BorderCollieLover
I got up at 5 AM and had originally intended to leave the house early for my 1.5 hour drive to Lafayette, NJ to see my girls. I felt pretty good as I had gotten enough sleep. One thing led to another (eating a good breakfast, showering and putting out the trash) and before I knew it,the clock was nearing 7 AM. It was time to go. The weather forecast had called for some rain but the only thing falling was a light mist. Traffic was fairly light for the most part, which is somewhat of an anomaly for the nation's "most densely populated state."  As I got into the North Jersey area (Chester, Byram, Mt. Olive) I noticed little pockets of snow dotting the mountainous landscape. I knew I was getting close as I proceeded into the little town of Andover. I turned right onto Rt. 669 and was only a few miles away. The scenery goes from really nice to downright magnificent as I entered Pierce Road. There were several barnyard animals outside a barn grazing in the pasture (sheep, llamas, cows) which always puts a smile on my face. Pierce Rd. winds around and junctions into Warbasse Pike. Now it's only a few more miles to Rt. 94 (Sussex County) and Abbey Glen. I was really getting anxious now as I had not seen my girls since Christmas Eve. I needed to go the office first and pay an annual maintenance fee (this fee will assure that Shelby's site will be properly maintained - grass cut, weeded, etc. - for the entire year). The girl in the office took my check and invoice and told me she would process my order and make a photocopy for me which would take about (5) minutes or so. I told her that I would wait outside. It's amazing how you may have seen something many times before and yet, it doesn't stick in your mind. I'm referring  to a bronze statue outside the AG office of a dog jumping up on his master. It was done many years ago by a Japanese artist (I didn't process the name) and is so appropriate for the AG grounds. I was very moved by the sheer beauty of it. To the left of the statue is a plaque which read (I am paraphrasing here): The Meaning of a True Relationship is Two Imperfect Beings Coming together as One. I'm sure that the actual wording is different but I was anxious to get my receipt and see my girls, so my interpretation is not exact. The girl in the office came outside and handed me the receipt and told me that "You're all set to go." It was time to see my babies. I drove around the winding road and pulled up to Shelby's site. I had prided myself on "really keeping it together these past few weeks" but that all ended as I walked up to my girl's site. I was surprised that the grounds crew had kept all the Christmas decorations intact. As a matter of fact, all of the sites still had wreaths, Holly, grave blankets, etc. still in place. I was kind of glad they did. I knelt down and kissed Shelby's marker and burst into tears. I was really crying. I hadn't had an outpouring of emotion like this before at AG. I'm not sure what precipitated this. I told her that I loved her so much - and always would. I walked over to the Gift of Love memorial wall to see Puma and Molly. Once again, the AG grounds crew had left my makeshift sign in place. The sign read: Puma and Molly - Merry XMAS - I will always love you - Dad  xxxooo.  
I had  requested that they leave up the XMAS decorations until the new year. I fully expected everything to be be taken down right after Jan. 1st. They assured they would. It was so great to see that AG honored their word. I walked back over to Shelby's site and couldn't stop crying. I once again kissed her marker and told her that I would return again real soon to see her. It's a promise I intend to keep. The drive home was quiet. I know that my girl's are in good hands now. It was a good day. 

Warmest regards,

Jim
Jim Miller
Quote 0 0
chilover
Jim.

I am glad to hear you made it to Abbey Glen to see your 3 girls. The scenery and surrounding area sounds so lovely- the mountainous landscape, the sheep, llamas and cows, which would put a smile on my face too. They always seem so peaceful and content and without a care in the world which is no doubt one of the reasons why we love to be around them. The fact that you were feeling anxious on your way there was understandable. I am also happy to hear that Shelby's site will be well looked after - grass cut and weeded. I have never been to a pet memorial site before ( I have my Daisy's ashes at my home ) but I have seen pictures of them and they look absolutely beautiful, and very well cared for, much more so than human cemeteries and crematoriums. Your outpouring of emotion at Shelby's marker I can relate to - whenever I kiss my Daisy's box of ashes I cry so hard, maybe it's because they are the places where we connect with them more, maybe we envisage them being there somehow...

Today ( the 2nd ) Marks my Daisy's 6 month anniversary .
I will be lighting a candle for her and saying a prayer at the church. Unfortunately I am no better. It is one brutal journey. When people tell me to get another dog it is hurtful - it's no different than telling someone to go find another partner after they have passed, it is so disrespectful to both our pets memory and of the bond in which we shared with them.

I am glad that your 3 girls - Shelby, puma and Molly are in good hands jim and that the weather was okay.

Hugs

Angelina.

Quote 0 0
Mistysmama
Dear Jim,  how lovely that you managed to get up there to Shelby's, Puma's and Molly's resting place again. And your description again is so atmospheric. It sounds like such wonderful country.
The statue sounds so moving and beautiful. Yes...two imperfect beings coming together as one. That's what Love does. And lifts us up to a better state of being.

I notice how many of the names there are just like English places....there is an Andover not far from where I live!

How nice that the ground staff honoured their promise to keep decorations up past New Year.

Your tears are tears of Love. My kindest thoughts to you Jim, and to your dear Shelby.


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
Quote 0 0
BorderCollieLover
Angelina:

  It's always nice to hear from you. Yes, I can just imagine that today (Feb. 2nd) will be tough for you as it marks the 6th month of Daisy's passing. Relatively speaking, I have friends and acquaintances who lost their beloved fur babies over (10) years ago and still can't talk about it. Your love and respect for Daisy is so genuine. She was so very fortunate to have had you as her human companion for all those years. I would be offended, too, with the constant bombardment of inquiring whether you're going to get another dog. Yes, I think it does diminish the unique relationship that we forge with our four-legged friends. People who ask that question are just making conversation and in most cases don't want to sound uncaring and insensitive but it still -nonetheless - hurts. I get that question, too, and it does anger me. It's OK that you are still mourning Daisy each and every day. I miss Shelby each and every day. She's constantly in my thoughts. When you light that candle today, try and remember the wonderful times that you and her had together. No one can ever take that away from you. Your relationship was very special. 

Sending warmest regards to you,

Jim
Jim Miller
Quote 0 0
BorderCollieLover
Mistysmama:

  It is amazing how many towns in Northern NJ have English sounding names. I am not a historian but I would guess that many of the early settlers came from the UK. Even the county name (Sussex) is probably English derived. Interesting to think about. Yes, it was so good to visit my girls yesterday. I hadn't cried that much in a while but I just lost it when I knelt down to kiss Shelby's marker. It's easy to envision watching Shelby roaming the rolling hills of AG with her frisbee firmly entrenched in her mouth. God help the dog who would try and steal it from her. Shelby had no tolerance for that. That bronze statue outside the main office at AG is breathtaking. The artist who created it really captured the essence of the  unbreakable bond between man and canine. I was very taken by it. I believe it was a Japanese artist. I'll check on that when I visit AG again. I'm a gardener, so I will be taking flowers up to AG in the Spring. I think some Gladiolus would look great at her site. So very hard to grieve but I still miss my girls so much. Before I forget, it looks like my sponsored Border Collie - Bradley - is doing much better. He has a long list of health problems but never gives up. He has that indomitable BC spirit that endears him to people and other BC's. It's my understanding that he's very popular with the other residents of Glen Highland Farm. I hope he stays well. 

Sending warmest regards,

Jim
Jim Miller
Quote 0 0
Mistysmama
That statue, Jim, sounds really beautiful, and captures the essence of love and loyalty between Dog Soul and Human Soul. I don't know how you are with photos....but if one day you feel like it, I would love to see a picture of that statue.

Gladiolus are so majestic and lovely colours, and they keep on flowering all down the stem when they are cut.

There was a big landscaped garden at the house where I used to look after that little cat since Misty passed. The gardener there always planted them, and I used to cut a couple now and again for my Misty's grave. He didn't mind.

Spring-flowering bulbs are just coming up on her grave now...Snowdrops, Crocuses (not yet in flower but shoots just poking through!) And some long stemmed blue flowers which bloom in summer.
But a mouse has been digging about on her grave and last year I found it had eaten many of the bulbs, so I don't know if many will come up this year.

I am really glad to hear Bradley is doing better bless his Soul. These loving deeds we do for others may seem like they are never known, but they count in Spirit. In another dimension Bradley knows you have helped him and he has love and gratitude.
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
Quote 0 0
BoxerMomForever
Jim, so glad you got to go up there! I was crying reading your post. Sounds like a lovely resting place for them.
Linda *Mom to two boxer angels* Lily {White Girl} 6/22/09 - 10/14/19  ** Ginger {Flashy Fawn Girl} 6/4/97 - 5/28/09
Quote 0 0
BorderCollieLover
Mistysmama:

  I will take a picture of the bronze statue outside the AG office the next time I'm there. Will post on this thread. It is very moving. I like reading how you put the Gladiolus on Misty's site. I grow them around my house. Unfortunately the last few years have not been kind to my gardening efforts. Seems that my Glads have been short and spindly, instead of tall and robust. I'm not sure what went wrong. I'll be trying again this year. If they are healthy looking, I'll be taking cuttings up to AG to put on my girl's spot. We'll see what happens. Funny story that I wanted to share with you. I remember working in my garden planting bulbs. I would be hard at work, when all of a sudden I would hear a plop. Seems that Shelby would drop her frisbee right on top of the bulbs and start barking as if to say, "Dad, drop those garden tools and throw the frisbee to me." My girl was not to be denied. 

Fondly,

Jim
Jim Miller
Quote 0 0
BorderCollieLover
Linda:

  Thanks, Linda. Yes Abbey Glen is a very special place. The (3) things that I treasure the most in this world are there. I am always humbled by the sheer essence of their forever home. I couldn't ask for a more beautiful place for them. 

Warmest regards,

Jim
Jim Miller
Quote 1 0
Mistysmama
Yes I can just imagine that scene....where Shelby wanted to stop you gardening and wanted to go and play, instead! That happy memory of her really made me smile and chuckle. The best way to catch your attention! "Drop the frisbee right on top of what he's doing! He can't miss that!"

I am afraid I am not really a gardener type, though I adore beautiful gardens. But I haven't a clue why your Glads didn't grow very strong and tall. I wonder if they might need a little fertilizer? And I do know they like a sunny spot.

Blessings to Shelby.
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
Quote 0 0
Michelemh
Sounds like a wonderful place and a good day. Just so sad with them no longer here and life without them. The loss is so hard.

Michele
Quote 0 0
BorderCollieLover
Michele:

  Yes it is so hard without them. I still miss my little girl big time. I wanted to ask you, were you able to access the Anxiety & Depression Series? It's airing now. I got my reminder via Facebook Messenger. I don't know why they make it so hard to view this. In any event, you can still try to watch this as it will play for several more days. It's worth a look.

Warmest regards,

Jim
Jim Miller
Quote 0 0
Michelemh
I received a message by email. I watched some but not all. I didn't realize it was daily. I thought it was weekly.

Michele
Quote 0 0
BorderCollieLover
Michele:

  Glad that you are receiving alerts on the series. Yes, it is daily - not weekly. I thought it was very well done by the film crew. I've learned a lot. 

Fondly,

Jim
Jim Miller
Quote 0 0