How It All Began – Where Stories Get Their Start

It’s Christmas morning and I can look out my study window to see a sugar coating of snow accenting tree limbs, frosting up the evergreens; prettying up the world. Last night, I promised myself that I wasn’t going to be online today but, early morning habits pulled me out of bed around 5AM and there was time enough to log on and take care of a few things.

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Some of you reading this are brand new to Healing Rescue Dogs having found your way over here from Amazon because you’ve downloaded my book, Love Always Wags Its Tail. Thank you for that!  It wasn’t until I had finished writing the last essay that I realized I was going to dedicate the book itself to my mom – which is when I sat down and wrote, “How It All Began.”  I spent a lot of time staring at the black and white photograph of her that I describe in that essay, wondering what her life was like right before that photo was taken. There’s a lot that I do know because of the stories that she did tell me: she was one of five kids: 4 sisters and a baby brother. See the tall red head to the right of the photo? That’s my mom.

"The five Allen Kids"

We are family.

She was 5’11” tall by the time she was fourteen years old. She liked to listen to Patsy Cline, her father taught her how to play cards.

She was never afraid to speak her mind. What she told her three daughters was that she was not sending us to college so that we could find husbands, she was sending us so that we could always take care of ourselves. She was an avid reader, a habit she passed on to all of her own kids. There are five of us: 3 sisters, 2 brothers.

She died on January 15, 2004 and as I drove from Rochester, NY down to Philadelphia within days of her death, I could hear her voice in my head – she was SO insistently calling my name that I had to pull off the road.

There isn’t a day that goes by without my thinking about her. To finally be able to link some of her stories to mine became a way to honor her memory and to share her with the world.


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