Thought Wheel

From the mind of Ann Chiappetta

Support Indy Authors on Independence Day

| Filed under blindness Fiction Guide dogs Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Yes, readers, thanks to www.smashwords.com Upwelling is now half price, that’s right, just $1.50 in the downloadable file of your choice. Just put my name in the search field and follow the link to purchase Upwelling at a 50% discount. For the month of July, you can find thousands of eBooks, some for free. I hope you take a look at the sale on www.smashwords.com and load up your eBook reader or tablet and support independent authors everywhere on Independence Day by purchasing a few titles.
Have a meaningful and fun Fourth of July and stay safe and strong.

In the Spirit of Revisions # 6 Back Story

| Filed under Fiction Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Hello again, readers. Welcome back to a work in progress. This time you will read about the dreaded back story. Too little can cause the story to deflate the narrative, too much can lose the reader’s interest. A little goes a long way. For the short story, some editors and readers prefer no back story at all unless it boosts empathy for the characters. I tend to agree with that but also have a blind spot when it comes to judicious pruning, too. The excerpt below is the result of removing over half of the back story.
Body, Mind, Spirit
By Ann Chiappetta
When I realized Cole was sticking around, I started taking him seriously. We talked and joked during inventory counting sessions. One Afternoon, while we were sitting on our stools folding fifty cent napkins, The Most Boring Job in Linens, Cole said that he had broken up with his girlfriend.
“Why?” I asked.
Cole stopped folding and looked at me, “Well, she’s still a virgin. And we weren’t alone long enough to find out if she wanted to change her mind,”
I blushed when he looked at me. I wasn’t a prude, but at that time, I hadn’t been alone with a guy in over a year.
I caught his smile, and I smiled back.
It wasn’t a shock when, after that conversation, we found ourselves alone together. Cole and I walked through town one fall evening after our annual inventory. Sometime after the first mile he reached for my hand. As we made our way under the I-95 overpass, we were arm-in-arm. We came out from under the overpass and I stopped, facing him. “Do you like me, Cole?”
He smiled down at me, “Yes, very much.”
“Then make a move.”
His hands cupped my face and we kissed. His touch overcame the loneliness I’d been feeling for a long time and I gave into the passion. Sometime later, I showed him to a private spot known to a few of my friends by the town reservoir. We jumped a low fence and I led him to the spot. We cleared the rocks and twigs from the grass and laid our jackets down, spreading them out end to end. Suddenly, I felt like it was the first time I’d ever slept with anyone. It felt as if I’d gone back to being 16 again.
He came back from relieving himself and knelt down in front of me.
“This place is perfect.” I said
He pulled me down next to him and kissed me
“Amy, I’ve wanted this to happen for so long.” He said, “Let me show you what you’ve been missing

We dozed off around 4 a.m. and awoke with the coo of the mourning doves. It was then that I saw the scars. The pre-dawn light revealed them. I had felt them during our loving session but seeing them gave my stomach a tug. I didn’t ask him about them, but couldn’t get them out of my thoughts. We parted at the fence and got ready to greet the day with only a few hours of sleep. But it was worth it.
When I walked into the linen shop at nine that morning, Cole was already there sweeping the floor.
“Hi Amy,” he smiled. We just stood there staring at each other, goofy grins on our faces. He broke the silence.
“Did you get enough sleep?” His hazel eyes danced with mischief.
“Not enough, how about you?”
“It was rough, but I managed some on the bus ride this morning.

I went down to the basement and put my purse and jacket in my locker. Miriam was at her desk crunching yesterday’s numbers, manicured nails tapping on the calculator keys. She glanced up, her eyes narrowing as she watched me get a cup of coffee and sit down on a chair.

front’s done, do we have any deliveries today?” asked Cole, standing in the doorway to the office.
Miriam was quiet, her shrewd gaze taking in first Cole, then me.
“Thank you, Cole, the delivery sheet’s upstairs behind the register.”
He nodded and turned to leave, both of us watching him go.

She waited until Cole was out of ear shot then playfully shook her finger at me,
“Just remember to be on time when it happens again.”
“I wasn’t late today.”
She looked up at me, then glanced at the doorway where Cole had just been, a knowing smile on her Madonna red lips,
“Trust me, you will be.”

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

In the Spirit of Revisions # 5

| Filed under Fiction Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Cutting the word count. Yup, the dreaded hunt for the unessential and redundant in a story. How does one get into the mind set of slashing words after reading the draft and thinking, there is no way this will work if I have to find a way to eliminate thousands of words.
Been there? I was there with a short story. It began at about 6,000 words. My goal was 3000 words. A very lofty goal, but, heck, I was ready. Flexing my fingers and securing the keyboard, I set to work.
This is how I managed to get it down to just under 5000 words.
I made every word count. I kept asking, does the reader need to know this? I opened with an action scene, trimming and deleting. It is now 550 words. I cut the first scene by 250 words, more or less. I wanted it to be quick and forboding.This is what resulted from the trim:
Mind, Body, Spirit
By Ann Chiappetta © 2017

“Wake her up.”
Something warmer than the frigid aluminum gunwale touched my face.
“Amy, get up, babe, its Cole, get up and open your eyes.”
Cole? Why did he sound like that? He sounded worried. I opened my eyes and met Ray’s bruised face, He pointed a pistol at me, his hand steady.
I clutched Cole’s hand. The gun had all my attention. The blueish gun metal glinted dully in the shafts of light breaking through grey November sunset. We were heading out of the harbor. I turned, getting my bearings and ignored the pain in my head. We were approaching an island just outside the basin. As we got closer I picked out an Arial tower. I knew then where we were going, Governor’s Island.

The events of the last two hours finally came back with consciousness and I retched. I felt the boat shift. The top of the old jetty could be seen, covered in icy slush and debris.

“Take the line and tie up,”
Cole secured the craft,
Get her out.” Ray ordered, steadying himself with the handle of the outboard motor, pointing the way with the gun. We splashed and slid our way up the submerged slab of concrete. The icy water soaked our legs up to the thigh. It was so cold, I stopped feeling like puking
Ray watched us, trying to keep his balance on the slick ramp after climbing out of the dinghy. He was still a few feet from the dry land, his hand on the line when the water surged up the ramp and knocked the boat into the back of his legs. He stumbled and fell to one knee, the icy water dragging him down. Cole sprang, yelling,
“Amy, run!”
Cole knock the gun out of Ray’s hand before I turned and headed up the rocky shoreline. The gun skidded down the ramp under the dinghy and was lost. I started to run, but then I stopped, feeling dizzy and out of breath. I found something to rest on, closing my eyes.

Strong hands pulled me up, “Amy, babe, we’re almost safe, but to be really safe we have to climb.”
“Cole? Is that you?” He was pushing me from behind.
“We can rest up there. Let’s go.”
We started up the rusty ladder. Cole helped by moving my hands and feet as we made our way up. Once we reached the last third of the tower, the wind hit us so hard we grabbed at the iron rungs with renewed desperation. It was almost dark now and I started to cry from the pain in my head and the cold and wind ripping at us.
“You’re doing great, just a little farther then you’ll be safe,” said Cole kissing my head.
The tower platform was still so far away. Cole pressed closer, lips pressed to my ear so I could hear him above the gusting wind.
“I love you Amy. Don’t give up. We’ll find a way, but we have to get to the top.”
I shook my aching head and buried it in his damp shirt. “No, I can’t. I’m so tired.” I felt his body jerk, and then I felt the thump-thump below us on the ladder. Ray was coming

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

In the spirit of Revisions #4

| Filed under Fiction Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

What did you say? Dialogue and how saying less means more. Yes, that’s right, readers. In this manuscript, as its author, I am finding the conversations falling flat. I admit I struggle with writing effective and compelling dialogue. In this case, it’s most likely due to the writing being old and written strictly for word count. Some of the dialogue is perfunctory, like a robot is speaking, other lines just seem to just take up space and don’t advance the story. So, what, exactly do I look for or listen for to determine when dialogue is good versus when it is poorly written?
Read it out loud. If it sounds stilted or obtuse, it is – unless, that is, you want it to be interpreted as obtuse or stilted, .
Be consistent with whatever speech patterns you choose.
Ask yourself, would this character speak this way? Ask if what the character says is giving to much or too little information and conversation. Also, if there is a reason to insert misspellings, it better be a good one and it better not distract the reader overly much or don’t do it. Nothing pulls a reader out of a story more than bad dbialogue. In contrast, nothing pulls in a reader than realistic, compelling dialogue. There is a scene where Griffin is drunk and the line before he begins talking mentions he is slurring. Originally I slurred the actual words. The revision removes the slurred words and because I mentioned that he was slurring, the reader can take it from there. No need to overdramaticize or belabor the fact that he’s drunk.
Dialogue helps move along the story, take a break from exposition, and can advance the plot and allows the reader to empathize with the characters. Poorly written dialogue can turn off the reader and we don’t want to lose the reader, do we?
Think about reading Pig Latin. Remember that secret language? The writer doesn’t want dialogue to be confusing or opaque like Igpay Atinlay.  What the heck is Pig Latin, you might be thinking. Go here to find out:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_Latin

Here are some other tips:
Listen to conversations and how people talk. Pay attention to the natural speech patterns of your colleagues, friends and even folks on line at the grocery store. Think about how you would write it, then practice. Read, read, and read some more.Write every day. Work that mental muscle and it will make a difference.

Here is another glimpse into the story with dialogue. It is between Griffin, his good friend, George Po, and then Jillian over the phone.

Griffin stood by the carp pond on the roof of his three-story canyon house, tossing in freeze dried fish flakes and nutritional pellets. The carp, about six or so, came out from the depths of the pond and skimmed the surface, missing nothing. In moments the surface of the pond was again calm and the carp sounded back down to the pool’s bottom. He noticed that the ficus tree his gardener, George, had placed next to the pond was finally growing leaves.
“No touch, Mr. Griffin,” George Po reminded him, “they drop leaf when you touch.”
Griffin smiled and patted his shoulder,
“You know what’s best, George. I’m glad you stayed on after dad died.”
George’s Asian feature saddened, and for a moment Griffin thought he would cry; George and his dad were very close, and at times Griffin found that the wizened old Chinese gardener needed more comforting than he did.
The two men stood in silence, the hot breeze stirring leaves on the trees dispersed within the peaceful garden.
“Dad said he wanted you to add to the area near the pond, remember?”
“Ah, yes he sit there many times. I put tree there to honor him.”
They stood together looking at the flourishing ficus and dwarf cherry blossom trees shading a bench where Marchall used to sit to feed the carp. Griffin watched a stray leaf skitter across the bench beside the pond and land in it, bobbing in its own wake. The largest carp, which he’d named Moby, rose to the surface, his pentode orange and white coloration gave im an odd, haphazard look, as if he were rusting. He and George watched as Moby zeroed in on the leaf, then nosed it along the surface until it got waterlogged and sank.
Griffin thought of Jillian, how she played with the carp, laughing whenever one nibbled on her fingers, the same fingers he wanted to take and do very erotic things with .
“You think of the lady who pets the fish.” Said George, a sly look narrowing his eyes, “She is beautiful.?
Griffin laughed; surprised George had even remembered being told about her one night over dinner. They were both fond of hot chilies and cold beer. George did the cooking and usually Griffin did the talking.
“Yes, she’s beautiful. Moby liked her,” Griffin admitted, gesturing to the big carp. He tried to cull down Jillian’s physical traits, sure that he didn’t like at least one thing about her but found himself liking everything.
“You bring her to dinner?” asked George, “I make special dumplings, maybe scallops?”
“Yes, that sounds good, ”
He glanced at his watch,
“I’ll call her now and let her know. She teaches at night a few times a week but I’m not sure which nights.” He flipped open his cell and dialed.
“Hello Tiger.” She answered.
“Hello Dragon Lady.” He replied, “Got a sec?”
“For you? I’ve got as many as you need, what’s up?”
“George and I were feeding the carp when he said he’d love to cook for you. “
“Oh, that’s sweet, Griffin. I’m free Thursday and Friday.”
“How about Thursday? That’s our usual day anyway.” He glanced over at George, who was listening, and he nodded, then walked away to give Griffin some privacy.
“Thursday it is, then. Does George like anything that he won’t get for himself?” asked Jillian.
“H-m-m, he loves a good cigar. What I’d call big, fat, and stinky.”
They laughed.
“Okay, but I’m not getting him more than a few. It’s a terrible habit.”

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

In the Spirit of Revisions #3

| Filed under Fiction Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Relationships and Road Trips working draft excerpt
prefatory matter: meet Jillian and Starla, sisters who live and work in Gilroy, California. Just a little teaser. Enjoy.
~~~
“Wow, Sis, it’s been a while since you’ve gone gah-gah for someone.” Starla commented over dinner one night. She poked at her salad, loaded up her fork, and shoved the mixture into her mouth.
“Yeah, it’s been a while.” She agreed, crunching her greens and washing it down with the Sonoma Shiraz. She reached for another piece of Starla’s homemade sourdough garlic bread and dabbed at the vinaigrette pooled at the bottom of her bowl.
“Why didn’t you tell me he was so good-looking?” chided Jillian, “I mean, you were in the group for two months before asking me to join.”
“You think I was trying to go out with him?” said Starla, “Sorry babes, he’s not my type. Remember I prefer darker skinned men.”
Jillian chewed thoughtfully before answering
“You think he’s my type? I don’t think I even know what my ‘type’ is.” She wiped the crumbs off her hands, “Compared to Marco they’re opposites, looks-wise, at least.”
Starla coughed and screwed up her face as if she tasted something bitter,
“Don’t compare Griffin to that asshole, sis. Griffin’s what you should have been going out with all along.”
Jillian got up and put their bowls in the sink. She hated it when Starla rubbed the fact that she went out with a criminal as her first big boyfriend/lover experience. It didn’t help that when she met Marco, she was an academically sheltered 29 year-old vergin. For all she knew, Griffin could be a serial killer. She sat back down at the table and sipped her wine.
“What’s so special about him?” she asked Starla, hoping she wouldn’t hear another snide comment about Marco.
“I like him because he seems to be dealing with his grief. At least we have each other, he’s all alone.”
“You mean no family? Wow, that’s sad. At least we have aunts and uncles and cousins”
“He mentioned being an only child and so were his parents.”
“I wonder if he’s got friends.” Jillian finished her wine as she thought, “See, this is what I mean. We don’t really know him.”
Starla snorted, tilting her wine glass in Jillian’s direction,
“You think too much, Jillian,” Said Starla. She raised her wine glass as if making a toast,“Here’s to finding out if Griffin is good in bed.”
Jillian’s mouth fell open and her cheeks reddened, but when her eyes met Starla’s, they both broke out in loud, wicked peals of laughter.
Later that night, when Jillian got into bed, her hand began to twirl a strand of blonde hair and she reminisced. She hoped Starla was right about Griffin. She needed her sister to be right more than she was willing to admit.
She twirled her hair, allowing herself to entertain the chance that dating again could push aside some of the left over anxiety related to her violent and humiliating months while dating Marco Mendola. She hoped she could finally be able to trust a man enough to take another chance. She finally fell asleep, her hand falling on the pillow, the long, blond strand of hair abandoned.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

In the Spirit of Revisions # 2

| Filed under Fiction Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

So, readers, now you know how this book started, as a NaNoWriMo challenge in 2007. The working title is Relationships and Road Trips © 2007 by Ann Chiappetta.
Yes, it was written ten years ago and a lot has changed, including technology, how we respond to social cues, and the generalities of life. The revisions I plan to keep track of while editing and tweaking this draft will include correcting any mention of older technology, language usage, jargon, and fashion styles, etc. The details matter, along with the fact checking.

In contrast to changes, some things remain the same. Yet, in this draft I changed the main protagonist’s first name and kept her physical description the same. That one was a good call, IMO.

The next major editing action was to wean out any pretentions regarding sex, making the goal being less, not more. Since this isn’t a straightforward romance or mystery, I am going to experiment with dovetailing the two genres and balancing the descriptions of sex; yes, I know the one hallmark of a good romance novel is the desks scenes — but I want the novel to be more than that – and I am hoping to make it work, at least that is my goal. So, I have the holiday weekend to tweak and post the first chapter. wink

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

In the Spirit of Revisions

| Filed under Fiction Poem Uncategorized Writing Life

Not sure about the other bloggers in the world today, but I often find myself in a blogging slump. So, I’ve given some thought to a general subject that could be serialized and be posted on a weekly time frame. I had to first identify an activity that I do almost every day that would be interesting to write about and also hold the reader’s attention. So, for the first blog serial I am going to try to post the progression of revising a novel. Hopefully it will work out and readers won’t get bored, either. Of course, should you read the excerpts, and should you have comments or questions, please respond or shoot me an email at [email protected] . Feedback is always welcome.

I guess the first question to answer is how I began the novel in the first place. It began as a story challenge for National Novel Writing Month, or, NaNoWriMo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Novel_Writing_Month
, as acronyms go. The challenge is to turn out 50,000 words in one month, which amounts to 1700 words a day and if one commits to the daily goal, one will have produced a draft of a novel. For me, it was a stream of consciousness kind of writing, no editing, no second guessing, just content. I must say, I wrote two novels this way and would recommend doing it once to help one’s sense of writing discipline.
Okay, folks, now you know a trade secret of this writer, hope you stay tuned for more.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

A Weekend To Remember

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

A Weekend to Remember
By Ann Chiappetta M.S. (c)

April 21 – 23, 2017
Tribute to the First Annual Guiding Eyes Continuing Education Seminar

Like many ideas, It began years ago
abstracts based upon the past
concepts blossoming from a common passion.

It was a new idea, unique and untried;
For some, the Challenge instilled apprehension
Perhaps a reason for hesitation
Or for decisions being delayed

For a time, hope came second
As it happened,
Voices united, attitudes changed
Wishes became goals, then actions

The desire to gather together
was no longer waylaid

Human hearts made it happen
To honor Inter-species relationships
The most powerful relationship of all

The spirit of canine propelled us
To the meeting place.

To 3 days of inspiration
36 hours of memories
And laughs to last a lifetime.

exuberant Labradors
Stoic and steady German Shepard’s
80 teams
30 instructors and staff
40 puppy raisers and volunteers

And really good food
Cumulated in achieving
cooperation totaling 150%
And Energy that could not be measured

A coming together
as vibrant as Woodstock but
Not as muddy.

There were dog tangles
Reunions and tears,
Obedience practice, play time
And Challenges including
A hotel that seemed to be built like a corkscrew.

Faces split in smiles lasting hours
Full hearts sharing meals
Imagine a ballroom lined with
Classroom-style tables
A person sits in each chair facing the podium
Beneath each place lies a dog, quiet
Or silent, asleep or awake
Snoring or dreaming
Licking a paw
And these canines
Our eyes
Our joy
Our inspiration
Our independence
Our family

Our reason for being who we are
And the reason why we were all there
Elicits an inner glow, a sense of pride
Or accomplishment, or purpose
We know intimately how well
These dogs gave us the ability to soar
not for only 3 days or 36 hours
but continually.

Our dogs connect us, bonding Hearts and minds
Later, after the reunion
In the afterglow
We will draw upon the link
Recall the shared experience
And, with humble words, thank our dogs.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

Thanks XFB

| Filed under blindness Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Long ago, when I was first losing my vision, I subscribed to the Zavier Society for the Blind’s lending library and large print missal supplements http://www.xaviersocietyfortheblind.org/. It assisted me in keeping up with the readings in church. One may think this is just a small part of living the blind life, but, back then, when my world was collapsing due to limited vision, it saved me from the harsher consequences of social isolation. In short, keeping in touch with my house of worship gave me the strength and determination to accept my disability and tap into the support and inspiration I sorely needed.

Fast forward, I no longer subscribe to the large print missals, but I recommend folks who are losing vision to reach out to their own house of worship and stay connected to avoid the isolating effects of sensory loss of any kind.

Many years later, after my own kids completed confirmations, I once again found solace in my church and I am glad I stayed in touch with my parish as well as my fellow clergy members I met during graduate degree studies at Iona College.

Another connection was meeting Father John Sheehan, then Director of the Zavier Society for the Blind on the train coming back from an American Council of the Blind of New York www.acbny.info convention. The following year, I met Christine Moore, another Zavier staff member and we worked together during the convention that was held in Westchester. Through these working relationships, I was able to keep my faith and accept the changes in my life.

When Christine learned of the publication of my first poetry collection, Upwelling, www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/ she emailed me and asked if I would like it to be brailed and added to their international lending library. I was grateful and, of course, said yes. Since that time, more than one person has stopped me, and telling me they are reading it in braille. How cool is that?
“Upwelling” can be requested once the person becomes a Xavier Society for the Blind, or XFB client. id number for it is B1543.
Thank you, Zavier, and thanks to your caring and compassionate staff. Below is the information in case you or someone you know would like more information on the Zavier lending library for the Blind, contact Christine Moore: [email protected]

Tel (212) 473-7800
Mailing address: 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102, New York, NY 10121

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

On Being a Good Dog

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Our Good Dog Story
By Ann Chiappetta M.S. Verona and Bailey
This story began at the time I met Verona, a black Labrador retriever bred and trained at Guiding Eyes for the Blind. I was matched with her in 2009 and we worked together for six years. When she started to tell me it was time to hang up her harness as my guide dog, it was heart breaking. She had become such a loving and intuitive dog, helping so many people during our work together. I am a family therapist and also visit schools and other facilities and institutions, and Verona was unfailing with her ability to bring a smile and ease the stress of someone who was suffering in some way. She was a dog whose job wasn’t done just because her guide dog harness was no longer being used; I did the best I could to honor her doggie work ethic. A year after she retired as my guide dog, she was evaluated to become a therapy dog.

“She is a natural,” the evaluator said, “this is just a formality.”

Verona did possess an advanced doggie degree, having worked as a guide dog, after all, right?

A year later, we were in the advanced class with eight other teams. Once we passed, we would graduate as one of the official pet assisted therapy teams for the Good Dog Foundation http://thegooddogfoundation.org/ .

This part of the story will explain the most unique piece in our journey together. Being blind and wanting to work with not just Verona but also my current guide dog, Bailey, and making it work for all three of us was the real challenge. I was anxious and a tad fearful that this trio of blind person, guide dog and therapy dog would not be accepted by the instructors or the general public. When I got up the nerve to verbalize my worries, the instructor said as long as I want to make it work, there is a way to make it work. Our class instructor was not going to allow me to quit. She made it clear at the very beginning that being blind and having another dog with me wasn’t going to be a reason to walk out with an incomplete or be turned away.

We made it work by preparing and practicing with both dogs and asking for help when I was required to focus on training with Verona. We went to most of the classes with a third person who sat apart from Verona and I. The helper, which involved either my sister or husband, held Bailey, who stayed in harness. The first two classes were the most disruptive to him, but he earned food rewards for settling and not whining when he saw me give Verona a reward. Bailey was still young, very attached to me, even after an entire year of being my guide dog. I think his tolerance was challenged when he was asked to settle and let me work with Verona. By class three, however, he wasn’t even whining. He settled down and even napped during the last half of the class. Class four was a test for all of us, I was handling both dogs and it was a little more frustrating due to the logistics. For instance, the three of us had to work out how to walk together, when to allow Bailey to perform the guide work, and train Verona to heel on the right. I felt that both dogs, having been living together for two years and having already accepted their respective roles, were up for it. We practiced for two months, taking practice walks and the preparation paid off.

In empathy for Bailey and his situation, imagine the person that you have bonded with and guided is suddenly going back to interact with another dog; I could feel Bailey’s confusion. I have since given him some slack but also provided directions and a way for him to perform even when he is not guiding and required to “turn it off”. He is rewarded with treats and praise for being quiet and not engaging. He still wants to greet the children, licking hands and wagging his tail, but he will settle when asked.

November 6, 2016 was graduation day and since then we have been visiting local libraries. We are now working on making smiles happen. Verona is giving back and helping by being the one to give the gift of positive energy. Bailey has matured measurably in the last 8 months, too. I am so proud of his ability to make the transition and step into his harness when I give him the forward command. I am a very lucky lady. I have learned so much about both my dogs and their personalities. It’s given me the confidence to go out and help others. It helps me because I am able to give back, and being a person with a disability, I am often the recipient of kindness and it means so much more for me when I can return it.

I don’t know where our path will lead or what the future holds for our trio but I do know one thing: we will continue to do it together for as long as we can — When I clip on my I.D. tag and tie on Verona’s scarf, it feels like we can conduct miracles with a smile and wagging tail.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0
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