Shasta Cove Dogs description Comments... I have had to disable and erase all the comments because there were so many coming in that were completely strange, incomprehensible, robotic and not about anything I could understand let alone want to.... so please, if you would like to comment (as many of you have)  send an email to: wonderdogs We will be delighted to hear from you! I will correct this soon. If I can figure out how. Thank You! Henry We have been gone awhile..... resting, recovering, processing, learning, and simply being, together. And, so to begin, again, sadly: Henry died in early December, suddenly. There was no warning and we all, two and four-footed alike, were lost in the shock and sadness of his death. We are finding our way through, now. Yet, still there are no words.....only missing. Henry was all about loving. A dear, sweet being to whom each of us felt deeply close. Henry came to us as a puppy. As he grew, he never lost the  trust and open-hearted way of his puppy self. Joyful, playful, and funny, Henry bridged all the gaps, helping both people and pups find their way. There is no moving on, as some suggest, only weaving Henry's presence and his passing, his loving and our missing, into the tapestry of our dog life. We are all doing just that, slowly and surely. We will miss Henry forever, and love him even longer. Happy Birthday Dad! One of the monks at Shasta Abbey made prayer flags for us to hang above where we have scattered all the pups' ashes. It is my dad'sbirthday, so it seems the perfect day to put them up...blowing brightly, full of color and comfort. Wodjen watched us carefully,  making sure the flags were perfectly placed Moose kept the little critters away (his favorite job) Olive & Betty helped Todd put the ladder away. And Emma, as always, had the last word: Thank You! Sally Sally died two weeks ago. Shortly after her beloved brother, Jasper's, death, Sally was diagnosed with the same kind of aggressive bone cancer. Tho not unexpected, her death on April 2nd was a surprise ~ that morning she was eating and wagging, smiling and chasing pinecones, giving kisses and asking for tummy rubs. She was so alive. And then, she was not. As with all the others, Sally guided us through her illness and her death. Always the alpha girl, in her last months  she became more spirited, more gentle and more with us. She almost became cuddly. Or Sally's version of it. After Jssper's death, Sally seemed to carry a sadness within her that none of us ~ 2 or 4 footed ~ could reach. They had shared everything, beginning in the womb and carrying right through to pinecones, frisbees, food, long walks, wild runs, barking marathons, leading their pack.  They even shared a crate.... taking turns sleeping in it at night. Sally was so lively, so bright, so fun! She was a huge spirit, taking up all the room there was. We miss her terribly and feel her everywhere. We are with her and without her now. As always, grief is a journey. Sally was the 5th pup gone from our beloved pack in the last 18 months. As each one passed ~illness and old age taking their toll ~ there was one right here who needed extra care along his/her way. Our grief was shielded in the caring. With Sally gone, we take time to grieve them all. It is a big, deep job. We are filled with their life, love, and loss. And we are grateful. first, Gratitude As I work and re-work, add to, & subtract from, our website, I find myself looking ever more closely at the dogs in my life......and understanding, truly, that they are the tangible aspect of all the loving, the abundance, the beauty, and the fun that I have had the good fortune to find in this life. And, as I begin this blog, along comes Sally with a frisbee in her mouth and a wild smile in her is time to play! More Soon. 13 things I know now 13 things I have learned living with dogs: 1. Dance before dinner! 2. Snuggle well. 3. Nap often, sleep soundly. 4. Frolic joyfully in new snow. 5. All there is is right here, right now. 6. Play endlessly and with total committment. 7. Don't go out in the noonday sun. 8. Watch carefully, listen intently. 9. Keep well hydrated. 10. Bark loudly or don't bark at all. 11.Howl at the full moon. 12.Cover those you love in kisses. 13. Anyone who does not believe dogs are capable of reason and emotion, logical thought and brilliance, has simply not lived WITH a dog.....or 2 or 3 or 8. Cody relaxes well..... Cody has had MANY challenges in his life - relaxing is NOT one of them. He completely surrenders himself when he lays down to rest. It is such a peaceful, lovely, and a bit comical thing to see. For much of his life sleep was the only time he could find comfort - he took to it well. For a long time, in his deepest healing, when we weren't even sure he would make it, he would take himself out into the meadow and try to walk, then stop and rest, relax, fall asleep, awaken and try again. Sometimes he made it only 100 feet or so before he had to come in for the day. Pacing himself worked for Cody, he eventually retained use of all his legs in equal measure and made it completely around the fenced in perimeter of the meadow - his gait is funny, odd even, but who cares?! - he is walking and running. And, on special occassions, even jumping! Another lesson learned well from the pups - taking time as we need it to just be.......relaxing doesn't come as easyily to me as it does to Cody, (or Hank, or Abbey, or Tux or Emma or Jasper or Henry,or even Sally), but I am getting there. Buddhist Monks with Abbey Reverend Master Jisho and Reverend Berthtold, monks from Shasta Abbey, a Buddhist Monastery not far from us, came over last Thursday and performed a ceremony with Abbey. It was wonderful: comforting, loving, peaceful. I highly recommend Monks in the house! As life would have it, completely serendipitously, the Reverend Berthtold was the monk who had found Abbey when she was a tiny puppy. Perfect. Of course. The ceremony, an Animal Naming Ceremony, is where Abbey is given her Buddhist name and takes the Three Treasures Precepts. She is then encouraged to awaken the mind of selfless giving (which, of course is dog mind). This ceremony helps to ease and comfort Abbey as she prepares to leave us. Abbey was completely engaged with the monks, very present for her ceremony,and has been quite lively since. We are grateful for every day she is with us. It was so kind of the monks to come to her. Being the Alpha Girl, and in declining health and comfort, she is uneasy when parted from her pack. When the ceremony was completed Abbey took a big nap - but not before strutting across the deck, tail up and curled, nose to the sky, barking at the mountain, - while the monks and the rest of us visited with all the other dogs, drank green tea and ate freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.     Ellie of Michigan! I am in far Northern Michigan, visiting the latest addition to our extended dog family - Ellie is a very young black lab mix - perhaps part Australian shepherd?. She is lively and deeply loving, smart and bright, playful, mischevious, and completely happy to be. Ellie is a rescue dog - but, as always, the question is 'who is really rescuing whom?'. Watching Miss Ellie, I am struck, once again, how completely dogs are able to be with, and to give of, themselves. The unconditional love they offer is tranformative - if we can allow ourselves to accept it. Truly. Accepting this love, the joy, the depths they offer us requires us to look deeply and surrender fully - letting go of all the protective coatings we have accumulated......and it requires a responsiblity to return in kind. If we follow the thread of their loving we find it is a circle, giving and receiving sharing equal importance. The gift is that the dogs of our life not only bring us themselves, they bring us ourselves.  Miss Ellie kayaks with Cynthia - it is not something anyone taught her. When Cynthia got her kayak, on their first outing, Ellie climbed right in and sat, still and watchful, throughout. She has not missed an outing since.  (scroll down for more dogblog) The Kissing Place  I've been thinking how dogs have that perfect kissing space right between their eyes and down there noses a bit - the bridge of their nose? - it just fits my lips and receives them so well. Plus you can give ear scratches at the same time. Very clever whoever built these pups! In these last few months, as illness has caused her to loose weight, Abbey's kissing spot - the perfectly upside down V between her eyes - has become more defined and more kissable. As has she. (Scroll down for Abbey and the Monks.)