Sara and Stanley’s Big Adventure – How they brought a community together

Read a personal story from Carolyn Ann Penn how two stray dogs helped her connect to her new community – and recognize the power of synchronicity, helpful people and connections.

Recently, my husband and I uprooted our lives and belongings of 18 years in our home where we raised our two daughters. We closed our 23-year-old business. We moved to a new State about 1600 miles away where it is a completely different lifestyle and environment. When I got out of bed, I felt so heavy in my being. I felt disconnected. I longed for a sense of community that I had not felt in weeks. We moved to a place where we knew 3 people.

My husband and I are in the garage with the door open; we see 2 dogs running and playing in an empty lot nearby. Then they seem to disappear into a backyard, which we think must be their own. About 10 minutes later they appear in our front yard and begin playing with our dog, Ted. The bigger dog, a Pitbull mix, we will call her Sara, is very protective of her little friend, a cute blonde-haired Dachshund that we will call Stanley.

Our neighbor across the street comes out of her house to ask if we know these two best friends and if we have seen them before. Another man drives up and asks about them. A friend of a friend suggests we have them checked for a chip. So, we finally get them in the car because they are truly all over the place, feeling lost and out of place. We take them to our new veterinarian. The Dachshund is so tired that he falls to sleep in my arms. My husband looks at me and says, “no you can’t keep them.”

The vet’s office scans the Dachshund and it comes back negative for a chip. They try to scan Sara; first nothing, and then… a chip?! We dheer. We waited patiently in the car as the vet techs call the chip company to locate the paw-rents.   They did.

At the end of day, I was so thankful for my new community that I had felt so disconnected from. I thought I was disconnected from this new community, but I was connected all along. I just did not see the bigger picture at the time.


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Here are just a few things to think about when you are feeling disconnected to community or to your living spaces:

Smile with your eyes to everyone you meet: Smiling is the best thing that you can do for your soul. Smiling at someone and watching the surprise on their face.

Make your own fun: My husband and I go to the local park and hit tennis balls. We also like to go to the local golf range and hit golf balls. If you have a fur baby like we do, we always make time to take him to a local park. Best part is that it is Free!

Volunteer: Volunteering in your community brings you in touch with people who truly need you. Both for the organization and people or animals in need. 

Join a Meetup group or start your own: You would be amazed at all the groups out there just waiting to meet you. Starting your group is another idea.

Learn to ask questions: Asking questions can be difficult for some because they feel that it is a sign of weakness but asking good questions can only get you closer to what you want to achieve. Approaching people or groups is simply getting past, spitting out the first couple of words. ‘Hi my name is Carolyn… Can you tell me where I can find_____?

Try something new: A big one for most. “Just try it,” “you’re going to love it,” “it’s so easy,” “what’s the worst that could happen?” Many years ago, my friend said to me “Let’s try this martial arts class.” Twenty years later, I’m still going – she gave it a try but stayed only 3 months.

Organize or Tidy up : Ah, to be organized can be a bit of a challenge if you do not know where or how to begin. But it can be so rewarding after you step back from the project.


Oh, and getting back to Sara and Stanley.  We connected with their family – who were so happy to have them back. 

Reflecting on all the people who came together as a community that day and touched our lives, and after meeting the two rascals Sara and Stanley, it truly makes me feel much more connected to the community and to myself and surroundings. My husband and I are still finding our way around our new lifestyle, but these new ways can give us a newfound way to connect. 


Carolyn Penn
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Carolyn Penn became a certified feng shui professional through the Intrinsic School of Feng Shui. She finds her long-time practice and mastery of tai chi and chi kung to be a natural fit with her passion for feng shui. Her clients experience and understand easy and clear consultations and presentations. She takes her time to understand the “Cause behind the Cause” and the “Cure behind the Cure,” with each project.

Something else to consider, the ancient art of Feng Shui. Feng Shui has been studied for centuries. Maybe you are not sleeping well for long periods of time? You cannot seem to hold down a job or relationship? You always seem to have a cold or suffer from an ailment of sorts? A Feng Shui practitioner can help you see your environment from a whole new prospective. One day you may feel led to becoming a feng shui practitioner. Try my school, the Intrinsic School of Feng Shui

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