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MY SPECIAL ANGEL DOG LUNA

My third experience from my dog spirits is from my Luna girl.  She is the reason I started my store Luna’s Love of Life Gifts!

Without warning cancer attacked our baby girl and took her away from us 4 months later!  She was only 6 years old.

My best friend and I shared an apartment together in 2005 -2008. That is when our Luna girl came into our lives. I became Aunt Linda and Cathy (my best friend) became mommy. Then there was Cathy’s son, Mitch. Now, Mitch is Luna’s “BOY”. I couldn’t even begin to covey into words the love relationship Luna and Mitch had for each other. Cathy’s son Mike loves Luna too but tried to keep a distance because he was allergic to dogs. And Lou is Luna’s daddy.

We shared an apartment for several years until I moved in with my other friend in Huntley.  It was so hard to leave my Luna girl.  Every time I came back to visit with her I would bring her a “baby” (stuffed animal).  So she would always look for her “baby” when I came over.  She loved me so much that when I came over she would put her head into my body and cry.  Lot of the stuffed animals I brought to her were children’s favorite cartoon characters.  One of those “babies” was the red “Clifford” dog You will see the importance of this later on in the blog.

Luna carrying all her babies in her mouth

Young Luna carrying all her babies in her mouth

In May 2010, Cathy and Lou brought Harry home so Luna could have a playmate. He is a British Golden Retriever. He loves and misses his Luna girl so very much.

Our Luna girl was diagnosed with lymphoma at the end of April 2011. She was only 6 years old (In humans that would be a 40 yr old woman).

She went into remission for 7 weeks. The cancer came back attacking her skin. She had these ulcers popping up especially on her paws that it became very hard for her to walk. 

Our vet put her on “rescue” protocol which is just a name for using a different combination of chemotherapy drugs when and if your dog stops responding to the first protocol used. Since cancer cells tend to adapt and become resistant to certain drugs after a while, a new combination of drugs can often help your dog get back into remission.

Luna only had a 20% chance that the drugs would work,  much less put her back in remission. But with all our friends and family praying for her and her wonderful vet, Luna went back into remission in July. We were all so very happy.  Everyone who loves Luna including her vet said how Luna doesn’t act like a dog that has cancer.  Each week she had her chemo treatment, she was doing such an awesome job fighting this dreadful disease.

On August 19 of 2011, she had her chemo treatment and as usual she was doing great. On Sunday morning, August 21, 2011 she couldn’t keep any food down. So she was brought to the vet that morning, was given a blood test to check if the cancer had come back. She showed no signs of the cancer coming back so Luna went back home. Mommy fed her mixture of chicken/rice to see if that would help with her vomiting.   Later that day our precious Luna became lethargic and went back to the vet. On the way there she died in her mommy’s arms. Her vet said the cancer was so microscopic and was attacking her intestinal tract.

Needless to say, I was devastated to hear that cancer has taken my little girl’s life.  I was doubled up in pain from the loss of my precious girl.  It was such a shock because she was only 6 years old and it came so suddenly.  Within 4 months cancer took my baby girl.

I want to explain my living situation at this time so you can understand when I tell you about my experience with Luna’s spiritual visit with me.  I was living with my friend in Huntley (same friend who lost Annabelle).  She had 2 daughters, one whose bedroom was next to mine and her oldest daughter lived in the basement with her 3-year-old daughter.  Her oldest daughter also had a cat that lived both up and downstairs.  There was a door to the basement so she did have some privacy.  The 3-year-old had lots of toys to play with including a “Red Clifford Dog”.  There would be many times the 3-year-old would come upstairs to visit with us even if her mommy stayed downstairs.

After the loss of Annabelle, my girlfriend had decided to get another dog.  She got a long-haired dachshund named Scarlett.  The following year, my girlfriends daughter decided she wanted another dog too.  She got a long-haired dachshund named Toby.

There were 3 dogs in the house now.  Their names are Dukie, Toby and Scarly.  Everyone in the house did their “own thing”.  I was more of a “home buddy” so I stayed home more than everyone else.  Somehow all 3 dogs became attached to me and they would all sleep in my bed.

I always felt Luna’s presence with me.  I have this one picture of Luna where she is laying down but her head is turned looking at me.  This picture is  hanging on the wall . I can see her eyes looking straight at me.  I can be right in front of the picture, to the right of the picture or to the left of the picture and her eyes are staring at me.

Few years after Luna has passed I had a more vivid visit from my little girl.  One morning I woke up before it was time to get up but the dogs needed to go outside.  I got up let them out the back door and brought them back in and went back to bed.  A few hours later it was time to get up.  Everyone else was still sleeping so I let the pups out again.  But this time there was a “Red Clifford Dog” sitting at the back door. (The red Clifford dog is one of the “babies” I had given Luna).  At first I thought that maybe Melodi (my friend’s granddaughter) had gotten up and left her Clifford dog at the back door or even Guiness, their cat somehow brought it from downstairs.

When everyone else woke up, I asked her daughter if Melodi was up and left Clifford at the back door.  She told me that Melodi is sound asleep and has not been up at all.  I then asked if she thought it was possible that Guiness was playing with Clifford and left it at the back door.  She told me that it was too heavy for him to drag all the way up the stairs.

Somehow the “Red Clifford Dog” made its way up from downstairs with no one in the house bringing it there.  I firmly believe that my Luna girl was telling me in her own way that she is with me and watching over me.

I don’t have a picture of Luna and Clifford but I do have a picture of Luna and Eeyore.me and luna

I am curious if any one esle has similiar experiences after their beloved fur baby has died.

 

DOG CANCER

Have you ever lost your dog to cancer?  I have lost 2 dogs to cancer and both of them were golden retrievers.  I was “Aunt Linda” to both of these dogs and my best friend/sister was their mommy!  Chooch was 14 years old when he was diagnosed with brain cancer and Luna was only 6 years old when she was diagnosed with lymphoma.  The sad fact is that 60% of golden retrievers will get cancer in their lifetime.

Luna’s cancer came to us as a complete shock to us.  She was diagnosed in April 2011 and in August 2011 she lost her battle to cancer.  She is the reason I started my store at Zazzle.  We have a special section where all the net profits will be donated to Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.

There are so many dogs that get cancer!  Just like us humans, there are survivors and there are those that have lost the battle.  It’s so important that we do canine cancer research.  Many of the dog cancers are the same cancers that we get.  Since our dogs have a shorter life span, the cancer research results are quicker to find out if they will work or not.  We can then help our dogs and ourselves as well.

If you have the opportunity, please donate to canine cancer research.  There are also may other things you can do to help with canine cancer research.  There are many groups that do dog cancer walks.

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DOG ANGELS

Yesterday I wrote about “My Dog’s Spirit and how I believed that their spirit lives on.  My belief God has special assignments for each of them which makes them our dog angels.  There have been several times that I have experienced visits from my babies.  My fur babies are not only the dogs where I am their “mommy” but also my babies where I am known as “Aunt Linda’!

My first encounter was with my best friend”s dog Chooch!  I had known Chooch since he was a puppy.  Chooch was a golden retriever.  choochbaby

In this picture he is wearing my winter scarf.  He was such a good puppy!  I am a former smoker, but back then I did smoke.  My girlfriend has asthma so I would always go outside to have a cigarette.  Since I was going outside to smoke I always took Chooch out for his walk.  As Chooch grew our love for each other also grew.  There was one time that I came over to my girlfriends home during the winter time.  I was wearing my hat and my scarf (yes the one that matches the scarf Chooch  has around his neck in the picture.)  As they opened the door Chooch was so excited that he jumped up on me and pinned me up against the hallway wall and was jumping up to get my hat.  We were all laughing so hard and he did eventually pull the hat off my head.

Chooch lived until he was 14 years old.  He was diagnosed with brain cancer.  My girlfriend did not want him to suffer so she made the horrible decision all of us regret when that time comes.  She called me and told me that they were at the vet’s office and that it was time to say good-bye to him.

They were waitng for me to get there so we could all say good-bye together.  Chooch could barely move but as I entered the room he tried to get up when he saw me.  We all said our final good-byes which broke our hearts.  He laid on his mommy’s lap while the vet gave him “the shot”.

So we sadly lost our beloved Chooch.  Several days after we lost Chooch, I would stay with my girlfriend and her boys.  When Chooch was alive he would often wear his chain collar in the house.  On one of those days, my girlfriend was doing laundry and we were both coming down the stairs from the bedrooms with the laundry baskets.  All of a sudden we both heard Chooch’s chain jingle as both of us at the same time turned around to look at him.  We looked at each other.  Did you hear that? Yes!  We both heard the very same thing.   chooch13

I suppose you could say that both of us loved Chooch very much.  His loss put both of us in deep sadness and that we both simultaneously heard the same thing and the same time was just our longing for him to be with us again.

We know what we heard but was it our imagination?  I don’t think soThis did not just happen once.  It happened several times to both of us.  It wasn’t always at the same time but a lot of the times it was.  Even though we could not physically see Chooch, we both knew he was there.

I think all our pets do come back to us when they are needed.  I also believe they come to visit us.  As I said in my previous blog, God gives them special assignments probably helping other people or even other dogs.  My belief is they never leave us alone.  They are always checking up on us.

Any pet lover would love their pets just like me and my friend.  As long as you are open to this idea that your dog does have a spirit, I believe you will hear or see something telling you they are still all around you.

One day I know we will all see our fur babies again.  I think there is a special area in heaven for all the pet lovers.  When God calls us home to Him, we will be re-united with all our fur babies.  Both us and our fur babies will be doing special assignments for God together.

This was my first experience with my dog angels.  I will write about my second experience on one of my future blogs.

REVAMPING LUNA’S STORE

I am in the process of revamping my store Luna’s Love of Life Gifts.  I have decided to concentrate on my store at Zazzle.  It has awesome printing and they keep adding lots of different items which I can place all my designs.  I still do have my 2 stores on Cafe Press.  I have been doing more research on SEO, tagging and good descriptions to help my designs to come up on top.

I went from one store on Zazzle to 3 different stores.  I have tried to narrow each store by theme.  One store is geared to nature, landscapes, beaches and the ocean.  My second store is dedicated to animals.  Wild animals and our dearly beloved pets.  My third store is inspirational and religious items.  This is my way to spread the good news of Jesus.

I changed Luna’s Love of Life Gifts store name to Luna’s -Nature-Landscapes.  Obviously by the name of the store this one will carry the landscapes and nature items.  Zazzle is known for their personalizing of many of their items so I have set up many items that can be personalized but which doesn’t fit in any of my store’s theme.  Since Luna’s-Nature-Landscapes is my main store I have put these items in this store.

I do have personalized items that pertain to pets which I have put in my second store, Kims_Animal_Kingdom.  This store will have everything related to wild animals and pets.

My third store is IvyBella_Spiritual_Love.  All items in this store will be related to God, inspirational and religious merchandise.

I am continually adding more items to my stores.  There are so many products on Zazzle that it does take a long time for just one design.  I am one who needs to be organized so I am doing a small group of products at a time with each of my designs and then I will pick another set of products.

My main reason for starting my store was to raise money for canine cancer research!  As my “about” page explains my reasons for starting this store.  My precious Luna girl (golden retriever) lost her battle to cancer within 4 months time in 2011!  So I am still determined to make this store a success to raise money for canine cancer research!  I will donate 10% of my profits to the Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study!  All the profits from the “canine cancer” section in my main store will be donated to Morris Animal Foundation.

LUNA'S LOVE OF LIFE GIFTS IN MEMORY OF LUNA

Luna and her socks

luna beach 1

I am also getting into the Zazzle Affiliate Program which will result in more profits allowing me to give additional money to the program.  That’s why a lot of my posts will be showing other designer’s designs along with my own.

IT’S BEEN A WHILE!

It’s been about 3 years since I have been active blogging about my Luna girl and my store!  There is so much to learn about marketing strategies on the internet.  Since I wasn’t having much luck with search engines and internet marketing, I decided to try the old traditional ways.  I couldn’t afford an actual “brick and mortar store” so I rented a booth at 3 different Pet shows that were well known in my area.  I knew there I would at least get exposure to people and they could see my work!

In 2013, I attended 3 pet shows where I displayed a majority of my items.   1 show was with the Windy City Pet Expo in July 2013.  The other 2 shows were with the Chicago Pet Show located in St. Charles and Darien Illinois.  Those shows were in September and November 2013.

I took time to prepare for those shows by concentrating on pet items for my store so I could display my items for these shows.  Its was a huge success in that many people stopped by my booth.  They loved the idea of pets on all these different items.  I was able to distribute many of my business and rack cards.  I also had a lot of people tell me how they lost their pets to cancer.

However, I received very few sales from these pet shows.  Many of the customers wanted to upload their own pictures of their pets on our items, which was great because our Zazzle items can be personalized and customized.  So I am not really sure what happened to all those sales.

I think I became disappointed with the lack of sales that I let everything slide.  I still want my store to be successful so I can donate to cancer research.   Since I work full time, trying to figure out SEO and other marketing strategies on the internet can be very difficult!  Its like your store is located on a remote island unless you can get “Google” or other search engines to bring your store to the “Main Island”.

I had read books and have searched the internet on search engine optimization.  Even with following the suggestions, it is extremely difficult to get you noticed on the first page.

Yes, I became very discouraged!  I had a setback last year in November as I had a heart attack!   I thought I was having heartburn when the whole time I was having a heart attack.  2 of my main arteries were 100% blocked and my main artery was 70% blocked.   I will save the story of my heart attack for another blog.  I was only concerned about getting my health back in order.  1 year later and 2 stents I am doing well.

This past year I was concentrating on my health!  Strangely, my store “out of the blue” started to get sales!  Slowly but surely!  I was wondering if God was trying to tell me something.  Obviously He saved my life!  So was He telling me now that He wants me to get back to work on My store?

So, here I am!  I am starting to revive my store again!  I am working on how to get out of that “remote island” and get to the “Main Island”.

You can find more information about my store on my  “About” Page. 

My website is http://luna-love-of-life-graphic-design-gifts.webs.com.

My facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/LunasLoveOfLifeGifts/

Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CANCER WALK!

LUNA’S PAW PRINT IN HER MEMORY ON THE MEMORY TREE

I did it!  I completed the 2 mile Canine Cancer Walk with the 2 Million Dog Foundation!  It was an awesome event.  Lots of people and lots of dogs.  We were all there to “Puppy Up” against Cancer.  I know my precious Luna was walking right by my side!

As of yesterday, the West Dundee IL had raised a total amount of $18,316.  I’m sure by the time the event was completed, the amount will be higher.  I am definitely going back next year.  We will try to start fundraising earlier than we did this year in a hope to get more donations for this great cause.  So that someday we will no longer need these walks.

I am revamping my store!  When I have completed the process, I will let everyone know.  Part of the store will directed to raising monies for canine cancer.

We did a good job yesterday and proud of it.   This was for you my Luna girl! I love you and miss you so much and I will never give up on my mission  to “Retrieve a cure for cancer” in honor of “My Babygirl”

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Young Luna

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What do I say about my Luna girl!   She loved all of us especially her Mitchell Boy! She loved eating ice cream (Frosty Paws, ice cream made for dogs), she hated taking a bath, she loved spaghetti and she would always wait on Aunt Linda’s bed waiting for her Mommy to come home.

We also had iguanas which were kept in glass cages with proper heating and lighting. At times, we would let them out to roam so they could get some exercise. When Luna was growing up she was introduced to Spensar, one of the male iguanas, Luna wasn’t sure what to make of this creature. They became best of friends, Spensar would come out of his cage and Luna would just watch him as he made his way around the apartment. There was one time when Spensar wanted to keep warm and walked on top of Luna but his claws were too sharp for Luna to sit still. After that time, Luna would get up and move to another spot when she would see that Spensar wanted to cuddle.

We introduced Luna to ice cream (doggie ice cream,that is). As you can see from the pictures, she fell in love with the ice cream. She also liked her spaghetti!

Luna was a very smart girl. At our apartment complex we had 2 parking lots. One of them were in the front and the other was in the back. My bedroom was in the middle of the apartment so you could look out my window and see both parking lots. Luna would sit in my room watching for me, Mommy or her Mitch to come home. She knew she could see us no matter which parking lot we parked.

Our Luna girl was an amazing girl. I miss her so much, my heart still breaks from her death. When cancer cut off her life at such an early age, it broke my heart. The “2 Million Dog Puppy Up” walk for research of dog cancer is this Saturday. I will be walking the walk in honor of my Luna Girl.

I am asking for donations for this wonderful cause. It also helps us find a cure for human cancers.
Pleas visit my page at the 2 Million Dog Puppy Up Walk to make your donation.  Any amount will be greatly appreciated.

LUNA'S LOVE OF LIFE GIFTS IN MEMORY OF LUNA

Luna and her socks