Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Defining Marriage- Part 1

i read the news today....oh boy.....

"North Carolina voters have approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman, making it the 30th state to adopt such a ban."

just because states react so negatively to issues does not make me hate this country has been filled with ignorance and bigots and psychos and hate mongers forever, but my country has also been filled with people who are good, kind, and loving and who are willing to learn....and whose minds can be is done by getting to know you- one on one- showing them they have nothing to fear except ignorance and perhaps the hate mongers...peace on ...we shall survive this ignorance too, after all we are not the first groups of Americans to feel prejudice ~

Doc Chery

Monday, April 30, 2012

Chipper Cheyenne On The Road Again

Chipper Cheyenne is a Carolina dog of deep thoughts and gentle ways. She is my Zen dog who will clean baby bunnies then gently return them to their nests, making sure to rub her scent around the rim of the burrow to protect them from predators.

My Chipper is also my heart-string girl as i felt a force, like a string,coming from her little puppy body directly to my heart, reeling me in, as she sat in a little circular pen at a feed store with a rescue group some ten years ago. I had gone in to get some kitty litter and came out with my heart-string girl! She started earning her travel miles right away as she joined my big boy Bear and Miss Maria's kitty  Fido Peanut on a seven thousand mile road trip right after we brought her home. She had not however gone on the road with me for work in quite awhile, sticking to errands around town  while i am home. But that changed this past month.

Chipper is back on the road again as I make my way here and there to speaking and consulting gigs. I decided to take her with me for several reasons all boiling down to her being the greatest little travel dog ever and my selfish desire to have her by my side.

Taking pictures of Chipper on our journey however was not always easy as Chipper is very funny about cameras...we say that is her Cherokee heritage (Carolina dogs are the indigenous dogs of the Cherokees) and that she is afraid it will steal her soul. But I did manage to snap a few!

Here is Chipper with her helper dog halter on ready in her back seat queen of the road style!

here is Chipper watching out the back window

and one of my favorites, Chipper totally relaxing in her back seat

We saw much beauty in the stark open landscapes

and some inexplicable things too! This placement of newspaper racks inside a fenced area with a warning was totally inexplicable

and then there were the cows....lots of cows....Chipper LOVES cows!!

Chipper was often on high alert especially for cows....

but mostly Chipper simply relaxed and enjoyed being with her mama in the van off on another adventure....

 One of the greatest advantages I found having Chipper with me was the walks we took- good for her and definitely good for me.
Chipper is my heart string girl and so good for my heart in so many ways.
Chipper Cheyenne Kendrick
Carolina Dog Extraordinaire!
Always first in my heart

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Travels

Many of us hit the road more come spring. I know once the basketball season is done I am freer to travel. My partner and I try to not be on the road at the same time so one of us is always home to take care of the many fur kids who share their lives with us. My partner is a sports writer, covering mostly women's college basketball (specifically the University of TN LadyVols). Me I am a speaker, writer and consultant...I travel to present workshops, speak at conferences and meetings and to do onsite work consulting at veterinary clinics nationwide on OSHA and other regulatory matters.

I also travel to DC and spend time with legislative work, advocating for the veterinary profession as well as important animal welfare along with food animal and ecological issues, but I have to admit I have been avoiding that in this ugly political season.
This week as I get ready to hit the road I will have a special traveling partner with me: Chipper Cheyenne. Chipper is a Carolina dog, one of our many rescue pups. She too is a writer, the famous author of “Ask Chipper” columns in my newsletters and well received at clinics and conferences nationwide. In fact I always joked that the first thing people do at conferences is ask me ‘where’s Chipper??’ She has a huge following. She is getting on in years but still loves to travel. This will be a great trip for her too as she will be traveling as my helper dog. I admit that as I have recovered from the effects of Lyme disease I have been much more mobile, less needing my assistant dog- the painful relapses coming fewer and farther between. But it will be great to have my girl with me for the just in case but especially for the companionship a dog gives you. I feel more her helper companion these days, this trip than she mine as Chipper ages, and that’s just fine- a position I am honored to be in.

Many of our friends have lost beloved fur kids this winter, we have too, losing our little Socks, so as I write this I think of the moments to cherish, to savor and hold close to our hearts....for you never know what tomorrow will bring.
Safe travels all- take the time to smell the roses, watch the birds, breath in the sweet perfumes of nature and be grateful you are able to enjoy each and every moment of adventure life brings you.

Chipper Cheyenne and I wish you Happy Trails!

Chery and Chipper Cheyenne

Monday, December 19, 2011


  As Jordan and I made our morning rounds, taking the used kitty litter out to the garbage, picking up the newspaper from the cold driveway, and heading out the front gate to pick up the mail from the box along the road, we heard the voices of excited children calling to us: “Doc Chery! Doc Chery! Do you want a bird house Doc Chery?” 

   The tiny voices of the youngsters from across the street echoed through the neighborhood as they scampered toward me from their house. (Sounds echo more these pre-winter solstice days what with our huge old neighborhood lots and the trees all but denuded of their leaves.)

    “They made bird feeders and are wondering if you would like some.” Their mom translated.

   I nodded my head in appreciation as I made my way across the road to greet these enthusiastic designers who were now running full tilt from their front lawn across the side yard, their prized bird feeders gently swaying from their tiny hands. I looked down at the youngsters as they stood eagerly in front of me holding up their prizes.  

“Oh wow kids did you make these?” I smiled enthusiastically examining the bird feeders carefully. 

    They appeared to be twine wrapped around something round, then peanut butter covering the twine and bird seed rolled on to the peanut butter. 

   I immediately thought of a delayed project dear friend and teacher Susan J T had given me the idea for- the precious star bird feeders her husband Richard used to make. My goal has been to get some of my own made and hanging from our front porch in time for our solstice and remembrance of life celebration this coming Friday evening. It is to also commemorate the life of that precious human and artist Richard Cabe. We will be doing our personal solstice celebration rituals and include the star bird feeders and luminarias with special messages for Richard this year to coincide with the memorial celebration going on across the country in Salida, Colorado. How wonderful! I thought- we can add this to the celebration- these special bird feeders made by the young artists.  I knew Richard Cabe and Susan J T would appreciate that.

    “They’re a bit messy I am afraid” continued their mom from just off their front porch. 

    "Wow I think these are absolutely awesome guys!!” I replied, truly honestly, enthusiastically.

      As I looked into their excited faces they began their story of this winter holiday project and it was obvious their mom was continuing a family tradition.  “We sure did make them Doc Chery- we sure did! It’s for the birds’ winter treats!”  replied Haley with four year old enthusiasm bubbling over.

     “They can be your Christmas present from us!”  chimed in Dillon her five year old brother with a huge grin proud of this clever thought.

     “Well these are most excellent Christmas present kids. Miss Maria will be so thrilled to see them too! I thank you very much."
 "Does Danny thank us too?" Haley asked looking at the grinning Jordan aka Joey Daniel aka Danny (Jordan, my old Tennessee Blue Tick hound mix is a dog of many names); she now stood across the street still behind the gate smiling and wagging her tail enthusiastically at the kids.

    “Why I believe she is thanking you and the birds will be thanking you too Haley- I will hang them right there along the front porch by the other bird houses so you can watch them from your swings."

    I pointed to the overhang of our beautiful old fashioned, wonderful southern-style front porch, raised above the yards and comfortably settled with various chairs, rockers and a bench for seating and visiting.

  The overhang sprouted numerous bird houses and wind chimes in a homey country way that pleased the eye and warmed the heart. My front porch was one of the big selling points when I bought this house nearly a year ago.

  They nodded their agreement that this was indeed a good placement as their swing set is in the yard across the road from our front porch and since our home is on a bit of a rise from their yard, it provides a wonderful vantage point for watching the activities at the bird feeders and also of the critters at Doc Chery's house.

 "Baby Aggy can watch from her front window too Doc Chery!" Haley nodded wisely.

“Yes she can – indeed she can Haley!"  I laughed as they knew well Aggy’s favorite perch for watching the neighborhood going-ons, and barking her excited comments about, was from atop the parson's table in the big front window.

    “Don’t let Smokey Blue or White Kitty get the birds though Doc Chery,” the little girl worried. (Smokey Blue is my only kitty who still manages to on occasion sneak a walk-about outdoors and White Kitty is their big white kitty who worries me with his lackadaisical wanderings in the busy streets in the neighborhood.)

    ”Well if they did, then Doc Chery would just fix 'em up Haley- that’s 'cause she’s a critter Doc!” her big brother Dillon rationalized. 

    I looked into those little faces and reassured them as I thanked them once again for sharing their bird feeders with me. “I will make sure the kitties stay away from the birdies. Thank you kids and Merry Christmas!!” I walked carefully back across the road to where Jordan waited at the gate- likely hoping i was bringing back something edible.

   “Bye Doc Chery! Merry Christmas to you too!!” they cried in unison as they scampered off back to their mom and into the house to start yet another holiday tradition project.

“Look Jordan, these are seed treats for the birdies.”  I explained as she nosed them carefully as i locked the front gate. “Let's go hang them up.”

 Jordan ran up the porch steps and stood wagging and watching as I hung the bird treats along the overhang near the other bird houses- for Jordan is always enthusiastic about doing anything outside with mom.

   We hung them up and then I looked across the street and waved at the little faces beaming from inside their kitchen window. They waved back still grinning and jumped down back into the kitchen to continue their holiday making with their mom.

Holiday traditions…that is truly what this season is all about. Kids and moms and sometimes dads making things like winter solstice bird feeders, holiday cookies, special decorations to hang on the tree or send off to grandmom. Holiday traditions celebrating the season's change, bringing some light and warmth to the increasing dark and cold as we end the year.

May your holiday season and solstice celebration be filled with new and old traditions, warmth, light, love, and the peace and joy that the winter season brings~

From our home to yours: Blessings, Light and Love,

Doc Chery and the critters

Monday, December 5, 2011

Doc Chery's Blog: Cleaning My Desk

Doc Chery's Blog: Cleaning My Desk

Cleaning My Desk

I never really understand how my desk gets so messy....
well OK maybe i do, especially when i am traveling a lot
but of late i have NOT been on the road and my desk still has gotten out of control messy....

But cleaning it off is a fascinating adventure of discovery

i begin by creating piles on my side work table
i have a pile for each magazine- so far we have
   Country Living
   Coastal Living
   Martha Stewart Living

hmmmm, guess i want to live.....

and there is
   Veterinary Practice news
   Lab Animal

and of course
   High Country Times

the other piles grow at varying rates:

a pile for coupons
 that was fun going through...discarding the expired ones that never made it into the file folder in the car is sad though :<

a pile for check stubs and deposit slips (always too few of those)

a pile for bills (always too many of those)

then there are the scraps of paper with notes and phone numbers...hmmmm what does that say? who the heck is that???

but a truly special find was a simple post-it note from a recent surprise stop over i made in Houston and spent a wonderful night visiting with my precious oldest daughter and two oldest grands on which my grandson had written "I love our family"

simple notes
bring happy memories
and smiles

May all your cleaning projects bring joy to you ~

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I find myself in a blue funk this holiday weekend, Thanksgiving 2011, and am trying to learn from it.
So far I have learned it does not help to chide myself with you are so much more fortunate than others lectures. What has helped however is simply allowing it to be- to accept it and listen carefully to myself as i try to analyze the whys and wherefores of this funk.
I know one thing is a simple money issue- never seems to be enough.
And the business issue- doesn't seem to be moving fast enough with the new programs as i wanted/expected
And family-I miss my girls and my grands like crazy- was hoping to have my youngest grand at least for the holiday week.
Feeling myself slip into this blue funk I tried to alleviate some typical stressors like missing the games the big plays while cooking- I did that by cooking on Wednesday instead of Thursday
I shopped early and frugally- thinking I was alleviating another stressor- although at some point i realized i really enjoy that camaraderie of holiday meal shopping- it is i feel like going out to harvest- the old fashioned way where neighbors helped neighbors get in the crops- i love it- and that in fact helped me get out of the funk a bit.

I was excited Maria would have one whole day without work- only to have it interrupted by her having to be online to deal with morons on her sports board- i truly do not get it- adults, supposed adults- so wound up in college sports games that they live and breath gossip and game info and practice info and who does what when and how and their analysis and criticisms and absolutely vile personal attacks- i truly do not get it so stay far far away from them and these odd message boards they have for sports- I am however ticked off when they interfere with what i thought was a strictly family day- a day for sleeping in, watching games, enjoying our leftover turkey.

I am very fortunate and kept telling myself that I have no right to be in a blue funk- especially as i consider the sadness some of my friends are facing....

I have one friend who is sitting vigil as her precious life partner dies- that's something to be in a blue funk about

I have another friend who is mourning the loss of her precious beloved fur partner as she gets ready for serious personal surgery herself- that's something to be in a blue funk about

I have another friend who is going through a vicious divorce and wondering how much damage this will do to her child when all is said and done- thats something to be in a blue funk about

Dog forgive me for being in a blue funk- especially when I have so much to be  thankful for:

I am thankful my friends understand that some days even I get down

I am thankful for  my wonderful family and friends who understand i abhor the commercialization of the holidays- and refuse to partake

I am grateful that my knees are healing and i will once again be mobile- some do not have that chance

I am eternally thankful I own my own business and have only myself to account to- well and of course my board members who try to keep me on task

I am very thankful to be alive....18 years ago  that Thanksgiving was very nearly my last

I am thankful for readers who write me notes and encourage me to keep writing

I am thankful for my writing colleagues who never hesitate with a word of encouragement or to tell me something simply isnt working

I am thankful and it is OK to have an occasional blue funk time....after all it is all good fodder for writing

Blessings to All of you this Thanksgiving