Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Story of the Wolf Dog & the Human

The Story of the Wolf Dog & the Human
by Heike Boehnke-Sharp


You walk by the man with the box in the parking lot.

You hear a yelp, and turn around.

Inside the box, you see three majestic puppies. They are not small, and have air about them.

They look you straight in the eye.

“Timberwolf & Shepard” says the man. “They make fine, big watchdogs”.

Hopefully you are not a dog fighter, a drug dealer, a macho man, a deranged soul.

Their cuteness overtakes you, you make a spontaneous decision. You pick the smallest puppy, because “WOLF” sounds so big.

It’s a boy.

You are in love. He stole your heart. He licks you, and you think it is love & devotion.

He is marking you as his Alpha. For now.

Your puppy grows & thrives. It seems that he does not want to grow into his feet. You wait with training, because he is just so cute & cuddly, all you want to do is play.  Plus, he enjoys running from you so much, taking your shoes and chewing on them, nipping you in the ankles are you walk, or biting your arm as you “play” wrestle. He is getting sturdier, you notice as he brushes by your legs with his body more and more. It must be love, like with a cat.

He follows you. He watches your eyes before he leaps on your, or steals something and runs. His body rubs become a little annoying, as he almost pushes you over.

One day, while you are playing tug of war, his lips pull back and he nips at you.

HEY! You are not bleeding, but he watches as you retreat.

He is almost 6 months now, an adolescent in the making.

He is beautiful. Regal, large, furry, with magical brown eyes.

His eyes look at you openly & clear, and the next second they change and he barks/snarls at you.

You notice the bark is not one of warning, but it is directed at you.

Hopefully, you are a strong woman, or a gentle & strong male human.

Your wolf, because that is what he is, needs his Alpha now.

“He loves me!” you  say. “He would never attack me!”

A wise soul once told me that dogs do not “love” like we humans do. We interpret their affection as such. Dogs respect the Alpha, and they are survivalist. You give them food, they are happy to see you. You give them freedom, they are happy to see you. You rub their butt where they can’t reach, they are happy to see you!

DOG:” Are you sick? Are you weak? Why are you letting me challenge you? Do I need to take over to ensure the safety of our pack? Let me just get these small humans over here where I can watch over them. Push. Push. Nip. Pull. I am sorry, I did not mean to draw blood. Why are looking at me scared? Did I challenge you too. Are backing down?

WTF??? AM I THE ALPHA???? “

Hopefully, human, you have done some research on dog & pack behavior, because you do not have a Chihuahua. You have a wolf. A hunter. A herder. A pack animal. A majestic, instinctive, canine.

Hopefully, by now someone has taught you how to safely throw your wolf down when he challenges you as  Alpha, just like his wolf mother or Alpha would. They would not take that shit, not for a minute. Never seen a wolf throwdown? Google it and learn. You will have to learn to hold his jaws so he cannot bite you, as you say NO in a growling voice and look him in the eye. When he stays down, you will have done your job to ensure his & your safety, because you love this dog.

And when stupid people ask you why you are “hurting” your dog, you send them to the right place so they can figure it out themselves. Hopefully, THEY will never find a wolf dog.

And now you will show your kids how to handle him when he throws his big body at them. He is always establishing where he sits in the Alpha ladder, and small humans and other animals are all just rungs up that ladder to you, the Alpha.

Now teach him that you are in charge of food, that when you say “WAIT!” or look at him with that look he stops.  You must run with him in the wind, challenge his brain, let him chase squirrels. You must warn your neighbors to make sure their animals stay out of your yard, because even though your wolf is friendly & lovable, when that cat runs through your yard, it is prey, and that wolf instinct is STRONG.

Your wolf is one year old. Look at him. He is HUGE.  He is watching you. He will protect you, and his pack, with his life, because that is what wolves do. If you have trained him good behavior with a gentle, but firm hand, he will be the perfect family dog. He will be fantastic. He will be loyal.  But NEVER let your guard down, because even when your wolf/dog is older, even if your routine is set in stone, he is always watching you to see if you REALLY are still the Alpha.  He can turn on you and test you periodically, you better be ready.

Welcome to the pack life, human.

Heike & Rex

Heike: I wrote this piece to get the attention of everyone who sees a "cute" wolf dog and takes it home. These majestic dogs are a commitment. Sadly, many wolf dogs end up in shelters, or if they are lucky, with a wolf rescue when they are teenagers and their owners cannot handle the "wolf".  I was working with a wolf rescue and learning more about them when we got Rex. We are not sure of Rex's ancestory (and do not necessarily think he has wolf), but you can see he is huge & wild :). I rescued him when he was an unsocialized, wild, and anxiety aggressive puppy. I walked around for a long time looking like I was in cat fights, as I became his teacher on how to use his teeth & claws. He came to me to teach me many lessons, and even after almost 8 years, he is still teaching me.  Learning pack behavior kept us together :), and now we are bound.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

You are snarky, over-authoritative, and too influential.

"You are snarky, over-authorative, and too influential."

As a woman, would you take this as a compliment, or a reprimand?

How about as a 16 year old girl?

How about if you are that 16 year old's mama?

:)

My daughter, who many of you know about through my blog since she was born, or recently, as she represented both on Huffington Post, the Today Show, etc., was given a "behavior notice" recently.  I was a bit stumped. When she told me why, I was proud. Take away the snarkiness.  Teenager eye-rolling needs to stay out of the picture, and like I told her, learning to keep your poker face no matter what your inner emotions are right then is a talent that we learn as we age.

I have literally spent the last 16 years raising this girl to be confident, have an opinion, be able to speak, be aware, and become a young woman who is authentic. That takes some energy in today's society here in the U.S. There are campaigns and groups out there that are trying to do what I did at home. I have surrounded her with strong women who love her and celebrate her, both in the family and my circle of friends.  Hell yes she is influential! I would rather her influence other young girls than the media. Does influential make her bossy? Maybe? If she were a boy, would she get a behavior notice too?

Ah....and the AUTHORITATIVE.  Do you have to be authoritative to be a leader and make a change? Yes.

au·thor·i·ta·tive

adjective \ə-ˈthär-ə-ˌtā-tiv, -, -ˈthr-\
: having or showing impressive knowledge about a subject
: having the confident quality of someone who is respected or obeyed by other people

That kind of sums up my daughter.  She speaks about it in front of CEO's, community leaders, donors, television, schoolchildren, etc, about the things she loves and is passionate about.  Because she lives it and has "impressive knowledge about the subject".
Shouldn't all our girls be authoritative? Isn't that what we are striving for?

Instead, I am finding that adults are often intimidated by confident youth. Both girls & boys. More than once, I suspect that is because of personal issues, maybe issues from that adult's youth? I wonder if they had been raised in a more confident manner, being praised for their own individuality instead of trying to conform to the norm, would they embrace the confidence of today's youth?

I believe that young girls, and boys, definitely need good role models in our society. At this point, they are being raised by Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  Their role models are celebrities, that don't always make the greatest choices, or their "popular" peers. Should we not celebrate youth that come from all walks of life and settings, and have accomplished great things in their young lives? Who are well spoken, well mannered, and shown responsibility and drive?

There is certainly more to this story, but from what I see, I have raised my child to have an opinion, and to respect others. 

I feel very strongly about this. I am proud of my daughter, and by the way, everyone in our "family" who has heard about this is applauding her (minus the snarkiness, again). This leads right up to the subject of women being called "bitchy" when they are really confident, assertive, the boss? There is of course a fine line between being a leader and a steamroller, but that is a different subject.

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The end of a Challenge, and the Goddesses it created

I just posted the last of the 30 28 Day Goddess Challenge Goddesses :).

It was interesting. First of all, I don't know what the hell I was thinking to do this in May. May is the craziest month of my life. Maybe that was part of the challenge?

My thought was to make a Goddess a day. Well, I ended up with 19. It is just not physically possible to make a Goddess a day, they are all hand made from scratch, paint has to dry, heads need to butt. Quite frankly, making Goddesses sometimes means that a pink Goddess ends up being silver with a wolf on it. They have a mind of their own. Then we had to wait for full moon :).

The idea was to see what happens when there is "pressure to perform". In performing, I mean to make myself sit with the goddess until something happens. This was a challenge for me. I am impatient, my life is crazy, I get distracted. This meant I had to sit, and tell my kids, dog, husband, phone, computer, and mother that I was "busy" until I was done painting. It meant I had to go outside and take pictures BEFORE I chauffeured anyone or did laundry.  It meant putting my Goddesses first, my art, and the rest of my life second.

:)

It also gave me time to remember why I started this in the first place. Why I make bold, strong Goddesses for women to wear. Because they are magic, and the stories that come back to me are uplifting, heart-breaking, and fantastic at the same time. Wearing a Goddess is a message to the world, and I am the one who brings the Goddesses to the women. It is an honor. 

The really neat thing is the I LOVE each  one of the challenge Goddesses! They are quite different. One has to stay with me, she is my "chosen one" :). It happens. We bonded.

I can't wait to see where they go.
Much love,
Heike

Friday, May 09, 2014

Week #2 of a 30 Day Challenge. What was I thinking?

So, I am in the second week of a 30 Day Goddess Challenge. If you want to read the inspiration behind it, and how I am celebrating the Finale, you can do so here.

A Goddess is born
What I have discovered so far:
1. Artist block translates to artist confusion when you put yourself under a time limit.
2. Rome was not built in a day, and making a Goddess in one day is virtually impossible.
3. I love making Goddesses.
4. I have no control over what comes out in the end :).
5. Thankfully, I have children with good eyes & steady hands that like to sit and chat while they bead for me :).

It is an interesting process. Today, I am officially behind, as I had a last minute redo as paint was
First stage
drying. I also don't have the "right" beads in my stash of a trillion beads. The Goddesses do not comply to my time constraint, or my existing inventory. I literally had to go buy paint & beads the other day at 8:55pm so that I could continue. Plus, we are waiting for Full Moon.

:)

I am finding myself veering away from my "usual". I am exploring new avenues, and am though I am uncertain at times, the end product is fabulous. Trust. Also, I am finding that each finished Goddess has a mission. I almost put the mission in the description, but then I will steer her into a "box", and maybe a away from the destined woman who needs her for a different purpose.

Who knew?

You can find the 30 Day Challenge Goddesses on my Etsy store, just enter "30daychallenge" in the search box when you are there.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

30 Goddesses in 30 days - Crazy Daisy

Frida III - 30 day challenge
A few weeks ago, I visited the gallery showing of my friend, Stephanie Lorelei Longoria. Her paintings are absolutely stunning, you should go look! We talked about the different paintings, and she told me that one of her class assignments was to produce a ridiculous (I believe it was 100??) pieces in a 30 day period. Whoa!! As an artist, I can only imagine the pressure of that! But the more we talked about it, the more I understand why this assignment was genius! It makes you GO, get out of your box, and you never know what will come out.

So, I am taking this challenge.

Goddesses can't be made in a day :) (Rome was not built in a day either!), due the fact that each one is made from scratch and starts with a blob of polymer. Also, the layers of paint, well, they take forever.  But, over the next 30 28 days, I will post at least one Goddess a day. These Goddesses will all go on my Etsy store. I will try to get them listed the same day. "Goddess" could be a pendant, a Vitch, a drawing.....I am leaving that up to Universe. May is crazy, so around Fair time you may see 2-3 at once, and they may be listed next to a cow or goat. You can pull up the challenge Goddesses by putting "30 Day Challenge" in the search box will in the store.

I want you to share with me! Every Friday, you can share which Goddess of the week was your favorite on Facebook. Contest details will be posted every Friday. On my birthday, May 27th, I will go through the Fridays and choose one comment by "Eenie-Meenie". That lucky person can celebrate with me and pick a Goddess of their own on my Etsy store :). So, it is really only 28 days, but that is ok. Happy Birthday to us :).

Have a fabulous week!
Much love,
Heike

Friday, March 21, 2014

Not quit "zero" waste.

This morning, my municipal delivered this baby, and took my old one. When I ordered it, the woman said: "Just so you know, you have to keep it at least 6 months, otherwise you will be charged!".

Not much confidence in me?

I have to admit, my first impulse to order a smaller can was to save money. I am on a mission to lower our everyday living costs, so everything is on the table.

I normally shop in bulk, or at the farmer's market, BUT, a few days ago, I went for a "quick shop" for dinner. Big mistake. As I was making our dinner, I realized that this one meal alone was generating: 3 plastic containers from cucumber, tomatoes, strawberries. 1 plastic bag from salad. 1 plastic bag from pasta, 2 styro plates from the chicken.

I was ashamed. First: Never shop on impulse & hungry.

Second, I thought about how much of my hard earned money is actually going to the "food", vs. how much is going to the packaging & selling? The package has to made, packaged, shipped, unpacked, filled with food, stickered, packed up again, shipped, and then put on a shelf. Every step has to be handled by a machine or person. Then I empty it, put it in the recycle bin, it has to be picked up, sorted, and recycled (if I am lucky, I hear not all recycles REALLY make it to a new life

Crazy, right?

Don't get me wrong, this is not the first time I have pondered on this.  Though I do not anticipate that we will become a "Zero Waste" family (see this family, who generates ONE QUART of garbage a year! Good tips :)..) over night,  I am taking the first steps to force my family to rethink garbage. Though we compost & recycle, we still generate a fair amount of garbage every week. We went from a 60 gallon can to a 30 gallon. That is still a tremendous amount, if you think about it. My family alone generated  240 gallons of trash a month that went to a landfill.

Now we have half the size of a can, let's see how inventive we get :).

Maybe in 6 months I will call our municipal again and challenge them to an even smaller can, or NO GARBAGE??

Live consciously.
Heike

Friday, March 07, 2014

Virgin, Mama, Witch, & Bitch

Dear Beautifuls!
This is an excerpt from the book that I published a few years ago, "Goddess in the Groove ~ Musings from the Goddess Within". The words hold true today, as they did yesterday. "Bitch" & "Witch" energy is coming up strong lately, so I find it is timely to send this out to you, and the Universe.

I am sharing this with a reminder that no portions of this may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without my permission.  I do want you to share, Beautifuls. Please do! Please just share from here so my words stay true :).

Much love,
Heike




Virgin, Mama, Witch & Bitch

  When a girl baby is born, she is already born into a world of “must be”. Women’s roles start at this early stage. Girls are supposed to wear pretty dresses and do “girlie” things. Goddess forbid the little girl child is not “cute”, since little girls are supposed to look like little dolls. How many times do you hear “I wish I had a little girl! I could dress her up and do her hair, they are so fun!”? Little girls that play with boy things, or are dirty, rough, and wear pants all the time, are considered “tomboys” from toddlerhood on, they are just not “real” little girls….

  Puberty comes, and we are confronted with the term “virgin”, but not in the sense of generations past, when being a virgin was a status symbol of high honor. Society has teenage girls believing it is a disgrace to be a virgin. Their peers and their society pressure girls into sex early, thinking it is the thing to do, and the one who actually “does it” is the one who ends up a teenage mama. To the lucky girls, the “virgin” is the stage of beauty and growth. Girls grow breasts, have their first menstruation, and slowly become women. In many societies and cultures, this stage is still honored with beautiful celebrations and rites of passage. We women need to give our girls the knowledge and self-esteem that helps them develop. We have to teach them that THEY have the right to decide over their bodies and their destiny, giving them choices. The “virgin” is a stage of purity and beauty, not just a metaphoric term whether you have had sex or not.

  For most women, the next stage is “Mama”. They get married and become a wife, and the new mama to their husband, or they perform the miracle of birthing a new human child. Some women choose to skip this stage all together; though I believe we all have the “Mama” instilled in us, and play this role for someone or something in our lives. No matter how well we try to prepare, we cannot study up on this role, but grow into it. Intuition and experience turn us into masters, nurturers with the goal of protecting our kingdom. We portray this role with fierceness, and mamas are often compared to tigresses protecting their cub. The variations “Mamas” are as diverse as women themselves: some women stand by their man till death does them part, some women refer to their career or business accomplishment as ‘their baby” and others protect and live for their children.

  The “Witch” is not as the word in the dictionary, but the spiritual side of a woman. Witches, before their discrimination and elimination, were women of great intelligence and honor. Their rank in society was high and powerful. They were healers, and women whose intuition and knowledge let them perform great deeds. They were not always Beauties, but their aura of power and self-confidence made them beautiful, no matter what the outer shell portrayed. When today’s woman reaches this stage, she is ready for change and self-fulfillment. She is ready to find her inner self and true meaning in life. She turns to meditation, psychics, aromatherapy, yoga, or other forms of “natural healing” to comfort her inner spirit. In this stage, a woman stops dieting, dying, and otherwise torturing herself to fit into society’s beauty ideal, she turns her back and starts to find her beauty inside. She becomes more confident, starts making changes, and the “Bitch” comes out.

  The “Bitch” is in us from toddler stage, we just don’t know it. When we discover her in us for the first time, we suppress her due to “etiquette”. But boy, when we need her, is she ever helpful! She is our “other self” that comes out when we fell threatened, cheated, or confronted. When we are in a bad place because something in our life is just not right, our first step to changing it is to become “bitchy”. Some women get stuck on this step for a very long time, but sooner or later they realize it and move forward. Others jump right on up! In corporate America, strong and powerful women are often referred to as “bitches” by their male counterparts or employees of both sexes, because that attitude is what keeps them above ground and in charge. People are intimidated, and of course annoyed, by bitchy women, but if you look at it as a stage of wonderful stage you will see your sisters in a much rosier light!

   Look at yourself, what stage are you in now? And the next time someone calls you a “Bitch”, you can just smile and say “Why, THANK YOU!” The circle is becoming complete.