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I'm a children's author. Animals are a constant source of writing material for me. They are also my heart!

Patience is a Virtue

>> Saturday, January 29, 2011

In the photo above we have Annabelle and Sammy simultaneously chewing on their own Nyla bones. Maddie is dozing on the couch. Since she has no teeth, she can't chew on bones of any kind!

But this post isn't about Maddie or her lack of teeth. And it's not about Nyla bones either. This post is about patience and how animals have more than I do.

I always want to rush into things and make things happen before it's time. I want my dogs to get along. I want to ride Tango as well as my trainers. I want to write the best story ever in thirty minutes. Then I want the publisher to read it and respond in a week. I don't want much!
If I haven't learned anything else from animals, I've learned that all good things are worth waiting for and that not all things happen overnight. That doesn't mean that I don't do things spontaneously, because that's my personality and I do. What it does mean is the best things in life often take some time, work, and effort to get.

Just look at these two dogs. When Sammy first came I fed them him in a separate room from the girls because he had food aggression issues. Annabelle and Maddie had earned their feeding places and they weren't about to give them up. Slowly but surely Sammy and the girls warmed up to each other. They slowly learned to respect each other's space and with that respect came trust.

The first time I saw Sammy and Annabelle this close together with bones, my instinct was to jump up and move one of them farther away. Instead, I waited and watched. Somehow in the midst of chaos, my own little pack of dogs is helping me to learn some patience of my own.

The usual me would say, "Isn't that amazing?" to end this post. But frankly, anyone who knows animals, knows it's not amazing at all. My dogs and horses teach me something new everyday. I just have to be patient enough to process what I'm learning!

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Adapt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."
I need to get to know Mother Nature better. Seems that Sammy and Annabelle already know her well.


The Winter Lighening Riders

>> Sunday, January 16, 2011

Linda, Jann, Kathy, and me!

It all started and ended with the green sled you see here. Poor Tango is pooped after two hours of giving us immeasurable fun in the snow. We called ourselves the Winter least at first. Then we were the Winter Lightening Riders....I think. Someone suggested the Geriatric Riders and that might have worked for a couple of us.

All I know is that when we gals at the barn have an idea we follow-through with it. It was a month or so ago when we thought about sledding with Tango. Jokes went back and forth and ideas flew too.

So did humorous photos which eventually led Kathy aka Boss, (standing next to me in photo at beginning) to the green sled we used for our winter adventure.

We did a test run with Tango on Thursday night. Our common sense caused us to start trying how to figure things out in the arena. Then one thing led to another and before you knew it we were outside in the snow. Who needs common sense anyway? My husband was supposed to drop me off at the barn and go on to do something else, but he was having so much fun he stayed to make sure things went "smoothly.

Chuck did his test run on his knees and even tried standing up. It worked, but it worked even better when we sat in the middle of the sled and balanced our weight.

Now while this looks quiet easy, just in case my barn friends read this, I have to tell the truth. On my first run of the day Tango had plenty of spunk and somehow he got away from me. Rather than letting go of the reins, I body surfed for a few minutes. If I could get away with leaving those photos off, I would, but I can't get away with it so I won't.

Body surfing can be quite fun. If I had room to add more pictures I would. But I can tell you that flipping from your stomach to your back and then over again is exhilarating. In the far distance I could hear laughter...somehow I didn't hear, "Let's rush over and help her!"

We had thought about having an EMT on hand, but laughing seemed to be a good medicine.

I would also like to tell you that I only slid off the sled once but that wouldn't be the truth either. I slid off the sled so many times that I came to enjoy each dump. The feel of hardened snow next my new rubber pants is something I just can't explain. Thanks to Chuck for buying me my new pants (the rubber ones) I didn't get wet one bit. And I could laugh as hard as I wanted without having to pay the price...if you know what I mean.

The only person who laughed harder than us adults was little Mya, Kathy's granddaughter. She rode with everyone who got on the sled. She didn't even seem to mind when Tango had to take his usual poop and the sled went right over it. Mya's our cowgirl in the making.

Oh more thing. This is my son Ryan. The animal lover who works in a huge metro park. The boy couldn't sled if his life depended on it. He kept going round and round in circles. He thinks Tango doesn't like him. I know for a fact Tango was just being the good boy that he is. He's a very forgiving horse and since Ryan wasn't steering right, Tango was trying not to step on him. As for Ryan's bare feet....well it was 34 degrees out....a real heat wave!

Ryan's a good sport. He has no choice because he has to put up with me for a mom. Tango's a terrific horse. The Winter Lightening Riders had a great day. Yes we did!

If you'd like to leave a comment, scroll way down. For some reason my comment box isn't where it should be right now!


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