Thursday, February 26, 2004

One Of These Days I'm Going To

I don't frequently pass
along something someone else has written, but I make
rare exceptions when I find a piece that speaks simply,
sincerely, and directly to the importance of credible
connections in our lives. This is one of those

"Too many people put off something that
brings them joy just because they haven't thought about
it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was
coming or are too rigid to depart from their

"I got to thinking one day about all
those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at
dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back . . .
From then on, I've tried to be a little more

"How often have your kids dropped in to
talk to you and sat in silence while you watched
'Jeopardy' on television?

"I cannot count the
times I called my sister and said, "How about going to
lunch in a half hour?"

She would gas up and
stammer, "I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair
is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late
breakfast, It looks like rain." And my personal
favorite: "It's Monday." She died a few years ago. We
never did have lunch together.

"Because Americans
cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our
headaches . . . We live on a sparse diet of promises we
make to ourselves when all the conditions are

"We'll go back and visit the
grandparents when we get Stevie toilet-trained. We'll
entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll
go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out
of college.

"Life has a way of accelerating as we
get older. The days get shorter, and the list of
promises to ourselves gets longer One morning, we
awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a
litany of "I'm going to," "I plan on," and "Someday,
when things are settled down a bit."

"When anyone
calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to
adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open
mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is
contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and
you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of
Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee

"My lips have not touched ice cream in 10
years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well
apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and
eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I
stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car
had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died

"Now . . . go on and have a nice day. Do
something you WANT to do . . . not something on your TO
DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one
phone call you could make, who would you call and what
would you say? Why are you waiting?

"Have you
ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or
listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever
followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the
sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day
on the fly? When you ask "How are you?" do you hear the

"When the day is done, do you lie in your
bed with the next hundred chores running through your
head? Ever told your child, "We'll do it tomorrow." And
in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let
a good friendship die?

"When you worry and hurry
through the day, it is like an unopened gift . . .
thrown away . . . Life is not a race. Take it slower.
Hear the music before the song is over."

It is
National Friendship Week. Go for it!

Saturday, February 21, 2004

The Human Touch

Kelly walked in through
the front gate with a shoebox. I didn’t wonder what was

“Where did you find them?” I

“I got a call. They were spotted in a
field up there,” she replied, pointing up the hillside.
“There were four but when I got there I could find only
three,” she continued, opening the cardboard box
revealing its contents.

“They may be 2 weeks old,
not more. We’ll have to bottle feed.”

“Why not,"
I teased, "I’ve gotten so used to 2 a.m. feedings that
when we don’t have pups I wake up anyway, heat a bottle,
and drink it myself.”

href=""> style="FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 0px 0px 10px 10px; CURSOR: hand"
src="2-21-04 The Human Touch_files/rescuedpuppies.0.jpg"
Kelly smiled and so began another adventure
in nurturing. That was three months ago. Since then,
their eyes have opened to a world different than they
would have found on the streets, if they had ever opened
their eyes at all. Each morning we put them in bed with
us, hold them, kiss them, and let them kiss us back.
Then, they take their morning nap and go outside into
the garden and play until they tire and collapse in the
grass for lazy sun naps. It is a good life so they say.
And, I believe them.

I’ve often heard that humans
who are held and touched as babies are better adjusted
as adults than those who are left in cribs and nurseries
and daycare centers where there are often too many
children for too few caretakers. I know it is true with
animals. In the last year, Kelly and her "Save A Mexican
Mutt" passion has had more than fifty puppies and dogs
come to us, stay awhile, and then go on to their forever
homes. Some arrive after months on the street or being
caged in shelters and come to us distrustful and afraid.
After experiencing the human touch, most of them come

Yet, those who come off the streets and
out of institutions are never quite the same as Luna,
Zoe, and Zachary, or our other "cardboard box litters."
These three have known nothing except a loving human
touch and they have a special affinity for we humans,
bond tighter, are more protective, and like their human
counterparts may grow up to be better adjusted. We like
to think so.

Luna, Zoe, and Zachary are ready for
forever homes now. I feel like I’ve missed a good deal
of their formative months away handling cases and giving
talks in Denver, Philadelphia, and Las Vegas. That left
the laboring oar to Kelly and I can see she has rowed
the boat well.

Which brings me to the point . . .
If you, or someone you know wants a special companion,
take a look at Luna (solid white) and Zachary. (Zoe is
not pictured but is a spitting image of her brother.) As
I look at them sleeping now, I am reminded how important
credible connections are in our lives and how much
happier we all might be if we could bond to other humans
as easily as we have bonded to these puppies. But it is
understandable. Most of us didn't experience the loving
human touch as much or as often as these pups have.