The Blyss Dream that many will not understand.

Found this on Facebook Sunday, May 31, 2020. I did not create this poetic essay, but I modified it to make it more suited to myself. I found it so appropriate to me. It rang true. I shared it with my Facebook friends and thought I would place my edited version here.
I edited it to more accurately described my unique experience with my own dogs.

THE DREAM THAT MANY WILL NOT UNDERSTAND:

 My Dogs are my personal dream.

 One day when I am very old and when I can not walk anymore, it will be in my heart as a trophy of my memories.

 I met people who taught me something and have the same spirit as I, and I met others that I’m glad I forgot.

 I got wet,

 I felt cold,

I felt warm,

 I was afraid,

 I fell,

 And I stood up,

 I even hurt myself, I have been broken,

 But also, I laughed out loud inside .

 I spoke a thousand times with myself.

 I sang and shouted with joy like a madman,

 And yes … sometimes I cried.

 I have seen wonderful places and lived unforgettable experiences.

 I stopped a thousand times to see a landscape.

 I spoke with perfect strangers, and I forgot people I see every day.

 I went out with my demons inside and returned home with a feeling of absolute peace in my heart.

 I always thought how dangerous it is, knowing that the meaning of courage is to advance even when feeling fear.

 Every time I go out with my dogs, I think about how wonderful they are.

 I stopped talking about it to those who do not understand, and I learned to communicate with others who feel the same as I.

 I have met some amazing people I now call friends from all over this big world because of my dogs.

 I spent money that I did not have, giving up many things I wanted or needed, but all these things are not worth even one special moment with my dogs.

 They are not just a pet or a thing that I own, they are the lost part of my soul and my spirit.

 And when someone says to me: “It’s just a dog”,… I do not answer. I just walk away and smile,

 A dog….. only the person who loves them understands it.

 May God bless my friends and all their dogs….

 And the adventure continues. .

 FEEL FREE TO COPY AND STICK THE TEXT WITH A PHOTO, ON YOUR WALL …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Censorship, beware! Upset at Blyss Kennels over so many things.

I see in the news today, in an attempt to be politically correct, a corporate giant, known for it’s long history and many levels of accurate information dissemination, has enforced censorship on its subscribers rather than letting each of its world wide respected universe of subscribers decide for themselves. This clearly reveals a corporate superiority complex, contempt and lack of respect for us all, by its action of removing the Hollywood icon of 1939, Gone With the Wind (GWTW), from its offerings today. In so doing, the entire country’s First Amendment Rights of Free Speech under the U.S. Constitution are violated.

This was called censorship the last time I looked. GWTW is one of Hollywood’s all time great masterpieces on many levels.  It deserves to be seen for many reasons,  especially from being entertaining, beautiful to watch, to being historically accurate and thereby edifying.

GWTW was a brutally realistic depiction of the South’s punishment and destruction for its slavery based economy by losing the Civil War. It accurately captures the South in decay and then being destroyed, with burned out fields devoid of crops. In addition, all the main characters suffered enormously for their southern, slave based economy. There are no winners here. The loss of the Southern way of life based on slave labor is clearly and unequivocally depicted.

Moreover, tragedy, symbols of moral punishment, follow the southern main characters to the film’s long end:

Scarlet and Rhet’s young daughter dies in a horrible riding accident,

Scarlet suffers a miscarriage,

Scarlet and Rhet, husbands and wife, hate one another and are both alcoholics,

Melanie dies horrifically in childbirth leaving a small son and a grieving husband behind,

Scarlet then realizes that her long time and illicit love for Melanie’s husband, Ashley Wilkes, has always been unrequited, and

At long last, Rhet leaves Scarlet when she wants him to stay with her with his most famous line of all:

“Frankly, My Dear, I don’t give a damn” , racy words for 1939.

There is no victory lap here for the South and many lessons to be learned for getting it wrong. Yet to this day, while handling perhaps our county’s most sensitive period in our history, I do not believe a film as beautiful to watch as it gracefully depicts terminal punishment on the loser has ever been created again in Hollywood.

A stunningly beautiful young, English actress and a newcomer, Vivien Leigh, won a Best Actress Oscar her first time out playing Scarlet O’Hara with her heart and soul on constant view. Hattie McDaniel, an American of color, won Best Supporting Actress.   This was the first time a person of color won an Oscar.  The film also won a Best Picture Oscar and several others. GWTW stands up as well today as it did when it was released, and it is as respected and revered today as it was when it was made, as is the novel by Margaret Mitchell, a Southern woman, upon which it is based, when it was published. The film is a huge Hollywood icon of excellence that subsequent films tried to emulate but failed.

So sad and sorry to see this happen. This is a loss for HBO that I hope other services do not emulate.

Tears for America.

Lorene Connolly, M.L.S.

Blyss Kennels, Mountainside, NJ

 

 

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Yvonne McGehee, Charlotte Wyda and 9 others

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Sheltering in Place at Blyss Kennels for three months; with Kensie

I have been quarantined in my home since the end of February. And although I have gotten caught up on many chores and my “To Do” list is short again, I am deeply saddened for all that we are going through as a human family. Even church is not open for Sunday services, you have to watch it on Zoom or Facebook, and I have not seen my son and his family, including my grand-daughter, since Christmas Eve. This all feels like a very long time ago. There have been no dog club meetings since the end of February, and all the dog shows I was to have attended have been either postponed or canceled. I keep up with close friends and family by phone, email and FB, but that is not the preferred way. I rarely if ever go to a store, and I am fortunate that my town has a team of volunteers put together by the town to shop for the senior citizens, and I am very lucky and grateful for that. Then, my new dog, Kensie, a Silken Windhound, arrived at the end of January. My predicament would have been much worse without her. Now that spring is here, there is the lawn and garden to keep me busy. But I want all my friends whom I would normally see at the dog club meetings and the shows, to know they are missed. I feel badly that no one has met Kensie yet outside of the neighborhood because I have not left town. I thought I would share some of my Blyss Kennels photos, even though my 10 days of sharing is over. I realized I have so many beautiful photographs, especially of my one litter. Perhaps no one but me really cares, but they were just such happy times here. Because they were so ephemeral, I am grateful for the many photos I have, and the beautiful portraits done by Maxine Bochnia of DigiArt.  I am so glad I took the time to remember to take them. They are also at my website, Blysskennels.us. I am open to phone calls to reminisce about the shows 20 years ago when so many people, borzoi breeders, were there whom I truly loved but are gone now, when many people traveled far in their big RVs to come to borzoi specialties or large clusters, when the borzoi entries were large at the specialties and there seemed to be more owner-handled borzoi than there are today.

Can those Halcion days be really over? Can so many special dog women I know have really died of breast or ovarian cancer recently and one more entered hospice this week, expected to die any day ….. And my most loved mentor and friend of all gone, after suffering for a year in a nursing home in PA. Cumulatively, it really is all too much. Hold your borzoi, Silkens, and other dogs, horses or donkeys you may own tight at all times.  When they are gone, they are gone forever, never to return.

 

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Riots in America

May 30 at 7:53 PM

I guess when you have lived a long time, as I have now, you have the perspective of watching the worst of history repeat itself before your eyes and are unable to do a thing to stop it.
I remember the original riots our country witnessed for four days in July 1967. In the NJ city of Newark, near where I live, a beautiful city founded by the Dutch in the 17th century, with beautiful architecture and many buildings on the Register of Historic Places, with a city park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the same landscape architect of Central Park in NY City, and adorned it with more cherry trees than Washington DC; a city that was second in excellence only to neighboring NY City in school achievement and health care delivery accomplishments, and site of the State on New Jersey’s first state medical college, where I got my first job after college in the medical school library, launching my career as a research librarian in 1972, where I worked for several years, the foundation of a forty year career.
Newark and other NJ and US cities around the country endured four days of intense rioting in 1967. I was 17 that year, and I assure you the rage that provoked it may have been legitimate but the destruction the riots created almost 50 years later has never been recovered.
Ghettos are the legacy of riots, with the exception of the revived downtown areas, with big office buildings, sports arenas and performing arts centers. For some reasons, urban planners believe building office building complexes, sports areas and performing arts centers in an urban downtowns are a good thing but I don’t get it. It creates an illusion of prosperity that does not exist once you drive down a side street. Instead, I think riots further polarized and divided the races. They deepened despair that lead to drug abuse, eliminated jobs that never returned, created welfare states in the cities, and broke down family structure in the absence of the jobs that left never to return. I believe the riots had the unintended consequences of further marginalizing the races as it widened the income levels between Black’s and whites.
Fast forward to today. There have been many incidences of injustices against our Black human family members and they have never really stopped. Now, they have erupted into a country wide mass action of rioting once again 50 years later. 50 years……
Until we recognize we all belong to one human family where all of our lives are intertwined with and interdependent on one another, where one person’s sorrow or joy becomes our own, and every human life has equal dignity and worth and is blessed, rage, racism and riots will not stop.
Tears……….
Prayers……..

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Stephen Metzger, Yvonne McGehee and 27 others

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Charlotte Wyda
I remember the riot at Rahway NJ State Prison,in the 60s, my Dad was on duty and Mom and I feared for his life. Protests were here in Charleston SC, last night destroying many buildings. What purpose does it solve ? None !

Paul Schryba
Well said, Lorene.

Arlene Boulos
I remember the riots. I lived in Newark at that time but on the other side of Penn station. The only part of Newark that was safe and still is

Daniel Foran
Lorene very well written.Stay safe in these sad times

“I’m just me”. More Facebook fun at Blyss Kennels.

I’m just me.

I’m not perfect. I’m me.   I’ve made bad decisions and wrong choices, but I’m me.  I’ve said the wrong things, I’ve said the right things, because I’m me.

I don’t like everything  I’ve done but I did it because I’m me. I’ve loved the wrong people and trusted the wrong people and I’m sill me.  If I had the chance to start over again, I wouldn’t change a thing,  Why?  Because I’m me.

There are a lot of good things about me, you just have to look past the imperfections to see what’s right.  If you can’t do that, then it’s your loss.  I’m the best I can be.   I’m me!

 

 

Jelly – Ten Years Old

It has occurred to me, one day late, that yesterday would have been the tenth birthday of my beautiful borzoi bitch, Jelly, CH Kasharra Bibikov, that I received about five years ago from Frances Wright of Cross River, NY. She has been gone one year, and my grief from losing her has been terrible. I almost did not survive it. My weight loss has been extreme. I was not planning on replacing her, but my physician and I agreed that a Silken Windhound might be in order to help me feel not so alone and be of comfort to me at this time. So, I purchased “Kinsey”, or Gr CH Wind ‘nSatin It’s My Party, from Mary Childs and the rest is history! She is an angel and a dream, and I am feeling much better.  It is difficult for me to move on from loss, or from the death of one of my dogs, as we know.  It does not get better.  It stirs something primal, deep in my heart to lose a dog, something I cannot feel for a human.  I have lost parents, two husbands, and many close friends to death, without feeling a twinge of anything amiss, and I can accept it as natural.  However, if any of my dogs die, my heart is torn to shreds with an agony that requires a high dose of a serious anti-depressant.  Recently, I was graduated to several hundred milligrams of Seroquel as maintence.  Not for the faint of heart.  Still:

“We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.

Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.

We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
never fully understanding the necessary plan.” —-Irving Townsend.

So I hold Jelly’s memory close and still.  The longer we were together, the more she reminded me of Opal.  I felt perhaps Opal had returned.  I began to sense Opal’s presence with me.  A great deal of my pain went away.  However, it quickly returned again and grew stronger every day after Jelly died.  Dear God!  Let me be with my adored and beloved Opal again, and all the other Blyss borzoi, when You call me home!

 

 

Blyss Kennels with death at the door: COV-19

It has been a while and I am derelict in not writing sooner of the death that is visiting us all over the world.  In particular, in the United States, it is particularly devastating here in New Jersey.  Here, one finds so many beautiful, precious borzoi at places such as Majenkir Borzoi in Swartswood and those that previously lived here at Blyss Kennels in Mountainside that could be found running in play throughout the Watchung Reservation, borzoi with names like Paris and Opal, and Mikhailya and Casanova.    Still, as of the Westminster KC dog show in February, which had three Mikhailya progeny in the ring, every dog show has been or will be canceled. But worst of all, we must all stay home and stay home alone, in quarantine.  It is with tears that I contemplate these realities.

I feel like I must be a dog of past times trying to enter England. But no, I am in the USA and I never left home. I am in quarantine.  I just cannot go out anywhere safely. To be safe, I must stay home and be alone. However, walking around town is allowed if safe social distancing of six feet is maintained. With so much time on my hands and because I am so good at procrastinating leaving my lawn not mowed and my flower beds not weeded, tonight I have decided to write on my blog at Blysskennels.us

What is it that I see on my walks?
It began in mid March and now it is early April.
No one knows when it will end. It could be a very long time from now.
Although it remains cold and windy from winter,
There are splashes of color: yellows and pinks, from flowering bushes and trees, breaking through.
I contemplate them, having seen only grey, dark branches for so long that appeared to be dead.
It was an illusion, I thought, that this was a death of the flora, on the shrubs, on the flowering trees, and especially, on the mountain.

Do I see a tiny splash of green there? I am not sure…..  But I know it will be there soon,

And then the green will be dotted with white Dogwood blossoms although not nearly so many as in years previous, before they were afflicted with their own virus.

We live in the day of viruses, and all we can do is take walks.

Walk them off, walk them away,

walk them until we tire, walk them until we die.

Walk them with our children, walk them with our dogs,

walk them with our friends, with our fathers, with our mothers and with our lovers.

Remember to say hello and to admire your neighbor’s dog even if it is a rescue and yours is bred true.

How can there be so many places to walk to and so many places to walk from,

And learn so many people’s stories

For each and every one has one, a story that is, that is not about the virus that always lurks behind us now

But about themselves after the virus goes away.

These days, I walk with a Silken Windhound, Gr Ch Wind ‘n Satin It’s My Party, Kensey.  She could not be more wonderful or perfect a companion.  She is up for every walk I want to take her on, either on the winding, hilly roads of Mountainside or the hiking trails of Watchung Reservation.  She has a way of transcending her little body and cuteness as if to reach out to all whom she sees and often times elicits and glowing accolade of complements and praises.  Some people have even asked me if she is a Borzoi!!!  She truly is my companion and Guardian Angel.

 

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.

Sudden change of Plans at Blyss on Academy Awards Night!

After dogs and horses, I guess I love film and photographs as an art form more than anything else..  I love good films, how they are made, who their directors are,  the writers, the fashion,  but most of all, the stars themselves.  I think a good movie will reflect the culture in which it was made.  I also believe a great movie fills what an audience needs at the time.  A film maker is judged by how accurately he makes that judgement call.  Tonight, the Academy Awards is being televised.  I usually love to watch it.  I was just settling in.  Suddenly, on an imulse, I flipped over to TCM (Turner Classic Movies).  I found a film had just begun that happened to be among my absolute favorites.  I wanted to stop everything and watch it.   That is exactly what I did.  I had no power whatsoever to resist it.  The movie was National Valvet.  It was made in 1944, and in color.   It starred Elizabeth Taylor in one of her earliest movies (her fifth).  It also featured a very young Mickey Rooney.  Also featured was  Anne Revere, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her noble performance as the simple mother who encouraged her young daughter to ride her horse, The Pie, in the Grand National Steeplechase Race.  As it was,  she shared the story with her daughter that she had swam the English Channel when she was just a teen-ager and wanted Velvet to experience something special and comparable for herself.      Another treasure in the film is the debut of Angela Landsbury in her first film role as Velvet’s eldest sister.  You can find a lot of quotes on the Internet from National Velvet but the one that is my absolute favorite is not there.  There is a very similar one, almost verbatim,  in the film, Black Beauty, by the young mistress who loves him.   It goes something like:  I would as soon not go to heaven than see The Pie unhappy.

That about sums it up for the way I have felt and still do feel about the way I love my own dogs and the one horse I had the privilege to own in my life.  The movie underscores the sentiment shared by so many young woman almost universally, that there is nothing better than a horse.  To believe anything else is an illusion.

When I think of my own life and the dogs and horse I owned, I diminish in worth compared to theirs.  They are so precious and dear to me.  It is that by loving them, somehow I am loved in the way I was never loved by those who failed to love me.  Or, it is that by loving them, it does not really matter anymore that significant others did not love me.   My ability to love my horse and my dogs became my victory over pain and rejection, my gift to myself when others took away their gifts:  my joys, my acceptance, and then even God himself,  who took even more from me….. as in the death of Opal…… the loss of Bob.

Undoubtedly, National Velvet is among one of the best movies ever made for its drama, excitement, beauty and values.  But not to go unmentioned, all of the Lassy movies, some of which Elisabeth Taylor also did a superb job acting in,  are equally excellent.  So, whether the Academy Awards are on TV, or the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, or another truly excellent movie, I think if either National Velvet or a Lassie movie  appears on the TCM schedule, I will just change my plans impromptu and make myself comfortable.  Truly, I cannot resist them.