The Power of a Smile

There is nothing like coming home after a trying day and seeing the smile of your best friend.

It changes your attitude, and it puts life back into perspective. dsc02958

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2012 Memoral Garden

As most of you long time visitors know, I designed and built a memorial garden for my Dalmatian Chip after his passing in 2007. Then Last year I added on to it after Neka unexpectedly passed away.

This past weekend I finished planting the 2012 Garden. This year the color for the garden will be provided by Snapdragons, Pansys, Alssum and Marigolds. I have also added a silver mound. I filled the greek urn in Neka’s area with a mix of Diantus.  More color will be provided later in the summer by two Stonecrop plants.

Visit the Dogomine Memorial Garden to see the Photos. More will be added later when the flowers are in full bloom.

http://www.albeedigital.com/memorial_garden/index.htm

RIP Neka – 1 Year Ago Today

Neka came to us as a two-year old stray who was living as a shelter dog. No one wanted her because she had some major issues. First, she was a large dog. Next she was a black dog. But her largest issues were that she was moderately dog aggressive and she was very shy around people. In fact, the shelter told me that she could only be placed in a home with NO other pets and no small kids. That worked for me as I didn’t have either! They also said that she would not be able to be around other dogs because she would most likely get into lots of fights.

Despite these issues, there was something about her that I really liked. From the very first moment, she seamed to be drawn to me, and I to her. So I took her home. After lots of work and careful socialization she was able to play (off leash) with all of the neighbor dogs. After still more work, she became comfortable around almost all humans too. And to the amazement of some of the shelter workers, for the last two years of her life she even had a room-mate.

Today marks the one year anniversary of her passing. The atmosphere around here today is slalom and full of memories, both good and bad. The bad memories are on a very short list. They only consist of her suddenly becoming ill and the horror and panic of her final hours fighting for life. The list of good memories is a much longer list. In the almost four years that she spent as a part of our lives she learned to trust and respect humans and learned that other dogs were something to celebrate and enjoy. She found out that they were friends, not enemies. She was even working on her CGC certification and she was visiting a nursing home several times a month.

As we remember her brief life cut short by illness, she will always have a place in our hearts. Here are a few photos that spark good memories for all who knew her!

A shot of Neka "Chillin" on a crisp Winter's Day.

Neka giving me a sad look because I told her we were going back in the house.

Neka loved the cold. She looked forward to going out and laying in the snow.

The Angels in My Life

I wasn’t meant to walk alone, It wasn’t in His plan.
A friend he sent to earth one day, a wondrous little man.

We went through life together, my little buddy jumped and played.
We learned about each other, and ourselves through life each day.

From puppy-hood to golden years, his time still way to short,
the blessings that he gave, came from friendship and support.

One day he had to leave me, God called him to come home.
I miss and think about him, but I know I’m not alone.

As Man’s Best Friend turned Angel, he still watches over me.
His spirit lives with me. His voice the wind up in the trees.

I feel him at my side, I know he’s standing there.
I know deep in my heart, he was the answer to my prayers.

His days now filled with fun and sun, he waits around the bridge.
While another came to walk with me, to continue my voyage.

She was just as great in different ways, but many ways the same.
She only lived to please me, had no cares of cash or fame.

Her time with me was short, but as full as it could be.
I learned a lot from her, and she learned a lot from me.

She went to heaven way to soon, suddenly one day,
Now she’s with the others as they run and laugh and play.

Another angel got her wings, and now watches over me.
Together giving guidance, they allow my mind to see.

Today there’s yet another soul that knows my love so true,
I’ll give her everything she needs to be as good as two.

I’ll give her love and guidance ‘til she gets her set of wings.
She’ll always get the things she needs, happy life and everything.

When life is full of troubled times, and has me on my knees.
I know she’ll always be right there to calm and comfort me.

I can’t touch or hold my angels, like I would like to do.
But until that time comes again, her love now pulls me through.

Copyright 2011 – Michael Albee – All Rights Reserved

A Poem to Remember Neka

Always close, no matter how far
Love we feel, coming from the heart
You forever, part of who we are
Memories made, souls never part

Your love your trust, never more true
and we too, opened up to you
So hard, to open up like this
but your life, gave us so much bliss

Trust we gave, and we found in you
Everyday, it was something new
Open minds, gave a different view
We both learned, and we both knew

Friends for life, it was way to short
would’ve loved to have, so much more.
Many things, that we didn’t do
Me and you, and the others too

Now your gone, but we must move on
your memory always, makes me fawn
Not to worry, you’re in our hearts
You’ll always be there, as from the start

Those gone before, and more to come
become a part, of why we live
Pain of loss, hard to bare for some
The joy you brought, is why we give

All these words, I don’t just say
you’ll be remembered, every day
In our heart, sometimes in tatters
You’re always there, that’s all that matters

Dog-o-Mine Memorial Garden Photos

With Fall in the air and the overnight temperatures dropping into the low 40’s and high 30’s the gardening season is pretty much over for the year. But I thought that I’d share a few photos of this year’s memorial garden.

With the passing of Neka this spring, and some major wind damage shortly thereafter, her section still hadn’t filled in when these pix were taken. But you get the Idea.

Photo #1 is the Memorial Garden for Chip (my best friend for over 15 years).

Photo #2 is Neka’s Garden.  She was only with us for 4 years, but in that short time she became a very special member of the family.

The “Dog-o-Mine Memorial Garden” has been created as a way to preserve their memory and to show just how much they meant to us when they were here with us.

For more information (and more pictures) you can visit the Dog-o-Mine Memorial Garden page at: http://www.albeedigital.com/memorial_garden/