Buddy Check Christmas Edition

Silent night Holy Night! To some it is a silent night lonely night! Alone with the memories, demons that rise to the surface in these times of gathering. Friends and loved ones lost, regret that some won’t be home for Christmas. This time of year is a difficult time for those who have suffered loss. Reach out and stay in touch! Invite them over, go see them. Do a Buddy Check, it may be the best gift you give and receive this year! Merry Christmas from 757sheepdog and family!

Tis the Season… Buddy Check!

Family, friends and revelry abound for those in the Christmas spirit. Time spent with those you care for and about, makes most people feel joy! If you are alone, hiding from the memories locked in your head, there is no revelry, joy, or happiness. Some feel that to withdraw and shield themselves from the season is the best way to deal with trauma and loss. Tis the season to reach out! Check on your buddies and their demons. Make them feel welcome and safe in your company. Include them in your plans and drop by and ask how it is going. Take time to give someone a safe place to be. We all are busy presents to acquire and wrap, parties and celebrations, don’t forget those who have decided to hide. Sometimes the best gift is time! Celebrate the Season and in the spirit of giving, give your time to someone who may need a shoulder and a listening ear! Merry Christmas from 757Sheepdog and the family! May you be blessed with abundance and the opportunity to give back to those who are in need!

Merry Christmas!

Tis the Season!

As we approach the Holiday Season, many people will isolate themselves. Many of the issues, depression, anxiety and loneliness will appear. Make sure and check in on your buddies, invite them to Thanksgiving dinner. Be inclusive without being overbearing, understand that they will appreciate the offer and may decline. Stay in touch and remember check on your buddies.

Dogs…

So while I was healing from surgery this year I had a faithful companion by my side. Gunny was beside me everyday as I recovered. Yesterday Gunny crashed hard, unresponsive and detached from his surroundings. We rush him to the ER! Walking into that room with a very sick dog is a situation no one wants to experience. Unlike people there is no way for the dog to tell you what is wrong. Looking into those eyes, that had encouraged me and assured me it was all going to be ok, seeing the life fading away, was like someone pulling me apart. X-rays, labs, test flow by, then the Doctor comes in with news. Gunny is really sick but they have a plan. Subcutaneous fluid injection to hydrate, antibiotics to kill the pneumonia. We leave with a live dog, weak and exhausted but alive.

It is very rare that we as the recipients of unwavering companionship are called to reciprocate. I have had dogs that would lay down their life for me. Some that were simply a friend and companion. Gunny was a savior, he arrived after the death of our Labrador and filled a void that was created by her passing. It is always who rescued who? Well, I believe we rescued each other! In that ER room I was afraid that the small part of myself that knows what a dog really is was going to leave me. It hurt me to know that there is no sacrifice to big for a dog to make, yet we are unable to protect them and heal them the way they give to us. Gunny is getting better, hopefully this will pass and we can resume our fall days sitting on a hill with the wind in our face and peace and tranquility restored!

9-11-2001

The day started like any other day, arrived at work, started my day. This day I was assigned a specific task in the office. As I was doing some drawings on the computer to update our maps, a co-worker came and said a plane hit the Towers. As we watched a second plane struck the second tower. One was an accident two is a plan. Then the Pentagon gets hit. My first call was to my then girlfriend now wife Megan, then to my friend Audrey. Audrey is my best friend, we have an ability to know when one is in trouble, dial the number all circuits are busy on the cell phones. Try again same thing! Reach and grab the land line on my desk, one ring then two, I hear Audrey on the phone panic and fearful walking away from the Pentagon. Sitrep on my two people complete. Call Audrey’s parents, inform them she is fine and walking out to a safe zone. Land line again pass a message from her parents to Audrey and get the updated location and progress of extraction. Update her family and check on Megan. Make a call Audrey is safe and secure and is en route to a safe location out of DC. During that day I was the only one able to speak to her on the phone. Every year we call or text just to remind ourselves that we have each other’s back no matter what. At the end of the day after securing our assets at work under a sky devoid of any air traffic, no planes in the sky, I realized how fragile our safety truly was. The lesson learned is that we should all have a comms plan, an alternative measure beyond land lines and cell phones. We must all have an account of who is where and how can we connect if there were a tragedy. This attack was a surprise and while we lived our lives, evil crept in and did us harm. We see now that the threat is all around us and we still are unprepared for tragedy. Everyone be vigilant, be prepared and if necessary be dangerous. On 9-11 several of my sheep were in danger and it was up to me to bring them back to the flock safely. On this day the Sheepdog was born, a protector of my flock and a menace to the wolves who choose to prey on them. Let’s all be Sheepdogs!

Dealing with injury

So we are one day past surgery. Pain is manageable. The Dr pushing pain pills. I have chosen to not use them in my life. I have had a bunch of injuries in my life, some severe and some catastrophic. I have been buried, burned, stabbed and shot. I broke my back in 6 places and walked away. I have never taken pain meds. The loss of discernment and cognitive thought are something I am unwilling to deal with. Pain is a function of healing. Pain let’s you know that you are injured and need to slow down to prevent more. It also allows you to feel the healing process. As the pain diminishes you know you are getting better. The drugs hide the pain and give you a sense of relief. While the pain is merely a psychological signal, you can overcome pain by using the same psychological process. Pain is in the mind and the mind can overcome pain. Focus on task to make yourself well and think only positive thoughts. Pain is real but pain is weak and a strong mindset and perseverance will always overcome pain. Yesterday I was in a halo after having surgery on my cervical spine. Today I am in a brace writing a blog. I am fully aware of my surroundings and able to communicate with my caretaker and watching some educational tv. Be safe, be cautious and if necessary be dangerous.

Days of Repair

As I get closer to the surgical procedure to rectify my current physical decline, Gunny and I have taken this weekend to rest and rejuvenate. Gunny from 2 days and a night at daycare, myself from the constant grind of work. My injury has increased my pain, my work my stress. Today while waiting for the comforter to dry Gunny and I spent an hour outside, him laying with a stick to chew and I in the shade listening to the wind through the trees. These days of relaxation and spending time with Gunny have been a respite from the stress of impending surgery and the grind of work. Gunny has again been a faithful companion and has not left my side. Gunny knows, with the omnipotent psyche of dogs, that I am hurt. He while rolling in the grass would stop to make sure I was ok. As we sat in the shade of the forest, each lost in our thoughts, his were on me. Gunny is a good companion and his friendship is resolute. He ask only for a pat on the head, a bowl of food and the time to lay in the grass and chew a stick. For these small demands I am given a companion, who without thought for his well being would sacrifice his for mine. As the wind blows through the trees, the infinity of the world is brought into focus. The immensity of the physical ailment is carried away on the wind, while close by the most noble creature on earth raises his head to listen, smell and scan to ensure my safety. Thanks Gunny for keeping me sane and grounded as we work towards a resolution of my injuries. When God saw man was in need of saving, he first sent the Dog, then his Son.

Memorial Day

 Weep not for the warrior, he chose his path!
Weep with his family so that his memory will last forever!!

We sleep peacefully in our beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf. These men and women face the wolf, sometimes with dire consequences. We can honor their memory by standing against the wolves and keeping their sacrifice alive!

Till Valhalla Sheepdogs! We have the watch!

Buddy Check!!

As we prepare for the kick off of summer, let us not forget the true meaning of this holiday weekend! This upcoming holiday is a moment of reflection for us, the beneficiaries of someone else’s sacrifice. Why honoring the fallen don’t forget the survivors. If you know of someone struggling, alone and down, pick up a phone and send them an invitation to spend some time with your family and friends! The invitation alone may save a life! Honor the fallen, but never forget the survivors!

We Sleep peacefully in our beds because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf!! Be a buddy and check in on the sheepdogs!

Sheepdogs? Now more than ever!

There is a conflict coming. A battle for the will of a country. This will be both a psychological battle and an opportunity for violence to instill fear. We must all stand firm and defend the weak, ourselves and the institution of Freedom. Be a positive role model for those around you. Be vigilant in your surroundings. My family practices the 3 A’s. Attentive, Alert and Alive. If you must go into crowds and public space be aware of your surroundings and the responses of those around you. Be willing and of the mindset to protect those around you and yourself. We will see an escalation of these terrorist tactics to strip us of our freedom and rights. Be aware, be safe and should the need arise be dangerous! As sheepdogs we sit idly by till the wolf attacks, we know he is there circling the weak. Only when he shows his intentions do we react. It more important now than ever to be prepared and competent to protect those in your flock, be a sheepdog!