You’ll Meet Me In The Light

I really don’t even know what to say. Where does one begin to capture the feelings when a beloved pet passes? It is hard enough when it is one, but in the last fifteen months in our house we have lost, not one, not two, but three of our senior dogs to Rainbow Bridge. That is a lot for a heart to handle.

In March of 2020 Pepe; our eighteen year plus old rescue Tibetan Spaniel went to the bridge. Many who read this blog already knew that, if not (see Pepe blog here). He was rescued at the age of ten plus and lived with us for eight years. He was a special dog who had many issues, and taught us so many things. Most importantly, he taught us that love can conquer almost any amount of abuse and neglect.

Then unexpectedly in May of this year our rescue Japanese Chin Yuki went to the bridge. We knew he had some health issues and we were treating them, however his airway disease got really bad, he also had CFH, he was struggling and went downhill very quickly. So again, we had to handle a terrible loss. In Yuki’s case it was really sad for us, because he did not have a good life before he came to us. He was a little over ten when we rescued him, and we were his third family (that we know of). His last people smoked and that did not help his lung issues. He lived the good life here with us and it was like he had always been here. He fit in so well immediately, and he was such a light in our home. He always did “Chin Spins”, he was so happy. I loved that little dog to the moon and back. I still remember going to get him from the Bronx. He was looking out the window, I have an image burned in my brain of him leaving that life and starting fresh in the country, in a home and a yard with grass. An end to apartment and city living, and off to a place where he could enjoy his golden years. I still remember him in the carriage at Petco getting his new name tag, and he was so happy. Which is why we named him Yuki, because it means “happiness” in Japanese. Little did we know it would only last two and a half years. Anyone who has had a Japanese Chin knows they are very special little dogs, like love with legs. I will forever miss that amazing creature.

That brings me to the third and probably hardest loss to date, my Punkin Pie. Unlike our other dogs, Punkin Pie was not a rescue. We got her as a puppy and she lived with us her entire life. Which makes me happy that unlike so many other dogs in the world, she lived in the same house her entire life, had the same people, and never had to endure the trauma of being rehomed or in a shelter.

Happy for that yes, but sad that I will not have that little face looking at me every day. She had such a personality from day one. She was the most photogenic dog I ever knew, and it was literally like she enjoyed being dressed up in silly costumes for Halloween and Christmas and any other time we felt like as she would say “exploiting her all over the inter web”.

In fact she had so much personality that we literally had conversations with her, and as many who read the blog or follow me on Instagram or Facebook saw that personality in her Caturday videos. It all started when she was little because she was so animated that she would sit there looking at you like she understood what you were saying, and then would respond with her stomping her little paws on the ground to get what she wanted or her vocally demanding her way (which she of course always got).

Most of her videos are loaded to my Facebook page or to my Instagram. I will admit I have not been good about loading to YouTube. She has a playlist on my YouTube channel, and I am slowly uploading as I have time. There are however, many older videos of her there from when she was younger, like the “Halloween Atrocity” parts, one, two and three… where she explains the horror of having her parents dress her and her fur siblings up in costumes.

Looking back now, I am so glad we did this, as it is a way to get to see her face and remember the good times we had with her. (See Punkin’s YouTube playlist here). I changed the title of the playlist to “Conversations With My Furkids”, as her little fur sibling Lulu is going to try to carry on her legacy and continue with the videos with the wisdom imparted to her by Punkin Pie.

Anyone who has cared for an ailing senior pet with multiple serious medical conditions requiring literal round the clock care can tell you that when that pet is gone, there is a terrible hole. Going from every minute of every day making sure all of their needs are met, medical, physical, etc., to them “not being there” is really quite an adjustment. I am lucky as I still have two other dogs, and four cats, so the house is not totally empty. It is not the same though, and it never will be. Time will help, I suppose.

One thing I do know, is that there will never be a another dog like Punkin Pie. There are so many funny stories I could tell about that little character, but that would not be a blog, it would be a book. Truth be told, she really did not mind the cats at all. Except that one time when Jaxson our first cat had been here a few months… she walked into the office and one side of her face was totally puffed up. It looked like all of the sudden her face doubled in size on one side. We rushed her to the emergency vet, and lo and behold… they found a little poke hole under her fur. She had an allergic reaction to the cat poke. So apparently there is truth to what she always said, “cats have poison fingertips”.

When she was little, she liked to eat baby carrots. We used to give them as treats until we discovered that she like to swallow everything whole… one time she was out in the yard as a little girl and she was struggling to do her business. My husband was with her and watching her, and she was looking at him like she needed help. There she is, she’s trying to do her business, and a little carrot end keeps popping out, and then going back in, then out, then in, and to hear him tell it, I die laughing. Anyway, after watching her do this for some many minutes and clearly she couldn’t get it out, the next time it popped out he reached down and yanked it. She ran away from it, and then looked up at him and barked as it if it were a “thank you daddy”. From that moment on, she always ran away from her poops. It was really funny. For all of those years she never forgot it.

Then there was the time she choked on a tiny piece of an apple, and ended up in the emergency vet for two days. So many memories, and so much of our lives spent with her. It is hard to imagine we will not have her around anymore, or singing her theme song to her all the time. Each of the furkids have their own theme song, and much to Punkin’s destain, yes even the cats.

What I do know is that she is now in Heaven with Jesus, and with all of her fur siblings who went before her. She is reunited with her original pack, Pookie, Bobo, and Itty Bitty. She is also reunited with all the foster failure dogs we took in that also went before her, that she never minded sharing her momma and daddy with; Pepe, Yuki, and Gracie. She can run and play, and breathe easy, free from the terrible awful disease of Collapsing Trachea, and Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome and all of the debilitating medical hardships that come with it. She can breathe easy and rest until that one day when we will meet her in the light.

Hug your furkids and cherish them while you have them, because one day God will want them back. When it is time, remember to please “Don’t Shop Adopt”, there are so many animals who need a second chance. Dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, nearly every breed there is. Simply visit petfinder.com and you can find practically any one of God’s little creatures your heart desires.

Blessings ~
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

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You Can Keep It

Hello, it’s been quite a long while since I have posted a blog, I know. But hey, I mean 2020 was just, well, we know… it sucked beyond words. Not to mention the last blog I posted in 2020 was about losing my beloved Pepe to rainbow bridge. But, hey it’s a new year, and no matter what is going on we have to keep on trucking right? So let’s get to it, my big fat greek opinion about what is going on in the world.  

So, how about those Grammys? I mean the costumes, the talent, the amazing singing… Hold on, cue the coming to a screeching halt music, no that description would have to be a throwback Thursday memory referring to a Grammy production from probably a few decades ago. You know back when music was about music, and concerts were not so easily confused with a rated X movie. 

Now call me crazy (and I know I have blogged about this before on many an occasion) however, what took place Sunday evening was just beyond words. Well, there is one word that comes to mind… Debauchery. Complete and utter debauchery. Gosh, from just watching a news snippet alone, it feels like I need to wash my eyeballs out with bleach.

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary the word means: 

Definition of debauchery

: extreme indulgence in bodily pleasures and especially sexual pleasures : behavior involving sex, drugs, alcohol, etc. that is often considered immoral.

Did anyone at the Recording Arts and Sciences stop to think for just one minute that there just might little eyeballs watching the production? Nah, probably their virtue signaling politically correct masks have been on too tight, and the lack of oxygen has gotten to their noggins. Because, anyone with half a functioning brain cell, and even a teeny weeny shred of decency would know better than to glorify, celebrate and parade the song W.A.P (that’s Wet Ass Pussy) for those who have been living under a rock with me for the last year. 

Maybe I’m old fashioned, and maybe I embody a little bit too much June Cleaver, and possibly that might just be the reason I can’t for the life of me seem to get arrested in the music industry, (and trust me it is not for lack of talent). That is, if you call talent in music being singing, and writing songs… but apparently these days singing has nothing to do with the music industry. Instead, performing in a stripper outfit is what qualifies as talent regardless of the shape of ones body (insert eye roll please). In fact it seems the trend is the bigger the body, the scantier the outfit should be. 

It’s really sad too because ever since I was a little girl and I started to talk, I started to sing and then as I grew write songs down in my journal. I started recording them at local recording studios, singing at local talent shows, and in school and worked my way up singing everywhere and anywhere that I could. Nursing homes, weddings, funerals, sporting events, local, college and even professional sports teams, Veterans events, Police and Firemen events, political events, and yes even the NY Mets where I inadvertently threw Willie Mays out of my dressing room one time at “The Greatest Day in Mets History Day”. My little tomboy sister was horrified when she asked me “um do you know who you just threw out of here” and I replied “no and I don’t care I have to change” she said, “that was Willie Mays”, to her I replied… “who is Willie Mays”. Definitely not one of my proudest moments, but hey I was concerned about my singing, not sports figures. 

I have worked and struggled and still after all of these years have never, ever given up on the pursuit of my goals and ultimate dream, to one day receive a Grammy. Heck I even sang at the White House Lighting of the Christmas Tree celebration a long time ago. 

However in the last decade I have noticed a very rapid decline in the moral fabric of our society, and as mediocrity has been encouraged, and celebrated more and more, the obscene has grown to not only accepted as normal, but now it is called “talent”. 

I find it sickening. We have awards shows in prime time broadcasting full on satanic imagery, rituals, and simulated sex that could easily pass off as a pornographic movie. It’s actually pretty hypocritical because anything having to do with Christianity must be removed because that is just too offensive and we just can not force religion down people’s throats now can we? Unless it is luciferian or satanic that is.

This is talent? I’m sorry, can anyone, anyone really explain to me what in the heck in the world at all this has to do with MUSIC? Now I know it has to do with the lyrics of the song W.A.P. but REALLY? 

How on earth is that GRAMMY WORTHY

We just literally cancelled Mr. Potato Head, Pepe Le Pew, and Dr. Seuss because they were too “offensive”, yet somehow the song W.A.P. is not, and not only is it not offensive to Karen enforcers everywhere and these lunatics, but they go ahead and give it a GRAMMY?

I’m sorry, if that is Grammy worthy, you can keep your Grammy, I do not want one. 

For those who are interested, here is the link to my latest music release “Pour The Light In” which DOES NOT need an obscenity warning label. 

https://music.apple.com/us/album/pour-the-light-in/1530315543

Blessings, Love & Music ~

Ava xo

www.avaaston.com 

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Second Chance

With so much going on in my life between working on new music, acting and being a dog mom and cat mom to multiple beings, there has not been much time to tend to this blog. Like so many people life has been moving so fast, and we all have become accustomed to cramming way too many things into a day. That is until a few weeks ago. When all of us came to a sudden and screeching halt.

Suddenly instead of having no time, we all have too much time on our hands. What to do, what to do? Well, with so much uncertainty in the world today I think we could all use a little hope right about now.

So I thought it would be nice to share a story about second chances. (WARNING: LONG BLOG POST) Hey, but it’s a true story and aren’t all true stories long? Anyone that has followed this blog over the years knows lots of things about me, one of the most important is that I love animals. I can’t say what I think should happen to stupid humans who hurt them because if I do someone will surely show up at my door to lock me up.

My social media has been flooded with pics and videos of my furkids both K9 and feline over the years, especially of my beloved Pepe. I have blogged about his story before when we first saved him from the NYCACC.

pepe shelterThe short version is, he was on the euthanasia list because he was slapped with the label “New Hope Only”. This is a title given to dogs who do not pass their shelter behavior evaluation for whatever reason. They must be pulled by a “New Hope” approved rescue in order to make it out of the shelter alive. In Pepe’s case a rescue we have adopted from asked us to foster him. Not knowing his actual situation we agreed. We drove to the NYCACC and busted him out of the clink on October 3rd, 2012.

pep jailbird

1st Howl-O-Ween

Had I known what would follow, I cannot honestly say that I would have agreed originally. He had so many problems. He had been abused and was a fear biter, he hid, he attacked our other dogs, didn’t allow grooming, the list was long. However I made a decision early in that this dog, this little creature had clearly been failed by humans for his entire life (he was at least ten when we rescued him) that I was not going to be that person who let him down again. So after convincing the Mr. we made it official and adopted him.

It was an eventful first few years to say the least, but finally he realized he was safe, that we were his people, and that he was finally safe. We showered him with everything he should have had all of his life. We took him on trips, hiking, carried him around in a bag, and as much as he didn’t like it, even dressed him up for holidays like Halloween and Christmas. He went on car rides which he loved, he took selfies, had girlfriends at the vets office, he even learned to be friends with his new cat siblings. He was popular for sure, everywhere we went people would almost squeal with happiness asking “What is that, what kind of dog is that, OMG that face!”, heck chewy.com even had his mug painted, not once but three times.

Pepe Christmas  Pepe hallowen 15 or 16  pepe selfie    pepe painting

Yes we loved that little dog to the moon and back. So much so that as his little body began to fail him at the ripe old age of what must have been at least eighteen I was not able to bear the thought of losing him. So I did everything humanly possible to keep him around a little longer.

I cooked him meals, gave him every supplement known to man, and took him for weekly shots of adaquan for his arthritis. There were steroid shots, Vitamin B12 shots, and even rimadyl. In the end it was dementia that finally caused me to make the decision to set him free to fly with the angels. I’ve lost dogs to rainbow bridge before but this one really gutted me. I was in a depression funk especially with all of the corona homebound lockdown going on.

see you later pepe    Pepe is home

Here is where a little magic happened. An ending that turned into a second, second chance. Courtesy I believe of my little Pepe monkey and the man upstairs.

The following is a post I made to Facebook in a Tibetan Spaniel group I belong to. It’s a space where we “Tibbie” lovers share pics, videos, love and support for the ancient breed of dog we all love so much. (See Post below)

____________________

Tibbie friends. 💜Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement about setting my beloved Pepe monkey 🌈free to fly with the Angels this week.

Your words really helped. I read every comment and they all touched my heart.

I apologize for this long post. I hope you all don’t judge me for this as I’m still judging myself. However Thursday when I woke up something happened and I couldn’t help but feel it was a gift 🎁 from my boy.

Most of you know Pepe had a very hard life before we rescued him from the euth. list at NYCACC. He was unadoptable, a terrible biter and had lots of issues. After years of love he finally realized he was safe and turned into a mush. With the occasional Hannibal 😉if you tried to do something he didn’t want you to like clean his ears or trim his Tibbie feet 🦶🙈🤣

Anyway I always said I wonder how he could have been had he not been abused and we could have had him from a baby. Well the universe, God, and my boy I feel heard me.

I woke up Thursday checked the notifications of facebook of my post from Wednesday about him. Still half asleep I saw a new post with a black Tibbie. Didn’t think anything of it just another person sharing their furbaby.

When I focused my eyes I saw he was being rehomed. I thought, huh… black Tibbie being rehomed. Odd. Then one of you tagged me, I looked at the post again and saw it was mentioned he was in NY. I thought hmmm that’s odd, two year old black Tibbie being rehomed in NY… so I texted the number. Called. Turns out he was like forty five minutes from me. Not in NYC, rather the Hudson Valley where we live.

I mentioned to my husband who was like “sure let’s go see him”. I almost fell over because he never wants to rescue dogs or cats, it’s always me. Lol

The woman was in hurry to rehome him. So we went Thursday night. Still in shock really as the loss of Pepe very numbing. ESP since he was pretty much hospice (blind/mobility) for more than a year.

I wanted to wait and think about it as we do have three other dogs, are watching my moms shitzu and three cats. As well as I’m grieving my Pepe. However if I didn’t decide right there she was going to give him to the next person who paid her the next day. Really.

Sparing you the details of what we discovered as it wasn’t quite as tidy a situation as her post laid out. My husband decided for me this time, he scooped him up and said “pay her let’s go”.

He is decompressing in our finished basement as he is not neutered yet and with corona I can’t get it done til April 13th. 🙏🏻 Praying our governor reopens things soon!

He’s been a complete angel. Other than being starved for attention – having bunch of matts that I’m still cutting out – we all walked together and I think my Japanese Chin Yuki and him will be play buddies.

Here is where I need your help. He has no idea what his name is. They said it was Nimble. He does not answer to it.

So please don’t judge me for getting another Tibbie so soon. I never in a million years would I have guessed I’d have another this fast. He will never replace my Pepe. But his birthday is 2/3/18. My wedding anniversary is February third.

I can’t help but feel my boy knew of this boys plight and sent me to give him the life Pepe didn’t have (for the first part anyhow). Too many coincidences for it to just be chance.So I’ve taken the gift from my Pepe and will pass the love forward. My motto has always been – “rescue one until there is none.”

I need your help… he needs a name: he reminds me of a bear. Pepe had a monkey face. 🐵 This guy he reminds me of a bear. 🐻

dog   dog 2   dog 3   dog 5

Names…. now GO:

____________________

I’ll wrap this happy ending in a message. Please #dontshopadopt! There are millions of Pepe’s out there waiting for a second chance. Contact the local shelter, now more than ever animals need help to make it out alive.

In the end something good will almost always come from something bad. Whether it’s a shelter dog who seems to be turning life upside down, or a pandemic that has stopped what seems like the entire world.

Even though we might not see it at the time. Light will always overtake dark, and in the end love will alway win. So even though it might look dark right now, hold onto hope because all of us will soon experience a second chance. The sun will indeed shine again in all of our lives.

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

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Are you earning it

D-day

The Mr. and I had the honor and privilege to meet and hear a fantastic talk a few days back by Lt. Col. Allen West (Ret.). For anyone not familiar with him, he is an American political commentator, retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, author, and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives. It was not only informative but also highly motivating. I strongly suggest a visit to his website www.theoldschoolpatriot.com.

allen west

With the seventy-fifth anniversary of D-Day around the corner he brought up a very valid point and it got me to thinking. He asked us if we remembered the scene in the film “Saving Private Ryan” (one of the best war movies ever made) where Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) tells Private James Ryan to “earn this, earn it” and then dies right there. Col. West then went onto remind us how every American that is and ever is to come owes a debt to every service member who gave their life in that war. How can that debt be paid? By earning it.

How do we earn it? Be involved in our local communities. Participate in civics and serve others. That’s how. Heck, maybe even run for the President of the School Board. Why not? The world might look a whole lot different had it not been for the heroes who stopped evil dead in its tracks. We all might be living in a totally different reality. A reality where the freedoms we enjoy and often take for granted would be nothing but a dream.

Then on the drive home my mind started to wander. I realized we also earn it by living every single day, and squeezing every stinking second out of it. The good days, the bad days, the in-between days, even the days when you wish you could go back to bed and pull the covers over your head. There are countless souls who never had the chance to have those days. We owe it to them to do and be everything that they never had the chance to. It’s the least we can do.

WWII Vets

So on this seventy-fifth anniversary of D-Day honor and remember the fallen. Keep the strength and steadfastness of the Greatest Generation the world has ever known in your mind and heart. If you’re lucky enough to know or meet one of those heroes please thank them. I am fortunate to meet a fair share of them from time to time when I sing at Veteran related events. It is always and honor and a pleasure to talk with them and hear their stories. I am thankful and grateful for their sacrifice today and every day. God bless America and God Bless the Allies.

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

 

 

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Never Say Never

tiger woods wins masters 2019

One of the Greatest Comebacks of Ever!

Most people have already seen this image by now. It’s been splashed all over across the news and social media world. Whether one watched the historic event or just caught the highlights, I can’t imagine this image not making any human being smile a great big cheesy happy grin.

I thought it was simply magical to witness a truly gifted and disciplined athlete return to glory. I was also glad to see the folks in the media cheering for him instead of jumping on the bandwagon to tear him down as had been the case in years past.

There is no escaping it in the world we are living in, that is unless you move to the wilderness and get off the grid I guess. It still always bothers me when I see people in the media, and on social media piling onto tear down someone the minute something isn’t exactly “perfect” in their life. Sure everyone likes to be a cheerleader when someone is on top, but as they say a person discovers their true friends in times of difficulty.

Back to Tiger… Seriously though, his win might well be one of the greatest comebacks in the history of ever. How special it was that Woods, who has endured four back surgeries (including spinal fusion two years ago) and personal struggles and scandal ended his dry spell at the Masters. His comeback happened at The Masters, which was the first major tournament he won 22 years ago. I don’t know about you, but I just loved it! I mean this is the stuff movies and the great stories of the ages are made of.

It just goes to show you, you may be down but you are never out, that is unless you choose to stay that way. I was watching an interview with a journalist who ran into Tiger at a charity event last year. Tiger told the journalist he was putting very badly and was practicing three hours a day at that time to get better. Imagine it, one of the greatest golfers of all time practicing three hours a day to get better at something he is one of the greatest of all time at. Sounds crazy but that discipline is one of the things that made him the great that he is. It is also the thing that can take anyone from anywhere they are to anywhere they want to go.

I also learned there was a time when mere standing was painful for him, let alone holding a golf club. When the thing you love causes you pain it takes a special kind of drive to find a way past it to break through. Such a great moment in history, it is one I will never forget. In my adult life Tiger Woods has mostly been on top and a symbol of what one can achieve if they believe, and work hard. I am very happy for him and for what this event can and will do to inspire generations of people from all walks of life for years to come. GO Tiger!

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

 

 

 

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