Saturday, December 31, 2011

Endings and Beginnings...

2011 is drawing to a close tonight. It was a year of comings and goings, beginnings and endings, cycles of life. It would be easy to dwell on the heartaches of 2011...the biggest, of course, being the sudden loss of Olive. I still cry every day when I think of her - which is all the time. She is everywhere and nowhere...and I miss her beyond expression.
2011 also sent nine other dogs on their journey to the Rainbow Bridge: Kibble, Cubby, and Moses only made a brief stop at the Haven before ending their earthly journey; Foxy, Shae, and Coco graced us with their lives for a longer stay; and long-time residents Uncle Mort, Frisbee, and Sophia also said good-bye. It is hard to let them go...but the silver lining is the immense comfort that Dan and I were able to share with these little souls as they discovered family, space, and love.
We also were able to open our arms to Sera, Bergen, Lola, Barry, RooRoo, Edna, and little Bella. We have discovered the joys of miniature pinschers and through them met wonderful new friends like the Kims, Mendee, Clara, and Sylvia. Daily I am astonished at the wonderful people I have connected with through rescue via Facebook and this blog.
Dan and I continue to be grateful for Dr. Schuette and his staff at Kiel Vet Clinic - they take great care of our dogs (and us!) and we consider them part of our extended family. We are also fortunate to have some wonderful friends and family members who continue to support our mission and give us encouragement. Kind words and broad shoulders to cry upon are the best gifts we have received over the years!
Money continues to be a struggle, with changes in my salary due to political unrest in our state. However, I am SO thankful for a new job working with teachers, administrators, and students in my same school district where I can exercise my problem-solving skills and call upon my experience with teaching, while still learning many new things every day. I miss my students from McKinley Academy, but I remain in touch with a few of them and get to see them from time to time. Ah, more comings and goings...
I have also been fortunate to find a second freelance job that I can do from home to try to offset the reductions in my pay, and help to pay the enormous vet bills that we incur every month. We continue to have to evaluate our financial situation when called upon to take in new dogs and I wish we could do more and take more. Perhaps 2012 will be the year that we must decide whether to apply for non-profit status or scale back what we do here...I don't think that we will be able to continue in the way that we are without some help. A special thank you to those wonderful, generous folks who have sent us money and supplies this have kept us able to serve the dogs that we have and enabled us to say "yes" to the last couple of dogs that we would have had to turn away.
As I look ahead to 2012, I am hopeful that we will find the resources and energy to improve our environment for the dogs and ourselves. Major projects that I hope to accomplish include some fence repair, and expanding the dog run by fencing in the horse pasture so that we have a larger area in which to walk the dogs. They so enjoy our twice daily "amblings" where everyone goes their own pace - from RooRoo, Twiggy, Mimi and Bella's full-tilt mad dashes to Ozzy and Grammie Esther's slow toddling. Our land is beautiful, and my goal is use more of it regularly.
Of course, I'd like to lose weight and get fit again, spend more time with my photography and card making, explore the roads with Baci on my moped, and enjoy time on the deck and patio conversing with Dan. Most of all, my goal is to try to find the joy in the ordinary - I live in a spectacular setting, with some of the most interesting and entertaining souls. If I am cognizant of all that I have, I hope that the joy will reveal itself to me.
Wishing you peace, love, and prosperity in 2012...

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