At Freedom Park summer 2010

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mud - Stinky Pond Mud!

Oh how you would enjoy Pele's adventures if you were here.  He, too, has found the pond to be a source of great entertainment and adventure.  No, he doesn't go swimming like you and Buck - he just plays around the edges in the mud - yeah - that stinky mud and he is having a ball.....

I have the distinct feeling that you would enjoy participating in his adventures in the mud too - but I think you would swim in the water to wash most of that mud off before you came bounding up to the house.  Pele' doesn't do that - he just comes in all his mud covered glory and expects me to let him in the house like that.  He hasn't even figured out that a dip in Bucks swimming pool gets most of it off - even though that is where I take him to rinse him off every time he comes home covered in that stinky goop.  He is awful..........

I think I would have to be angry with him - if it weren't so funny to watch him leaping in the grass and jumping after all the frogs and dragon flies.  The pond is so low from no rain that the exposed dirt around the edges has started to grow grass.  That makes getting to the muddy parts so much easier for a smaller guy - but it also frustrates Buck when he wants to get to the water for a swim....and he isn't appreciating all the stinky mud I keep rinsing off Pele' in his swimming pool.  I think I'll have to find a wash tub or something for Pele' rinsing.

The grass in the pond dirt isn't real tall but it is tall enough that all we can see is the tip of Pele's tail in it - until he attacks his real (or imaginary) prey.  He does that with great energy and enthusiasm, making a huge leap from where he was to where he is going.  That is when we can see his whole body above the grass.  Once he lands again all we see is the grass quiver and shake then suddenly go still, as a head pops up and looks around to see if anyone saw that. 

Last night he actually caught a frog by the hind leg.  He didn't kill it.  I am not sure if he even hurt it because he carried it a couple feet and then let it go in the water.  Do you think he figured that the water was where the frog belonged - instead of in his own private playground.  I don't know......  He sure likes the pond edge (where the mud is) and the shorter water grass that now grows in the exposed dirt.  He seems to spend a lot of time there.

He hasn't figured out that he can go all the way around the pond yet.  The dam scares him because he can hear the water going out the overflow.  He plays on the house side of the pond down by the weeping willow tree (great place to play hide and seek) but seems to like the field side the best....that is why we can see him so well while he is playing.  Buck waits until Pele' is happily busy in his mud playground so that he can do his BIG RUNS.  They are so much more fun and he can go so much faster without the little tag-a-long.

Buck runs at full speed through the pasture, around the pond, through the timber, around the shop, past the house then across the dam, through the other timber and around the pond again - without stopping.  That is his favorite route though he sometimes varies and makes a trip in to the corn.  He goes in on the north end and comes out on the south end - but the rows go the other way.  I hope he isn't knocking down Steve's corn!  I don't think he runs in there - I think that is more of a reconnaissance mission to see who else has been around.  You know - the deer and the racoons, or maybe just that darn cat.

This all seems to take place in the early evening for both of them.  That must be why they are both so willing to go to their kennels at night - they are pooped from their adventures!  During the day they nap alot and take short excursions together.  They patrol all four corners and all sides of our property - but do not go in the road.  The ditch is as close as they get to that and I am not complaining!  I'd hate to have to put their training collars back on them and have to remind them to stay away from the road that way.  They apparently learned that lesson quickly.

It is going to be another beautiful day outside today.  I can get some garden work done and maybe even some yard work.  I'll find that old wash tub and fill it full of water to rinse Pele' in and change Buck's pool water so he has clean stuff to lay in.  Pele' definately needs a real bath soon because rinsing gets the mud off - but not all of the stink and he is starting to smell really bad.  Maybe today.........unless he begins to have too much fun again and rinsing is all I have time for.

Who would have thought that this terrier mix fellow would find such happiness and fun in such simple things - and entertain us in the process?  Terriers can be little terrors - but Pele' seems content to catch a rodent from time to time (that must be his day job) and to play in the stinky pond mud to chase ellusive (and some fantacy) creatures along the pond bank.  I know I feel safer knowing that he is guarding me from all of the frogs and toads!

Starskey - come home and play with Pele'.  Yes - even in the pond mud.  Maybe you can teach him to swim to get some of it off.  You can race Buck too.  I don't think you would slow him down any by tagging along on his BIG RUNS if you go along. 

Starskey - We miss you and we're still looking for you!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The football

Good Morning is a beautiful sunshiny August morning with temps in 40's.  It will get up to 70's today but cool down again tonight.  (Isn't that September weather?)  Your cats are loving this.  Instead of taking advantage of Buck and Pele' being kenneled at night so they have full run of the house - they go out at night and come in when the sun comes up.  If they weren't all "fixed" I might wonder what all they were up to at those hours, but that isn't what I am writing to tell you about today - it was just a bonus to let you know that they were all a-okay.

Do you remember that football that Phillip left here.  No - not the Nerf one that you chewed up in a day.  I mean that real official pigskin football - the one you worked all summer to disassemble.  Yeah - that one.......well Pele' has found more parts to it.  You hid them pretty good because Ike and Buck didn't find them but Pele' is relentless.  When he is on a mission nothing is buried too deep nor hidden too well.

I told you he found the air bladder and enjoyed shaking the stink out of it as much as you did - but now he has also found half of the "pigskin" cover - and is still looking for the rest.  Apparently the skin doesn't shake as well as the bladder but he is not chewing it either...I wonder if it is real pigskin afterall.  At any rate he is dragging it all over the place like it is his new best friend.  He only tried to bring it in to the house once - now he has found a "safe" place right beside the door to stash it when he comes in - and to check it or pick it up when he goes out.

You have to remember that he is only half your size (but still slightly larger then Midnight) so dragging that chuck of football skin around looks like he has something major in his mouth.  I guess it is major to was to you!  Where did you bury/hide that anyway?  I know where the bladder was but not the chunks of the outside of that poor football.

You started on it as a teething pup and learned nothing more then how to hold it down and gum it to death.  As you grew I began to see teeth marks show - mostly just scrapes.  It took you a while to figure out that the pointed ends were not the best place to do any serious work at destruction (or disassembly) of a football - and those seams were so tight!  Then you found the laces.  Even then I began to wonder if your project was just something to do, a goal, or lifetime entertainment. 

You took your time with it and did get it apart without tearing the skin - so there is still two pieces of skin, still stiched together, out there somewhere.  I think if you had taken it apart and separated all the pieces - none of them would have been large enough to be much fun for anything - or even a good trophy for all your hard work.

Did you think you hit the jackpot the day that air bladder came popping out?  I actually think you were kind of ticked off that there was another round thing (with no laces) to have to deal with.  It took you several weeks of chewing on that tough rubber bladder to pop it - and the escaping air scared you silly.  It made a funny noise and moved around a little bit all by itself.  When you put your paw on it - it made more funny noise and you jumped back to study it for a while.

Eventually it lost enough air that your paw no longer made it sound funny so after you pawed it six ways to Sunday - you figured it was safe to pick it up.  I will never forget that day.  It hung limply in your mouth and you had no idea what to do with it.  I think you first shook it in an effort to wake it up again or something - because it sure didn't look like it was going to be very interesting or fun in this condition..........but we both know what happened when you shook it.

It slapped you up both sides of the head and made an whole new sound.  You decided that was pretty cool and you shook it and shook it and shook it until I thought you might hurt yourself.  You were a happy boy and that rubber bladder became your favorite toy.  I didn't tell you that shaking the thing has an instict for you and that you were simulating what you would do to kill prey if you were hunting.  That probably would have taken all the fun out of it for you so I just let you play and practice.

You were shaking that bladder as you frolicked in that first real snowfall on the day you disappeared.  You left it down by the clothes line.  I saw it in the spring when the snow melted but couldn't bring myself to move it from where you left it.  I think Ike found it and moved it up in to the Day Lily patch before he left us.  That is where Pele' found it - on one of his mouse hunts.

I offered to buy Phillip a new one but he said he wasn't worried about it.  He had to have somebody to play catch with anyway and the girls just weren't in to that.  He would come and watch you carry the darn thing around and kept track of your progress with it.  He though the bladder shaking was pretty cool too.

That silly football has given so many of us such pleasure that I think it was just meant to be disassembled.  Thank you for the diligence to get it done and all the entertainment in the process - and since.  It is little things like this that keep you in my heart and keep me hoping that someday you will get back home to carry on the project and play.  There is a basket ball here now and Buck isn't much interested in it so it is still round and full of air.......

I love you Starskey and I am still looking for you!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Life goes on but I miss you

Good Morning Starskey, Ike, Missy, Jack, Scooter, Ebony, Apatchie, Pepper, Ming, Willow, Spook, Pally and all my beloved furs..........Buck and Peludo (Pele') are doing just fine.  Spook II and Booger were glad when Midnight came home.  He was gone for 3 weeks - but came home fat and sassy so he must have had good hunting. 

WE GOT RAIN.  It was during the night and it was no real great amount but it is the first rain we have had since I last spoke to you.  We have been in desperate need of it and I have had to be watering the garden and flowers to keep them alive.  All my flowers in hanging baskets died in the heat over the first week of July - when we were gone and all our "tenders" were gone as well.

I will take full credit for this rain because yesturday I watered all my flowers (inside and out), planted the last few in the rock garden, weeded and watered the garden and scrubbed and refilled Bucks pool with fresh cold clean water.  He spends a lot of time in there whether it is clean or dirty but I like it better clean!  I think he does too....

I watch Buck and Pele' play together and I am so reminded of you and Dufus.  The size contrast is similar as when you were a pup - but Pele' isn't going to get any bigger and Buck is full grown too so they will stay like this.  Missy never played much with Jack but she would let him play while she watched and often encouraged.  Sometimes Buck does that too and Pele' is real good at entertaining himself.

Your old football bladder has been rediscovered and Pele' shakes it with the same vigor that you enjoyed.  He likes his balls and if I am not there to throw them for him, he bounces them around himself so he can chase them again.  He has even discovered plastic water bottles are fun to chew - they make noise!

I spend half my evening cleaning burrs off the boys.  They come off Buck faily easy (with the brush) but it is an effort to get them off Pele'.....and there are so many!!!!!!  I have watched them and Buck is the leader with Pele' following close behind.  I think Buck runs through the stickers and burrs on purpose - just to get the little guy all stuck together.  Oh well, that is one way to get some one on one attention later....and then they go right back out and do it all over again!  I don't remember you getting that many....but then Dufus had long hair and he probably avoided those areas, whereas Buck and Pele' spend most of their time in the timber and weeds..... Why?  Oh yeah - squirrels and mice, among other things.

There are some mice living in or near the wood pile.  I figure they must be Huffmeyer Mouse cousins sent to pester Pele'.  Buck really could care less but once in a while Pele's vigorous searches get him curious and he actually pulls a log or two off the pile for him.  You know that the wood pile is located under the deck and up against the hill.....that gives all the mice full run under the pallets and deck boards by the back door....all the way to the RR ties along the sidewalk and from there to the RR ties holding up the bank by the front door.  They also have all the ground under the day lily leaves (that's like extra thick tall grass).  They run back and forth under all this and even stick their head out once in a while to make sure Pele' sees them! Darn Pests!

Pele' actually caught one of them once.  He was so proud of it that he laid on the rug by the back door with it for a couple of hours before leaving his treasure for other matters.....or was he trying to intimidate the remaining Huffmeyer Mouse cousins?  I removed the treasure before it became fragrent.  Pele' didn't seem to notice it was gone when he came back from his other adventure.  I know that some cousins remain (or visit) because he still barks at the wood pile or runs back and forth barking at the cracks between the boards of the pallets and the deck. 

Buck is my squirrel chaser.  He will chase them from tree to tree to tree and they better not come down!  Pele' has his mice and they share the frogs and toads.  Those green things are just interesting and entertaining you know.  They taste bad but they hop around and are fun to pester.  It becomes a whole different matter if one of them goes swimming in your pool though.  They have a whole pond to swim in and Buck uses a very small part of to lay in......but he has a small pool (compaired to the pond) so what do they think they are doing invading his space????

I actually think the frog got in there by accident but the slick plastic sides made it hard for him to get footing to get out.  Buck would lean his head in to look at him, just as the frog would make his attempt to jump out.  The frog didn't get out but Buck jumped back a couple of feet.  I have to admit that I sat and watched the silly game for a while before I figured the frog might be getting tired and Buck might actually try to catch I rescued the frog.  He gratefully hopped off in to the day lilly leaves.  Buck gave me a thankful look and proceeded to climb in to his pool and lay down - thus reclaiming HIS territory.

No, Pele' isn't interested in the pool or swimming.  His thinner and lighter colored fur make him less hot on these summer days.......and  he doesn't even particularly like car rides.  Can you even image that?????  If I go near a car - Buck is right beside me - just in case.  Sometimes he even leads me to the garage.....begger!

Pele' is a pretty smart fellow.  He suspects the car is involved when I call them but have my hands full.  He'll come to me and if I head to the garage (or if I am in it) he puts the brakes on and getting ahold of him after that is a challenge.  Once he is in the car he picks a spot and goes to sleep.....while Buck stands with his head out the window gulping air.  Pele's preferred spot is on my lap but that is not allowed.  He manages to lay between my bucket seats, although there is no console (just the emergency brake lever) and lays his head against my leg.  Okay that will work until we have to stop or turn and his "perch" no longer feels safe.  Then he moves to the other seat and curls up. 

Buck still has his head out the window and is good for up to 50 MPH and then he can't gulp fast enough or something.  He lays down and rests but as soon as he feels the car slowing (stop sign coming) he is back up with head out the window.  He dosn't like hog confinements either - when he gets that whiff he sneezes and keeps his head in until we pass it. 

Life goes on around here but we sure do miss you and your personal contributions to life in our home.  I think you would like the new guys!  The bones you and Jack left have been rediscovered by Pele' and get carried around the yard so I have to do the bone hunt before I can mow.  I really don't mind.  Old toys and treasures have been rediscovered and get played with again.  Used beds are still cozy and old "wet dog" towels are still handy.  Pele' may not swim but if there is wet grass - I have 2 wet dogs to dry.

Starskey - Come home to us soon.  I do have have windows on both sides of the car in the back seat for my black dogs to stick their heads out and enjoy the air.  Pele' will be a front seater.  I miss you Starskey.............Mom

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer is here - I miss you!

Well, summer is not only officially here but the heat is coming too!  UGH.....Oh - the swimming pool is full and so is the half barrel.  We got some rain last week so the pond got some fresh water too but it still gets warm....but Buck says wet is wet and it feels good either way.

Pele' has had 4 camping weekends now and has claimed his spot in the camper.  He is a social busy body and has to check on everything and everybody.....kind of like you!  He also seems to be almost as popular as you....everybody knows him and Buck and welcome their visits.  That is a good thing - the welcome part I mean.  They can go camping one more time before the Rally but then the roads will get too busy for them to visit folks and escort vehicles.  They will go stay at Jerry's with the Bostons while we are gone for the rally.

Mouse finally taught the boys to run in the grass so their feet didn't get sore.  Mouse is getting old and slower but she isn't going to miss the boys when they come - or the action of getting ready for the rally.  Her bloodhound bay, followed by Buck's lab voice, followed by the Pele' voice (squeek?) is sure a contrast.  Last weekend they sat on the hill in the shade and said hello to everyone who came and went.....I wonder what the people all thought of the trio?

Pele' reminds me a lot of you.  He is so curious and now that he has figured out that he has free run at home - he comes in full of stickers (just like Missy) and with his ear stuck to his forehead and his tail stuck to his leg and all sorts of odd things.  I think he does it on purpose to get the attention to remove them...that means getting brushed and loved.  They all come out easy - not like Missy where they would get wrapped up in long hair and the undercoat too.  He won't need a summer haircut to be comfortable....

Pele' has a lot of Jack in him too.  He is a digger and he is relentless when he has something he is after.  The chipmonks and shrews mess with him by hiding in the wood pile or under the equipment he can't wiggle under to get them.  I think he has made hunting near the house and buildings tougher for Midnight and Sassy because everybody stays hidden from "the dog" so they can't catch them....but nobody looks like they are starving or suffering.

Sassy keeps bringing her kills to the back door of the shop.  I wonder if she is bringing them to Pele'?  Since he had never been around cats before - Sassy has become a "distance" friend but I am not sure he knows that yet.  She sits in the chair on the outside of the shop kennel when he's there and they just look at each other but if he comes in the door and she is moving around - he chases. 

Hope Pele' gets "catasized" soon.  In this heat he'll be in the house more then out and you know how that will go over with Spook and Booger.  They have learned the bell code too - if the bell on the door jingles it means he has either come in or gone out and they can plan their activity accordingly.  They don't care about Buck - he just lays there and they walk around him. 

If he is sleeping Spook will come down and watch him.  Booger just checks him on her way by to the food and litter.  Midnight knows the guy is his size so he sometimes messes with him and undoes the progress made for a while.......Darn Cat!

I just wish you were here to be a part of all of this, instead of me having to tell you about it.  You have some good things and lessons to teach Pele'.....and you could learn good things from Buck.  It would be so wonderful to take our walks together again and watch how you boys work things together.  I suspect that you and Buck would do squirrel patrol, while you and Pele' would do mouse and snake patrol....Oh, those would be such wonderful walks!

I miss you Starskey - no matter how many others are here to share my heart - there is a special spot that is only yours.  In reality, I miss all of you guys at the Bridge and I have many spots in my heart where you remain.  Take care of each other and keep Ike out of trouble!

All my love.......Mom

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Meet Peludo

Hello Ike, Starskey, Missy, Jack, Scooter, Saint, Pepper, Apachie, Pockie and all my feline family.  We have a new addition to the family.   His formal name is Peludo (like the soccor star) but we just call him Pepe' (or JYD - Junk Yard Dog).  He was my Mother's Day gift (?) from Robin.

How do I describe him?  Bigger then Midnight (but he doesn't know that yet) but smaller then Jack.  That is pretty close.  He looks like a cross between a Scottish terrierr or a Schnauzer and a Chihuahua.  How is that for a mix?  He is so ugly he is cute!  He has been living at Robin's with her Pits since September but now she has taken in a stray Boxer and felt "over dogged".  She thought he would be happier to just deal with one big friend (Buck).  She was right - he is now Buck's shadow.  Buck does enjoy having a playmate again but isn't sure about the shadow part yet.

I figure Pele' has survived a year of raukus activity and play with two Pits so he and Buck should be fine.  Buck is requiring some reassurance from time to time and I can remember when all of you did the same, when a second canine came to live here.  In the end you became best friends and often inseperable.  A black retriever and a Sch/Chi do make and odd couple but so did an American Eskimo and a Jack Russell - and that pair took care of each other for years!

Pepe' is bonding with the house, his floor pillow and his new surroundings.  He treads very carefully outside - wondering with each step if he will be shocked.  Robin had wireless fencing and he can't believe he can move around here he does it carefully! 

I wish you all could meet him.  Starskey - you and Jack would love him!  He is just your type.    We would walk right under Ike, which would keep him guess about where he was.  Missy - he would drive you crazy so just go find a place to lay down and watch the idiots play.  He is growing on Dad because he will ride the golf cart...something only Jack and Starskey have ever done willingly.

We all raised the girls right didn't we!  They love animals and they rescue the ones that need it - just like we always did when they were growing up.  Robin has 3 big ones now and Rene' has 2 big ones and 2 little ones and some cats....and I still have room in my heart for more if there is no one else that needs or wants their love.

I miss you all, especially when the weather is so nice and more time is spent out of doors, where we would walk and talk and play together.  Memories of our years and special times together wash over me and I smile and feel all the love.  Take care of each other!  Keep your eyes open for lonely new comers to the Bridge.  They may not have gotten rescued and loved before they had to go to the Bridge.  You can make them feel welcome and cared for there, even if they weren't before they got there.  

Nothing is worse then being alone and feeling scared.  You all made sure that I was never alone and you comforted me when I was sad or scared.  Do the same for newcomers to the Bridge - you all know how, in fact you are experts at it.  

With all my love - Mom

Here are pictures of Pele'

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

Hi guys!   It is the most beautiful morning!!!!  It makes me think of both of you and the mornings like this that we have shared together.  You were each "only children" so our mornings together were really special to me and my memories of such mornings are precious indeed!

The sun is shinning, it is a little cooler then it has been but that is okay.  The geese are back and there has been a pair of swans on the pond every morning since I finally found you Ike.  This morning there are two pair of swans!  God is good and I am at peace with my wonderful puppy memories.  The swans don't stay but they keep coming back and the geese don't seem to bother them so maybe they will nest somewhere nearby.

It is the first week of April - about the time each of you came in to our lives - Starskey in 2010 and Ike in 2011.  Starskey - do you remember the Motorcycle Expo?  You were the official greeter and everyone fell in love with you on sight.  You were a 4 month old puppy so how could they not fall in love with you?  Ike - it was during the next Expo that I put your name on the adoption papers and you came to live with us a week later.  I fell in love with your spirit and gentleness while you were at the Humane Society.  The 2012 Expo was last weekend and Buck went with us. 

Starskey, I think you must have been coaching Buck because he became this year's official greeter and a very popular attraction for all....and he was so good that many vendors gave him gifts - new neck scarfs, lots of dog treats and special attention.  He was thrilled yet very well behaved.  I was as proud of him as I was of you!

Ike, you never attended an Expo - but that wasn't your scene anyway.  Too many people to get excited with and too much time unable to run free.  When Buck got home he opened the race track again and has been using it alot so I think your memory was waiting here for him.  Now that he has somebody to race with again he is racing all over the place.  Thank you for bringing him back out of his depression.

Dad mowed last night and you both know what that means - chase the tractor and try to catch all the snakes, mice and whatever else gets stirred out of the grass.  Sometimes I think Buck was just chasing the grass that blew out of the side of the mower - he was covered in it and loved it.  Fresh cut grass means rolling time...and there was a lot of that going on too....or was that rolling in the goose poop - or both?  At any rate he was running and you know that is what makes him happy.  It seems that he is happiest when chasing something - or when being chased so, Ike,  I guess you are with him there too.

The squirrels are out looking for all the acorns and walnuts they couldn't get to with both Ike and Buck on duty.  They are running Buck ragged as they leap from tree to tree and scamper across the ground.  He is thrilled of course.  I am not sure what he would do if he caught one - that was always your part of the job Ike - the rabbits, squirrels and other things that couldn't move as fast as your long legs could move you.  I think Buck just helped stir them up for you.  He'd rather chase them then catch them.

The weather is a little cooler then it has been - but it has been a weird winter anyway.  The tulips are up but not blooming yet.  The daffodils are blooming and the lilacs will soon be - so it is about mushroom time.  Mushrooms in April?  Like I told you - it has been weird....Okay guys - it is time to stop sitting here and remembering you when I can go outside in the sun and do it much better. 

I love you and I miss you but if you have hooked up with each other and found Missy and Jack and Scooter - I am guessing you already know what a beautiful morning it is.  My memories of you all are happy ones that I will treasure forever.  I Thank the Lord for bringing each of you in to my life.  He brought you all in different ways and he left each of you as long as he could.  Some for many years and some of you for only a few months.  No matter how long or how short a time you were with us - your love and your trust were special.  What you brought to my life was both the same and different at the same time and always wonderful and full of wonder.  I love you all and I miss you all - and I will meet you all again in my heart on every Beautiful Morning!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ike has gone to "The Rainbow Bridge"

I am not ready to say Good-bye to my dear friend Ike.  He will always be in my heart and in my memories even though he is physically gone from us.  Someone else took him in a cruel and unnecessary way that I will never understand.

Ike - I love helped to bring me back from that very dark place that I went after Starskey went missing.  You saved me and loved me and trusted me and taught me to live and laugh and love again.  I will be forever grateful to you for that.  Your silliness and energy made life fun again.  Your devotion and gentleness were comforting and heartwarming.  Your high spirits were infectious. 

Your puppyness had it's issues.  Not many puppies weigh 60 pounds and stand 24 inches high at the shoulders - but then you were not just any puppy.  You came in to our lives last April at just over 4 months old and already half grown compared to any other dog.  You were with us through your first birthday in December and until February 15, 2012.  There was never a dull moment.  You were either entertaining us, loving us or peacefully sleeping - not too many in betweens with you.  You went all out on everything.

Jeff lost a pair of old shoes (Thank you!) and the steering wheel on the golf cart will never be quite the same but we managed to keep enough toys and chew things around for you to be well entertained.  Buck is taking care of your yellow Kong Balls.  He sleeps with them.  He didn't start playing with any of your toys until this week - and still a little hesitantly.  Buck didn't see you Saturday but I think he knew when I returned home that the search was over.  He has missed you as a playmate and buddy and has been kind of dumpy since you've been gone.  He hasn't left my side since I came home from picking you up.

The race track from the squirrel tree to the hill behind the house has been quiet.  Buck walks it now and then but he hasn't started to run it again yet - you aren't here to race with him.  The pond is filling up with water again and the geese are back to nest.  Buck sits where you showed him to sit to watch and guard them.  Funny how a puppy can teach an older guy new things.  You did teach him what was important about living here - Yes, he still rings the bells to go out and he can't bring himself to eat from your bowl.  Was that a respect thing he didn't finish teaching you?  You sure didn't have any problem eating from his bowl. 

Okay - now I am crying....I have sort of been numb since Saturday when those people found you and came to tell me where you were.  You were just across the road a little ways and yet so far from being able to be found.  That is okay - I have needed to cry.  I have needed to feel again.

The people who found you were working their dogs near the public hunting area (there's no hunting seasons open now so it is safe).  They spotted something odd just across the fence and checked it out - there you were in that horrible trap.  They came and told me where you were.  When I got there and saw what they saw - I called the Sheriff and he sent a deputy out to meet me.  We took photos, tripped all the remaining traps so nobody else would get caught and I brought you out of there.

As I stood there I looked around me and I could see Mike's house, John's house, Dan's house, the new house that was just built and our shed - all less then a half mile away in all directions and most were less then a quarter mile away.  All these families have pets and some have kids.  There is nothing where these traps were set or anywhere near to them - no livestock to protect and so close to a public hunting area where people and dogs would be during various hunting seasons.  I just don't understand.......and I was a little set back by the way the Deputy said maybe somebody was just trying to put a dent in the coyote poulation.  I have a shotgun for that - I don't need baited kill traps!  Did they think they would be less responsible if someones pet got caught in an unnecessary trap then if they shot actually them?  I just don't get it.........

Ike - is Starskey at the Bridge with you?  He's the guy with the star on his chest.  The last reputable reported sighting of him was along the blacktop headed toward town - right past the home of the owners of the land where the traps were set.  That is right across the road from another public hunting area.  Are they setting baited traps in other places?  Is that were all the missing dogs in our area have been going because it isn't just you two that have gone missing in the last few years.  How did Scooter, Missy and Jack avoid this cruel end?  None of them were as restricted and trained as you were - and they all lived to ripe old ages with us.

I know - You can't tell me anything and I know nothing for sure so I shouldn't blame anyone in particular.  It just seems to add up - but that is not why I started writing this....

I need to thank you Ike - for bringing me back from that dark place I had gone.  I need to thank you for loving me, for making me laugh, for trusting me and for adding to my life.  I hope your 10 months with us were as happy for you.  You ran, you played, you chased squirrels, you swam in you own private pond. you grew stronger and healthier.  You were in less pain from your hips because of your activity (and some meds) and you began to bulk up pretty good and gain some massive leg muscles.  That must have had to do with the greyhound in was that hound in you that got you in the most trouble I think.  That nose of yours was always high in the air and working.  What all did you smell anyway?  I think it led the Lab in you astray from time to time - and maybe led you to your own end.

I will miss you dear friend.  The grass is getting green and the tulips are sprouting.  This is about the time of year that you came to me - and now you are gone.  Did you give Buck tips on planting the garden or do I have to do that?  He is more of a hole digger then you ever were so he might just help plant instead of chasing empty plastic plant containers.

I have a lovely urn for you.  You'll sit right next to Missy's urn so you can both continue to keep track of things around here.  Some of your ashes will go to Freedom Park - the one place that you were allowed to run free and unrestricted.  By the way, Chopper passed away last month and she is there probably already know that.  Is she as bossy at the Bridge too?

What else to say????  I guess it is just time to stop talking and just feel it and remember all the wonderful times.  I'll see you again someday - will you meet me at the Bridge and help me find all my other beloved furs?  Scooter, Missy, Jack and the cats Pally, Ming and Willow have been there waiting for a while.  Tell them where you came from and then you can all share your own good memories together.

I love you Ike...........I will take care of Buck - I promise.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Oh no - not again! Targeted?

Yes, again - and under similar circumstances as Starskey.  Ike is missing and suspected stolen. 

 1 year old neutered and chipped Black Lab-Greyhound cross.  Long legs and slim body about 60-65 lbs.  Wearing a lime green collar, tags and ratty red bandana.  Very friendly.  Has Hip Dysplasia and is on meds.  We love him and miss him and want him back home.  Reward offered.
Contact 641-581-4604 or 641-430-8695 or 641-512-3518.  Please leave messages!

After Ike and Buck were let out of the indoor kennel at the shop, to get their jobs done, while I shut off lights and locked doors - Ike was no where to be found 10 minutes later.  Buck was sitting beside the van waiting for their "ride" down to the house but Ike was gone - totally gone!  Ike didn't come when called - or even when I started the van.  That is totally unusal for him.  He may not come at breakneck speed when you call him, especially if he has a squirrel up the tree, but the van - I mean that is #1 above all else - it means a car ride and a treat!  No way would he miss that - even to chase a deer or a squirrel.

I called for him. shut the van off and restarted in many times.....still no Ike.  It was getting dark so I bagan "the drive" around the section and talked to all neighbors still outside in our unusally warm winter weather.  Everybody saw him earlier that day when they came home from work or ran to town on errands.  All said he and Buck were either playing in the yard or sitting side by side in front of the van watching them go by.  They said Ike and Buck were always there like that.  They can't imagine the two of them not being there to seeanymore..........They can't??????

Ike never went anywhere except his own big yard (20 acres of grass, pond and timber).  He could'nt run far or for very long because of his hips - but he and Buck ran from one end of the place to the other at least a couple times a day and made lots of short runs to get those squirrels back up in th tree if they couldn't have them.  Truthfully they did cross the road on occasion and frolic in the long grass on the side hill of the field there.  That long grass was closer then the grass around the pond (that we try to keep trimmed anyway).  I think they both liked to feel the grass tickle their bellies because they would just run back and forth in it, roll in it (and probably some deer poop) and play until I called them to come back in. 

Ike was turning in to such a neat dog......Yeah - he was clumsey and awkward for a while, because of those long legs, but he figured them out and he did like his walks around the farm.  Walking didn't tire him out (or make him hurt) as fast so he became quite an investigater.  He'd walk a few steps then stop to sniff the air or check out something on the ground.  When he smelled that squirrel he was off like a streak - at first anyway.  Then he would slow to a trot as he looked up and located the object of his attention.  Then he might charge to chase it up the tree and then just sit there and dare it to come down again.

As squirrels will do - they change trees up high and he would have to change trees too.  That made him mad and he would bark at them.  Don't know what he was saying but I bet it wasn't nice.  After a while he would tire of the pest and have a good roll in the leaves.  No snow meant the leaves were there to roll in and make noise in and rest in.  If he smelled a mouse, or other critter, while there he might go mouse tracking like Starskey did.  He'd rather chase the squirrels though.

Living on a farm with lots of oak and waknut trees meant he had lots of squirrels to keep track of.  Since he also had a pond to play in he got the occasional deer who wandered through while he was outside and he would chase them off his yard.  He wouldn't chase them - just chase them away.  He was very proud of himself when he did.

All that being done it would be nap time.  He would sleep 3 to 4 hours before he would ring the bell to go outside again (or bark if we were in the shop).  When Buck came to live with us Ike's routine didn't change - it just meant he had somebody else to do it with and it was more fun.  He actually began to put on more weight and build up the muscles in his legs.  Now his hips didn't seem to be such an issue to him - for the first half of the day anyway.  Second half of the day they were both pretty beat just from playing.  Ike taught Buck to ring the bells to go out but he never taught him to scratch the door to come in but he always seemed to come in first anyway.

Buck is kind of lost without his playmate.........and SO AM I............Ike was there to help bring me out of the depths of dispair I went in to when Starskey disappeared.  Ike needed to be loved and cared for and I needed to love and care for him.  It was a God thing.......the story is in other entries on this blog.  We needed and helped each other!  God knew what he was doing.

So what is happening now?  I learned things and changed things......this great big dog came in my house just like Starskey did.  If I couldn't be outside with him  there was a big outdoor kennel in the shade of the trees when it got hot but with a sunny corner for a black dog to soak up the rays in.  There was a house in there too, if weather got crappy (rain) but he didn't seem to mind the rain.  He'd just play out in it....silly kid anyway.

There is also a trolly runner strung up from the light pole to the house with the heated doghouse on one end and the big house on the other and 50 foot of grass in between.  At the shop we built an indoor kennel so the boys could be there with us, knowing that Ike would need the warmth in the winter.  We had a big hook in a BIG yard rock that we hooked a cable to so the boys could be outside together if we were working.  We only had to cable one of them for them both to stay right there.  Every hour or two we'd let them out and hook up the one that wasn't hooked up last time (they took turns).  The weather determined how long they chose to stay out so when they barked I would just let them in.  Again, sometimes Ike wanted in before Buck so that meant Buck had to go on the cable - if he wasn't already.  Customers enjoyed our "greeting party".  The UPS and FedEx guys brought treats.

I took more precautions, I spent time taking more walks out and about, I learned (and invented) some indoor activities that kept him amused and busy.  The cats helped there too...if they thought he was getting too lazy or sleeping too much - they would come down and walk right past him on their way to the back room for food or the litter pan.  He used to get all riled up and chase them and they would hide under my desk, the coffee table or other places a big guy couldn't get.  They were more stubborn then he was because he always gave up first.  As they got to know him better they would go over and sniff that big black dog asleep in front of the fire then go on about their business - but make sure that they woke him up to chase them to the foot of the stairs.  Then they would go half way up and just sit there....and he would sit at the foot of the stairs so they wouldn't come back down.  He had no clue what they had done to him.

Note - we have a circular stair case and Ike can't run up them.  Buck hasn't tried.  It works well to have the dogs and the big screen TV downstairs and the cats and the bedrooms upstairs.

Have we become a target?  Starskey in December of 2010, after 11 months with us.  Now Ike in February 2012 after about that long with us too.  Do we raise up that great a dog or what?  Starskey was a cutie and a charmer but Ike is awkward, has health issues and is just my baby!  If somebody was stealing dogs he wasn't the most desirable one we had.......except maybe to me!!!!!!

Good grief - Missy was 15 years old, a pruebred American Eskimo who was with us for 13 years before she passed.  Her sidekick was Jack - a terrior mix who was 11 and spent 10 of his years with Missy and us.  He didn't like life without her and just went away one day.  We understood and didn't go looking for him because he had been unhappy ever since we lost her.  Before these two we had a black cocker mix names Scooter.  He was in his teens when cancer took him and had been with us since he was 8 weeks old.  These dogs weren't even chained up.  They got to roam free, unless we were gone.  Even our cats are old.....we don't just lose animals around here!

Poor Buck - he's lost a friend, he can't move without a leash or cable hooked to him - and that doesn't even make me feel safe.  Somebody could come take him off the cable, off the trolly runner - or out of the outdoor kennel.  Would I hear them?  How long would it take me to discover he was missing if I thought he was safe?  How fair is it to imprison him inside just because I don't feel I can trust people?  That is no life for a dog either!

Please share Ike's photo and information with the people you trust.  I can use all the help and support I can get to find him.....and to keep myself from going back to that dark place I went after Starskey disappeared.  I have done all the things that I know I need to do (posters, radio, law enforcement, neighbors and many searches) and I guess that is all I can do.  I have to give it to God now and trust that He will take care of things as He sees fit. 

If you have read past posts you know that Ike and I came together through a God Thing.  It had to be God that guided my hand that day as I wrote his name on the adoption application - because it wasn't me.  The Lord saw to it that I got the dog I needed to get - and that Ike got me.
Don't take him away from me now Lord - we still need each other!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Starskey - Meet Buck

Buckley Esquire - Buck 

Buck & Ike

Yeah, Buck is the short guy.  He came to be Ike's playmate in kind of the same way that you came to us and sort of how Ike was the guy I chose at the HSNI - it was another God thing.  God does some pretty neat stuff.....Buck is a lab-retriever mix and he is more your size but he sure is stocky.  He loves to run and thought the pond was a grand thing to have right outside the door.  He wasn't too sure about the tall fellow in the beginning so it gave them time to get to know each other, learn to share, wrestle without hurting and run alot - but now he has started to become the dominate.  Oh, he knows Mom is the real boss but when their wrestling sessions get carried away - he's the guy on top with his teeth showing.

Oh, Ike doesn't back down.  That is part of the issue - so I have to shout at them and remind them who's really in charge.  It doesn't happen too often and they have been restricted by snow and cold so I suppose the play gets more intense sooner now.  Separate them and they both act like they just lost their best friend - and they did....They are not happy apart.  I'd have to say that they behave like siblings....fighting one minute and hugging the next.

Buck was one of the guys we found last year while we were looking for you.  A neat man took him in and said he'd take care of him.  I was really grateful to him because I was still pretty frantic about you.  It gave me one less thing to worry about.  Then this fall I saw an ad in the newspaper for a FREE dog.....I know what can happen if the wrong people answer that kind of ad so I called the number to offer to help the people find a good safe home for the dog.  I got their voice mail and when I realized that it was the same gentleman who had taken the fellow in last winter - I just left the message to call me.

He called and was so glad to have heard from me.  He had thought about calling me before putting the ad in the paper but he wasn't sure where we were in our search for you or even if we were ready for another dog yet.  I told him about Ike and that we had been thinking about getting him a playmate (since you weren't back yet) but hadn't gotten around to it yet.  I asked him to bring Buck out to meet Ike to see how the two would get along.  Well - the first thing they did (after all the sniffing) was hit the pond together.  I guess the decision was made for us by them....and we just sat in the lawn chairs and watched them run and swim and play and knew that was how it was suppose to be.  Buck moved in that very day.

It wasn't easy for the man to leave Buck.  They had become very close and I could tell they had spent a lot of one on one time together.  The man was sad to part with Buck but he said he couldn't think of a better home for him to have or better people to love him.  The man had trained Buck to obey, walk on a slack leash, fetch and some other good things.  Buck is a very well behaved fellow!  Some of that has rubbed off on Ike and Ike has taught Buck how to ring the bells to go outside and a few other "need to know" things for living here.  I may need to do some of that behavior kind of training with Ike....he is a pretty smart guy and catches on pretty quick.

Buck has settled in just fine and our routine seems to suit him.  He has his own Pet Lodge right next to Ike's and they both have big round pillows in front of the fire.  The pillows were their Christmas presents, along with a big bones to chew on.  I put the leather covered foam pads up for next summer.  Your pillows are still here and your Pet Lodge is too - so you can come home to your own stuff.

Buck has kind of taken a special liking to Jeff.  It might just be the "man" thing but it seems to be working for them.  Jeff built a kennel in the shop for the guys when we go to work up there.  They bark when it is time to go out - we'd never hear bells over the sound of the machines.  We both go sit with them for a while (our breaks) and take them outside for a while.  With Buck partial to Jeff that means I still have a hand to pet you with and time for both you and Ike.....

The three of you would make an interesting "black pack" for sure.  The tall guy (lab/greyhound or Dane) with weak hips, the stocky and fast lab/retriever mix and you - the Border Collie/lab mix and the only one with a white star.  I am betting that you are slightly smaller then Buck but probably just as fast.  You got lots of practice running at the Freedom Park and you could almost keep up with the Kubota.

We have a 50 foot trolley strung between the pole behind the heated dog house and the deck so we can hook somebody up if we have to and they can still run a little.  Jeff just brought home a wireless fence system that covers 3/4 of an acre.  We can add on to it later if we need to but we'll mainly use it up at the store and over at Freedom Park.  I still want to put up a fence to enclose the yard outside the back door so we can let everybody out in the morning to potty and still give them more running room then the trolley does.  When we are outside we let them run free with us.

Wes called and was looking for a new home for Dufus.  When Wes moved Dufus went to live with his son-in-law and had kids to play with him.  I was really glad about that.  I guess that family is moving somewhere they can't take a dog that big and Wes says he has grown more (I can't believe that).  If it weren't for Buck already fitting in and at home here - we might have thought about taking Dufus in - but what would we do with somebody that big?   Would Jeff even let him in the house?  Wouldn't be fair for him to be outside when Ike is inside.  I would also be afraid he would wander like he used to and then Ike would follow him.  Akita's are just awful big dogs with a lot of fur - but we also know how lovable and gentle they are.  I gave Wes some tips on who might be interested and who might be able to help him find a good home for Dufus.

I really miss you little buddy!!!  I am mighty grateful for having you in my life and for all the things that you taught me.  I am really praying that somehow we can find each other again.  I am still keeping your postings current and I am still looking for you.  You have to work a little harder on your end to get yourself identified as Starskey and not just some black dog with a white spot on his chest. 

If anybody reading this has seen or heard of a medium sized black dog (Border Collie/Lab mix)with a white 5 point star on his chest - contact Iowa Pet Alert at their website or the North Iowa Humane Society at and let them know when and where.  They know how to get in touch with me faster then posting to this blog - since you can tell that I don't post as much as I used to.

Maybe I'll have to start another blog about the life and adventures of living with two BBDs in the country and taking them to work with me.  It is an adventure - and they do some of the funniest things.  I like the way they sleep on top of each other or butt to butt or use each other as pillows.

Here is a picture of Starskey as he looked in the fall of 2010.  At this angle his star looks like a 4 point one but that bottom point (going down between his legs toward his tummy) splits to make it a real 5 point star.

We miss you Starskey!!!  Find a way to get back home!  We DO want you back and we DO still love you!