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If you could travel to any moment in your past, where would you go?

The magic of time travel!

I love reading books about time travel, of course Outlander had me hooked with the first book, and the Discovery of Witches had me up all night.

If someone granted me ONE, only ONE, opportunity to travel to a certain time in my life, where would I go? At first, this seemed like a no-brainer. But, the more I thought about it, the harder it got.

Do I go back to the moment before my car accident, the one that broke my back and changed my life in a second? Would I leave the house a few minutes earlier, maybe have an extra cup of coffee that would make me more alert? Would I avoid the dog I veered away from? Or would it matter, since I am the only one who saw the giant creature? As in any story, changing fate, thus eliminating this bitch of a milestone from my life, would change the course. I would have gone to New York. Even though I believe strongly that my children chose me, I am sure not having their daddy in the mix would have made different children, and I would not give them up for anything. They are the best thing I have ever done.

Do I go back to the day my daddy died? I was on his porch that morning, cutting his hair with trimmer side of his electric razor because we could not find decent scissors. His beautiful, thick white hair. He was a traumatized soul, stuck in a reality he could not deal with without alcohol. That morning, we were laughing and joking, and he said “When I die, just throw me by the side of the road and let the County pick me up!” Macabre, later. He also made sure I knew he wanted to be cremated, an issue I had to fight for later with the family. I left him at 1pm to pick up my daughter. I hugged him, kissed him goodbye, and saw him for the last time. Spiky haircut & no teeth behind his kooky smile. It still brings tears to my eyes. A few hours later I got the call, he was dead. He knew it was coming, I did not. I would have stayed with him and called 911.

Do I go back and see my Oma one last time? Just to give her a hug & kiss, and tell her how much I love her? Tell her how much she influenced me, and that her praise meant the world to me? Whenever I felt like shit as a new mom, or when I was homesick, I would call my Oma. LIke she knew, she would say something like “I just got the photos you sent. You are doing such a great job, I am amazed how you do all this!”. I miss her dearly.

The more I think about this, the harder it gets. So many situations that were traumatic, but the things that came from them are pivotal. Accidents, bad choices, bad situations…So many last goodbyes. Then there are the fantastic moments, the ones I remember that make me smile instantly and make my heart warm & fuzzy. Go back and experience them again?

The Universe keeps giving me learning opportunities, and I am going to ponder on this more, teary eyed & laughing at the same time.

Just in case my wand wielding Fairy Godmother shows up to grant me that ONE time chance!

Where would YOU go?

Much love,
Heike

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A letter to my 13 year old self

In 2007, I was 38, I wrote a letter to my 13 year old self as part of a blog Meme.

I loved reading this again, and will now add my 40’s.

I hope this inspires you to write to your budding teenage self!

(clearing throat, wiping eyes)

Dear Heike,

Yipee! You are 13!! Finally, you hit your teens. Isn’t this the day you have been waiting for? If you could only be like all the other thirteen year olds…but you can’t. It is ok, soon, you will not have to change so much to fit in. Actually, you will be honored because you are so different.

The rest of your teens are filled with adventure, a few authentic friends, and many people who just want to take advantage of you. Heed them! And do not let them into your house. You will know who your true friends are, and they will be with you for a long time. Be nice to your mama, she is doing the best she can. If I could keep you off that motorcycle, I would. Too many close calls :), but you are a bit of a wild child with a very sensible brain.

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Fuzzy blast from my 20’s past

Your 20’s start out with a bang, and an accident that will change your life. You will think it is the end of the world, but it is not. You will survive the pain, the uncertainty, and all the follow up operations. And you will carry all the scars with pride, because you have conquered. When you are MUCH older, you will discover Frida Kahlo, the courageous and ingenious artist who had a brace just like you. I promise, you will overcome. A man you can’t stand to be around becomes your soulmate, and you will marry him. When you are 28, you will have a baby they say you will never have. She is a miracle.

Your 30’s are pretty awesome. You are a mama now, and you have learned from many of your past mistakes. Everything you endured growing up, will now make you strong and opinionated. You will become a Goddess, and finally find your clan. You will also find your path, and all your past and present dreams will make more sense. They are your calling. You will have another baby, and they are both fabulous. You are an artist, and your hands make you happy.

Your 40’s make you feel like you are 25 again. Not in the body, but the BRAIN! Your Spirit is vibrant, and feisty! You begin to get more interested in politics, because you want to make your home a better place to live. You become a very vocal pain in the butt, and people know your name, even if it is a bit difficult for people to say! Your children are now teens, and they are pretty opinionated, fantastic humans. They are a lot like you are now: primal, smart, feisty, wild, and they drive you crazy. Your daughter is the confident young Goddess woman you wanted her to become, she has enough confidence for a whole country.  You are becoming a mentor for a younger generation, as you walk between the lines of society. You are the keeper of the Goddess, and your work is with women & girls, making them warriors. You are still working with your hands, your dreams, and your intuition.

As you get older, your life just keeps getting better. Just like a good wine ;).

Love,
Heike

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Wuups

dramaExcuse me while I rip my hair out over here!

I decided it was a great idea to move my blog to WordPress to give you, my wonderful readers, a better experience.

I managed to get the words over here, now please bear with me while I hunt down my images, an delete double posts.

Much love,

Heike

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Do you still check under the bed?

e18406e6a30811e180c9123138016265_7When I was a child, one of my biggest fears was that something was hiding under my bed. I am still not clear what that “something” was, but I became creative in dealing with it.

Running, and taking a flying leap into my bed from the doorway.

Arranging ALL my stuffed animals around me when I slept to protect me.

Cramming all my belongings under the bed (now that I think about it, maybe that is what my son & daughter both are doing this, not just teenager sloppiness??).

If I was feeling very brave, I would lift up the blankets and peek under the bed, but only from the safety of the top, ringed by my animals.

I also thought things lived in closets, but since those could be closed, they were not as threatening to me. Even today, I will close (and lock, if possible) every closet before I go to the bed :).

Yesterday, we were doing our annual 4H petting zoo. I love watching the small children come and pet the chickens, the awe of touching their silky soft feathers and feeling their warmth. Of course, the baby goats are always a hit too.

Children have no fear, their innate curiousity trumps all.  It is the adults that jump when our chickens even just move to adjust their feet as they are being pet by lots of little hands. The adults that say “BE CAREFUL, the chicken can bite!” Or that urge their children from animal to animal, insisting they touch the animal, instead of letting the child explore on their own terms. It saddens me to see how fast, and unknowingly, adults project their fear of animals onto their children.

That brings me back to my biggest childhood fear: who is sharing my under bed space?

How in the world did that come around? Today, my bed is very high, with nothing under it but my dog, and on occasion my trampoline. Either way,  I can see under it from the door :).

This will be the topic of my next Skype coffee talk with my Mama. Stay tuned!

 

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The Raising of a Wild Thing….Without Breaking His Spirit

My son just turned 14 a few days ago. I was not sure he would reach this tender age in one piece, since teenitis & hormones, as well as some genetic traits, have turned my sweet pumpkin baby into a wild/furious/outrageous/smartass/compassionate/sweet mess.

It is like living with a version of Jekyll & Hyde. One minute, my son is articulate, sweet, intelligent, compassionate…..and the next…..a totally outrageous smartass. If you are shaking your head right now, saying “How can you call your son a smartass, you horrible mom??” I suggest you push the delete button and do not read on. It gets worse.

How can two children, raised by the same parents, in the same environment, be so phenomenally different? I do get the “boy” energy thing. I remember vividly being told: “You have a boy now, things are going to very different!”. Naive, unwise Heike thought she knew it all better. “I am going to raise him the same way, all will be well!”

Ha!

First of all, who could have foretold that my angelic boy would inherit all my crazy traits? MY crazy traits. The things that drive me nuts about him the most are when the “Little Heike” steps forward. I did not realize this until my own mother pointed it out to me one day. “Who does that remind you of?” I really had to step back and realize that this was the truth. This realization helps me deal with the situation in much calmer & organized fashion. Plus, he can no longer push my buttons, because I sit there going “Isn’t that cute, I tried the EXACT SAME THING when I was 14!!”.

Please, if you are video game proponent, or fanantic, don’t email me about the next thought. I will not change my mind.

Video games are screwing with his cells.

Honestly, I can see & understand the lure of video games. I am an Atari child, and how many hours did we spend pinging the pong back & forth? Pac Man & Mario Brothers were the bomb in my day. Unfortunately, video games now are so much more realistic, and they are like crack for my boy. I feel they make him agitated & angry.

My remedy is a spontaneous romp in nature. I disconnect him, pack him and the dog in the car, and we drive to one of favorite “run wild” spots. Here, he and the dog, will run off leash & crazy. Or, we go the river, take the long way down, and sit and make rock towers. I see an immediate change in my son’s demeanor. His whole body changes, and I can just feel his spirit glow. The exhaustion from running with his dog and being outside just makes the world a better place.

What I have learned while being allowed to raise this beautiful, complicated human:

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  1. Don’t fight an outburst with an outburst.
  2. A boy can turn anything into a gun, so go ahead and let him play with NERF guns, and take him with you shooting, since you can never be too safe about real gun handling. Especially since all his friends seem to have BB guns & Pellet rifles. He will shoot them, make sure he is the safest kid on the block.
  3. 14 yr olds still need their Mama.
  4. Alaska State Troopers is an excellent favorite show to have with your son. The troopers are fantastic, and a boy can look up to them. Plus, Alaska State Troopers have to have a clean record. Come at my boy with drugs or alcohol, and he might just call his Mama on you. Also, he has learned more about the law than I could have ever dreamed, and he will never let a friend ride in his car with drugs or alcohol “because the driver always gets in trouble”. Thank you, Super Trooper Cooper!
  5. 12 to 14 year olds are constantly switching between the world of “little boy” and “young man”. Don’t make them grow up to fast, honor the child when it needs to come out.
  6. Find the things that make their spirit dance, and make them happen. Sometimes, you have push someone into their happy zone. Once they are there, you can step away and let magic happen. I encourage cooking and baking, watercolors, building Lego things, felting. Pretty much anything that does not include a screen or guns.
  7. Praise the good things! Point out the bad. I don’t believe in sugar coating bad behaviour. If he acts like a butt, let him know that that behaviour disappoints you.
  8. Never go back on your word. Never. Even if it means you have to pull through on a punishment you blurted out in anger (this is why I have learned never to counter an outburst with an outburst.). Step away, get your brain together, and then talk consequences. Strong Mamas make good young men :).
  9. Love him!!
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Most of all, enjoy your boy. The same goes for girls, of course, but my girl is her own story, and she gets her own post :).
Much love,
Heike

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Let me dig in your past / Tell me a story.

Estate sales are my passion.

Let me tell you a little story…….

I began going to estate sales solely because I am nosy, and have a “thing” for houses. Most houses store years of energy, can you imagine what happens in a Victorian? Houses fascinate me, and so to avoid getting arrested for stalking, I became an estate sale regular. I don’t need to go early, because my mission is not to buy & resale, but to slink around the houses, enjoy the nooks & crannies, secret passages, etc.  Due to the fact that by the time I get there, there are so many strange humans in a tight spot, I usually did not get much energy sense of the house and its past inhabitants.

That all changed one day when I went to an estate sale early and stood in line with lots of people talking china, furniture, etc. I came early because I had spotted a few slips on the estate sale listing (this is when I was into converting vintage slips into dresses) that I wanted to try and get. I took my children as back up and strategized :).  You must understand, estate sales can be pretty cut throat. People PAY others to get in line for them so they can be the first in. Lots of resellers who buy cheap and resale in their stores. To each their own.

This house was TINY. When we finally got in, I headed straight for the bedroom, but then stopped. In another room, there were tables set up with piles and piles of neatly folded children’s clothing.  Vintage cotton that was clean & pressed, you could tell it was stored with love. Also, piles of tatted lace. Real tatting. If you have ever seen this in action, it is an intricate dance of sticks, needles, and fine thread. And then there were people, ripping through these items like a fury, throwing things on the floor, ripping lace off of items.

I stomped in and began taking things from right under one of the perpetrators, and stuffing them in my bag. When it was filled to the brim, I went to look for my kids. My daughter already had a stack of old photos to show me.

To make a long story short, I bonded with the woman whose items I clutched to my body. I would not find out why until 2 weeks later. That is when I went to the store of the estate sale company (they are one of favorites), and talked to one of the owners. I told her how I had this bag of stuff I will never use, and why I had it.

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Some of Rita’s treasures.

She proceeded to tell me the story of a fabulous woman, who I named Rita, because she looked like a Rita to me. Rita had a sad, but magnificent story. In her pictures, she looked glamorous. She was German. She raised German Shepards. She overcame sickness, and grew up a few houses from her real family, who had to give her up secretly for adoption because they were too poor to raise another child. She was kept indoors or away with aunties, because her parents were afraid the resemblance to her siblings would expose their secret. She was a strong women in our community, and did great things and shared her talents & wealth. Unfortunately, she died and left behind no heirs, so her treasures were fair game.

I am now the owner of some of Rita’s baby clothes, tatted lace, family albums, slips, crock, and
other miscellaneous items such as costume jewelry, buttons, post cards, stationary. Too bad I could not find her sunglasses!! Some of these items have found their to my Witches.

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Everything is saged, washed, and ready ride with the Witches!

Rita’s items catapulted me into a new passion. Find out who these people were. I am not like a history sleuth, when I find quirky houses, I dig in. I have since met a Senator’s wife who was secretly a herb witch,  a man who traveled back and forth to France to learn how to make wine from flowers & herbs, and met his lovely wife while doing it (their naked lady picture hangs in my bathroom!), and lots of other marvelous people. Their items are treasured in our homes, many of them finding a second life here or becoming part of the Kitchen Witches & traveling.

Sometimes, I walk into a house that just emanates sadness & dispair, and I end up turning around and leaving. Even when the houses feel happy, I am cautious. I LOVE these items & their stories.  When we get home, everything is carried in the back yard, and saged, finishing up with a thank you & a blessing for their new lives. Then everything is either washed, soaked, or brushed clean. This is the one rule I have: NOTHING comes in my house uncleared. That is also the one tip I give everyone, remember all these items carry memories & energy, both good & bad. I learned that the hard way. I bought and painted a dresser, and put it in my studio to hold my paints. It was gorgeous, but every time I walked by it, I could feel a weird vibe. And it smelled weird to me. Only to me. After a few weeks, I just cleaned it out and put it on the curb.

I will continue to collect treasures & stories, and hope you enjoy them as I pass them on.
Warmly,
Heike

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Kill Insomnia. Sleeping in alignment with the Earth’s magnetic fields.

I have been dealing with insomnia for years. Not counting the the “full moon” nights where I do not sleep anyways, I have not slept more than 2-3 hours at a time in ages.

Of course, I have tried all sorts of things: sleepy herbs (hops, chamomille, lavendar, etc), melatonin & co, exercise, no exercise, sleep pillows, sleep routines, alchohol, no alchohol, feng shui, old mattress, new mattress, natural latex mattress cover…My bed has literally been in every room of this house except the living room.

Mentioning the living room: I always sleep best on my old (20 years), patched up and knobby couch. I am sure it harbors 20 years of dust in it’s thick, engulfing pillows. When I lay on it, my head points East. Read on to see why that matters.

Recently, I was researching Feng Shui sleep positions by Kua number. If you want to spend a few hours on the computer and get transported to another world, find your Kua number (just Google, it will help you find & calculate), and then read how you should ideally sleep, sit, function, and goddess forbid, don’t DO ANYTHING IN YOUR ADVERSE DIRECTION!!!

My adverse direction is North.

My head was pointing North when I sleep. I sit at the table facing North all the time.

I must now rethink my allegiance with The Northerners of Game of Thrones.

And by the way, my husband’s direction is not at all compatible with mine. Neither is his horoscope. I need to rethink our 20+ marriage.

No wonder I am a sleepy, chaotic mess!

Honestly, I began assessing my life, and have decided to drop the Kua thing, otherwise I may get depressed. There is no way I can swing that. BUT….I am definitely avoiding facing the North as much as possible.

More research shows that several cultures feel that the best way to sleep is to align your body with the magnetism of the Earth. Now, THAT makes sense to me. The ideal direction is East to West, with your feet pointing West. Again, just Google “east / west sleep postions” and you will get lots of opinions. 🙂 Read with an open mind.

View from my new bed position :).

If you are doubting the strong pull the Earth has on us, reading this absolutely fascinating study about dogs pooping in alignment with the Earth’s magnetic fields.  Yes, my friends, it is a thing.

I decided it was worth a try, and during a recent sleepless night I moved my bed once again. There is no good way to position my bed with my head pointing East in my little room. My whole house is only 900sq/ft, imagine the bedrooms with windows, closets, doors. Plus, you don’t want your head under a window.

What is a girl to do? Forget all rules and awkwardly plop the giant king sized bed in the middle of the room. Text your husband at work to be careful when he comes home at night so he does not hurt himself. Lay in the bed.

Ok, it feels good. I can look out the window, the headboard protects me from light, yelling kids, and exuberant dog.

Maybe this is not so bad?

I am sleep with my head pointing East for a week now. Some nights are fantastic, some are shitty as always. I am going to give it a few more weeks and report back, hopefully aligned with the Earth and well rested.

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Moonstruck

Thankfully,  my parents recognized this when I was a child.

I have always been “Mondsüchtig”, or moonstruck.

A few days before, and a few days after a full moon, something deep inside me stirs and I am awake & zooming. The nights are long, and I am awake. As a child, I read, and went through at least one Nancy Drew book or several new comic books a night. Now, as an adult, I get up and clean, write, or I pull out my giant art box and felt magical creatures while my mind roams. I always have Full Moon Blessings for new Witches & Goddesses.

My own children show signs, but right now both of them are sleeping deep. Just in case, they have been prepared.

In school, I spent some days dozing off. As a young adult, I always had jobs with odd hours, so this did not affect me so much. Later, when I held 9-5 jobs, full moon days meant lots of coffee & power naps. Thankfully, I make my own hours now, so taking a nap in the middle of the day is not out of the question.

With the rare Christmas Full Moon coming up in a few days, I wanted to share some of my favorite insomnia distractions:
1. A full Moon and Christmas Day has always been linked in many stories, movies and television shows. Examples include the TV specials, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer, and the movie The Santa Clause. One of my favorites to watch: “Moonstruck” with Cher!

2. A perfect night time snack: Nutella. Nutella feeds the spirit. My go to: rice cakes with Nutella, and coffee creamed with Egg Nog.

3. Good headphones. I catch up on my Netflix, or turn of the music and clean. Either way, good headphones keep the rest of the family snoozing.

4. Keep a Full Moon journal. A sketchbook is excellent, so you can be creative. Keep this special journal for Full Moon nights only, you will be amazed when you flip back!

5. Follow Santa on Norad! 

Mainly, try not to stress out, but embrace the power of La Luna if you are affected.
Happy Full Moon!
Much love,
Heike

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A lesson in Human-ness

Every year, the Sun-Tues before Thanksgiving, my family goes to volunteer at a food bank hosted by a local church. We do not attend church, but we began going there 9 years ago as a community service project of our 4-H group. Though we are no longer with this 4-H club, we still go as a family, one day my husband takes the kids (on his only day off), and I take them the other days.

Every year, just like this morning. I drag myself out of bed and consider if “I really have to go…or can I just drop you off?”. I know, it sounds terrible, but it is the truth.

Yet, every year when I am done with this 5 hours shift, my heart is full and I am grateful that I went.  The people who host this food bank are above kind, they treat everyone that comes with such kindness & dignity, I am honored to be part of this.

It is the people that I meet, the people who are so thankful & interesting. The stories I hear touch my heart, and sometimes bring tears to my eyes. I get hugs, and am blessed several times a day.

Today I worked as a personal shopper in the boutique. This is where people can browse for warm coats and clothes. This morning, it actually cooled off and began to rain, so people came looking for warm covers. A few hours in an elderly couple handed me their slip. As I escorted them in and explained our procedure, they were speaking a foreign language, but I could not pinpoint it. When I asked the man, who was very well dressed, he said: “I am from Iraq.”
Me: “How long  have you been here?”
“One year and 3 weeks.”
He looks at me, and says:”We had to flee Iraq. I am a doctor….” and with that he began telling me his family’s story. One day, “they” broke into his house and almost beat his wife (who was standing next to me) to death. A neighbor heard her screams and intervened while they called him to come home. The intruders eventually left. He said they packed their things and left 48 hours later. Forever.
“I had to leave everything. My clinic, my equipment, my EKG machine…just everything. Our house & belongings, car…”

I could see the tears well up in his eyes. Then  he began telling me of his sons. One went to Australia as a refugee, and was studying there. The rest of the family applied for Australia, but was not accepted. He told me how he could not work here in the U.S., since his credentials do not count, and he would have to get his licenses, etc. I could see how all this pained him.

I looked at him and began telling him a bit of my story. My grandparents came to the U.S. as refugees, from an area called Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a piece of country that has swayed between Poland, Russia, and Germany over its existance.  They too had to leave their possessions, properties, etc, to be seized by the government. But they survived here, and built a very comfortable life in L.A.

Everything I had on credentials and expertise was pretty much useless when I moved here. All those years of schooling, all those diplomas & certificates, were nothing but mere pieces of paper. I started working for $5 something an hour….

There were many more stories today,  but I wanted to share this one. I wanted to put a human behind “those refugees” you are hearing about every day. My family were refugees.

Please do not let the extremists kill the one thing they do not have, and want to attack: Our human kindness & compassion.

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Death sucks

Death sucks.

Death means something is taken away, and you can never get it back. Physically, anyways. My saving grace in dealing with death is that I still get to “feel” my loved ones periodically. Not on my schedule, of course.

It has been three weeks since my dog, and spirit animal, Rex was mysteriously and quickly taken from me. He was not ill, or old (he was 9), and this happened in a matter of hours. It left a huge hole in my heart. It also left a huge empty space in our house (he was well over 100lbs) and our everyday lives. I was just looking for some pictures of furniture we are selling and came across the many pictures of Rex I took. He was a gorgeous animal, with so much spirit in his eyes. It just takes someone mentioning him, or me seeing pictures, and the tear gate is open. It still makes me so sad.

With that said, I did not want another dog right away. My kids, who feel this loss as much as I do, just in a different way, did. My daughter is in Europe now, the child was not able to say good-bye to her dog. She said she knew, and is dealing with it in her own, almost grown up way. My son was so sad, Rex took his last breaths in our arms.

I tried to cope by donating our food, etc to a Shepard Rescue. The first time I went on there to get their contact info, I saw Valor. A few  minutes later, my daughter sends me a picture of: Valor.  We were all drawn to him.  After a week, my son and I decided to go meet him at his foster home. He sent his sister pictures and videos, they already knew he was ours.

The next day, Valor was brought to our house.

He came with a packet of undisclosed medical history, as well as “I was just informed that the vomits every time he eats so they gave him Pepcid”. No wonder he looked so skinny to me.

To make a long story short, to chagrin of my husband, we kept him…on a two to three week trial. It may sound harsh, but I was not in the emotional, or financial position to take on a sick dog.

I immediately put him on what I felt was the right diet for him, which included quality food without grain, coconut oil, probiotics, and tuna fish. I threw the Pepcid in the trash.  He has not thrown up once.

The first day was hard, but when I woke up to licks on the second morning, I knew we made the right choice.  He is the sweetest dog. Even though he has had major surgery, and was mauled by another dog (that is why he is so scarred and his ears are serrated), and all this other stuff, he is strangely balanced. Don’t get me wrong, start running outside, and you get a two year old wild shepherd. He balances out my son’s wild energy by matching it with his own. He checks in with me periodically, and jumps into my lap when he feels me being sad. Every once in a while, he sneaks into my daugther’s bed, waiting for her to come home.

Our dogs have always come to us for certain reasons, every one has left a mark and taught us something.

Valor has come to heal, and to heal our hearts.

P.S. Please look into a shelter or rescue if you are looking for a dog! The Shepherd Rescues have so many great dogs, 2-3 years old. That is when the cute little puppy turns into a beligerent teen who needs a strong Alpha to guide them. Just like humans. If you get a puppy, please choose your breed wisely.

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