Gratitude for Good Company

Golden Retriever dog

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.

I’ve been a little down this week.

I’m sure I’m not the only one. The news from Japan is horrific. And yet it’s only the latest in a never ending stream of suffering.

This week, I’ve spent more time trying to support my other blog, so I’ve been visiting personal finance sites. And while there are some notable exceptions, I don’t find that a nurturing community.

Very few sites reflected on the disaster in Japan at all. And I don’t know about you, but I find it a little creepy to read yet another article on getting the most bonus points on your credit card while people are wondering when the bodies of their family members will be found in the rubble.

Oh yeah, and don’t get me started on the commenter who, on a finance blog that did write about charitable giving, said she’d never give to charity as long as the government was stealing her money in taxes. How do some people live with themselves?

This is my first post since Tuesday and I haven’t been commenting on as many dog blogs as I like to (sorry, folks!).

But I knew Saturday blog hop was coming and I wanted to post something.

After thinking about it and rejecting a few different ideas, here’s what I really needed to say–

Thank you, pet bloggers, for:

  • Hope – which you express in every “chip-in” fund raiser, campaign to promote animal adoption, and advocacy for people and their animals;
  • Time – spent writing about causes, raising foster animals, training shelter pets, and speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves;
  • Humor – to show that in the midst of suffering, life continues with joy and laughter;
  • Commitment – to take action even when you feel like you’re butting your head up against a wall;
  • Appreciation – which you express and share freely;
  • Perspective – to see that our relationships with animals are just one piece of an interconnected puzzle that helps us grow and become better humans; and,
  • Encouragement – that comes to each person sharing about their losses and struggles.

If you put the first letter of each sentence together, you get HTH CAPE. And that’s what you all are: HTH CAPE. Ok, dumb joke. Sorry.

Sometimes I feel a little silly admitting I write a dog blog. I know most people just don’t get it.

But I’m proud to know the people I’ve met here. And I am grateful for good company.

Donate for Japan Earthquake

[Image by Hichako – click link for list of relief agencies.]

This is a blog hop. Hop on:

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  1. Absolutely lovely post. I agree completely. Somehow this week I’ve just felt shaken, yet “the world” rushes on its merry way like what has happened in Japan is just a blip on radar. Thank you.

    • Thanks, Sue. I don’t know if I’ve been more shaken by the events in Japan or by thinking about the other “routine” disasters (like starvation, child soldiers, torture) that have faded into the background a bit in comparison.

      Since I don’t have a tv, I’ve been gauging the reaction only from the internet. I guess the one good thing is that Japan has gotten a few people to stop talking about Charlie Sheen for a while.

  2. What a wonderful, heartfelt and timely post, Angela. I’m with you on Japan and the larger issue of charity. We had one of our biggest charity fund-raising events here in the UK last night (Red Nose Day), and the images they showed (of unfortunate children and families in Africa) were hard to swallow. I won’t say anymore as this is not the place, there’s a post about this on my blog for anyone who’s interested. But, in light of the terrible events happening around the world, I too wonder how some people (a lot of whom are not struggling financially, to say the least) can’t find enough humanity in their heart to help others. I thought that’s what being human was all about…

    As you can see, I’ve had a depressing week myself…Well, luckily the blog hop is here to cheer us up.

    Have a bright(er) weekend and Happy Hopping!

    • It’s always good to be reminded of how much we have. I always wrestle with what I cling to so tenaciously while others in the world are just trying to get clean water and food.

      Hope Red Nose day raised lots of money and even more awareness.

  3. What a heartfelt and lovely post! Pamela – I have been feeling much the same way this week. It’s been hard to take in some of the negative and self-absorbed comments and thoughts from people who seem completely oblivious to what is going on in Japan. On the other hand, I have already found and read some great posts from my fellow bloggers. I totally agree with you on all the descriptions you provided – and yes, I even laughed at your joke. I thought it was funny!

    Thanks for a great start to the day. Now I must hop off to another blog!

    • Thanks, Mel. It’s great having you and other bloggers here doing what you do–saying nice things, offering encouragement. I guess that’s what I was writing about. :)

      BTW, I loved the video over on your site. It’s a beautiful thing to watch dogs being dogs.

  4. Dear Pamela,

    Like you, I’ve been feeling quite down this week and glued to my radio and telly in that awful way when something is so horrible, you CAN’T stop looking. Every day, some new tragedy seems to be happening in Japan that makes me wonder how the Japanese can go on. Yet the images I see show calm, civil, polite, dignified people going about as best they can – they are an inspiration and frankly, I don’t know how they do it.

    Then on to Libya, Yemen and all that’s unfolding in the middle east the last few weeks. So much turmoil, it makes me wonder if this is the end times. (No, I’m not religious.)

    It’s been hard for me too lately, to post silly stories. I’m not feeling too funny at all. Anyway, I have missed your posting, but I totally understand. And I think you’re pretty HTH CAPE too. Hug your dog, your man and have a good Sunday xox

    • I’ve seen very little coverage of the events in Japan. I don’t have a television so it’s up to me whether I want to click a video clip I see online. So far, I’ve avoided it for the most part. I can get gloomy without so much help.

      As for how people keep going in a disaster, let’s hope we never have to find out how they do it. I just feel lucky, lucky, lucky to have never been tested so severely.

      I’ve also been thinking about how well-prepared Japan has been. They know they’re on a fault line. They have the strictest building codes in the world. They’re an island nation in a vast ocean. And they’re one of the wealthiest countries on earth.

      Haiti experienced a slightly less serious earthquake in 2010 and they’re still not back to normal. And this event in Japan has reminded me of that so I can remember to give in places where the needs have slipped out of the public eye.

      Thanks for the kind words. Keep your family close too! And don’t breathe any radioactive dust floating overhead. I’d hate to see Georgia become Spider-dog and Mr. Thumper be the Incredible Hulk. :)

  5. Bless your sweet heart… feeling the same way, mad at some people’s complete indifference/apathy ie, cluelessness about what is really important in life… helplessness, and thankfully I have Cici to remind me, lick me, hug me… and for other pet bloggers… such as yourself, animal lovers on facebook and twitter, who lift me, inspire me and more… as you said so eloquently HTH CAPE, keep the chin up and your tail wagging in the wind :-)

  6. Not silly at all! We know what you mean – we dog bloggers have a different outlook on life. I don’t think you can truly love a dog without being caring, loving, forgiving and hopeful.

    P.S. Mom tried to find a annagram of HTH CAPE – but all she could come up with is The Chap… She’s kind of silly too!


  7. Lovely post, Pamela. Thank you.

  8. I get so angry when people say that it’s wrong to spend money on a dog when there are starving children. Pet owners are the most generous people I know.

  9. I think at some point, I have to tune out some of the endless flow of news, not because I don’t care, but perhaps because I care too much. It’s just overwhelming and heartbreaking. When you’re so far away from it, too, it seems almost surreal and impossible to take in. Money is short for us, and like Didi said on her blog yesterday, it’s times like this when I wish I were rich, not because I want to live better, but because I’d like to be able to help others in a significant way.

    This is one of the reasons that volunteering is important to me. I don’t always have money to give to the causes I’d like to, but I do have time to give. I dearly hope that as the tide begins to shift and the people of Japan begin to recover, we can all remember the times when we had to pull together. You just never know when it could be your turn to face disaster. I think it also helps us to put life in perspective, too, and realize what’s truly important and what is the best in humanity.

  10. Lovely post.

  11. I understand how you feel and would like to thank you for being part of our blogging world and the opportunity of being part of yours. Sometimes in the midst of such a diaster all we can do is pull together more to help support and be there for each other. And I don’t know what it is about the magic of dogs that helps us do that, but it is the best feeling in the world that someone understands.