Saturday, January 15, 2011

First mall adventure

Milo and I ventured out to the Galleria Mall with my niece and her friend. I figured it would be a good idea to get him used to crowds and practice riding the escalator to prepare for our first plane ride.
We spent about 4 hours walking around and talking to people.
Everyone who met him thought he was adorable and he absolutely loved all the attention! I am amazed at how excited he gets whenever he sees a young child. He is so drawn to children. (Which makes me think we will most likely concentrate on visiting children's hospitals)
The escalator was a trip! He did NOT want any part of going on it. He backed up, pulled away and looked at me like "Why on earth do you want me to go on that?!" So I stopped, let a few people go ahead of me, he watched intently and then (after doing this dance of trying to get him to go, him pulling back, watching others, repeat..) he finally followed a little boy and got on! When we got to the bottom, he hopped off and was very proud of himself, as was I! :) We repeated this process several times throughout the night. By the 6Th or 7Th time, he had it down!
A successful 1st trip out in public! Yay Milo! :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Preparing for the journey.....

I actually hadn't planned on starting my blog until Milo and I were ready to consistantly go visiting....but, I suppose the journey to the journey will be just as interesting (perhaps more so!)
I started training Milo a few months ago, inconsistenly I might add! I need to re-wind a little so you can appreciate my proudness :)
When Milo was a puppy, he HATED wearing a collar....I had never seen a puppy react with such drama! He would lay his head on the floor as if I had put an ankle weight around his little neck; and he would whine. I would take the collar off and he would run away and hide under the couch! I tried a shoe string only to get the same was heart wrenching. He looked so sad I just couldn't bring myself to keep torturing him with the likes of a collar. I tried a few months later but it wasn't until he was around 1 that I became more insistant. He also did not like riding in a car and would get car sick....completely opposite of both his parents!
So, imagine my surprise when I put a leash on him this past July and took him for a walk/run and he strolled along with me as if he had been trained from puppy hood. I was AMAZED and so very proud! That's when the seed was planted in my head.
At this point,I had already spent a lot of time with my friend and his service dog. So, after that display of smartness, combined with how happy he makes me and everyone who meets him, the seed began to sprout.....and the research and training began. However, I spent more of the summer away from him than training him (that's where the inconsistancy comes in). I would be home for a couple of weeks, work with him, leave for a couple of weeks, return to find he remembered all I had taught him before! I thought to myself, "That's so cool...what an awesome dog! He is SO smart enough to be a service dog! Yep, I think I'm gonna do this".
The sprout continues to grow....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The drive behind the journey

Today my father would have been 58. It's hard to believe that it's been nearly 11 years since his tragic passing. He is the driving force for me to be the amazing person he believed me to be. He was a great, charismatic, generous and powerful being. He and my mother discovered the island of Roatan in 1994 when traveling around the world. They met a man, Captain Alex, in Belize during their travels who told them they must go to Roatan....and, so, they did. They immediately fell in love with the island and the people there. They purchased 3 acres and I went for the first time 1995. I, like my father, immediately felt the islands magic. In 1997 my father negotiated to purchase the adjacent 4.5 acres. When he called and asked if I wanted to go 1/2's with him I was arranging for the money before he was done asking the question!

Through the next decade, my parents spent several months of the year on the island building a home for themselves but also making differences in the lives of the less fortunate.

When hurricane Mitch hit the island, my father arranged for a truckload of donated goods to be shipped to provide for the families that lost everything. At Christmas time, he and my mother would dress up as Mr. and Mrs. Claus and ride around on his quad with a garbage bag full of candy and to all the children who had only known Santa as a picture or drawing on the pages of a book. My mother, being a nurse, helped many people as well.
I, like my parents, am a humanitarian by nature. Doing, giving and helping others has always been what makes my heart full. Unfortunately, I married the wrong man who constantly took the wind out of my sails. He, and his parents, mocked me for volunteering. Working for free was some kind of crime and I was an idiot for wanting to do so. Everything was about money and things and pulling the wool over people's eyes. Lying, cheating, manipulating and stealing. Doing whatever it takes to get the "deal", to win. The type of people who go to church and teach religion in order to be forgiven for all their sins (I'm sure we've all met a few in our lives). It's their ticket to Heaven (or so they believe). So, I spent the better portion of my life locked up....trying to conform and be who they, and most of society, say I should be.

Until now....

Now, it's a new Dawn, a new day and a new life......

I spent the better portion of 2010 with my friend and his service dog. Everywhere we went she brought smiles to adults and children. Connections were made. Days were brightened and a dogs love was felt.
Being at a major cross-road in my life, knowing only that I want to do something great, it dawned on me that my dog, Milo, was the key. He is the sole survivor of my dog Princess and her mate Hercules last litter. He is a special dog, I knew it from the moment he escaped death from the wrath of a dirty pool (his sister wasn't as lucky). Instead of selling him, as planned, I decided he was meant to be with me. It was the best decision I've made in years. He has been my savior. He makes my heart sing! So, now, I will go through the process of training and registering him as a therapy dog ...visiting the less fortunate (whether it be a nursing home, children's hospital or small village in some foreign land) and we will brings smiles, laughs and happiness; and we will leave paw prints on hearts everywhere we go! :)

I will start my journey with a poem:

As I embrace the changes and give in to it's flow,

I realize where I'm supposed to go.

It's not foreign,

the ideas to follow,

for I have felt them all my life.

I believe I am meant to do good.

To make a difference in the world.

To spread peace, love and happiness,

where ever I go.

I was trapped in a life that left me dead inside.

Dreaming of what it would be like to be free.

Free from the chains hypocrisy,

of closed minds and greedy people.

Free from other's boundaries.

Free to shine brightly upon the world....

all my love that has been buried deep within my soul.

Follow us on our adventures around the world....hopefully, as things grow, we will be able to afford to go more and more places!
Peace, love and happiness to you all!
Milo & Dawn