Happy Valentine’s Day!

I received a lovely note from one of our readers this morning in response to this week’s newsletter.  In the newsletter, I had mentioned that  some people (myself included this year) find Valentine’s Day difficult due to either not having a sweetheart, being overwhelmed by caregiving duties or in some cases, financial strains.

I wanted to share one line from her note and I hope she doesn’t mind.  It is this: “For many, Valentine’s Day is a day to remember Love . . . current loves, past loves, lost loves, future loves . . . however, most of all the most important Love which is Love of ourselves.”

You know that I am constantly stressing the importance of self-care and self-love so this really resonated with me becomes sometimes I forget to apply that principle to myself!

So, thank you M, for that lovely note and reminder for all of us.  I will hang it on my bulletin board!

Now on to our next topic  and that is our new feature “Our Beloved Pets”.   Pets have become enormously important to families everywhere.  Perhaps it is because we have become so spread out that we’ve lost touch with our nuclear families or perhaps it’s because we’re living longer and don’t have the connections we once had.  Either way, pets play an important role and are often a part of the caregiving experience.

Because this feature is brand new, we haven’t received any pet portraits from our readers.  So I’ll start by sharing about my two schnauzers, Phoebe and Isabella.

BREED: Miniature Schnauzer

OWNER: Me (Shelley)

FAVORITE SNACK:  raw chunks of carrot

FAVORITE ACTIVITY: chasing the ball or for Isabella (and I hate to admit this)-scarfing down chicken poop

FAVORITE NAPPING PLACE:  Phoebe – on the stairs where she can guard the front door; Isabella – right beside any person who will let her lie there

MY STORY:  Towards the very end of my father’s life, he was having trouble breathing.  While we were helping to add more pillows to his bed and making sure the oxygen was working, we happened to glance over and noticed that both dogs were sitting in his favorite recliner in the corner, at attention and looking very concerned.  They knew something was wrong and wanted to make sure “Papa” was alright.

Out pets are amazing creatures and that’s why we want to honor them as caregivers here too.

I’d love for you to send me your pets’ photos and stories to share.


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