Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Joy of Being Lighthearted in Life

I think I might be a rock star...
Mommy says that my first record album cover is going to be the funny, highly stylized image to the right. Never mind the fact that I don't have a band, a record deal, or that the record itself (based on this image) would be oddly shaped in a long rectangle! Obviously, my Mommy really knows how to be lighthearted and silly, a very valuable lesson that she started teaching me from way early on. (Evidently, my Mommy also likes to play with photos of me on her computer, but that is beside the point.)
 Mommy made these funny 'Motivational' posters to illustrate the point of taking most any situation and finding the lighthearted side of it. I have had many a time that I was scared, sad, sick or just feeling down and Mommy will scoop me up and give me a hug, take me outside for a bit of playtime, or bring me my favorite treat to put a little romp in my step. I guess it has rubbed off, because I have done the same for her. She has had times when she was frustrated, feeling down, or having a difficult time with something, and I will bring her a toy to play with, do a little dance like only a Pixel can do, or just go up and cuddle with her.
And, as is overwhelmingly evident, I let her take photos of me no matter what silly situation I get myself into. Mommy says to find the positive in a situation, whenever possible, and it will help you find perspective. Sometimes that is easier said than done when the evil lawnmower is coming to get you, but I think I get the point!
Now, sometimes life can be tough, and there will always be those times when lighthearted is just not going to happen, and annoyance sometimes ensues, but we do our best. That is why having family and friends can be so helpful and wonderful. I have the most awesome dog/human pack ever and they get me through those times until I can be lighthearted again. See, even a Pixel Mixel can have a bad day...
Success at being lighthearted in life is an ongoing process, but I think it is a mindset I choose to live by. After all, I AM a blogging mini schnauzer...how much more lighthearted can you be?? I suppose my steps to lighthearted success would be to:
1. Find joy in the little things, like rawhide, a cuddly soft blanket, snow falling and paper towel rolls.
2. Practice 'Random Acts of Kindness' - Look for ways to be kind and do for others, no matter how you feel, and do it whenever you can.
3. Laugh at yourself. Take funny photos.
4. Play. Just do it!
5. Volunteer...at a dog shelter, at a people shelter, at a retirement home, at a hospital. Remember, lightheartedness can be catching...

Now, about my rock star status....would you buy the album if I did make one?

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Joy of Making New Friends - Part I

Friendship is a gift that can sometimes come in unique packages. My 'Tails of Adventure' have taken me down several roads over the last three years, however, the path to my current adventure in friendship was very unexpected...and has been well worth the journey. I have always been the youngest member of my pack, so I always knew where I stood and had made friends with the whole family all at once.
Well, all that changed two days before Christmas...

On December 23, 2010, my Mommy and I went outside to feed the birds on the back deck. It was about 26 degrees and a snow storm was coming. We have always cared for the little wild birds. And as I always strive to be a good service dog to those in need, I go out with my Mommy every time to help her feed them. Well, my Mommy suddenly said, "Oh my goodness, there is something in our tree!" She thought it might be a bird of prey, and was ready to go chase it off. Well, when she went round the tree to get a better view, she saw a little kitten's face! It was about 20' up that huge maple tree caught in a nook and unable to get herself down.
Well, Mommy sprung into action to try and save that little soul. She called everyone she could think of: the police, the animal shelters, animal control, our neighbors. No one would come or was home to get that little kitten down from that tree! Mommy tried to lure it down with some kipper snacks, and I offered to help eat them so that they would look really yummy, but the kitten was NOT interested. Finally, our neighbor came home and Mommy kindly talked him into climbing a ladder to rescue the kitten down before it froze to death. We were not going to let that little soul freeze overnight! Much to everyone's surprise, after such an ordeal she was still incredibly grateful and gentle. We made her a huge bed for her in a big crate, with all she would need in it to be comfortable, and had her warm and cozy in no time. We all thought we would find her a good home, but the kitten thought our home was just right. By the next day, she had stolen everyone's heart (okay, all the human's in my family) and sure enough, she found her forever home. They named her Noel, our little Christmas tree gift from heaven.

Now understand, that because she was a stray, I was not allowed to meet her for several weeks. First, she was quarantined through Christmas, until we could get her to our family vet, and then she was treated for a respiratory infection. Once she was all well from that, Noel was brought up into the main part of the house and stayed in a crate on a small table while she recovered from being spayed.


Everyday I watched our new kitten Noel,  not really understanding it all at first, but still very curious. "Would she be friendly? Would she like me? Could we be friends? And would she let me have all her toys and eat her cat treats??" It was these important questions that ran through my mind as I watched her throughout the days. I noticed that she and I actually look a bit alike, with similar coloring on our fur, and I found that to be especially interesting. We both have white stomachs, with brown (chocolate) markings on our head and back...I guess we had different mothers together!

I tried talking to her and we did interact some - she would give me an occasional meow and I howled in response, asking that they "let her out early for good behavior." Mommy caught some of my asking on video, and she put it on my "Pixel Blue Eyes" Youtube channel that is linked in the upper right corner of my blog page...you can see it here too. I even wore a SWEATER for the film!
Noel's and my first interaction (with her at eye level) did finally occur, and you can see THAT video by clicking on my video links here on my blog, as well. The adventure of just getting to meet Noel took a while, and I will soon share more of how our friendship has grown over the last month. Things have definitely gotten more interesting since we found and saved our Noel...she has indeed become a new friend, and I have moved up the 'pecking order' in our little dog pack too! I never thought I would have a younger 'pup' that I needed to show the ropes to, but things change in life, don't they! As long as you can see the joy in new changes and challenges, life can be pretty exciting! Stay tuned for more stories and videos on the joy of making friends with Noel...
And please leave a comment and let me know what you think about making new friends, the photos & videos I have shared, or particular 'Tails' I have blogged about. I always love to hear from my friends!
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