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  • Writer's pictureDianne Hammontree



God certainly knew what He was doing when He created the changing seasons. I guess it’s the same for me. The seasons in my life change as I age, but they all work together for good. My children are grown and married and have given me beautiful grandchildren. December is, and has always been, a time of reflection for me...remembering the past seventy-five years and the people and dogs that have part of my life. I recall some of the dogs from my childhood to the present in this way:


I learned so much by watching the way she rejoiced in life’s simplest moments. Every morning was Christmas morning. Every run was the best run. Every dinner was the best dinner. Jet taught me to be kind to others.


I adopted Rusty when I was nineteen, working full time, was a first time renter and first time human with a dog. Rusty didn’t get the attention he needed, so training was quite a chore, but he loved me anyway and taught me patience.

Jesse=self control

Jesse taught me to wait to control my thoughts and emotions. She would snuggle up to me and say, “This is only a moment, it is not the rest of your life,” and I would immediately calm down, breathe, and tackle the problem.

This year, I’ve decided to make the biggest strides at Christmas and focus on others: humans and animals. I want to be grateful for the profound yet simple things. It’s impossible to dwell on my problems when serving coffee to a woman whose child is fighting cancer. Or when visiting a lonely gentleman in a nursing home. Or when a little girl tugs on your shirt and wants you to take time to see the drawing she made for her mommy. Or when you find a lost pup, give him a bath, a meal and then try to find his owner.

Christmas is truly a season of miracles. I pray that we all practice what Jet, Rusty and Jesse taught me; that portraying kindness, patience and self control will let us focus on others in the coming year.

Blessing, and Happy Thanksgiving, and Merry Christmas!

Dianne Hammontree, Secretary of Homeward Bound, Inc.


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