Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reason, Season or a Lifetime

This week my world was rocked with the news of the untimely passing of a friend. I did not know him well, but he came into my life because of a four-legged friend and he touched my heart.  I can only hope that I touched his.  

Life takes us down many paths.  Sometimes the path we take is not always easy.  There is hurt, physical or mental pain, good choices and those not so good.  There are hard times and times that are less hard.  There is laughter, joy, and tears.  

As the new year approaches consider how with just one smile, one kind word, might be a reason or a season for just one person.   That is all it takes to change someone's life, one person, caring. 

This message is dedicated to the friend that has left this world all to soon.  You know who you are and I pray we meet again in another season, but for a lifetime. - From my heart, Pat

Reason, Season, or Lifetime
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. — Unknown

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Season of Giving

Christmas came a few days early for the Carolina Canines for Veterans service dogs in training thanks to Harry Barker Inc.  Carol Perkins, Founder, saw a recent article in the Post and Courier about the Carolina Canines for Veterans program conducted at the Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston and knew it was just the type of thing she wanted to support.    After a few phone calls and exchanges of emails, several of the U. S. Marines handling the dogs, Rick and Pat Hairston, service dogs in training Elder, Eden and Angel, Service Dog Titus and Therapy Dog Delta Mae visited the Harry Barker facility, met the incredible staff and had a little shopping spree.   The dogs and people were like kids in a candy store; they had so much fun!  

Thanks to the generosity of businesses like Harry Barker Inc, Carolina Canines is able to continue to serve our community with programs like Carolina Canines for Veterans, Carolina Canines, Carolina Canines for Therapy and Paws for Reading.  Not one of these programs would be possible without our donors, supporters and volunteers.

Thank you.  Two simple words that can’t be said enough.  Because of your generous support, George has a smile in his voice and a bounce in his step with his new service dog Ruth.  Andy can balance better with Service Dog Manna to pick up items he drops or retrieve the telephone when he needs it.  After two years of sleepless nights, Donald has Service Dog Holly to ease his night terrors and help him deal with everyday life.  Brian is more confident in public because of the skills his Service Dog Jada knows to help with his post traumatic stress disorder.  People in nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities are smiling with a visit from Carolina Canines for Therapy teams.  Children are learning to read better because of the Paws for Reading teams.   Thank you for your continued support and belief in the people we serve and the mission we do.

The Need.  The need is great and it continues. Census data estimates there are 32 million disabled adults (aged 18 or over) in the United States, plus another 5 million children and youth (under age 18).    The number of disabled U.S. Veterans has increased by 25% since 2001; 2.9 million U.S. Veterans.

The Wait. People are waiting for the gift of independence.   More people in our communities want a visit from a pet therapy team and children need your help to learn to read. 

The Ask.  In this season of giving, ask yourself what you can do to help someone in need.  Foster a service dog in training, sponsor a dog with a monthly financial gift, give an end-of-year gift, train and become a certified Carolina Canines for Therapy team, or volunteer.   Get involved and experience the joy of giving in a whole new way.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Most Important Gift

It's so easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.  Parents struggle to somehow, through all of the commercialism, teach their children that it is not about Santa, presents,Christmas trees, decorations, parties and sweet treats.  It seems to get harder each year.  The retail stores begin setting up Christmas Shops as early as September and the Christmas music begins playing before Thanksgiving! Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads flood the newspapers and internet trying to suck us into the spending frenzy.  How do you compete with that?   Christians, look to the Gospel of Luke and read the "Christmas Story" each year to their children as a reminder that this is the true meaning of Christmas.  As the story is read, one can't help but hear the voice of Linus from a Charlie Brown Christmas as he declares to Charlie Brown this true meaning of Christmas.  While the show first aired back in the 1960's, it's message may be even more relevant today.  So go ahead, click here to listen - really listen - to it's message.   We hope that you and your family are able to cleverly navigate through the chaos and smoke screens and keep your eyes on the prize of this glorious season.   It is, after all, the most important gift we will ever receive. 

Wishing you and your family a most joyous Christmas!  

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart."  ~ Washington Irving (1783-1859)