NEXT111 How I Fell in In Love With A Rescue-Doodle

Posted on : 01-12-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Nature

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Surely you’ve heard of a Doodle?  I’m not talking about the the kind of doodle you draw, no, I’m talking about the dog!!  There’s all kinds of Poodle mixes that are Doodles.  The most commonly known mix are the Labradors and Poodles or the Golden Retrievers and Doodles.  You can go to to find all kinds of Doodles looking for homes who are located in the United States.

I fell in love upon first sight with a rescue-Doodle over lunch at a local restaurant the other day.  Now, most people who know me know that I am an animal lover. But being an animal lover doesn’t mean that I fall instantly in-love with every animal I see nor does it mean that I want to take every animal home with me. Then there are those special animals that you just instantly feel a bond and connection.  Many years ago, I strong-armed a good friend of mine into giving me a Cairn Terrier puppy that she had rescued off of the streets of Mexico.  My friend had named her “Breakfast” because they had happened upon her and some litter mates after a hard evening of tequila drinking and hungry for some…well…you know…breakfast.

all this to admit to you that in my past when it came to falling in love with a critter (much less a boyfriend), I pretty much would do anything to bring them into my world.  Fast forward to today and I have a loving husband, two great cats and two great dogs.  I certainly don’t have any unmet needs happening in the animal sector of my life.  But there we were sitting in the cafe minding our own business when a movement caught my peripheral vision and I saw a fairly good sized dog, probably 80 pounds maybe 90, with longish hair that was multi-colored with brown, dove-grey and blonde plus she had bushy eyebrows and whiskers!   There was something about her countenance though that got my attention.    Shortly after I spotted her, one of the ladies sitting across from our table got up and went outside to meet her too….so it wasn’t just me!

I resumed eating and conversation with my family and tried to think nothing of her again but just as we were leaving, I listened to that voice in me suggesting that I go out on the patio and meet the dog.   Having dabbled with animal communication over the years, I’m fairly certain that she was beaming us vulnerable humans inside to see whose interest she could catch.  She walked right up to me very calmly and I asked her human-mom if I could meet her.  Her mom told me that her name was “Leah” and that she was a Black Labrador/Poodle mix.  She is not even two years old which blew me away because she was so calm and very present.  If dogs meditate, this one surely does.  Very Ommmmm-ish.  And happy. And curious. But not putting herself on you.  If her mom hadn’t been so nice, in another life I probably would have tried to walk away with her, but she was obviously happy and cared for very well.  Now instead of fantasizing about some guy other than my husband, I have pictures of the Leah-dog floating in my head.

My husband and I have always adopted from the pound or rescue (except for Buckwheat our Golden who was “gifted” to us).    Our “Reality” (Black Lab) is getting on in age so we know that sometime down the road we’ll be looking for a new litter mate for the Paul-dog plus we need to give Re-Re time to relax in her retirement years.  You probably have guessed that I’m going to lean heavily on us considering Doodle Rescue.

Leah’s mom tried to do the right thing by telling me about the plight of “designer-breeds” such as the Lab/Poodle and the demise that many of the dogs find themselves in when the humans don’t like them for whatever reason but I couldn’t bear to hear another story confirming for me how dense we humans can sometimes be.  Nevertheless, I was glad that she told me about Doodle Rescue and made me aware of Leah’s story.

I secretly think that Leah is an “angel-ambassador” for Doodles everywhere., but I suspect there are more “Leah’s” out there to be experienced so dear readers my suggestion for you is to keep your antennae up and your heart open because who knows, you just might find yourself falling in love with a Doodle.


NEXT019 Listening to Nature

Posted on : 03-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Nature, Spirituality

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This week I posted a question on LinkedIn  “Do you Pay Attention to What Nature is Saying Around You?” to see who notices the clues about life that nature, albeit animals, fish, birds, plants, etc.” exhibits all around us (yes, even for you who live in the middle of a big city).  For those of us who live in the Southern States who are feeling the scorching heat this summer (day billion and five—okay 47? of heat above 100 in Texas) it is very apparent from plants to animals to fellow humans that we are all feeling the effects of the heat and drought.  The Cottonwood tree we love in our backyard is practically bald from shedding its leaves to conserve energy.  The birds all seem to get their frenzied feeding and visiting over in the cooler morning hours and take an extended siesta from about midday til just before sunset.

Meanwhile, I’ve seen some of our crazy brethren jogging in the midday heat as if it was nothing.  However, those of us who pay attention and listen to nature know that this heat and drought we’re having is worthy of our respect.

There are other, more subtle kinds of communication from nature that we can listen and look for as well.  I’ve noticed the Roadrunner family that lives in our “hood” has been more active than usual and have seen them running around all kinds of times during the day.  The last week or so they haven’t been as active but then the Cicadas have been loud and buzzing so maybe it’s dinner at your doorstep for the Roadrunners.  Last night while taking the dog for a walk around the block at about 8pm, I listened to the sounds of the Nighthawks flying overhead.   In Austin, it is pretty much guaranteed on a summer night that you will hear the call of the Nighthawk as it circles above whether you live out in the country or are walking under a tall light pole with lots of bugs flying around.  I’d always been aware of their particular “peeeent, peeent” call but had never heard the surprising sound they make when in their fly diving ritual dance until last night.  I remembered my mom and step-father sharing about the roaring sound they heard coming forth from a mating pair but was completely unprepared for what it sounds like in “real life”.  Although it was a familiar sound, it was so different from what I would normally associate with a bird that through the years I must have just been writing it off in my mind as some kind of a grumbling sound that went with a machine or a dog.  I’m glad I’d been paying attention to the rhythm of their diving dance and listening to their songs so that I could connect the dots.

Not sure what finally hearing the Nighthawk mating call means but it was fun to hear and it did make me grateful that at least some normalcy in the animal world continues in spite of the heat.

We have two little frogs who have been living around our home for a while now but one lives in the pond in the front of the house and the other one, if you can believe this, actually likes huddling up under the hot tub cover which has got to be hotter than hell.  That frog is pretty light colored while the other one tends towards green or a mottled brown depending on where he is perching.  There is a part of me that would like to bring them together; however, I have to trust that nature knows what she’s doing.  I mean wonder if they spoke a completely different language from each other?  Or what if they were each the arch enemy of the other?  I do keep my meddling ways out of their lives but I still can’t help myself from telling them about each other….just in case they understand me.

Getting back to center, getting back to being grounded and listening to nature.  Even if all that is possible for you to do where you are is look out at the clouds swirling above your head or watching what the ants are doing you will always benefit from listening to nature.


voices: Common Nighthawk


NEXT018 Shedding Your Old Skin To Make Room For the New You

Posted on : 01-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Nature, Spirituality

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This past weekend I ventured outside in the 100+ degree heat (47 straight days!) to check the bird feeders outside of our bedroom windows and much to my surprise looked down amongst the ivy growing wild to find a very long snake skin which had recently been shed since the last time I checked the feeders in the morning.  It was a big one!  In fact, I was so impressed with the snake skin itself that I momentarily forgot that “said snake” could have been very nearby.    I took it as a “sign” from the powers that be that they were reminding me how our old selves can be shed and actually need to be shed so that the new selves/self can grow upwards and out.

A couple of week’s ago a publicist that I work with closely sent me a book to read called, “Shapeshifting Into Higher Consciousness” by Llyn Roberts. The tag line says, “Heal and Transform Yourself and Our World with Ancient Shamanic and Modern Methods.”  Whatever the word “shapeshifting” may conjure up in your mind, Llyn Roberts has a very respected academic background that not only includes her being a prominent teacher of healing and shamanism, but additionally she holds a master’s degree in Tibetan Buddhist and Western Psychology as well as having undergone extensive training with traditional Andean healers, and has been initiated into shamanic circles by Quechua peoples in South America, and in Siberia.  The list goes on and on so suffice it to say, she is someone that you can trust has done her homework and research.  I am thoroughly loving this book and highly recommend for you to read it as well.

Above the opening of Chapter One, Llyn has a quote by Joseph Campbell which says, “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.  The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.”

Today in our lives as humans, no matter what culture we come from, we are all feeling the effects of generations of choices which  have been made both good and bad.  For some of us who may be more sensitive than others, right now can feel overwhelming from many standpoints such as the heating up of the planet to the economy if you live in a place that is driven by their economy.  Llyn writes, “As the consequences of wreaking havoc with our host planet play themselves out they look dire.  It is at precisely this time that so many of us are searching for hope.   We are looking for a way out of this nightmare.  But balance will not restore overnight. Humanity has devoted centuries to cultivating societies that see themselves as separate from nature. The deeper solution demands that we live by higher values.  We must dive deeply to reshape the consciousness that got us here in the first place.  This is a journey to our higher human qualities that help us live from our hearts and minds combined. There is opportunity underlying these times of change, which indigenous cultures have long foreseen.”

I don’t know about you, but I sure felt relieved and hopeful after I read that paragraph.  And the timing of reading this paragraph along with my finding the snake skin felt like Mother Earth was tweeting me  that all of the emotional and intellectual storms that I’ve been feeling and we’ve all been going through lately are a reflection of where we are growing through to the next level.  Oddly enough, when I heard my favorite NPR newscaster telling us that the high in Austin was expected to rise to 105 today, I did not feel that usual sink of oppressive despair that I have felt for several weeks now.  I do believe that everything is moving towards our highest good.  When I can hold on to this hope, it somehow gives me room to continue growing and shedding my skin along the way.

Take a moment today to stop and reflect on the messages that Earth is sending you.  Even if you work on the 45th floor of a skyscraper in the middle of New York City, Mother Nature can reach you there as well.  Look for the clouds and birds and/or the glint of the sun off of the Hudson.  We are all related.

mitakue oyasin