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BorderCollieLover

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Reply with quote  #1 
This coming Saturday (Dec. 7th) I will be heading up to Abbey Glen Pet Memorial Park to see my girls and decorate for Christmas. I have beautiful wreaths that will be placed next to their sites. In addition, I will be placing Holly and Hemlock clippings by the wreaths. I have a heirloom Holly tree in my back yard that produces bright red berries during the colder months. My Hemlock tree is planted up close to the house and yields a thin, Coniferous branch with small, dangling cones. Both trees are quite striking. I'll be putting the Holly and Hemlock in  funnel cones. It should look nice. I plan to go back one more time before Christmas (around the 23rd or 24th) just to make sure that the wind didn't knock anything over. I am also sponsoring a rescue dog (Bradley) at Glen Highland Farm this year. That is the extent of my Christmas this year. No desire to do anything else. 

Jim

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Jim Miller
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Gucci

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Reply with quote  #2 
Jim - Your wreaths sound lovely, and it's somehow more special that you also have holly and hemlock from the yard your beautiful girls enjoyed so much. 

Remembrance of your girls, and generosity for Bradley...whatever is most fitting for you this holiday is what it needs to be.

Warm regards, tranquil thoughts, and safe travels.
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BorderCollieLover

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Reply with quote  #3 
Gucci:

  Thanks so much. I will be posting the whole story. 

Jim

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Jim Miller
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Mistysmama

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Reply with quote  #4 
The Holly and Hemlock decorations sound beautiful, I hope today went well, Jim.

I found a straggly rose for my Misty's grave and some pink flowers from a shrub. I couldn't believe I saw a red rose still growing in a sheltered place next to a stone wall ! Amazing for December ! Actually though the rose looked straggly, when arranged with those pink shrub flowers it looked lovely.
And when that fades, there is still Cedar, and Holly with berries I can use.

I always like to keep some flower/greenery arrangement on her grave all year round. I keep a little solar light there too.

I can imagine you have no heart for Christmas. Though it means somethin g special to us here....if it's any consolation, I never once sensed any enthusiasm with my Misty concerning Christmas. I don't think it means a thing to them where they are now. I am sure the love of Jesus would, but the date? Christmas? What it means to us?
I doubt it, as I never sensed anything special from her on the Other Side at this time of year.

I think they feel that the love just goes on and on no matter what date it happens to be.

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Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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BorderCollieLover

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Reply with quote  #5 
I left my house about 7:30 AM this morning for my ride up to Abbey Glen Pet Memorial Park. It's about a 1.5 hour ride. I went over my checklist of all the things that I needed to take and everything seemed to be in order. As I approached the town of Chester, I was surprised to see some light snow accumulation. This was surprising, since we didn't get any precipitation at all in my area. Yeah, the weather has been cold but no signs of the white flakes in Hamilton Square (NJ). The further north I drove the more snow I started to see. It immediately dawned on me that Abbey Glen might be blanketed in the white stuff as well. I was hoping that was not the case as I wasn't prepared to move snow. I didn't bring a snow shovel. When I drove through the little town of Andover I noticed that the hillsides were partially covered. Not a good sign. The last leg of my journey as I get closer to AG is very scenic. I didnt see any horses grazing in the fields today. Too cold. Many of the farm animals that I am accustomed to seeing (sheep, cows, fowl) were inside their barns trying to fend off Old Man Winter. About the only wildlife that I saw were some Geese hovering about the large Lake that separates Andover from Lafayette. When I arrived at Abbey Glen, it was clearly evident that they had endured a snowstorm within the past week. I drove over to Shelby's site and my worst fears were confirmed - the whole area was under snow. It was a complete white-out. I had to proceed slowly to try and uncover Shelby's marker. I thought I had the right spot but when I removed the snow - it wasn't her's. The next spot I tried was it. I let out a sigh of relief and said out loud, "Thank You, God." I didn't have a shovel or any other tool to remove snow. It was gonna' be my hands (with thick gloves on) or nothing at all. I started digging. To further complicare matters was the fact that the snow had frozen underneath the top layer. It wasn't ice but close to it. I kept digging. After (5) minutes or so I had the area pretty well cleared. I knelt down and kissed Shelby's granite marker. It was emotional. Next I went back to the car and brought over her wreath and Holly. Her wreath had a very festive look to it with: small XMAS ornaments, a big red bow and a Cardinal. I have a lot of big trees in my back yard and Cardinals were frequent visitors to our flora. They are magnificent birds. I wanted Shelby's wreath to reflect that. The wreath was placed at the top of her marker. I put Holly cuttings in funnel cones along both sides. It was beautiful. I told Shelby that I loved her. I wanted to decorate Puma and Molly's sites next. I trudged through the snow and placed their wreaths under The Gift of Love Memorial Wall. In back of their wreaths I placed a little sign that I made that read

Puma and Molly - Love U Always - Dad  xxxooo

This was a makeshift sign that I had made earlier in the week. I had placed the sign inside of two sheets of clear plexi-glass and sealed it shut with some screws amd bolts. I hope it holds together. Molly got a wreath with a white Dove on it which was symbolic of her gentle nature. My little Therapy Dog. And my beloved Puma got a very Christmasy one with XMAS ornaments, colored beads and bows. I told Puma and Molly that i loved them. I will be going back to AG on Christmas Eve just to make sure that the wind - or more snow - didn't destroy any of the decorations. I was freezing. Between my cold feet and hands (even with gloves on), it was time to head home. It's been a long day but one that I wouldn't have missed for anything in the world. 

Jim

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Jim Miller
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GandJsmom

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Reply with quote  #6 
Jim, 

This is my first post. I have been reading this forum since this August when my husband and I, empty nesters, suffered the sudden loss of our two beloved Shelties. They were 15 and 12, but never showed much sign of age. Their illnesses came so swiftly. Sometime I will post their story, our story. I just haven't been able to yet. I just wanted you to know that I've been following your posts about your visits to Abbey Glen because I work about five minutes from there and live in the next town over in Sussex County. Sometimes on my lunch hour I go for a country drive and drive by Abbey Glen. The next time I do this I will blow kisses to your girls. 


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BorderCollieLover

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Reply with quote  #7 
GandJsmom:

  Thanks for your post. Welcome to the Forum. I was very surprised by the snow in Lafayette yesterday, considering the fact that we didn't get any at all. I live in Hamilton Square (about 5 miles outside Trenton). I was not prepared to move snow. My only saving grace was that I had great, big ski gloves on that helped in the effort. Once I had the snow removed from Shelby's site I was able to put her wreath and Holly clippings in place. Same for my other girls (Puma and Molly). They are about (30) feet away from Shelby. I placed their wreaths and XMAS sign under The Gift of Love Memorial Wall.  It looks so good. 
You live in a beautiful area. Sussex County is where I wanted my girls interred because of the rolling hills, farmland and provincial setting. I know I made the right choice.

Sending warmest regards your way,

Jim

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Jim Miller
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Gucci

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Reply with quote  #8 
Jim - I'm glad you were able to clear away the snow enough to decorate the markers for Molly, Puma, and Shelby the way you wanted to.

I have no doubt everything looked beautiful, with the colour of the wreaths and clippings showing up vividly against the snow. It's very evident from the detailed care you take in maintaining all the markers, that this time with your precious girls is sacred.

I would often just watch Sammi when he was lazing in the sunshine, and feel my heart overflow with love for his unique being. The love doesn't end just because our dear companions are gone.

Thank you so much for sharing your visit with us.

Sending you warm regards and tranquil thoughts.

 
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BorderCollieLover

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Reply with quote  #9 
Gucci:

  Thanks. I was so surprised by the snow yesterday. Fortunately everything turned out OK. Since you live in Canada, I'm thinking that you and Sammi had some adventures in the snow. You said the right word: sacred. I do look at it as sacred time when I visit my girls. I'm sure that you feel the exact same way. Tough to deal with this stuff. Coming to this Forum has helped.

Jim

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Jim Miller
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Mistysmama

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Reply with quote  #10 
The story of your visit to Abbey Glen Jim, is so beautiful and atmospheric.
The wreath you got for Shelby, and those for Puma and Molly, reflect their individual characters.
It is so moving for me to read. And you write it so well, I feel as if I am there. Even my hands started to feel cold !
I am sure the sign which you made from plexi-glass will hold up against the wintery weather.

In a way the snow is nice. The wreaths will stand out much more on the snow. I have a feeling they will kind of freeze to the snow underneath, so they will be more firmly held in place and maybe the wind won't affect them much.

I bet Shelby loved the snow? Did she? And what about Puma and Molly?

Kind thoughts as always Jim.


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Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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BorderCollieLover

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Reply with quote  #11 
Mistysmama:

  I like the fact that you keep a solar light on Misty's site year round. That's wonderful. You also mentioned that you keep some kind of greenery there all the time. Do you take greenery from your garden or do you buy it from a local market? I wanted to take some Hemlock clippings yesterday but didn't have time to clip them. I may take some with me when I visit again on Christmas Eve. The wreath and Holly were very decorative so I don't feel like my creative Christmas design was inadequate. 

Sending Peaceful thoughts Your Way,

Jim

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Jim Miller
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Mistysmama

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Reply with quote  #12 
Oh there is always lots of greenery around....either in my garden, or in a neighbour's garden where I go to feed the fish in summertime. There is a citrus-scented cedar-type tree, variegated Holly, Rosemary (for remembrance as Shakespeare said !) and Ivy with the flowers on right now.
Then there are still a few flower survivors about and plenty of shrubs with orange and red berries.
In summer there are lots of different flowers.
All year round, there is some little offering to put on her grave, but I like to keep something there.

The solar lights are beautiful. I only have one, by choice or some reason. But they don't last long so the one which lasted longest was a small globe with crinkly glass. I prefer a white light (simple) but that one had an option of going through colours in a sequence.

The cheaper tiny solar lights -which are actually the ones I prefer because of their smallness. I didn't want anything too big -are forever dying, and I have to buy new ones!

__________________
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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BorderCollieLover

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Reply with quote  #13 
Mistysmama:

  Sounds like you have an abundance of greenery to place on Misty's site year-round. That's wonderful. I hadn't thought of the solar lights before. I would do that for my girls but I can't help but think that they (the solar lights) would fail during any prolonged period of gray skies. Something that we get a lot of in New Jersey. You asked if my girls liked the snow? Shelby & Puma loved the snow. Most Border Collies feel right at home in the white stuff. They were in their element. Molly, not so much. She was born in Florida and not used to the frigid temperatures. To counteract that we used to put a blue sweater on here. Seemed to work just fine. Molly looked so beautiful. My little Therapy Dog endured the cold weather much better - and was able to enjoy her walks.


Warmest regards,

Jim

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Jim Miller
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Mistysmama

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Reply with quote  #14 
Yes we can get a lot of grey skies in winter here too....then suddenly a few glorious days with bright sunshine !
So the little solar lights manage to catch enough light most of the time to put out something at night. I have noticed they do work even when it has been a pretty grey day.

But the one thing that does get them is water. They will withstand quite a bit of rain but eventually water gets in and corrodes the terminals. The cheaper ones go quicker than the more expensive ones. But they all do eventually die of that.
They seem so sealed-off from the weather but somehow it creeps in.

I have gone through at least six or seven in all these years. Two expensive ones, and the others a pound each (about a dollar fifty)

But it's easier for me as my Misty's grave is in my garden only about fifty feet from my house. So I can tell when the light has gone and put a new one in.

I bet Molly looked splendid in her blue coat.

Misty had a dark green waxed coat, but it got well worn over the years. She also had another one a lighter weight one which was supposed to be showerproof. But it was red and lined with white fleece, so it looked like a "Christmas coat". It didn't suit her at all. The red clashed with her russety-yellow fur. And it blew back when the wind got behind it. But neither of us cared. We laughed at it.

The green one always kept slipping to one side. I always had to stop her to fix it. She only wore that one in really cold weather or terrible rain.

I have kept both her coats hanging exactly where they always hung....back of the kitchen door. They still have little mud splashes, and a few dog hairs inside them, but her scent has faded.

__________________
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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chilover

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Reply with quote  #15 
Jim

firstly, I was so glad to hear that you managed to clear the snow away from Shelby's marker.
I imagine the the journey must have been different this time with the snow and no animals in view (apart from the Geese)..The place sounds so lovely, I can just visualize it. The decorations sound lovely too, with the red bow, the wreath and holly in the cones..As each season comes and goes it will be nice to have a different theme, not only to reflect the season but each of your girls personality..I love that you made a makeshift sign and I don't know what a cardinal looks like but i will do a search to see a pic, you said they are magnificent birds. I love birds!!

The journey to Abbey Glen itself sounds wonderful, with all the animals and the lake with the Geese..I find these places and surroundings very good for the soul, especially during the grieving process.  I always used to imagine what it must have been like to live on 'Waltons Mountain', surrounded by all that beautiful nature and wilderness. I sometimes wish that I could run away to it, or the place where they filmed 'Little house on the prairie' but I can't..

I'm sure that your girls were with you in spirit when you told them you loved them.

They will all be proud of you jim!

I re-posted about the tv appearance that never happened..
It was such a wonderful day when I was asked to help and thought it
was a positive sign in some way - but then it was taken away and that gives me 
no hope in anything..

hugs

Angelina 

 
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