Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Next Chapter

The Next Chapter Unfolds

We are all stories in the end.
~Doctor Who
This is the story of the Blue Kong, and how it changed my life.
Half a dozen years ago, I was found by an American Pit Bull Terrier. As I arrived back at my truck after walking one of my Siberian Huskies along a local rail trail, I found what appeared to be an old, ravaged and wounded, pit bull, laying up against my wheel. The invisible sign was on, “Come here, and you will be helped.”
This dog, who came to be known as Gar, took close to a year to fix through the dedicated and combined efforts of my veterinarian and myself. He was only a year old but had the worst mange she had ever seen, was covered with scabs and scars and had multiple infections. Although subjected to constant foot soaks, injections, pills, Gar never resisted, never growled, and remained gentle, loving and kind.
dog w toyInitially, we gave him a rubber toy shaped like a bowling pin, which he carried non-stop in his massive jaws for close to a year. The second pin never left his mouth and only lasted a few weeks due to the constant chewing.
Then came the “black kong number one” and “number two.” Gar would not move off his couch go outside or go anywhere without that black kong. Always in his mouth, or beside him as he slept.
Gar lives with my son, Will. One day while at the vet, we noticed they had a Blue Kong for sale! We had never seen those before, and I have been told, they are only sold through a vet. Seems, the blue shows up on radiographs. The Blue Kong looked tough enough, so I bought Gar a present.
Here is the crux of the story. That dog had never let his black kong out of his mouth, let alone out of his sight. But, when Will and Gar arrived home that day, Will took the black kong out of Gar’s mouth, and set it on the counter. Then he set the Blue Kong on the floor.
Gar hesitated, took one long look at the black kong, then picked the Blue Kong up, and never looked back.
dog toySuch a whomping metaphor for our lives!
Each new chapter is a Blue Kong. Yes, we have enjoyed, savored and loved, never wanting to leave the place where we are so happy.
Life moves on though, and we are presented with the Blue Kong.
Pick it up and enjoy the new flavor. Those memories, loved ones, places, stories that have happened, will never leave us.
But we must move on, and Living means Loss at some point.
If we are willing, the Universe offers us The Blue Kong and a new adventure awaits, where love, joy, inspiration, fun, and friendship will find us in a new way.
We need to be like Gar, put things away on the shelf, when it is time, and pick up the new 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Running with Our Own Kind

Running With Our Own Kind

“Home is Where Your Rescue Dogs Are.”
Twenty four Siberian Huskies reside at the Stargazer Siberian Husky Sanctuary. This journey began over fifteen years ago, when my son picked out a Siberian Husky puppy, who came to be called Sparky. What happened next, is the stuff of legend.
My life revolved on that hinge that shifts us into a brand new world. That little blue eyed puppy turned my life toward a horizon I never imagined. In so doing, eventually he saved the lives of many Siberian Huskies that came to live with me, temporarily as a foster or permanently as a Stargazer.
I discovered dog mushing via bike, scooter, cart, sled, or ski. An extreme sport, is dog mushing, but the joy of running dogs is not to be equaled by any other activity. Most of all, I discovered the Siberian Husky. I was the ignorant beginner, knowing nothing of the breed.
Siberians are a special type of dog, with special needs. They need the Ft. Knox of security as they are the escape artists of the canine world. Up, over, under or through, they will try to get out and run, run, run. While running, if they encounter a cat, chicken, or any animal considered prey, the hunt is on. This being one of the main reasons they end up in trouble.
The love of the hunt, the joy of the run; they are incredibly smart, curious, watchful, mischievous, opportunistic, independent, aloof and social. In addition to this, they are strikingly beautiful.
huskiesI have learned so much from them.  First of all, like people, Siberian Huskies come in all different colors, with a smorgasbord of eye color. Yet, they are all purebred, and all lovely. All have four legs, two eyes, and a big smiling face. Loyalty, beauty in motion, they find joy in work, how to dig holes, deeper and deeper, persistence, living in the moment, live until you die, wariness, silence, watchfulness, work is fun, joy, playing with friends, roughhousing is fun, movement is good, naughtiness is fun, chewing is fun, athleticism.
Siberian Huskies enjoy being around their kind. Many people call this a pack. I don’t. I call it a group of individuals, whose dynamics are ever changing, ebbing and flowing on a daily basis. There is no alpha; there is this group, and that group. We play, we fight, we play again. We love to run. We love the snow. We love mud. We live in the moment, and that moment is forever.
This is what my Siberian Huskies have taught me. They are my friends, and my responsibility. I tend to the ones that are cast out, that have been damaged, that are ill or old. We run together, we live together, we love together. This is what I do, this is what I love. This is my light that shines out and welcomes them home.
I lost my Sparky at 15 1/2 years in September of 2015. Over the course of his lifetime, we ran hundreds of miles together, alone on the trails. We were a team, and both of us found it hard to say goodbye. The time came, and that moment came for both of us. He left me with the greatest gift of my lifetime. His legacy is the Stargazer Siberian Sanctuary.
We all have a need to run with our own kind, to know joy, to recognize ourselves in each other. We all need a place to call home that is safe, where we are fed, where we play, fight, work, and know joy. A place where we are loved and not alone.
For more information contact Susan at