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Sunday, July 10, 2011

the inmates are just kids

Sally got to try a new Pet Therapy experience a week ago; she visited inmates at the Juvenile Detention Center in Caldwell. We walked into this secure facility where people have guns, locks and chains are common place, concrete is the building material, and steel doors are six inches thick. The lighting is cheap and dim, as are the spirits of those incarcerated in this hellish environment.

Yet within those 20-foot-high concrete barriers, children need the comfort and connection from a darling little pug dog just as much as one who is ill in the hospital. The youngest inmate ever housed in the detention center was a mere nine years old. The youngest jailed there when Sally and I went to do therapy visits was only 13.

Groups of 5-6 were ushered in under guard, their young faces marked with fatigue, stress, and incredible anguish. As soon as they caught sight of the dogs, they lit up and the consequences of their choices and their upbringing melted away for a few minutes. Hardened "gang bangers" disintegrated into goofy kids laughing at curly pug dog tails, and smiling like they were young and innocent again.

For a mere twenty minutes, these kids whose lives are in devastation were able to connect with another living being who had no ulterior motives. Therapy dogs willingly exchange their love for the kids' anguish. Sally Sue quickly became exhausted as she gave away love and joy and took on those childrens' pain. By the end of the evening, her little tail was dragging and she was feeling the weight of sorrow.

How must these children feel? These young kids? Boys and girls who should be just experiencing with racecars and makeup, respectively, not drugs, stealing, sex, and violence. What is happening to the joy and innocence of youth? What kind of parents are raising a child to enter into juvy at the age of NINE?! I have a nephew who is eight years old, and the idea of him being jailed next year is preposterous! He has parents who love him and teach him basic principles of right and wrong. What's the matter with people today? Why are they leaving their children by the wayside? Where are the basic values of right and wrong?

Pet Therapy is a valuable service. I am indeed grateful that it is available to ALL who need it, not just the "deserving" ones.

So, too, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Available to ALL who need it, not just for a select few who are deemed "deserving." He came to heal all.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Picture Perfect Pug


piggy's part of the picture

The past few weekends, I've been working on getting my "senior" photos taken. Isaac and Wayne have been helping out. Of course, Miss Sally Sue is front and center in almost every single picture. We tried taking a few without her, and she didn't like it one bit. She just seemed to know that if the camera was out, it had to be pointed at her. I could be in the picture TOO, but she was SHARING the photos with me. In other words, she was the star, I was the accessory.

Monday, March 21, 2011

sights, sounds, and sensations

As I sit here doing my homework, I hear a funny sound. Accompanying that funny sound is an odd vibration on my foot. Of course, it is my Sally Sue snoring herself into Nirvana.

The sights, sounds, and sensations of my little pug dog are wonderful and essential to the consistency of my life. Often, as I work feverishly to complete loads of homework, I tune out everything around me. My children will come to me for something, and I will screech out, "Not now! Don't interrupt my thought process!" Finally, when I finish, I look up, re-orient myself (oh. yeah. I am home. okay. resuming mother role now...), and discover that I have chased them all away with my intensity. Except one. She is lying by my side, loyal, true, loving, and...snoring.

Perhaps that is her coping mechanism for my tense isolation into homework. She just sweetly snores the time away. Then, when I have completed my work and can re-join the land of the living, she has but to awaken and all is well.

The life of Sally Sue is indeed sweet. And, luckily for me, she makes my life sweet too. The sweet life of Sally Sue and LizzieBob. What a pair!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

delightful dog

I love my dog.

I come home from a really rotten weekend at school, and she's right at the door wagging her whole body with delight. I feel sick and she's on the bed right at my side. She is a wonderful, sweet, little bundle of snoring, wiggling, wrinkled, roly-poly delight.

I'm so blessed.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

the shabby Chic

A pug's life isn't too shabby. It is the ultimate definition of shabby chic! Sally Sue sleeps on the bed (under the covers if it is very cold), she sleeps as much as she wants, she eats in a pink bowl with "DIVA" written at the bottom, and she pretty much rules the roost. She hollers if anyone goes outside without first asking her permission, and she chases the cats if they are begging for tidbits more successfully than she does. She loves to cuddle, snore, eat, and chase the cats. Ah, the bliss of a pug's life. She makes me smile.