Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Save A Life in October

Today's post is not about frames or DIY. I wanted to talk about my dogs. I know, I know, not everyone is a dog lover. Maybe you are on "team cat" but that doesn't mean you should stop reading this post. This post is really about something near to my heart and doesn't discriminate against any of my animal friends. Its about all pets in general.

We have all seen those sad commercials during the holidays. You know the ones, showing sad, abused, neglected pets. They are so moving they make my ten year old niece start bawling and turn her head. I don't know how many people really donate to them, but I do know they are asking for donations for a good reason. There is a huge pet over-population problem in the USA. 

I watched my neighbors over breed their pit bull for a puppy income. I was volunteering at my local shelter at the time. I couldn't tell you how many wonderful dogs went through that place in a week. Some off to new homes but most off to be euthanized. It was extremely hard to watch. 

In February 2008, my husband and I had been looking for a dog. We had walked through that same shelter many times but hadn't found "the one" yet. We thought we would stop by on our way to a movie and see what new dogs they had received that day. We were ready to leave but decided to walk back through one more time. We were almost out the door when my husband pointed out a happy puppy chasing his tail. He was so entertained by his tail he didn't even notice us. He was oblivious to the cold concrete floor, chain link walls and miserable barking dogs around him. We took him to the play yard and it was all over. We missed our movie and came home with a new family member.

Meet Koda (AKA: Koda Bear)
He was born November 7th 2007. He was dropped off at the shelter when he was a few weeks old. He was alone. No litter mates or mother were with him. His past is unknown, but I like to think it was a happy one considering how happy this dog is.

This dog has the biggest personality I've ever seen in a K9. He is super smart but can be very stubborn. I have taught him 20+ commands. These include the basic obedience commands, take a bow, jumping through a hope and high five, just to name a few. Here he is in his "awkward" teenager stage.

And all grown up.

Koda had been getting into trouble while we were at work so we thought we would get him a friend to entertain him. Not realizing, that only leads to two board dogs instead of one. Hahah! So back to the shelter we went, looking for a dog that was around his age. (6 months) We found a dog we liked but when we took them to the play yard they ignored each other. That was weird to see. Koda loved dogs and played with everyone at the dog park. The shelter was about to close but on our way out I spotted a unique looking, scared dog with a big scar on her shoulder. She was curled up in the corner trying to avoid the aggressive dog she was with.

The next morning we came back to check her out. I brought her to the play yard where Koda was waiting. They ran to each other like they were old reuniting friends. It was sweet. They instantly started playing together and are now inseparable.

Meet Korah (AKA: Sweetness)
She was born January 20th 2008. She had a sad beginning. She was removed from a resident by Animal Control when she was six months old. She had horrible burns on her neck from a bark collar. She was chained to a tree and had been hit by a car. She had to have surgery on her shoulder that left a scar six inches long.

At six months old.

All grown up.

Adopting a shelter dog has been the best thing we have ever done. They have added love and joy to our lives in a way nothing else could. Sure, they are not pure breads but they are beautiful, healthy and incredibly intelligent. They are family members who protect my home and never flake on me when its time to go running. I am so happy we were able to save these amazing animals from being put down. 

Please ALWAYS adopt from a shelter or rescue group! You will find wonderful mixed, as well as, pure bread animals needing good homes. October is the best time to find your perfect pet as many shelters have discounted prices for Oktoberfest. Our local shelter has adoptions for $25.00! Save a life and bring home a pet in need today. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Run from the HEART

My sister-in-law dropped off this pretty present for me yesterday.

She made me the cutest cupcake card and scarf I've ever seen. She even made the box it came in. That's talent people!  She said it was an "October present." She is such a thoughtful person and I'm so happy to have her in my life!

Why all the pink you ask? True, I'm not that girly but I always rock PINK in October. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and for some people its the only month that it will be on their minds. They think about it once a year and that's only because of the advertisements. I wish I could be those people. I wish it didn't haunt me everyday. Its a hard subject that I am way too familiar with and I am afraid my family is having to go through it again. 

I watched breast cancer destroy my Mother and take her life. I am watching my beautiful Aunt wrestle with this horrible disease as I speak. I have watched the Mothers of my friends fight for their lives. Some to win and some to lose, leaving their children motherless. Too many people are having to feel this pain and my heart breaks for them. 

So on Sunday October 19th I will be running. Running for my Mother. Running for my Grandmother. Running for my Aunt and the Mothers of my friends. For all the brave women fighting for their lives. For all the amazing women who were ripped away from their families too soon and lost the fight. For the children who are watching their mothers bear this struggle. For the husbands who are now widowers. For the motherless daughters who are like me. We might not know how to cook or sew or plant a garden. We might not have anyone to teach us these things or anyone to call and answer our questions, but its okay. We will figure it out because we are strong. We are strong like our mothers were and they would want us to keep running. Out run this cancer! Do your breast exam's, eat healthy and get off your bum and exercise! This is how we can stay one step ahead.  

Please join me Sunday, October 19, 2014 for the 16th Annual Komen Inland Empire Race for the Cure® at the Promenade Mall in Temecula, CA. 

Register HERE

"Susan G. Komen® remains committed to fulfilling our promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever through empowering people, ensuring quality care for all, and energizing science to find the cures.  Susan G. Komen® is focused on reducing breast cancer incidence and mortality within the next decade with increased emphasis on finding solutions for disparities in breast cancer across populations.  With funds raised by Susan G. Komen® Inland Empire, community grants will be made to support evidence-based strategies and promising practices to reduce disparities in breast cancer mortality in the Inland Empire"
 "Here in the Inland Empire, up to 75 percent of the funds donated remain locally in Riverside and San Bernadino Counties to fund important breast health services and programs.  The remaining 25 percent of each dollar donated funds the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Award & Research Grant Program. In fact, next to the U.S. government, Susan G. Komen is the largest funder of breast cancer research in the world." 

(image found here)