Tag Archives: Support

Nose to Nose and Ears to Help Hear

Nose to Nose and Ears to Help Hear? 

What the heck does that mean?

Let me explain. (By the way, we sometimes refer to our dogs as W & C)

My oldest dog, Winston, is deaf. Like, can’t hear a damn thing, deaf. Over the years, he’s let Churchill, our youngest, be his ears. When C barks at a noise, paces back and forth, Winston follows him closely to see what’s up. It’s pretty darn cute to watch.

Of course, Churchill has no clue Winston can’t hear. Hence him giving Winston a subtle growl when W gets too close while he’s eating. If only C knew Winston is completely clueless to the warning.  Winston barges in on the dinner bowl like he’s king of the world… and Churchill continues to try to be a hotshot with his guttural growls. Again, pretty darn cute to watch.

Since Winston has gone deaf, he does two things louder–bark and snore.

I assume he barks louder because he can’t hear himself bark. Who knows. I’m just guessing. He also barks more, but at his age, him barking and being active is a blessing, so I try to ignore it.

Now, his snoring, I can’t ignore it. I have to try to sleep through it. For those who are friends with me on Facebook,  I’ve posted some videos that kinda-sorta give a sense of what I’m talking about, but here lately, his snores have only gotten louder and squeakier. Yeah, it can be funny, but there are times when it can be a little scary. Since he doesn’t get disrupted by sound, he sleeps super hard and deep, and his breathing can become fast and erratic with dreams and snores. My (dog) mommy ears kick in, I wake up, and then wake him up. Sometimes, it takes a few shakes, and kisses on the nose, before he comes out of it, and licks me. By the way, I’ve talked to his vet about this and she says it’s normal for deaf dogs and not to worry too much.

The rare moment when W starts breathing weird, and I don’t wake up (like this morning), Churchill wakes me, then literally gets on top of Winston, and puts his nose up to his brother’s nose. I have no doubt he’s trying to make sure W’s okay. There are times Churchill’s nose against Winston’s is enough to wake W and I’m not needed. What a great little brother.



Churchill looking up to Winston.

I’ve been thinking about this all day.

We should all have a Churchill (or five) in our life. Someone to put their nose up to ours when we need to wake up or we’re acting (feeling) “off”. Heck, sometimes, we may need someone to be our ears, just like C is for W. Someone to guide us, help us, give us what we need most.

Over the last few years, I’ve learned who those people are for me–different personalities, different strengths, different things to give, different things to offer–just the way it should be.

I’m so very grateful for all my many Churchills. You listen to me. You listen for me. You cover me with love and attention when I need it the most. Thank you.

Who are your Churchills? Thank them. Love them. Let them know you appreciate them.

Until next time…













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Filed under February 2015

Move Along… Crappy Support Not Taken Here

A while back, I was talking to someone about something I was struggling with in my writing. This person is not a writer, but I thought that was okay. I figured they would at least listen, and maybe (hopefully), give me an opinion or an encouraging word. I was wrong. Here was the response:

“Well, you have your writer friends for that.”

This perplexes me to no end. Do writers have to only go to writers for help and support?

I was at a writer’s conference this past weekend and it felt so good to be surrounded by people who understand the passion, the struggles, and the love of the written word. The camaraderie was palpable and the support never-ending. Judgment? That word doesn’t exist among this group and I have to think that would be the case for most writer conferences and groups.

Here’s the thing– we (writers) have to leave those conferences. We can’t put all those wonderful writers in our pockets and take them home with us.

Does that mean we can only reach out online, or by phone, to those writers we’ve met? We can only get support from attending writer groups in our area? Shouldn’t we be able to speak about our profession, share our concerns about our work, and vent just like everyone else does about their jobs and/or passions?

There have been times when I’ve talked about writing to friends, and they say, “I don’t know what you’re talking about” or “I don’t understand how all that author and writing stuff works.” Or they slough me off and I feel like I should just shut up.

Well, guess what? I don’t know or understand a lot of people’s jobs, but they can still talk, rant, and go on and on about the shit they’re going through day to day, and I don’t make them feel bad for it. I ask questions to try to understand. I try to engage or at least lend my ears to listen.


Does writing really have to be such a loner profession that we can’t reach out to those around us– our friends, our family.

What if I want to (or need to) talk out loud about a scene or character? What if I’m excited about something that’s stewing in my brain and I want to share it. Do I have to save these moments for the mirror as I get dressed? Or do I dare chance talking about it and hope I don’t get an eye roll or “you have your writer friends for that.”

Maybe so. But, in my honest opinion, support goes both ways. Maybe the response should be, “Yes, you’re right. And next time you need to talk about your job, go to your coworkers, not me.”

No. I can’t do that. That’s not who I am. I don’t have that response inside of me.

Can’t we all respect, love, and support each other’s work and passions? Hmmm… that would be too perfect– make life too easy.

I guess, in the end, we need to hold dear and hold close those who love and support us with true caring and interest. Those are the people who matter the most. Those are the people who will be there to get us through the rough patches of our passions and celebrate the successes of our work.

Love, peace, and happiness to you all.

Until next time…


Filed under February 2015

Supporting the Expressive

Over the last six months, I’ve had a lot of conversations in my discussion groups and writer groups about how important support systems are. It doesn’t matter what your profession is, or what goals you’re striving to reach, support is necessary.

If I asked you, “Who’s your support system?” Would you say one name, two names, three? A lot more? In my opinion, the number doesn’t really matter. The quality of support is way more meaningful than the quantity. If you have the best, loving, caring, true, honest, unconditional support of only one, that’s better than sporadic, half-ass, maybe sometimes, conditional support of a million.

Creative minds can be difficult. Some of us want to spout out our ideas, and sometimes– uh, lots of times– it’s at the wrong time. How do we turn it off to make sure we don’t annoy those around us? How do we filter? How do we shut the hell up? It’s hard. It hurts. It’s a horrible thing to figure out, and I’m sure there are some who feel they shouldn’t have to “turn off” to please others, and that’s okay. To each their own.

All-in-all, creative minds are hard to tame, but in the last year, I’ve finally learned to just shut up– well, most of the time. I try my damnedest to not talk about what’s rumbling through my head. It’s hard, but I truly work on it. I go to my notebook or computer and let it come out that way. Is it healthy? Is it the best way? The right way? I don’t know. But I’ve learned there are some who don’t want to know what I’m working on, what I’m dealing with, what ideas I have for this story, or that story. In this case, I’ve realized it’s better to be quiet than to express.

However, those who want to be a part of my support system, will listen to me. Those who want to support me will ask me how I’m doing, what’s going on in my life, and they’ll want to know about my stories and ideas. In this case, I share and open up. Yes, once I get going, it’s hard to shut me up, but that’s who I am. Expressing myself is something I enjoy, but I’ve learned who appreciates my passion.


I’ve learned a lot about my creative mind and my creative tendencies– not just in the writing world, but in everything I do. I’ve realized I’m okay with filtering. I’m happy with not stating my opinion or point of view on everything. I’ve learned most people really, honestly don’t care. That being said, I feel my closest support system does care. That’s where the nugget of happiness is. That’s where I’m comfortable and feel loved. It’s where I don’t have to justify what spews out of my mouth, if I go on and on about a character I just made up, or I ramble about a story I have rolling and tumbling in my head. It’s where I’m okay and not judged if I don’t say something just right.

Don’t get me wrong, not everyone in our life has to be everything or *POOF* it’s not a worthy relationship. Each person has their purpose. All I’m saying is it’s good to know who’s unconditional and who’s conditional, that’s all. Conditional isn’t bad as long as you understand it’s just that– conditional.

We all need people who cheerlead us toward our goals and celebrates with us when we reach them. We also need people who’ll pick us up when we stumble and fall. It’s amazing how far an outreached hand can carry us when we feel like a failure. Encouraging words and fully-listening ears are great healers during discouraging times.

As life moves forward, as our dreams and goals are realized, as we go through hard times, and good times, it’s the love and support of others that we hold close to our heart. May we all not only have those people IN our lives, but may we all BE that person to those in our lives.

Love and happiness to you all.

Until next time…

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Filed under October 2014