Should I Rehome a Rescue Dog?

Are you looking for a family dog? Wondering whether to buy a puppy or rehome an older dog? Here is my story, and I hope you find it helpful…

Should I Rehome a Rescue Dog_

The past three months have been a steep learning curve for me. Following the death of our old dog last summer, I was pining for a new furry companion, and I wanted to rescue another dog. The task proved harder than I imagined because rehoming centres in the UK have very strict policies about how they rehome their dogs. Some are reluctant to offer dogs to families with young children, others simply have ridiculous requirements that most people are unable to fulfill. Then they wonder why the dogs develop anxiety, aggression and other difficult behavioural traits. But that’s just my experience.

Love My Rescue Dog

Anyway, we did find a dog that needed a home. His name is Marley, and he is almost 3 years old. He never went into the dogs’ home, his previous owner contacted them for help and that’s how we found him. Marley has never been in kennels to my knowledge. I thought he would be easy to settle in. His previous owner assured me that he was friendly with other dogs, that he was relaxed with children, and that he was generally easy going. That is not our experience! He is wonderful with our children, which is a huge relief. He lets them pull him around and he never snaps at them in anger. He does like to play rough, however, so we have to watch what he does. And he steals their toys and eats them. He has chewed up a variety of Playmobil and Lego pieces so far, some Barbie accessories and some teddies. He just wants to play! I spend a lot of time watching him around the house and moving things out of his reach when the children neglect to tidy them away properly.

Rescue Dog LIfe

Another challenge we discovered was that Marley can jump very high. He cleared the two-foot fences in our back garden despite being overweight when he came to us. We have now spent over £1000 on new fencing to secure the back garden and keep him contained. He still tries to escape though, so we have to watch him when he is outside. And he is not allowed in our front garden because he jumps over the wall and runs across the road. I am constantly on alert with this dog! We did have our garden checked by the people at the dogs’ home, and they thought it was secure at the time, so be aware that all dogs are unpredictable. Now that we have rectified that dilemma, I am learning to discipline Marley while out walking. He has clearly not been socialised with other dogs, and he gets very snappy and aggressive. I believe he is being defensive due to anxiety, and I hope that he will settle eventually. For now I have invested in a Halti harness and a training lead which made a huge difference to his behaviour. I can now easily control him when he tries to lunge forwards, and he doesn’t bark as much when he is wearing it.

Baxter Timothy Beardface Green

My previous dog was rescued from the streets, but we had him a few years before our children came along. We had time to devote to settling him in and training him, and he proved to be a wonderful family dog. Marley is also a wonderful family dog, but he is a work in progress. He must have been lonely and bored in his previous home, but now we are setting boundaries, giving him time to adjust, and giving him attention, which is what he needs. Please consider rehoming a rescue dog but be fully aware of the time and work involved in settling a dog. The same could be said for buying a puppy. Ultimately, having a dog is like having a child. They are wonderful when they behave, not so much when they are hard work. Be prepared, put the effort in, and you will have a loving companion that will always be there with cuddles and smiles. Dogs are great for keeping you busy and they are fantastic therapy aids.

Do you have a rescue dog? Are you considering getting a dog? Please share your experiences.

I Love Dogs

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Support Your Local Charities #WATWB

We Are the World BlogFest (#WATWB) celebrates special people and small stories of inspiration and hope in the world. Today I want to celebrate my family members who support local charities.

#WATWB We are the World Blogfest black

My cousin recently raised money for the Douglas Macmillan hospice in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, following the death of our uncle late last year. You can read her story here. I was impressed not only with her motivation to action the charity appeal, but for the care that she helped provide for our family during my uncle’s final days. She took a real interest in the work of the nurses in hospital and those at the hospice, and it has inspired her to consider pursuing a career in palliative care, something I think we can all agree is very important and vital. My cousin was supported by her parents and siblings, and a wider network of family and friends. We all pulled together to raise money in thanks for the care that Douglas Macmillan gave to our uncle when he needed it.

In other news, I attended a short presentation with my daughter’s Brownies Girl Guides unit as they presented a cheque to Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity following a charity drive. The Brownies spent time carol singing in our local Morrisons supermarket just before Christmas and raised a sum of money for Leighton Hospital to use in their Lost Little Ones campaign, providing space and care for bereaved families. Most of our Brownies and their families have visited Leighton Hospital, indeed it feels like a second home for me as we investigate a health concern with my younger daughter. Both my children were born in that hospital, and we like to help when we can and show our support, even if it is just to throw a few coins in a bucket and help build some funds that they can use. Small communities can make big changes!

We are the World BlogFest (#WATWB) focuses on positive stories no matter where they’re found. It is all about spreading peace and humanity on social media. All participants post on the last Friday of the month, sharing a positive news story that contributes to making our world a happier, safer, and better place to live.

We are the World Blogfest #WATWB

You can find more about #WATWB from the following hosts:

Sylvia McGrath,
Peter Nena,
Shilpa Garg,
Eric Lahti,
and Belinda Witzenhausen

Free-for-All Friday SpookyMrsGreen

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Daily Tarot Reading

My last Tarot reading reflected a time of emotional and personal turmoil. While those situations are not yet resolved, I have reached a point where I feel mostly calm. I have even begun to feel bored again, wondering what to do next to liven up my dull routine… Are you feeling bored? Perhaps today’s Daily Tarot Reading will offer some guidance.

Daily Tarot Reading - February 2020

1, Work – Page of Swords & Ten of Pentacles

Are you allowing other people to dictate the way you work? Maybe you feel undervalued. Now is a good time to assert your authority. Step up and own your natural skills and ability. Your talent is valid and deserving of praise. Be bold and pursue what fulfills you.

2, Home – Ace of Swords

You have lots of ideas and now is the time to make them reality. Start with the small tasks and you will feel better able to envision the bigger projects that you face. Now is as good a time as any to get started!

3, Unexpected – Nine of Swords

Are you prone to depression or anxiety? If not, then you might be surprised when a sudden bout of panic hits you. Whilst life has settled down again, a change of circumstance could knock your confidence and leave you reeling. Be aware and know that you will come through the challenge.

4, Your Role – The Devil

When you are bored, your attitude may become more reckless. You may find yourself tempted to do something out of character, to take a risk. Is it worth it? Consider what you would throw away for a quick fix of fun. Maybe that cake would spoil your carefully controlled diet. Perhaps you feel tempted to do something destructive in your personal relationship. Take a moment to assess the pros and cons.

5, Outcome – Four of Pentacles

Trust your own judgement in matters of personal finance. While you were taught to obey authority figures, in this situation you know best. You have work to do, but you have started. Now you must see it through to the end. Continue to research and record all options, and you will be happy with the result. Remember, it will take time, but it will be worth the effort.

Daily Tarot Reading

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Why we Shouldn’t Worry about the Kids

I waste a lot of time worrying about my children. Are they happy, are they hungry, are they thirsty, do they need more discipline, am I being too hard on them, am I being too soft on them, do they need a bath, are they clean, are they healthy… the list goes on. Recently I have fixated on issues relating to their grandad and his acquired brain injury. We have had a long six years coming to terms with the aftermath of my father-in-law having a serious, almost fatal, cycling accident. At the time he was a vibrant, forceful personality and he was training to cycle from one end of Ireland to the other, having previously cycled from Lands’ End to John O’Groats. He was always busy and active, and he was keen to spend retirement having quality time with his wife and grandchildren. Then our life got flipped upside down on one fateful morning in March 2014. He collided with a horse box, we don’t the full details of the accident, and we never will. Police ruled that it was his fault, but he has never been able to tell us, since he spent four weeks in a coma, twelve months in a secure psychiatric facility, and three years in a secure rehabilitation home. He now lives in the full-time care of my mother-in-law, which comes with more challenges because she lives with poor mental health, high anxiety and depression. He used to care for her throughout their long marriage. Now he can barely speak to her, and he needs reminding to do simple daily tasks like get out of bed or go to the bathroom.

Why we shouldn't Worry about the Kids

I worry about the impact it has on our children, having to see their grandad like this. Their grandma can rarely give them her full attention because she is busy caring for him, and when we go on holiday or family day trips, we have to be mindful about where we go and what we do so that he can come with us. He can walk but only short distances, so we have to take a wheelchair. He gets anxious in busy places and I know he is self-conscious about people seeing him out in public, even though he can’t articulate his feelings. He would rather stay at home and sit in front of the TV, which can be quite awkward when we don’t know what to say to him. He talks in short, stilted sentences, and doesn’t always make sense. I have come to realise that our children are a lot more resilient than we might think. For example, recently we had to “grandad-sit” while grandma went to her weekly exercise class. It was a school night and I needed to bath the children. He needed the toilet and we only have one bathroom. I worried about the fact that the girls were in the bath, so I told them to pull the shower curtain across to give them some privacy. I heard shrieks of laughter as Grandad did his business, and the girls giggled because he smiled at them when he left the room. We are just one family stumbling along and learning to live in the wake of serious trauma. And the kids are absolutely fine.

Mummy Mondays SpookyMrsGreen

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EE Mobile New Offers SIM-only and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

Are you searching for a new mobile phone or SIM-only deal? Check out these offers from EE Mobile:

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

100GB for £30 upfront and £94 per month (essential) – Click here.

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SIM Only Deal – Offer ends soon!

60GB for £20 (essential) – 18 month contract – Click here.

I think it’s time I changed my phone contract to get more data, my new car is zapping it all playing music!!

Free-for-All Friday SpookyMrsGreen

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Why I am Proud to be a Housewife (Hearth Witch)

“Mummy,” said my 6-year-old daughter, “Do you want to go and work in the chip shop again?”

So began a conversation with my daughters about where I used to work. The local chip shop was a part-time job while I attended college as a teenager. I then explained to my daughters how I worked in a jewellery shop, did a few years on seasonal contracts at a theme park, and moved on to office work in customer service and logistics. All of this stopped when I decided to start a family with my husband. Back then I was working part-time as a shop assistant and trying to develop my freelance writing business. I was hopelessly naïve about the whole industry, relentlessly positive about the good things that could come, and I stubbornly went ahead with my dreams, much to my husband’s dismay.

Why I am Proud to be a Housewife (Hearth Witch)

Fast forward several years and I am now settled into the role of housewife, or as I more recently decided, Hearth Witch. I am reading a book called The House Witch: Your Complete Guide to Creating a Magical Space with Rituals and Spells for Hearth and Home. The book is simple and practical. It reminds me that I already practice as a hearth witch. Currently I am working hard to redecorate our house and make it into a home that reflects our family personality (well, mainly mine!). Every day I make sure my children are clean, fed and their basic needs are met. I care for my husband, who works ridiculously long hours outside the home and battles with severe anxiety and OCD. I am training and settling our rescue dog into the family, and he needs time. I ensure that groceries are bought, meals are prepared, clothes are washed, and the house and garden are mostly neat and tidy. All of this is hard work, and important work. Without it we could all end up sick and hungry.

 

For years I have battled with the need to be a good role model to my children, to show them that there is life outside of the home, and that they can be whatever they want to be. I used to have vague dreams about working in the media, but the industry has changed a lot since I was a child, and I didn’t have many of the opportunities that might have helped me to progress a career. It took me a while to recognise that I just didn’t have the personality required to be a journalist or broadcaster. I am naturally a quiet person. I am not shy; I just don’t feel the need to talk constantly. I am happy in a quiet, peaceful space. I am happy working at home, with my dog for company, doing my writing and caring for my family. Why should I change what feels natural? Are you living a natural life? Does your job fulfill you, or are you still searching for a place to belong?

Witchy Wednesday SpookyMrsGreen

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Why We Should Look on the Bright Side of Life

I joined the social network for A Chronic Voice because I needed to find people who understand what life is like with chronic pain. Today I have written a post using the February link-up prompts, to show my experience of living with a chronic pain disorder. Click here to find other blog posts from fellow chronic pain sufferers, or #spoonies as we call ourselves online.

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Looking

Physically I am struggling at the moment. My chronic pain condition is in my eyes, due to a lifetime of coping with ingrowing eyelashes, scars on the surface of my eyes, and severe Dry Eye Syndrome. I attended an appointment with my optician for a routine eye test, but I really struggled to do the eye test. Every time I blinked my vision changed. It can be badly blurred one minute, and slightly improved the next, with no knowing how it is going to be. The optician seemed genuinely concerned about my discomfort and expressed his dismay that he couldn’t improve my situation or take away the pain. He did manage to diagnose a better strength of lenses for my new glasses, however, so hopefully that will help with daily life.

Playing

There hasn’t been much time for play lately. Life is a challenge, but we have the prospect of booking holidays later in the year, and this week is our half-term break from school so my children and I can enjoy some down time. First, I need to buy our passports. I haven’t been abroad since I got married which was ten years ago, so I need a new passport, and of course my children have never travelled abroad so they need them as well. I am a little bit obsessed with playing a game on my Kindle and phone if that counts… Do you play Matchington Mansion? I love it, so simple, and so satisfying as we redevelop our rooms. If only it were that simple with my real-life house!

Why we should Look on the Bright Side of Life

Joining

Do you ever feel like you are trying to join the dots with your life? Our family dynamic feels a bit disjointed and I am struggling to make everything fit together. Maybe we are more like a jigsaw, and we are a constant work in progress. My career is stuttering along in the background while I prioritise our children, and my husband is always at work or thinking about work or doing something for work. Hopefully we can swap over at some point in the future, once he feels more settled in his new facility. He manages a household food waste composting facility, so it is very full-on and complicated – and smelly!

Invigorating

Spring is in the air! Here in the UK we have been battered with storms recently, and as I write this I am listening to radio reports of severe flooding in parts of the country. My town is fine, we have a bit of localized flooding around the river, but it only covers fields. We have a few big puddles and our back garden resembles a swamp, but we can cope with that. I find the fresh Spring air invigorating and refreshing, which is just what we need. I will take the children and dog out for a walk with friends later, and we will all feel better for it.

chronic-pin_20-02

Ditching

We need to ditch the bad moods! I am guilty of being very grumpy with my husband because he frustrates me so much, but we still love each other. I know it can be the same for many other people, and it seems to be a habit with marriage, whatever the dynamic of your relationship. Do we need to ditch old attitudes perhaps? I feel like I am always battling for equality in my marriage, and yet I chose to put myself in this situation so then I get cross with myself. Ultimately, I am happy with my life as it is, so why be grumpy? Have a lovely half-term week, my friends!

DoL Back Cover

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“The Valentine’s Card” from My Vampire Boyfriend Anthology

Happy Valentine’s Day, my book loving friends! Today I share with you an excerpt from the short story The Valentine’s Card which features inside the Redcliffe short story anthology, My Vampire Boyfriend. You can download the book today for just 99p! Consider it my Valentine’s Day gift to you…

My Vampire Boyfriend A Redcliffe Short Story Anthology

Excerpt from The Valentine’s Card short story:

The card was white with a vase of pink roses printed on the front, glittered for effect. It didn’t feel like something Jack would send. It looked garish and dated. I opened it up, feeling a strange sense of dread. There was a message inside, printed by hand in blue Biro. It read, “Happy Valentine’s Day Jessica. See you tonight, my little witch.

I gasped. There was only one person who had called me ‘little witch,’ and she was dead. I destroyed her myself several months ago. I felt sick, picked up my phone, and called Jack.

#TheRedcliffeNovels 2018 series

This anthology contains adult themes, and scenes of a sexual nature. The short stories offer a glimpse into the sexual adventures of a fledgling witch, her vampire and werewolf, and their friends in various situations.

Available at Amazon US; Amazon UK; Books2Read

My Vampire Boyfriend

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How to Hold Sacred Space for Yourself

You might have seen in my recent blog posts that life has been very challenging recently. My mood has been low, I feel under pressure with the millions of tiny but important jobs that I am responsible for, and there has been nothing to look forward to. There still isn’t, although I am pleased that we have the school half-term holiday next week. It is such a relief that we won’t have to drag ourselves out of bed and get to school on time every morning for a few days. I haven’t planned any exciting events; indeed my children don’t seem keen to go anywhere. They are tired, and they want to stay at home. That suits me and my mood.

How to Hold Sacred Space for Yourself

How do you feel right now? Are you stressed, unhappy or simply unfeeling? Are you relatively calm and collected, just plodding on with life? Perhaps you have recently experienced or are experiencing something very exciting, and I would be happy to hear your good news. We need some good news stories to lift the gloom. And to that end, we need to hold sacred space for ourselves. We spend our lives doing things for other people. We raise our children, educate them, entertain them, keep them healthy and nurse them when they are sick. We work our jobs, busily trying to fulfil an often-impossible list of tasks every day. We help our friends and family members when they are struggling, and we try to help our communities by volunteering time and/or money to local projects and schemes. Then we are put under pressure to always “be our best,” which means keeping physically fit and active, having a long list of hobbies, having a social life. It is all too much to cram into 24 hours every single day.

How to Hold Sacred Space SpookyMrsGreen

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Do you retreat into your home, cancel all social plans, and sit in front of the TV worrying about what people will say about you? Or are you too busy to think about yourself? Remember that we cannot help other people if we do not help ourselves first. I have retreated a little in my family and social circles, closed myself off while I deal with my personal mood swings and battle my demons. Fortunately, I have the connection to reiki healing energy and a wonderful support network of friends that are helping me through the challenges I face. But they can only do so much. Most of the work to self-heal must come from me. I need to stop and listen to my body and my mind and decide what is in my best interest at this moment in time. This week I have focused on a project for redecorating our home because it makes me feel better. I have a sense of achievement and pride in my work. Today I am focusing on meditation and writing work, because that is important to me too. It is all part of me holding sacred space for myself, to do what is important for me. What makes you feel better? I’m sure you could fit in five minutes of sacred space to help with your holistic health and wellness. Have a lovely week!

It's Complicated A Redcliffe Short Story

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Why We Don’t Celebrate Valentine’s Day

My husband just bought me a brand-new car. He won’t make any grand gestures for Valentine’s Day, and neither will I. Valentine’s Day will be just a normal Friday in our house. I will take the children to school, come home and work on my books or my DIY projects. My husband will leave early in the morning for work and return late at night, falling asleep on the sofa once he has eaten his reheated dinner that I prepared earlier. There will be no excitement, no fanfare, nothing. And if I’m honest, that makes me sad.

Front Cover Love Hurts

Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel)

I know that the world has turned into a huge commercial monster machine, and we are bombarded constantly with invitations and demands to buy products (do you want to buy my books?!), and this makes a lot of people angry. We make ourselves ill by trying to prove our love on this one day of the year, or by trying to catch the attention of someone we like. We are told that our husbands or partners should take us out for a romantic meal, bring us expensive gifts, and worship us. I would love for my husband to worship me, but not in the commercial, stereotypical sense. He is simply exhausted from the hamster wheel of working life. He has mental illness and refuses to ask for help because he fears he will lose his job if he admits this weakness. So, he tries to ignore it, and I take the brunt of his stress. I am left alone to raise our children, run our household, support our family members through their challenges, and try to grow my career in the background somewhere. I am exhausted too.

Why We Don't Celebrate Valentine's Day

This year I would like to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It would be lovely to have quality time with my husband, away from the stresses of work and family. I want to know that he cares, and that I do mean something to him. For the past seven years I feel that he has put professional work before everything else in his life, and I feel like a single parent. We tried marital counselling, and he tried personal counselling. The therapist eventually concluded that she had done all she could with him, and it was down to him to make changes. He doesn’t want to make changes. He is stuck. And I am stuck also. We do still love each other, but sometimes I wonder if that is enough? I don’t feel appreciated, and I don’t think he does either. Happy Valentine’s Day, if you celebrate it!

It's Complicated A Redcliffe Short Story

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