The Farm Dog

LookoutMonochrome Madness 2-28


This past summer was filled with both tension and excitement as we took an extreme leap of faith and acquired a 100-acre horse property in south central Ontario.

Naturally this has meant a huge adjustment on many levels. Change is never easy but if we don’t take a chance on change how can we ever expect to achieve our dreams and grow?

A property such as this has been a long-held dream for both my husband and I. For him a chance to build his dream home and live in the country. For me this fulfills my deepest wish to live surrounded by nature and horses, to be a part of the country culture and to have a place to build my FEEL (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning) practice.

Still, everything takes time. We’ve been on the farm just over a month ~ a time of exploration and settling in which will continue for a little while yet as we get acquainted with its nuances and understand its needs. I find this both exciting and a tad intimidating, but am confident we can manage the challenges that lay ahead with all the good people around us who are sharing in this adventure.

A more complete telling of how this dream manifested will appear soon in my blog Musings of a Horse Mom.

One of many happy outcomes so far is that Abbey, our rough collie, who lost her mom two months ago, has come into her own as a farm dog. She lives in such anticipation of a day at the farm (we don’t live on it yet as we still need to build a house) that she won’t eat her breakfast and she starts getting after me if I delay our departure. She’s been quick to find her legs there and is gradually learning that to herd the horses is not advisable. Fortunately, all of the horses have demonstrated great patience with her as she rounds this learning curve.

I am so happy for Abbey to have this distraction and new way of being while she moves on from having her mother constantly by her side. Abbey has come into her own; become more confident. It has been an amazing transition to witness. Change has been good for her. Change is good for all of us if we just allow ourselves a chance to grow.

Thanks for visiting …



©Dorothy Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2015


Monochrome Madness 2-25


Rose ~*~

These roses are not black and white.

I created a filter to be able see them differently.

Now they are more than roses. They are …

… veined petals kissed by light

… shadowed layers revealing hidden depths

… swirls of precious energy bound into beautiful blooms of life.

We view life through the filter we create based on our experiences ~ both good and bad.

Just because the filter is there does not mean it can’t be changed.

Such limitations we put on ourselves when we refuse to see life in a broader spectrum.

Opening our eyes to new possibilities opens our heart to new understanding.

Changing the filter once in a while allows room for us to be amazed.


Thanks for visiting …


©Dorothy Chiotti 2015

A Catalyst for Personal Change … Bosnia-Herzegovina

Different travel destinations provoke different emotions in different people. Some of these emotions we dismiss out of hand while others cannot possibly be dismissed as they have such an impact on us that they literally change our lives.

Such was the case for me while visiting Bosnia-Herzegovina in March 2009.

We were there for a week due to Lloyd’s involvement in an international committee. To prepare for the trip I’d read some background on the country and its recent conflict, as well as the brilliant novel “The Cellist of Sarajevo” by Steven Galloway. Still I really had no idea what to expect or how I might react to being in a recently war-torn country.

I could write a book about my experiences and emotions that week. The stark reality of the Seige of Sarajevo’s impact was present everywhere, displayed in the buildings pocked with bullet holes or that were left as nothing more than wasted, burned out concrete skeletons. People who’d experienced the conflict and lost loved ones were still, 14 years later, bearing the emotional scars while endeavouring to be brave about the challenges they still faced. Their stories, at times, left me feeling almost overwhelmed with sadness.

Further south, Mostar had its own but similar story. As we walked around its bombed out buildings near the reconstructed Old Bridge I put my camera away after deciding to respect the city’s loss by not gawking at its scars. Instead, I focused on the areas that had already been rebuilt and that characterized the city of old.

This image was taken around dusk as we searched the Old Town for late-opening merchants so we could support the local economy. In the end we found a shop selling exotic scarves and purchased several as gifts.

But how did this travel experience change me, you may be wondering?

I had several inexplicable anxiety attacks that week. At the time I had no idea why, but looking back I realize they were the result of a combination of newly emerging physiological concerns and buried emotional issues that had somehow, during that week so outside my comfort zone, found a way to surface.

Shortly after we got home I started seeking help, Since then my life has changed for the better in ways I could never have imagined possible.

Travel can provide us with opportunities to grow if we stay open to the possibility of change. Strangely, an important part of my personal healing journey began courtesy of time spent in a beautiful but shattered country I had never considered visiting. To me this only demonstrates that sometimes the greatest gifts come from the most unexpected sources.

My trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina was a catalyst for important and necessary changes in my life. Has any destination done this for you?

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012