I’ve Created a New Blog-please check it out if you love animals or even just like them

About my new blog;

I created this blog to help save, heal, rescue and find forever homes for animals. I will post news stories that will ask readers to take action if they feel so inclined. I will post pictures of animals up for adoption. I will do my best to make sure the sites, organizations, rescues & shelters are legitimate and sincerely committed to the life and love of these animals. I would love to hear from readers that would also like to help save animals.

This is the second blog I’ve created. My first, Dipsintheroad.wordpress.com dips in the road  has been fun, an inspiration and evolution of my soul. It has been and continues to be a  journey that brings me back to my true self.  The love and concern I have for animals deserves a space of its own. 

 So I welcome my fellow animal lovers, activists and rescuers. The inspiration for this site comes from my own rescue pup Gracie, who with the love of others, escaped a high kill shelter in Arkansas.  She is my friend and soulmate. I am inspired by ://www.luckypuprescue.org  who brought Gracie to Maine. I am inspired by the thousands of people around the globe that are working, not giving up, to protect and save animals.  I am immensely inspired by David Hendrickson and his brothers at Hendrick Boards and A Loving Goodbye.
In Gratitude,
Jen Donahue

What we call a self…

What we call a self is actually a story about our experience of life. And we construct the story because we’re trying to give some order to what is actually a remarkably chaotic process. And then we get seduced by the seeming consistency of the story that we’ve constructed. And now, instead of just relating directly to our experience, we relate to our experience in terms of the story, and that’s where the difficulties start. One way of looking at Buddhism is as a way of learning how to relate to life without believing the stories that we come up with. And that just opens up extraordinary possibilities.

Ken McLeod, Buddhist teacher and writer


Our stories….my stories have had me living a small life….a fearful life…a shameful life…letting go of the stories I’ve wrapped around past hurts and trauma…weaving stories around intense emotions…making them solid and constricting. I discovered the practice of meditation about 15 years ago…I came to it during a crisis in my life when my world was falling apart and everything I thought I knew imploded…meditation helped me stay somewhat sane…at first I thought it would fix me, make the pain go away..it didn’t, it brought me closer to the pain…it took time but I realized that to heal I needed to feel it all…meditating is a tool that helps me to let go of the story, to see the suffering I put myself through…helps me to open to this life in this moment and the next.-Jen

1 Year Anniversary






This time last year I adopted my beautiful pup Gracie.  It has been an amazing year. She has brought so much joy into my life…everyday she helps to heal my soul. I like to say we rescued each other. She is my fur baby, my soulmate, my friend.  -Jen D




We are always moving forward whether we think we are or not, whether we want to move or not….maybe just saying we are always moving is better than qualifying it with the word forward. I find I can be so harsh and critical of myself…telling myself that I’m not where i’m supposed to be..i should be doing better..I should be at this point in my life, etc. I can make myself crazy and depressed by this mental barrage of negativity. I have come a long way…I am proud of the healing work I have done and the habitual negative patterns I have changed.

The past year has been amazing…the lowest of lows but new found joy when I adopted my first dog.  I have struggled with depression, anxiety for as long as I can remember…as an adult I was given the label PTSD.  I’m ok with it now…but I know I’m not a label…I am not what has happened to me.

Fear has take a lot of life from me…paralyzing at times. Other times i am amazed at my bravery. At 18 traveling through Europe alone, after college traveling in Nepal & India for 3 months on my own and a couple years ago traveling cross country and back on my own.  Those trips didn’t seem to take as much courage as facing the wounds of my past.  I am at a point in my life now where I want more than anything to go back to school for a Master’s degree. I have been wanting to do this for more than 10 years.The negative thought patterns of my past continue to trip me up, tell me I’m not enough, not good enough, not smart enough….it can be quite a downward spiral leading me to a place of powerlessness. Amazing how my thoughts can take my power away…i guess the up side is that my thoughts can also reclaim my power.

So I’m putting a question out to my fellow bloggers. How do you overcome your self doubt and fear to pursue your dreams, your deepest desires? I am wondering what works for other people…and if anyone would like to share their wisdom, successes, failures, motivations, inspirations…I would love to hear from any and all of you out there.

Jen D.

Why I Weep….

I weep for the frightened child who has never known kind hands

I weep for the women too scared to leave a violent man

I weep for those who sleep in the cold

I weep for the hearts that are closed and guarded

for those whose anger defines their days

I weep for those who find solace in the bottom of a bottle

or hand full of pills

I weep for those who have no voice

for those that don’t know freedom

I weep for the man who never heard “I love you” from his father

I weep for the young Haitian women who lost her home in the earthquake

and at 19 feels that her life is over…she was gang-raped

my tears cannot save her

I weep for the unloved animal left by the road

I weep for the suffering we all create

I weep for the land and trees that are trodden down

I weep for our ancestors, for the suffering they passed down

I weep for the love I have found in my own heart

I weep because I thought love had left me

I weep for the next sunrise

I weep because I am human

I can weep

I can laugh

I can let go

I am human

Jen D Grace’s Gardens Publications

I wrote this back in April and posted it on this blog….was thinking about this bit of writing this morning and decided to post it again. I am feeling a lot of sadness these days for the injustices we humans can inflict, but I am also finding joy and inspiration from the words and actions of those that stand up to these injustices.

I took this photo in Taos, NM

more voices of inspiration

When I see and feel the beauty of my own heart I see the beauty in the world around me. So a great big thank you to the following for listening to their hearts, speaking up and standing tall, for offering their compassion, kindness, inspiration to the world.-Jen


WomenVoices for Change.org. Freedomfrompornculture.wordpress.com, BestFriendsAnimalSociety.org-sanctuary, Honoringwomen’s rights.org,  the music of Michael Franti and Xavier Rudd, Emmylou Harris for opening a shelter on her estate, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Alice Walker,  PowerSistahs.wordpress.com, local Food Co-ops, Local farmers, Ajahn Thanasnati, Vinny Ferraro, Fair Trade, Pema Chodron, Tara Brach, Thestillspot.wordpress.com, lijiun.wordpress.com, local animal shelters & rescues…


and I know there are more voices of inspiration in this amazing & difficult life.

sometimes a heavy heart but still finding the beauty of my own heart


I’ve been feeling a lot of anger at the injustices I see in this world; disregard of women & girls’ fundamental rights over their bodies, the out of control greed by corporations, politicians that seem to only care about the status quo, the abuse and neglect of children, indigenous people, animals, this earth,…I can make a very long list of the the things that enrage me and sadden me about this world. I am becoming more outspoken about these injustices, but I can also feel overwhelmed.

So today I am focusing on those people and organizations that are defending the innocent, standing up for human rights & animals rights. I would like to give a big shout out to and express my deepest gratitude and love for all the courageous people that stand up and speak out. To those that listen to the truth of their heart…lately I feel as though I am finding the beauty of my heart.

So there are many people and organizations to thank

Hendrick Boards, A Loving Goodbye.org, opt4.wordpress.com, LuckyPupRescue, RockTheSlutVote, Aisfor.org., PawInHandUnitedWeStand.org, Upworthy.com, AwakeningTruth.org, The AgendaProject on Facebook, Eleventh HOur Rescue-on Facebook-rescuing animals on death row,  Jezebel.com, Naomi Wolf, Thefeministwire.com, buddhistGeeks.com, TheIdproject.org, Againstthestream.org,MindBodyAwarenessProject, LetsSpreadcompassion.wordpress.com, Resurection.wordpress.com and I know there are more…. this is the beginning of my list.


….inked for the 1rst time

I have been feeling a bit under the weather the past few days….physically exhausted but emotionally feeling strong. I received my first tattoo this past Wednesday. I have been waiting for about 15 years or so to get one. The initial design that I had wanted changed….and I went thru a few years of knowing I still wanted one but didn’t know what I would want on my body for the rest of my life.  About a year and a half ago I was listening to a podcast by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes “The Dangerous Old Woman” (awesome podcast by the way) and she talked about a tree signifying the different stages of a woman’s life. I was really struck by this idea…so then my next search was to find the tree signifying what I felt and needed. At first I tried to force the search of this tree, but then after some time I let it go and accepted that I would find this tree image when the time was right.   Portland, Me has a first Friday art walk the first friday in every month..it’s awesome…galleries open their doors to all, people set up tables or put down blankets to sell their crafts….anyway I was at one of these art walks last year when I saw a tshirt designed by a young woman and I knew right when I saw it that it was my tree. I call it the tree of life in the feminine form, others have called it the goddess tree..either way it’s the same.

So after I found the inspiration for my tattoo I found the place and artist. Sanctuary tattoo in Portland, Me rocks. After I talked to Jen at Sanctuary I knew she was the one I wanted to do this.  She gets the healing, spiritual aspect of the tatto. And that’s what it is for me…It is about my healing journey, about reclaiming my life, declaring myself worthy of standing in this world, reclaiming my body from past abuse. It is so empowering.  It was an intense experience…I could feel the energy shifting as she created the design on my back.  When she finished and I looked at it for the first time I knew without a doubt it was right.  The next 2 nights I hardly slept…not because of pain…it just felt like a slight sunburn, but because so much energy was moving around within me that I was extremely restless. I feel more connected to my body than I ever have. It’s amazing…I really had no idea what this decision could mean for me.  I know I still have more healing of my past, but I feel as though this was a major step in reclaiming my body, my life…

Once it heals I will post a pic….


Stretching My Heart

Many years…many tears…many sleepless nights..but i’ve rediscovered the love that I was born with…for a long time i didn’t know my heart was good..that I was good enough…nothing to prove…no one to persuade…I now know I am good enough…I am good…I am enough…so many people I see and hear say they are not enough…it breaks my heart how we lose our self…our love…many kind, amazing people that have come into my life have shown me this…some have stayed…some have just been a brief encounter..the words I find when I open a book can break my heart open… no need to meet the author…her words are enough…sometimes I feel my heart stretching…what I thought was love was not even close…I am learning love has no limit…a rescue pup from Arkansas shows me every day that my heart grows and every day when  I wake to her happy face my heart stretches a little more…I have learned that love is an action…even sometimes a silent action.

 I actually wrote this blog back in May and saved it as a draft. Now coming back to it…it brings tears to my eyes…lately I have been struggling with getting back to this love…opening my self to the love and care that others have for me. IT has always been a challenge to find a way to open and trust love…today I am struggling with allowing love, receiving love..I talked to a friend in Cali the other day and she said everyone deserves to be loved and when she said it I could feel it and wish it for everyone I know but myself….it causes a great deal of sadness…I have to remind myself there are days I can open to love..I have opened to love…today it is just hard.

traveling the path

“You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.” ~The Buddha

photo- coast of Maine, Freeport by Grace’s Gardens Publications