A Place to Bark and Meow Blog by Bernie Berlin

Thursday, August 31, 2006
Words from a Friend..

I've been pretty sad lately and just haven't quite been myself..
My dear friend sent me this poem..
Thought I would share:

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.

Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives

Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.

Succeed anyway.

The kindness you show today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Be kind anyway.

Honesty and Frankness will make you vulnerable

Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be shot down by

The smallest person with the smallest mind.

Think big anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight

Build anyway.

People really need help, but may attack you if you help them.

Help them anyway.

Give the world the best you’ve got and

You might get kicked in the teeth.

Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

-author unknown
Friday, August 25, 2006
A Day of Smiles..
Did I mention I love Horses..

I won't be able to have one till I retire from doing rescue, so maybe when I'm about 60 or 105:)
They need so much work and are very expensive to keep, but gosh are they magnificent!!!
My friend helps horse rescue and I just fell in love yesterday with this baby.. Truly feel head over heals in love..
He has lived a very sad life. Only a few years old now, he was almost starved to death. Not to mention abused. He has many scars all over his body and head and someone carved a number 7 in his nose with what looks like a razor blade.
He'll be fine now and will have a chance at a wonderful life.. Until he finds his perfect home I get to play and visit with him:)
Not to mention he has other horses to play with..
This is a funny picture, he is basically telling the bigger horses he is just a baby..
It is a submissive gesture, but it looks like they are laughing and talking.

LIFE can be wonderful... Sometime we have to go thru the worst to get to and appreciate the BEST...
Trust me I know:)
Gotta run and play with the dogs!!
Catch up with you all later...
Kittens & more Kittens..

I have promised my friend Claudine pictures of the kittens for some time, so here they are!!
I have never had this many kittens at one time..
It's just mind boggling...
And while I am trying not to take anymore in and am turning many down, I just have an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the wrong time.
Like the vets office:)
I have to slow down, but when an animal is right in front of you, with no place to go what can I do??
Kittens are truly more work to get healthy than the puppies.
Their systems are so fragile and if not closely watched they die within a few days.

Here are some pics of the little guys, for the cat lover in you..
Some new and little, some growing and ready to leave & some not so little anymore..

This last batch of kittens cost me a small fortune to get well.
Their immunity was so weak and infection and parasites kept getting the best of them.
Healthy now, they will be ready to leave next week to be fixed and then go on to Nashville Cat Rescue.
The Nashville Cat Rescue is a group of amazing ladies!!
They work very hard at getting great homes for the rescued cats and kittens. Their link is in my side bar on the right.
The kitties are enjoying a day in the sun in their new outdoor cage.
It is much bigger than it looks, 8 feet long by 6 feet wide.

These are two of the three new little kittens that I took in the other day from my vets office..
They are doing as well as can be expected. I am always amazed at the beauty of each animal that come my way..
Look at it's cool stripes!!

Thank you all again and again for your ongoing support in art, animals and friendship...
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Friends, Faith, Litter & Laundry...
Sorry to be so long in between posts..
Didn't mean to worry anyone.
I've just been going non stop and I dread going to the computer, for fear of all the e-mail waiting to be answered.
My husband is not doing so great. He is having some neurological problems due to his back and can barely walk.
He is tired most of the day and has numbness on the right side of his body. We're still waiting for the doctors to schedule his surgery, but they still are worried about the complications due to the hemmoragic stroke.
As much work as all the animals can be, it is a blessing having them. They always are so healing and appreciative of my husband. So if he has to sit he has plenty of company:)

Lately it has been a non stop caring for the animals. I've been working on getting everyone healthy.
We had kennel cough go thru our quarantine area. So most of our new dogs came down with it.
Everyone is recovering, but it is one of those things, that as much as you try, it just can't be avoided, when you take in rescues. They are so sick coming from the pound and so many people don't vaccinate their dogs prior to them getting there. Good news is that they soon they will be over it and revaccinated before they go to the humane societies up north.
Just to give you an idea of my days lately..
I've been going thru 140lbs of cat litter a week.
I've been using the pine pellets that they use for horse stables.
It works great, is cheaper than store bought litter, doesn't have cat pee odor, doesn't stick to the bottoms of the poor sick kittens when wet like the clay does and is environmentally friendly.
It also has been helping me to mulch down an area in the back, that in the next year or two will be a flower garden.

Example of my day:
6-8 a.m.
Get up let dogs out. Prepare their breakfast. Let dogs in. Feed everyone. Medicate. They stay in for an hour after eating to digest their food. Let everyone out, play ball for a half an hour. Special needs dogs we go for a walk around the property.
Next, on to the cats. Barn cats are let out for the day. Indoor kittens put out to their outside cage for play time.
Clean litterboxes, washes all dishes and refill food and water. All dishes are soaked for 20-30 minutes in HOT, HOT water and a soap/beach mixture in my laundry room. Just the tiniest amount of bleach, to disinfect since we are dealing with disease. I wash all dishes by hand, because, well with all the ickiness that comes with the sick dogs, I just don't want it in my personal food dishes...Eeew:) Dogs in for an hour or two if too hot outside. 6:00 p.m. dogs in for dinner. Dogs out for last potty. Dishes picked up, washed. Barn cats come in for the nite, it's pretty funny, they are all trained to come when called. Change litter for the nite. Medicine for the sick ones & then I get to shower and sleep....ZZzzzzzzzzz
This is just an example, since things change all the time, I have my husband now added to this and if there is tiny kittens they have to be fed every 2-4 hours, depending on how big they are..

I just want to say "THANK YOU" to my artist & animal friends who have blessed me with your friendships!!
Your donations, notes and ongoing emotional support, have helped me with a very financially/emotionally difficult month.
Without you, I just couldn't keep doing this, so please know you are loved and valued and will forever be in my heart..

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2
Sunday, August 13, 2006
I'm have just finished up my chores with the animals..
It's 12:26 a.m.
Long eventful day...
Jeff is not doing so well. He says every part of his body is in pain. He is losing strength on the right side of his body.
Walking is all he can do and he can't do much. He is very unstable on his feet. I can see a defeated look in his eyes, even though I tell him that this will pass. The 6 weeks before his surgery is going to feel like 6 years and I worry for him.
I'm grateful for the animals that keep him company, they seem to bring him great comfort.
I wish there were more I could do for him, but all I can do is be here....

Today I had to run into town. My neighbor came and sat with Jeff while I was gone..
I picked up Mr. Binky. He was confiscated due to abuse. He reminded me of an old blanket I had as a child.
Fuzzy and really worn...
Very young, he has hard miles on him. This little guy has lived on a chain all his life.
Never been groomed, he was a matted mess and starved for love.
As you can see in the pictures, it's amazing what just a few hours & a hair cut can do..

Saturday, August 12, 2006
Raining Cats & Dogs..
The dogs and cats in need keep coming in..
Even in the midst of my husbands health issues he is very supportive and doesn't want me to turn the pups away..
Supplies and money grow short these days due to the overwhelming numbers, but will manage one way or another, we always do:)
We have a great group of friends and fellow rescuers that all work together, so I do have help and support.
What one of us doesn't have the others will help provide and vice, versa..
We are blessed to have each other and the animal lovers that support us.
These Fuzzies are up for adoption:

"Bishop" is a Corgi, approximately 1-2 years of age. Housebroken and good with people and other dogs. Busy, busy, busy..

"Chauncey" is a Cocker Spaniel. Approximately 3-5 years of age. He has had a tough life, living outside, chained to a tree. Very loving and starved for attention. He is currently being treated for eye and ear infections.

"JoJo" is a Chihuahua/mix. Approximately 1-2 years of age, he is Super Spunky!! Can jump 4 feet into the air, loves to run, play & sit on your lap.

"Mr. Bigglesworth" is a terrier mix. Approximately 1-3 years of age. Sassy, Loving, Talkative and Busy, he is a very typical terrier.

"Giggles" is a female, terrier/mix. Approximately 1-3 years of age. Loving, Spunky and Busy.

"Pinky" is a female Chihuahua/mix. Approximately 1-3 years of age. Very shy and timid. She warms up quickly. All she wants in the world is to be close by someone's side.

"Norman" is a male Chihuahua/Corgi mix. Approximately 1-3 years of age. He is shy/timid, but loving and sweet.
Mister Bigglesworth, Giggles, Pinky & Norman came in together.
They were left in an abandoned yard for 4 weeks without food or water.
We'll fatten them up and get them healthy and some lucky person somewhere will have some wonderful furry kids!!
That's it for now, gotta run and tend to the pets!!
It's been raining..

It's been raining quite a bit & I've been doing quite a bit of reflection lately...
Thinking about how fast life passes and each day. How cumulative life is..
My husband and I have been thru some of the hardest times, with his medical conditions, finances & worst of all depression.
I've always had Faith, Hope & Love and because of this I believe we have come thru the hardest of times.
I'm not sure why people don't talk about depression.
Or why they seem so shamed by the word. It is such a horrible disease that steals life and your loved ones from you.
We are all human and feeling deeply is a part of being human, be it elation or the darkest depths, embracing your feeling and getting support from someone who is supportive to help battle the depression demon is key.
Why am I writing this, I'm not sure..
Probably because I've been feeling my husband struggling again and also friends I care very deeply about..
If you are feeling sad, please know you are loved and you are not alone, never alone..
There are those of us that care & will ALWAYS be here for you...
Friday, August 11, 2006
Every day is a Blessing..

I'm sorry I haven't posted, it's just been a whirlwind of emotions and non stop movement.
Jeff is home. It scares me a bit, since we are so far from the hospital.
The insurance companies give the hospitals such a hard time and people are sent home before they are recovered, it's really sad...
The bleeding in his brain, is slowing, which is very good.
Basically they said there is nothing else they can do unless it gets worse.
So I have to be on watch and get him back if there is any change in his behavior.
It is up to his body to heal itself before they can repair or know how much damage was done to the heart.
He has lost significant strength on his right side.
He needs to take it easy for the next 6 weeks at which time they are hoping to go in and do surgery.
Sleeping a lot and going for short walks is about all he can do.
Time heals all and life will be as it is suppose to be... or at least that is what I'm told:)
He celebrated his 54th birthday the other day for which we are both grateful for.

I'm sad that I'm not going to be able to teach in Arizona at Art Unraveled, but family must come first.
I'll miss the event, student and friends..
If you are taking my classes, you are in for a special surprize!!
John Whipple will be helping me out and teaching in my place.
If you are not familiar with the Whipples they are extraordinary people as well as artists.
Lynne and John very rarely teach, they are always busy making art, traveling & just enjoying life.
I'm proud to have them in my circle of friends and am blessed that they are willing to help me out on short notice.
This series of events has left me with so many lessons of life..
I'm so appreciative for every day, every moment..
and I'm appreciative for you..
Thanks for being here for me!!
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Updates & A Note from Me..
I want to say Thank You from the bottom of my heart, to everyone!!
For all the wonderful, supportive e-mails, phone calls and prayers sent...
You all keep me strong!!
The prayers have worked..
I was told it would be a miracle if he made it thru the nite & he did.
I believe in miracle every day of my life and this just makes my beliefs that much stronger.

The events of the days past, beginning last Wednesday have been...
Jeff was outside and came in, holding his chest, having a hard time walking and sweating.
I thought he was having some heat stroke, it's been pretty hot here, he then started to throw up.
I got him in the car and raced to the E.R. as fast as my car could go. It is about a half an hour drive to our rural emergency room. They took very good care of him and proceeded to give him a clot dissolving drug to save his life. The risk to this drug is a one to two percent chance of having internal bleeding anywhere in the body if there is a pre existing weakness in the vessels. Jeff was in that very small percentage. He had a bleed in his brain. They are still trying to stop the bleeding, but the problem becomes, if they were to give him anything to make him clot, his heart would be affected. It they give him any drug for his heart to thin the blood, then his brain may die. He is awake and alert. Very tired and weak.
It the pressure and blood in his head does not go down they will have to make a hole to relieve the pressure.
I brought his best little buddy to see him and that cheered his spirits:)

They say that bad things happen in threes. I think were done then...
My dog died exactly one month from Jeff's heart attack and than this...
Jeff's kids flew in to see him, on a moments notice when they found out he had had the heart attack.
Unfortunately their trip was not the best.
They borrowed our other car to get to and from the hospital since we live so far away.
It's about an hour drive to where he is being treated. That night they were in an accident. The car was totaled.
Thank God they made it out alive..
Again, miracles, every day!!
I am so thankful that nothing happened to them..
It wasn't their fault, the guy lost control of his car as he was going to fast and the car hit the girls about 45 mph head on into the drivers door. He also then got out of his car, left it and took off running.
The girls were shaken and are very sore, but are fine. They went back home yesterday.
They are very special kids and Jeff & I love them very much.

I'm really sad as I was to leave in another week to teach at Art Unraveled.
It is one of my most favorite events & I was looking forward to taking some time for me and teaching...
But I just don't have a good feeling about leaving and truly can't at this point.
I have two sold out classes and if any of you are reading that are attending, please accept my apology.
I just can't leave my husband at this point. His condition is touch and go. He is stable for the moment, but not out of the woods yet. After they get the bleeding in his head under control, in 4 weeks they will go in to find out what they have to do to fix his heart. They can't do anything till they fix his head. They do know that there was damage done from the tests they have run. They did a test on his enzyme levels when he first was admitted. In a healthy heart the enzyme level is .08 his were at 278. So there was some very serious damage done. It's all going to be a day by day waiting game.
Please keep him in your prayers, it's going to be a long month.

After I finish writing this I will be taking half of the dogs here to the boarding kennel, my running back and forth is not fair to the dogs and I need some help. It's been a very draining week..
I'm usually pretty stubborn accepting help, but I want what's best for them..
Ten of them will be going to the Hairy Moose and they just do the best job ever for the pets!!

I LOVE you all and feel so very Blessed to be part of such an animal and art loving community.
You give me strength and I Thank YOU for being the Loving people you are...
My friends:)
Blessing and Light to you ALL!!
I'll check in when I can...

P.S. Claudine Thanks for always looking after me:)
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Update on Jeff
Hi everyone. This is Claudine posting an update.

I heard from Bernie this morning and things are moving in a positive direction. I won't get into all the details because I don't know them all, but from what I understand Jeff has had bleeding in his brain so they need to get that under control before dealing with his heart issues. But he is awake and alert and chances of recovery look good.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for Bernie and Jeff!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
your prayers are needed
Hi everyone. This is Claudine posting on behalf of Bernie.

I have sad news. Bernie's husband, Jeff, had a massive heart attack last night and is at the hospital. It is a very touch and go situation. Please pray for them. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006
New At The Zoo....
I got home on Thurday nite to a home with only a few dogs, that I didn't have room to take on the last trip, by Friday Nite I had quite a few new dogs, by Monday I am full again...
I have come to a point that as much as I would like to take time off and stop, I don't think I can.
I have a network of wonderful people & organizations that help me find homes for these animals.
If I were to stop it truly would be a waste of the networking I have established over the years.
I feel positive that everything will happen in it's own time. The building of our shelter, the spay/neuter programs and that little by little a difference will be made for the animals.
One day at a time and trying to live in the moment is what I'm focusing on...
I'm actually in a good place these day and am back to doing some meditation and my yoga, not to mention I am going to get back on a better eating schedule.
In doing so, I'm starting to lose weight and feel better, so I am taking some time for me, in between.

Please know that I will be sending out Thank You notes for all your donations, I have all the information, it's just taking me time to catch up. Claudine and a few other artists are helping me out with the Thank You art!! Many don't know that I run this rescue by myself, it's me and my husband. My husband's health is very poor these days. All he can do is sit with the animals and socialize them. I think this is probably one of the most important jobs of rescue.
To get the animals to respond to touch to trust again, is one of the most amazing gifts he can give to an animal.
He can't walk for long periods of time and will be in a wheelchair in the near future, please keep him in your prayers.
Without him I'm not sure I could do all I do for the animals...

I will be starting another blog, that will share the stories of many of the animals I take in and the environments they are taken from. While I know many don't like to see the unpleasant side of rescue, I think it's important to share the stories.
It will be there is you want to read and if you don't that is fine too!!! The choice is yours..
I will keep this blog on the upbeat side the other one will be a place for me to purge my soul.
Thanks for sharing this blog and the journey with me....

Here are some of the new faces here:
"MISTER PEABODY" is an Anatolian Shepherd mix or a St. Bernard/Mastiff Mix. Approximately 10 weeks of age and 23 pounds he is going to be a big, LOVING boy!! He was found in a metal container on a 90+ degree day. Almost dying from the heat, he is doing great and is currently being treated for mange.

"SLYVIA" is a female teacup poodle. Approximately 5-9 years of age & weighing 3 pounds, she is my special needs dog. Found wandering in the woods not far from a known puppymill. She has a terrible time walking as her legs have severe deformities. Surgery for her legs will be about nineteen hundred dollars. My friends groomed her and had her teeth done, amazing what a little love can do. She is so beautiful, how could anyone just throw her away....

"MAGGIE" is a female yellow lab/mix. Approximately 6-8 weeks of age. Spunky and very vocal.

"MAGNUM" is a male Doberman Pincher. He is approximately 1-2 years of age. Very busy & Loving. Very well socialized. Loves people and other dogs. LOTS of energy!!

"WIGGLES" is a female Australian cattle dog/mix. Approximately 6-8 weeks of age. Full of energy and attitude. Sweet, loving, non stop energy!!

"ETHEL" is a female Longhair Daschund. Approximately 1-3 years of age. She is Super LOVING!! An abuse case, terribly neglected. She has mange and severe skin infections. If you look closely you can see how long her nails are. Loves dogs and cats and just anyone who comes near her!! She is a non stop kisser.
It will take time to get her healthy but she is worth the wait if you are looking to adopt her.

Wow!! This post took me a good hour with all the pictures, so I'll post some more later...
Off to train the dogs:)
The kittens are growing, moving and developing personalities..
Aren't they beautiful!!!

This little grey one below was an add in..
I met a woman at my vet's office who had found two in her yard, one died and she was just devastated.
I offered to see if the momma cat would take it and she did. So if you are reading this your little one is doing fine!!
Funny with her coloring you would never know it wasn't part of the litter...

I've adopted out 3 of the 20 kittens, but we still have most of the kittens from our previous posts.
Wednesday will be a full day for me at the vet, 8 kittens getting fixed.
I've been back from Chicago & Wisconsin since last Thursday.
Since I've been back it has been non stop around here, but I feel good!!!
My trip to Chicago was Great!! The dogs I took all were adopted by that Sunday.
The other two that were slotted to go to Wisconsin were Charlie & Henry.
Charlie was adopted by two Veterinarians a husband and wife team.
He now has a Doxie girlfriend and two cats for family members, not to mention lifetime vet care:)
Henry came back with me, his placement didn't work out, but that is fine!!
I had company for the ride home and I have no doubt he will find his meant to be home.

Chicago was fun, I had time to visit with friends and family.
My brother Michael is getting married, so I was able to attend their engagement party.
The two of them are so connected and love life they will have a wonderful life together!!
It's pretty exciting to have someone so special and animal loving added to our family..

Did I mention he LOVES kids:) These are our cousins.

This is my sister Julie. She is fun loving, super smart and not to mention very pretty. The total package:)
I've always been a bit jealous of her, in a good way. She inherited my fathers height and has always had a models body.
She did some modeling when she was younger and it is very apparent in the way she walks and carries herself.

I had some time to relax later that nite at my other brother's bar/nightclub.

I received a call while driving to Chicago that CHA show was in town.
I was only able to attend on Sunday and missed so many people I would have loved to connect with..
My friend Traci Bautista was there doing demos and signing her new collage books for the attendees.
I was able to spend some time with her, Jennifer Perkins & many of my friends that I haven't seen in awhile.

It was fun, but I think I had enough of the nightlife when I was younger. I truly love the quiet of the country, but it's nice to go out every now and then...
I'm in a flurry to get ready to leave in a few weeks to teach in Arizona. So when I get back, I will have had enough of going out for awhile.

medical supplies needed
previous posts
important links
other blogs

A Place to Bark is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization. Donations are tax deductible.

web statistics Blog Widget by LinkWithin