Tributes and Such

Tribute to a Very Special Dog

I know many of you are waiting for the next post in the Healing Communication Series but my family suffered a loss this week and I want to honor our sweet dog, Brutus.  I promise to have the next Communication post up later today as well.

There’s Nothing Like the Love Of A Dog

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There is nothing more devoted than a dog

They love us unconditionally.

They love us when we’re happy, even more when we’re sad, they even love us when we’re unkind to them.

That was our Brutus.

Even though the cats were bigger than he was, he knew he was 10 foot tall and bullet proof!

And he loved his family enough to die for us.

He was our constant companion. Our little bull-headed, cow-herding, horse-chasing, doxie.

He was a constant fixture at our sides. He traveled more miles than most humans do in a lifetime. And he got to live the life of leisure, spending his summers in Colorado and his winters in Arizona.

He was one spoiled, wonderfully happy, pup!

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He loved being wrapped around your shoulders watching the scenery go by while driving.  Or snuggled against you under the covers at bed time.  If you moved around too much he’d growl and kick you, hard!

He was even the ring-bearer for Mika and Hardy’s wedding.  It was adorable!

Brutus went everywhere with us.  The barn, moving cattle, rodeos, cowboy church, you name, he was there. We had to lock him in a stall or tie him up when we rode because he would run around like a crazy man and try to follow our every move. If he got loose when Mika was practicing barrels, look out!  He would be hot on her heels the entire pattern! Silly dog!

He had a wonderful, love filled life. But over the last couple years his health had been declining.

We had all been preparing ourselves for the end. And I thought I was ready.

I wasn’t.

He loved his family.

All his family.

We were his world.

He brought us years of love and great joy. And now our world has a big empty hole in it.

Go with God sweet Brutus.

Enjoy those big green meadows on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

Love you!






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9/11 Tribute On The 13th Anniversary


Never Forget 9/11

9/11 Tribute

Do you remember where you were?

We all do.

The knife still goes through my heart when I see the images on TV or the internet.

The lives lost may not have been in my family, but they are burned in my heart none the less. As I’m sure they are yours as well.


As Toby Keith’s song “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue” said shortly after that tragic day, “We got sucker-punched from somewhere in the back.”

How can these people hate us so badly they want to kill you and me? Why? Just because they believe differently than we do? How can they hate freedom so badly they are willing to die to stop us from having it?


But I wonder more about the people here that don’t feel Patriotism every 9/11. How could they not be angry? How can they not care?

I don’t like war. I hate the thought of our loved ones having to go to war.

I have a Great Nephew that is getting ready to go into the military as I write this. And it makes me sad to my very core. He is a wonderful, talented, kind, gentle soul. But he is following in his Grandfather and his Fathers foot-steps and going to defend our country.

To defend yours, and my, freedom from these mad-men.

And that breaks my heart.

But makes me incredibly proud at the same time


Am I the only person that still cries on 9/11?

Am I the only person that is still heartbroken?

Please share how you feel today and tell me if I’m crazy for still being so incredibly hurt.

God Bless America!
Copy write 2013 and 2014
Kristi Ross, PO Box 133, Hotchkiss, CO 81419

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A Tribute To Honor the Fallen This Memorial Day

How Do You Honor the Fallen?

Memorial Day brings a wide array of emotions. The joy of wonderful memories framed with the sting of sadness.

My Father was a World War II Veteran. Because I watched him silently suffer the horrors he experienced I have an incredible respect for veterans and hold them in a place of high honor and love.

He was an incredible man and I am honored to call him my Dad.

I love you Dad! And miss you terribly.

Dad, father, love, God, Veteran, World War II, honor

My Dad

Here are two more of my favorite veterans, my nephew, Mike Stroud, is a Veteran of the Iraq War. His lungs will never be the same after the nasty, black, oil smoke he had to breath during that war.

And Joe Pitt, in the backhoe is a Vietnam Veteran. He is one of the kindest, most generous men I know.

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Mike & Wally with Joe

All these men have tremendous character. Character strengthened while in the military.

I have a deep respect and fondness for our veterans. It is because of them we are free! In a round about way they are responsible for me being able to write this tribute today, and for you being able to sit here on the computer and read it. Will you take time today to honor these brave men and women with me, please?

I would like to offer a prayer in their honor.

Father God, thank you for our men and women in the military. Please be with them today. Care for them. Protect them.  Please be with the injured warriors. Comfort and heal them.

Please be with their families and loved ones. Comfort and guide them as well.

And be with the families who have lost a loved one today, Lord. Ease their pain. Remind them that memories are treasured jewels left as gifts for us by our loved ones.

And Lord, please give our loved ones that have passed a Heavenly hug for us today. Love on them for us. Remind them how much we still love them and are looking forward to seeing them again!

Thank you Father God.

In Jesus, precious name we pray.


I hope you have a special day and please honor our veterans with your thoughts, prayers, and caring today.

God Bless you!

P.S. If you enjoyed this or any other post here, please share it with your friends and family!  Thank you!!

Copyright © 2013 & 2014 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:   Kristi Ross, PO Box 133, Hotchkiss, CO 81419



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Memorial to a Treasured Family Member

Memorial to Banana

We lost a treasured family member last week and she will be greatly missed.  She taught my family so many things but the most important one was life-long dedication to those we love.  She loved us, and saved my Dad’s life.  She deserves a memorial.

Even before Banana saved Dad she was a treasured family member.    I was telling Mika a day or two after she passed how when she came to us, she was a bit fractious, but once she bonded with us, “she would walked through fire for us and killed a mountain lion on the way.”

She had the biggest, kindest eye and when she saw you coming she would meet you at the gate and follow you wherever you went.  She couldn’t say a word but you knew she loved you.  The look in her eye, the tilt of her head, the way she worked her ears to hear your every word, the way she would walk up to you and wrap herself around you.   You knew she loved you.

She came to my family as a show horse, but became a member of the family by lucky default and I will be forever thankful.    She was incredible.  One of those once in a lifetime horses that changes every one fortunate enough to have known her.

Her outstanding athletic ability showed every time we did something with her.  Her back that was too long for a great athlete, but she didn’t know that.  When she was young she was incredibly physical.  She could stop like crazy, spin till she made you dizzy, and she was beautiful and such a great mover you couldn’t help but watch her.


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Banana in one of her normal stops in Las Vegas at the Silver Dollar QH Show many years ago


She had amazing intelligence and could out smart any cow.  But her most endearing feature was the love that emanated from her.  You knew “Nana-Ba” loved you and she knew you loved her.  There was never a question.  It was just felt.

She was one horse you could always trust.  She went down the horse-show road with my ex-husband and I and had tremendous success.  After the divorce she stayed with Mika and me and was retired to the pasture.  But she was the horse you pulled out when you needed one you could count on.

When Mika outgrew her first barrel horse, I had Banana ready to take Mika to the next level in competition and Nana loved it!  But a couple weeks before they were able to go to their first barrel race stray dogs ran Banana through a fence.  Even after the wounds were healed she was still slightly lame so she was re-retired to the pasture.

A few years later when Mika hit high school she wanted to learn how to cut so Nana came back in from the pasture and taught Mika the basics.


memorial, family member, love, cattle, cowgirl, cowboy, cutting horse, Colorado, mountains, high school rodeo, family member

Nana teaching Mika how to cut


Soon her old soreness showed up again so back to the pasture she went and this time  she raised us an adorable little filly, Reva.  Who is now Hardy’s number one mount and also “eats cattle”.


Memorial, family member, love, Colorado, mountains, Dad, Mika, foal, colt, filly, best friend, great horse, Banana, treasure,  kindness,

Banana, baby Reva, Mika, and my Dad


Notice her eyes?  She never missed anything and would look right at you like she understood every word you said to her. It was as though she looked right into your soul.  And the love and caring she showed to every person involved with her taught us all so much.  Her dedication to us was incredible.  She would put herself between you and a dangerous cow, or a fractious colt.  She used her own body as a shield to protect you from any danger.

I mentioned earlier she saved my Dad’s life.  She did.  When Dad was getting up there in years he still thought he should take the colts to the mountain.  The last time he did he had yearlings and was going to ride Banana and lead the colts up the mountain.  He had saddled Nana at home and when he got to the mountain, at 75 or 80 years old he forgot to tighten his cinch before getting on.  He stepped on, tied a colt off hard and fast to the saddle horn, and started up the dirt road to the top of our summer mountain ground.  Not far up the trail the colt decided it didn’t want to lead and pulled back.  The loose cinch allowed the saddle to slip and in a flash turn completely under Banana’s belly with Dad hung up in the stirrup.  My Step Mom watched in horror as Banana spread all four legs out and straddled Dad.  Kay said she stood rock solid against the thrashing, fighting, frightened colt and protected Dad as he extracted himself from the stirrups, dropped to the ground, and finally crawled out from under her without a scratch.

We had always loved her but from that day on she was treasured for the unique individual she was.  She was amazing.  Not only did she protect Dad, but she protected the other horses in the field with her as well.  She was the official coyote chaser.  Any coyote that came in the pasture learned very quickly they were not welcome and would not be tolerated.  I never saw her kill one, but they certainly didn’t hang around long when she took out after them with her head low to the ground, ears pinned back tight, nostrils flared, eyes squinted, and running straight at them.

Just thinking about her makes me smile and sigh an incredibly peaceful sigh.  She had so much wisdom and talent but was so gentle and kind.

As she grew older she didn’t handle the cold well.  So a couple of years ago we let her go to Hardy and Mika’s little nephew, Kelby, and live in a warm canyon south of Cortez.


memorial, family member, love,horse, cowboy, cowgirl, Colorado, mountains, Mesa Verde, Indian

Nana and Kelby


I traveled down the canyon to be with Hardy’s family last Christmas.   I stepped out of the truck and hollered, “Nana-Ba,” and she threw up her head, eyes bright and eager, and ears turned right to me, as she loudly nickered her greeting!  If anyone ever tells you animals don’t have emotion, don’t believe them.  She was as thrilled to see me as I was to see her.  That life long love was still as strong as ever.

I’m glad she had a little boy who loved her the last months she was here on earth, but I certainly missed seeing her sweetness everyday.  And now my heart will never be whole again.  She took a little piece of it with her in her passing.  Those of us fortunate enough to have known her, loved her, and she loved us in return, deeply.

I hope I have learned your greatest lesson and gift, Nana.  To love, and remember, to the very end.

Good bye Nana.  You are still loved, and greatly missed by many.

Go with God and I’ll see you on the other side!

Do you have, or did you have an animal that touched your life?   If so, I encourage you to give them their memorial in the Comments section below.


Copyright © 2013 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.











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Prayer for South Dakota Ranchers

A Prayer for South Dakota Ranchers

The more we hear about the devastation in South Dakota the more my heart breaks.

As those of you that follow me know, I have a very big soft spot for animals and livestock. As I type this I am surrounded by one blind, and one deaf dog, and have two horses in the pasture that most people would have put down when their bones were broken. But my heart is too tender. I nurse them back to health and let them live out their days here with me.

That soft spot is raw and bleeding today. I had to stop looking at the photos from South Dakota. The death and destruction was tearing me apart. Ranchers are animal caregivers. They love their animals. They are part of the family. To have them die because you can’t get to them or help them would be excruciating!

Have you ever been in a blizzard? A bad one? One where you can’t see your hand in front of your face? Literally? It is a terrifying situation. Can you imagine how hard it was for those people who knew their animals were suffering to have no choice but sit, wondering if their animals had found some kind of shelter, and just wait it out? I can only imagine.

By the grace of God I have only been in one blizzard similar to that. And thankfully did not have livestock of my own in it. But I have spent all night up with sick ones, just like the people from South Dakota. Just like them, I’ve driven all night to get home when I knew one needed attention, stayed home from important events because one was foaling or calving. We care-givers love our animals. So to sit there unable to help them must have been painful beyond words. My heart aches for their broken hearts.


You can make a donation at Black Hills Area Community   The states livestock associations and the South Dakota Farm Buruea are referring people to this organization for donations. I hope you will consider a donation, no matter how small.

You notice there are no photos in this post. I cannot including them. If you want to see the death and destruction you will have to seek it elsewhere.  The story broke on The Blaze and you can see photos there.  Or here at Real American Cowboy Magazine .  Here, you will only hear my words of hurt, frustration, pain, and now, a prayer for those folks.

Father, we come to you tonight with heavy hearts. The families in South Dakota that lost their livestock, and with them, their livelihood, need your comfort tonight, Father.  Please Lord be with them. Comfort them. Carry them. Ease their pain. Comfort the little ones that hurt so badly when their favorite calf or lamb dies. Comfort the ones that lost their favorite horse, or their funny little pig. Please God, be with them. And Lord, please protect the livestock that survived. Please keep them healthy and strong. Let it be that they do not suffer any additional health issues. Please Father.  And Father, I ask you to please bring your protection back to our our country. We humble ourselves before you and ask you to please care for this great land. In Jesus name, Amen.

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9/11 Tribute to Victims, Heros, and Motorcycle Riders

9/11, September 11, Tribute, victims, heros, survivors, emergency reponders

A Tribute to 9/11

9/11 Tribute

The post is a 9/11 Tribute to the victims, and heros of that fateful day, and a new set of heros, the motorcycle riders that rode into our nation’s capital today.

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when the first tower went down. I’m sure you are the same way. It is a day we all wish was just a bad dream that we could wake up from.  Then it  wouldn’t hold such a prominent position in our memory.  But it does.

9/11 Tribute – ATTACKED

Our great country was attacked.

Fellow countrymen died. Brave men and woman gave their lives to save others.

In that hour of peril America remembered who we are and what we stand for. We were united in our patriotism, pain, horror, and anguish.

Our personal situations sudden were trivial as the collective conscience was assaulted. We rushed to churches in droves, we remembered God and prayed again, we hurried home to hold our loved ones. We gave blood, had bake sales, and donated money. And we waited for word on survivors.

9/11 Tribute – Heros

Then came the stories of incredible heroism in the face of certain death. Every one of us know words, “Let’s Roll”. The photos are burned into our brains.

9/11, September 11, attack, terror attack, airplanes, towers, tragic, tribute

The Towers

Photos and video everywhere from photographers known and unknown.

Each of us experiencing depth of loss and pain.

9/11 Tribute – Proud Again

Since then our country has continued to struggle. But today, on the 12th anniversary of September 11, something happened that made me proud.

Our country, the country we love, rode on chrome thunder today to take a stand and I couldn’t be prouder! I had to write a 9/11 tribute to the victims and heros, but also to the motorcycle riders that reminded us to take a stand for what is right and true!

Honor, 9/11, Victims, Heros, Towers, Attacked   Honor, 9/11, Victims, Heros, Towers, Attacked

Honor, 9/11, Victims, Heros, Towers, Attacked      Our patriotism was flying it’s flag high and proud today!

I am proud to be an American! And I know you are too! We don’t need someone apologizing for us. We are fearless! We will stand for what is right every time.

9/11 Tribute – Iron Horses

Our forefathers won this country’s freedom on the back of a horse. Today, our brave soldiers of freedom rode Iron Horses and reminded us of our patriotism and our pride for this great nation!

Are you with me? Is this a great country or what?

And every one of you that rode to DC today, thank you for honoring our 9/11 victims and heros!




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