Friday, August 31, 2007

A Letter from Heaven

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This was sent to me in an email today. I have no idea where it originated, but I love the story and thought I'd share it. There are good folks still out there.

Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month.

The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her.

She dictated and I wrote:

Dear God,

Will you please take special care of our dog, Abbey? She died yesterday and is in heaven. We miss her very much. We are happy that you let us have her as our dog even though she got sick. I hope that you will play with her. She liked to play with balls and swim before she got sick. I am sending some pictures of her so that when you see her in heaven you will know she is our special dog. But I really do miss her.

Meredith Claire

P S: Mommy wrote the words after Meredith told them to her.

We put that in an envelope with two pictures of Abbey, and addressed it to God in Heaven. (more......)We put our return address on it. Then Meredith stuck some stamps on the front (because, as she said, it may take lots of stamps to get a letter all the way to heaven) and that afternoon I let her drop it into the letter box at the post office. For a few days, she would ask if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch.

Curious, I went to look at it. It had a gold star card on the front and said "To Meredith" in an unfamiliar hand.

Meredith took it in and opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers, "When a Pet Dies". Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God, in its opened envelope (which was marked Return to Sender: Insufficient address). On the opposite page, one of the pictures of Abbey was taped under the words "For Meredith" We turned to the back cover, and there was the other picture of Abbey, and this handwritten note on pink paper:

"Dear Meredith,

I know that you will be happy to know that Abbey arrived safely and soundly in Heaven! Having the pictures you sent to me was such a big help. I recognized Abbey right away.

You know, Meredith, she isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me--just like she stays in your heart--young and running and playing. Abbey loved being your dog, you know.

Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets!-- so I can't keep your beautiful letter. I am sending it to you with the pictures so that you will have this book to keep and remember Abbey.

One of my angels is taking care of this for me. I hope the little book helps. Thank you for the beautiful letter. Thank your mother for sending it. What a wonderful mother you have! I picked her especially for you.

I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.

By the way, I am in heaven but wherever there is love, I am there also.

God and the special angel who wrote this after God told her the words."

As a parent and a pet lover, this is one of the kindest things that I've ever experienced. I have no way to know who sent it, but there is some very kind soul working in the dead letter office. Just wanted to share this act of compassion.

What a wonderful thing someone did for this child!

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Riches to Rags.....I love it!

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ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Humane Society said they are receiving donations from across the country -- and you’ll never guess what people are sending.

More than a dozen Michael Vick jerseys have been sent to AHS, and they are putting them to good use.

“When I first saw them, I was kind of shocked. I was like, ‘Why do they have Vick jerseys here,’ said Julie Sentner.

Vick is innocent until proven guilty, but his association when men pleading guilty to federal dog fighting charges makes the number 7 jersey an unexpected find at the Atlanta Humane Society. (more.....)

“At first we were like, ‘I wonder what we’re going to use this for,” said P.J. Smith with AHS.

And the jerseys kept coming. About a dozen or so jerseys were sent from people wanting to make good from a bad situation. In fact, the Humane Society is getting flooded with e-mails about Vick.

So what are volunteers doing with the jerseys?

“We discovered like any donation we get, any shirt or towel, we put it to good use here at Atlanta Humane Society. We’re always using things to clean kennels, use for bedding and stuff like that,” said Smith.

Did she say cleaning kennels?

“We’re not showing any favoritism to these jerseys, they go into our general rotation of towels,” Smith said.

One dog is using his Vick jersey as a pillow.

“As long as they’re being used for good, then that’s great. If they’re using them to make dogs more comfortable or to clean up after them, then that’s fine,” said Sentner.

Of course, the Vick jerseys being donated mean a lot more to the people than to the puppies -- they’re just loving all the attention.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Just what IS in my dog's food? Part 5: Fruits and Vegetables

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Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables add vitamins, minerals and various phytonutrients. They are nice ingredients but by no means necessary and mostly only included in insignificant amounts. If a brand of food contains high quality protein, carbohydrate and fat sources but no fruits or vegetables, it's still a better choice than one with less ideal main ingredients that does have a few pieces of blueberries, peas or carrots added to make the ingredient list look more impressive. Sharing some of the fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables you eat yourself will add much more nutritional value to your dog's diet - just please do not give onions, grapes or raisins. (more.....)

Here are some of the better ones:
Carrots: Natural source of beta carotene (precursor to Vitamin A needed for immune function), excellent fiber.
Alfalfa: Source of chlorophyll, dietary fiber.
Dried Apples/apples: Provides good source of nutritional fiber.
Dried kelp/kelp meal: Good source of iodine for thyroid function and chlorophyll.
Dried Peas/peas: Source of protein/carbohydrates/fiber.
Garlic: Good antioxidant, antibiotic. IS SAFE TO USE in the small amounts present in food!
Sweet potatoes: Good alternative to regular potatoes provides carbohydrates for energy, nutrients, less sugar than beets.

Most fruits are in insufficient quantities to give much nutritional value to the food, but blueberries and cranberries are certainly good for dogs and people, too! Don't buy a food based on their inclusion since the amounts present in the foods are relatively small.

What to look for:
►Fruits and vegetables are a nice touch but should not be a deciding factor in choosing a brand. Unprocessed, fresh items are preferable to already processed ones, and organic is always the best choice. Sweet potatoes and apples are among the better ones to look for.

What to avoid:
►Apple pomace, grape pomace, citrus pulp
Grape pomace, or any form of grape or raisin, can be toxic to dogs!!
Onions are toxic to dogs as well.

Next time we'll take a look at preservatives..

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Monday, August 6, 2007

Take a bite out of Vick!!!!!

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This is priceless! Check out the following:

The Official Vick Dog Chew Toy

Is it different you ask? You bet it is! The Vick Dog Chew Toy is made of state of the art "dog" material. The Vick Toy Doll is so strong and flexible, it will challenge even the most aggressive breeds. Especially Mike's Favorite Breed, The Pit Bull.

Unlike Vick, the manufacturer is so sure of its durability they guarantee it against the most aggressive dog destruction. It Bends. It Bounces. It Flies. It Floats. And best of all, it lasts through the whole season and more!

The most rewarding part of The Vick Dog Chew Toy is that a portion of the proceeds are being donated to the Jacksonville Humane Society to help spread awareness of this terrible phenomenon.

Want one?

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