I was talking to a gal other night, bragging shamelessly about Pilot. I mean, he's a pretty awesome dog. What is there not to brag about? However, in the middle of my conversation, a thought dawned on me: Pilot is my ideal dog.
I have been a "animal foster parent" for several years now and have had a number of different dogs (along with other critters) come and go in my life. All of them were good dogs, in their own ways.
Most were not stranger friendly, and some were aggressive toward other dogs and animals. A couple got car sick easily and hated to travel. Despite such "shortcomings", they were good dogs and eager to please. However, none of them were the "perfect" dog for me.
What is my "ideal" dog? Well, even I didn't know the answer to that question until the other night.
Pilot is an full time extrovert. He likes to go places and meet people, so he's the perfect travel companion and therapy dog. He LOVES kids. Like, seriously, kids rank at the top of his priority list. If he sees kids, he will cry and cry until they come pet him. However, his love of people makes him a horrible watch dog.
Though he is a champion sparrow killer, and he believes that he will one day catch the wascaly-wabbit who frequents our yard, Pilot is great with animals. He is always eager to meet new dogs and play with them. Cats are "whatever". Chickens are ignored. He behaves excellent when around unstable dogs, whom he has learned to ignore and keep his eyes on me.
His energy level is set at "firecracker" which is just a notch below "force-of-nature". If I do not take him on a walk at least twice a week, he keeps me up at night. The more walks I take him on, the more calm and centered he becomes. One of his favorite things to do is jog. That is NOT my favorite thing to do, but, I jog as often as possible, just for him, because I love him. I am planning to get a bike, and I have no doubt that Pilot will enjoy biking as much as jogging (and so will I).
All that energy translates into mental energy as well, and I have found that teaching Pilot new tricks is nearly as important as taking him on a walk. He learns knew things quickly and retains what he learns. Up to date, he knows 20 different commands and tricks, including "roll out a rug with your nose", "wipe your paws", and "play dead".
Also, my schedule is pretty much non-existent. It is crazy and unpredictable. Thankfully, Pilot rolls with it. I've no doubt that he'd like a predictable schedule better, but he is clearly not a dog that has a great need for it.
So, in short, my dog is:
Yep. Pilot is my ideal dog.
And to think that he was a skunk-smelling roadside drop-off that some cowboy found and put in my truck.
You may call it good luck, or happenstance, or whatever, but I call the whole thing a God-send.
Before you leave: I've started a animal centered link up called "The Pets & I Critter Hop". My plan is to post the link up every Monday. If you have any blog posts concerning animals - pets, wildlife, funny stories, tips, item reviews, or even just pictures - please link it up below! It is my hope that this link up will grow into something pretty popular where people will come to find lots of amazing stories, pictures, and helpful tips.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord... ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God." - Leviticus 23:33-34 & 39-43
My favorite holiday in America is Thanksgiving. People reflect on good things, they eat, they're happy, they eat, they actually seem grateful for once, they eat, the family gets together and remembers good times, they eat.... and there is food. Loads and loads of wonderful food.
Thanksgiving is basically the American version of Feast of Tabernacles. So you might be able to guess which Feast of the LORD is my favorite now.
Maybe William Bradford and the pilgrims got the idea of Thanksgiving from Feast of Tabernacles?
Oh my gosh.
You might have been celebrating a Jewish based feast since childhood and never knew it!
(BTW, in case you missed them, you can read about Feast of Trumpets here, and Day of Atonement here.)
Feast of Tabernacles is honestly one of the funnest feasts to celebrate! You basically camp out in a home-made tent for a week, harvest some Fall produce, and eat, and rejoice, and eat again.
Now, my family has always adored the idea of building a sukkah, or "booth"... aka HOME MADE TENT... to celebrate Tabernacles. But... well.... the state of Oklahoma takes our efforts to build a sukkah as a personal challenge and does its double best to find every weakness in our cute little "booth". Seriously. If it can't blow our home made tent into Kansas or Texas, then it rains bucket loads onto it (which, we never complain about the rain, but, seriously Oklahoma?)
Thank goodness God isn't legalistic about all this stuff. Honestly, I sometimes wonder if He doesn't get tickled by our tiny efforts against the "forces of nature"...
A "tabernacle" is traditionally made out of stuff that grows out of the ground... so there is a broad spectrum of materials to choose from. It is meant to be a quick-throw-together kind of project, so you don't put a lot of effort into it, but you make sure it is sturdy enough to last 8 days and keep you out of the weather, basically.
I've seen some folk build very basic booths out of corn-stalks and tree branches. Others get really fancy and do a nice bamboo roof and use clothe and tapestries for the walls, and even put rugs on the floor. Some take the smart route and just use trellis and, like, staple it all together around their picnic table (thumbs up).
As a fun project, I asked the kids to help me make a video of our doggies building themselves booths and staying in them to "celebrate" Feast of Tabernacles.
Well.... the dogs didn't actually build their booths. They wouldn't cooperate. So the kids and I built them, then the dogs reaped the benefits of our hard work by sitting in them for a few seconds while I videoed it and made them look cute and awesome.
The kids thought it would be fun if we took the "Three Little Pigs" approach with the video, so that's what we did (even though bricks aren't technically the proper material to build a sukkah with).
This was a lot of fun to make, so I hope you enjoy the video! (For those people who get email subscriptions that, for some dumb reason, don't show the YouTube videos - Click To Watch On YouTube):
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What is Trades of Hope?
Trades of Hope was founded in 2010 by four incredible women, a mother/daughter duo, who believe that all women should be empowered and have a chance to create a better life for themselves and their families, regardless of their circumstances.
By creating jobs and establishing income-generating businesses, the artisans that Trades of Hope support are able to work, break the cycle of poverty, feed and take care of their families, and send their children to school.
This is not a charity. It's an opportunity to help someone earn a living, dignity, and respect in their community.
Trades of Hope works with the artisans themselves and organizations that are helping women in difficult circumstances. Some women have been rescued from sex slavery. Others are raising handicapped children alone. Some are in war torn countries and others have AIDS. These women have never had the chances we've had, but they love their families and hope and dream of a better life for them.
Trades of Hope helps them by marketing their products through the home party model, so they can put food on their table, a roof over their head, get medical care and an education for their children. Through Compassionate Entrepreneurs, like me, we are telling their stories to the world!
What is a Compassionate Entrepreneur?
Compassionate Entrepreneurs are the consultants for Trades of Hope. We sell the artisans’ products through home parties in the United States. We are the women who are the voice for the women who have no voice, empowering them to rise out of poverty.
I became a compassionate entrepreneur to change the world. It is a career that feeds my soul. I am helping women around the world in desperate situations by selling their "Fair Trade" products. I know that, with every TOH item I buy or sell, I am enabling someone to make their own life better. Through my sales, women are helped out of the sex trade, slums, sweat shops, and extreme poverty. They are able to send their children to school, put a roof over their heads, and put food on their tables. They are no longer enslaved by poverty.
By becoming a compassionate entrepreneur, I can put food on my table while helping a sister around the world put food on her table at the very same time. It's a great feeling.
What is "Fair Trade"?
Fair Trade is a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty. It delivers sustainable livelihoods by developing opportunities for small and disadvantaged producers. "Fair Trade" means that the artisans are paid first, and they are paid their full asking price. Artisans are guaranteed a living wage through the Fair Trade principles, and they make an average of six times more selling their products through TOH than they would in their own country. They are provided with a healthy and safe working environment, equal employment opportunities, and long-term relationships between producer and buyer.
It's the way things ought to be.
Who are the Artisans?
Trades of Hope focuses primarily on helping women, because statistics show that when you help one woman out of poverty, she brings four others with her!
TOH partners with more than 20 artisan groups from 10 countries who...
… have been rescued from sex trafficking.
… are survivors of acid attacks.
… have handicaps and could not work without Trades of Hope.
… have scars from leprosy (a curable disease) so they are not allowed to go back home or work anywhere.
… live in areas of extreme poverty where there simply are no jobs.
… would otherwise work in sweatshops making little or no money.
Trades of Hope has artisans in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Guatamala, Haiti, India, Jordan, Nepal, Peru, the Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, and the Unites States!
These women (and some men!) from these different places are creative, talented, hard working, and grateful. They do not want our charity. They want an opportunity - an opportunity to have a job, to work everyday, and to provide for their families.
The artisan groups also teach valuable life skills and business skills; the artisans learn about health, sanitation, and raising healthy children. Some groups provide clean water to their area. Other groups have started schools for their artisans’ children and others in the community. Some groups offer housing assistance or help with home projects. Our artisans receive support in many ways and experience living in true community. But, most importantly, they are working and making a sustainable income to provide for their families.
One of my favorite artisans that Trades of Hope has partnered with (aside from those here in the USA) is from Cambodia.
Perhaps you've heard of Katie Davis, the author of the fantastic book "Kisses From Katie"? Well, through Trades of Hope, her artisan group in Uganada has been able to sell more of their necklaces and provide, not just for their families, but for their community.
Here is a short little video of Katie thanking Trades of Hope for their partnership:
What do you sell?
Products with a purpose!
Trades of Hope primarily sells jewelry - necklaces, earrings, & bracelets - but they also offer a gorgeous selection of scarves, some cool handbags and fashionable clutches, unique stationary, and beautiful home decor items.
There is a constant rotation of products - new items come in, and old items go out. It keeps things fresh and exciting!
How can I participate in the awesomeness?
There are 3 ways you can be a part of Trades of Hope:
Shop. Host. Join.
SHOP - The easiest and most immediate thing you can do is SHOP. Just use the link provided! Trades of Hope products are not only lovely, unique and affordable, but the soul and spirit behind them is what makes them truly beautiful.
I’m sure you can find a gift to buy, for a friend, loved one or yourself.
Want a super good deal? Check out the Last Call section for sale items.
HOST - Hosting a party is a wonderful way to take it to the next level and impact a greater number of lives. Hosting can be in the form of traditional home parties, a catalog party at work, an online event, a happy hour/coffee shop gathering, or even a playdate!
Everyone is always looking for unique, affordable gifts—why not help them out and host a party?
JOIN - Joining means becoming a Compassionate Entrepreneur, like me.
I won't lie: it's a lot of work. But it is very rewarding spiritually and emotionally, and I love that it is a flexible job that I can do mostly from my own couch.
You can find a CE sponsor in your own state to sign up under, or you can sign up under me and I can help you start your own fashion business (all from the comfort of my own couch, mind you).
What are you waiting for?
Whether you are interested in shopping deals, hosting a party, or joining, you can contact me on Facebook, Twitter, or email (all which can be found at the very top of the page or in the FOLLOW ME tab)! I'm ready to help you in any way possible (from the comfort of my OWN couch, mind you! Unless you have a spaceship where I could camp out... that would be cool).
If nothing else, I hope I have at least given you something to think about.
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.” – Leviticus 23:26-32
Day of Atonement is coming up on Sep. 23th. You can read about the day in detail in in the Bible in Leviticus chapter 16.
Mr. Dictionary defines the word “Atonement” as:
"Afflict Your Souls"
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
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