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Junior Auxiliary Members of Unit 348, Brick, NJ

My posts for Memorial Day have centered on the role of military dogs. In the May of 2010, I wrote about Harris Done’s film The War Dogs of the Pacific, an excellent documentary about the role of the military dog during WWII.  http://wardogsmovie.com/about.html  Last year, I reran that post as I think it is such a poignant and meaningful film. Sometimes you can catch it on the History Channel or the Military Channel.

I have written over 150 posts now and I’ve come to believe that although I am writing about dogs, I am really writing more about humans. Fittingly, that is what Captain Will Judy, the man who founded National Dog Week tried to impart to his fellow man when he established his National Dog Week Movement in the shadow of the Great Depression.

Back in the 20s through the 60s, before blogs, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Judy reached out to a vast army of dog lovers through his books and Dog World Magazine with the message that humans did not know what the dog was truly capable of. Before the United States even had an organized military dog force, Judy was speaking about their value on the battle field and our obligation to care for them on and off the field.

Ultimately, human and dog cannot be separated. Together they exemplify what I’ve come to term “Divine Reciprocity.”

Here is an excerpt from my biography of Will Judy (to be published by McFarland & Co. in 2013)

By the observance of National Dog Week 1945, the war had ended, but the contributions of the dog were not forgotten. “Dog to Have His Day Here Marks National Week,”  declared the Milwaukee Journal.

That year’s observance paid tribute to the members of the K-9 Corps throughout the world with the slogan, “In War, In Peace, Man’s Best Friend,” with Robert L. Ripley of Believe it or Not notoriety serving as the Chairman of the observance.

Patriotic war veteran Will Judy was among those who truly understood the ultimate sacrifices dogs had made for the nation. Finally, after over two decades of hard work, his notion to help the dogs of the nation brought to light his quest to honor the dogs of war, in addition to ensuring that every dog had a good home and a responsible and caring owner.

When we talk of dogs and their involvement in the military, we may speak of the dogs that are actually trained for combat, dogs that are in need of placement after their service is complete and dogs that are trained and certified as Service and Therapy dogs to assist veterans of war.Here is a book that I am planning to read this summer on that subject, written by Jane Miller  http://www.healing-companions.com/ .

I read recently that many are fighting to ensure military dogs are properly cared for after serving their country and risking their lives for humans on the battlefield. You can read more on this at http://www.save-a-vet.org/d7/index.php

During the months of May and June, the American Legion Unit 348 Junior Auxiliary Membership of Brick Township will be raising funds and collecting supplies for the Companion Animals of our deployed military troops in a project called “Helping the Pets of Vets.”

Members of our Armed Forces who spend time away from home serving in active military duty must find loving and caring temporary homes for the pets they leave behind.  Knowing that their beloved Companion Animals are being properly cared for and will be reunited with them upon their return provides a measure of comfort.

Amy Ross, coordinator of the Junior Membership of Post 348 explains that, “For many of those serving in active duty, their pets are their family members and sometimes their only companions.”  Our Junior Members are animal-lovers and thought it would be a nice idea and lots of fun to help them.”

A portion of donations will go to help Seer Farms, a unique animal sanctuary in Jackson, NJ that provides temporary homes for displaced pets.

Those who wish to participate in this meaningful cause can drop off pet supplies and food at a drop box at The American Legion Post, 822 Mantoloking Road, Brick Township, New Jersey, 08723. Monetary donations can also be mailed to this address, made payable to AMERICAN LEGION 348 JUNIORS. Please mark envelope ATTENTION: JUNIORS.

I wish you all a safe and meaningful holiday weekend. God Bless.

Donations for Helping the Pets of Vets Accepted Here

Puppies on the Mend at Ruffles Rescue

The other day I posted a photograph of a tick-infested puppy on my Facebook page. To say it was tick-infested is an understatement.  It was not a pretty sight to say the least, it was revolting actually, and I know some were put off by it.

This pup was one of six and their momma rescued by Ruffles Rescue in Exeter, California.  They had posted a request for donations to help these pups who were now suffering from tick fever and were hanging on for dear life.

Because sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, the rescue group got such a response they asked people to stop sending donations and instead, asked them to consider donating to one of their local rescues. This is definitely the hallmark of a legitimate and caring Rescue Group.

Ruffles Rescue’s facebook page credits a group called Saving Grace Animal Rescue in Birmingham, AL, for being their angels.  Because this group and other generous donors, as of today, the puppies are starting to eat and play the way they should be. Their mom is also doing well.

I don’t generally put revolting photos on my wall. But in this case, all those shared postings with photo did help and I would do it again for that reason.  Many people asked, “Who would do that to a dog?” “How does a pup get like that?”

And that brings me to the most important part of my post.  If more people would help to get more cats and dogs spayed and neutered, cases like this would not be so frequent. It is alarming to see so many pregnant homeless companion animals that end up giving birth in the wild or at a shelter. Many will not find homes; it is just a sad fact.

Each month, I have my Pay Pal Account set to automatically deposit $2.00 into the Chip in Account of a Group called Project Pets – Spay, Neuter, Love. Last January, on the occasion of my birthday, I set up a birthday chip-in account which had a very nice result. Two dollars doesn’t sound like much, but at last check, I saw that they now have over 100 donors to this very legitimate cause. If only ten percent of my facebook friends donated $2.00 a month, we would save many lives because Spay and Neuter is one of the best forms of Rescue there is. If you wish to donate, here is there link: http://www.spayneuterlove.org/index.html

On a more writerly note, I was very happy when recently, a fellow author and friend, Tara Hall http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5286654.Tara_Fox_Hall/ blognominated me for a “Beautiful Blogger,” Award . Thank you Tara. It’s just a fun way to pick seven fellow-bloggers you think deserve a little recognition among the millions of blogs that exist now.  The catch, I have to list seven things about me…and pick seven other “Beautiful” Bloggers! So here goes.

Seven things about me:

1) I was born the year of the dog in Chinese Astrology. Most times I am a docile Golden retriever but when someone hurts or talks “bad stuff” about someone I care about, the well-trained by fierce rottie in me emerges.

2) If sleeping was an Olympic event, I would have more medals than Michael Phelps.

3) I have had no sense of smell for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I get a whiff of something, and I say, “I can smell!” Not as dramatic as, “I can see or walk,” and sometimes it can be misinterpreted as in I am smelly.

4) If I never see snow or feel temperatures below 70 again I would be more than happy.

5)I love to eat. Anything Italian or from the sea, especially, accompanied by a dry martini with bleu-cheese stuffed olives or really good full-bodied red wine.

6) If I could, I would outlaw the smoking of cigarettes and impose severe penalties for texting while driving.

7) I wish that not one more person would purchase another puppy from a retailer. I wish they realized that over 90 percent of those pups came from commercial puppy mill facilities and that every dollar they spend at these establishments keeps a dog in emotional and physical poverty somewhere in the nation. I wish that everyone would spay or neuter their pets whenever appropriate.

Bonus 8) I am blessed with a great husband, parents, friends (humanoid and virtual) a loving dog. Every day I am inspired by the good deeds those around me accomplish and for the support they lend.

Here are my “Beautiful Blogging” Seven, in no particular order! Now they are invited to offer seven items about themselves…and designate seven others as “Beautiful Bloggers.”

Kevin Middleton – http://thebattleofthegatehouse.webs.com/

Patrick Mahaney – http://teddyhilton.com/2012-05-02-dr-patrick-mahaney-rasing-puppies-to-adults

David Lender – http://davidlender.blogspot.com/

Nikki Moustaki – http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-blog/mutterings-with-nikki-moustaki/what-do-dogs-know.aspx

Jamie Wilsoncraft –  http://www.jswilsoncroft.blogspot.com

Willie Wonka – http://askwilliewonka.blogspot.com/

Alanna Chasin – http://chasinpets.com/

And I must add an eight: Marsha Zeringue  http://Coffeecanine.blogspot.com/

Under a Full Flower Moon.

After two weeks of promoting my novel FULL SNOW MOON on a Virtual Blog Tour, I thought it would be appropriate to present this Blog Post. Thanks for your continued support! http://www.amazon.com/Full-Snow-Moon-ebook/dp/B007DXMYG0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1336440492&sr=1-1

Here is a “repost” of this original: http://www.lovetoreadromance.com/2012/05/guest-lisa-begin-kruysman-author-of.html

The Moms of FULL SNOW MOON

Thank you for having me here as a guest post. As it is just before Mother’s Day, I thought I might talk be nice to talk about the mother’s of my YA Novel FULL SNOW MOON.

The three main characters of the story are young men in their late teens, so you might be surprised to hear that the moms in the story actually play influential roles and enjoy good relationships with their sons, for the most part.

There’s Alex, the self-absorbed turned enlightened surfer, the loyal, sensitive and creative Denis and Eli Hampton, the ghostly character of FULL SNOW MOON, whose mother has a very big part in how this story gets told through her diary written in the late 1800s.

At the beginning of the book, Alex, like many young adults his age, is restless, bored and uncertain about his future. He has everything he wants and enjoys a cushy lifestyle. Due to his immaturity, and careless actions, he loses his girlfriend, alienates his best friend and allies himself with a young man name Brandon, who is not the most likeable of characters.

But through it all, he knows he is a big disappointment to his parents. He spends most of the book trying to patch things up with his mother who is there for him no matter what happens. Throughout the story, they work together to forge a new understanding and Alex learn it is important to considerate of the feelings of others, no matter what their age or background.

Alex wanted to tell her all about his visit to the creek, but didn’t have the strength. His mother had loved their old house, and hadn’t wanted to move from it six years earlier. It had been Alex’s father who’d desired a larger more contemporary home. Alex’s news about the house’s destruction would sadden her, and she was already upset about the fate of a house she had never even lived in.

Denis has had a life, born to a French Canadian mother and Native American father who died while Denis was just a baby. He has been raised by a hard-working single mother who believes that her son’s life will be easier if Denis disregards his Native roots. Not surprisingly, Denis has grown-up lonely, wondering about the existence of other family members and ancestors. He comes to learn much about his past by the story’s end, and in doing so he gains perspective and maturity and comes to terms with his mother’s choices and even welcomes her into his “new life” filled with new possibilities.

A look of disapproval spread across Denis’s face. “Why didn’t she share all of this with me before?”

“Don’t be too hard on her,” Moe advised. “I think she had your best interest at heart. There was a time, way back even in my grandmother’s time, when we did not speak of our heritage. Many of our ancestors were forced to assimilate or be wiped out.

Eli Hampton is the hardworking, dedicated good son, who becomes the man of the house after his father has passed. He sets aside his desires and ambitions to care for his family during hard times, accepting this as his fate.  He finally gets that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pursue his dreams, but life deals him a cruel twist of fate. His poor mother is forced to sit and watch as Mother Nature has other plans for him.  Mrs. Hampton waits and worries and writes in her journal as the Blizzard of 1888 turns her life upside down and claims her son. But death does not change Eli’s character and in his own way, he continues to set things right in the afterlife.

Eli had always seen to it that his responsibilities were fulfilled before surrendering his soul to his art. But with his father’s passing in the September of that year, there had been little time for painting, unless it was the house or a barn. The last six months of his life had been occupied with duties deferred to him, now the man of the house.

I think that one of the themes of this book that I’ve tried to capture is that times may change, but the bond between mother and son, or any offspring, remains the same throughout the ages. Hopefully, we can all learn and grow just like the characters of FULL SNOW MOON do by story’s end.

Under the influences of the Full Flower Moon of May, I wish my own mother, and all the “mothering” influences that inspire and shape us, a very Happy Mother’s Day!

Thank you.

The House that started it all.

Although my recent Novel is not dog-centric, recently I have spent a lot of time promoting FULL SNOW MOON. Last week, it began making the rounds of a  VBT (Virtual Book Tour) and I have been busy writing several guest posts for a variety of Book Blogging sites. In honor of May’s Super Flower Moon, this week I will share some of my experiences and posts from the tour. Interestingly, the plot of FULL SNOW MOON begins under the Snow Moon and comes to resolution under the Flower Moon. We will return to the dogs next week…

Full Snow Moon brings it all Home…http://bookbagsandcatnaps.com/2012/05/guest-post-full-snow-moon-brings-it-all-home-lisa-begin-kruysman/

I fall in love with houses.  Some, with their stucco facades and red tile roofs remind me of far off exotic places in which I’ve vacationed. Others like those lovingly restored turn-of-the-century Victorian-style homes with their generous wrap-around porches and porch swings remind me of simpler times. And then, there’s that rugged log-cabin with its rustic, log exterior and warm woody interior with vaulted ceilings and sky lights that offers the serenity of a place far from the maddening crowds.

For me, a house can tell a story. The old farmhouse at the center of the controversy of my novel, FULL SNOW MOON, is actually based on a real house located in my New Jersey town. It inspired my book about an old structure that is slated for demolition and the main characters, Alex, Denis and a ghost named Eli who try to save it.

At first, Alex, the story’s protagonist really doesn’t see why anyone would care so much a house which to him is just a collection of wood, nails and cement. But when he learns that his own boyhood residence is no longer standing, he realizes that a house, or home, can have emotional value, too.

I am fortunate that my parents still live in the house in which I was raised with my siblings. I enjoy my visits and each trip evokes a new memory.  My neighborhood has changed, and all our original neighbors have moved on, but from certain viewpoints, I can just sit and go back in time; it is as if time comes to a standstill.

We take many places for granted. We pass by them in the rush of our busy lives, until, one day there is an empty space – a vacant lot, where a house once stood. But, you just can’t seem to remember what that old house looked like. Erased from its foundation, and your memory, it might have stood for over 100-years, been the home to people who might have helped to build your community, served its citizens or added their own brand of color or infamy.

Several years ago, someone told me that one our town’s beautiful mansions, built in the mid-1800s, had been torn down. Some of its original stained-glass window panels were on the ground, being trampled by the work crew. That night, I went to the property with a flashlight and found two windows. One was still in good condition and I took it home.

Measuring seven feet by two, I hired someone to painstakingly restore it. It turned out that  its wood frame was Chestnut, a material no longer available in New Jersey. Today, the window hangs proudly in our dining room.

When it is time for us to move from our current home, that window will follow. It represents a piece of my hometown history. Right now, I am thinking it will look terrific hanging in that house down the road, you know, the spacious one-of-a-kind old log cabin that I have fallen in love with. It stands like a diamond in the ruff, with its warm woody interior and vaulted ceilings, waiting patiently. Something tells me it has a story to tell. Maybe it’s just waiting for someone to tell it.

Please LIKE my new Author/Artist Page on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/#!/LisaBeginKruysmanAuthorAndArtist and follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/dogweek

Hooper

"Is it dog week yet?"

"Is it dog week yet?"

Michelle Mongelli and Wheezey

Pike, at Geiger Key

Hooper in the Keys

Hooper in the Keys

“Two Culprits” by Steven Hall

Logan & Koda

DJ

DJ Goes to Westminster

Zac and Cooper

"Look daddy, I can fly!"

“Hooper” – Best in Snow

Pita in Matt’s Garden

Hooper with cousin Roxy, Summer 2009

Me and my “Hoop”