Cynthia Howerter graciously agreed to be a guest blogger ! Cynthia is a dynamic Christian woman whose passion to write stories based on Christian principals. Please visit her site, ‘Soar with Eagles’ ! You will be lifted and inspired !
I’ll Call You and We’ll Have Lunch
Cynthia Howerter | August 16, 2011 at 9:06 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p1GBfF-32
“Hey, I’ll call you and we’ll have lunch.” Ever say that to someone? Yeah, me, too.
Ever follow through with that? I’m serious!
Do you ever follow through with that comment? Or is it just something that sounds nice to say to someone, but you never get around to making that phone call? Hmm, that’s what I thought.
So, if that’s the case, why don’t you make the statement in a more truthful way: “Hey, why don’t I call you and we’ll have lunch, but I’m sure you’ve already figured out that I don’t really mean it.” Wooh. Well, isn’t that what you really mean? I know. Truth hurts.
I was 23 years old when I moved to Philadelphia as a newlywed. Because the only person I knew was my husband, I was anxious to make friends. As I began to meet other women, they would invariably say to me, “I’ll call you and we’ll get together for lunch.”
I would smile, my heart full of joy, because I believed that a budding friendship was forming. I would happily go home and wait for the woman to call and set up a lunch date. And I would wait. And wait.
Then one day, after being falsely told for the thousandth time that the person would call so we could have lunch, I overheard a mother tell her young child, “Honey, say what you mean and mean what you say.”
Say what you mean and mean what you say. What a revelation!
Tell me, dear friend, which one do you prefer:
“Why don’t we do lunch? What about next Monday? Or is Wednesday better?”
“I’ll call you and we’ll have lunch. But you and I both know I’m not going to follow through with this invitation.”
Know that whichever statement you select tells a lot about the person you are. Is that a wince or a smile?
It doesn’t stop with lunches. Do you promise others that you’ll help them with a project or that you’ll call them later to chat? Do you promise to go to the movies with a friend and then, at the last minute, call and renege because something better came up?
There are times when it’s necessary to back out of an engagement. But on a daily basis, are we making promises we do not intend to keep?
Are your words honorable and true? Or are they undependable?
You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden. And people don’t hide a light under a bowl. They put it on the lampstand so the light shines for all the people in the house. In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16.
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I signed Luci up for a six-week training with a trainer, Ms. Pat, who is well-known in our area. She stresses praise for the dog that learns his/her commands rather than treats. Last week was the first week. We met at a mall with an outdoor covered breeze-way on Tuesday evening for an hour. There was quite a mix of breeds there, some puppies, and others were grown, while others were in between! It was a bit chaotic the first evening as it was a new experience for the dogs and their owners and Ms. Pat and her assistants.
Our first exercise was to get our dogs used to walking close by our left side and be ready to stop/stay/go upon command. Luci’s experience in this training was learned in a previous training, so this one was easy! Luci is an obedient dog and wants to please just with her natural instincts.
The exercise for last evening was ‘Sit-Stay.’ In the ‘Heel’ position after the ‘Stay’ command I moved my left hand down in front of Luci’s nose and gave the command, “Stay.” I left her, starting out on my right foot, took two steps forward, turned and faced Luci. The objective was to train her to ‘stay’ in this position until I told her ‘done.’ She did well, picking up on the commands. I lavished her with praise for doing good and being a good girl, lots of hugs and pets ! We practiced ‘Sit Stay’ for a minute or two in class. Ms. Pat encouraged lots of practice on this exercise at home, taking more time, perfecting this before next week’s class.
Luci was a bit nervous at first for last evening’s session with many dogs there. Soon, she got used to them and blended right in with the around the circle exercises. It was a new learning experience for her, she learned and caught on quickly, and loved being there ! The only negative was the intense heat, 106-109 degs! It did help with a roof over our heads!
Until next week, we bid you adieu, God bless you and all furry friends,
Love, Sheri and Luci
Written by Sheri DeLoach
Luci and I were invited to have a tour/visit with the director of HBMCPP(the title).// We arrived right on time, 2:00PM and met Ms Joann and her therapy dog, Marney, a Australian Shepherd born in 2007. Luci was a bit unsure about Marney ! Luci hasn’t been around lots of dogs and doesn’t quite have the ‘socialization skills’ that are required to be a full pledged therapy dog. We are working on it ! Luci barked a couple of time at Marney but soon feel right into line with the tour. //We toured the ER room with lots of activity going on ! We met lots of new people and it was apparent that they knew Marney and she knew them ! Luci got her share of attention and loved it.// I was amazed that Luci was right at home with the ER situation. Lots of people were there even a couple of police people ! // After out tour we went back to the Commons Area, sat down with Ms Joann and Marney. Luci, still intimidated by Marney’s size compared to hers, barked again at her ! Ms. Joann advised that we consult with a trainer on socialization and take a six week course. Good advice !// We said goodbye to our new found friends and made plans to have another visit next week.//
May 13, 2011
This afternoon, Luci and I invited Harold, my husband, to accompany us on our nursing home therapy visit. He accepted the invitation by saying, “Might as well !” He has a friend from church that is a resident there and wanted to visit him. Many times I have expressed my feelings of a grateful heart and humbled spirit after these visits and wanted him to experience this for himself !
Luci displayed her usual excitement when we were preparing to go ! She knows where are headed and is jumping with joy ! Upon arrival, she is ready to get out of the car and we make a run or two around the facility before going in for our visit. Her energy level is super high and this 15 minute walk helps calm her along with tending to her potty needs ! I talk to her about being quiet and staying right with me when we go inside. She has learned to these commands and does quite well.
We visited first with our hospice patient, Ms. Brown, (not her real name) who was sitting in her wheelchair at the nurses station. She was happy to see us and it was apparent that meeting Mr. DeLoach lifted her spirits considerably ! Of course, Luci was right by her side and Ms. Brown, was ready to procede to the Commons Area for our visit. We like to visit in this open area so that other residents can come by and greet and meet Luci and pet her. Ms. Brown was extra talkative and wanted to tell us a dog story in her life that she recalled so vividly. She told us that she had a pretty blonde female dog that was special to her. She and her husband lived in the country and back then, dogs ran loose. No leash laws, no rabies shots, or birth control for dogs !
One evening, rather late, Ms. Brown’s pretty blonde dog came home and had been shot in the shoulder. It was not a pretty sight and Ms. Brown knew at a glance that her dog was suffering terribly and wouldn’t live. She had to make a decision to let her suffer and bleed to death or to ‘put her down’ as was customary those days. She was familiar with the procedure as many country folk had to ‘put animals down’ when injured and destined to die. Ms. Brown’s decision was to her the most humane, and ‘put her down’ with one bullet from the family gun. Ms Brown appeared to be back in that exact moment when whe told us this story, in which, no doubt was true and sincere. Ms Brown said she really missed her beloved dog for a long time and grieved over her passing.
We met a new resident, Ms. Black (not her real name) and of course, she too, had a dog story for us ! Long ago, she and her husband lived in the country and had a female ‘pug dog’ that was the love of their lives. The unusual characteristic of this dog was that she could snore as loud as her husband and sometimes, even louder ! She began to laugh as she continued the story ! One hot summer night, ( no AC back then) they all went to bed with all windows and doors open, hoping for a good night’s rest. Lil Pug and Mr. Brown began their competitive snoring upon falling asleep. As a matter of fact, Lil Pug snored louder than Mr. Brown, awakening him ! It was time for Lil Pug to go outdoors and sleep on the front porch.! Mr. Brown gave stern orders to Lil Pug to go outside to sleep ! As fate would have it, Ms Brown continued…Lil Pug went under their frame home that was elevated off the ground and got right under the floor where their bedroom was located ! Soon, Lil Pug began snoring and could be heard by his owners almost as if he were in the room ! Ms. Brown laughed all the way through telling her story and as she finished…it was clear that she enjoyed reliving this funny story that was embedded in her memory !
Ms. Brown enjoyed having Luci at her feet looking straight into her face. Ms. Brown held out both hands to Luci and wanted her to lick her hands ! Luci complied and appeared to enjoy giving her undivided attention to Ms. Brown. Luci was enthralled with Ms. Brown and loved her right away.
Harold told me later that he was touched and moved by the many ways he saw and experienced Luci’s sensitive spirit to these ladies, and they to her. It is awesome/ amazing each time we make a pet therapy visit that is meant for the residents…ends up with touching my heart and soul to
a depth I can't explain. Spiritual experiences can't be explained and not meant to be...it's between us and God.
Unconditional love and wanting to please is Luci's work in this world. She does it so easily and naturally...God made animals for us to enjoy and for companionship. All my life since a
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May 05, 2011
Yesterday, Thursday, is our day to visit patients at a local nursing home. Luci loves people and going into nursing homes because she is a therapy welch corgi dog. She was born to be such a dog !
We visited a young man named Johathan who is not able to speak but can understand what is said to him. I sat in a chair next to his bed and held Luci in my lap. I lifted her up so that her front paws were on the bedrail so that she could see Jonathan face to face. Jonathan is paralysed but his beautiful eyes and lashes tell us much. We talked about how our day started with Luci and I going on an early morning walk. We walk in the meadows behind our home. Luci knows our paths and I have been letting her have freedom from the leash for short distances. She does good ! I talked about the nice family pictures he had directly across the room from him. I told him that I know his mom from taking college classes with her. And, she had asked if I would bring Luci for a therapy visit !
It was a good visit. I could sense that Luci connected with Jonathan in a way that only animals can with humans who are sick. Luci was ready to go when I told her it was time to go. We told Jonathan goodbye for now, and would see him again next week. I believe that Jonathan can understand what’s being said to him, although there is no visible facial expressions or vocal sounds from him.
Until next our next adventure,
Sheri and Luci
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