Guest Post: Serena – A Voice In The Night

Guest Post: Serena – A Voice In The Night

Dec 21

We all have a little voice inside – our longsuffering conscience urging us down our path. But when another being’s voice enters the sacred space in your head and your heart, you have no choice but to listen.

I once heard a voice crying for help amidst numerous voices, and I knew I had to answer. This voice was a beautiful little rescue dog named Serena, and her heart was connecting with mine before I ever laid eyes on her.  What follows is a direct transcript of an article written for the Gallup Journey in February of 2015, detailing how this precious bundle of fur came to be with us. The Journey doesn’t have that issue archived for some reason, however. So I’ve reproduced the article below.

Affirm It, Visualize It, Believe It… It Will Actualize Itself

I was half-a-mile across the park from an adopt-a-thon in Oregon with my sister and close friend Danni, when I suddenly heard the voice.

“I have to find that voice!” I told my companions.

Five hundred dogs and cats were up for adoption that day, most from local pounds and high-kill shelters, all desperate to find a new home. Still, in the midst of all barking, growling, and meowing, I heard her.

“I hear you,” I muttered under my breath. “I’m almost there.”

When I got to the penned area I found scores of adorable attention-seeking dogs jumping up and down, begging to be noticed.

“Pick me! Adopt me! Look at me!”

And then I saw her: sweet little Serena (aka #9020542013), all curled up in a little ball at the bottom of the pile, trembling for all she was worth.

I jumped over the fenced-in area to pull her out of the heap.

“Don’t you see the sign?!” a woman screamed at me, pointing at the DO NOT ENTER sign. “Get out of there – no one is allowed in the pen!”

 “Sign?” I responded. “What I see is this little thing being trampled to death!”

Lacy, the sign lady, relaxed when she realized what I was doing, and allowed me to hold the precious, still-trembling little Chihuahua. “Don’t remove her from the area,” she warned.

“I won’t steal your dog,” I promised, and held the little thing for nearly an hour, cuddling and soothing as best I could.

“Can I have a leash to walk her?” I asked when Serena finally stopped shaking—but the poor baby couldn’t walk. Her hind end was completely limp.

“I rescued her from a high-kill shelter yesterday,” Lacy said. “She’ll most likely be put down tomorrow, since she’s unadoptable.”

“Okay, then, I’ll adopt her right here and now!”

“You can’t. The dog has problems and will have to be seen by a vet.”

“Please don’t let them put her down,” I begged. “If I can’t take her with me, I’ll talk to a vet about doing surgery. Maybe her legs can be repaired. Please let me try,” I pleaded.

Lacy seemed relieved. “See what you can do,” she said.

We both made good on our promises. The vet repaired Serena’s legs, claiming she was “probably badly abused, possibly thrown against a wall, which damaged her spine and left her unable to walk.” She’s not a young dog – everyone wants a puppy – so she was bounced through several foster homes for close to a year without any adoption offers.

Lacy and I talked every week. I really wanted Serena to live with me, but the foster group wouldn’t approve an adoption outside southern Oregon, and nothing I did or said would change their minds—not even the thirteen phone calls I made to the to the head of the foster group, who steadfastly refused to talk with me because I live in New Mexico.

But I felt such a connection with Serena, I couldn’t take “no” for an answer. She belonged with me—I knew it, and she knew it. For Pete’s sake, she had called to me from the bottom of a pile of leaping puppies!

This match had divine intervention written all over it.

Many months went by, and still no one in the foster group would even acknowledge my existence. Then one day while I was talking to Danni on the phone she asked, “Do you know who adopted Serena after her legs were repaired?”  So I told her my sad story.

 “You know, I’m at my computer. Let me look it up,” Danni said. “There she is! I’m looking at her picture online right now. She’s still up for adoption. I guess I’m about to adopt a dog.”

My friend filled out the application and immediately got a call from the foster mother, who said, “I’ll bring her over right away.”

Which she did. “Okay, she’s yours!” Danni said triumphantly when she called. “Now…uh…how do I get her to you?”

I contacted Lacy, my co-conspirator in this rescue, and told her the news. She screamed with delight. “I’m going to a rescue convention this coming weekend in Arizona. Meet me there, and I’ll bring Serena to you.”

Twenty minutes later I got a call from Pilots 4 Paws. “We can fly your little girl to you so she doesn’t have to spend so much time in a vehicle,” the hero on the other end of the phone said.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!” I sang.

The following Sunday Serena flew into Gallup, where her new mommy and daddy picked her up and brought her here, to her “forever home” with us. No more bouncing from one house to another. Serena and I are together for good.

Believe and You Will Achieve

I wanted her with me. I saw her with me. I felt her with me. I KNEW one day she would come to me, because I refused to give up hope that I could take care of her. It wasn’t wishful hoping or magical thinking. It was manifestation—the same manifestation we can use for almost anything we want in life, including good health.

How can I relate this story to someone suffering from a dreaded diagnosis who wants good health?

Again, it isn’t wishful hoping or magical thinking—it’s manifestation. The power we hold with our thoughts and beliefs, whether healing or damaging, is mighty. If we believe we are ill, then we will continue to be ill. If we refuse to embrace a diagnosis as our truth—if we believe in our body’s ability to roust and defeat any foreign bug or germ or unwelcome condition—we have a fighting chance to reverse that diagnosis.

Yes, it takes more than positive thinking, more than repeating “magical” affirmations. It takes recognizing the truth about our own body and what we’ve been doing with it, and a commitment—no, a resolution—to changing our habits and thought processes to give it what it needs to heal and recover.

That’s no easy matter, I know, but consider how science and spirituality have met at the same point: We are what we think. We are what we feel.  We are what we eat.  No matter what direction we look at it, that’s the truth.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer,
believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

~Mark 11:24

A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

~Proverbs 17:33

Everything you see in our physical world started as an idea,
an idea that grew as it was shared and expressed,
until it grew enough into a physical object through a number of steps.
You literally become what you think about most.
Your life becomes what you have imagined and believed in most.
The world is literally your mirror, enabling you to experience in the physical plane what you hold as your truth … until you change it.
~John Assaraf, Quantum Physics

It doesn’t matter how bad things appear to be. It doesn’t matter how much we don’t want something to happen to us—even if it’s already happening. By refocusing away from the negative event and toward a more positive ending we significantly increase the chances of that better ending coming to pass.

This has happened to and around me over and over throughout my life. Whenever I focus away from something I believe is harmful and toward something beneficial, the resistance falls away and the outcome is for the best.

I want good health, so I do my best to keep myself healthy by eating right, surrounding myself with positive energy and love, and believing I can achieve whatever I want to achieve. Rather than focus on something bad that might be going on in my body, I nurture it with something natural (live food, a tea, homeopathic remedy, or herbal tonic). I give thanks for the miracles my body performs each day, and for how blessed I am. If I’m out of balance, this usually brings my health back rapidly.

Believe in yourself and what you want to achieve, and you will achieve it.

After all, Serena is here.

Serena was not my first rescue dog. And with two precious fur angels still sharing our home, it will be many years before we have our last. For the last 34 years, my husband and I have rescued special-needs dogs.  After the loss of one of our little one named Scooch back in 2003 I couldn’t sleep until I wrote a song called “Voices Calling You.” It was as though Scooch was telling me I had encourage the world through song to adopt dogs who were about to be put down from the pounds, not ‘buy’ dogs from pet shops.

When I met Serena in 2013 I realized that the song had been written for and about her.  Her voice called me and I answered, even though at that point in my life I had already said ‘NO MORE ADOPTIONS!’  Each time I say ‘never again,’ another one finds me, so now I never say ‘never,’ but my heart breaks each time I lose that precious little being.  I’ve been blessed with some amazing rescues who devoted their lives to us for rescuing them.  The lessons they teach with their unconditional love and acceptance are more powerful than anything I ever learned in books or in school.


So now our house has only two furry companions, and the void is huge. The loss of Katie just last month has contributed to making our world even more bereft and darker.  Serena’s soulmate, Ginger, looks lost and devastated.  This little giant has created a huge void in our lives, but she has also sent us a message, I believe.  Sensing our pain, she’s communicating that we have a choice – either to let this make us stronger as we celebrate her release, or make us weaker as we absorb only the pain of our own loss.  She says we haven’t lost the source of her love; we’ve gained another guardian angel.

The night she died, my nephew had a dream vision that he didn’t initially understand. He dreamed of the constellation Canis Minor, or “Little Dog,” and that it had somehow gained another star – where the heart of the dog would be. When he told me about this, I knew it was Serena sending him a message that she was alright and letting him know to tell me where I could look to speak to her. Between this, and my own sighting of a purple cloud that both my nephew and I believe was Serena’s spirit, I know our new little guardian angel is hard at work, just as she was in life – loving us and letting us love her.
Thank you, Serena. We miss you.

Originally posted to Dr. Bera, TLC – A Transitional Learning Center.
Guest Post: Loving The Underdog

Guest Post: Loving The Underdog

Oct 18

The following is a guest post. It originally appeared on DrBeraTLC.

In lieu of a #WellnessWednesday post this week, we here at DrBeraTLC instead bring you a memorial. We are sad to announce the passing of our beloved rescue dog, Katie.

She already had nearly 12 years under her belt when she came to live with us. Abuse, neglect, cataracts, vaccinosis, and more were a part of her history. Aggression and fear defined her upon her arrival – but for me it was love at first sight. The underdog always steals my heart.

Farewell Smokey

Farewell Smokey

Sep 21

I moved out of my parents’ house in Texas in September of 2005. I’d wanted to take Smokey, my cat, with me but the vets said at 10 years old, and less than 8 pounds, travel probably wasn’t best for her. So I left her with my parents in Texas when I moved in with my girlfriend in California. 

I went back to visit them a couple of months later, and Smokey glued herself to me for the entire visit. She wouldn’t leave my side – even following me into the bathroom and sitting on the back of the toilet just to be close to me. She slept in my bed, and the last thing I saw every night for the two weeks I was there were her shiny little eyes – a beautiful yellow with a soft green ring around the pupil – staring at me from next to my pillow.

One Year Gone – Farewell, Zigacious Amadeus

One Year Gone – Farewell, Zigacious Amadeus

Dec 15

[This post was originally written and posted one year ago – the day after we lost our precious little Ziggy boy. In honor of his death anniversary, known as a yahrzeit in the Jewish culture, I am reposting it here on BtRB.

Hey, Zig. Wherever you are now… we still miss you.]

I wrote recently about the mental acuity of one of our cats – the cat that Lona and I had been calling our “fuzzy little son,” since he’d very clearly decided that we were his mommy and daddy. Ziggy is twelve years old – and now, he’ll never be any older.

Very rapidly, over less than the last month, he began losing weight incredibly fast. He was still eating, and we had recently seen another of our cats (though this one upon reaching fourteen, not twelve) go through the weight loss that’s common in old age in cats. Ziggy was acting fine, otherwise, and there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with him.

Feline Reasoning Abilities

Feline Reasoning Abilities

Sep 06

I’ve had quite a few experiences with pets over the years that have lead me to believe that animals have much higher level reasoning abilities than most people give them credit for. One instance in particular that comes to mind, involves my dearly departed “fuzzy little son,” Ziggy.

Zig preferred to be in the bedroom with me and my wife if we were in there together. He would sometimes cry at the door, only to realize we were both elsewhere in the house and proceed to come find us. However, he would then try to get us to go into the bedroom by meowing and walking back and forth between us and the closed bedroom door.