It’s not about The Grinch, it’s all about the dog…

Hands up those who love the original animated cartoon The Grinch Who Stole Christmas!

Uh, huh, I thought so – I am not alone. 😉 Sure, The Grinch is not for everyone (in fact, my best friend is not much of a fan, and yet somehow, we don’t let that ruin our relationship), but I look forward to it every year. The way The Grinch’s face and hair changes when he grins his evil grin…the song – oh, The Song!…but most of all I love to watch that champion of canines, Max.

He is truly the embodiment of the Christmas Spirit. Love everlasting and enduring. He loves The Grinch and somehow sees in him what The Grinch himself doesn’t see. That The Grinch does indeed have a heart, a speck of love inside him. It’s so small that only a creature so full of love like Max can see it. And, well, you all know the story. Or you should. Where else are you going to hear such lines as, “Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk, Mr. Grinch”?

So where am I going with all this? I’m so glad you asked! I have felt rather like The Grinch in recent years, especially as quoted above. I have been so fortunate as to have had a real, live Max, in my little dog Indy, and her love has availed much to help me. But people have been Max to me, as well. So here is my Christmas message to all…


I sit at my desk in our living room that houses my office and try to find the words to communicate to you my thankfulness for where I am this moment.  Physically as well as metaphysically, mind you.

In preparing for the new year ahead, I’ve been reviewing the year behind (more on that in another post), and though I was the one to take the actual steps forward, it is ever more clear to me that it is because of the love of my friends, family (animals included), and even people new to me, that I have had a truly successful year.

To each one of you who has listened to me, encouraged me, told me I’m doing what I should be doing, and supported me with the intangibles of prayers & good vibes as well as the tangibles of housing & food – Thank You.  Your love has meant the world to me.  Your love has enabled me to take the steps to becoming my truest self.

To each person who has purchased my photos – Thank You.  Every purchase has been important to me, and not just financially (though I surely appreciate that!).  Your purchases are your votes of confidence, and your patronage encourages me to work hard to produce the best art I can.

To each person whom I photographed, especially those riding their horses in a public forum like a show – Thank You.  It takes courage to be willing to ride in front of others, whether you are doing it as a professional or an amateur, whether you are at a boarding barn or a show.  Your courage inspires me and motivates me to find ways to make the time and commitment to work on my fitness so that I can ride again and spend more time with my own horses.

I am very thankful to be where I’m at physically – my body and mind work well enough, and I am so lucky as to live with my best friend of more than 30 years – my sister, my soulmate; my wonderful, cheerful, age-defying little dog; and our herd of 6 quirky horses who, at the moment, are staying inside their fence lines!

I am very thankful to be where I’m at metaphysically – I am so lucky as to finally, at age 49, be understanding something more about boundaries in relationships, calm self-confidence, stepping forward without fearing failure, and being patient with myself.

My prayer and hope for you all is that each of you finds joy, inner peace, and either a new spark for life and love that you’ve been missing or that the spark you have grows brighter and stronger, for all the world to see.

Merry Christmas!

Love, Mattie

One Comment

  • Marilynn Terstegge

    Lovely words and well strung together! I love the reminder about the Grinch and the unwashed socks and the gunk. I guess I have to go back and watch it again, I’d forgotten how cleverly written some of the words of the song are. And Max is adorable of course! You had a double dose of Max adoration from both Milo and Indy over the years, though it’s down to her alone now. Tell Tonya I like her picture! Good capture!

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