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A dog friendly Chattanooga and DoGood

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Chattanooga has long been recognized for the “Chattanooga Choo-Choo”, tourist attractions, and beautiful scenery, but thanks to good citizens, Chattanooga now is quickly being acknowledged as a dog friendly city.

As a native Chattanoogan, who twenty years ago, couldn’t wait to move away. After moving back, I have come to appreciate the beauty of our truly scenic city. Even more endearing, is the progression of becoming a dog friendly city.

If it weren’t for my extended “pack”, respectively, Xena and Molly, the tough times would have been so much tougher. As I have begun to explore my “new” native town, the discovery of groups such as DoGood, and cooperating shelters, rescues, and general dog loving population has become an everyday occurrence.

DoGood meets every Saturday morning at Renaissance Park for a pleasant stroll, which lasts about an hour, and offers opportunity for socialization and exercise for both human and quadruped. You will see them, the dogs, wearing their signature green bandanas representing that their family members are conscientious and responsible pet owners.

Today, I was asked,”Is this some sort of doggy parade?” As some of the four-legged friends were wearing sweaters, and tutus. I laughed and explained what was happening. Perhaps next time they will join the group?

DoGood can be found at local events around town, or you may like them and join the group on facebook at, https://www.facebook.com/dogoodchattanooga?ref=stream

Another DoGood walker

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Thoughts on Faith

SerenityIf one has faith, they believe strongly in or have complete trust or confidence in someone or something, what ever it is.  Hope is what you hold on to when things aren’t going according to plan, when all logic escapes you and your faith in your own abilities grows weak. When one ceases to have hope or pursue logic, it is faith that keeps them grounded.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. It often defies logic, leaving one baffled and wondering if the faith is justified.

It is by our faith in ourselves, in others, our values or belief system that we overcome the obstacles set before us in life. Faith guides us when, our paths lead us into uncharted waters, it allows us to master our fears, defeat the weaknesses of our mind, and curb our natural desires to only trust logic, or falsely feed our own egos, and embellish our own psyche.

The three in harmony balance one another and lead us to a richer life experience. This stability calms the chaos that arises in the mind. Not unlike the balance between the carnal mind (the flesh) and the spirit, it is a daily work, keeping this delicate balance. When we find ourselves in a “here and now” “hell”, our first instinct should be to reflect upon our situation, analyze what is out of balance and restore it. Do we? I would say, most of us, most of the time, uh, no.

Why do we allow such imbalance to exist? Perhaps, something comes up that is beyond our control, or it involves relationships in which there is attachment. By attachment, I do not mean relation, such as a loved one or relative. Attachment can be healthy or unhealthy. It can be a mere connection with someone or something, or it can be enmeshing and unhealthy, like an addiction; filled with unreasonable expectations and excessive dependency on the object or person.

We should never base our happiness on material things which can break, or become lost or destroyed. Neither should we have all of our hopes in another individual. We are all human and not infallible; we make mistakes. Look within yourself for your own happiness and guidance. Be true to yourself and what makes you truly happy. And certainly, do not dismiss logic, for logic is necessary. Logic is the element that helps us make a list of pros and cons when we are confused about a pressing decision that only we can decide for ourselves. Logic is imperative in developing short-term and long-term goals and plans. Logic simplifies and brings us back to reality.

So, today, don’t stress about yesterday and do not be worried about what may come tomorrow. Live in the “here” and “now”. Slow down, if even for a moment or two, and reflect upon what makes you truly happy. Set reasonable, achievable goals for yourself and seek balance in all aspects of your life. It will undoubtedly bring you a greater feeling of satisfaction, happiness and peace.

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The Simple Life Lost, a place of sustenance

Apple tree
photo by Melinda Owens, location TCB Farms.

As the world around us gets seemingly infinitely busy and we face more demands than the day before, I am grateful for the moments of repose, or escape which gets me thinking about how nice it is to be surrounded by nature. Beautiful, fragrant flowers with intermittent sitting nooks, splashes of folky yard art, and a not so small garden teaming with fresh vegetables and fruits.

I am refreshed to see the resurgence of city and roof top gardens, people opting to purchase locally grown, fresh produce and patronize restaurants who do the same. This helps bring awareness to the importance of making your local town or city a self-sustaining entity. It would be a terrible mistake to forsake the knowledge of how to till the earth and feed ourselves. Why not teach our children key important facts about when to plant, what to plant and what these foods need to flourish and grow? It can’t hurt. Compare it to the other trivial knowledge that we cram at them, much of which can be considered just as useless to their survival in various societies. As our values change based on what the world around us demands, lets not allow the knowledge of how to preserve our humanity pass away!