Inspirations

Many, many thanks to Roxie who began this compilation by typing in part of her collection from ber "binder" of favorite posts over the past year. Then Honna sent a lot of her favorites. Then there are all of those memorable posts including original writings of parents of kids with cance. So sit back, make yourself a nice cup of something hot, move that ever-present box of kleenex a bit closer, and enjoy.

(New additions are added to the top of this page.)

The Littlest Soldiers
Part I

 

A Mother's Leukemia Diary
Part I

By M. P. Layfield

on her son's end of treatment



A Mother's Leukemia Diary
Part II

By M. P. Layfield

on her son's end of relapse treatment

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A Father's Love, For His Son

One year ago today this Father's Day Eve.

The Doctor came to our room and knocked me to my knees.

 

I knew something was wrong as soon as I seen his face.

I prayed up above that I brought my son to the right place.

 

As he gave us the dreadful news, my son had Cancer.

I prayed to you God, in hopes you would answer.

 

Why must you hurt me and my wife?

Already you have take our first son's life!

 

Yes, eight years ago we lost our son David one cold October day.

It brought me and my wife closer and forever we would stay.

 

Even though time had passed, the pain was still there.

Yet, when my son Joseph was diagnosed with leukemia, it was almost to much to bear.

 

When we lost our first son it was as if we learned how much more to LOVE,

And we know Joseph was a gift sent from David up above.

 

I am a man with little words and struggles with what to say.

But why must my son suffer with the cancer everyday?

 

He has lost part of his childhood to this ugly dreaded disease.

I pray to you Lord, give me the strength I need desperately please.

 

Yes, he is only seven, yet he has been through so much.

Yet he has all of our hearts with his simple gentle touch.

 

He rarely sheds a tear, and almost will never complain.

Although, I know sometimes he is in some pain.

 

I am a Dad who is quiet, by my soul cries out loud.

Yet though it all, my seven year old son is my HERO, and makes me so proud.

 

We have been though so much as a family, this past year.

And I can't wait for the year 2000 to give a big CHEER!

 

For this is the time we will all celebrate.

My son Joseph has no more leukemia, we all including his little sister Natie, just can't Wait!

 

Love,
Your Dad

ALEM

One year ago my child, today

you said good-bye to me,

for now, you said, for someday mom

we'll live eternally

 

I know you're safe up there with God

pain you no longer know

but Alem, oh my precious little lamb

how I ached to see you go

 

I miss your voice, I miss your smile

I miss your loving ways

Missing you has done nothing else

but occupy my days

 

And afternoons, and nights,

life is not the same anymore

if deep longing, and magic spells could work

you'd be walking through our door

 

So my heart breaks again and again

and the longing lingers on
I want your arms around my neck
but your tender hugs are gone

 

Rest in heaven my dear, sweet precious boy

'cause for sure the days draw near

when my arms will wrap themselves again

'round my sweet darling teddy bear

 

February 28, 1998

Written by Fran....Alem's mommy, forever

"A Mother's Day Prayer"

Deep in our hearts we are comforted

by our precious memories of Motherhood

The laughter, discoveries, achievements,

the tears and the warmth of a hug and a kiss

We wish, Dream and Wonder what their lives will be

We feel all of the joy and all of the pain

We hope, pray and always love

What makes a whole, is the flame that burns

from our very soul

Our Love lives beyond life itself, it reaches

into the Heavens Above, it does because

It is the Purest of Love.

Robyn J. Raphael

"Written as a tribute to our 5 yr. old son, Keaton (Neuroblastoma 2-20-98)"

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Dear Friends and Family,

Hi!!

This year was one of my best and worst years of my life.

I am 8 years old now and in the 3rd grade at Indian Trail Elementary School.

This was one of my worst years because in January I got cancer. I was scared of dying and never seeing my family ever again on earth. I was very scared of all the tests and scans and taking medicines was the WORST!!! I threw-up a couple times everyday. I have been on Chemotherapy. At first it was super bad, but now I'm in complete remission so my Chemo is not that bad now. I don't hardly throw-up anymore now.

At first I thought I pulled a muscle or broke a rib in Gymnastics. But the x-rays showed a ball in my chest the size of a baseball. The doctor called it T-cell Lymphoma. I never heard of that before. Because I thought there was only one kind of cancer. I thought no-one got better from cancer.

After two days of Chemo, my mass was the size of a grape!!! I could breath better. I stood up out of bed and said, "This is the BEST day of my life! I can BREATH!!!". Two more days went by and it was the size of a pea. My doctor went running down the hall showing everyone my x-rays! She was so happy!! Then a few more days later all the tests could not find any cancer in my body. God had healed me!

The Chemo made me lose my beautiful hair. It was brown and long, long, long. What I had left was my inside beauty. Now I have a crew-cut almost look! When I get my hair back, I will have inside beauty as well as outside beauty.

Now some good things that happened this year!

I went to Camp for one week. I went all by myself, no parents! It was the best week of my entire life!!! I even won "Camper of the Year" from the American Cancer Society.

Other cool things this year was Make-a-Wish Foundation is re-doing my room into a forest. A pretty forest with a cabin in it. It will be done in two weeks.

I got to be on the front page of the newspaper the Spokesman Review for my cello playing and art and also how I cope with my treatments through music. I was also in Perspectives Magazine. I also got to be on TV two times. One time was on the Children's Miracle Network Telethon and the other time was last week. I was on "Circle of Friends".

I wrote an essay this year and won 1st place for third graders. I won 3 huge bags of prizes. Almost 3,000 kids wrote essays. It was really a fun time.

I liked swimming this summer in my pool. I love to play with my friends.

I was able to get a new kitten this year. It is my very own. I named her Rosy. She has a really pink nose. She looks like our cat Zeek, but only when Zeek was a lot younger. Rosy is really wild. Most people are scared of her. They run away when she comes darting at them. She must be part wild. But, I love her anyway. She purrs in my ears and licks my bald head at night, it feels pretty good having a sand-paper tongue licking my head!

I still play cello all the time. I am getting a brand new cello in a couple of days. that is my Christmas present from my mom and dad. It is hand-carved. It will look really neat. I am getting ready for my first solo cello recital. I can't wait!!! I still take lessons from Sister Karen. She is in
the Spokane Symphony. Oh....guess what?! I got to meet John Marshall this year! He is the principal cellist in the Symphony. That means he's the
BEST!!!

I also still play piano a lot.

So this year has been bad, but also very good. God is taking care of me!

Let me tell you about my brother, Dorian!!! Stinky Dorian!!!! He is now 3 years old and still poops his pants! GROSS!!!!! Like I said, "really, really STINKY BOY!!"

Actually he is pretty cute!

I have to share a room with him now as my room is being re-done. I don't really like it, but Dorian thinks it's really cool to have his big sister in his room. I read him stories every night. We say prayers together. He keeps
me up at night with all of his talking!

My brother loves cello music. He loves my cello suzuki music. He tells my teacher that he wants to play cello too. He can hear a cello in a big orchestra or symphony. He also loves the drums, of course!

He loves to play with little cars and he loves baseball boys. He still loves Barney. He went as Barney for Halloween. It was dumb!! He really looked dumb. I was embarrassed to be seen with Barney! Oh....well.......

I hope you have a good Christmas!

I know I will because I'm getting a new cello! Also I may be going to my Gramma's in Seattle. That would be my best present! She said she'd make turkey if I came....yea!!!!

I am almost done with all my treatments so that is another really great present!

Merry Christmas,

Love,

Mikaela -- and Dorian and Zeek the cat and Rosy the wild, wild cat, and Aldo, Dot and Diamond the Fish. (Annie the dog lives with another family now.)

From Sue, Mikaela's mom: On my daughter's computer I found this Christmas letter that she wrote. She said that I may re-type it and share it with you. I want to share how an 8 yr. old with cancer still goes on with life.

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That Faraway Land

 

What do you see when you look at me?

Can you see through this masquerade?

You can't hear the screams that cry out in my dreams,

My life has become a charade.

 

Through the tears and the pain, I will try to explain,

Though it really needs no validation.

Sift through the debris of the life that is me,

As I struggle to find my salvation.

 

My beautiful boy, my pride and my joy,

So wise, though he was only seven.

Is not here with me, he was taken, you see,

To sing with the angels in Heaven.

 

I wish I knew why, my child had to die,

Tell me, what is the purpose of pain?

It's true, I suppose, that nobody knows,

Though I ask it again and again.

 

You may question my tears, my sorrow and fears,

But there's one thing you cannot deny,

I'm sure you'll agree, that what's happened, you see,

Gives me every right to cry.

 

This much is true, I'll always love you,

Forever you're my little boy,

Today and tomorrow, in joy and in sorrow,

That's something that death can't destroy.

 

The love that you gave, helps me to be brave,

Till my life on this earth has past,

I'll see you someday, in that land faraway,

Together forever, at last!

 

And until that day, I hope and I pray,

That the sadness is less than the joy,

And shout it out loud, for I'll always be proud,

That you are my beautiful boy!

original poem by Honna

 

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The Love of Children

 

Let's not take for granted,

the life of a child,

whether naughty or nice,

complacent or wild.

Just continue to nurture,

to love and to mold,

for there's nothing more precious,

to have and to hold.

Just when you feel,

life's too unruly,

they'll look up at you, and say,

"I love you truly".

Then all of your troubles,

somehow melt away,

with those few little words,

which brighten your day.

Then when you think,

you've got it all sewn up,

You turn around,

and there stands a grown up.

No more messy rooms,

no more dirty dishes,

No more skinned up knees,

or endless Christmas wishes.

Then all you have left are your fond memories,

of the way they climbed mountains,

and swam cross the seas.

Though you know in your heart,

'twas the sand pile and lake,

what you wouldn't give for one more double take,

of the children who grew up,

too soon and too fast,

So let's not take for granted,

and thank God memories last.

Dawn Summit

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The following was a school assignment about a new holiday. You were to write a composition about the holiday you proposed. You needed to include why the new holiday was needed, how it would be celebrated, decorations, food...you were to use your imagination. This is what I wrote:

Celebration

My celebration would be called a "Selabration Day." It would be celebrated on January 8th. People with cancer or any person that had a type of cancer would celebrate it. It would be celebrated on January 8th because that was the date I was diagnosed with cancer.

People would celebrate by going to their doctor that diagnosed them. When they see the doctor, you would either give them a big hug or flowers. What I do is give a balloon for every year since she diagnosed me with cancer. This year I am going to give my doctor seven balloons because seven years ago I was diagnosed.

Everything would be decorated with purple and greenish-blue, (my favorite colors!). Eating your favorite foods and drinking your favorite drinks would be important.

It would be a day where every person and family that has experienced cancer will think over the past, enjoy the present, and look toward the future.

By Selah Weisenberger, 11 years old, California, diagnosed with ALL, T-cell, 1/91 and completed treatment 3/93.

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Motherhood, It Will Change Your Life

 

Time is running out for my friend. We are sitting at lunch when she casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family". What she means is that her biological clock has begun its countdown and she is being forced to consider the prospect of motherhood.

"We're taking a survey," she says, half jokingly. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say carefully, keeping my tone neutral.

"I know," she says. "No more sleeping in on Saturdays, no more spontaneous vacations..."

But that is not what I mean at all. I look at my friend, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of childbirth heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will be forever vulnerable. I consider warning her that she will never read a newspaper again without asking, "What if that had been my child?" That every plane crash, every fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will look at the mothers and wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think she should know that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will immediately reduce her to the primitive level of a she-bear protecting her cub. That a slightly urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a souffle. That the anger she will feel if that call came over a lost toy will be a joy she has never felt before.

I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might successfully arrange for child care, but one day she will be waiting to go into an important business meeting, and she will think about her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure he is all right.

I want my friend to know that everyday routine decisions will no longer be routine. That a visit to McDonald's and a five-year-old boy's understandable desire to go the men's room rather than the women's room will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in the rest room. I want her to know that however decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive friend, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not so much to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish his. I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My friend's relationship with her husband will change, I know, but not in the ways she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is always careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play "bad guy" with his son. I think she should know that she will fall in love with her husband again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my modern friend could sense the bond she will feel with other women throughout history who have tried desperately to stop war and prejudice and drunk driving. I hope she will understand why I think rationally about most issues, but become temporally insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children's future.

I want to describe to my friend the exhilaration of seeing your daughter learn to hit a baseball. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that i so real that it hurts.

My friend's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I say finally.

Then I reach across the table, and squeezing my friend's hand, I offer a prayer for her and me and all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this holiest of callings.

Author: Dale Hanson Bourke in Everday Miracles, Holy moments in a mother's day .

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Always Finish

 

If a task is once begun

Never leave it till it's done.

Be the labor great or small,

Do it well or not at all.

Author Unknown

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Suppose

 

SUPPOSE, my little lady,

Your doll should break her head;

Could you make it whole by crying

Till your eyes and nose were red?

And wouldn't it be pleasanter

To treat it as a joke,

And say you're glad 'twas dolly's

And not your own that broke?

 

Suppose you're dressed for walking,

And the rain comes pouring down;

Will it clear off any sooner

Because you scold and frown?

And wouldn't it be nicer

For you to smile than pout,

And so make sunshine in the house

When there is none without?

 

Suppose your task, my little man,

Is very hard to get;

Will it make it any easier

For you to sit and fret?

And wouldn't it be wiser,

Than waiting like a dunce,

To go to work in earnest

And learn the thing at once?

 

Suppose that some boys have a horse,

And some a coach and pair;

Will it tire you less while walking

To say, "It isn't fair"?

And wouldn't it be nobler

To keep your temper sweet,

And in your heart be thankful

You can walk upon your feet?

 

Suppose the world don't please you.

Nor the way some people do;

Do you think the whole creation

Will be altered just for you?

And isn't it, my boy or girl,

The wisest, bravest plan,

Whatever comes, or doesn't come,

To do the best you can?

Phoebe Cary

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To A Friend

 

YOU ENTERED my life in a casual way,

And saw at a glance what I needed;

There were others who passed me or met me each day,

But never a one of them heeded.

Perhaps you were thinking of other folks more,

Or chance simply seemed to decree it,

I know there were many such chances before,

But the others-well, they didn't see it.

You said just the thing that I wished you would say,

And you made me believe that you meant it;

I held up my head in the old gallant way,

And resolved you should never repent it.

 

There are times when encouragement means such a lot,

And a word is enough to convey it;

There were others who could have, as easy as not,

But, just the same, they didn't say it.

 

There may have been someone who could have done more

To help me along, though I doubt it;

What I needed was cheering, and always before

They had let me plod onward without it.

You helped to refashion the dream of my heart,

And made me turn eagerly to it;

There were others who might have (I question that part)-

But, after all, they didn't do it

Grace Stricker Dawson

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A Place for Me

 

There is a special place in life,

That needs my humble skill,

A certain Job I'm meant to do,

Which no one else can fulfill.

 

The time will be demanding,

And the pay is not too good

And yet I wouldn't change it

for a moment -- even if I could.

 

There is a special place in life,

A Goal I must attain,

A dream that I must follow,

Because I won't be back again.

There is a mark that I must leave,

However small it seems to be,

A legacy of love for those

Who follow after me.

 

There is a special place in life,

That only I may share,

A little path that bears my name,

Awaiting me somewhere.

There is a hand that I must hold,

A word that I must say,

A smile that I must give,

For there are tears to blow away.

 

There is a special place in life

That I was meant to fill,

A sunny spot where flowers grow,

Upon a windy hill.

There's always a tomorrow and the best is yet to be,

And somewhere in this world,

I know there is a place for me!

Unknown

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Take time to work, it is the price of success.

Take time to think, it is the source of power.

Take time to play, it is the secret of perpetual youth.

Take time to read, it is the foundation of wisdom.

Take time to be friendly, it is the road to happiness.

Take time to dream, it is hitching your wagon to a star.

Take time to love & be loved, it is the privilege of the gods.

Take time to look around, it is too short a day to be selfish.

Take time to laugh, it is the music of the soul.

--- Old English Prayer

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We cannot ease your aching heart,

nor take your pain away;

but let us stay and take your hand

and walk with you today!

 

We'll listen when you need to talk;

we'll wipe away your tears.

We'll share your worries when they come;

we'll help you face your fears.

 

We're here and we will stand by you,

each hill you have to climb;

so take our hand, let's face the world,

live one day at a time.

 

You're not alone, for we're still here,

we'll go that extra mile;

and when your grief is easier,

we'll help you learn to smile!

 

author unknown

submitted by Debbie (tonkamom@aol.com)

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Know you what it is to be a child? . . .

It is to believe in love,

to believe in loveliness,

to believe in belief;

It is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear,

it is to turn pumpkins into coaches,

and mice into horses,

lowness into loftiness,

and nothing into everything,

for each child has its fairy godmother in its own soul.

author Shelley

submitted by Allison Dickinson

(vlydawg@arches.uga.edu)

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What I didn't know before I had kids:

How many seconds it takes to microwave 4 fish sticks perfectly.

Who John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt is.

How to change a diaper in the dark, in a parked car, on a standing child . . . and all of the above simultaneously.

Which lines of The Cat in the Hat and If I Ran the Circus can be skipped over without a child noticing.

How bright a 3 a.m. full moon is.

The design marvels of hooded towels, Velcro-strap shoes, and mitten clips.

Locations of public restrooms all across town.

Why anyone would bother retracing their steps for miles just to retrieve a lost blankie.

That tigers live in the trees in our backyard.

The amazing technicolor variety of infant stool.

How to open a van door while bobbling 2 lunch boxes, two extra coats, a purse, a diaper bag, an a baby.

The fine art of vacuuming a floor without hosing up a Barbie shoe or a Playmobile cannonball.

That solid white socks get lost in the dryer at a much slower rate than do the mates of patterned socks that coordinate to special outfits.

How little sleep a human body truly needs to function.

Almost every Disney lyric ever penned.

How to spell amoxicillin.

That one can never own too many sippy cup lids or refrigerator magnets.

Scientific names of dinosaurs from A to Z.

That reverse psychology really works.

The recipe for a homemade version of Play-doh.

That Duplo and Lego blocks procreate in the night.

The distinctive sounds of Cheerios crunching underfoot.

Why they call them Happy meals.

The names of the leaders of Celesteville, Busytown, and the Pride Lands (Babar, Mayor Fox, and Mufasa, Scar, and Simba)

How far you can dilute juice and still retain it's taste.

That man (or child anyway) really can live on peanut butter alone.

That gender inequality starts early in clothing: boy's underpants have a wide band on top, while the waistband and leg holes on girl's look the same, increasing the odds that she'll pull them on tangled or upside down.

Sesame Street's air time.

The remarkable resemblance of a state-of-Florida puzzle piece (or a plastic hammer, a splay-legged Barbie, or a piece of cheese sculpted just so by tiny bites) to a gun.

That the bunny's name isn't Pat.

Translations of myella, babana, panyo, snunk, maldations, and nibbles (vanilla, banana, piano, skunk, dalmations, and nipples)

That the more my kids learn, the less I seem to know.

The blessedness of naps, the inviolate importance of routines.

author unknown

submitted by Margie (gscrazy@juno.com)

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The Bridge Builder

An old man, going a lone highway,

Came, at the evening, cold and gray,

To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide,

Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim;

The sullen stream had no fears for him;

But he turned, when safe on the other side,

And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim, near,

"You are wasting strength with building here;

Your journey will end with the ending day;

You never again must pass this way;

You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide -

Why build you a bridge at the eventide?"

 

The builder lifted his old gray head:

"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,

"There followeth after me today,

A youth, whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm, that has been naught to me,

To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.

He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;

Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."

author Will Allen Dromgoole

submitted by Honna (dhodder@nfld.com)

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When God Made Fathers

When the good Lord was creating Fathers, he started with a tall frame.

A female angel nearby said "What kind of a Father is that? If you're going to make children so close to the ground, why have you put the Father up so high? He won't be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child into bed without bending, or even kiss a child without stooping."

God smiled and said, "Yes, but if I make him child size, who would children have to look up to?"

And when God made a Father's hands, they were large. The angel shook her head and said, "Large hands can't manage diaper pins, small buttons, rubber bands on pony tails, or even remove splinters caused from baseball bats."

Again God smiled and said, "I know, but they're large enough to hold everything a small boy empties from his pockets, yet small enough to cup a child's face in them."

Then God molded long slim legs and broad shoulders, "Do you realize you just made a Father without a lap?" the angel chuckled.

God said, "A Mother needs a lap. A Father needs strong shoulders to pull a sled, to balance a boy on a bicycle, or to hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus."

When God was in the middle of creating the biggest feet anyone had ever seen, the angel could not contain herself any longer. "That's not fair. Do you honestly think those boats are going to get out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries, or walk through a birthday party without crushing one or two of the guests?"

God again smiled and said, "They will work. You will see. They will support a small child who wants to ride to Branbury Cross or scare mice away from a summer cabin, or display shoes that will be a challenge to fill."

God worked throughout the night, giving the Father few words, but a firm authoritative voice; eyes that see everything, but remain calm and tolerant.

Finally, almost as an after thought, He added tears. Then He turned to the angel and said, "Now are you satisfied he can love as much as a Mother can?"

The angel said nothing more.

author Erma Bombeck

submitted by Margie (gscrazy@juno.com)

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Things We Can Learn From a Dog . . .

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.

Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

Take naps and stretch before rising.

Run, romp and play daily.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout...run right back and make friends.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Author Unknown

Submitted by Patty

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More! Inspirations 2.

 

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