:

    Our hero, Doug has been giving Benny omega-3 fish oil capsules and liquid vitamin E supplement to help his skin.  His skin is getting softer, smoother and has more elasticity.  Doug found out that Benny has entropion on his right eye which is why that eye is always excessively watery and squinty.  The veterinarian says he can easily fix it and will do so when Benny goes in to get neutered.

    Wishing you all time to relax by the pool,

    Sunday, March 27, 2011

    My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet. ~ Edith Wharton

    I remember the first time I read the above quote, I immediately began to cry because the truth of it hit me so hard.  I have been thinking about how much our dogs are, for the most part, totally dependent upon us for their care.  When I first picked up Benny, every bone in his body was visible.  This was after being at the vets a couple of days and being given fluids and food.  I honestly was shocked when I first met Benny at the condition he was in.  He looked a lot like Patrick whose story is heartbreaking and hopeful.  Many of us wonder, how does a person, like the woman who starved Patrick, do those kind of behaviors?  Sometimes people who abuse animals are very mentally ill.  That doesn't however account for all cases.  Often when a child abuses an animal it is because there is abuse going on within their own home and they are acting out what they see.  I also think that we live in a society that actually values bullies.  What if we lived in a society where the man who was the most 'manly' of all was the one who protected someone weaker than they are?  And women were valued for her uplifting rather than diminishment of another.  Unfortunately we can't change a culture from outside of the culture.  So saying we disapprove of bullying changes nothing.....we all say we disapprove of bullying.  But, as long as bullies are embraced in this culture, they'll continue.  This is all it takes to be a bully:  the imposition of your will, your desires, your wishes on another human being by force or intimidation. 
    So, basically it comes down to being stronger.  I can do whatever I want because I am stronger.  (Stronger emotionally, mentally physically, financially).
    It can become very hard to hear the heartbeat at our feet when brought up to value bullying.

    Here are some photos that celebrate all of us who came together to make sure there was one more rescued beautiful, heartbeat at our feet:

    Wishing you all heartbeats at your feet,
    In gratitude and Love,