Tag Archives: Rommie

W.W. – National Dog Biscuit Day

For those of you who have a dog in your life, spoil them rotten today. I miss my Rommie, my golden girl.

Also for those of you who do not have dogs, this quote is the truth. Those of you who do have dogs already know this wisdom.

 “If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.”

Author Phil Pastoret

Below is a favorite recipe of Rommie’s. Oh and there is no reason you can’t eat it either.

So enjoy with a furry friend today!

Opening Day at the Pool!
Rommie Kearns (August 5 2002 – July 31 2015)

I originally found this recipe in either Your Dog or The Whole Dog Journal as those were the magazines I subscribed to when Rommie adopted Joe and me.

Marvelous Mutt Meatballs“Real Food For Dogs” by Arden Moore


½ lb ground beef or sirloin

1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 carrot, finely chopped

½ cup bread crumbs

1 egg whisked

3 T tomato paste (low sodium)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

Scoop out by the spoonful and roll into min-sized meatballs.

Place the meatballs on a cookie sheet sprayed with nonfat cooking spray

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cool and store in the refrigerator in a container with a lid.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Your Halloween Treats

Happy Halloween!

I know not everyone celebrates Halloween so today’s post has something for everyone.

Today was Rommie’s favorite holiday. We got her on Columbus Day and then 2 1/2 weeks later she learned about Halloween and became a fan of all the people who came to see her every year. She did not care whether they were rich, poor, young, old, middle-aged, white, brown, yellow or green. She showed the same love to everyone…and everyone showed the same love back to her.


Howl-o-ween 2013

No Treats For The Kiddo’s 

I will not be passing out treats to kids as I am working until 7 p.m. and Trick or Treat is from 6 – 8 p.m. After work, I will probably join the neighbors and their 2 teenage boys who LOVE to scare the teenage girls. It is so funny to see the girls go running down the street screaming, sometimes with one of the boys chasing them. The little kids are left alone but teenage girls are fair game.

Treat For You 

You, on the other hand, are getting a treat – Timothy Keller’s speech at Q Ideas. He is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and the author of the books Hidden Christmas, The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ and The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms among many others.

Please don’t skip watching this video. You will know if you are truly saved after listening to Tim’s speech.

Halloween Fans

For those of you who celebrate Halloween, here is a treat from 1964.

Enjoy your day, whether or not you celebrate Halloween.


Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer.


A Golden Message From Heaven

Rommie stopped by last night to deliver a message to those of us who are struggling with various adversities. Rommie embraced life every day. She lived out Psalm 118:24

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

She rejoiced and was glad every day, despite having hip issues. Every day was a beautiful day to play ball, chase squirrels off her fence and bite skunks on the rear end.

So wherever you are and what ever skunk (grief, divorce, unemployment) is spraying you remember

Life is beautiful2

Rommie Kearns (8/5/2002 – 7/31/2015) 

May your day be filled with lots of love, hugs and sloppy wet kisses.

Quiet – Five Minute Friday on a Sunday

Linking up with Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday – on a Sunday. A post about the role of “Quiet” in my life has been rolling around in my head for sometime now. Then Kate chose the word for the weekly Five Minute Friday prompt, where we write for five minutes on a word and then publish it, with only minor tweaking.

So, let us…

Begin The Beguine

Quiet – a word describing my house since 7/31 when Rommie moved to heaven. Even when I am watching my Elvis That’s The Way It Is dvd or have music playing on my Kindle, the house is still quiet – still quiet despite the beautiful music.

It is amazing the amount of noise Rommie made even though she was a quiet dog. She did not bark unless there was something I needed to know, such as a squirrel running across her fence, or the neighbor putting a can of wasp spray on the top of his fence, or the neighbor’s across the street getting new furniture delivered.

The only noise as I type this post is the clang, clang, clang of the weathervane that Mom gave me, as somehow it broke. (I must remember to get the duck tape out and fix it.)

There are no more nails clicking across the hardwood floor, or clicking as she ran outside to see what her BFF Jewels was barking at, or clicking as she tap danced because she was getting chicken and rice for dinner.

There is just quiet.

Be still, and know that I am God.

Isaiah 46:10

Oh, this is so very easy to do now God in this empty house.

Stop! In the Name of Love




How I Got Through My First Halloween Without Rommie & November Plans

Happy Sugar Hangover Day! 

It was 13 years on October 14th, that Rommie came to live with Joe and me. She quickly learned what the doorbell meant and what Halloween was all about – BELLYRUBS!

She would approach people in a crouched position and when they would ask why she was doing that, she immediately rolled over on her back so she could get belly rubs. Everybody laughed as they thought she was so cute.

After spending most of the day with Mom, I stopped by the cemetery to get the arrangement I put out for Rommie after she moved to heaven. The graves had to be cleared by November 1 and since I was that direction, I went and did it. Probably not the best day to do it since it is Halloween and it was 3 months ago today Rommie went to live with God, Jesus and Joe.

But that’s life.

I came home and started in on the Halloween makeup. Even though I had foundation on and reapplied blush heavily, it does not look like I have any on in my pictures. My skin sucks up foundation and blush – always has, always will.

Once the makeup was done and I got out my house dress a friend brought me from Jordan, I was ready to go. I then had “grilled cheese” sandwiches. I took a kaiser bun covered the bottom with shredded cheddar and nuked for 30 seconds. Yum! Although not exactly nutritious but at least is was quick.                     😉

Then I got out the Dark Shadows cd and put it on. One of the tracks was I’ll Be With You Always. On heck, I forgot about that track. No tears now, you’ll ruin your make up.

I see dressing up and passing out candy as part of my grief therapy, not sure I’ve fully processed Rommie’s passing since it was 8 days later I got rear ended. That has a way of shifting your focus from grief to doing what it takes to get well.


I’ll be with you always, ever, forever

I’ll always be near you, though far away

With my love beside you, you won’t be lonely

We’ll meet again dear, some distant day

So don’t be afraid of the future unknown

For I am at your side, you are never alone

I’ll be with you always, ever together

Eternally bonded, never apart

I’ll be with you always, ever together

Eternally bonded, never apart

Always, never apart

Always, never apart

Barnabas Collins / Jonathan Frid

Dark Shadows Soundtrack

Over And Done With

Well trick or treat is over for another year. I made it through without shedding a tear, although it was bittersweet. I would upload pictures of me but even though they are on the computer, I am not seeing them when I tell WordPress to upload a picture.

Oh well, that’s life.

I will leave you with the words from the another one of Jonathan Frid’s tracks.

‘Our revels now are ended’

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.

William Shakespeare

From The Tempest,

Act 4 Scene 1

Hope everyone stayed safe and enjoy your candy!

This is the picture of Rommie from 2011 that I cropped to use as the image for 31 Tricks to Scare Away the Grief Monster.

Plans for November

So glad to put the month of October, the Write31Days challenge, and Halloween behind me. The challenge was such a struggle to write. I had the ideas but the words were barely there. I kept reminding myself that when I started blogging, I published everyday. How I did that, I do not know.

Time to move forward and rest. Oh wait, I signed up for Blogging 201 and Writing 101 with WordPress. Writing 101 is a post a day through most of November and Blogging 201 deals with the behind the scenes maintenance of the blog. So much for rest.

  • Writing 101 I am going to use as private writing practice. You may see a post here and there.
  • Blogging 201 is what will get most of my attention. I think I understand most of what I can do with my blog’s theme but we shall see. You may see a few tweeks here and there to the blog during November. I will be learning some basic HTML coding in this course. This ought to be fun.

I will also be working on plans for January 13th, 2016 – the 5 year anniversary of my first post on JoyReturns. Wahoo!!!!

Well time to go take my Halloween makeup off and call it a night. Hopefully you remembered to turn your clocks back an hour.

See you later this week.


“ll Meet You At The Door.” – My Last Farewell To Rommie

Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak

Whispers the oe’r fraught heart and bids it break. 

William Shakespeare

Rommie enjoying a late summer day.

Rommie enjoying a late summer day.

The Beginning Of The End

Rommie got sick (Think Linda Blair from The Exorcist) on 7/30 late at night. Her head did not spin but volume of liquid that came out of her mouth was unbelieveable.

By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

The dining room carpet took 3 direct hits around midnight. It was going to be hard to clean so I decided to rip it up but first it appeared a trip to the emergency vet was necessary. I let Rommie out and she took off across the deck and jumped into the yard and ran around like the Tazmanian Devil. I thought she was looking for a place to get sick, but she was looking for a place to lie down. She found it in the light of the full moon, smiling and filled with joy – as usual.

I thought

“Alright, she is done throwing up so we do not need to go to the emergency vet.”

The Last Farewell

While I ripped up the carpet, Rommie started barking at the woods behind the house. I tried to quiet her as the neighbors sleep with the windows open. She would not be quiet, so I let her be. In hindsight, she knew that was her last night on earth and she was saying her last farewell to the birds, deer, squirrels, groundhogs, and other critters residing in the woods. Rommie knew her ship lied “rigged and ready in the harbor” and later that day she would sail to heaven.

No Bedtime Treats

I let Rommie in and she acted her normal rambunctious self. She even danced around for a treat. I told her

“No. You have been puking so I am not going to give you a treat.”

Then we went to bed. She refused to come to the bedroom, so I went to the living room and slept on the couch till the 5am alarm rang.

Rommie was lightly snoozing on the living room rug. I decided to set a 6am alarm on my phone. After that alarm, I got ready for work and left my manager a voicemail stating Rommie was very sick but once I get her to the vet and they start an I.V. to rehydrate her, I would be in for 1/2 day.

About 30 minutes later Rommie got up and walked to her water dish for a drink, but her hips would not support her. She made it back the rug and laid down.

I knew something major was wrong.

I texted Joe’s brother that Rommie had a 10 a.m. appointment and it might be her last. He was driving his wife to her job and they both realized it was not me possibly losing Rommie but it would be losing Joe again.

When my friend A. arrived around 9:30, one of my neighbors came over and the 3 of us got Rommie in my car by using the couch cover as a sling, then A. followed me to the vet and stayed for a little while.

“Prognosis Is Grim”

The ladies at the vet’s office stretchered Rommie in and I explained to the assistant what happened during the night. The doctor opened the door, entered the room and was stunned when he saw Rommie lying there on the table. He knew she was usually a bundle of energy. He picked her up and with the help of the vet tech, tried to get Rommie to stand, but again her hips gave out. He put her front paws down on the floor but she immediately curled them under. It was at that point he felt she had a neurological issue as well as an intestinal issue. He said “Prognosis is grim.”

I then made phone calls to Mom and Joe’s brother to talk through the situation and my options.

The Decision

After talking to them, I made the decision. When I told Joe’s brother Rommie was moving in with Joe, Rommie started throwing up again. Joe’s brother said she was confirming I made the right decision.

My Last Farewell

I told her she was going to live with Daddy and I would see her in about 30 years. I told her I loved her, would miss her and was thankful we had so many years together. I kept petting her and she started throwing up again. Then after about 20 minutes together she had another “Linda Blair” episode. I opened the door and talked to one of the other vets and she got towels and opened the window as the stench was awful.

“Are You Ready?”

The vet taking care of Rommie came in and asked if I was ready and I said “Yes.” He administered an I.V.  mixture that relaxed her and then stopped her heart. I even watched him do it. All the while petting Rommie and telling her I would meet her at the door someday. (Meeting her at the door is a phrase I used when Rommie needed to come in through the back garage door. She would stand at the deck steps and I would tell her “I’ll meet you at the door.” She would then run to the back door.)

It was only a few moments before she peacefully moved to heaven. She was surrounded by people she knew and loved in a familiar environment.


After her passing, I stayed about 20 minutes still petting her. At one point I asked her

“How long do I stay with you?”

It was then a warm breeze blew across my neck. It reminded me it was a sunny day and I needed to go play. So I said one final “See you later.” and opened the door telling one of the vet’s assistants I was ready to leave. She assured me she would take good care of Rommie, but I already knew that.

Shock And Awe

Shock waves rippled through the vet’s office that Friday, as Rommie was in a month before for her checkup and was her normal rambunctious self. She even refused to eat a treat because “Ladies don’t eat in public.” (unless it is a grilled hotdog at the G.R.I.N. picnic).

No Regrets, Not Even A Few.

I was there for her in her greatest hour of need as she was for me when Joe passed. I made a painful decision, but it was in her best interest. I do not regret the decision and would not have missed it for the world because she heard my voice right up until the end. One of the other veterinarians wrote in the sympathy card that the greatest act of love I ever showed Rommie was letting her go. I agree.

If I have another dog, I hope I get the privilege of saying “I’ll meet you at the door.” to him or her as well, instead of them passing in the night or while I am at work.

My Life Now

There is joy in my heart most days but writing this post brought tears. However, writing is good therapy and tears are healing.

Now it is time to focus on finding a fantastic new job and who knows, maybe a fantastic boyfriend.               😉

I leave you with one of my favorite pictures, the closing used in most of my personal emails, a line from The Last Farewell that sums up my feelings and a quote from Betty White.


For you are beautiful and I have loved you dearly, more dearly than the spoken word can tell. 

The Last Farewell

Roger Whittaker 

Once someone has had the good fortune to share a true love affair with a golden retriever, one’s life and one’s outlook is never quite the same.

Betty White

AZ Quotes

The Feeling Of Finality

It’s Thursday and in my little corner of Northeast Ohio that means one thing – tomorrow is trash day.

This weeks trash will be filled with used tennis balls, a vacuum cleaner bag filled with fur and pet dander, and dirty paper towels from cleaning out the bin in the pantry where I kept her bag of food.

I know I will see Rommie again but throwing out her stuff and doing some cleaning feels so final, like a permanent end and not a “see you later” end.

Even Mom experienced this feeling when she put a tennis ball and the mat Rommie’s water crock sat on, in her trash the other day.

We both know it is not final but it feels final.

The way to deal with the finality feeling is to pray for comfort and strength to push through it and hold on to the knowledge that it only “feels” final.

We will see her later when she greets us at the pearly gates. I have no doubt there will be 2 tennis balls in her mouth, she will wind up her head, like a pitcher winds up, and throw the balls at Mom and me with the same velocity of a professional baseball player.

That was her way of “inviting” company to play.             😉


New Pool 2014

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