Friday, February 8, 2013

A Dog's "Tail of Two Cities"

FORWARD/NOTE: Having been absent from my blog for 2 years, I had not intended to begin blogging again by posting a story about our sweet Miel. However, she (and I) have the opportunity to help her rescue group win $5000. Your daily vote could make a huge difference to Aware, her rescue organization. Daily voting will begin February 21st, and will go thru March 18th. During that time, please go HERE (search for her entry using her name) and vote for Miel in Petfinder's Luckiest Dog 2013 contest :).

It was the best of times...if you are a young dog in a beautiful country with freedom and no one to answer to. It was the worst of times......if you are young dog caring for puppies, constantly on the move for the next meal, a victim of a horrible act of cruelty, destined to die unloved in the streets in a town in Guatemala.
This is Miel's story. If it weren't for the compassion of volunteers working for Animal Aware one hot day, her story and her life would have likely ended slowly and painfully, instead of happily ever after on our farm in Texas. I will let some of her pictures tell her story better than I ever could.

 These are some of her pictures taken at the time of her rescue.

 Closer examination of the wound revealed that she had most likely lost her leg to someone wielding a machete. The wound was several weeks old by the time Miel was found by Aware volunteers. Her body also showed signs that she had been nursing puppies for some time.

Shortly after Miel's story began to unfold with Aware, I was at an Animal Welfare Symposium in Dallas, Texas volunteering for another rescue group. The booth next to ours showcased adoptable disabled dogs and cats from all over the United States.....and Guatemala, as it turned out. I spent 8 hours volunteering that day. I think Miel's picture flashed in front of me at least 50 times. I don't know how many times I saw her picture before I knew that she would come live with us and before the day ended, I had the contact information of a liason Aware volunteer in the United States.

A disabled dog we've never met, who is with a rescue group in another country.....most rescue groups would never place a dog blindly, risking a failed adoption.

I called the liason volunteer, and we talked extensively about Miel (whose name was Mina at the shelter), about us and our animal life on the farm, and about the logistics of getting Miel out of Guatemala and into the United States. By the end of the conversation, she agreed to recommend us as Miel's forever home.

Time flew quickly, and after paperwork, an airline ticket to Dallas, and money paid to the Guatemalan government (for transporting a native dog out of their country???), we met Miel at the airport with her chaperone. She was tired, hot, confused, and probably still in pain from the surgery that was done to clean up the damage to her left leg.

That was 6 years ago. She doesn't even look like the same dog, does she? With the exception of the missing leg.....


We adore our sweet Miel. Her name is all that remains of her Spanish heritage. It is the spanish word for "honey". Miel fits in perfectly in our farm world. She quickly took charge of things and is quick to reprimand any newcomer pup to the property should they overstep their boundaries. Yes, I'd say she can be a little bossy to the new ones :). One of the remarkable things about Miel is that, as a former Guatemalan street dog, she has never....not even once......had an accident in our house. She is grateful, as rescue dogs usually are, and we are blessed with one of the sweetest 3 legged dogs on the planet.

If you think she deserves to be Petfinder's Luckiest Dog please vote for her HERE.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

And The Winner Is.......

Charlie did the honors tonite, and the winner of the Tommy Nelson Chronological Study Bible is Sue Johnson! Sue and her husband Rick are some of my parents oldest and dearest friends.(They have known my parents longer than I have). I was able to meet this sweet couple in October, when we celebrated my parents 50th wedding aniversary in Annapolis, Maryland. Incidentally, Sue is the co-author of, GrandLoving, a book full of ideas on how (if you are a grandparent) to connect and make memories with grandchildren, especially when distance may impede a close connection.

Congratulations Sue :).......enjoy! (I will have your prize in the mail ASAP, so you will only be a few days behind in reading).

Be Blessed in 2011~ Liz

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Passing the Baton / Challenge

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Rev 22:21)
(new readers: free offer at the end of this blog post...keep reading!)

Almost one year ago (360 days to be exact), our Pastor, Phil, issued a challenge that I took personally. Well, maybe it wasn't a challenge......maybe it was encouragement, or a recommendation..... definitely it was advice. I don't remember all of the context of the sermon (Sorry Phil, it was a year ago!), but his words spoke to me, and given that it was the beginning of a new year, I decided to add it to my list of New Year's resolutions for 2010. I can't remember any of my other resolutions this year (so I'm pretty sure I didn't keep them :)..... but I did keep one that I will finish today: reading the Bible (cover to cover) in one year. Amen.
Coincidentally, Charlie and I were given The Chronological Study Bible last Christmas, so God was definitely "giving me the nudge" to Do This.
On January 3rd, I started my journey with this FABULOUS Bible. In addition to actually reading the entire Bible, I also got an enormous dose of World History, Christian History and Middle Eastern Archeology and Anthropology. I mean, WOW. Not to say it's been easy all the time. Truly, even with interesting facts and tidbits imbedded thruout this NKJV study Bible, there are tedious sections, so perseverence is key (Even tho lineage is terribly important for the history and birth of Jesus, reading about who begat whom can get to be a little dry........). I am content and joyful with regards to this milestone in my life, and a little sad that I've ended this journey. The good news is that this past year has piqued my interest in a number of Biblical subjects, so I have some investigative work to complete in 2011 and beyond :).

Yesterday, I decided that I wanted to celebrate the completion of my journey by "passing the baton" and by being an encourager for someone who is just waiting for this challenge to cross their path at the right time in their life. So, I have purchased a new Chronological Study Bible (the same one I've just completed), and I would like to give it to someone who has serious intent to rise to the be part of the 10% of Christians who have read the entire Bible. Everyone who leaves a comment on this blog and expresses an interest will be entered in a drawing for this Bible. I don't care where you are in the world....I will mail it to you if you don't live in our area, or deliver it in person if you do :). Make this YOUR New Year's Resolution for 2011. I will be drawing the winner on January 1st and will get your Bible to you ASAP.......I can promise that you won't regret this. With love and blessings~ Liz

PS- Charlie has told me that he is accepting this challenge in January 2011 too.....with our copy :)....I am very proud of him for this as he doesn't find reading as enjoyable as I do.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Little Donkey Carried Mary.......

This is the perfect time of year to wear your Christmas Spirit where all can see. We wish you joy, love, and the Peace that passes all understanding this season. Merry Christmas everyone!

Brought to you by Donkey Boy.....
("whew.....I'm going back to the barn....lose the wreath, and grab another cookie. The things they make me do around here....")

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Recently I have grown deeply grateful for the ability to connect with friends, family, and new acquaintances on the Internet. I have relationships with so many people who live internationally, and without email and skype and somewhat inexpensive phone calls, I doubt we could (or would) remain close. With this ability, I am able to give and receive support as friends and family do in times of need.

This year I've made the attempt to blog more, not because I need to document or express myself, but to give those who care another avenue to explore what is current in our life out here. Earlier this year, I found a neat little widget to add to my blog (it is in the upper left corner). By clicking on the icon, you get a 24hour snapshot of general locations of blog visitors. Surprise!!! There are apparently people I don't even know who have at least a passing interest in my little corner of Texas. (Hi! to all you unknown friends out there :). For the most part, visitors are quiet and never give any comments or feedback, and that's I said, blogging for me is not a narcissistic release.

However, I'd like to try something rather global. It may fail, but my hope is that it succeeds this Christmas season. Back in August, I made a brief reference to some dear friends who were moving to Honduras to begin a life of humanitarian mission work. Alex and Laura are the most selfless giving couple I personally know. They formerly had great careers in one of the wealthiest areas of the United States and have sold everything and moved to Honduras to assist with orphans in the most remote corner of the country. Did I tell you that Honduras is the 2nd poorest country in the world, and that this area is even poorer than that country's average? They have founded an approved 501c3 non profit called Reach Out Honduras to raise money and awareness for this group of forgotten people. (please click on ROH to learn more). Charlie and I are both directly involved in ROH stateside, and we believe strongly in what Alex and Laura are doing for people who literally have less than nothing. This Christmas season, ROH is attempting to raise money for some very specific projects to help people help themselves (think, gardens, chickens, education etc). Donations of any size are so appreciated to this worthy cause. Please consider making a 100% tax deductible donation to ROH, by going here or here . I think it would be an amazing miracle for ROH to have "their flipflops blessed off" by having donations made by people all over the world. In a primarily selfcentered society, isn't it the perfect time of year to give without the expectation of something in return?

If you happen to have popped in accidentally and are reading my blog for the first time, Welcome! I hope you come back. :). The world really isn't such a very big place with connections.

God bless~ Liz

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


From our turkey (George) and the rest of us at Ararat Acres to yours this happy Thursday......Happy Thanksgiving to all!

**note: George is especially happy because he is out in the yard, and not on someone's table today. He is an adoptee here, of course :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Giving Away

A couple of weeks ago, we began our fall cleanup of annual plant debris. My dear Dad helped us tremendously by taking down the brown and withered vines of this year's crop of formerly glorious Morning Glories. I asked him to save me a few seeds to pass on to some of my friends who have admired them in summers past. These viney lovelies are grand, beautiful, and bountiful!

Some people even go so far as to call them a weed. A weed, however, is only a misplaced plant.....but I digress~ My Dad, ever the man to complete a task well done, provided me with THOUSANDS of Morning Glory seeds. If you....any of you, out there in cyberland.....would like some seeds from these beauties (or if you are interested in starting your very own pink spotted hawk moth sanctuary), please let me know, and I will mail you some of your very own. Just making the world a prettier place, one seed at a time :).