Phantom Dog

The gentle brush by my leg, the sound of your paw on the sliding glass door in back, the movement on the dog pillow by the side of my bed. It’s surprising how often I’ve caught myself saying, “Time to get the paper,” or “Time to get the mail.” I still look behind me before I scoot my chair away from my desk, thinking you’re curled up next to me. Your spiritual energy is everywhere.

Pumpkin has taken to sleeping next to the life-size stuffed animal on the guest bed. How does she know it’s a border collie? Is she grieving in her own way and capturing some comfort from something that may look like you?

It’s been over two months and I still look for you, feel you everywhere: your toys, your leashes, your pillow, your blanket. I can’t walk the trails we explored without wiping a tear. I am happiest sharing my life with a dog, and someday I will welcome and love this pup as much as I love you. Someday… Until then, I will listen for your paws on the back door and your gentle breathing on the pillow by the side of my bed.

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For Tristan

I’ve had many dogs during my life, and I remember the best of times with each of them. It is the best of times I miss most.

Late on October 13, 2010, a Wednesday afternoon, my husband and I took our border collie, Tristan to the vet and I comforted him as he gently crossed over to the Rainbow Bridge. What an incredible friendship and sense of loyalty he felt toward me, even toward the end of our journey here together.  For over thirteen years, since I brought him home from the local animal shelter, he never left my side.

We went for walks around Capitol Lake and in nearby woods many times a week. He logged over 1,000 miles hiking with the Boy Scouts. He welcomed our kitty when she joined our family, kept the squirrels in our yard on alert, and made friends everywhere he went. He loved camping. He had a wonderful sense of border collie humor, and everybody loved him.

He was my best friend, and I know in my heart I’ll see him again. But right now I don’t what I’m going to do without him.

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Kritters Everywhere

The spiders have decorated my front yard, door, bushes and between the cars. Cars? Fall, with its splash of vibrant color, is in the air. My backyard is vibrant with activity. All manner of birds, and squirrels pursuing each other around the squirrel and bird feeders. Oh, look, a rat is chasing a squirrel away from the bottom of the bird feeder. Wait… a rat???

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Homeschooling Children with Special Needs

I just posted an updated article on homeschooling children with special needs. It was originally written in 2000 at the request of Janie Levine Hellyer, a homeschooling parent and advocate. Ten Steps to Successfully Homeschool Children with Special Needs

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Welcome to my home on the Web.

I’m a writer with an intense curiosity about the world around me and hope to share this enthusiasm with my readers.

I’ll be posting updates as I move files from my brightword.com site and add new ones. The muse beckons…

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