If You Want To Be Happy in Life, Be Of Service To Others

FullSizeRender-17 It can be easy to get caught up in our own problems and forget about the rest of the world.  If we aren’t careful, focusing on our pain and hardships can lead to a spiral into darkness if we shut out the rest of the world. Often people in that dark place will ask Doc and I how to be truly happy in life. There are many answers to that question but the number one thing that Doc and I will tell them is a quote by  Robert Ingersoll, “We rise by lifting others.”

The work that Doc and I do, and the times that we spend visiting cancer patients or families grieving the loss of a loved ones, leaves us feeling renewed and thankful. We always get back more than we give. It’s about being part of something bigger than yourself.

The great part of giving is that it doesn’t have to be some grand gesture. Sometimes the small things make the biggest differences in other people’s lives. Finding something that truly matters to you and then helping a person, group or cause without expectation that you will get anything in return except a good feeling can change the way you view yourself and the world. I highly recommend it. For example, just the other day, Doc and I came across a woman at the cancer center that was having a down day. When she saw me, her face lit up, so I approached, leaned in to her and gave her some puppy kisses lightly on the cheek. She started laughing, her husband took some pictures and I stayed next to her as she gently stroked my fur. In just those few minutes, it took her mind off of her discomfort.

So I challenge all the wonderful readers of my blog to take the time every day for one week, to do one small thing for someone else that you would not normally do. Be creative and have some fun with it. At the end of the week, take stock and see if life looks a little brighter. You can even message me and let me know what you did and how it went. Good luck!







groverpic  ” Without my dog my wallet would be full, my house would be clean, but my heart would be empty.”

— aplacetolovedogs.com

It’s Frog Friday!

FullSizeRender-18Luckily my life is rarely boring, in part because Doc can always come up with some hair-brain idea to keep us busy. I have to admit that we go on some very interesting adventures together. This week Doc told me to get in the car because we were going to the wetland park for Frog Friday. I didn’t even resist. I like parks and I like frogs, so off we went.

When we arrived, I saw that it was sponsored by the Mad Scientist Associates and was worried they may be turning frogs in to princes or that they were messing with their DNA and creating big killer frogs. Seeing my concern Doc looked at me like I had lost my marbles and told me to get out of the car. I soon saw families with kids and some other dogs, so I figured it must be safe.

One of the scientists talked about how active the frogs are at this time of year as they emerge from their winter hideouts and make their way to the wetland pools. He then encouraged us to get out our flashlights and begin our hot pursuit of the amphibians. Those slimy little suckers were plentiful, but fast. I have webbed feet, but Doc had a harder time not slipping and falling on her keaster. We all laughed and had fun as we searched.

After about an hour, we were done and ready to go home. There is only so much quality time you can spend with frogs before it becomes mundane. When Doc told me it was time to leave, I picked up the squirming bag of frogs that I had caught and carried it between my teeth and headed toward the car. “Grover, what are you are doing with that bag of frogs?” she asked with a look of horror on her face. “Well aren’t we having frog legs for dinner?” I asked. “Heavens no, she said, what ever gave you that idea? Now go put those frogs back in the pond.” Reluctantly, I did what I was told.

Go figure, just when I was feeling all proud of catching our dinner, my dreams were smashed to pieces. I guess another night of dog food never hurt anyone, but I bet those frog legs would have been tasty.


groverpic ” Dogs for a reason that can only be described as divine have the ability to forgive, let go of the past and live each day joyously. It’s something the rest of us strive for.”

— Jennifer Skiff

Catch Me if You Can!

Photo by Emily Kirk

Photo by Emily Kirk

Some of my favorite days are when Doc’s family come over to eat and celebrate a special day or event. The house fills with laughter and playful energy and the smells of good food waffle out of the oven and through the air. When people start eating, I quietly move between the kitchen and the dining room waiting for food to drop on the floor. You’d be surprised what I end up with when no one is looking.

Usually after everyone has eaten, things become quiet and for me, that is when boredom starts to set in. On this particular spring day, I was quietly listening on the back porch as the adults yammered on and on. The kids looked bored as well, so I thought a little action was in order. I went over to the screen door and looked inside. I spotted 14 year-old Cole’s Nike flip-flops on the floor. Doc, thinking I wanted to go inside for a drink of water, opened the door to let me in. In two seconds I grabbed those flip-flops, ran back outside and jumped off the back patio into the grass. It was on! The adults were yelling and the kids jumped up and started chasing me around the yard. Everyone broke out into laughter as they tried their best to retrieve the sandals, but with my long legs, I was way too fast.

As 6 year-old Willow came close, I slowed down just  long enough for her to grab the sandals.  We had a tug of war for a while, but I finally relented. Sometimes it’s best to let the youngest one be the hero of the day.

After everyone left, Doc and I talked about what a nice day we all had and that spending time with those we love is so important.  It just goes to show you that it really doesn’t take anything fancy to have fun, especially when Doc provides the food and I provide the entertainment.

groverpic ” No man can me condemned for owning a dog. As long as he has a dog, he has a friend; and the poorer he gets, the better friend he has.”

— Wil Rogers

When Birds Attack!


Photo by Angela Kirk

It was one of those beautiful spring days where the temperature was perfect and a light breeze blew the scent from the lilac blossoms through the air. I had been enjoying the day laying in the lush green grass when I decided to go back into the house to wait for my supper. Doc got up and opened the sliding glass door to let me in and I sprawled out on the rug next to Doc’s chair while she was watching the news.

We had just settled in when we both saw a large form speeding toward the glass door followed by the sound of a large whack against the glass. Both of us jumped up to see a large red tail falcon and a morning dove lying startled on the patio floor. You could almost see the stars circling around their heads as they tried to recover from hitting the glass. The dove flew away first and was quickly followed by the falcon. It only took a second for Doc and I to realize that the dove was meant to be the falcon’s dinner.

I saw the horror on Doc’s face as she watched the falcon catch the morning dove and kill it. Now Doc grew up in the country and has heard things being killed in the night and found left over carcasses outside, but she has never watched the chase and final demise of such a gentle bird as a morning dove. I could tell it was getting to her when she left the room for a while. Being a canine and a bird dog, I felt the opposite. My primal instincts kicked in and I just wanted to get outside, catch that Falcon and bring it home to Doc for our dinner.

Moments later, a second falcon landed on the fence to supervise. At first we thought their might be a fight, but we soon realized that this was the mate, coming to help carry dinner back to the nest. It wasn’t long before they flew away with their prey, leaving only the feathers behind.

Through out the next day, I could tell that Doc was still unsettled by what she had witnessed the evening before. Nature does have a way of reminding us that there is indeed a circle of life and that it can be brutal to watch.

After arriving home from work that afternoon, Doc happened to look in the back yard and noticed that little brown sparrows were picking up the dove feathers and carrying them up in the tree to build a nest for their future family. I saw a smile come over Doc’s face as she realized that new life would soon begin.

groverpic ” When I am sad there is no greater comfort than the silent devoted companionship of my dog.”

— Aplacetolovedogs.com