Over a year ago I decided to switch my blog from blogger to a self hosted site. I had watched so many you tube ‘how to’ videos to prepare and inform myself how to do this. I also knew I was entering unknown territory and computer stuff is not my strong point. So I put out a facebook post asking for someone I could put down as my ’emergency backup’ person if I totally failed at switching my site over. To my surprise, several people responded right away, more than willing to help. I will tell you one of the biggest life lessons I have learned has been the skill of asking for help. Every time I have put myself out there in asking, I have always been amazed at the people I know that will step forward and offer a certain skill they have.
As days slugged on, the site switch became a sinking battle. I realized I had no idea what I was doing. For every paragraph of ‘how to’ instructions I was reading, I would spend over an hour googling what all the words meant. For those of you that are bloggers or internet savvy, just to give you some perspective, I didn’t even know what SEO stood for. (It’s search engine optimization.) That’s how newbie I was. So as the hours continued to pile up and consumed my whole life, I slowly realized (slower than most people would come to this conclusion) I was not getting anywhere. I finally took up the offer of help from my friend, who wished to remain anonymous.
A computer programmer, my friend can write systems and do all this amazing coding and other things I do not even know how to say. After spending two weeks pulling my hair out, I was more than happy to pay some one with the skills to get the job done. He would accept no money for his time to help me, wanted no shout out for his help nor would he barely accept a dinner I made as a gift of thanks. BUT this process of helping me, in turn helped him learn more about how wordpress and blogger worked. This provided him the opportunity to gain the confidence to feel that he had the knowledge in the blogging world to volunteer to help his other friend with his wordpress site as well.
And this is how his dog, Millie, comes into play. Millie is my friend’s rescue dog. Animal welfare is very important to him and instead of giving him gifts or money, what I can do is tell you about an awesome business called Damien’s Best Dog Toys.
You see, his friends, Sallie and Mark run Damien’s Best Dog Toys. Mark and Sallie knew they wanted to improve their website and had asked my friend’s help prior as well. At the time my friend was hesitant to offer his help to them as he didn’t know quite know how to navigate the wordpress world. But after succeeding my wordpress site, my friend felt he understood enough to help them out as well. The whole process created win-wins all around.
This weeks story is dedicated to telling the tale of Millie and to let you know how you can support rescue dogs and cats through Damien’s Best Dog Toys. With the holidays coming up, it’s the perfect time to buy gifts through their etsy store and pay it forward. As of October, so far they have donated 551 dog toys and 8363 cat toys to various shelters. Sallie and Mark are both animal lovers and wanted to support shelters and provide enrichment activities for the animals, an area that often gets over looked. Mark used to be in the navy and started using those skills to tie knots into dog toys. Many donations to shelters are for food, staffing and daily operations. Toys can provide the animals with a bit of extra stimulation to help their mental health and well being, which in turn can make a big difference in how they handle their stay both in the shelter and transitioning back into a home. What a way to use your skills in areas one is passionate about.
So without further ado, let’s read about one dogs transformation from a starving, homeless dog to a loving family pet and a way you can help other homeless dogs and cats.
Millie, or also called Millicent, came by way of my friends girlfriends sister. She was originally found as a skin and bone, flea infested mess on a small remote island in the Thousand Island region of New York.
A worker there was building camps on this island and this skinny, black dog kept coming around.
The worker finally caught the dog and brought her to vets for shots, de-worming and to be neutered. How she got to the island, what she ate on the island is unknown. Millie was living with the workers family, but they had a young child and her excitement (probably because she got fed regularly!) was just too much with a young child in the house.
So Millie ended up with my friend and now enjoys sharing her life with him, his girlfriend and her best bud, Trick.
Trick loved standing still for the camera so I could take his picture.
In fact, Trick was so still and kept staring at me so intently it was almost weird!
Millie on the other hand, she loves to run and is a little more camera shy and always on the move. So I had to just go with the flow and instead of getting still shots of Millie, I got the abstract, funky, Monet-ish photos of Millie running through the forest.
Now that Millie has been rescued and living in a happy home for a while she definitely loves sleeping on the couch. If Trick is in her favorite spot, she will ‘dance’ on him until he finally moves and if needed, she’ll sleep sorta on top of him until he gets up.
Millie loooooves to have her butt rubbed (as most dogs do!) and if you are scratching her, she will do this dance with her back legs until you stop. It’s one of her favorite things. Not really a morning eater, Millie prefers brunch. But watch out, nothing is safe on the counter. She can’t resist the temptation (perhaps from her extreme savaging days on the island) and will eat breads,butters and anything on the counter without remorse…at least until her owners get home. After this happens she will lay on the floor and avoid all eye contact, but still wag her tail if she knows you are looking at her.
I’ve only known Millie as a happy, carefree and well loved pet and family member. It’s hard to think of her as a starving and scared dog on an island. There are so many ways out there to take care of each other and respect all forms of life.
I was so thankful for the generous help of my friend to help me achieve my goals. It was through that process I learned all about the Mark and Sallie, the awesome couple behind Damien’s Best Dog Toys. We are faced with so many decisions each day of what to do, how to spend our time and how to spend our money. Chances are, that if you ask around, you are probably surrounded by people that underneath the surface topics of the weather, what they ate for dinner or what fall sitcoms they are watching, are deeply compassionate and knowledgeable in areas you might not have even know. Ask them what they are passionate about.
Mark and Sallie saw an aspect of our world they did not like and took a skill set they had and turned it into a way to help dogs and cats. I think that is one of the coolest things. Every day we can choose to help each other or harm each other, the animals or the resources of this planet.
There are so many ways we can choose to help each other, sometimes we just have to ask around.
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I know I will be buying some presents and I hope you will join me in supporting: