Trust And Safety…

Make sure all is safe, Then relax...

Make sure all is safe, Then relax…

Is total trust possible? Is it real when we think it is, or is all our perception?

This was my “meditation,” as I tried to breathe

out  and in.

Breathe OUT FIRST, slowly… The slower  the more relaxed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…Is perfect trust possible?

I feel my boxer’s chin leaning on me, his total trust could not be described, just felt.

Trust,  the foundation of  any good relationship, doesn’t come easy, it is earned. It takes time and work.

How does trust feel?

I breathe out, I breathe in … It feels “safe,” but before we could let go, trust, and feel safe, just like my boxer, Duke, whose trust was betrayed before he was rescued, we need to make sure all IS truly image

imagesafe around us! Then… RELAX!!!

Look right, look left… make sure you could trust to feel safe enough to lean on someone, close your eyes and relax!

Trust doesn’t happen! It is earned!









People That Eat Dog Treats And Love Them !!! Saturday Easy Tip!!

Dog treats and people who eat them by choice? 

You could think I am crazy, but if your dog is your best friend, wouldn’t you want to know how what you feed him or her, NOT IT, tastes like? Well I did!

The KEY? Home-made food!

A while back I watched a video about all the ingredients going in commercial dog  food. In all honesty, I could NOT watch it to the end, not only because it was disgusting, but also because when someone tries to SELL me something at the end of any infomarcial, even with valid information, I doubt the information. So to speak… was the information true, or was it “bent” to fit the purpose of sales?

However, I decided to start making home made treats for my dogs, so I knew what goes in their systems are not pesticides, or other dead animals, as this video claimed.

I used a very simple recipe, found on the site of Whole Foods Stores, and then I played with adjusting, adding and subtracting ingredients, depending on what I had available in the kitchen.

The basic recipe:

1 mashed banana (you could substitute with chopped apples)

1 beaten egg

2-3 Tsp. of oil (if I use the treats for dogs only, I use olive oil, but if I want to taste the treats, I substitute with butter, to make it unhealthy for me –IMG_0003100_118020140530_123025-I know… the cholesterol!!!)

1/2 rolled oats

2 Tbs. organic peanut butter (could substitute with almond  butter)

a dash of salt

Flour to make the consistency just right to not stick to your hands and roll in the shapes you desire.

Shape in the desired forms and bake at 350 F until brown. They will HARDEN when cool.

If you check the ingredients used in this recipe, they make a wonderful human food as well. I tasted them, in fact I ate a whole one while still warm.

This is how we show our love for our best friends… we eat their food, to avoid them eating ours:))

Nonprofit Organizations, The Salaries of Some of Their CEO’s and Our Donations — An Unbiased Opinion

I must confess, I am a sucker for volunteering, donating to the causes I believe in and generally everything that takes money from me instead of making me money. Why? I am still in therapy to “discover” the roots of what makes ME,  as my friends say, despite being smart and educated not having enough money. And I do not mean millions, not even what by all standards is considered “average.” Not being superstitious, but may be because I was born on a 13th?

Anyway, because of many reasons, the financial hardships included, I suffer from insomnia.

Some times I sleep with the TV on, which again, all experts, me included, would tell you is a bad habit. And it is! Especially if in the middle of the night a woman’s voice crying for your help to donate only .66 cents a day to SAVE an animal, awakens you. Hmm .66 cents a day is nothing to save a dog or a cat. But WAIT!!! Remember my post about The Art of  Chunking? This is a perfect example. Take .66 cents a day and x it with 30 days (a month. Your donation is suddenly $19.80, lets calculate the yearly donation (assuming ALL months are 30 days) 19.80 x 12=$237.60 So, if you were told by the soothing voice on the TV commercial to give $237.60, what would have been your reaction? And I am not going to put words in your mouth or suggest what it might be, because I don’t know you. THIS POST is an opinion, MINE!

I was intrigued by the many TV commercials paid by charities, the nonprofits and just because clearly I have nothing better to do, I researched the topic and came across an overwhelming amount of information. A substantial part of it, the controversy about NONPROFIT CEO’S making compensation packages (including their salaries, benefits, pension etc) of over a MILLION a year!) Is this right, is this wrong? Hmm … lets see who makes what and could we really know where our donations go?

First I read an article entitled ” Where Your Donation Goes? Top Salaries of Non-Profit Companies” by Mark Hrywna 11/1/13

The analysis was based on the IRS Form 990 for the financial year ending 2012. The organizations are rated by total revenue but AT LEAST 10% MUST COME FROM PUBLIC SUPPORT (THIS IS US, THE DONORS)

I am not going to go through the entire list, but just mention that the Y came in first for 6 years in a raw, with a combined revenue of $4,556 BILLION ($827 mil in public support and $614 mil in government support) 

United Way, which provides grants  and help for MANY other non-profits, came  in 2nd. The largest recipient of United Way help being RED CROSS  with a total revenue of 218 Billion, followed by Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Salvation Army and the YMCA.

The total revenue represents a combination of: Public support, government, program services, investments and other) 

But this does NOT tell me the salaries of the CEOs. All it does, is tell me that these recognized fine charities have a lot of money. Good for them and those they help!

Then I came across Top 10 Salaries for non-profits

The Fiscal Times-Overpaid nonprofit Executives

The number one, with a total  yearly compensation of 2.5 mil came someone I didn’t know. L. Hoagland, Chief Investment Officer at William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. They give grants to cultural and educational Institutions. Okay, good for him, he must be an investment wiz!

Number 2 on the list is a charity I know, a charity to which I donated because my mom died of cancer!

John Seffrin, CEO of AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY  has a compensation package of 2.1 mil, of which his yearly salary is $561,927. NO COMMENT but from now on, if I have money to donate, I will go directly to a local research facility to make sure my hard earned money goes where I intend it to go.

And NUMBER 3 on the list of overpaid CEOs a woman! Well, my womanly heart melts. I am happy for her. In fact, who cares there is still a huge gap between what men and women are paid for same jobs, ONE of us, and of course Oprah, managed to overcome all standards and hardships! Roxanne Spillett, President of Boys and Girls Clubs of America, comes as #3 paid with a yearly compensation of 1.8 mil. and base salary of $455,829. However, I have to give it to her. She has been with the company for 30 years, she worked her way up, up and up.

What is the real problem? (as I see it)  The real problem is our assumption, as insignificant donors, those who give .66 a day that our insignificant donation goes to that poor cat or dog in the TV commercial. We, do not understand the inside workings of corporate America, this is why WE don’t make millions, yet donate!

The truth is though, leaving aside our personal emotions, hopes and bias, IF these CEOs are financial experts and the BOTTOM line is a better return and they and ONLY they do such a fantastic job at investing your .66 cents and triples it for the cause for which you donated, then there is NO problem. The question is what is the BOTTOM LINE??? and are these CEOs the ONLY ones qualified to do the same jobs? I really don’t know…but was curious enough to research and write this post.

The answer was expertly answered in Forbes -Personal Finance 1/23/13 Is A One Million Dollar Non Profit CEO Salary As Bad as It Sounds?

If you donate to the American Cancer Society or the Museum of Fine Arts, Huston or any of the other 18 charities the “Chronicle of Philanthropy” reported as having CEO’s Making a million and more, I’d be even more curious…

The same Forbes article mentions that many states tried to introduce legislation that would CAP salaries of non-profit organizations: NY, NJ, Florida and Massachusetts.TRIED is the key word, because the battle is still on! No such legislation passed. Although, frankly MA wanted a salary cap at $500,000… not too shabby is it, for a non-profit? Well Florida, what’s wrong with you? They wanted to cap a non-profit CEO’s salary at $129,972. Ridiculous for the CEO of a nonprofit!!Isn’t it? Oh, you work for Walmart… sorry! That is for profit. And yes, I shop there. I am too poor to be politically correct when it comes to food for my dogs, I go to Walmart.

Back to non-profits! An interesting point of view was expressed by Dan Pallotta, author of  “Charity Case” which was cited in the Forbes article. His argument is that all that counts is the bottom line… Our donations do not necessarily go DIRECTLY to the CEO’s million dollar compensation. NO!!! Pallotta’s argument is that an effective CEO will “MULTIPLY” the initial investment that ultimately will increase the MONEY RAISED for the REAL CAUSE! Remember, the poor kitty and the dog, and the children in Africa for which you donated .66 a day, actually $19.80 a month?

In other words if the CEOs paid  a million PLUS increase the bottom line, it is okay to be paid for their unique expertise in fund raising and  unique financial competency. 

I agree, but it took me two days to try and understand and figure out what is what. Also the CEOs come and go. For instance, in May 2013 the ASPCA hired a new CEO to replace the one whose salary was over $500,000 a year. Everything changes fast and who has the time to break down exactly where your donation goes? Of course, you, the one who donated your .66 cents a day, have the picture of a child you helped or a cat you saved.

It is a free country and as with everything else each person donates how and where they see fit best.

I personally, decided to make my donations directly to the source intended. I love dogs. I rescued dogs, so I go to the rescue Molly’s Place in Mechanicsburg, PA, from where I got my companions and bring food and money I know will go to transporting animals to safe no-kill shelters and foster homes. I make it easy and simple for everyone!

It is the small non-profits, run by people who put their monetary second to the cause that need help. So, I concluded, I am too lazy to navigate the way my .66 cents is used in a large nonprofit and only give to my local, small charities.

But remember the beginning of the post? I am not a rich person…yet!

Black Dog Syndrome!!!!! How Much More superficial Could Our Culture Get????

This morning, my beautiful, brilliant black lab Lola woke me up at 6:00 A.M. sharp. Her biological clock screamed “hungry,” and so did her “buddies,” of other colors and breeds of dogs. 

Saturday mornings, after my “babies” are fed, I sip my coffee and turn on the T.V… This time has been one of my favorite moments for years. Simple and lasting: to see the gratitude and trust in my companions’ eyes, pet their silky furs, of ALL colors, makes my day. It is, after all, the small pleasures that make our lives better or worse.

Today’s morning was an exception! The “breaking news,” a 5.1 Earthquake in Southern California where my youngest daughter, granddaughter and family live! Having experienced a 7.8 Earthquake years ago, in Bucharest, Romania, makes my heart race just at the whisper of the word earthquake!

As if this news wasn’t bad enough, the second  topic on the news was “BLACK DOGS SYNDROME!!!!!”

What??? I must be still  asleep… somnambulism… I pinched  myself. It hurt! Unfortunately I had to conclude my awake state!

The story on television continued, giving details about how black dogs, even puppies, beautiful, healthy and loving are being euthanized in larger numbers as compared to dogs of other colors, because they are BLACK!!!

Aside from medieval superstitions, the main reason black puppies are not adopted is because, apparently, they do not photograph as well!!! YES, I repeat, black puppies and dogs in shelters are not desirable because they don’t photograph well! and “humans” of high intelligence make the decision to rather kill them!

Our culture, as a whole, is still so biased and superficial that we would rather see a black puppy killed  than adopt it.

Sad, stupid, heartless? No number of qualifiers would ever completely describe my outrage and disappointment. Frankly, it feels like a nightmare, one of those which is so bad, it requires  consulting a psychiatrist.

I have a “thing” for all dogs and their unconditional love. However, I must confess this apparently politically incorrect “weakness,” of mine, (by whose standards?) was a major factor  in 2012, when I adopted Lola. Yes, people, to be very, very clear, I adopted Lola because she was BLACK!!!

She is a gorgeous black lab mix and one of the many features  I love most about her, is her shinny, silky black fur, which I thankfully pet daily. My high blood pressure goes down, probably more so, because her fur is black:)

She also has the nerve to photograph well and is so kind and intelligent, Lola has her own popular blog,  

BB stands for beautiful and brilliant, because she IS!!! Here she is, and for more lovely photos of Lola, and natural dog home-made treats and tips,please check out her own site.

In my household, officially, the color BLACK is IN!

What is OUT:  superficial thinking… frankly I refer to it as stupidity! 
Here is Beautiful, Brilliant BLACK Lola who among many other qualities, photographs well!Image