James, Trixie, and a Magical Dogs Full-Circle Moment

A very magical, full circle moment recently happened which involves the Magical Dogs family, a boy named James, and a dog named Trixie.

You met James, and his mother, Shari, in Magical Dogs: Love and Lessons from our Canine Companions. James has Type 1 diabetes (T1D) which is very different from the more common Type 2 diabetes.  Type 2 is typically managed with diet or insulin injections. T1D, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that typically strikes in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood and lasts a lifetime.  To survive, people with T1D must take multiple insulin injections daily or continually infuse insulin through a pump. 

As Shari explained in Magical Dogs, “James has been having a lot of highs and lows with his blood sugar.  One week it is all lows, the next week it is all highs, which can cause damage to his internal organs.”

The lows,” Shari continued, “are another kind of worry.  Many people die in their sleep from a low reading so nighttime is the scariest.”  To deal with the reality (and fear) of T1D meant multiple checks throughout the day — and night.

Like any parent, Shari’s hope and dream was to keep her son safe but, beyond that, it was for James to play football and do the things he loves —and to have a normal life and do the things that other kids do.

Enter Causey Labradors and Diabetes Alert Dogs. You met Becky in Magical Dogs where she explained, “A diabetes alert dog is specifically trained to alert the handler to glucose levels that are out of safe range….they do not replace medical testing or medical devices but they do offer a safety net and one more layer of protection to alert an individual or family that something may be going on.” 

Part of my mission with the Magical Dogs books is to not only share stories of amazing dogs who impact people and the lives (and world) around them, but to also donate a portion of the proceeds from books purchased directly from me to animals in need.  Therefore, in the winter of 2016, I had three book signings: one was at the Hunterdon County Library; another at Factory Fuel Co.; and the final one was at Main Street Manor Bed and Breakfast  At each of the signings, I donated a portion of the book sales to James and his family to help them pay for the cost of a diabetic alert dog. James, his mother, and his siblings were at several of those events.  Many who attended donated additional money to help James and his family reach their goal sooner. This photo (of James and I) was taken at the book signing at Factory Fuel Co. which is where I first met his mom, Shari. 

It was originally thought that James would be matched with a dog named Roman but, for several reasons, that wasn’t the right match but…drum roll please!…the right match has been found.

Meet Trixie, James’ diabetes alert dog! With Trixie, James and his family now have that extra layer of protection.  With Trixie, Shari no longer has to repeatedly wake James up throughout the night to check his levels.  And now James can do things he loves to do — with his best friend, Trixie, at his side!

I would like to wish James, Trixie, and their family many years of happiness, good health, and magical moments together.

And I would like to thank the Magical Dogs family once again for supporting my writing and my books because, in doing so, we truly can  make magic happen! 

 

Saving Grace

Despite repeated postings and reminders everywhere, dogs (and other animals) are still being left out in the cold. Those of us who love animals can’t wrap our head around the fact that animals are being left out to suffer the brutal cold, harsh winds, and plummeting temperatures.  But they are.

Recently, I heard about a precious little dog who was found on New Year’s Eve freezing and literally starving to death.  The ANNA Shelter in Erie, Pennsylvania sprung into action.  They reported that while she was alert and responsive, she was obviously emaciated and had severe frostbite on her muzzle, ears and pads of her feet.  The on-call veterinarian was able to give the poor little girl life saving medical care she desperately needed.  She was placed on IV fluids and medication to prepare her system for food.

On January 2nd, ANNA shelter updated as follows: Grace (new name/new life) made it through the night with the heart of a lion! Constant fluids and an incubated kennel kept her body temperature up and the medications have begun to work. Her muzzle and ears are still sore but not as irritated as they were. We’re not quite at the 24 hour mark but Dr. Franklin is confident this girl will pull through! Officer Duckett is working on this case and we promise to keep you posted as it develops and will update her condition often.

The next day they posted that Grace had taken a turn for the worse.  Her organs began to reject the small does of food and water she had been tolerating and her frail system began to shut down.  She was rushed in for emergency critical care.  The lead veterinarian reported later that she was resting comfortably but that based on her overall condition and the frostbite, she would not be available for adoption until sometime in March.  Everyone was asked to keep prayers and healing vibes coming for Sweet Grace.

Gratefully, Grace is surrounded by loving, caring, wonderful human beings now but keep in mind that Grace was not a stray.  She had an “owner” (although I use that term VERY lightly).  The Animal Control officer is following up and promises there will be justice for Grace.

My friends, we need to stay vigilant.  When you are driving or walking around, be mindful and aware. If you see an animal outside, go back a short time later and check to see if the animal is still outside. If they are, make a call. The animals are counting on us  – you and me – to keep them safe…to keep them warm.  If you see something, say or do something.

To continue following Grace’s journey or to learn more about The ANNA Shelter: https://www.facebook.com/theannashelter/

Blessed To Be a Blessing

I just returned from doing an interview for my next book, On The Road With Magical Dogs. Every interview, every story, is emotional and inspirational and uplifting and exhausting. This one was no exception.  It was filled with tissues and tears and laughter and hugs.

On the drive home, I thought about the time I just spent with this amazing woman whose life, filled with unexpected twists and turns, led her to starting a dog rescue. I am blessed to be sharing her story and the story of so many others who, time-after-time, are a Blessing to another living soul.

On the drive home, I also thought about all the puzzle pieces which need to come together to allow just one furry soul to be saved: from transport and rescue to foster and adoption. And the other puzzle pieces: donations of time, energy and money – and those who raise awareness by buying and wearing a T-shirt (or writing a book).  We all come together to do our little piece. We are all pieces of the bigger puzzle. We are all Blessed To Be a Blessing.

I thought about the story I read yesterday about Bella by Great Dawg Rescue, a rescue whose story appeared in Magical Dogs. It is a beautiful, magical story of Being a Blessing in the life of a dog. How different Bella’s day and life would have been had GDR not stepped in at that exact moment.

Perhaps, in this time in history (and this is not a political post) that is the greater lesson. To remember we are all a piece of the bigger puzzle. To remember that if we all do our little piece….if we all pushed our own needs and agendas aside for a moment….if we all took the time to find out what we can do in this exact moment to be a blessing to another soul – a friend, family member, dog, cat or total stranger – perhaps we can begin to rewrite our individual and collective story, a story we could call: Blessed to be a Blessing.

Enjoy this day ~ Capture the Magic.

 

A Big Birthday and Valentine’s Day Announcement in Honor of Brooke

On February 13, 2002, the day before Valentine’s day, an angel – a fluffy little Valentine – was born.  She came into the world in Seattle, Washington.  She weighed only 6 ounces and had a few health issues in her early days here on earth. The woman we wanted to adopt her from wasn’t sure she wanted to give her up. Gratefully, we were able to convince her otherwise.

We named her Brooke. At 47, she was my first dog.  Ever.  I had no idea how she would change me, and my life, forever.  Likewise, having never been through it before, I had no idea how much her passing would change me – and my life – forever.

For those who have read Magical Dogs, you know that Brooke was, in large part, the reason why I sat down to begin writing that book.  The other dogs who came along once I began writing were the reason I kept writing.

Magical Dogs was released last year on February 13th in honor and celebration of Brooke. On my first book tour, dogs began coming into my path who tugged at my heart. Dogs with stories needing to be told.  But I wasn’t ready. And in the past year, more dogs have crossed my path and the thought of writing another book kept rummaging around in my mind.

It seems appropriate in celebration of what would have been Brooke’s 15th birthday and Valentine’s Day that I announce I am beginning my next Magical Dogs book: On the Road With Magical Dogs.  I’m excited and nervous and all the feelings you go through at the beginning of a project that means so much on so many levels. It means so much because these books aren’t about me  – they are about the incredible, loving, magical dogs who are here for a purpose and deserve to have their story told. I am always humbled and honored that they choose me to be the one to tell their story – and, as always –  I ask for your prayers and good wishes, as I begin this journey.

To my angel, Brooke, I pray you had the happiest of birthdays. Until we meet again…

 

Thank YOU for a Magical 2016

As we prepare to usher in a new year, I think back to this time last year.  We were putting the finishing touches on Magical Dogs and getting ready to send it off to the printer. Knowing I would soon introduce the world to these wonderful, amazing and loving dogs, I was excited and nervous and prayed you would love them as much as I did.

And you did. 

You welcomed the dogs into your homes and hearts. Many of you sent me notes, emails and pictures telling me just how much the dogs and their stories impacted you. The dogs even received 5-star reviews on Amazon (The dogs love getting positive reviews!).

The reason I say “the dogs” rather than “the book” is because I believe in my heart-of-hearts this is 100% about the dogs.  It was the dogs who decided it was time for their stories to be told and for this book to be written.  How they found me, as many of you know, was magical.  Why they chose me will forever remain a mystery but it is an honor I have never taken lightly.

Before I ever wrote one word, I knew that getting their stories out into the world was only part of the journey.  The other part was to pay it forward and help animals in need so I made the conscious decision to donate one-half of our net proceeds from every book (purchased directly from me or our website) to animal rescues and organizations

And we did. 

In 2016, the Magical Dogs family donated to over 30 different animal rescues around the country. That was possible because YOU supported the dogs, their book and our mission. YOU came to book signings and events.  YOU ordered the book from our website. It was because of YOU that we were given the opportunity to pay it forward and truly make it a Magical 2016 for so many animals in need.

2017 is an unwritten chapter for each of us.  365 blank slates on which we will we continue to write the story of our lives. May the stories we write be filled with wonder, peace and magical moments.  May we choose moments filled with compassion, understanding and love for every member of humanity ~ be they two- or four-legged ~ for our choices and those moments will make up our year…and our life.

Wishing you a magical 2017 ~ with love and gratitude from the Magical Dogs family.

How Dogs – and Humans – Change Me

rescue animalIt’s been a busy few months for the Magical Dogs team travelling around meeting dogs and local animal rescues. I’ve heard stories of dogs abandoned and abused and met dogs who, in a rational world, shouldn’t be here. But they are.

Despite where they came from or what they’ve been through, they are ready, willing and able to move on…to let go…and to make the rest of their life the best of their life.  I am constantly astounded by the amount of compassion and forgiveness these dogs have in their heart.

And, in witnessing it, I am changed. And hopeful.

Every day, I witness people who take dogs into their homes and hearts to foster or adopt. Many have physical, emotional and mental injuries or illnesses that need attention and time.  Many don’t know what it is to be loved or to get regular meals.  Despite all the other responsibilities they have in their life,  I am constantly astounded by the compassion and love humans have in their heart to change a dog’s world and reality.

And, in witnessing it, I am changed. And hopeful.

Despite all that is going on in our world right now, the connection between humans and dogs is a beautiful, simple example of how our world could be.  By focusing and holding onto that same compassion, love and forgiveness I witness every day between humans and their dogs, we truly can change our world.

I am hopeful.

 

 

Magical Dogs Paying it Forward

When I set out to publish Magical Dogs, I made the conscious and deliberate decision to donate a portion of every book purchased directly from me (in person or from the Magical Dogs website) to animals in need. It was a paw it forwardway for Brooke, Ava and I to pay forward your support of us and the book.

I’m beyond thrilled to tell you, the Magical Dogs community, that thanks to your generosity and support of the book in the six weeks since it was released, we have definitely paid it forward,

During my tour in Florida, I was able to make donations to Great Dawg Rescue, Animal Welfare League of Charlotte CountyMarrvelous Pet Rescues and Pet Rescue by Judy.

And….drum roll, please… from the three local events here in my hometown, I was able to donate enough to a local family so that IMG_20160327_0825191Roman, their diabetes alert dog, will be joining them at the end of June. This dog will change the life of their son with type 1 diabetes. This dog will change the life of his parents who now live in constant fear and concern. How awesome is that?!?! We are changing lives – lives of humans and, especially, lives of dogs everywhere.

Great job, Magical Dogs community! Together we are evidence that *Magic* still exists.  Together we are living proof that the *Magic*  of love, hope and especially the magic that dogs bring into our lives and the world – is alive, well and very real.

With Sincere and Heartfelt Gratitude ~ Patti, Ava (& Brooke)

 

 

No Place Like Home

Welcome to Florida USA

Welcome to Florida USA

I left New Jersey on March 6th with a trunk full of books and a heart full of hope and excitement.  I was heading to Florida on my first-ever book and speaking tour. I was going to visit family and friends, meet some new friends and sell a ton of books so I could pay off some outstanding debt.

I arrived home yesterday with a heart full of mixed emotions. I was blessed to spend precious time with family and friends. And I got to meet some incredible people doing incredible things for dogs at incredible rescue organizations:  Great Dawg RescuePet Rescue by Judy,  Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County and Marrvelous Pet Rescues.

But there’s a piece of me that is so sad. So very, very, very sad.  It had nothing to do with the fact that almost all of the books I brought down with me were still in my trunk or the outstanding debt which is still outstanding.

It was the eyes. I can still see the eyes of every dog in Florida waiting to be adopted.  All those dogs – all those eyes – looking up at me from their kennel.  Big, beautiful eyes so filled with hope that maybe, just maybe, I was their ticket out of there and into a fur-ever home.  Dog at Home

I got to witness a few dogs find a new home and family. And several more had applications submitted. But there were so many still waiting. And for that I am sad. I am so very, very, very sad.

If I had the money and the space…but I don’t.  So I want to thank everyone who volunteers at a rescue. And I want to thank everyone who fosters – or has adopted or rescued – a dog so they can spend tonight in a home with a full belly knowing what it is to be cared for and loved.  You are all truly angels on earth.

when i win the lottery

Magical Moments In Time

 

Dad with bookIt was a beautiful, sunny morning.  Ava was snoozing by the front door when suddenly she hopped up and began barking.  Walking over to the door, I saw an 18-wheeler coming up the street.

Interesting, I thought…and odd. 18-wheelers don’t typically come up our street. And then it stopped. In front of my house.

The driver hopped out of the cab and walked to my front door.  I assumed he was lost and needed directions.  He wasn’t lost.  He was delivering Magical Dog and, like a kid on Christmas morning,  I cracked open the box, grabbed the top copy and Ava and I walked down the street to my father’s house.

For six months, my father had grown increasingly impatient, telling me repeatedly, “Just stop writing and publish it already.”

I tried to explain that it wasn’t done. I tried explaining the writing and editing (and re-editing) process to him.  I told him there was still a book cover to be designed and a company who needed to do the interior layout before it went to the printer.  But my father just wanted me to finish the darn book!  He wanted it done…he wanted to see it…and hold it.

And now, as I handed him the book, he smiled and said, “Oh, you got it?”

“Yep!”, I said, “finally”.  We both smiled.

The next morning the phone rang.  I picked it up and my father said, “Pat, I just wanted to tell you I started reading your book.  It’s good.  It’s really, really good.”

And I cried.

My father has long been my hero.  He is a man of few words but deep emotions.  He is one of the most loving, caring and honest beings on this earth ~ and what he thinks about things has always been important to me. And here he was telling me my book was really good.

Today was my official book launch at our local County library.  Looking out into the audience as I read from the book, I saw my father’s face. Tomorrow is his 93rd birthday.We had cake and celebrated – the book and my dad.

I am incredibly, amazingly, overwhelmingly blessed and grateful for these precious, magical moments thanks to a group of some very Magical Dogs.

 

Birthday Wishes for Ava

MVC-010F

Ava on the day we brought her home.

Tuesday is Ava’s 2nd birthday.

On March 1, 2014, Ava came into the world, weighing a mere 4 ounces.

On the day she was born, the thought of another dog was the farthest thing from my mind.  My dog, Brooke, was alive and well – or so I thought.

As you’ll read in the page of Magical Dogs, a few shorts days after Ava entered the world, Brooke unexpectedly left it. I was distraught, shattered, inconsolable ~ all the things pet parents go through after a beloved animal companion passes over the Rainbow Bridge.  I decided I wasn’t going to get another dog ~ at least not for a very, very, very long time.

However, within two months, as if by magic, Ava was in our lives.  A little ball of fluff and love and sharp little puppy teeth.  She had the l-o-n-g-e-s-t legs I’d ever seen on a puppy. The breeder kept telling me “She’ll grow into them” – and I kept thinking for her to grow into them she’d end up being six feet tall!

Ava settled into my heart, home and life with ease but, before long, began exhibiting some behavior that concerned me.  When I would take the trash out she would immediately try to dig under the fence to get to me, howling and crying incessantly. Leaving her alone for any period – even just a few minutes – would result in coming home to a frantic, frazzled puppy covered in drool.

Everyone had their opinion on what to do from “just leave her, she’ll figure it out” to “she’s controlling you.”  Consultations with Animal Behaviorists, trainers, etc. all resulted in the same diagnosis: severe separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is very real and extremely heartbreaking. To this day, Ava cannot be left alone.

Not yet.

I trust this will not be her story or legacy. I know in my heart-of-hearts that we will get through this.  I have begun to reach out with earnest to experts in the field to get her through and beyond this.  I trust in one of the sequels to Magical Dogs you’ll read about Ava’s journey to a calm, relaxed state-of-mind and life ~ and all her joyful experiences AFTER separation anxiety.

Ava Shay and Sean

Ava with her best friend, my son’s dog, Shay. They were both puppies here and had just recently joined our family. Pictures shows her long, beautiful legs.

It is the hope of every parent (human, canine or other) that our children (human, canine, or other) grow up with a sense of wonder, joy, confidence and calm.  That is my hope for my little girl, Ava, on her second birthday.

Ava Bean, thank you for two years of love, cuddles, puppy kisses. laughter and your trademark froggy kick. Just as you grew into those long, beautiful legs, may you now grow into a long, beautiful and peaceful life.

Love you, Ava ~ always and forever!

xo! mommy