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Author Archive for Joan Courtney

P-Mail Connections

Duff here. I like to get Mail from Others. Some send Me actual Greeting Cards. Can You imagine How excited I am to receive Them? Very! Mom reads Their verses to Me in Gentle Tones and I know I am Loved. Mom also sends our clients Valentine’s Day cards and Thanksgiving greetings. A few years back, a Lady called in Tears. She told Us it was the First Valentine She had received since Her husband passed 21 years earlier. Such a Small Gesture to warm the Heart. Living unstuck.

My way? To Leave P-Mail along My walking Path. Other Animals, be they Canines, Chipmunks, squirrels or Bears, leave Their messages, too. And I am Fearless with this practice. I carefully check out the Scent. (Bear Scat and Horse Manure? Not My favorites.) And if I feel so led, I leave a Yellow P-Mail for My Buddies. We communicate Quite Easily in this manner, saying “Hello!” And “Howdy!” One Pet down the Road thinks He owns the Area. But Not so. I persevere to convince Him, for I live unstuck.

How about You? Do You keep in Touch Often? Sometimes? Never? I say: Enjoy being connected. Leave a Voice mail. Text a companion. Tell Your Mom You love her. Happiness will blossom and You will feel Your Heart Open to the Wonder of Others. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#connection

Faith makes all things possible . . . Love makes all things easy.

—Jeffrey R. Holland

All Your Eggs in One Basket

Easter is the only time when it’s perfectly safe to put all your eggs in one basket.

—Evan Esar

Duff here. Easter is a special time. A Holy Time of the year. And I revere All it means. Mom has told Me: Chocolate bunnies and eggs have filled the stores. She even saw a Little Mermaid Easter basket. And a Bat Man basket. (Please know, I’m Robin.) What a precious way for Little Ones to celebrate this Sacred Day. Living unstuck.

Each Child has their Own personality. That’s true. Mom heard a story of One Girl who gathered up Her Eggs during the Hunt. Then after The Search for Eggs was Over, proceeded to toss them over Her Shoulder, One by One. She was carefree, Almost as if She was sowing a Field for Spring. Her Cousin was following right Behind Her, checking out the Area for Any Intruders. She quickly harvested The Discards, carefully placing Them in her Basket. Now, that’s living unstuck.

How do You celebrate Easter? Join Family and Friends? Worship on Your own? Do a bit of Both? I say: Celebrate in the Way that’s Best for You. And if You want to put All Your Eggs in one basket (or even Share them), Do it. Experience the Joy. Happy Easter. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#Easter

There’s a Bunny in There!

Duff here. I made an amazing Discovery this Morning: Bunnies live in Culverts. We were on Our Morning Sashay, and I began to follow a Scent. Being very Thorough, I checked Out the entire area. The ground around a Large Rock. Down the Road. On the driveway. The closer I got to the Culvert, the greater the Strength of the Fragrance. Curious. I ventured Down into the Ditch to get even Closer. Kazam! A Bunny flew out of The Opening, running as fast as His Paws could carry Him. What a startling Encounter! That’s living unstuck.

I was also astonished Something that Small could Live in an open ended Hidey-Hole. And even more: That Bunny was fleet of Foot. He ran like the Wind. Even faster than I can. I would have Caught Him, but Mom held Me back. I was on My leash, as a Proper Therapy Dog should be. (I suspect Mom saw the Bunny earlier, but wanted Me to enjoy the Thrill of Discovery.) Live unstuck.

How about You? Are You prone to Astounding Surprises? Or is Your life hum-drum and Boring? I say: Check out what’s around You. You may find Something Amazing. Unbelievable. And That will make Your Day. (Watch out for those Sprinting Bunnies. They’ll get You every time.) Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#delightful-surprises

The real voyage of discovery comes not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

—Marcel Proust

Tax Time

It’s income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out the tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta (large artery in the heart).

—Dave Berry

Duff here. Tax time is here. To Me, Mom has a Curious way of running Her Life. Right around Christmas, She sets up the card Table in the Living Room, finds the adding machine and begins to Figure out Taxes for the prior Year. While this activity is Going On, She keeps an Eye on the College Football Bowl games. Yes, this is the culmination of the Year where She sporadically yells at the Television. She even explains the Poor (or Good) Plays made, to which I pay rapt Attention. I don’t understand a Word She says, but Am grateful those Loud Noises are not directed at Me. That’s Living unstuck.

If You are slogging away in the Trenches, I’m here for You. In Your darkest (and latest) Hours, I will cheer You on. We both know It will all work out in the Long run. My Money’s on you. I encourage you to Live Unstuck.

Where are You on the Spectrum? Sweating it out in The Last Hours? Bemoaning the Shekels going out? Or somewhere in between? I say: Make the Most of What You have. And be like Us: We’re already planning for Next Year. And The Best part of being Me? Dogs aren’t taxed, for Our job is to leave Paw Prints on Your heart. (And that’s a Fact.) Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#tax-time

Allergies . . . Again

Duff again. Allergy season is upon Us again. I watch People sneeze. They hack. They cough. Their Eyes water. Their nose runs. No sleep at night. Even Mom has this Malady now. I comfort Her by Sitting close By, looking sadly at Her with My Big Brown Eyes. What does That get Me? A Daily Sponge bath with a warm wash Rag. (Apparently My Fur attracts pollen like Nobody’s Business.) I don’t Mind, for this Ritual feels like a massage. That’s Living unstuck.

The other day, I, Myself, began to Sneeze. Once. Twice. Three times. Now, when I do This, it’s a Whole Body Activity. My chin hits the Floor. My body Wiggles. And My Tail moves almost Straight Out. Quite a feat for a Curly tail, I’ll tell you. After those Three sneezes, My Allergy Season was complete. I was finished, but this experience gave Me compassion for those who still are Suffering. They are not unstuck at all.

How about You? Are You miserable during This Dreadful Season? Or are You skipping along, content to Live Your life? I say: If you have a Choice, select the Latter. Seems to Be a Much easier way to Go. For those who are Having a Hard Time, My Commiseration to You. The Comfort I offer is: This Time will pass very Soon. Summer is on Its Way! Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#allergy-season

Compassion is an action word with no boundaries.


Flexibility—Prepared for Anything

Expect the best. Anticipate the worst. Be prepared for anything.

—Paraphrased Wisdom of the Ages

Duff here. For Me, Life tends to follow an evolving Circle. Ever onward I go, learning and Doing. Lately, I have been on the hunt for more Munchies. High and Low, wherever I go. Some Friends leave Me Nibbles scattered about, which is most Appreciated. But I tend to get Round. Mom is staunch in keeping My Form in Tip Top shape. So Rations are portioned out. That’s living unstuck.

As I work to gather More Delicacies, I expect the Best, for I know I am Deserving of All Good Things. And I constantly live in Hope. Anticipating the worst? That’s hard for Me, for I am a Positive Pup. But I do So, knowing I can move through times I would consider to be Complete Starvation (Not really) and come out On the other Side. Lastly, I am prepared for Anything. Positive. Negative. And all in between. I live unstuck.

Are You the Same? Wake up expecting the Best? Know You can handle Challenges that Arise? Prepared for Anything? I say: Whatever You do, be sure to Pack Some Goodies for Energy along the Adventure. You never know What will come Up. I’m with You all the Way, just in case You happen to drop something Delicious. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#flexibility

A Disappearing Act?

Duff here. I never know where People might go when They Enter the Office Powder room. They go into that Small Room. And close the Door. I listen intently, hearing the sound of assorted Noises. Very curious indeed. But I’m never convinced They will return. They might Disappear. So I curl up, Right outside the Entrance. Or at the End of the Hall. And wait. Finally, the Door opens, and Off We go. Living unstuck.

I have Reconnoitered this Small area and have never found anything of interest. Regular tiled Floor. A cabinet. A wastebasket. A sizeable White porcelain Gizmo that flushes. And no Other Exit. But I never know for Sure, so I Wait, secure in the Knowledge They will probably return. Just as They always have. Living unstuck.

How about You? Been in a Situation where Things happened in a Certain Way, but Then . . . You weren’t really certain. Perhaps it’s trying the Front Door to be Sure It is locked. Or Checking that Your keys are in Their Proper Place. I say: Better safe than Sorry. Take a gander to ease Your Mind. Or do as I do, and Place Yourself where a Person cannot miss You. It’s all part of Life. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#disappearing-act

The truth is, the fear doesn’t go away. Life is the dance of feeling the fear, but doing it anyway.