SAINT OLGA

SAINT OLGA
MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER, SAINT OLGA, PATRON SAINT OF CONVERTS

Thursday, May 21, 2015

SERVICE DOG NEEDED

Advertisement for service dog vests for medium size dog, 
from Westwood Research Laboratories, found on Amazon.com


Dear readers,

You know from previous mention that my last service dog died and that I am currently looking for a service dog of a hypoallergenic breed because I have grown more allergic to the other breeds and my asthma has gone into overdrive.  Since I would like to avoid being one of the 5,000 people who die each year from an asthma attack, and since two medical doctors AND the local police are urging me to get another service dog, I have decided on a medium sized poodle variety, such as one in the picture above.

DOG REQUIREMENTS:

  • Pure bred poodle
  • Less than two years old
  • Between 20 and 35 pounds, give or take
  • dark color (NOT WHITE!)
  • Sound disposition and health

The reason for getting a pure bred is that this is the only way to be sure that the coat will be mostly hypoallergenic.  Poodles, and a few other breeds, have hair that grows continually, rather than fur that sheds.  It is this aspect that makes these breeds relatively hypoallergenic.  It is also this aspect that entails that either the owner groom the dog regularly or have it done professionally.  Professional grooming is expensive, so I am opting to do it myself.  Yes, I can do it.

Not all hypoallergenic dogs are suitable for service work, and some require more exercise than I can give them.  A medium sized poodle, what we would call a "large miniature" is most likely the only reasonable option for me.

I can manage the costs of ongoing food and vet bills, within reason, but the start up costs for training and grooming equipment are beyond me and I need assistance.

I am very familiar with dogs, I have had many and trained many.  I have also conducted quite a lot of research and I know for a fact that there is no agency in the United States that will supply me with a service dog of ANY variety, much less a hypoallergenic one.  Many people are convinced that service dogs can be had for free, and they cannot.  The only exception may be military veterans, and they usually have to wait at least 3 years.

Experts agree that clients who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder should train their own dog because each patient has their own peculiar needs and triggers.  They do recommend several books to aid in this process, and I have included them on a wish list on Amazon.  It is my intention to also join puppy obedience classes at Petsmart so that the puppy will start getting properly socialized right away.

"The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows persons living with mental health disabilities to train their own psychiatric service dog. There are many good reasons for choosing this method as opposed to getting such a dog from a program. First, owner-trainers get to choose the breed of dog they will partner with. For those of us who are drawn to breeds other than Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds this is an attractive feature."  
SPECIAL SERIES - TRAINING YOUR OWN PTSD SERVICE DOG
by Dr. Joan Esnayra

FULL ARTICLE HERE


As you can see, I have experience and expertise, AND I have "done my homework" with regard to the entire spectrum of service animals.  The only thing I need now is some financial assistance to obtain the dog and the necessary training and trimming supplies.

I cannot stress enough how much I need a service animal.  This is not a pet.  It is serious, therapeutic relief for a serious condition that I did not bring upon myself.  This is something that is necessary in addition to ongoing counseling, medication and other therapies.

The fundraising aspect of this venture is due entirely to the fact that I am disabled with numerous, chronic, painful, physical and emotional conditions that prevent me from working.  My retirement income is not enough to pay for the start up costs, even though I worked for more than 30 years and paid continually into Social Security. I have a close circle of friends, but there is no close family.  So...here I am, reduced to begging for alms to get my needs met.

If you are able to help and you are feeling generous, please click one of the below links and continue on.  If you are unable but sympathetic, I ask for your prayers.

FUNDRAISING SITE FOR DOG PURCHASE AND SUPPLIES

AMAZON WISH LIST FOR TRAINING & GROOMING SUPPLIES
It is recommended by all animal care professionals that the home be ready for the puppy prior to its introduction to the household, so it is important that I obtain the items on this wishlist BEFORE purchasing the animal.

God bless us all!

Silver Rose Parnell
(c) 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

OPINION AS KING

Mr. Fuzzy Pants, king of the house and ruler of all he surveys.
His opinion, which he expresses QUITE loudly, is law....or
so he tells me.


I wish I hadn't read Facebook today.  The political season of crazy has begun.  The worse of it are the lies that are foisted off as a "difference of opinion."  Large numbers of people have LENGTHY "opinions" and will fight vociferously for their position.  The only problem is, in the course of championing their cause, they spew lies right and left.  I call them lies because, well, that's what they are.

So, with Christian charity, I initially assume that these lies are just a product of a lack of education, so I provide definitive sources that prove that what they've said is not true...and they continue to defend the lie and say that it is true.  For these people, their opinion holds more weight than facts.

So it is with Satan.  He, the father of lies, presents the lies as Truth and the Truth as lies.

There is a very good reason why "Thou shalt not lie" is one of the 10 commandments.  You have to admit that 10 is not a big number, right?  Every one of those 10 items is crucially important for our spiritual well being.  Even some Christians don't seem to take it seriously, though.  I have been very surprised by this phenomena, since becoming a Catholic.

Some months ago, I caught one woman telling multiple lies on the telephone in order to manipulate someone into doing something she wanted.  When I questioned her, she said, "It's not a lie.  It's just a story."  When I explained that I was concerned about her immortal soul, she said, "Oh, don't you worry about me, little girl.  I'm just fine.  I'll be going to heaven, don't you worry about it."

Well, first of all, she was younger than me, so I suppose the "little girl" comment was an attempt to discount me.  This person was so wedded to her opinion that she wasn't going to let facts get in the way of what she wanted to do.  In her exalted opinion, it is alright to tell lies if you call them "stories."

I know our God is a loving God, but he also expects that, if we love him we will do what he says to do.  If we don't, then we don't go to heaven.  Don't find fault with me for repeating Christ's position on this.  Take it up with Him if you disagree.

Still, this rainbows and lollipops and unicorns Jesus is all the rage among people who just do not want to make any effort to "become perfect as your father in heaven is perfect."  I am not talking about the people who aspire to holiness and fail now and again.  That's a different circumstance.

I had to block two people from my Facebook list today because they defended lies about the church that were obviously intended to manipulate people into choosing one political party over another. Even when faced with proof from the American bishops that they were lies, they staunchly defended their lies.  Their opinion could not be touched or changed by truth or facts.  Their opinion is king.  God save the poor wretches.  They need our prayers.

When we do not defer to God, but instead rely upon on our opinion, we are in big trouble.  I rather think the road to hell is paved with these self-referential opinions.  After all, that's how Satan ended up there.  In his opinion, he was as good as God, and look where it got him.

Silver "Rose" Parnell
(c) 2015


Saturday, May 9, 2015

PRAY FOR NEPAL


I woke up this morning feeling very grateful that I was born in a country with amazing resources and a high standard of living.  Even though close to the poverty level, I have an adorable, clean, sturdy apartment; hot and cold running water; a fairly safe food supply; nice clothes in my closet; hobbies and friends; a wonderful church community.

As of this morning, the confirmed death toll as a result of the recent earthquake in Nepal is nearly 8,000 souls, at 7,912.  The utter devastation is due to a combination of factors, mostly a very strong quake combined with antiquated buildings.  About 298,000 houses were destroyed, and more than 10,000 government buildings collapsed.  About 8 million other people have been affected by the quake, but the U.N. reports that donations of funds have fallen well below that which is needed to help this nation rise from its knees.  They need $415 million, but have only received $22 million in response to last month's disaster.  Click the following link to get information about U.N. efforts and what is needed:

U.N. REPORTS FUNDS ARE WELL BELOW WHAT IS NEEDED

The clock is ticking because June is typically the beginning of their monsoon season which customarily causes floods and mudslides.  With millions of people homeless as a result of this disaster, it doesn't take much of an imagination to divine what looms ahead for this beleaguered nation.

If you can contribute any funds to help the Napalese, here are some links:

CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES
CAFOD - Just One World
TROCAIRE.ORG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC ORGANIZATION FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE
CARITAS AUSTRALIA
CENTRAL OFFICE FOR CARITAS - In Rome, Italy
AMERICAN RED CROSS

If you are like me and have no funds to contribute, please join me in prayer for Nepal.  Do an extra rosary.  Take some time in adoration before the Blessed Eucharist.  Remember the Nepalese people when you say grace before eating, that they should also have food and safe water.

God bless us all.

Silver Rose Parnell
(c) 2015

Sunday, May 3, 2015

ACCEPTING GOD'S WILL




"Perfection is founded entirely on the love of God: 
"Charity is the bond of perfection;" and perfect love 
of God means the complete union of our will with 
God's: "The principal effect of love is so to unite the 
wills of those who love each other as to make them 
will the same things." It follows then, that the more 
one unites his will with the divine will, the greater 
will be his love of God. Mortification, meditation, 
receiving Holy Communion, acts of fraternal charity 
are all certainly pleasing to God - but only when they 
are in accordance with his will. When they do not 
accord with God's will, he not only finds no pleasure 
in them, but he even rejects them utterly and punishes 
them."  ~ Saint Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri

Yesterday I attended the local Lay Dominican Chapter meeting.  First, there was morning mass in the church, then we moved over to the parish hall and had our meeting, which was begun with daily prayer from the book of Shorter Christian Prayer, a truncated version of the Daily Office that is said throughout the Catholic Church in monasteries and convents and sometimes by individuals at home.

We had a light breakfast, a reflection, some discussion about future events, and then we broke out into three groups for a discussion of a recent paper on governance that was a preparatory document in light of upcoming elections.  After all of that, I met with a few people with regard to entering the "Inquirer" stage of the process of becoming part of the Dominican order.

All of this took about 4 hours, and by the time it was over, I was in agony of physical pain.  My back, legs, sciatic nerve, and arthritic tailbone were all screaming at me, despite having taken two strong pain pills.  The pain stayed with me throughout the rest of the day, which I spent in my recliner, some of it sleeping.  I missed my customary Saturday evening mass.  At 10:30 p.m., I was still feeling the pain, and I realized that I am not physically able to attend these Lay Dominican meetings.

The most I can do is attend mass once a week at my parish, where they supply me with a chair that helps alleviate some of the pain that comes from sitting for so long.  Becoming part of a third order is a fine and beautiful thing to do, but it has become obvious to me that, as fine as it is, it is not God's will for the trajectory of my life.  I love God, therefore I exult in learning His will for me, regardless of what it is, because whatever it is, it is an expression of his love for me and his deep involvement in my life.

Nothing happens in life that God does not either will or allow to happen.  

Cheerfully accepting the will of God when it doesn't happen to coincide with what I thought I wanted is something I am STILL learning to do!  The alternative just causes me unhappiness.  There is a certain joy in knowing that God has revealed a clear path for me by hemming it in with very tall barriers.  I told Him I wanted only to know his will and, having my explicit permission, given by my free will, He has obliged me.

I had envisioned a different sort of life for myself in my later years. For the longest time, I yearned to be a nun in a contemplative convent with other nuns, but, having spent many years in God's company, alone in my apartment hermitage, I have grown to love this life as an expression of God's love for me. Being an accidental hermit who is disabled and mostly home-bound had not figured into my plans, but this is the situation with which I am gifted.  Having faith in God that he knows what is best for me in the highest sense is a crucial part of my spirituality.

Cultivating gratitude and learning to say "thank you" for the obstacles has been a hard lesson that took me a very long time to learn, and I am still evolving along those lines.  I suspect that this type of conversion just goes on forever.  In this deliberate effort, the joy of surrender is gradually coming upon me.  I pray that one day this joy will be complete.

In the meantime, I have advised the Lay Dominicans that I will not be able to continue with them, until and unless my health improves.  I will continue on at home, praying, meditating, and practicing the presence of God.

God bless us all.

Silver Rose Parnell
(c) 2015