a wonderful talented lady
In closing, I asked Ronnie what message she would like to convey
to all of Dagger's fans and family.
She said so eloquently that,
"God gives every human being talent. Whether that talent is in music, crafts, painting, writing, teaching and on and on.
The key is to NEVER EVER GIVE UP.
To always look for something better!
Continuing, she said,
"We are like sponges soaking up all that we can.
I always look at the glass half full.
I can pick up my knitting needles and feel good about myself.
It's important to be grateful...always."
Let me know what it is.
Write to me. I'd love to hear about it!!
Happy Tales to you,
AND To all who celebrate...
Happy Easter and Happy Passover!
Looking back on my life with Dagger, he did just that. He was this little four long-legged fur baby that didn't even know how super special he was. Making people happy and content was all,
I believe, he ever wanted in life.
And in return all he wanted were treats, belly rubs,
and to feel successful.
I leave you with this message...
You may see some signs from the people and animals who've made your world a better place.
They are the angels and saints in your life.
Tell me about them in the comments below.
I'd love to hear your stories.
You are all so very special to me. I hold your love, your concern, your prayers and your thoughts about me
and my family in my heart forever.
joy, kindness, and love.
Ragan, Lyn: "Signs From Pets In The Afterlife," page 87
Here are a few suggestions to help you cope:
- Acknowledge your grief and give yourself permission to express it.
- Don't hesitate to reach out to others who can lend a sympathetic ear. Do a little research online and you'll find hundreds of resources and support groups that may be helpful to you.
- Write about your feelings, either in a journal or a poem, essay, or short story.
- Call your veterinarian or local humane society to see whether they offer a pet-loss support group or hotline, or can refer you to one.
- Prepare a memorial for your pet.
The loss of a pet may be a child's first experience with death. The child may blame themself, their parents, or the veterinarian for not saving the pet. And they may feel guilty, depressed, and frightened that others they love may be taken from them.
Trying to protect your child by saying the pet ran away could cause your child to expect the pet's return and feel betrayed after discovering the truth. Expressing your own grief may reassure your child that sadness is ok and help them work through their feelings.
Coping with the loss of a pet can be particularly hard for seniors. Those who live alone may feel a loss of purpose and an immense emptiness. A pet's death may also trigger painful memories of other losses and remind caregivers of their own mortality. What's more, the decision to get another pet is complicated by the possibility that the pet may outlive the caregiver and that the decision to get another pet hinges on the person's physical and financial ability to care for a new pet.
For all these reasons, it's critical that senior pet owners take immediate steps to cope with their loss and regain a sense of purpose.
If you are a senior, try interacting with friends and family, calling a pet-loss support hotline, even volunteering at a local humane society.
Surviving pets may whimper, refuse to eat or drink, and suffer lethargy, especially if they had a close bond with the deceased pet. Even if they were not the best of friends, the changing circumstances and your emotional state may distress them. (However, if your remaining pets continue to act out of sorts, there could actually be a medical problem that requires your veterinarian's attention.)
Give surviving pets lots of TLC and try to maintain a normal routine. It's good for them and for you.
Getting another pet
Rushing into this decision isn't fair to you or your new pet. Each animal has their own unique personality and a new animal cannot replace the one you lost. You'll know when the time is right to adopt a new pet after giving yourself time to grieve, considering whether you're ready, and paying close attention to your feelings.
When you're ready, remember that your local animal shelter or rescue is a great place to find your next special friend."
I've also felt the love and kindness that has been expressed to us by so many people. It's been incredible....to say the least! The outpouring of love, sympathy and condolences has helped in so many ways with our grief. We received phone calls from people from all over the world, articles written about Dagger and his incredible life, an ABC 7 Eyewitness News Segment hosted by Brittany Bell about Dagger's passing, cards, flowers from so many people including a gorgeous arrangement of white roses from Rachael Ray, plants, cookies, a photo album filled with pictures of Dagger from the time he was born until now, plaques, ornaments, sun catchers, a blanket filled with photos of Dagger's life. a wind chime...and so much more.
We are so very grateful to everyone for everything!!!
Each was a expression of the love they all have for Dagger.
And each meant the world to us!
Someone once said that when we love our pets, we open our hearts to a life full of joy and when we have to say good bye we welcome them into our hearts to live there forever.
"The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief. But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.”
But, I do know one thing's for sure..
Dagger's message of Kindness, Hope and Love
will live on in me and through me.
Dagger and I always lived life organically. We treated it with the saying, "whatever happens, if it's for the good of others, let's take a chance,
try our best, and make it happen."
I'm planning to do just that!
our Words Count
"There's an old joke that says,
'It took me two years to learn how to talk
and the rest of my life learning when to shut up.'
written by Don Miguel Ruiz.
The Four Agreements are:
1. "Be Impeccable with Your Word"
2. "Don't Take Anything Personally"
3. "Don't Make Assumptions"
4. "Always Do Your Best"
"Be Impeccable With Your Word.". When Ruiz speaks of being "Impeccable With Your Word" he concentrates on what we say and how our words can impact the outcome of any situation. Ruiz says that "It sounds simple, but it is very, very powerful...Why your word? Your word is the power that you have to create." He goes on to say that, "Your word is the gift that comes directly from God. The Gospel of John in the Bible, speaking of the creation of the universe, says, 'In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word is God." (25-26) When I read that I was curious to learn more about how we can use our words in a way that helps rather than hinders..
It's not easy. I know. But, it is possible,
I'm going to try.
Happy, Healthy, Blessed New Year!
Happy tales to you,
Excerpts taken from:
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz
"The Dog that paints from his heart"
Written by Yvonne Dagger
Illustrated by Olivia Menghini
Umm...On second thought...maybe, just maybe I can.
When Dagger does his painting demonstrations and workshops people witness his charisma. It makes my heart sing to see how he brings out the best in everyone he meets. I was always asked at our workshops, why I haven't written a children's book about Dagger yet. My response was always, "Me??? Oh, not me...That's for someone else to do." Then when the pandemic kept us all isolated, our DogVinci Workshops and in-person meetings came to a screeching halt. Suddenly, I had the time to think about what all of these great people were prompting me to do while we were traveling from library to library and school to school sharing Dagger's talent. It was then that I began to think about the prospect of a children's book about Dagger. Should I write a book? I'm not sure if I can, I thought. As time past, I began to feel the need more and more to write about my amazing dog. I thought that it would also be a great legacy to leave for everyone. As my creative prowess emerged, my first thought was, "Wow, There's so much to say about Dagger's journey so far." I reached out to educators and family for their guidance. Coming up with a beginning, a middle, and an end was one of the hardest things for me to do. So, I've started writing about his life which is pretty interesting. I knew that illustrating was not my expertise, so I was fortunate to locate a wonderful illustrator for the book. For months now we've been working tirelessly on this creative endeavor. I'm still in the writing stage.
that needs to shine for all to see.
Let your light shine!
Your light will then encourage someone else's light to shine,
Have a Happy and Blessed Holiday Season!!
Be well and stay safe!
Happy tales to you,
Many years ago, a dear friend of mine and I were talking about holidays.
I asked him what his favorite holiday was.
He said, "Without a doubt..."Thanksgiving!!"
"Why?", I asked.
our hearts become open to a spirit of compassion and forgiving.
It's good to be mindful of them all...that tends to make us happy.
How can we do that??? This is what I came up with...
I'm sure you have many of your own😊
- Take a moment to stop and look around. I've found that if I stop and look around concentrating on the beauty of the flowers, clouds, blue sky, people, animals and especially Dagger I am keenly aware of the blessings that surround me everyday.
- Reflect on the ways we are a blessing to others by being kind
- Reach out to others with random acts of kindness.
- Think about your gifts and talents. Write them down and be proud of each and every one of them, Even the small ones!
- Remember you are Awesome!! Be extra thankful for the gift of YOU!
- Whether we're gathering in person with family and/or friends
- A quick phone call to a friend or family member miles away can make someone's Thanksgiving Day memorable. I know it does mine!!
- Three little words, "Thinking of YOU," can mean the world to a person who is spending the holiday alone for Thanksgiving.
- Even a joyful Text has always made my Thanksgiving day special.
So many of us have a recipe or contribution we take to our
What's yours? Please share it with me in a post below...
This year I found a recipe that I've been modifying as my own.
It's my version of Pumpkin Bread...
I've been testing it on many people. Everyone seems to like it. I'd like to share to with you. Below is the recipe.
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
2 Cups whole wheat white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups pumpkin puree (NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs beaten
1. Grease two 2- 4"x8" loaf glass Pyrex pans with olive oil spray
and line with parchment paper.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees or 325 degrees for convection oven.
3. Whisk all dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt) together in one bowl. Set aside.
4. In a separate bowl whisk to combine the wet ingredients (Pumpkin puree, unsweetened applesauce, honey, melted butter, extra virgin olive, vanilla extract, and eggs).
5. Add the wet ingredients (pumpkin mixture) to the dry ingredients (flour mixture). Mix just until combined. DO NOT over mix!
6. Pour batter equally into prepared pans.
7. Bake for 35-40 minutes. After 35 minutes, check with toothpick (the toothpick should come out clean when inserted in center of loaf) …if toothpick does not come out clean put back in oven for another 5-10 minutes. This baking process depends on your oven.
8. Allow bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it from pans and transfer to a wire rack until completely cool.
Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.
May you feel blessed.
May you know that you are a blessing.
May you enjoy nature's bountiful blessings!
Happy Tales to you,
🍁 Change 🍁
Never the less...They're all changes.
I encountered the biggest change I had ever experienced in my life on October 20,2019. My identical twin sister, Yolande, passed away after a long brave battle with cancer. During my life as a twin, I remember people asking me what it felt like to be a twin. My answer was always, "I don't know any other way of describing my twin-ship.I've never not been a twin...." When people saw us together they could see identical features, mannerisms and voices. Yet, we were mirror twins which meant that we were in many ways very different. Yolande was more scientific and I'm more creative. Fast forward to now and I am very well aware of how it feels having been a twin and the feeling of not being a twin any longer...It's like losing a part of you. A part that was with me for 68 years...not to mention the time we spent together being created in our mom's womb. It hasn't been easy accepting this change in my life. There are times when I just want to pick up the phone and tell Yolande about some wonderful news about Dagger's life or just get in the "DogVinci" mobile and visit her with Dagger. Then I realize that she's not here any longer. Miraculously, many moments during these empty times, I feel her presence overwhelm me. I feel a sense of peace which enters my body.
I can picture her saying to me, "I'm okay...if you're okay💕" That's how we always coexisted. If one of us was stressed and hurting the other felt it. I think that's why I feel at peace with her "new life" in Heaven with the Lord. I know that she's okay which makes me feel okay.
1. Plan ahead. If you know change is on the horizon, do some prep work...
2. Reframe your thinking. Figure out what's going on in your mind when you're feeling sad and break negative patterns. ...
3. Take time to reflect. ...
4. Strive to maintain some normalcy. ...
5. Create some comfort. ...
6. Count your blessings." (1)
and even to take advantage of it.
🍁Find the humor in the situation. ...
🍁Talk about problems more than feelings. ...
🍁Don't stress out about stressing out. ...
🍁Focus on your values instead of your fears. ...
🍁Accept the past, but fight for the future. ...
🍁Don't expect stability."(2)
with an open mind and heart.
And may you grow and learn from each change.
Happy Tales to you,
2. dealing with change
September is the month of
So, I "googled" it up on my computer...
- Set goals for yourself. ...
- Surround yourself with people who want to see you do well. ...
- Evaluate what isn't working and eliminate those habits. ...
- Learn a new activity or skill. ...
- Eat healthily and hydrate daily. ...
- Have compassion for yourself and others. ...
- Clean your space regularly.*
explore all of the ways I can improve myself.
Be well and Stay safe!!
Happy Tales to you,
If I can, so can you...
"Mistake" is not a word I use in Dagger's workshops or even in our studio. Trying and persevering are words that are used.
Positive reenforcement and having fun are paramount when we
create, learn and inspire.
I've also learned that keeping dates on creations provides
two very important things:
1. It's a great way to document your creations.
2. It's an even more important way to see just how you've
grown in your craft.
As an artist, I'm mindful of the way I've slowly improved in my drawings. I used to get all upset when I wasn't able to master "making the doggie look like the doggie"...so to speak. Now, I look at things in a different light. I give myself a break and let the creating prowess flow from me. What a relief it is to know that it's okay to have the courage to insert the initial line on a piece of paper and go with the flow! Even my painting style has changed over the years. It's freer and looser. Many of the great masters got more relaxed over time too. Not that I would even try to compare myself with the likes of Michelangelo or Monet. But, I have noticed a big difference in my paintings over time. Perhaps, it's a sense of confidence or even experience. I'm not sure. It could be eyesight too. Ha! Ha! All I know is that as I've studied my works over time, I can see differences in technique and style. I've also learned that Michelangelo's last sculpture's were more abstract and loose in style than his previous works. Claude Monet's large Impressionistic magnificent paintings of his Lilly pond were quite abstract as the viewer gets closer to the painting. If you look at Jackson Pollack's earlier works, they were very realistic compared to his Abstract Expressionistic "Drip Technique" later works.
Remember, whatever you create... it's yours. You created it.
Be proud of yourself for taking the first step to creating.
If Dagger and I can do it...So can you!
You jumped into the wonderful world of creating.
Now, Date it. Sign it (if you wish). And cherish it!
Happy Tales to you,
🎶 Will you be my neighbor?? 🎶
When my kids were growing up, there was a show on PBS called "Mr Rogers Neighborhood." According to Wikipedia.com, Fred Rogers was an "American television host, author, producer, and Presbyterian minister." He captivated his young audience and was a big hit in our house. His calm and inspirational demeanor as well as his way of making every child feel special was his Hallmark. I remember how happy I was when the show was on because for an hour I knew Mr. Rogers was "babysitting" for my little ones through the TV screen. To me he was giving them a great deal of positive and wonderful messages. He would say, "You're special just the way you are!" and "In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers." Oh, there were so many messages on his show. From the minute he entered his little neighborhood when he changed his jacket to his sweater and his shoes to his sneakers, you just knew that the messages were going to be messages you wanted your kids to hear and live by. Even feeding the fish was symbolic. What did all of this mean? I think for my kids it meant that there was an order in a daily schedule and a sense of taking care of oneself and others, even the fish. I also think that it was a great way of teaching by repetition. Children learn from repetition. After all, we all do.
A Place where I can Bark, Blog and Woof a Little
written by Yvonne Dagger