Update on My Animals

I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me lately asking about all of my animals, so I figured I would write a post and update everyone on all of my babies.

As many of you know, I love animals. Ever since I was little I wanted to do everything in my power to help them and save them from any bad situation they could possibly be in. I guess that’s why I have so many now. Since I last wrote a blog about my pets, I started adopting a whole bunch of different animals. From geckos to guinea pigs, I love them all. Surrounding myself with animals has been therapeutic and I love taking care of them and being their mommy.

All of my animals get along really well. I socialize them from a young age to be comfortable around each other. They all really love each other and I just love that about them. Right now I have four wonderful dogs, Rascal, Peanut, Faith and Cupid. But, like I said, I have a wide array of animals in my care. I also have three bearded dragons, Rosy, Anuk and Angel. Three hermit crabs, two blue ones and one white one. They are such funny creatures. Two guinea pigs, Snickers and Reeses. I named them after candy because of their coloring. They are so sweet and fun to be around, and the best part about them is that they don’t smell like some other rodents do.

I know a lot of people don’t like snakes, but I love them. They are so pretty and interesting. I have one boa that is six months old. A lot of people are scared of them, but they are really great animals. I also have two frogs. One of them is deformed and paralyzed on one side. I have been working with him to help him move better and strengthen his good side. And I have a lot of fish and some outdoor turtles. I will be moving my turtles in for the winter so they don’t freeze.

To me, it is important to treat animals with all of the love and respect you would treat a human. You are all they have and they deserve all of the love and care in the world. I have said this before, but if you can’t take care of them or if you feel like they’re too much for you, please help to find them a forever home or take them to shelter where they can be loved.

Love Your Pets

April was Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month so I thought this blog would be perfect timing to talk about my experiences with animals and why I love them so much.

When I was little, I had sometimes 15 dogs in my house at a time. I actually helped one of my dogs birth puppies on my bed. She wouldn’t let anybody but me come near her puppies. It was such a special experience for me and made me realize my desire to help animals.

I saw animals living in poor conditions and facing abuse. I hated this so much, so now I try to make sure my animals have as much as love and care as possible. I really understand how these animals feel, they just want to love and be loved. I used to get really upset about all of the animals in the world that I won’t be able to save, but now I realize that even though I can’t save every animal, I can try the best I can. I want to make sure that people know that there are places you can take your animals instead of leaving them out in the cold and without food. There are no-kill shelters, and there are so many great volunteers and people looking to help them. I just want to remind people of the importance of being kind to these animals.

When I was little, I had a German shepherd named Rusty. He was my favorite dog. We did everything together, and I mean everything. He would even follow me into the bathroom when I had to take a bath! He was the only friend I had and I loved him more than anything. I eventually got a buddy for him, a chow named Bear. Bear was definitely my second favorite dog. She and Rusty got along great, I used to use her as a pillow and she was so sweet.

I now have four beautiful fur babies. Cupid, Peanut, Madison and Rascal. All of them get along really well. Cupid’s name was actually Bandit when I first got him, but I had to change his name because he really was a bandit! Now his name is Cupid and he is a big ol’ flirt. Peanut is a lazy girl, and even though she knows tricks and commands she only does them when she wants to. She’s a little sassy when it comes to that. Madison is the sweetest little girl. She just loves everyone and everything, but she’s a little clumsy. Rascal is 8 years old and though I love him, my stairs are a little difficult for him to walk up, so I am looking to put him up for adoption to a loving and patient home.

Lastly, my biggest piece of advice when it comes to animals: Take care of them like you take care of yourself and the ones you love. If you can’t take care of them or if you feel like they’re too much for you, please help to find them a forever home or take them to shelter where they can be loved.

Heart of a Woman Luncheon

Back in February, I spoke at the Heart of a Woman Luncheon to an amazing group of women. The event was so amazing and I am so happy that I got to speak for AVDA. Even before I got to the event, I sat next to a little girl on the plane who wanted to watch the movie Trolls. It may have been a small moment, but to me, it was huge. I love getting to know people, and it was such a touching moment getting to bond with this little girl over her favorite movie.  

At the luncheon, I met so many amazing women. They have all been through a lot in their lives, and they told me about how my situation influenced and inspired them. It was awesome getting to talk to these strong women, and my advice to them, and to you, is to keep smiling. You have control over your happiness and sadness. I still get mad and angry, but I have found ways to let it go and move past those feelings. You have to be able to work with your flaws and appreciate them. If you can learn to love and accept your own flaws, it will be easier to focus on all the good around you.

My favorite thing about traveling and speaking to groups is getting to know people and hearing their stories. It’s so inspiring. People think my story is incredible, but I think all of yours are just as amazing, and I am so grateful that these women feel comfortable enough to share their stories with me. I received a precious moments doll, I’ve always seen them, but I’ve never had one before, and that was exciting.  I think one of the most memorable and exciting things that happened was that I was outbid for the golden monkey that I was trying to purchase for my son. And I was outbid by somebody who actually bought the monkey for me! I cried tears of joy and gratitude. It still amazes me how thoughtful people can be. Little things like that mean so much to me, they make my heart melt and I will forever be grateful for that act of kindness.

I would encourage everyone to get the help you need and use your resources. We have the choice to be happy. Take advantage of that.

Inspiration

In December, I received an email from a 17 year old girl named Barbara. She told me that my story had been inspiring her since she was 13, and asked if it was okay with me to use my story as inspiration for her solo for dance. She wanted to promote awareness for missing people, abuse, and abduction.

Of course I was thrilled about this! I met Barbara and she was the sweetest girl. She told me that this was her first year participating in the competition and she used my story as inspiration because she wanted to showcase something that meant something meaningful to not only her, but others as well. Her dance of so full of raw emotion and she was amazing.  It was such an inspirational piece that warmed my heart with such joy and love that I cried tears of happiness!  Before her dance, she told me that she was nervous and after, she asked if I would change anything…I can tell you all, like I told her… I would not have changed a thing! I was so touched by the emotion she portrayed through her art. I can still hardly believe that my story touched her enough to create a dance about it.

I am so thankful that my story is touching the lives of others, and I will never forget seeing it portrayed through such a beautiful outlet like dance!

For The New Year

This year, I am really focusing on being healthy and eating right. After Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s time to get back on track for the new year. During the holidays all the food looked so good and I wanted to try everything!

I am also working on becoming more organized. I’ve had a lot going on and I’ve felt unorganized for a while. Since I moved, it seems like everything is out of order. My plan for the beginning of this year is to get everything organized and in its place.

Last year, the biggest thing I learned is the importance of finding your circle and surrounding yourself with people who support you. Find the people that you can trust and depend on. Those are the people that will always be there for you, and those are the people that will build you up instead of tearing you down.

I would encourage everyone to be patient, loving and understanding to each other’s feelings. Know that there’s a brighter light to every story. Just because you’re going through hard times, don’t let them control your life.

It’s time to stay on track and keep myself above float. I’m not letting things that happen in my life affect the way I live my life. I will face it, learn from it, and move on.

What are your goals for this year? What was the best thing you learned last year?

I have a lot of exciting things planned for this year. Stay tuned!