Sunday, December 13, 2009


On the second day of class one of the staff members came in and said that someone had left us a gift at the bookstore. With a smile on her face, she handed me the beautifully wrapped gift. I stood there staring at it with a big question mark in my mind. I opened the card and was surprised to find it was from someone who follows my blog and lives in Philadelphia. The card was beautiful. She provided her phone number and asked us to call for any reason at all.

The gift was perfect. It was a book called "The Dog Chapel." The author fell victim to Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome. He had a near-death experience and was in a coma for 2 months. He was not expected to make it, but did. He had an extremely strong bond with his dogs. Once he was able to go home, his dogs helped him to recover. To fix his body and to learn to walk again!

After being home for a while he had a crazy idea which he acted upon. He decided to build a dog chapel. He says in his book, "My chapel would celebrate the spiritual bond we have with our dogs, a place to open to dogs and people of any faith or belief system." Stephen Huneck's book describes many of the great characteristics of dogs. The book also includes illustrations of the dog chapel. This was the perfect gift on so many levels.

Dave and I both had the pleasure of speaking with Ellen and she was nothing short of exceptional. She offered everything from running any and all errands for us to assisting us with restaurant suggestions. Thank you Ellen!


1 comment:

  1. Jen,
    Thanks for the kind words. As I mentioned, I am so pleased to read about how well things went for you. Now that I see the photo you posted of the Doman family, I can make sense of a funny little conversation I had with a gentleman as I left the Institute the day I dropped off the book. Just as I was headed out, a man who looked to be in his fifties, I would guess, held the door open for me. Each half of the door is quite narrow, so as I exited by him while he held the door, I managed to whack him with my brief case that was swinging behind me (in general, I tend to the klutzy side even in the best of conditions, so a 24" opening was quite a challenge.) I turned to him, apologized, and said, "I guess it is not easy being chivalrous with narrow doors," and he replied that he had been walking through these doors for fifty years. I was a bit puzzled, as I assumed he was a professional associated with the Institute, but I could not figure out how he could have been working there for 50 years, unless he were well over 70 and quite amazing looking for his age. Now I see from your photo that he is the son, so he must have started walking through the door as a child. What an amazing place and fascinating family. Contemplating the numbers of lives they have touched is overwhelming. Good luck with everything.