Category Archives: Horses

This old horse, the Rancher said……

Along the Dusty Trail

 This old horse, the Rancher said,

She’s seen some better days,

She’s eating up my profits

And costs a lot for hay.

 

Another horse would suit me

A stronger one at that

She’s seen a lot of miles

Like my cowboy hat.

 

This old horse, the Rancher said,

She helped me herd my steer

I’m pretty sure she’s magic

I know I hold her dear.

 

Another horse would suit me

One that can run fast

Maybe one that’s younger

Or maybe one that lasts.

 

This old horse, the Rancher said,

She’s long and far in tooth

My children do remember

Her fondly from their youth.

 

 Another horse would suit me

A gelding in its prime

One that needs less fixing

That helps me save a dime!

 

Why, they ask, then keep her?

Why not trade her now?

Bring her to an auction,

Replace her with a cow?

 

 The Rancher’s brow grew heavy

He took a staggered step

His eyes did show his friendship

In wrinkles, as they crept.

 

His breath, he took in deeply

As he poised to say his words

It’s as if the earth grew silent,

That his message could be heard.

 

This old horse, the Rancher said

Has given me her life.

I would not trade for anything

Nor either would my wife.

 

Another horse would suit me,

And perhaps someday will come,

But this old gal, I love her,

She is the chosen one.

 

The old horse, the Rancher said

Her services she did lend

Her and I have seen the years

This old horse, she is my friend.

 

Another horse would suit me well

And younger days for me

And I will keep my promise,

Until our last breath sets us free.

 Facebook. March 9, 2021

This poem, like the one I posted a few weeks ago, “The Old One”, and the one I added earlier today, “Seven is the number of years”,  although not as eloquent and dramatic, speaks of the same theme, appreciation for an old horse that is obviously a burden now but still highly valued for the many years of service it performed for a rancher or a rider and his family.  As someone born to “city folk”, whose family  would never give stories like this a glance, let alone a second glance, or to stop and read it, and transcribe it in her Blog, where love of equines and canines are celebrated in full force. my passion for these beautiful creatures is an anomaly.  However,  I lack for nothing on the positive scale of compassion for all animals, domestic and otherwise but especially: canine, equine, feline, avian, porcine,   bovine, goats, and other barnyard animals too numerous to elucidate who live at the mercy of us humans and often suffer terribly from it. How can we wipe away their pain?  Why must it be there?  Part of it is financial, since veterinary care has become so expensive, and part of it is because caring for barnyard animals s so hard and labor intensive.  However, I am sure animal owners cut corners on quality of care and the animals suffer from it.  My heart, my passion, belong to horses and dogs, especially.

In my twenties, I rescued a thoroughbred from the track, and had a nice pleasure horse for a number of years.  Financially, long term, it was not realistic in relation to my salary.  Looking back, now that I am seventy, I realize it was not expensive at all, because the cost today is totally prohibitive.  I turned to dogs in 2002, borzoi, the most equine-like dogs in the world.  I compromised my deepest value and sold my horse, and was never being able to own on again.  I was destined to always have a horse, and I failed.  What I do instead today is donate to horse rescue charities in the amount to which I am able.  I have found many such charities on Facebook and many wonderful people, saints, who do this work.  When I find a horse poem or a piece of writing that celebrates equines, I save it because it always touches my heart.  I then share it by putting it in my Blog giving it a wider audience than it otherwise might not receive because I know I have a steady readership audience for the Blog.

 

Least we not forget, The Horses; from Facebook

Regardless of the depth and breadth of materials it holds, I find so much that is good on Facebook.  For me to note it, and then to wish to save it, and/or post it on my Blog means that I have been very moved by a particular piece of writing and it has made an impact on me.   I don’t know how all these disparate items appear in my feed, sometimes forwarded by a Friend, or just appearing out of the blue, but I receive the most astounding pieces of writing about life, the world, and our place in it.  Unquestionably, this one that I received today, stands among the best.  I feel compelled to share it with my Facebook friends and my Blog readers.  It follows:

Seven is the number of years I served my owner, trotting, walking, loping, quiet and gentle.  I carry her children, husband, friends and neighbors.  I have plenty of hay, horse friends, and time to myself.  Green pastures, blue skies, I am at peace.

Six is the number of months I carry on in pain after falling. I do it for her, anything for her.  She is impatient with me.  I try hard to keep up but the pain slows me down.  Every step hurts.  No one wants to ride me.  A new horse arrives to carry on in my place.  I do not know this word, “useless”.

Five is the number of hours I stand in the small pen at the auction.  I hurt.  I do not know these horses; I do not know these people.  I am far from my pasture.  I search for comfort, switching weight off my painful leg, the people notice.  I do not know the word, “lame”.

Four is the number of times my value is calculated by my weight.  I don’t understand their words but I can read their eyes.  Hard stares.  I try to be invisible, but they see me.  I do not know this word, “slaughter”.

Three is the number of sniffs I take of your face through the pen before deciding you are kind and safe.  I like your eyes.  They are soft.  I like your hands.  They are gentle.  Please don’t leave me here.  I try to pick up my feet for you.  It hurts.  I try hard.  I rest my muzzle in your hand.

Two is the number of minutes it takes for me to pass through another pen.  I am scared.  I am trapped.  I am alone, people are shouting.  It hurts to walk.  A man is talking; his voice echoes all around me, there are so many people watching the hard stares.  Suddenly it’s over.          

One is the number of hours it takes before I walk onto the trailer.  I am alone.  I am scared.  It is moving. The door opens, I hold my breath, and brace at the light.  It’s you!  I stand still and breathe slow.  Kind hands, soft words, I’m not afraid now.

Two is the number of x-rays the vet takes while I stand quietly for you, anything for you.  Many days have passed.  I have energy now, my pain is less.  I like my new pasture, I like my new stall, I like my new hay.  I don’t know why we have a vet but I stand still for his visits.  So many visits.  I do not know the word, ‘rehabilitation”.

Three is the number of months before the pain is all the way gone.  I am relaxed with you, we start to ride together.  I am afraid the pain will come back, butt you are gentle, so I try.  I try hard for you, anything for you.

Four is the number of weeks I learn a new way of riding.  Another person rides me every day.  I’m becoming strong.  I understand my lessons..  I am proud to work, I feel you are happy with me, visiting me, and learning together.  I do not know this word , “training”.

Five is the number of years I work hard for you.  We travel to shows, we work cows, we ride with friends.  We do hundreds and hundreds of miles together.  You trust me and I trust you.  I give you everything I have, everything for you, anything for you.  I memorize your rhythm, your looks, your moods.  I know when to be wild and when to be still.  We are a team.

Six is the number of minutes I try to hide the pain after a fall, but you see through me.  I stand for the vet, still as a stone.  The pain leaves but I sense your sadness.  I remember a word from before when I had pain, “useless”, but you never say that word.  You no longer ride me but I see you every day for carrots and treats and long walks.  I relax again.  You will not abandon me.  I do not know this word, “retired”.

Seven is the number of breaths I take in your arms.  I has been many years, we have grown old and wise and slow together.  I lay down like so many times before but could not rise.  You came right away.  I tried for you, but I could not stand.  You say, its okay, sink down next to me, I breathe slowly.  You are very close, holding my head, weeping. 

I feel your sadness so I put my muzzle in your hand one last time to comfort you, anything for you.  I breathe out.  Green pastures, blue skys, I am at peace.  I know this word, “loved”.

 Author Unknown.

Facebook

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How sad it is today that society has such a diminished use for horses over the last one hundred years that owning them has become a sport, or an expensive pleasurer hobby, or a breed farm for the horses to be sold for profit, with great emphasis on the economic worth of the animal that needs to offset the ever growing expense of owning it.  Although we are grateful for the advances in veterinary medicine that allow them to treat and relieve previously untreatable pain conditions successfully, thereby keeping their economic value viable, it comes at a high cost to the horse owner, an expense that they may not be able to afford.  Then, there is the kill pen slaughter.  In today’s story, one lucky horse found his Guardian Angel, a lovely lady who saw him broken down and thought she had a chance to heal him and could see the potentially good horse he could become for her.  She took that leap of faith; she did the right thing by purchasing, and transporting him, then by vetting him, then by “rehabilitating” him so he could live pain free.  In return, he worked his heart out for her, as in “anything for her”.  The story makes some serious assumptions, like the lady having the time and resources to rehab this horse and retrain him, with success.  She then had a great horse to ride and love, and she was loved back in return.  She had a huge heart for her horse and always did the right thing.  I cannot help but be very critical of society for failing to do the right thing regarding our domesticated animals most of the time.  Whether it is puppy mills, or breaking or breaking down horses, abusing donkeys, slaughtering donkeys for their hides and milk, seeing young thoroughbred break down on the track, I wonder, where will this end?  With horses no longer needed for work, will they go away like so many other animals that no longer walk this earth?  In the canine world, one may think there will always be dogs, and there are many, yet many breeds have been lost over the last 100 years, especially in Terriers and Sporting Dogs.  Once the breed is gone, it really cannot be brought back, as some breeds claim to have done, as with the Irish Wolfhound, by recreating it using similar dogs to  create a resemblance.  It is better not to lose the breed at all than have to reconstruct it.  Likewise, it is better not to break down a young horse than have to rehab it.  People do not think that way, they are abusive and selfish, thinking only of what they want to do with the animal in the present, and throwing it away when they are through with it.

The roots of mankind’s responsibility for animals is in the Bible.  Yet, we have done a sickening  job of failing them.  There are no shortage of tears I weep for the canines and equines who depend on mankind for their wellbeing.  God sees and knows everything  and has no inhibition to unleash karma for betraying the trust of animals in the hands of humans who betray it.   When I pray, I pray for the abused, abandoned, and dying animals before I pray for myself or others.  Animals do not have a safety net and need the prayers more.  Perhaps most of mankind has forgotten the animals, but God and I have not.

Finding wisdom on Facebook for Blyss

I am frequently amazed by the truly great pieces of writing that end up in my Facebook feed.  It is as if the writer were sitting there in the room with me and looking deep into my very heart and knows exactly how I feel and expresses it with perfect clarity.  So it is with the writing of  Stephanie Bennett-Henry, especially one particular post, that I will share on my own blog, here that she posted on August 2,2015:

“I want the weirdos, the clumsy, fumbling, awkward ones  who call themselves a big mess.  That’s where it’s at.  Give me the one whose eyes are colored with shades of madness.  Throw me in a room with the loners, the ones who never found their place.  Sit me down at the table with the dreamers, the ones who feel with their eyes and see with their hearts.  Surround me with the extraordinary souls who inhale passion through their fingertips and exhale creativity from masterpieces in their bones.  I want to dance with the ones who will break their own hearts because they only know how to love too hard or not at all.  Build a path with the pieces of the broken ones.  I will follow the trail and carry each piece back to its owner, showing them the stained glass pieces of their beautiful, broken magnificence.”

Stephanie Bennett-Henry. Copyrighted.

So yes, there is dignity and loss in defeat.  There must be, be some positive dimension for humans since it is so ubiquitous and it does not kill us, it just keeps coming.  Is this a realistic interpretation of the human condition, flailing around, coming up short, losing everything, “dying” even, when you are still very much alive?  I am a master at surviving deaths.  I have had several reincarnations: surviving my childhood, surviving my first and second marriages, and coping with the tragedies that befell my kennel.  First, a puppy died unexpectedly.  I had forgotten puppies died, as I was so focused on breeding them and on their subsequent arrivals!   After, the puppies from my only litter were sent far away by my co-breeder, the one I got to keep was very sickly his first two years of life and was not emotionally sound.  This was challenging and I was focused on these events more than it was warranted until the punishing hand of God delivered its final blow: taking my darling husband, prematurely young, from cancer.  The only mercy to the story was it was swift.

My dreams of an adult life, happily married with a child and a houseful of dogs, Llewellyn English Setters come to mind since I did not know what borzoi were then,  a show kennel and horses in a pasture,  and never at a loss for love, was a bitter delusion that I never stopped pursuing long after it was feasible.  I pursue it still, and I am a very old woman.

And there lays my psychosis.  It is what places me in the room with the eyes colored with shades of madness, thrown in a room with loners who never found their place, who feel with their eyes  see with their hearts.  And yes, I have wanted to “dance” with the ones I knew would break my heart because they, too were flawed and could not love, so like my parents before them.  My life is lived on a path of broken stones and every step is painful.  But I see no magnificent stained glass portrait of myself to hang in the window to catch the sun and celebrate my life.  I am in a very dark place. The pieces of my life lie on the ground like broken stones, and an urn will hold my ashes in a mausoleum when I die.

From Facebook, “Because of Love, and It’s true! The Old Ones

I read this on Facebook a long time ago, and recently a Facebook Friend reposted it.  It touched me as much now as it did when I first read it.  I am sharing it on Blyss Blog Encore with my readers who will probably enjoy this as much as I do and be glad I came upon it again.

Because of Love!! “This is a true story”!

A brother and sister had made their usual hurried, obligatory pre- Christmas visit to the little farm where dwelt their elderly parents with their small herd of horses. The farm was where they had grown up and it had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge pine, which topped the hill behind the farmhouse. Through the years the tree had become a talisman to the old man and his wife, and a landmark in the countryside. The young siblings had fond memories of their childhood here, but the city hustle and bustle added more excitement to their lives, and called them away to a different life.

The old folks no longer showed the horses, for the years had taken their toll, and getting out to the barn on those frosty mornings was getting harder, but it gave them a reason to get up in the mornings and a reason to live. They sold a few foals each year, and the horses were their reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day’s end.

Angry, as they prepared to leave, the young couple confronted the old folks “Why do you not at least dispose of The Old One.” She is no longer of use to you. It’s been years since you’ve had foals from her. You should cut corners and save so you can have more for yourselves. How can this old worn out horse bring you anything but expense and work? Why do you keep her anyway?”

The old man looked down at his worn boots, holes in the toes, scuffed at the barn floor and replied, ” Yes, I could use a pair of new boots.”

His arm slid defensively about the Old One’s neck as he drew her near. With gentle caressing he rubbed her softly behind her ears. He replied quietly, “We keep her because of love. Nothing else, just love.”

Baffled and impatient, the young folks wished the old man and his wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness stole through the valley.

The old couple shook their heads in sorrow that it had not been a happy visit. A tear fell upon their cheeks. How is it that these young folks do not understand the peace of the love that filled their hearts?

So it was, that because of the unhappy leave-taking, no one noticed the smell of the insulation smoldering on the frayed wires in the old barn. None saw the first spark fall. None but the “Old One”.

In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a cry of horror and despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he raced to the barn to save their beloved horses. But the flames were roaring now, and the blazing heat drove him back. He sank sobbing to the ground, helpless before the fire’s fury. His wife back from calling for help cradled him in her arms, clinging to each other, they wept at their loss.

By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking, glowing ruins were left, and the old man and his wife, exhausted from their grief, huddled together in front of the barn. They were speechless and stunned as they rose from the cold snow covered ground. They nodded thanks to the firemen as there was nothing anyone could do now. The old man turned to his wife, resting her white head upon his shoulder as his shaking old hands clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandana. Brokenly he whispered, “We have lost much, but God has spared our home on this eve of Christmas. Let us gather strength and climb the hill to the old pine where we have sought comfort in times of despair. We will look down upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared and pray for our beloved most precious gifts that have been taken from us.

And so, he took her by the hand and slowly helped her up the snowy hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his old, withered hand.

The journey up the hill was hard for their old bodies in the steep snow. As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest of the hill, they paused to rest, looking up to the top of the hill, the old couple gasped and fell to their knees in amazement at the incredible beauty before them.

Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught up in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved pine, and it was aglow with heavenly candles. And poised on its top- most bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened like spun glass Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this. They were breathless as the old man held his wife tighter in his arms.

Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy. Amazed and mystified, he took his wife by the hand and pulled her forward. There, beneath the tree, in resplendent glory, a mist hovering over and glowing in the darkness was their Christmas gift. Shadows glistening in the night light.

Bedded down around the “Old One” close to the trunk of the tree, was the entire herd, safe.

At the first hint of smoke, she had pushed the door ajar with her muzzle and had led the horses through it. Slowly and with great dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping cautiously through the snow. The foals were frightened and dashed about. The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry flames, and tucked their tails under them as they licked their lips and hopped like rabbits. The mares that were in foal with a new years crop of babies, pressed uneasily against the “Old One” as she moved calmly up the hill to safety beneath the pine. And now she lay among them and gazed at the faces of the old man and his wife.

Those she loved she had not disappointed. Her body was brittle with years, tired from the climb, but the golden eyes were filled with devotion as she offered her gift —LOVE. Because of love. Only Because of love.

Tears flowed as the old couple shouted their praise and joy… And again the peace of love filled their hearts.

This is a true story.

Willy Eagle.

This is an Inspirational message sent to a small group of people on Facebook. My hope is that it will make your day just a little bit better.

Judy Gaik

October 24, 2018

 

Another Interruption caused by TCM when I had things to do…..

I have been very busy these days after months of lethargy and depression catching up with work that had been put aside.  When the weather become warm, I want to start gardening and taking care of the lawn outdoors.  I need to be very disciplined however I can be most tempted to stray when a film I truly love comes on the schedule for  Turner Classic Movies.  Last night, when I should have been sleeping, the movie scheduled was among my top 5, Splendor in the Grass, directed by Elia Kazan, starring a very young Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty, made in 1961.  Another lifetime ago, I may add.  I know I can write volumes about this movie and why Iike it so much, but now is not the time.  I will say, even having seen it a dozen times, each viewing is as new and raw and shocking as was the first time.  It is difficult to watch the growing pains of two young people who love each other trying to do the right thing while everyone around them is acting badly and the world as they know it is undergoing profound social changes, even in the Nebraska heartland.  And yes, it is excruciatingly painful to watch them as they come undone and become unrecognizable people from whom they were at the beginning of the story.  Together, once so close, they launch their adult lives in such different places, determined not to think much about happiness anymore, and say a simple good by before setting off apart.

As actors, the careers of Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty exploded with stardom and success, including Oscars.  It is always a joy to watch their films, each one so different yet rewarding.  They talents are boundless.  Natalie was taken far too prematurely with a tragedy that defied all logic, as if it were part of the plot of the movie she was making.  It never added up to me……  But the death of a great movie star usually does not.  They never really die.  The movies and the stars I love so much share my heart with the dogs and the horse I have loved so much.  I am so grateful for the technology that enables us to watch, rent or stream virtually any movie we want to watch almost anytime for a very small amount of money.  They are my companions in loneliness.

Two Blyss Borzois: Adventures of Lucy and Tresor, Doing what They Do Best!

So far, summer has been lovely.  Unfortunately for me, I have spent way too much time  performing grueling labor.  First, I created flower beds, involving bringing in soil and  mulch.  There were two long flower beds involved, both about sixty-five feet long.  I don’t know how my fragile, petite body did it.  After that was done,  I had to turn my attention to the deck with the peeling paint, that the contractor said was “normal” and “okay”.  I did not agree.  He did not stand behind his work.  Angry words were spoken, and I said, well, I will fix this myself.  On the outside, I was strong and tough, but  on the inside, I was devastated and depressed.  I can’t imagine anyone I know having to do anything even remotely like this daunting a task.  It made the garden work look easy.    But, my depression only made me tackle it with more ferocity.  I was not going to let this mean man get the better of me.  Home Depot is my new Bloomingdales.  I can go in and not even have to ask where things are anymore.  I can take care of myself now.  It is my goal to reverse the damage done to my deck by staining it after the wood was clean and sanded.

Aside from that debacle, I see many of my Facebook friends are enjoying beautiful vacations.  A very respected pair of twin sisters recently rescued some horses, and used them to go on a horse-b ack riding vacation out west, which is where they live.  They took photographs of the beautiful scenery their journey with their horses took them.  I cannot even imagine a more enjoyable vacation than spending time on a journey through the American west with a beloved sister and on horseback.   It struck me as such a precious gift to give one another, that their closeness allows they share so much the same passions.  They are both sight-hound breeders, and AKC judges.  I am truly in awe of them and their accomplishments.  I was sent several other Facebook vacation photos of friends in other pretty places enjoying themselves, but they all paled in comparison to those of the two sisters riding in the west.

I was thrown a cruel dagger this week from a cruel woman, a woman who just spits out venom without any thought of how she sounds, or the damage she does to the human spirit.  It has gotten her in trouble before, and she certainly has gotten herself in trouble with me, and my friendship with Jelly’s breeder, N24.   That is unfortunate.  The woman spoke for her, alleging I am no longer welcome at N24’s home because she does not like my Tresor, with whom I travel and bring there with me.  We never had a problem with him there because she has adequate space to keep him separated from her one male, and he is very well behaved around bitches.  This is a very tender place in my heart, or so I found out.  I cannot bear to think that people have ill will toward My Boy, who, along with myself, has been through so much.  We lost Bob to cancer six years ago.  It caused me to have to give him up. then, two years ago, he was suddenly given back.  And yes,  it is a bit beyond my ability to handle him.  I need help.  However, my home has a very good set up for him, and unless there is an accident with one of the fences, or a door – more about that follows – Tresor is safe and secure here with me.  He is a wonderful borzoi, full of love and happiness for people, and all he asks of life is to be walked a few times a day to be happy, and loved in return.

Mature Tresor

Since I do my own yard work  now, I was outside and forgot for a few minutes that the garage door had been left open when I went into the house for a few minutes. This causes a breach in the security for my borzois.  It was pure carelessness on my part that allowed this to happen. The last time I saw them, my  borzois were on my bed in the bedroom asleep.  I was just finishing a light lunch when a man who lives a block or so from my house rang my front door-bell.  When I came to the door, he said my dog had been in his yard, and had killed the animal now at his feet.  I looked down through the screen door, and saw a dead, red colored creature.  I thought it was one of his cats, so I began to profusely apologize.  He said it was not, it was a young fox!  I assumed it was Jelly, and we went out together to find her.  She was spotted right away  in the neighbor’s yard next door, having not gone far, and was just taking a stroll through the yards of the neighboring properties.    When we spotted “her”, we all called out to “her” and “‘she” sauntered over.  However, to our extreme surprise and shock, it was NOT Jelly at all, it was Tresor!  He knew how to sneak out of the house and get off the property, and once out, took himself on a hunting trip.  I felt so proud of him, that he showed intelligence by not running away in the street, or going the half-mile south down the road to US Highway 22, or run a half-mile north into the Watching Reservation, and may never have come back.  He wanted to get out, and he did it the smartest way possible, on a hunting trip close to home, and he brought me back his prize.

I also saw today on Facebook that Lucy, the great show bitch, who is the grand-daughter of our very own Majenkir bitch, “Mikhailya”, won a Group 1 placement at show in Kansas.  She certainly gets around.  Again, her handler looks like she is having the time of her life!

Lucy with Valerie Nunes-Atkinson, ..  winning a Group 1

The week started badly, with many burning tears cried for the painful words I had to hear spoken about my Boy.  The thought that people think ill of him disgusts me.  He is a great borzoi and I take wonderful care of him.    I care for him and Jelly to such a degree that you can call it  devotion, and commitment.  They are  my lifeline now.  I know they are not perfect, they are flawed, and probably nobody would ever want them but me, but they are mine to love absolutely and unconditionally.    That is how they love me.

 

Late November 2016 at Blyss Kennels, updates about the borzois

By late November, you can’t lie to yourself anymore and think that it is still summer or fall.  Like being at the end of your life and your beauty is dimmed, you are not in the springtime of your youth and therefore not the first pick of the boys.  The inevitable bitter cold with biting, raw winds bear down from wherever they come from as you try to go about your kennel work suddenly turning what once brought you joy in your beauty it into an unpleasant ugly chore.  To make things even worse, Jelly sustained a bad injury on her forelegs by falling down hard on them while running off leash in the Watchung Reservation, making it necessary to go to an Emergency Vet nearby and the beginning of many visits to “Dr. Mary” for “bandage changes”, making it a very expensive injury from which to recover.  The lacerations cut across her wrist joint and the challenge was to keep the wounds covered until they were healed to avoid osteomyelitis or “septic joint”.  So, all of that  has been happening, and after three weeks, there is still one wound wrapped although it is becoming noticeably smaller.  I feel as if I live on Rt. 78, the long road I need to take to get to another road that takes me to Washington, NJ, where our regular vet office resides.  I would not let another vet practice touch my borzois, as I learned the hard way from past experiences.

There has been much in the way of good news, too.  I still see announcements on Facebook of Mikhailya’s great-grandson, “Vinto” wining Best in Show placements in Japan on a regular basis.  How proud we all are of him.  But not only of him, of his great dam, “Lucy”, who still does a lot of Best in Show winning here in the States, herself.  The next very big show will be the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in February in New York City.  That will be followed by the Borzoi Club of America National Specialty Show in Hunt Valley, Maryland, the week of May 10 – 17, 2017.  I can only wait and wonder if Lucy’s owners will show her in these shows again.  It is just hard to say, and I am not privy to this information.  Perhaps they will bring “Vinto” back since he has done so well in Japan.  If I were their owners, that is what I would do, but I am not.

I have been trying to keep my spirits up, but with the onset of the holiday season, it is very difficult.  I have been reading more, in the historical biography area.  I just finished the Ellie Bolles Ellison (2014) The True Mary Todd Lincoln, and want to read the Chernow  biography of Hamilton fame, since I can’t afford to spend $1,000.00 on a Broadway ticket to see the play.  It’s comical that this milestone has come about.  I could say more about this in light of the outcome of the recent presidential election, but I demur.  However,  I digress.  What I mean to say is, by reading it creates the illusion that I am in the company of others and it distracts me from the intense loneliness I feel.  It appears that I am not anybody’s cup of tea.  Watching the movies on Turner Classic Movies has the same effect.  I think I will try to do more reading in the new year, or, it depends on what movie is playing.  Perhaps I can be more selective.

The well being of Jelly and Tresor are all I can ask or expect.  Nothing else really matters at this point, as long as I can rise each morning and do what I need to do every day.   But I know all too well how alone I am and how much the responsibility for Jelly and Tresor weighs on me.

At this time, I can identify other areas that are critical and important, and I will be writing more about them in the year to come.

In particular, one area of interest that developed for me in 2016 and about which I have written before was the need for donkey rescue.  I have begun to see more attention given to this cause throughout the year.  Facebook has many groups with people who have a keen interest in this topic, and in recent months, the New York Times, reversing a long period of disappointment I have had in them, has taken up the topic with vigor.   And as donkeys require awareness and assistance, so it goes for all equines, horses, large and small.  I hope I can raise the level of awareness somewhat in Blyss Blog readers while still remaining true to the focal topic of this blog, the borzois of Blyss Kennels and challenges and joys I have living with them.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  In spite of many sorrows, I have much to be thankful for.  I hope you do, too.

 

 

Status Quo at Blyss Kennels; Development of New Interests

Today, being on the other side of ten years of Opal’s death, I know more is expected of me.  I can no longer lounge around feeling sorry for myself about this or about anything anymore.  It is simply not appropriate.  I am alive and well with much that I am responsible for.  I require all of my energies to accomplish what is necessary for me to do.  First of all, I have the responsibilities of caring for Jelly and Tresor by myself.  With the separation from my boyfriend who no longer lives here, I am very aware that I carry this full weight.   I had one serious accident in May when I  broke my shoulder walking Tresor, however I am well aware that it could have been much worse.     I know I cannot afford to have a repeat of anything like that again so I do things differently now.  My ability to care for these borzois is of tantamount importance because nobody else wants them and they are my full responsibility.  I will say however that I could return Jelly to her breeder but that would not be ideal for either Jelly or her.   Moreover, Jelly is so happily adjusted to living with me and Tresor now that it would be so traumatic for all of us to make a change that it is no longer an option.

2015.05.11 Jelly 00 Hot Day

So many people live alone now, especially if it is not by choice, that this puts many pets and other farm animals at risk of abandonment in the event that something bad happens to their owner.  There is currently no shortage of animal rescue and/or sanctuaries organizations throughout the world for animals such as dogs, cats, equines and other barnyard animals, not including the well known organizations such as the ASPCA, or Humane Society of the United States and P.E.T.A.  I identify many of these lesser known organizations on my Facebook page (see: www.Facebook.com/Lorene.Connolly) some of which I support with regular donations.  But my own borzois come first and foremost because they live with me and need me most of all.  And so, they are my first priority.  I recently realized that I prefer living in my relationship with them than reaching out to new friends when I recently had the opportunity to do so.  In other words, I would rather be with them alone at home than with most people in the world if given the chance.  It would be the same if I had donkeys.  I know I would spend time during my day caring for them and just being there with them; grooming them, talking to them, massaging them telling them how much I love them.  They would give me so much comfort in return, I know, in a way that is different than a borzoi, a kind of serenity.  Perhaps that is sad to some, but for me it is not.  I have learned about myself that I prefer it that way.

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If any reader of my Blog or Facebook page wants more information about the horse, donkey, barnyard sanctuary information, or information about equines for your own interests and the excellent organizations that support them that I have data mined from Facebook and the internet, you are welcome to email me: Lorenecon@gmail.com.  This is a serious international movement, with organizations on every continent.  There are very professional, committed, devoted and serious people creating a safety network to improve the quality of life for animals that would otherwise suffer a cruel, slow death.

Mylestone_Horse_Rescue_NJ

Life at Blyss Kennels, Going through the Motions Alone

Tresor at Blyss

 

Today I live alone at Blyss Kennels with Jelly and Tresor, my two beloved borzois.  I am grateful and overjoyed to have them, and want for nothing.  Yet, inside my soul, I am aware of a hollow void the opposite of, let’s say something solid like flesh, but a space of a nothingness, where there should be human love.  I embrace and kiss my beloved borzois every day, and am most grateful for them, for no person in my life comes up to their level in goodness and loyalty, and capacity for love.  Everyone else falls short, fails, has an agenda and a reason for being there, like what is in it for them.  However, I am never fooled.

Portrait of Jelly Maxine Bochnia
Portrait of Jelly
Maxine Bochnia

I observe love that I lack in my friends and neighbors, or sometimes in a novel or a movie, or a play or an opera.  So I know it exists.  But it has never been real for me.   And in spite of three marriages, I am lonelier than ever.  It’s absence has made my life very difficult.  I wonder if others feel that knawing pain of emptiness or is it something unique to me?  I believe it is unique to me in the strange configuration of mental illness that I bear, altered by the medication I take that is supposed to make the pain go away.  Somehow, it never does, but I don’t complain to my doctors.  I don’t want them to think they are not helping me.

Sometimes, I find the kind of love that interests me in a novel, or a film, and I find it very compelling.  I just watched, for example, the George Cukor masterpiece from 1933, Little Women, and was crushed under the weight of family love in the family depicted there, the March family of New England during the Civil War.  Another film that encapsulates this concept perfectly is, the Norwegian immigrant family in,  I remember Mama, a similar story,  this time set in San Francisco,  the parents of which find themselves etching out a living and raising their children, poor in resources, but like the March family, rich in family love.  Then, in an arcane, mostly forgotten film I saw for the first time recently, made during the heyday of old Hollywood, this time taking place on the eve of the First World War in England, the War to End All Wars, is the enchanting Smilin’ Through,  the ultimate love story dream come true, where the more horrible the war the stronger the love, it was enough to convince me that my life is hardly worth living without it.

I should mention a novel or another literary forms while I am thinking about it, I suppose, and so I shall.  Anything written by Leo Tolstoy, but especially War and Peace, will certainly delineate the outcome of life lived in the absence of national stability or personal love, in life lived on the cusp of one of the Twentieth Centuries most significant events: The Russian Revolution.   Another great observer of life’s most painful outcomes, in this case Russia after the aftermath of the Revolution and who leaves no subject unmentioned, the great Russian author and play wright, Anton Chekov.  Through his character development portrayed in these works, he presents profiles  again and again of the fatal intersection of this society on the individual.  When you think he can wreak no further pain and havoc on his characters, he wrote his famous plays.  There, he delineates the fatal effects the Russian Revolution had on the middle-class: professional, educated, land-owning nuclear families that seemingly survived but alas slowly crumble before your eyes, rotting from within from lack of love, and is so devastatingly painful to watch.  Upon watching Three Sisters performed by an excellent professional theater group once, I almost had to exit the theater because  I was afraid I would faint from shock.  Then, there is the extremely arcane novel that deserves aggressive literary promotion more than anything that has seen print since the invention of the printing press after The Bible, The Transylvanian Trilogy, Vol. 1 – 111  by Miklos Banffy, the Tolstoy of Romania – Austria, published by Everyman’s Library, Alfred A. Knopf, 2013.  This novel covers the interactions of family love and nationalism,  what happens when they cataclysmically intersect and everything about life as you knew it disappears.   Throughout the Trilogy, not only does this author introduce the most interesting characters ever to appear in print, he gives a step-by-step tutorial of How World War I Began, for anyone who did not know.  For opera, one need only look no further than Francis Poulenc in Dialogues of the Carmelites when the most innocent citizens in the country are judged to be on the wrong side of the French Revolution and pay the highest price.  You can never weep enough watching great films of aftermaths of revolutions, attending plays on this subject, reading these novels, or listen to this one of many operas.  In truth, the lesson to be learned here is that everyone is alone in the end, if not dead or destroyed.  If they ever had love, they did not have it at the end when they needed it most, or it failed to save them.

Without love, family love, romantic love or love of country at the core, there will be heartache and incredible psychological pain.  If the love at the core was flawed or not present when it was needed at earlier phases of life, it can never be undone, you can’t go back to Start and have a second chance.

Today, I find myself in love with horses, dogs, and now donkeys, the most broken down, down-trodden of things, creatures most in need of rescue.  And rescue I do.  I think I save myself.  With people and social situations, I migrate further and further away until I have finally become nearly invisible. Someday, I may disappear altogether.  More and more time passes in between attending Church, and that is sad.   And I have confessed elsewhere that I have lost all of my friends.  I have some relationships, but they are few and far between.  A boyfriend with whom I recently broke up with is one of my only friends, and my sister and a cousin are the others.  I am sorry if I seem inordinately sad, I am not really any sadder than usual, it is just that I am more acutely aware that I am.  I tell myself to be optimistic, that love is right around the corner!  But am I being delusional, or is tomorrow another day?

And so it is, that I turn toward Jelly and Tresor with extra hugs tonight and wish them well.   I am very much aware that for now at least, they are all I have.