Luna Stellar Soul

Luna Stellar Soul
Happy dog

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Had a visit from a girl friend all the way from sunny Florida. She and her two 11 year old twin girls graced our home with laughter, love and life. We decorated the tree, shared a meal and toured the Pike Place Market in the city.
This time of the year always and should bring people together. Families in crisis, old friends, the old, the young, the employed and those that have nothing. Reach out and give someone your "time" your "love". That's what it is all about........

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ask and you shall receive

Our local ski area opened up this past weekend and we were on the slopes Saturday and Sunday!! Sunny, cold, good dry snow. Just not quite enough of it this early on. If always feels so good to have the wind on your face and the glow that follows. It's one of the places that my husband and I really enjoy "together". We own a tiny condo up across the street from the ski area. Mornings are spent laying in bed sipping tea or coffee and reading all the material that piled up during the week. Anything but bills. Circulars, magazines, new books, Christmas cards etc.. Then a quick bowl of oatmeal, some yoga poses and full body stretches and we hit the slopes!! Now with Luna we get back and take her out for a walk. She loves the snow. Yesterday we walked up into the valley. Usually we are unable to do this particular hike because back country skiers are coming out of the valley and it can get pretty treacherous with skiers coming at you full speed. But with the back country still closed it was just snowshoe rs and hikers. Luna roots, runs, flings snow up into the air and runs like the wind. So fun to watch and warms my heart. And always brings a smile to our faces.
A daily practice for me is gratitude. Remembering all the things I'm forever grateful for. Not the lack of, or the need of. But shifting my thinking into believing that I have more than enough. I lack or need nothing.
We have on the average 60,000 thoughts a day. Because my "current reality" is being unemployed, it is a daily practice to shift my thinking and think of nothing but prosperity, abundance, pure happiness and love. We all attract what we have thought about into our lives, period. Imagine what you want in your life. See it as yours, whatever that may be. Convince your mind, your thoughts that you already have "received". What does that feel like? Take that feeling and run with it. "What you think about, you bring about". It's amazing what our minds and thoughts are capable of. The "Placebo" effect for example. If someone tells you to take this pill it will cure what ails you. And you take it. And because of the predominant thought is "if I take this I will be cured" you in effect, cure yourself with nothing but your thoughts!! Amazing.... really. I was watching a Holiday movie while up at the condo and saw another famous (yet never think about) quote. "Ask and you shall receive" Where do you think these came from? How about the Genie in the bottle? "Your wish is my command" BELIEVE! Shift your thinking into FEELING like you have already recieved. THINK it into your life! Anything, anytime, anywhere. This is a magical time of the year. Let's all BELIEVE and let's all find someone to help or serve. Giving is one of the fastest ways to get into thinking your way to happiness, good health and abundance.
Tonight we decorate the tree with my friend Christine here from Florida and her two 11 year old twin girls. Life is good.........

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Eat, Stray, Poop

One day a week when I'm not flying I volunteer at our local Humane Society. When I arrived this morning they were off loading a truck load of little doggies from Los Angeles California. This is the 4th or 5th truckload from L.A. since January. Apparently all the Hollywood starlets are tired of their  "pocket" dogs, but the ignorant greedy breeders continue to breed them! There were 3 to 4 dogs to a kennel. Crying, cold, dirty and frightened. Once processed they were transferred to these kennels. They will now be thoroughly examined by the on sight veterinarian, behavioral tested, fed, bathed, and cuddled. Then one day very soon, they will be up for adoption and looking for their "forever" family.
I wasn't able to do this kind of "service" prior to rescuing Luna. I remember once going through volunteer training for our local Hospice. I got half way through the training and had to bail. I was an emotional wreck! I felt like such a loser for not being able to help. Luna has enabled me to serve, to be strong and to bring joy to peoples life's. In life and in death. Why? I'm not quite sure, except for I think she rescued me. I was at such a sad, gloomy, vulnerable place when Stella died. I had lost my job, and lost my "mojo" too. I just couldn't find ME. She brought me back to my happy place and back to ME.
So when people say to me "how do you volunteer there? I could never do it. I'd want to take them all home" And I say..... "it's not easy, but they need me and they could use you too!" Truth is is that I'm so busy the whole time I'm there, I'm focused on getting things done and cleaned up. Dogs walked, kennels cleaned, beds laundered, dog dishes washed, garbage emptied, an occasional bath, and cuddle. All done by donations, volunteers and very dedicated hard working animal loving people.
Thanks Luna!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Good bye dear friends..... rest in peace

I write today, not so much about my life because of my dog, but more about just LIFE. This photo is of my dear childhood friend Elaine (on the left) Kelli, and me on the right. We were in High School here in Kirkland about 1977. Elaine passed away yesterday peacefully with her daughter and husband close by. Ending her long battle with cancer. About an hour after hearing the news of Elaine's passing, I got a call that another dear friend had succumb to brain cancer. Then another 30 minutes later yet another call. Ralph "Biff" Niehaus passed away at the ripe old age of 94. He was like a father to me since we met back in the mid 80's. He had 8 children and a gazillion grand kids. He played professional football back when they wore leather helmets! His one true love was Gertrude (Trudy) his loving wife who passed much too young back in 1977. Years ago I rescued (more like stole) a little Springer Spaniel (about 6 mos old) who was being beaten with a bat by her ignorant drunk owner. I waited until he passed out, and climbed over the fence in the middle of a wintry night and brought her home with me. Her name was Maggie. She was a love. So so sweet but you couldn't raise your voice around her because she would shake violently and lay as flat and as still as she possibly could. Long story short, Biff ended up with Maggie living with him in Reading Ohio. He was living alone and loved Maggie's company. When it came time for Maggie to leave this world (at 16 years old) Biff called me and through his tears asked me if he was "doing the right thing". She lived out the rest of her years as his constant companion, his friend, his everything. They went for car rides, walks and when I would go back for visits, she would see me and come running. I would get the most precious kisses, then she would look back at Biff and retreat to his side.
Last night when I knelt next to my bed to pray for the three friends who had left us. Luna was laying next to me in her bed. I cried as I spoke out loud saying goodbye (for now) to these amazing souls. I felt somber, but at peace. I curled up with Luna for a minute in her gigantic Costco bed. As I wrapped an arm around her to say good night she exhaled one very long breath and I could feel her body lie in "Savasana" (dead pose in yoga). Her body totally supported by the earth and not a thought in her head. With that as a reminder, I crawled up into my bed and tried to do the same.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Live life abundantly.......

Thanksgiving is behind us, the snow is melted away. Antique dishes and cutlery have been hand washed and put back in their protective homes. The tables stowed, the linens laundered and life is back to normal. Thanksgiving is my favorite Holiday for a number of reasons. I love the food, but I also like coming together and not having the stress of shopping, gifts, or decor. Just cook, sit and break bread with our family, our friends and anyone who doesn't have a place to go. And most importantly "be thankful"
That message gets missed by a lot of folks. It does take a little practice to be reminded of all the things that each and everyone of us have to be thankful for. My current reality is a very slow corporate aviation industry. Very few trips for me means very little money for me. Again, it's my current reality.Not who I am, or who I intend to be. My intent is abundance. To live life abundantly. To be thankful day in and day out and to feel real joy and real happiness all the way to my core. So, practice yourselves. No negative thoughts, no negative feelings. Just think positive, loving abundant thoughts. Be thankful. Talk out loud if it helps. Dance around, sing, laugh, be joyful. Help others, serve others. When you are on the path of love, you cannot be distracted by thoughts of negation. Luna makes me happy. This picture of her airborne waiting to fetch the ball. Pure and simple love.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Good morning!
Still full from the over indulgence yesterday. It's not so much that I pile on plate, it's more just nibbling all day. Going to hot yoga in an hour and then down to the Horizon House to bring leftovers to my ladies.
Luna had a great time yesterday with her cousin Max. Sister Angela said that Maxxy threw up in the car on the way home. Perhaps it was the potato chips that grandpa was feeding him or the chunks of turkey that Angie was feeding him? Luna seems fine today, but a walk later is in order. Woke up to no snow. It was so pretty for four days. Everything covered in a blanket of white.
Lot's to be thankful for. I love my family and friends. I may not be working regularly (which is only my current reality) but I'm a happy, healthy and feel an overwhelming gush of abundance, and love.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve Day

Lot's of snow still on the ground and very frigid temps. Luna and I haven't been out and about in two days. Except of course when we walked through the woods the last couple of days. She loves the snow!! Her pads were so frozen that I had to slowly put them in a pot of cool water before we came in the house. The table is set for 17 people (it looks like an aircraft carrier it's so long) We just have to pick up our fresh birds at the grocery today. One goes in the smoker and one in the oven. Yum..... it's my favorite Holiday. For various reasons.
Today is our regular scheduled visit to Horizon House. I'm a little hesitant about those steep hills near the home but we really want to go see our buddies on this day, the day before Thanksgiving. I had asked Lorraine a few weeks ago if she would like to come to my house for Thanksgiving. Her reply was "that is so nice, but it would be too difficult" She'll be with us in spirit, I'm sure of it.
I'm also anxious to see her memorial (of sorts) in the lobby of the Horizon House. I wonder what Luna will do when we near room # 327 (Lorraine's room) We are there for the living today, and will keep Lorraine near and dear to us for many years to come. Carolyn needs her feet warmed! Why she lays at her feet? So cute......

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My life because of my dog: Saying Goodbye to Lorraine

My life because of my dog: Saying Goodbye to Lorraine

Saying Goodbye to Lorraine

So much has happened since the day I brought Luna home in June of 2008. But had to skip ahead and write about our friend Lorraine while it was still fresh in my mind.
Luna has such a great demeanor and caring soul, that I decided last year to get her certified as a "Pet Partner". The class we took was "Canine Good Citizen" and was offered at Seattle Humane Society where I volunteer in the kennels once a week. This certification allows us to visit Assisted Living Homes and Grade Schools (among other places). Our first assignment was to visit the "Horizon House" in Seattle once a week. Horizon House is a beautiful assisted and independent living home. All I had to say to Luna on the mornings we would leave to drive across the bridge was "were going working" And she knew she was soon to see her favorite seniors.
We love everyone there and you can't imagine the joy that a visit from a dog brings these residents. She always knows that Gretchen saves a piece of bacon wrapped in a napkin from breakfast. And for a few little tricks, she gets bacon! While Eleanor feeds her little treats from her hand and laughs at Luna's eagerness and speed from trick to trick to get treated. There is Carolyn, who can't speak anymore and Luna just lays across her feet for our entire visit while Carolyn reaches down and rubs her soft, curly Border Collie fur. But Lorraine, well she was our favorite. She was so soft spoken and when she did speak it was with eloquence and kindness. You couldn't help but immediately love her. I did and so did Luna.
I brought her books to read. And if her Parkinson's disease was at bay, she could hold a book and read. I introduced her to "Jon Katz" An author who writes about his Border Collies and other animals on Bedlam Farms in NY.
Our visits were limited to each resident to about 5 to 10 minutes to ensure we saw as many people as we could see while there. To me that wasn't enough time, and if I wasn't working or had a flight I would stay longer. One day I asked Lorraine if Luna and I could come back on an "off" day just for a visit with her. Her response was "Oh I'd like that very much". So I packed up my laptop (to show her pictures of my life) and she had about 7 photo albums waiting for us to look at when we arrived. Lorraine was a nurse. She was born to a Norwegian mother and Swedish father on May 18th 1918 here in Seattle. She was an only child. She had many dogs during her childhood, and her parents were avid outdoor enthusiasts. She studied for a bit in Connecticut where she met Benjamin Sabin Troop. They were eventually married and lived in Seattle. Benjamin studied Forestry (I think he had his Masters) but ended up with a career at Boeing. They did not have children. I loved taking a glimpse into their life together. The pictures were beautiful. They loved the outdoors, the forest, the water, they loved to garden and entertain.
I asked her about Benjamin and when he passed away. They sold their house on Queen Anne in Seattle in 1998 and moved into the Independent Living floors of the Horizon House. Ben passed in 2004 and Lorraine eventually had to move down to the assisted living floors only because of her Parkinson's. Other than that she was the prettiest, healthiest, sharpest 92 year old woman I'd ever met! Amazing......
I was so grateful that we shared that day and got a peek into each others lives because about 2 weeks later, she took a "turn" and was just too tired to fight.
Last week Luna and I went down to visit after hearing of her decline. I wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived. Lorraine was always dressed and in her chair. When we arrived she was in her bed and her body was convulsing from that dang Parkinson's. She was responsive and knew that we were there. I told her that if I didn't have a flight we would be there everyday until she left us. She smiled and said ever so softly "oh that would be nice". And we were. The next day, she barely opened her eyes. She couldn't swallow anymore but was so hungry and thirsty. I feed her little bits of ice and ice cream. When she started to choke, I put my hand on her back. She said "Your hand feels good, so cool" So I asked if I could massage her. She smiled and said "I'd like that very much" So I did her back, her arms, her fingers her hands her legs and feet. I rubbed her Oil of Olay cream onto her face. As I rubbed lotion into her hands and fingers I told her that these hands were healers. They worked very well for her for 92 years. And I told her that they were beautiful. They were!! Hardly a wrinkle on them. The same went for the rest of her body. I told her that she had good genes and with her eyes still closed, she smiled. Every once and awhile Luna would come to the side of the bed and either jump up and curl at the foot, or lick her hand. Also bringing a smile to her face.
I asked her if she was ready for what was to come. Her response was "this isn't how I imagined it" I asked her what she was feeling and she answered "weary, so so weary" So everyday last week Luna and I went to visit Lorraine. Everyday she would slip a little further away. Not even able to take the ice or ice cream (Luna ate it) or to even open her eyes. I continued to massage her and would tell her just to relax and let go. I would rub the furrows between her eyes and tell her to let it go. And her eyes would relax and the furrows would be gone.
One day I looked on the end table and saw one of the books I had brought her. It was Jon Katz's book "A Good Dog". I picked it up and saw that she was about at chapter 9. "Perfect I thought" I'll finish reading this to her. So I picked up the book and began to read. This time she was first to read a book and I would read it after her. So I'm finishing a book aloud that I haven't even started myself. I don't want to give away the ending of the book because I'd like everyone to become a Jon Katz fan themselves and read it. But I will say, the tears were flowing. One of the nurses walked into the room and said "Oh Stephanie, it's OK" And I said "it's not Lorraine! It's this damn book!" And we laughed. With everything I had in me, I finished the book for Lorraine. Everyday when we would leave, I would kiss her cheek and tell her that Luna and I loved her. I would also say that God willing I would see her tomorrow. Well Friday November 19th was the last time we saw Lorraine. On Saturday November 20th Lorraine passed away. I got an email from the activity coordinator at the Horizon House. She knew that I didn't want Lorraine to be alone when she took her last breath. She told me that she was "surrounded by
friends" Maybe that was why I had this special affinity for Lorraine. I too didn't have kids and now I'm worried that I could die alone. I don't loose sleep over this. I'm only 51, but it has crossed my mind.
God bless you Lorraine and rest in peace. You are now reunited with Benjamin, your best friends Molly & Carolyn, your mother and father and numerous animals and friends. Even that big white dog that someone stole when you were a little girl on Vashon Island!! I love you and feel blessed to have known you. Albeit brief, blessed just the same.
Stephanie & Luna

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rescuing Luna

It was three months after Stella went to the "Rainbow Bridge". My Jack Russell Terrier, the love of my life. My everything. The grief was paralyzing, awful. I thought how could anyone go through this again!? "I never want another dog". Then a mere 12 weeks later I found myself on "" looking at little faces needing a forever home. Then there she was..... OMG!! My body got all warm, I could hear my heart beat and it felt as though it was coming right out of my chest! I called my husband and exclaimed "I found her! I found her!" "Found who?" he said. Our new dog, our new baby. A beautiful black and white Border Collie.
She could have been in NYC but just happened to be 80 miles north of me here near Seattle. I immediately called the appropriate number, filled out the paper work and waited impatiently until someone returned my call.
Her name was Donnie (soon to be Luna after Stella Luna) She was 8 months old and found at 8 weeks old in Caldwell Idaho. She was a smart, eager to learn, kind of shy little girl. The gal that ran this particular Rescue referred to her as a "clean slate". There were many requests for Donnie. But later after Luna was mine, Eileen (who runs the rescue) said to me that she knew "Donnie" would be mine after our first conversation on the phone. In fact she said after the first 90 seconds!
Every year my husband leaves for 21 days to fly fish up north in Canada. Off the grid. It was during this time that I made the 80 mile trek to pick up my new baby. I cried all the way up there wondering if I was doing the "right thing". I was talking out loud to Stella and to God. I was so so scared. I arrived and Eileen was in a hurry. I quickly wrote her a check, grabbed some food, a collar and leash and "Donnie" was in my car and I was driving down her driveway. Donnie was looking back the whole time watching her home get smaller and smaller. As I turned onto the road home, she started to cry, kind of whimper. That's when I started to talk to her. I was calling her "Donnieluna" I never stopped talking, all the way home. Except for maybe when the tears came back. Not because I was wondering if I had done the "right thing" But because I knew for an absolute fact that I had done the "right thing". I kept shortening her name (Donluna etc) until I was only saying "Luna". What a smart little girl.
I had read that when you bring a new dog into your home you should first walk around your neighborhood. So... before we went in the house we walked up and down the roads right in my hood. Then down the driveway and into the house. She sniffed all floors, furniture, blankets, and beds. I explained to her that those smells were probably Stella. I told her Stella would always be with us. But that she could make this her home now. She was HOME.