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Unconditional Love Dogs Give Lives Beyond Death

Unconditional Love

What really is unconditional love? Have you ever considered that? What constitutes unconditional love and where do we go to find it? I see it every day in so many forms. My constant source is God and His precious son, Jesus. But His creatures give it to me as well.

The outpouring of emotions readers shared this week on my Facebook Author page when I posted the story about Capitan, the dog that found his masters grave and stayed by it for seven years, touched me so deeply it made me pause and consider that depth of devotion. That kind of unconditional love.

It’s our deepest desire. To be loved unconditionally. To be treasured, cherished. But like so many of us, I’m a casualty of love. Twenty five years single has proven that. Thankfully, those long years have taught me just how wonderful God’s love is, and how healing His animals can be for the human heart.

Dogs Love Us

My horses love me, but I’m not sure it’s unconditional love. Unlike our dogs. There is no doubt in my mind that they love us unconditionally.

I see it every time I look at my own blue heeler, Pepper. Her unconditional love for me is evident every moment she’s near me. There are times she drives me nuts because she wants to touch me. But that is her way of knowing where I am, now that she’s blind.

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Miss Pepper

Even when I’m not around. My friend Lark  says she stays in my bedroom, usually on my bed, and waits for me to come home.

I accidentally ran over her head and popped her eyes out causing her to go blind but she still sees me as the center of her universe.

She is an inspiration to me everyday. She faces life not as handicapped and blind, but cheerfully, and as excited as a child. She’s happy to get up, go outside, run across the pasture with me, even when she goes to fast and runs into something. She is happy to be alive, and with me.

She would rather wait hours in the car for me than sit at home alone. She truly gives me unconditionally love!

But she is not alone in that unconditional love. After finding out about Capitan, the dog in Argentina that has sat by his master’s grave for 7 years, and tracking down the original story and his real photos of this beloved pet,

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Capitan ran away from home and has sat by his master’s grave for 7 years. (Story and photo credit La Voz Del Interior)

I found many similar stories.  Here are just a few with links to the original stories.

Kirby

Little Kirby is another dog whose unconditional love for his owner carried him miles away from every adopted home, back to his owner’s grave. Sharon Ratteree inherited Kirby when her daughter was killed only two weeks after adopting him. Kirby filled the gaping hole in Sharon’s heart after the tragic loss. But it seemed no one could fill the hole in Kirby’s heart after Sharon died. He found an escape from every enclosure, at every new home, and would make the trek back, no matter how far he had to travel.

The good news is he has finally found a home with another local resident Susan Wood. Susan saw Kirby’s story in the news and contacted Dave Willis, Sharon’s Grandson, who decided that Susan would be a perfect match for the heartbroken dog. Kirby now fills a void in her heart, after her own 18 year-old terrier died in 2007. “I had a big old empty spot, so the Wills’ family made it possible for Kirby to jump into that spot and take over,” said Susan. This little dog filled a new gaping hole, and is once again a happy dog.

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Kirby’s Mom’s Grave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ciccio

In Italy, Ciccio walked to Mass every afternoon when the bells tolled with his Maria,  until she suddenly died. He followed her casket and attended her funeral at the same  church. But he kept coming back. Everyday when the bells tolled.  Now he lives at the church and attends every mass sitting at the front, where her casket laid, waiting faithfully for his master to return.   He has so touched the locals they have a Facebook page for him. I hope you will follow the link and “Like” it. His devotion is too great to ignore.

God, Jesus, unconditional love, dog, puppy, devotion

Ciccio, still mourning at mass

Hawkeye

Many of us cried in 2011 when the news carried the touching photos of the loyal Hawkeye, at the funeral of his beloved Petty Officer 1st Class, Jon T. Tumilson. Tumilson, a U.S. Navy SEAL,  was among 30 American troops killed August 6 when Taliban insurgents shot down their Chinook helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade. At his funeral in Iowa, Hawkeye paid his last respects by walking up to the casket, laying down in front of it, and heaving a sigh. Tumilson’s cousin, Lisa Pembleton, took the photo for family members that could not be at the funeral and for others that could not see the dog’s actions.  It has touched the hearts of all of us. We salute this brave soldier, and his incredible dog.

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Hawkeye     (Photo Credit Lisa Pembleton)

Cat’s too

Apparently even finicky felines are devoted and have unconditional love for us.  Another Italian pet, Toldo, a gray tabby, followed his beloved master’s, Iozzelli Renzo, casket from their house to the cemetery.

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Toldo (Photo Credit Corriere Fiorentino )

He returned later the same day with Iozzelli’s widow, Ada to the grave. The next day Ada and her daughter found a sprig of acacia on the grave. Ada believes it was the cat’s first gift to his beloved master. Since then the cat has delivered everything from small flowers and twigs to plastic cups and paper towels to the grave. He safely travels back and forth because everyone in the small mountain town knows the cat and where he is headed, though not everyone is happy about it. Ada said some people think having an animal in the cemetery is a desecration.  But the cat doesn’t seem to care, he just keeps sharing his unconditional love.

Link to More

I could go on and on, but instead I will give you this link to read about several more amazingly devoted pets. I hope you take a few extra moments to love your pets today. You obviously mean more to them than you have any idea.

God Bless you all during this especially Holy Week.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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cattle, horses, God, Jesus, love, happiness, joy, mountains, cattle drive, dude riders, picnic, Colorado, splendor, family, joy, love

What Do You Think Heaven Is Like?

What Do You Think Heaven Is Like?

Now that is an interesting question isn’t it?

Today we have many published books about people that have died and gone to Heaven. They tell us about going to a brilliant light. One of my favorites is “Heaven is For Real“. It is the true story of Colton Burpo, a little boy that died during an emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix.

He gives vivid details of how Jesus loves us in his wonderful description of Heaven, God, and Jesus. It is one of those, “Out of the mouths of babes” kind of stories.  His own family was blown away when he told about Jesus holding him on his lap while he was in surgery.

He describes what his mom and his dad were doing during the surgery, even though they were in different rooms far from the operating room. The dad was locked in the bathroom, mad at God for taking his son. It’s a great book. If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it! You will soon find it on My Book Table.

Today’s topic, What Do You Think Heaven is Like, comes from another day on the mountain.

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Gathering

We had to give booster shots today to the soon-to-be-weaned, not-so-baby-anymore, calves. The vaccinations are similar to those you give a human baby. They keep the calves from getting the flu and several  strains of respiratory disease common among cattle.

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Vaccinating

It was an incredibly beautiful day. The cattle worked easy and we finished vaccinating two big punches early in the afternoon.

Afterwards Mika, Hardy, and I took our horses to the creek to water them. When they were done drinking we turned them loose to graze for a bit and the three of us laid on the creek bank relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the day as we talked, laughed, and simply enjoyed being a family.

Here was my view laying on my back in the grass, beside the gentle little creek, looking up at the amazing sky. It was so warm and relaxing. Truly an epic moment!

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My View Creek-side

I made the comment that I hoped this is what Heaven will be like.

I hope on any given day I can have my family with me, riding our horses wherever we want to, then be able to turn our horses loose to water and graze nearby as we lay down in the lush green grass beside the little bubbling creek, and just enjoy soaking up the sunshine.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

What do you hope Heaven is like?

 

 

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Horses, cattle, cattle drive, Colorado, mountains, cowboys, cowgirls, dogs, cow dog, rancher, dude ranch, back country riders

When Do You Reach Higher Ground? 4th in the series

Are You Reaching Higher Ground?

When we last met Mika and I were pushing our little band of calves and babysitter cows up the narrow mountain trail toward their summer pasture on higher ground.

Over the top

As we rode over the crest of the trail and reached the lush, green grass on the mountain top, a cool breeze rustled the Aspen leaves overhead. Each year I am awestruck at the expanse of the country and the breathtaking beauty.

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Mika holding herd on top

Talented, Trusting, Colts

This year I was also struck by the fact that both Mika and Hardy had completed the gather and cattle drive to higher ground riding green colts. Both were four-year-olds. It depends on who you talk to but one year for a horse can equal from 3 to 6.5 in human years. The normal age to start a Quarter Horse is 2 to 3 years old. By four they are far more set in their ways, and often take longer to gain the respect and trust required to be a steady mount.

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Riding colts

But today both handled their various situations incredibly.They have learned to wait and trust Mika and Hardy.

The Cattle Boss & His Wife

Hardy is the boss and because of that goes the farthest, and rides the toughest trails. He takes care of all of us, reminds us to care for our horses, guides us, reprimands us, and teaches us as we go about our cattle drive, while making sure us “helper” cowboys and cowgirls and our horses can handle our jobs successfully.

He is a great young man and an incredible leader.  Mika is his right hand man and does a great job, too. She challenges and teaches with everything she asks us to do, even her mom!

Trusting Partners

The reason I was so struck by the fact they were riding colts is because of all the things they were able to do on them. Even an experienced horse person would have been impressed with how calm the colts were. They were level headed, willing, responsive, sure-footed, hardworking partners.

They went anywhere and did anything asked of them. This is the result of the trust they have built in Mika and Hardy.

A horse’s natural instinct is flight or fight when they sense danger. Throughout the day there were many situation where the colt’s natural instinct would have been to run away – flight. But instead they trusted Mika or Hardy, stayed calm, and waited for their rider to show them what they needed to do next.

A perfect example of how these colts rely on that trust happened in the creek bottom with Mika and her four-year-old. The willows were so thick you couldn’t see and she was trying to get a stubborn cow and her calf out of there. She jumped the creek and the colt literally became high centered on willows under his belly. With all four feet off the ground they were hung there, suspended.

Mika said rather go into panic mode the colt just waited for her to tell him what to do. He waited on her for guidance to get him out of trouble.

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Colts getting a drink

I have been in similar situations in my own life. Many times I’ve panicked, but I am striving to learn to pause, pray, and wait for guidance.

Has there ever been a time when you have had to wait for guidance to get out of trouble yourself?

Did you wait or go into panic mode?

What do you think?  Is this a good series or not?

Thanks for stopping by!  God Bless you!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Colorado Back Porch Sunrise

What is Country Living in Colorado?

What is Country Living in Colorado?

My kitchen window looks out on gorgeous river bottom meadows with mountains as the backdrop. Country living in Western Colorado is awesome! It really is the good life! I am incredibly blessed.

 Just like this photo – sunrise off my back porch!  It is beautiful.

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Sunrise!

Riding at sunset

I love to jump on a horse and ride through the fields. There is nothing like a ride as the sun is setting. The shadows are long and the warm yellow light filters through the branches like flickering golden glitter. You feel the warmth on your skin and smell the meadow. There is no sound except the quiet swush, swush, swush of the horse’s legs through the tall grass. It’s glorious!  The peacefulness washes away all the worries of the world and I find my true self.  No one to impress, no one to listen to, just quiet, peace.

Black Horse, Kristi Ross, country living, mountains

Little Kristi and her wonderful Black Horse

This is my first “big” horse. His name was Black Horse. I loved him and he loved me! The outside of a horse truly is good for the inside of a man (or a woman)!He carried me all over the country here in Colorado and dedicated his life to making mine better.

Living in the country here in Colorado allows that incredible luxury. We are so spoiled. But we often forget to appreciate what we have. No matter where you are today I hope you pause, look around you, reflex on your blessings, and enjoy where you are and what you have. No matter how great our how little, let us rejoice today.

I treasure my family, my home, my kitchen windows, my horses, my country living, and I thank  God for those blessings everyday.

What is special for you today? Do you have a great family? Or a lovely home?

What do you do for peaceful quiet time?

 

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