At Freedom Park summer 2010

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What's really important

Good Morning Sunshine!  Oh we have had many sunny mornings but this one just feels special.  I have been helping friends for the past six weeks and I can't believe how much I have learned about myself and what is really important in the process!!

My friends had been investing and collecting for years.  Some of the most cool antique things, big and small, and some totally unique stuff began to fill their farm buildings to overflowing.  They have built a new home and sold the place with all the buildings - so they had to empty them but had no where to put that much stuff.  They finally agreed to have an auction.  It took two days to sell it all but it took us 6 weeks to get it ready to sell.

It was a bigger adventure than I expected it to be!  It also got us talking and thinking about what was really important in life.....things were not high on the list and we really found ourselves wondering why some things were even saved, let alone so many of them.  We had a lot of fun discoveries as well....and some really special ones too.  A box of letters written during WWII to various soldiers by some female pen pals were really special.  We didn't read them but we carefully saved them.  That is something you do save but then you find the proper place to put them - like a museum or memorial or something.

It seemed like for everything we moved there were 5 more things to consider behind, under or inside of it.  It was easy to get frustraited.  The desire to cry came over me often....because I was well aware that I had some of the same kind of stuff in my home and it made me mad, sad and overwhelmed all at the same time.  The best thing I did each day was to come home, from helping my friends, and take on one similar project at home while I was still in that mindset.  I have made progress but not the same as we all have made working together.  I think that is key.  We all do better with support and help....but I do continue to make progress on my own.

My friends were preparing for a huge auction sale.  I don't have enough stuff for that and little of what I do have is valuable enough to auction.  I am not even sure if I can sell a lot of it.  My friends had more of an incentive to accomplish their purging and discovery project than I have in my personal one.....but I recognize the similarity in my own situation.  Even if there is no new house to move to I still have crap that I need to part with.  It is stuff I no longer need or use and probably never will.  It is just taking up space in my home and my life.

Why do we do things like this?  I was not raised to save or collect this much stuff.  I was raised to save the important things like photos.  It was me that took that farther and to excess.  Helping my friends not only opened my eyes to it but gave me the incentive to continue and complete what I had started clearing in my own world of clutter.  It isn't easy!  There are emotions attached to some of it and there is the guilt of having acquired it in the first place.  It is depressing to face the truth of the time, money and energy wasted over the years.

We would get a plan of action going only to find, part way in to it that it wasn't going to work like we thought or like we wanted or needed.  We had to make adjustments all the time and jump from one project to another depending on weather, help available, auction needs and a hundred other things...but we adjusted.  Some of us were better at it than others.  I saw one friend give up control of almost everything to get this done.  This had to be the hardest thing he has ever done because he has always been a doer and in control of the things around him.  To see him give that control away and tell someone else they were the boss was amazing to witness.  I was so very proud of him and prayed for the same kind of strength!

Other friends came to help.  One special friend suffered a health set-back a few years ago and has had to learn the fine art of adjusting in almost every phase of his life.  I appreciated his insight and humor when we did have to make adjustments.  I learned that I was far better at adjusting than Jeff is and I can still get multiple projects completed.  It isn't like engraving something at the same time as assembling is more like leaving something incomplete to go do something else to keep everyone working.....not insisting on completing one thing before starting another.

I have learned that things are only things.  Their value to me is totally different than THIER value to someone else.  I discovered that friendship is far more important than anything else.  I found that working together makes even tough jobs easier and less painful.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Renewed HOPE and Dog Park

Good morning Starskey!  There was just a wonderful report on the news about Boozer.  He is a beautiful boxer that disappeared from his home 9 years ago.  He was found and taken to a shelter by someone in Colorado......over 1,000 miles from his family.  The shelter checked him and found his microchip.  The rest is now history....Boozer is back with his family again!

It is the stories like this that keep me hoping and praying that this will be us someday!  You are not just a missing dog - you are a missing member of our family!  We are not just a family, or pack, that is missing a member.....we are missing YOU!  That is significant!  You are the one that changed our lives forever and we so much want you back home so very much!

They didn't tell the whole story behind how Boozer got so far away from his home.  No one may actually know.  They do know that he was picked up by a man who took him to the shelter in Colorado, where his chip was read and he was reunited with his missing family.  This is what dreams are made of....true stories with happy endings.  I am a dreamer and I will always have hope to be reunited with you!

Boozer looked healthy and cared for during all or most of his 9 year separation.  I can only pray that you are having a similar experience wherever you are right now.  I pray you are well, that you are fed and that you are could you not be loved?  You have such a gentle and playful nature and that magic about you.....maybe it is that star you wear that makes you so special.  God put that there you know....and He is watching over you, even now.  I have to trust in His  plan for both of us.  I still pray that, besides keeping you safe, He does plan to reunite us in this life.  I know we will be reunited in the next life but that is a long ways away!

I took Pele with me down to spend the weekend with my parents.  It was Dad's 86th birthday and I hadn't been able to spend one with him for a long time.  Mom and I left him to his paper reading and we took Paucha and Pele to the Marshalltown Dog Park.  WOW is that place neat.  You would have loved it too.  Paucha knew some of the guys there but Pele was a little shy at first.  Then some more guys came and the playing and running began!

A Great Peranize (spelling?) was there.  He was pure white but reminded me of Dufus because of his size.  He rolled and played with a lot of the medium sized to smaller dogs just like Dufus did with you!  It was fun to watch (and remember).  Dufus lives in Britt now.  I don't know how he likes town living but he has a houseful of kids so I bet he is happy.

Back to the Dod Park.  It is huge!  The Big Dog side is at least 2 acres, maybe more, and the small dog side was about an acre.  It was all fenced and had big old trees that shaded most of it.  There were benches for us two legged pack members.  The water bowls were around the hydrant by the fence....and poop bags dispensers here and there all around the perimeter with big waste cans to put the "stuff" in on your way out.  You enter, on leash, in one common area and then choose which side you will go to - Big or Small.  Just inside that gate you choose everyone hangs their leashes and if is free run zone.

Of course we want to the Big dog side.....Remember Pele used to live with a Pit, before he came to live with us and Buck the Lab.  Big guys don't intimidate him at all and they play better anyway.  There was a pair of Dane pups on the Small side because no one else was there but everyone met them sniffing through the fence.  Some of the regulars were there so Paucha knew them and introduced Pele.  They had been there a while already so we're getting tired of running and playing much.  Then some new guys came so Paucha and Pele joined them on their run abouts.

Mom and I visited with some of the folks at the benches and watched the boys play.  Had to go pick up their poop, when they stopped long enough to do that, and then they ran some more.  We were there a couple of hours!  They were having such fun and it was such a beautiful afternoon.  There were more dogs there than she had ever seen at one time.  It was a great day for dog parking and just enjoying.

We love you Starskey and we very much miss you and want you back in our home.  Please do something to get yourself checked for your chip so folks know how to find us so we can all be together again.  Stay safe until that can happen.  We love you!  Until next time little buddy ❤️

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer weeds!

Howdy little buddy!  It is summer again and I am missing you badly!  Everybody at Freedom Park still asks about you.  Wow - you made a lot of good friends on your weekends over there with us.  They keep asking me if we have found you....and I have to tell them "NO but still looking and hoping".  I guess that is where we still are and where we will remain until we find you or learn what happened to you!

The Bedstraw is all over the place in the timber, under the Day Lilys and in the long grass that we can't mow....and the burdocks too!  Missy managed to plant them in so many places, after her daily patrol and collection of burr seeds in her long coat.  I don't know if I will ever get rid of them all.  The burrs babies are having babies now!

Buck doesn't seem to have much trouble with them.  With his short hair a dip in the pond and a good roll in the grass gets rid of most of them (and plants them).  Pele', on the other hand is a collector like Missy - even with his summer haircut.  He ha a similar soft undercoat that really hangs on to them.  It doesn't help that he is the little guy so he has to climb and run through things that Buck can see over.  At any rate....I spend a lot of time each day cleaning them both up so they don't bring them in the house.  Or cleaning up the ones that got in and are stuck to carpet or furniture.

Some days my big black dog looks part green from all his collecting but his do brush out pretty easy. Pele', on the other hand, is a magnet for the weeds.  After a run through the timber and around the pond he looks black from all the stickers....even with the summer buzz haircut.  I feel bad having to get them off him but Buck's tongue just rubs them in deeper when he tries to help so I have to get them off of him.  Burdocks are the worst for the little guy.

Damn it Starskey....I miss you!!!  I am still learning of rescues and vets around here that you might have been taken to if you were picked up by an Officer or were a pest to someone.  That makes me so frustraited because it means I didn't get your information to them.  If they had you, or knew about you, they didn't know about your home and the people that loved you because we couldn't contact them.

I think I know how helpless people feel when they lose a pet when traveling!  We were right here at home and didn't know all the places you could have been taken to so how could they when they are in a strange place?  I met a lady who travels with her dogs and is compiling the information on "animal friendly" places, especially for dogs.   She has a blog too at so she can share what she learns with other pet owners who travel, or just want to take the rest of their family with
them.  Remember when we traveled together?  It was fun wasn't it and for many of us, fur balls like you are our family!!

There was an event to meet other bloggers and some authors last week so I went.  I didn't get around to everyone but I talked to some very smart and special people.  Joy Newcomer told me that my memories and letters to you might make for some good children's books.  I had never thought of anything like that.  This wasn't started to write a book - it was started to help me cope with losing you and the pain and guilt that went with that......but I see all the fun memories I have written about and all the antics of  Ike, Buck and Pele' and I realize this blog has done exactly what I needed for it to do for me....keep you alive in heart, keep hope alive and still proceed with a life that you aren't here to share!

It is still my hope to be reunited with you in this world....but until then I plan to keep remembering the wonderful things about you and the things that we did get to do with you while you were with us.  You introduced me to a world I never really knew - even though I had loved many pets before you.
I've told you before but you touched us both in a very special way that no other family member or beloved pet ever has!  Is that star on your chest magic?  Or those expressive ears?  Or that totally loving look in your eyes?  Or the fact that you picked us out....we weren't looking for another dog -
much less one that would wind up in the house.  Something about you was and remains very special indeed.  I love you and I always will.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

First day of Spring

Howdy there Young Man!

It is still chilly out but the snow is gone and the sun is shining!  How are you doing?  We're pretty good here but the boys aren't happy with me.  Yesterday was Vet day.  They never mind going because Gene gives them plenty of treats for being so good but this time was Heartworm tests, shots and that dreaded nail trim.

We had just enough snow all winter that they didn't wear them down.  They have a head start on summer now and always manage to keep them worn down pretty well running around in the summer.  Weekends at the camper help too.  Since the snow is gone all the burdocks are uncovered so Pele' comes in stuck to himself most of the time.  I have had to begin giving him his summer cut a little early because there are so many stuck to him that I have to cut them out of his fur....or pull them and you know how that feels.  Shorter hair just works better whenit comes to weeds  I hope you have kept your shorter fur so you aren't going through the weed thing.

The geese are here now.  That will probably mean the coyotes will stay away now...if they know what is good for them.  Those ganders can be nasty.  I am wondering if Pele' will remember that this year or if he'll have to get tweeked or chased by on to remind him.  Buck just gives them a wide berth when going around the pond.  I still remind Buck that if a black dog with a white star comes to visit that he is suppose to at least be nice.  Buck is a pretty good guard...and he usually checks things out before deciding whether to growl or not. 

Pele' is just a lovable idiot but he'll be the loudest one barking at you.  He thinks that just because he grew up with Sid (the giant Pit) that he is tough.  Well I guess he is the fierce hunter....chases down rabbits pretty regular but he is still the little guy with a big mouth.

Your house kennel is still here and the summer dog house (unheated).  I'll be unplugging the heated dog house now that days are warmer and dogs are inside at night.  You need to come home and meet your new packmates!  you will fit right in between them for size.  I suspect you'll run the race track with Buck and then go hunting with Pele'.  You'll fit right in!  The race track has changed now that the pond is not frozen anymore.  It will go back to being a circle track around the pond.

Your mother's owner has been helping us redo the kitchen so we have been able to share some memories of you and he told me how sneaky you were as a baby!  He had to keep you fenced in living in town.  Out here you found the joy of running free.  I often wonder if that is why you are still gone....even though we were outside with you.  You had never left before, but you had never played in snow before either!

As the grass gets green and the flowers begin to bloom I will be thinking of you and your curiosity about the flowers, the garden, the frogs and bugs.  As a pup you were very much like Pele' is all of the time....but I also remember my little shadow that followed me wherever I went and wanted to help with everything I did.  I miss you Starskey.......Please come home!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Spring is coming

Hey there Starskey......been thinking about you an awful lot lately.  Not exactly sure why so much now because I think of you daily and always wish you well.  It has just been different lately for some reason.  I hope you are well and fed and warm and I still hope that someone somewhere will look for your family and bring you home to us!

There was a snowfall a few days ago that reminded me of the day you disappeared.  It was fresh white fluff like what you went romping through that day.  It was your first snow and you really thought it was neat.  Dad got the tractor out to plow the drifts in the drive.  You helped him get it out then you came bouncing over where I was scooping the sidewalk.  You were having such a good time!

I scooped the sidewalk, a wide path to the doghouse and then went to clear in front of the garage door so your Dad could get closer with the loader.  He pulled up and asked me where you were.  I looked at him and said I thought you might have gone to finish helping him when you stopped helping me.  That was when we realized you were gone and we didn't really even know for how long.

We immediately got in the vans and drove around looking for you.  We didn't see you and neither had anyone else.  They had all been pretty busy clearing snow themselves!  That was when I called the Sheriff and the radio station.  I made posters and put them up all over town and made smaller ones that I delivered to all the neighbors within 2 miles.  The grandkids found places on the internet to post lost pet information and I called Home Again.

I got lost for a while too little buddy.....lost in depression and desperation.  I chased down sightings of you from Thompson to Garner and all over Forest City for months.  The biggest problem was that folks would call in the evening to tell me they saw you on their way to work that you know how hopeful but futile those follow-ups were?  You must have wondered where I was and why I didn't come get you.  Starskey - I was trying!!!  I still am trying!

It is melting today, just like it did after you vanished.  We walked the ditches then and gravel roads until we were satisfied that you had not been hit by a car or something.  Not finding you dead kept us hoping.  I have often wondered if you met a sad end like Ike did,,,,,off the road and because of an illegal trapper.  That thought just makes me mad. 

There seems to be a lot of coyotes around this year.  Bucky keeps barking at them to stay away and we put Pele' on the runner cable when he goes out at night.  I had a talk with Buck about you and told him that if he sees you - you aren't a coyote, even if you might look kinds scrufty and that he may have showed them where to find the open water in winyer but that you might really want to come home....and that he should go meet you and let you know it's okay.  Don't think he heard me well though.  He has claimed this home for himself now and you'd probably need some help to get to know him.  He has 3 lab cousins at Rene's house that he enjoys being with....but you would be new to him.

If you stop by the pond, for a drink of water, stick around for daylight when we can see you and can help you out.  Your doghouse is here and the heater is on so feel free to warm up for the night.  We do so miss you and would so much love to have you come home to us again.  You taught us a lot and we are grateful for that.  I keep your pictures on the computer in case anyone askes me about you.  The porch swing is waiting for spring to come and then it will be here to swing in together again.  That is still your special thing because Buck doesn't like to swing and Pele' is always too busy.

Be safe my Starskey and know that you are still loved and wanted!  Thanks for letting me share the memories.  I'll try to think of happier ones the next time we talk.  God Bless you!