{I Am A Mother} To An Angel is NOT supportive of all Moms

  After we lost baby E, I was searching for a connection with other angel mommies and a friend suggested I follow the “I am a mother to an Angel” Facebook page. I took up her suggestion and hit like, I also joined the private group “Awaiting Rainbows: TTC after a loss.” The  ladies in this group were lovely and it let me know I wasn’t the only one struggling to catch a rainbow. 

Five years ago I was treading the waters of grief on my own, none of my friends had lost babies before and no one understood my journey. You never get over the death of a child, you just learn how to live with it. My heart has a hole and his name is Lucia, it became bigger on the day Baby E joined him in heaven. Never in a million years did I think I would have two children in heaven, their deaths were decided the moment I was born, it was written in the cards and fate she is the only one who knows what my hand holds. I no longer question their departure and I will play my hand until the last card is on the table. Each day I face the sun with gratitude and a peaceful heart. 

So many young women are just starting out on the road called grief. Many question and shout why me, why my baby. Those women need to be told that it will be ok and sometimes we don’t have an answer. They need to hear it from a mother who has walked this path before, they need to know she survived, and mostly that she caught her rainbow. In the Awaiting Rainbows group I was an old sage, offering internet hugs and  quietly typing “it’s ok, you never get over the death of a child, you just learn how to live with it” into the comments of their posts. We got excited when someone announced they were pregnant and answered each others questions on TTC. 

Every now and then you’d see a member disappear, “she got banned” someone said. The group Admins watch the page like a hawk and without warning if they do not like your tone or your posts or your comments you are out of there. The creator of “I am a mother to an Angel” claims that all of her groups are inclusive and supportive of its members. If this were true then Admins would not be banning members for their tone, comments or for merely reporting a member for being repetitive and offensive. 

If you ask me the ladies of “Awaiting Rainbows/I am a mother” are selective, she is creating the type of group she wants, one where everything is sparkles and sunshine, and not the group women need. Grief is not perfect. Not all trying to conceive journies are perfect or end up with a live birth. Life is messy, grief is messy, and sometimes trying to catch a rainbow is messy too. 

One day you will realize that the women you banned are the women who needed your support the most and you turned your back on them.  

If you are in need of support please visit:

Hannah’s Heart and Love
Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support
Grieve Out Loud
Missing Grace Foundation

{Heart Walk} Being an Auntie Is Why I Walk 


 Every day little girls are born into families where there Auntie lost her life to a Stroke or Pulmonary Embolism. They are growing up in a world where they only know her through stories and photos. They go their entire life without her, longing for the Auntie that was taken away all to soon.

This would have been Sophia’s world, but because of research my life was saved. Because people just like you are donating to the cause, research is funded and women like me get to walk away. We get to walk away on borrowed time, hold our nieces, and make memories with our families. 

I am greatful for this life I get to lead. For this little girl, and the memories I create with her. One day she will realize just how hard her Auntie fights for her healthy tomorrow. 

So please join us in this fight, together we can make a stand, together we can WIN this war. Join us at the Twin Cities Heart Walk on Saturday April 25, 2015. 

Twin Cities Heart Walk 2015

Life is why 

{Affordable Care Act} D.C. Meet AJ

There are moments where I have to pinch myself to make sure that I really am living this life. I went from survivor to advocate, to spokeswoman. Last Thursday I received an email from the American Heart Association’s National Advocacy office inviting me to Washington D.C. This just wasn’t any old regular invite, this this was an opportunity of a life time. I was invited to Washington D.C. by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. When Nancy Pelosi invites you to D.C., you go, YOU GO and I did just that.


I went and I became a part of history. I was invited to DC to speak at a press conference celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. The conference was held on the Capital Steps and it was organized by Leader Pelosi and members of the Democratic Caucus. Together we celebrated the Act and the fact that is working for millions of Americans. I am just one of the millions of Americans who benefited from the Affordable Care Act.

This was my moment to put a face to a cause. Words cannot describe the impact the Affordable Care Act has made on my life. As a Pulmonary Embolism / Stroke survivor I can no longer be denied coverage or be forced to pay more because of my medical history. In the eyes of the law I am equal to my healthy peers and because of this I am able to afford quality insurance and put my health first.


Yes, I found myself struggling to choose between paying my bills or paying for the medical care that I needed. For 18 months I went without health insurance and for part of that time I was only making $12 an hour. My most expensive prescription was $287.00 a month and I tried skipping it for a while, that just turned into a very expensive disaster. No one should ever have to choose between life saving care and bills. I never for one thought I would ever be in that position, but at 28 I found myself there. I found myself struggling to stay a float and was ashamed that I could not afford the health care I desperately needed.


Today I am no longer ashamed, I am empowered. I have an insurance card in my pocket and I owe it all to the Affordable Care Act. I no longer had to settle for a job, instead I got to hold out for the one I wanted. I no longer have to check the couch for spare change just to pick up my prescription. Instead I walk right into Target and pay only $20.00 for a brand name drug. I can afford to go to the doctor and I am now getting routine care. I can for the first time in a very long time, put my health first. Life is not worth living if you do not have your health.

{Giving Back} WhipStaff Ranch & Rescue

“Whoever said a dog can’t be a best friend, never owned a dog”

IMG_6815-0 Words cannot begin to describe the love that I have for the ladies behind the rescue. I have adopted two dogs from WhipStaff Ranch & Rescue. Freckles an English Pointer lives with my Ex-husband and Cullen a Cocker Doodle is my trusty little sidekick. Freckles and Cullen were both very shy dogs, they just need a little love to help them break out of their shells.

Freckles lived on the ranch for almost a year. WhipStaff lets the animals stay on the ranch until they find a forever home, there is no ticking clock or end date. No animal is turned away, no matter the shape or size they find a place for them on the ranch.

Cullen was rescued from a puppy mill and he was in rough shape. Where most saw a lost cause WhipStaff saw hope and turned him into a mighty little dog. In August 2010 I emailed the ranch asking if they had a dog for me to adopt. I eagerly awaited a reply and by night fall they responded with “we have the perfect dog for you.” Sight unseen I made the 6.5 hour drive to the ranch and I’ve never looked back. I had a scared nervous muppet like dog at my side. Cullen has helped me in more ways than I can count. This little dog has provided me with endless amounts of laughter, fashion advice, and mostly he listens.

I set out to rescue a dog, but in the end it was me who got rescued. One little throwaway dog changed my life and I am forever grateful to WhipStaff Ranch & Rescue.

Whipstaff Ranch & Rescue is raising money to build an all new dog shelter for the rescue! Funds will be going towards materials and supplies to rebuild the outdoor enclosures and to build a new indoor shelter for the dogs. We also hope to rebuild some of the fencing for the horses if we are able.

For $20.00 (that’s the cost of 4 medium berry white mochas at caribou) you can help WhipStaff and get a really cool t-shirt. Just click the link under the photo and donate to this amazing rescue!

IMG_6984-0WhipStaff Ranch & Rescue Spring Cleanup Fundraiser

Whipstaff Ranch & Rescue is a 501c3 Non Profit all-species animal rescue group located in Solway MN that is dedicated to stopping animal abuse. We offer safe sanctuary to abused, neglected and unwanted animals of all species. We are hoping to get a fresh start in 2015 with a new look and some badly needed upgrades! We rely on your support to continue our mission!

{Go Red} The Story of A Woman’s Heart Is Why

IMG_6414-1When people find out that I had a stroke, they look at me like I have an infinite amount of wisdom. Wisdom,
Ha I am only 32 years wise and there are things I will never begin to understand. I, I am just a small town girl who had a stroke and some how I get to do big things.

If you would have told me five years ago that I would get to participate in a photo shoot and a PSA commercial to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke in women. I would of probably giggled and said “you’re nuts!” But here I am, it’s been five years and I am thriving. Brave doesn’t describe it, I am baring my soul for the public good. I am putting a face to a horrible experience.

Yet on the same coin, I am raising awareness that strokes can and do happen to perfectly healthy young women. That birth control has and does cause serious life altering side effects. I am raising awareness that, before the affordable care act, young women like me couldn’t afford health insurance. We put off going to the doctor because it was expensive. Now I truly can put my health and mostly my heart first.

I love with all of my surviving heart and I do not back down from challenges. Because I, I survived the worst day possible. I am more than a stroke, I am more than the collateral damage Merck accounted for, I am more than a survivor, I am a woman with a vibrant heart. I am first and for most a mother to my son in heaven and a mama to a Muppet like dog. I am an Aunt, a Daughter, a Sister, a Friend, and a Girlfriend. I am many things and I play many roles, yet survivor is one that I will never give up.

I am proof that every horrible situation has a silver lining. Six months after my Stroke I found out I was pregnant with my son. My heart was full and I felt vindicated. That somehow God still believed in me and that good still existed in this world. Even thou Lucia never took a breath, he is my greatest joy. He is the reason I do what I do and I want him to be proud of his Mama on earth.

My P.E./Stroke and death of my son were not the end of my horrible bad days. They were just the beginning and those moments of utter disaster gave me the strength I needed to put myself first and walk out of a loveless marriage. Eight months after I had my pulmonary embolism and stroke I filed for divorce. Surviving taught me to listen to my heart and to put myself first. A woman’s heart will never steer her wrong.

It’s been almost five years since my divorce was finalized and I have never looked back. I had to come into my own and figure out who I was. Surviving is only half the battle. One cannot simply just survive, they need to thrive. Once you start to thrive, you start living again. I rented my very first apartment, adopted a dog, changed jobs, found myself, and started dating. I’ve had my moments where I swore to myself that I would be single forever, only to be swept of my feet. Love it eluded me, but I finally caught it with my butter fly net! Its an amazing feeling to be in love with a man who loves every inch of my surviving heart!

I own everything that has happened to me. This is the story of my heart and I would not trade it for anything in this world. It’s mine, I have loved every moment of this beautiful disaster that I call “my life.”

But mostly, I have spent the past five years encouraging women to be their best health care advocate. Encouraging women to be brave, to go against the grain, and mostly to fight for themselves. The moment we give up and give in, is the moment we lose hope. No woman deserves to fight alone, all of us are in this together until the bitter end.

{American Heart Association} _____________ is why.

The American Heart Association unveiled there new campaign earlier in the summer. The campaign is simple yet powerful. “Tell us your why.” Today I attended the American Heart Association’s “You’re The Cure Advocacy Summit” and one of the activities was to tell our “why.” We were given t-shirts and markers to write our why. I had so many reasons for my why yet only one would fit on the t-shirt.
2nd chance

2nd Chance is why.

On October 22, 2009 I got an early birthday present. It did not come in a box wrapped in pretty paper with a bow. It came on the heals of disaster, my future it looked bleak, but in one sheer moment I realized that I was still here. I was alive, thou in extreme pain and a little worse for wear, I was a live. I got LIFE for my 27th birthday. That is the greatest gift anyone could ever receive. A second chance to take on the world, to love, to laugh, to explore, but mostly a second chance to live life the way it is meant to be lived. I have been living on borrowed time, the good Lord above has given me five beautiful years and I plan on borrowing a few more. I am not done living. My life, it has only just begun.


Photo by Stephanie Ryan Photography

Sophia is why.

So many young women have died from pulmonary embolisms, strokes, and heart disease. Those women were robbed of becoming Aunts and Mothers. I got a second chance and in that chance I was able to hold my buddy in my arms. Nothing brings me more joy than being an aunt. I love this little girl with all of my surviving heart and I will continue to fight for her healthy tomorrow.

pete and me

My Father is why.

12 years ago my father was only 50 years old when he was rushed to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rochester Minnesota. He was dying, his heart was in Ventricular Fibrillation and Congestive Heart Failure. It didn’t look good and he was fighting for what little life he had left. Death, it was the only possibility. Yet with the expertise of the Mayo doctor’s he walked out of that hospital two weeks later. Yes, he walked out under his own power two weeks later. My father got a second chance at life. In the past 12 years he got a chance to see me graduate from college, a chance to walk me down the isle, and a chance to be the rock I needed when I was recovering from my PE and stroke. But mostly he will get to stand by my side as our plane touches down in Cambodia and watch me meet my child for the very first time.

Emma is why.

Emma Beaulieu was the first infant in Minnesota to receive a heart transplant. She was three months old when she got her new heart and sadly she passed away three years later due to complications of the common cold. Emma is why my family has been involved with the American Heart Association. Because someone dared to make a difference, she was given three years to live. Some may say that was a waste. I beg to differ, because of what they learned from Emma, thousands of children have been saved. Congenital Heart defects are no longer death sentences, they are mere stumbling blocks, and survival rates continue to sky rock it. All because of one little girl who went first.

Bazile is why.

My extremely great grand father Bazile Hudon Beaulieu was a voyager who sailed across the Atlantic, through the great lakes, and landed on the shores of Minnesota. He founded this great state that I call home. Its only fitting to name my future child after him. In her own right she is like a little voyager, crossing the globe to find her home in my arms. Bazile is out there and I cannot wait until the day I get on that plane and bring her home. Bazile is my why, I want her to grow up in a healthy world free of heart disease and stroke. Mostly I want her to grow up in a world where women are no longer being harmed by their hormonal contraceptives. I will be damned if Bazile ever has to endure my fate. Bazile is getting one hell of a fighter to call Mom. I will fight for her until my last breath.

GoRed 2014

TOMORROW is why.

I want to have a billion more tomorrows. A billion chances at seeing the sunrise and set. I want a billion nights under star filled skies and a billion bon fires by the shore. I want a tomorrow. I want to get married again. I want to build a tiny home (I am obsessed with them), have a family, travel the world, and mostly I want to secure a healthy tomorrow for all of us. That is my wish that every single one of us will have a billion tomorrows. Life is so uncertain and your tomorrows can be ripped from you in a blink of an eye. I am going to focus on living in the moment and not waste a precious drop of sweet sweet time.

{FaceBook} Friend Request From My High School Bully

red wingEver since I can remember I have always gone against the tide. I looked to the sun and answered to a higher calling. My parents will tell you that I am an old soul, that I wear my heart on my selve, and that my zest for life is addictive. That I have always looked out for my fellow-man, cried tears for the less fortunate, and believed that the under dogs would one day fly.

Ya know my parents are right. I grew up in a narrow-minded river town. One that thrived on rumors, turned out shoes, and kicked you in the gut if you were different. I was a biracial girl growing up in a one color town, I was a child with ADD taught by those who couldn’t see my potential, and mostly I was a girl who wanted to be left alone. I recently received a Facebook friend request from my high school bully. I was taken back, the memories shot through my mind like fire to the prairie. All of the pain I buried rose to the surface. I quickly threw my iPhone to the floor (thank God I have an otter box) and feverishly started cleaning my stove. I chose to leave it. I didn’t hit confirm or deny, I just left her hanging in the wind.

You see Sara grew up just around the corner from me and for some reason it was her goal to make my life miserable. High school was the worst, she would tell people that I was poor, that I was ugly, stupid, dirty, and so on. Teachers they ignored the insults that flung across the isle, they turned their heads, as I held back the tears. I finally had enough at the end of ninth grade, I came to my Mom in tears at my spring choir concert, My Mama vowed to make it stop. My dad on the other hand took matters into his own hands and called up her father. A meeting was set, we sat face to face our parents at our sides, and Sara proclaimed “I just want to be her friend. That’s all I want.” Lies spewed from her mouth as she tried her best to cover up her wrongs. The truth it came seeping through and she as told to leave me alone. That very moment set the tone for my high school career. Rumors flowed behind my back, people never forgot the lies she weaved and I couldn’t wait to break free.

You made fun of me for being in the FFA, for working at McDonalds and for buying my cloths at Kmart. Sara, I was never one to keep up with labels. Kmart was the only “department store” in town and well the clothes at Maurices were not my style. To this day I am still sporting my signature cardigan. (not the same ones I had in high school thou) Class, lady it never goes out of style. I wouldn’t be the leader I am today if it were not for the FFA. I am passionate about consumer driven agriculture and can often be found getting dirty in a garden. Red Wing is a farming town, lets face it Goodhue county has more livestock than people. So why not take the time to learn where our food comes from and to grow the perfect pot of petunias. Now for my getting a job in high school, see below……….

Sara, my family is far from poor. I got a job at McDonald’s during high school because I was tired of asking my parents for money. I wanted to make my own and not spend there’s. You see Sara, I grew up in town and spent my weekends at my family’s country house. Three cars lined our driveway, one of them is a 69 mustang that hasn’t seen the light of day in years. My Mom and Dad always made sure that my sister and I had everything and anything we wanted. In hind sight they were probably to good to us. Because now my sister and I need a support group for spoiled child syndrome. One lesson my parents taught me has always stuck with me an that is: “those who have money hide it and those that don’t flaunt it.”

I don’t spend my days keeping up with the Jones, I never have and I never will. You tried so hard to break my spirit and to knock me down the mountain. Your insults were my ammunition, each one whispered made me work harder. I knew my mind would be my ticket out of that backwater town. I cried in my mom’s arms, my diploma in my hand, not because I was sad, but because I was finally fucking free of you. I no longer had to see your face every day. I no longer had to put up with the whispers, I was finally fucking free.

Darling, I stretched my wings and I aimed higher than you could ever dream. I picked a college that I knew no one from Red Wing would attend. In Superior I came into my own, in Superior I discovered my voice, I found my grace, and mostly I shined. Through the hallowed halls I walked studying the laws that built our country. Dr. Cuzzo she helped me realize that I had the power to change the world. She’d tell me “never stop, you are so bright.” That was the first time a teacher ever told me I was bright. In her eyes I didn’t have ADD stamped on my forehead instead my intelligence pushed through.

Sara in the past 13 years I have set foot on three continents, got married, survived a stroke, lost a child, got divorced, dined with politicians, danced in the rain, and loved like I was dying. My voice is helping raise awareness about strokes in young women. I pounded the pavement in DC, crisscrossed the country lobbying for a better day, and took a moment to look into my nieces eyes. I have gone further than you will ever go. For you see I no longer fear the label you placed on me. You were right Sara I am different, I am so different from you that I am extraordinary. It takes an incredible amount of courage to stand up and to fight back.

Because of you Sara I strived to change the world and to make it a better place. Mostly I strove to return one day and walk up to you and say “Fuck you, fuck all of you” and then proceed to walk out of our high school reunion. Which I was totally going to do. However I decided that you weren’t worth my time. You see Sara you no longer have power and I will never mark my word be your friend. Not on Facebook and defiantly not in real life.

Different is beautiful and remember whose toes you step on because you just might have to bend down and kiss their ass one day!

{Hearts on 22} Love With All of Your Heart

Sophia and featherChristmas is when I miss Charlie the most. Mostly because he got cheated. Cheated out of meeting Sophia. He was anticipating her arrival and received status updates on the progress of her birth. A trial kept him in New York and he couldn’t wait to hang up his traveling suit and snuggle his niece in his arms. Charlie never got to see her smile, hear her laughter or feel her tiny hand in his. Sophia never got to meet the man who dreamed of taking her to Paris and who would have spoiled her beyond her wildest imagination. Charlie died loving the tiny girl he never got to meet.

As I sit back and reflect I can’t help but to think about all of the people who have never laid eyes on their niece or nephew. Sure deadly drunk driving accidents stick in our minds. After all one drunk driver took Charlie an 4 other people out on a wintry Valentine’s Day. That was one moment in time, yet in that moment hundreds of women lost their lives to heart disease and stroke. Hundreds more died that day from a Pulmonary Embolisms or other hormonal contraceptive related side effect. Those lives never make the news, they just fade quietly into the timelines of history.

If it were not for my care team I would have joined the fading time line. I would have been another casualty not a news worthy story. There isn’t a day that goes by where I do not thank God for keeping me on this earth. For answering my silent prayer and giving me the strength to fight. For giving me the strength to stand up and shout my story from the roof tops. With each word spoken I began to heal my broken heart, I penned my name on a legal services agreement and became a plaintiff in the Multidistrict Litigation against Merck. I put myself out there in hopes that I could save one woman from enduring my hell. I love with all of my heart and in a sheer moment of utter disaster my passion was born.

My purpose is clear “educate those around me about the dangers of hormonal contraceptives, blood clots, stroke and pulmonary embolism warning signs.” I will not rest until the Nuva Ring is pulled from he market and until doctors properly inform their patients of the risk associated with the use of hormonal contraceptives. Charlie was the one who pushed me to share my story with the world. He took up my mission and would stand in the wings watching me with tears in his eyes as I brought tears to the audience. I am alive today because I listed to my heart.

When Charlie died my heart was broken and it healed each time I held our niece in my arms. Each time I heard her laughter, held her tiny hand in mine, and listen to her whisper Auntie” for the first time. To think the Nuva Ring almost robbed me of those moments. My birth control almost cheated me out of being an aunt. The Nuva Ring almost claimed my life and it changed me in more ways than I could ever explain. However it will never ever stop me from loving Sophia with all of my surviving heart. Sophia will grow up with the notion that she is one lucky little girl. Because she could be holding a picture of the woman she calls Auntie. Instead she gets to hold her aunties hand and play. She is lucky because God allowed her Aunt to be the 1 out of 5 who got to walk away from a massive pulmonary embolism on October 22, 2009.

As I watch Sophia unwrap her gifts I will be thinking about all of my sisters who lost the battle. About all of those who would gladly take my seat at the table and those who are fighting with all of their hearts. Families will gather and thousands of children will hear stories about the women they never got to meet. Heart disease, strokes, and pulmonary embolisms are taking to many aunties out of the equation. To many children are walking in memory of the woman they never got to call “Auntie” and never got to love with all of their hearts.

{Thanksgiving} To Shop or Boycott

For all of you complaining about stores being open on thanksgiving day…. Here is a bit of food for your thoughts. You are boycotting stores and complaining that people are not able to spend time with their families.

What about the airport folks, firemen, policemen, military, EMS, doctors, nurses, chefs, and so forth. What about those folks. Instead of sitting down with their families they are healing the sick, keeping our communities safe, putting out fires, flying the planes carrying our loved ones, taking our tickets and loading our luggage, heck my Mama (she’s a chef) will serve 1500 people in the Buffett on Thursday. There are thousands of people fighting to keep our country safe all around this globe. And they will be lucky to get a satellite phone call home. None of the above ever complain. Maybe the retail workers should shut up and think about the thousands of people who have worked on thanksgiving without complaint.

My mother never complains, she goes in and serves your families at Treasure Island while hers gathers around the table without her. She on Thanksgiving morning will be taking care of a paraplegic, she will do her job without complaint, and then she’ll rush home to eat and turn around and head to the casino to prepare for that nights guests. She will do this without complaint, she has worked more thanksgivings than I can possibly count on two hands. She’s never once complained.

So just maybe the retail workers will stop and pause for a moment maybe all of you will start to boycott the police station, the fire house, the ambulance service, the hospital, home health services, restaurants, gas stations, air ports, hotels, and casinos. As all of the for mentioned will be fully staffed and running on this Thanksgiving Thursday. So please before you boycott and stomp your feet, think of my mother and all of the hard working folks who have not spent a thanksgiving with their families in over 15 years before you complain about a store opening at 5pm on thanksgiving.

{Whipstaff Ranch & Rescue} Cullen’s Story

cullenIn June 2010 I walked away from my marriage with a little English Pointer named Freckles by my side. Freckles is a shy energetic rambunctious little soul and she was never meant for apartment life. She needed a yard, a place to run, and a 5-year-old boy to chase her around. I knew what Freckles needed, it wasn’t me, so with a heavy heart I brought her back to my ex husband and Nylan.

For the first time in 6 years I was truly alone. I didn’t have a child to look after or three dogs to take for a walk. My apartment was all to quiet and something was missing. I needed a partner with a wet nose, caring eyes, and a wagging tail. Most rescues turned me away telling me “an apartment is not a place for a dog.” I cried myself to sleep most nights and one day it hit me “Contact Whipstaff tell Carrie was happened and maybe, just maybe she will let me adopt another dog.”

With that thought I fired an email off at 4am asking if I could bring another little dog into my life. I anxiously waited for a reply, hours past and before night fall I had an answer. Carrie said “I have the perfect little dog for you, he is just like Freckles, shy, a little broken with a good heart.” She emailed a photo and I instantly fell in love with his big gray nose. I couldn’t wait to bring him home, home to his forever home.

The next day I set out on a 12 hour round trip journey to pick up my new-found friend. I followed Carrie’s directions, she really means it when she says “A GPS will not guide you to the ranch” trust me it won’t. I got to see the ranch first hand, the moment you pull into the driveway you can feel the love that they have for the animals in their care. They take in the unwanted, the un-trainable, the broken, and the lost. They take the cast offs and love them until they are whole again, only to turn around to place them in forever homes.

With a hug and a tearful thank you I headed back to Minneapolis with Cullen. I’ve had Cullen for over three years now and he will turn 4 on September 30th. A good part of his first year on earth was spent in a puppy mill and he was withdrawn and scared of the world around him. Carrie and her Mama rescued Cullen, feed him, loved him, and showed him how life could be for a dog. Because of their love a dog got rescued and that rescue became my best friend. In truth I needed Cullen more than he needed me. I was broken and hurt, when I looked into my dogs eyes the loneliness slipped away and I knew I was going to be ok.

Cullen has been by my side through thick and thin. He faithfully laid next to me on the couch during my bed rest, licked away my tears and has provided me with absurd amounts of laughter. Cullen loved Charlie as much as I did and together we mourned the death of our best friend. He watched over baby Sophia and now he sits by her side as she gives him hundreds of hugs. Cullen is no longer an introvert, he along with me has come out of his shell. He found his bark and his eyes light up like fire each morning.

I can never repay the ladies of Whipstaff for the gift they’ve given me. There are not enough words in the English language to describe how greatful I am that they saw it in their hearts to take in a matted under feed dog that became my best friend. In a recent Facebook post Carrie stated that they were in need of help with the food bill, an that several animal were in need of neutering and spaying. I wanted to help and it hit me “I can share their story on my blog and tell the world about the incredible work they do.” So that is what I did.

I hope that everyone who reads this will find it in their hearts to donate $5.00 to Whipstaff Ranch and Rescue. $5 may not seem like much, however a little adds up and can go along way. To find out more about this awesome nonprofit rescue and to make a donation please visit: http://whipstaff-ranch.com/rescue.html