Motivation with Depression

Yesterday I had absolutely no motivation to do anything at all. I didn’t even want to drink water to reach my goal and I was late for breakfast with my family because I was playing around with my dogs and just couldn’t get motivated to leave. I did make it to breakfast and had a great time so I’m glad I went. We went back to the french bistro Susie’s downtown and it was just as lovely as it was the first time. The food is excellent. It’s pricey to be sure, but well worth it on occasion.

I ended up coming home and sleeping most of the day. I think I did two loads of laundry all day and I didn’t fold them until almost 10 p.m. I didn’t even cook dinner. Mental illness is a strange thing. I know it contributes to about 90% of my motivation and attitude. I know it, yet I feel like I can’t do anything about it. When I’m low like this, I feel like I have 200 lb weights on my shoulders. Just thinking about getting up makes my head pound. My self doubt speaks to me at a volume I’ve never even listened to music to. Ha, good analogy right? I know my mental illness affects everything I do and how I live every day. I know how important it is to take my medications religiously and on time, some days though, I have -5 fucks to give about any of it.

The surprising thing for me about waking up and feeling so low is that I had a great week. The renovation has started. Now granted, the house looks like shit, but my sister-in-law was a huge blessing yesterday. She just kept telling me it’s growing pains and by the end it will look stunning. I really appreciated that and I hope she knows she was a bright spot in my dark day.

The renovation started and I was like “huh, this isn’t so bad”, day 3 and I was over it. I literally sit with the dogs all day and try to keep them calm with a bunch of noises going on that they don’t understand and have never heard. It really is tough, it’s a chore. When I saw the space my new washer and dryer will be in though I cried. I’m so darned happy about this and I’m super excited to see the end product.

The weatherman is shitting on my parade though and has called for rain for Monday through Thursday this coming up week. Great. I guess the crew has some stuff they can do inside so they aren’t worried about it slowing them down much and I hope that’s the case but it wouldn’t be their fault if it ends up going to the rain.

The front of the house ½ stone wall has been torn off, the cement porch has been torn off, the living room floor joist has been repaired, the laundry room floor has been jacked up, leveled, and stabilized (this I have enjoyed more than I thought I would. I walk across it now and am like “oh my gosh the whole room doesn’t shake”, and the laundry room has been expanded by about 5 feet. It’s all so ugly right now, but she’s right, it will be beautiful. I can’t wait to show you all. Steve and I are taking, before-progressing-and after pictures, check out my album on my facebook page. Crystal Porter-Smyers.

The husband and I had to go price out some renovation materials at Lowe’s so he stopped at Cane’s when we finished and brought dinner home to me. I’ve never been a fan of Cane’s until last night. I used to openly talk about how much I didn’t care for their food but last night I tried their hot sauce with the chicken and it made a world of difference for me. Their hot sauce is amazing! I’m in love.

Today is a completely different day. Today I woke up early and hit the ground running. Well, maybe a mall walk would be more apt of a description, but the point is I got up and started cleaning the house. I had to google how to clean bacon grease off of plastic bowls/dishes and it said to fill my sink ½ full with hot water, add dishes, and then add 2 cups of white vinegar. Let sit for 15 minutes, add some Dawn dish detergent to my wash cloth (not a sponge) and scrub the bowls/dishes good, rinse with hot water, and dry immediately. Oh my gosh, it worked. Everything is squeaky clean and I couldn’t be happier about it. I make Steve bacon and eggs for his work breakfast every morning and he heats it at work and eats there since he goes in so early. The trade off is I get back the bacon greased bowls he uses and then I have to figure out how to properly clean them. Today I had had it, I learned how to clean them properly. I’m very proud.

I made myself lunch and I’ve been keeping track of my water and caloric intake. I feel good, I feel strong. Today is also my quit date for smoking. I know, I know didn’t I quit several months ago? Yes, and I restarted about a month ago. But today, today I’ve quit again and hopes be damned, I want it to be for the last time. My husband though is an accidental sadist. I get up, I feel great, I feel strong and then I see a pack of cigarettes laying on the kitchen island. What? The? Actual? Fuck? He forgot his pack when leaving for work. He felt awful about it. That’s okay though because remember, I feel good, I feel strong. I put them in a drawer and have not touched them. Have I thought about touching them? Sure have. But I haven’t and I am proud I can practice at least a little bit of willpower.

Today I am smoke free. Today I am completing goals with my food and water intake. Today I am cleaning my house up a bit. Today I threw away a bunch of junk. Today I found my black kitty cat slippers. Today I spent over an hour chatting on Facebook messenger with my little brother whom I adore. Who knows what my mental illness will bring tomorrow but today I’m grateful it brought me sunshine and motivation.

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Move Along

Keep moving until you find your happiness. I’m happy. It’s a double-edged sword for me. When I’m happy I feel like I have trouble creating. I can’t write like I normally do. When I’m not happy I turn out some pretty amazing stuff. I prefer to be happy.

Ernie has wagged his way right into our pack. He has been accepted by our bonded pair and they have ear licking sessions every morning and night, no really, they do. Jesse is happy because he now has someone he can chase around the yard when he gets the zoomies. Prime is happy because he now has someone who just likes to flab out on the couch.

I don’t want to get too political here today because I’m in a great mood, but let me just say I told you so. All my conservative acquaintances who think they have something to say about the immigrant children interment camps, go fuck yourself. I don’t want to hear your opinions and I don’t care about your opinions. You’re all a bunch of fuckwits who will be judged justly. Remember this moment. Remember the faces of human children corralled behind fences with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a silver foil blanket to keep them warm without their siblings and parents. Remember that this administration has somehow lost 5,000 of these children in CPS. How the fuck do you lose 5,000 children in CPS? Remember you voted for someone who doesn’t understand the difference between someone seeking asylum and someone illegally crossing a border. Go fuck yourselves.

On another happier note, we have made our decision about a contractor and he is working on our contract right now, we should be starting soon. This is both stressful and exciting and I can’t wait! On a negative note, our air condition has been diagnosed as taking a dump slowly on us and we could replace now or have it go out when it’s 104 degrees outside and an emergency call to get a new one in. So we decided to replace it now. They were supposed to be here with our bigger and better air conditioner at 8 am. This morning but of course, things go sideways and they won’t be here until noon. I have Shawn over to do a small paver patio under the new one. Steve will hopefully finish the patio later this month. It’s all coming together and I’m so happy. We oiled my butcher block island this morning and it looks amazing! Mitchell did a beautiful job. It’s been top 5 best gift ever from my husband. He knows me like the back of his hand and I couldn’t love him more for that.

That’s it, that’s me, oh wait, I lost 4 lbs last week. I haven’t weighed myself this week but I feel better. I have more energy, I don’t feel sluggish. I wake up at 5 am. Every morning and I’m pretty much asleep every night by midnight. I can tell my clothes are beginning to fit me differently and I’m so happy my A1C was a little high. I don’t think I’d have made this kind of lifestyle change if it hadn’t happened. Because that’s what it is, a lifestyle change, not a diet.

I hope you all are having an amazing week and enjoy the summer solstice tomorrow!

Puppies

As many of you already know, we adopted a puppy this week, and yes even though he looks like a miniature horse, he is a puppy at 1.5 years old. His name is Ernie and he came from southern Ohio. A family there had thought he was displaying the prey instinct and couldn’t handle it. They needed a new home for him and fast. We didn’t want him to go to a shelter or to someone who wouldn’t do what is best for him so even though we were perfectly happy with just Prime and Jesse, we decided to take him on and he’s been a dream.

Our boys get along great with the new addition and he’s even met my son’s two dogs Blaze and Rex. It’s all been positive so far. He seems to want to give as much affection as he receives. He’s very laid back so he’s just fit right in.

In other news this week, I’ve lost 4 lbs. You don’t even know how happy that makes me. I don’t officially weigh in until Monday but I’m telling you, I feel so good about this already. I don’t even consider it a diet, it’s more like a change of living. I don’t crave anything and I don’t miss anything. I’m happy.

I took this week off of my appointments so I could be here with the dogs and I’m glad I did. I needed a break from driving back and forth to Columbus to be poked and prodded every single day. Like I said, I’m happy bur more importantly, I feel good.

Beautiful

It took so long to find you. I feel as if I searched my entire life. I traveled, I met hundreds of other people, different people, and delved deep into their minds to to try and see where I fit in. I read books, all kinds of books about life and how to live a great life. I researched and studied.

You taught me how to laugh at even small innocuous things and that even the most serious things in life can be funny. You showed me that stress can fade away with a song. You’ve woven the most wondrous stories proving that an imagination is truly something not to be wasted. You helped me face my fears and allowed me to be vulnerable enough to lean on someone else in my times of great sadness. You pushed me to survive.

You have been the one person I could always count on in a crisis and the only person I trust with my deepest darkest secrets. I am secure in the knowledge of who you are and I’m proud to know you.

After all I’ve been through to find you I know one simple truth. All I had to do was look into a mirror. I stare into those blue/grey depths I see you are not like anyone else and that’s not okay. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Comfort In Pain

Comfort in Pain

Let it Hurt.

Let it Bleed.

Let it Heal.

Let it Go. – Nikita Gill

I’ve always found comfort in my pain. When it hurts you know it’s been real and very rarely in life are things real. Think about that for a few minutes. Think about how many times you’ve felt betrayed by someone who turned out to be a fake friend, how many lovers have you sunk faith into that turned into cheaters? How many coworkers did you back up who turned into lazy users? It happens to everyone, none of us leave this life unscathed.

I love the quote above because it reminds you that pain is a process to healing. A lot of people get stuck in the comfort of their pain. I do. It’s easier to wallow in it. It feels almost good to mope around with it because of the attention you get with it.

I think it’s healthiest though to let it hurt, whatever it is, just let it in and let it consume you. Let it make you scream. Let it make you weep. Let it break your heart because if you just try to seal up the tiny cracks for a little while, just bottle it up for the now, you’ll seek release elsewhere in destructive behaviors.

Let it bleed and by this I mean let the rage out where it needs to be directed. If someone cheats on you, tell them all the ways they’ve hurt you, all the ways they’ve betrayed you. Tell them their word is no longer any good to you, that you’ll never be able to trust anything they say to you again. If someone hurts you, bleed it out on them, let them know, don’t let them walk away as if they had no part of it. I often write about accountability and I truly believe it’s the downfall of our society that we no longer hold anyone accountable for their actions. Every single person should know when they do something hurtful. Bleed it out.

Let yourself heal. They say time heals all wounds. I don’t believe that. I do believe that invigorating your mind, your heart, your body heals all wounds especially those of the soul. Don’t wallow in your self pity. Read a book, learn something new, take a class, date someone, fuck, just talk to someone new, get something crafty, be silly, dance, sing, heal. A side note to this, you don’t have to do it alone, but don’t do it with the person/people who fucked you over to begin with. When you walk away, walk away strong.

Let it go. I struggle with this. I’m sure you’ve read from my previous posts, I don’t believe people truly forgive others. It’s because we retain memory. Memory is a bitch. It forces us to acknowledge every bad thing that’s happened or been said and you just can’t take it back and you can say a million times you forgive, but you don’t, not truly, and it’s because you can’t truly forget. Think about any time you’ve said forgive and forget and then gotten into another spat with that person, you went back to what you said you forgave and forgot right? We all do. We all do.

I tell my son and daughter often, You Teach People How To Treat You. This is one of the best lessons in life to give everyone yet it takes so much time for people to actually heed the words, to learn what it means. If you allow someone to constantly use and manipulate you into doing or being what they want, you’ll never be happy. You are teaching them to treat you like a doormat, you’re telling them it’s okay to cheat on you, to call you names, to be shady, to withhold their love, etc. You are making it okay and why would they change when you complain? You’ve taught them that you’ll stay, you’ll keep coming back even if they don’t change. You give no real consequences to their bad behavior. You’ve taught them to treat you badly. The only thing you can do, is let them go. Be honest about your feelings, be honest about it never really going to be able to work because the history is too rife with discord and that’s the way to honestly let it go.

Relationship Equality

I’ve been thinking a lot about equality in relationships and how it comes in many forms. Nothing is ever 50/50, nor should it be.

My respect/equality meter remains full and has for the entirety of my relationship.

My husband does not not cook, he doesn’t wash dishes, he does not wash-dry-fold-put away laundry, he doesn’t clean the house, he doesn’t take the dogs to the groomer, he doesn’t typically grocery shop. In general he doesn’t do a lot around the house that is considered typical “women’s work”. I know that sounds bad but please continue reading.

My husband never allows me to pay for anything when I’m in his presence. We could be just stopping at the pharmacy for my medication and he will not allow me to pay for it. It can be as simple as stopping to buy a soda and he will not allow me to pay. He also never asks me or even implies that I should go in when we stop for soda or the pharmacy or a quick gift card. He always lets me sit in the car listening to music and he goes to take care of whatever we’re out doing. He always opens my door for me. Be it the car or whatever building we’re entering or leaving. He does all the typical “men’s work” around the house: mowing the lawn, changing light bulbs, oil changes, etc. He brings me surprises every single week, really great surprises. He has always shown me his appreciation for all that I do in small and large ways and I’ve never once had to say to him “I’m feeling unappreciated”. He takes me to every single doctor’s appointment (it’s a lot), he always drives no matter where we go. The most important thing my husband has done to keep my love meter full is he has always encouraged me to work at jobs I truly love and am happy doing. He has always encouraged me to follow my dreams with my writing. He has allowed me something very few people get in this lifetime, I have never had to stay in a job that made me unhappy because of his love and support and that has been invaluable.

I should say here also that I love the fact that we practice “traditional roles” in our relationship. It’s not for everyone, I agree. I’m old school though, all I ever wanted to be was a writer and wife, a great wife. I really do enjoy cooking and doing things to make him happy. I enjoy it even more because I know how deeply he appreciates it.

All of these are things between us keep us equal in our relationship. Too many times I hear others focusing on the things their partner doesn’t do instead of all the great things they do accomplish for them. I’m more than okay with the way my relationship is.

My husband works, a lot. He works usually 7 days a week. He hardly ever takes a day off and although I miss him, I understand the reasoning and I support him. I would say 4 days a week he can get up with his alarm with no help from me, on time, with no problems. There are a few days, roughly three days a week that he’ll maybe stay up a little late watching TV shows with me and get to bed a little late. On those days I’ll help him out a little, if I notice he hasn’t gotten up by a certain time, I’ll of course go in to our bedroom and gently let him know it’s time to get ready for work. This has never ever been a problem for me. I’m retired, it’s not as if I have other shit to do and it gives me a few extra minutes to hang out with him before he has to leave for the night.

I used to have a really hard time explaining this to an old friend. He thought my husband relied too much on me and was just spoiled and lazy. I don’t see it that way at all. Relationships are all about support and confidence. I love being that person who my husband counts on to help him out when he needs it most. I love the fact that he has confidence that he can count on me for that support and he never has to question it.

So why am I writing this? I think we all need to do a better job teaching our youth what a healthy relationship looks like. Is it any wonder our society has fallen into such disrepair when we look at divorce statistics over the last 40 years? What are we really teaching our children about relationships and what’s okay and not okay? What are we showing them is acceptable behavior when engaging with a mate?

Are we teaching them selfishness is okay? Cheating is okay? Open relationships work? On again off again is perfectly acceptable? Abusiveness is okay as long as you attach the word love to it? Walking away from responsibility is widely acceptable? Is this the society we want? It’s repetitive you know, we come from broken homes, we break our homes, and we teach our children that well, that’s the way it is, broken is acceptable. But we can change it. We can teach our youth a better way, a healthier way of dealing with love, respect, honesty, and realistic relationships.

These are just some of the thoughts I’ve been having lately as I have two young adults who are navigating life and love. I give them as much advice as I can but two of the most profound pieces of advice I impart to them on the regular are these: Love don’t pay the rent and Life isn’t fair but it doesn’t have to be a fucking circus either. Maybe I’ll elaborate on another blog later. Just some things to think about today.

Validation

How do you seek validation? Each of us must in little or big ways depending seek out validation for the lives we live be it online in social interactions or in our partners/kids.

Myself, I prefer to seek validation in close people in my life. I do this by simply being myself and striving every day to make myself a little better, a little more caring about the struggles of those close to me and I try often to make those I love lives a little better, even in small ways. I’m not always successful, and I’m flawed in many ways, but I try and I think that, at the end of each day, comes across and is all that really matters and that in itself validates me.

I believe wholeheartedly in taking accountability. I think it’s healthiest to stop looking at strangers online for your own personal self worth. I don’t as a rule typically air my grievances or complaints on social media outlets such as Twitter or Facebook. It does no one any good and it’s hardly worth the the five minute high you might get from “likes” or “comments”, it can become addictive and then all you’re left with is a void you constantly have to fill with drama and strife.

It’s almost impossible to stay positive in the world as it is today and still receive positive reinforcement, but if you follow some simple rules, you can eliminate some major stressors and begin to live the life you really want.

  1. Instead of seeking advice from social media contacts, do some research on Google from reliable sources. This is so helpful you won’t believe the results.
  2. Start ignoring posts promoting drama and negativity. Seriously, read it and skip it. Don’t like it, don’t comment on it, don ‘t repost it, skip it. You’ll feel better and you won’t dwell on it.
  3. Try to clean up your friends lists. Some people I’ve seen have 1k and 2k friends on their lists, do you really know and keep up with that many people? No, none of us do and it just leaves you open to more doorways of negativity. Get rid of anyone you don’t have a personal good relationship with.
  4. Don’t be afraid to block people. Even if it’s someone in your family. If they are a negative influence or a person who constantly starts drama do not feel beholden to continue to allow them to view your page and make comments to others, it always gets back to you!
  5. Do small things every day for those you truly love to fulfill your own validation meter. It can be as simple as folding your husband’s laundry, or getting your child a cup of juice. Just make small time, it will make you feel better because they feel better.
  6. Stop expecting “thank you”, just assume it’s implied! I can’t stress this enough. Expectation is the root of all evil, it burrows in the mind and destroys love. It’s not a stretch to assume someone, everyone is grateful for the things you do for them. Be conceited, yes! You did that and they are thankful, ha.

I hope some of this helps you learn how to find solace and happiness when you feel a little low. I know most of us wander around in life feeling like no one sees us and no one appreciates us but it’s simply not true. Someone has seen you, someone is grateful for you, for the small and big things you’ve done for them. Someone loves you, someone would be lost without you and you don’t need Social Media to know this every single day.

Rescind

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A verb meaning to declare null and void, or to take back. Words. I think Eminem said it best in his song “Sing For The Moment”, the line goes: “I guess words are a motherfucker, they can be great or they can degrade, or even worse, they can teach hate.”
When I was a kid I used to just spout off whatever came to my head when I was angry with someone close to me, not caring how they would feel, not even caring if what I said was truly something I felt or even a true statement. I just wanted them to hurt and I always accomplished my task. It was worse for anyone who crossed me who didn’t really know me, people who I could give two fucks about at the end of each day. If I took one lesson from living with my mother as a child, it was how to abuse and degrade someone to the point of breaking with mere words.
As an adult I’m a little skittish with people in general. I don’t put myself “out there” so to speak because I don’t believe people as a whole or even individually are inherently good. We all have a propensity for both good and evil. It’s all about if you wake up and decide to stay in the light that particular day and it can change day by day. I’ve suffered from unimaginable evil and the darkness that lingers there has changed the way I would have looked at the world. I see the shadows in the rainbows and I live in them comfortably.
I don’t bow to anyone. I don’t break. Even in my quiet as you throw your tantrum I’m thinking in my mind all the horrible things I want to say to you and I’m laughing. It’s not something I can help, I’ve tried, but then I embraced it. I don’t have to enjoy this aspect of my personality but I’m good at it and it protects me, so I continue to deploy it when I need it.
I revel in it when I’m pushed because as I sit there right on the edge of telling you everything you think you so desperately need to hear from me, I know, I know deep down how horrified you’ll be when my mouth opens and out bleeds this depraved thing and it’s searching. It’s searching for you and it wants to eat you whole, it wants to pick the flesh from your bones, it wishes your brain could live through it so you’d know, so you’d feel the pain of it. It’s hungry. You have no idea the things it wants to say to you to make you understand just how much you’ve angered it. The words would stick to you like a long slimy tongue licking you up the side of your face from the mangled monsters mouth. You’d never be able to wipe it off. You’d be marked from it forever. You’d know how serious it was by its soft low tone. You’d run. You’d stammer and apologize making yourself small and doing what you could to just to get away. These are things I know because this dark trespasser lives within me.
So I grew up a little. I matured a lot. I decided letting this monster alone with you just isn’t beneficial to me anymore. It took some practice and I had to fight my trespasser for control.
II know that words matter. I know inflection matters. I know it’s important to be clear in limits and goals for every relationship. I know if I say something painful to you that it may stay with you. Just like I know if you say hurtful things to me it sticks in my head. I may say I forgive but I don’t, not really. I don’t think humans truly do forgive anyway. It’s because we have memories and are able to recall those memories at will and well let’s be honest, sometimes not so willfully. We are unable to forget and therefore we can’t truly forgive. If you say you don’t care about me, or you think I’m ugly, I’ll always think of those two things first when you talk to me and it will influence my openness with you.
The saying is true, there are things you can say that you just can’t take back. People may say they forgive but they definitely never forget.

Pieces

Do you know?

Do you know he carries torn pieces of me with him?

Do you know he tore those pieces from me to carry with him always?

Do you know that he gives those torn pieces of me to you when he thinks of me while he’s with you?

Every hello, a piece. Every laugh, a pieces. Every song, a piece. Every book, a piece, Every movie, a piece. Every star, a piece. Every tear, a piece. Every smile, a piece. Every dinner, a piece. Every walk, a piece. Every nap, a piece. Every beer, a piece. Every haircut, a piece. Every ball thrown for the dog, a piece. Every kiss, a piece, Every goodbye, a piece. All of these pieces he tore from me to keep with him in hopes of always have a connection, a way back, absolution, mercy, grace.

He’ll never be able to tell you how much he loved me. He’ll never tell you about the songs he sang to me. He’ll never tell you about the dinners he made me. He’ll never tell you about the jewelry he bought me. He’ll never tell you about the secrets he told me. He’ll never tell you that the look in his eyes is because my favorite restaurant is also your favorite restaurant. He’ll never tell you about the children he raised with me. He’ll never tell you he misses me. He’ll never tell you he stole those pieces from me.

He breaks a little every time one of those tiny pieces slip out of his pocket and flickers in the soft breeze. He is fractured because he realizes now that he doesn’t have enough to make you into his vision of me anymore. He’s seared through too many of those pieces.

He could have taken all of me had I allowed it and you would still be just a poor man’s version of me because he never deserved me but oh, he deserves you, every single piece.

One Last Treat – Joel Rockey, CNN Hero 2017

Please accept my submission of Joel Rockey at One Last Treat for the CNN Hero Awards 2017.

Joel is originally from Michigan and he enlisted in the United States Navy in 2007. While in the Navy, he was a Hospital Corpsman attached to the Marine Corps’ 2/9 Sniper Platoon in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. As a medic in the military, Joel found a great deal of satisfaction and passion in his job. He was awarded the “Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal with Valor” for bravery in combat while deployed in Afghanistan in 2010. He built relationships that will last his lifetime and saved many lives.

After leaving the military, Joel struggled to find that same passion he’d found as a Corpsman. He knew he loved animals, especially dogs and he loved his country. He knew he wanted to continue to help people and he knew he wanted to do that by helping animals too. He came up with a plan and enlisted the help of two friends and fellow Marine Combat Veterans Andrae Bandoo and James Plummer in becoming board members for his newly founded rescue. He called this rescue One Last Treat.

Joel has the compassion and foresight to see that senior dogs and cats everywhere, even “soon to be passing” animals need an advocate and a voice. What better voices than the Veterans in our nation?

He continuously fuels his spirit of giving by providing friendship, medical care, homes, voices, and yes, even love to those who are lost and forgotten (and I’m not just talking about the shelter animals he saves here). 

By doing this daily, he is making an impact for the betterment in the quality of life for the old souls he rescues and rehomes. This also impacts positively the quality of life for the United States Military Veterans and their families. With his programs like “Holiday With A Senior Shelter Pet”, “22 in 22” (utilizing Veterans to save a dog every day for 22 days to raise awareness of the number of Veterans who take their own lives everyday), “Treat Team Trivia”, “Veterans Appreciation Day”. These are just some of the events he runs throughout the year to get his fans energized. He also makes sure to go on Facebook Live every day, sometimes several times a day to involve his donors and fans in the lives of the animals he saves and the Veterans who take part in the program.

The One Last Treat Program allows rescued senior animals to live out their remaining time with dignity and love with any applicants who can be matched with a senior animal. All applicants are considered. 

One Last Treat Vet Friend Til’ The End matches honored veterans and senior shelter animals.  All medical expenses for the animal are covered for the rest of their lives by One Last Treat, this enables the Veteran to live with one less (huge) worry until the end with their new senior friend. At the same time this provides needed companionship, comfort, and joy to the retired veteran (I witness it every day in the live feeds).

Joel’s goal for One Last Treat is to highlight the importance of providing proper treatment of animals in their final days to all people and to all communities and to provide needed companionship for our valued veterans from Las Vegas to Missouri, California to Michigan, and all across the U.S.A. 

Joel never hesitates to pack up for a few days just to connect old friends (adoptees and animals) and other rescues like Marley’s Mutts (California), Free to Live (Oklahoma), and The Devoted Barn (Michigan) would tell you that Joel is the greatest wingman and best friend in rescue you could ever ask for. He is always ready to fly out and help pick up dogs in New York flown in from Thailand, drive across the country to “Drool For America”, or even just battle rain and ice to take a goat or mule to MSU in the dead of night so you don’t have to go alone. 

It’s difficult not to get excited when Joel opens a live feed to give an update on one of his special senior animals, or when he goes live to let us know he’s going to be driving two to three states away to help another rescue pick up puppies (he is always on the move and willing to help other rescues with their work), or even when he buys cat trees to give away free at the local shelter to highlight a cat who’s been there too long. Joel’s zest for these activities, for saving life is infectious. I have to say, Joel always has at least 2 to 3 of the animals living with him at any given time. He is blessed beyond measure and he brings those blessings to us in overwhelming ways.

He is constantly and consistently finding innovative ways to engage solutions to benefit the mission of One Last Treat. He is a hero of the America people, his fellow veterans, and to animals everywhere.

*this is my formal submission to CNN Hero Awards 2017 submitted today. Please follow this rescue on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/onelasttreat/   and hey, if you’re looking to throw some money at a good cause (it’s great for your taxes too), this one is VERY deserving. If you are a veteran or know a veteran who would love to become a Vet Friend to One Last Treat, please visit http://www.onelasttreat.com and complete an application!