Putting Christ Back into Christmas

christmas-manger_300Yes, we as Christians need to put more emphasis on Christ (and less on “Material Stuff”) in our lives, especially during this time of year.

If you are a Christian I am more than happy to wish you a Merry Christmas … and a Happy New Year too.

But we also need to remember that our country is a “Melting Pot” of 100’s of cultures from all over the world. Some of these people do not believe the same things that we as Christians do. There are over 30 religious and seasonal festivals that are celebrated during November, December and January.

The phrases “Season’s Greetings” and “Happy Holidays” first came to prominence over 60 years ago. And what we often forget is, that in an attempt to include people of ALL faiths, these greetings were designed to unite us during this festive season that we all share this time of year. They were created so that no one group would feel left out of any of the fun and happiness of the season.

I have several friends and clients that do not celebrate Christmas. Several of them celebrate Hanukkah and a few others have no religious ties. Out of respect and because I know there faith, I greet them with the greeting they prefer. This doesn’t bother me in the least. They also greet me with “Merry Christmas” and they don’t mind that either. It’s all out of mutual respect.

Saying Happy Holidays is not removing Christ from Christmas, and it is also not an attack on Christmas as some of our media would have us believe. It is simply just another way to bring us together and show respect to others who may not worship in the same way that we do.

If we want to keep Christ in Christmas we need to put his teaching back into all areas of our lives on a daily basis and not just during this time of the year. We can all share the “spirit” of Christ by being kind, respectful and understanding to everyone that we meet. When we do this we are giving witness that our Christian faith teaches us to treat everyone we meet with the same respect that we want them to shown to us!



It’s called Black Dog Syndrome or Big Black Dog Syndrome (BDS or BBDS). It’s a problem that every animal shelter and dog rescue in the world understands all to well.

This phenomenon could be due to a number of things. Geographic location, fear of certain breed types or the fact that large black dogs are thought to be dangerous because they are portrayed that way in films and on television.


Did you know that black dogs, especially large breed dogs, such as Labs, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Chows, Newfoundlands, and even mixed breeds are usually the last ones to be adopted from shelters or rescue groups? Black dogs are often euthanized at a higher rate than other coat colors.

Here are some other reasons given for why black-coated dogs don’t get adopted as easily.

  • They don’t show or photograph well in a kennel setting.
  • It isn’t easy to distinguish their features.
  • If they have any gray or white hairs on their face, they often appear older than they are.
  • They often don’t look as cute as lighter coated dogs.

As to location, In European and British folklore black dogs often appear as evil forces and death. Writers like Sir Walter Scott and Arthur Conan Doyle perpetuated this superstition by using spectral hounds, usually black and fearsome, in their stories and poems.

Some people believe the superstition that suggests that “black is evil” like the symbolism of Scar vs. Mufasa in “The Lion King.” In a 2011 study by the ASPCA, appearance was the most frequently cited reason for adopters of both puppies (29 percent) and adult dogs (26 percent).

Thisneka-belly issue has been gaining media attention since the mid-2000s. Tamara Delaney, an early activist against black dog syndrome, developed a website called Black Pearl Dogs in 2004 specifically to address the issue, both by educating the public about its existing, as well as showcasing individual dogs available for adoption.

As one who as adopted a black dog, I’d suggest that they are just a sweet, and just a loving as any other color of dog. She was a great companion and a great teacher. She was loved by everyone she met (animal and human) and when the chance arises again I’ll be the first one to adopt another Big Black Dog …

The Dreams of a Shelter Dog


The Dreams Of A Shelter Dog

By Michael Albee

dreams-of-a-shelter-dogThe card on the door of my run says that my name is k219875. I don’t know why I’m here. I’m scared, a can’t hide and I can’t get away. So when you approach me I bark to warn you. But you think I’m mean!

I’m really not a bad dog. It’s just that most people don’t know how to help me! I don’t want to be like this, I just need someone who understands me and knows how to talk to me.

If no one comes soon, they say I will be put down. I don’t know what that means, but it doesn’t sound good.

When I fall asleep, I dream.

In my dream I’m walking! I have a collar around my neck and it is attached to a leash. It’s a warm, sunny day and there is a nice human walking beside me. He calls me “good dog” and I can tell that he likes me because I can feel the warmth and kindness in his voice. I wag my tail to let him know that: “I like you too”.

Then my dream takes me to a big backyard. I’m lying in the soft green grass. I’m chewing on a big bone while my humans sit around me talking and having fun. Some of their puppies, (the little humans), are running around the yard. They toss a ball for me and we play with all my toys. We play for what seems to be forever. Some of them take the time to teach me some tricks. I enjoy it because I like to be around them, and besides, they give me treats and call me “Good Dog” when I do them right. I really like the name “Good Dog” a lot.

In my dreams, I’m also running in a big open field with lots of other dogs. We are running and chasing each other. We bark for joy as we tumble around together in the soft, tall grass. It’s great to have friends to play with.

Every day it’s the same thing, I get to run, I get to play, I get to go for long walks. I have a safe place to live, and I have someone that really cares about me. And best of all, I’m not afraid anymore! Awh, This is the Life!

Then … BANG … I hear a big steel door slam. It scares me and I wake up! I jump to my feet. Someone’s coming … I bark because I’m scared, and no one wants me because they are afraid of me.
Maybe, just maybe, next time I wake up, my dreams will be real.


Becoming The Person Your Dog Thinks You Are

Becoming The Person Your Dog Thinks You Are

There are a whole host of “self Improvement” books, tapes and classes you can buy or take to help you become a better person.

But before you spend the money, I submit that ALL you really need to do is sit down and be honest with yourself. Look at who you are now, what you want from your life and where you want to be 5, 10 or 25 years from now.

The best way to do this is to make three lists.

On the first list write down everything you like about yourself and your life. On the second list right down everything you want to be or add to your life. One the third list wright down everything you want to remove from your life.

Then make the necessary adjustments.800-DSC03065

The somewhat easier way is to just become the person that your dog thinks you are! It’s amazing how observant they are, and they will tell you when you have got it right!!!

If you don’t have a dog, you really need to get one. They are great insight into how to live life to the fullest. Go to a local shelter and get one. Your life (and the life of that dog) will be much better for it.

Got a minute or two?