At Freedom Park summer 2010

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!