Back Again, just for a second...

Abbie Dabby Doo was my dog, and what I mean... she was MY dog.  She would tolerate other people; except she would nip the people she didn't like.  The first time I saw her do it was when the UPS man came to our house, which was a regular occurrence.  We were standing and talking on the driveway, Abbie came to be by my side, and as the UPS man and I were talking,   "Did she just nip you?" I ask, "Yeah; she does it all the time, not a problem, I wear steel-toed shoes, something about shoes."  Abbie was my little protector.

I remember when my Dad passed away and how I missed our daily talks.  He would walk every day and would often stop as he passed our house even if it was a few minutes.  Nothing significant, but to say hello and he loved us.  He was a great man and always cared about his family, especially his grandkids.  When he passed away, I missed those times and the few seconds we shared every day.  Nowadays, I would give anything to see him walking up to the house with his "old man" hat on and a smile on his face, even if it's only for a few seconds.

When Abbie died, I missed my Dabbie Doo, who licked my face and eyebrows and slept on my pillow with me.  It was always so comforting to turn over in the middle of the night, and she would lick my face, and we would go back to sleep holding each other.  Time moves on, and things change, and life as we knew it is gone, and I indeed found this out when Clancy died too.

Just a little over a year ago, Whiskey came into my life.  I got a call that she needed a home, and it needed it pretty quick.  The owners lived far away and couldn't get her to us, and no one else was available to help that weekend.  We made arrangements to drop Whiskey off at a Veterinarian's office to get her shots and spayed, and I was to pick her up the next day.  I took her sight unseen, and I knew it was a chance, but something told me it was right.  When I got her in the car, she was so grateful, she licked my face.
This is the first-day Whiskey came to my house
Once home, I sat on the picnic bench, and Whiskey sat behind me and licked my face and eyes.  "Abbie stop," and then I realized it wasn't Abbie, but it was touching and brought back so many memories.  I thought little about it, but things started coming together.  One day I was walking down our lane, and I had shut the gate to keep the dogs inside the fence.  As I had walked about 20 feet, Whiskey appeared at my side.  "You need to stay with the dogs; you can't go."  I turned and placed her inside the fence because I thought I had left her out.  Before I could get the gate shut, Whiskey jumped at the exact place Abbie always jumped the fence, she wanted to be with me.  No other dog that we have ever had jumped that fence.  Clancy would jump through the gate but never the fence.

While magic happens on the farm at times, I have to wonder about this.  Both Abbie and Whiskey lick my face and eyebrows, jump the fence at the exact location and sleep on my pillow every night.  They both always lay in my lap at night while I'm in my recliner.  Is there more to life than we can understand?  While I will never really know the things that happen around us in the rescue world, I do know there is a force that has come upon us to do the impossible work when there is no chance it will work out...  Many times, when things come together for a rescue dog, someone will say, "you know, Clancy had his paw in this." In our hearts, we do believe it because there is no other explanation other than his spirit may be responsible.

Abbie and Clancy
As I lowered the body of Clancy and then Abbie into their grave, little did I know I would see their spirits and love again through the action that we see every day.  Abbie, through Whiskey with the licks on my face who comforts me in the middle of the night. Clancy, who I see every day through the dogs that are sent to his dream.  Life is a mystery, and there are things that we can't understand, but maybe we're not meant to.  Just for a few seconds, I see my beloved past pets again and someday I'm hopeful to see that older man with his "old man" hat walking toward me with a smile on his face...  You must believe, just look.    Ken

Letters from Ernie...

In 2009 "Shadow," a Border Collie born at the farm, came back to us from his first home where he had lived since 2008. I will never forget that call. "Hello, I have a problem. I got a Border Collie from you, and it's not working out. He runs all the time, and he chases my neighbor's cattle, and the neighbor told me he was going to shoot "Shadow" if I don't keep off his farm." That very day, Shadow and his brother came back to the farm. A few weeks, I got a call from a family that was interested in "Shadow."

Kenny, I am very interested in the 13-month-old Shadow. Like I told you on the phone. I have sent an email to my husband for him to check out. I called him to tell him about the doggie, but he was at a conference, so he will check it out later. I am a great believer in prayer, so I am praying, if God wants "Shadow" to become one of our kiddos, it will work out. A visit was scheduled, and the interested party came to the farm for a visit with Shadow.

I am so excited, it may be before 10 AM when I get there! 
PS: I am already thinking of names, but I need to see him to be sure!

PSS: I am so excited! I have been telling Charlie and Maggie about him, hoping they will be equally excited!

PSSS: What does he usually eat? How many times a day? How much? I know I may be too excited to ask you these reasonable questions tomorrow!

Kenny, Sorry it is so late to update you, but I have been kind of busy with my new boy! It is like having a new baby!

Let me introduce you to Ernest Dexter Archer, or Ernie. He is a doll. 
He has learned to fetch the ball, stay, and doing pretty well with "come".
He loves to jump over our baby gates, which he did this morning, so as we "speak," he is at my feet, laying down.
The other 2 doggies have been fine. On the first day, Ernie just walked near Charlie's bone, and Charlie growled at him, and Ernie was like, "Okay, I won't go near that fella's bone because he doesn't like it."
My other two doggies are Daddy's kids, and I told him a long time ago, "My next doggie is going to love me more!"
Well, my boy Ernie certainly does!
I just wanted to let you and Elaine know that you don't have to worry! He is in good hands!

PS: He did great on the ride home, lying on the passenger front floor for a while, then in the back on the floor. Just as we pulled in the driveway, he threw up, but oh well, it was at the end, and on the sheet! 
Ernie's Mom

That was the last time I heard from Ernie's mom; however, every Christmas, we received a letter directly from Ernie. Here is a few of his words over a 10-year period.

Daddy Kenny and Mommy Elaine,
Mommy and Daddy adopted a Sister for me. They thought I would love her, but really, she is a little brat. She always goes and barks and chases the chickens, which I never do. 
She is a Border Collie but has some brown in her face. Mommy thinks she might be part Welsh Corgi. We "rescued" her, whatever that means. Some days, I feel like I need to be rescued. She likes to bug me. She likes to chase me around the back yard. She has killed 2 squirrels, but I swear, I did not teach her that!

Mommy and Daddy thought since I had lost my bubby Charlie and sissy Maggie, I might want a playmate. Really, I was kind of loving being an only child! I love getting all of Mommy and Daddy's attention!
I guess she is okay. (She did ruin the carpet though! She had chewed a hold in the bottom of her crate, then must have dug and dug, which caused the carpet to unravel! I kept telling her, "You are going to get in trouble when Mommy and Daddy get home!" They knew it was her, because she had a huge ball of yarn in her crate! There was no way to say she didn't do it! Also, another day, she totally chewed her way out of the crate! 

The only good thing about all of that, now, we get to have the run of the house. We usually just lay around, but it is still fun knowing we can do whatever we want, while they are gone!

Daddy Kenny and Mommy Elaine,
I just wanted to tell you how wonderful it is here in Indy! I have a great back yard to run around in. (Not as big as yours, but still nice!) I don't have a pond, but that is okay.

I love my bubby Charlie and sissie Maggie! I still like the cat Gracie, but she likes to tease me. She likes to bat at me. I love to chase her, but I don't hurt her! I made Mommy mad, again, today. I love to kill squirrels! The first time, several weeks ago, Mommy was yelling and crying. I just don't understand why she doesn't want me to get those varments out of MY yard! I know she still loves me, but she just doesn't understand, I am controlling MY YARD! If they come into my yard, they are mine! (ANd she has warned the squirrels, when she has the dead squirrel in a bag, "if you come into his yard, you will be killed!" They keep coming!

My favorite thing to do is follow Mommy and lay at her feet, or try to lean up against her while she sits on the couch. She says I am a lap dog but from the floor. (Daddy doesn't want me on the couch!) 
I miss my bubbies and sissies down there, but am loving it here! Thanks for finding my adoptive Mommy and Daddy for me!

Hugs and slobbers, (yes, you did just taste soap, as Mommy always cleans my mouth with soap and water after I kill a squirrel!)

Mommy Elaine, and Daddy Kenny,
I just wanted you to know how well I am doing! I started out at 50 lbs, and due to Mom's, and Dad's dishing up lots of food, I am 58 lbs!

I haven't killed a squirrel since like October of last year! That makes Mommy very happy! Since the squirrels are wimps and started staying more out of the yard, I have found that birds make fun targets also. Luckily, for Mommy, I haven't been successful in catching one, yet!

Mommy started training for the mini-marathon back in November. During the winter, I sat quietly at her feet while she was on the treadmill, gradually increasing her running. This Spring, we got to go outside for our first run! I LOVE RUNNING! I was made for running! (Mommy was a walker before November!)

I did do a bad boy thing the other day. Mommy was in the bathtub, and I was in the bedroom for a little while. When I walked back into the bathroom, I seemed to have feathers all over my face! Oops! She said, "Ernie, what did you do?" and I then realized I was busted! I rolled over to my belly, which usually makes her heart melt, but for some reason, it didn't work this time!

Mommy got out of the tub and walked in the bedroom to find her FAVORITE feather pillow torn apart with feathers EVERYWHERE! Again, she was only mildly upset, she really found it kind of funny. She left them there, and when Daddy came home, she said: "Wait till you see what your BOY CHARLIE did!" Of course, Charlie was on the bed and cannot get off by himself, and the feathers were on the floor, so he knew it was, of course, me. Well, I need to go run and chase and torment the cat! What else do I have to do? I know I will get in trouble if I tear up another pillow!
Hugs and slobbers,
Your son,

Daddy Kenny and Mommy Elaine,
It is hard for me to believe that I have been away from you for a year! My new Mommy keeps telling me "Happy 1 Year Adopted Anniversary" to me! She keeps telling me stories about her first day of meeting me!

At first, she thought I was beautiful, but a little wild! She loved how I would run into the pond and play! She told me she never thought I would learn to calm down and just lay around. (I really do love just laying around, but boy, when I get the urge, sometimes I just start running around the house like I am possessed! I love that!)

I don't have a pond here, but still love to run around. My favorite thing is to pick up a stick and run figure 8s in the yard! It is especially fun in the winter in the snow! (Mommy worries I will poke my eye out while running, but I am careful!)

I think I told you that Mommy and Daddy were probably going to be sad soon when I last wrote to you. Well, I was right. They had to help Maggie to heaven and boy, was their lots of tears around here! The only good part about it, Mommy got us all Dairy Queen Ice cream to help celebrate her last hours on Earth. I lapped mine up in 5 seconds flat!

The really sad part, 2 weeks after Sister Maggie went to heaven, Mommy found out that my Brother Charlie, the other Sheltie doggie, has bone cancer that is destroying his spine! They said he may only live 2-3 more months! (And that was 2 months ago!)

For now, Charlie is doing fine. Mommy gives him some pill with peanut butter (Lucky duck!) every night, and it seems to keep him walking fine. Mom is to tell the vet when he quits eating, as that may mean he is in too much pain! (And then he will join Maggie in heaven!)

I still love to bug him, and LOVE to bug the cat Gracie! I still hear the words "No CAT!" a lot from Mommy, but just to get her goat, I keep bugging her! You would think that cat would learn to stay away from me, but she seems to love to mess with me just as well!

I still think about you both and miss you dearly, but I do have to admit, life is pretty good here! I get 2 squares a day, and lots of treats! Mom loves to buy me doggie toys, because I am her only doggie that she has ever had that loves to PLAY with them! My favorites are still my squirrel!

Thanks for taking a chance on Mommy and letting her have me! She is my forever Mommy, even though you both will always be my biological Mommy and Daddy!
Hugs and slobbers, MMMMMMMMMM
Love, Ernie

Daddy Kenny and Mommy Elaine, my forever parents,
I haven't taken the time to write because Mommy Dian and I have been running again! She is letting me be her trainer for the mini-marathon again! I am loving it! (Even Daddy Michael took me for an hour's walk the other day because he is going to walk the mini-marathon! He has had 2 hip replacements, so he cannot run, not that he would anyway, so he will walk.)

I keep meaning to write to let you know I lost my bubby, Charlie in January! It was soooo sad, and so close to losing sissie Maggie, but God has the final plans!

Gracie, cat, and I have decided, we hope we don't see Mommy bring in ice cream any more, because if she does, it is either Gracie or me going to heaven soon! (That is Mommy's treat for all of us before someone goes to heaven!) You should have seen bubby Charlie snarf his ice cream! He ate his faster then I did, and I eat pretty darn fast!)

This is the first time in Mommy and Daddy's life they have only had 1 doggie! Boy, am I loving it! I get all kinds of love and cuddles. At night, I start my night off in the middle of Mommy and Daddy, with them both trying to get me to lay right up against them! I don't want to hurt feelings, so I cuddle with one, then the next day, I cuddle with the other. (Last night, Daddy got a kick out of Mommy because she had a treat hidden near her, trying to pry me to lay next to her! Mommy, you are busted!) After a while, I jump off the bed and lay by myself on the floor. 
The other day, I decided to redecorate. I thought the one purple pillow from the Living room couch would look better on the Family room purple leather couch, so I moved it. (Yes, she then knew I was on, not one, but 2 couches while she was gone!)

One day, while Mom was out running errands, I decided to go to the bedroom upstairs, and I got bored, so I tore a big hole in the purple comforter. It started out me licking it, getting Mom's scent, but then I just couldn't help myself. When Mommy saw the white poly fill fiber all over the bed, she knew I did something wrong. I was crated for a couple more days after that, but now, I get the house to myself again!

One of these days, I hope Mommy and Daddy get another doggie, but I am really loving being an only child. (Can you really call a cat a child? Not in my book! She is just an annoyance to me!)

I asked Mommy to send pictures of us. The one of me is in the car on the way home from being boarded when Mommy and Daddy went to Florida in Oct and Charlie's pic is from the day he went to heaven! It was so hard on Mommy, because he was so alert. He just kept falling down, and not able to walk well, so they decided it was better for him to go be with Maggie! (Plus I kept knocking him over, he was so fun to watch him fall! I know, that wasn't vey nice of me, but it was still fun!)

Hugs to you and Mommy, MMMMMMMM!
Slobbers to the doggies and cats!
Love, Ernie

PS: I haven't learned to roll in poo yet, but boy, does it sound fun! Maybe I will get on the couch after that!

PSS: Abbie is lucky to have you!

PSSS: I would love to lick on that little Maddie! She looks so sweet!

PSSSS: Daddy is trying to talk Mommy into getting 3-4 chickens and a chicken coop, for the eggs! That sounds fun. I cannot wait to see what a chicken looks like! Something else for me to torment!

Daddy Kenny and Mommy Elaine, March 6, 2020
Mommy wanted me let you know how I am doing. Life has been a little crazy, so I have not written in a while. (Heck, we didn't open our gifts from Santa until New Year's day!)

A couple weeks ago, I was not feeling well, laying around a lot. Mommy took me to the doctor. There is a place on my back that hurts me really bad! They wanted to take pictures of my back to see if they could figure it out. They found an area on my spine that might have bulging discs. They also found an old healed fracture of my right shoulder, and 3 bird shots in my right back leg! I guess that mean cattle farmer did shoot me, when my brother and I went over to "play!" with the cows!

They put me on pain meds and anti-inflammatory meds, and by the next morning, I was back to my normal self! I hated having to be on a leash every time I go outside, but oh well. I want to play, and run figure eights in the yard with Sissy Addie!

I was doing so well, that on my follow up apt, the lady took me off the anti-inflammatory, but I could still have pain meds. When she was feeling around, she found a fairly big mass on my left throat area! They called it something yucky like possible thyroid carcinoma?
I had to go last Monday for an ultrasound, and they put a needle in and tested it. Daddy got the call last Friday that it is cancer, but they did not know the kind yet. (Friday was also the day that I could barely stand up! ) Mommy was sooo sad, and hated going to work, but Daddy promised he would come home in the am to check on me. (Mommy also gave me both kinds of meds!) I felt so much better, I met Daddy at the back door when he came home!

We went to a special doggie MD yesterday, and they did a CT scan, whatever that is, and they told Mommy and Daddy I have Salivary cancer, that is in multiple lymph nodes, so surgery is not an option. They did say there is radiation and something called chemotherapy that MIGHT shrink it, but only give me up to a year.

Mommy and Daddy have been crying a lot. Sissy knows something is up! She lets me rest a lot! I have been getting lots of homemade doggie treats that Mommy makes, as well as lots of loving and cuddles!

Mommy said she is making a Bucket list for me. I don't know what that means, but the words Dairy Queen were mentioned, and I know what that means! Yum Yum!

Mommy and Daddy seem sad all the time. Mommy cries a lot! Right now, I am not having any other issues, but eventually, I will cough, have trouble breathing, eating, and drinking. Mommy and Daddy decided I can go outside without a leash! It's been over 2 weeks! You don't know how hard it is to poop when Mommy is right beside me! A little privacy, please!!!

I have not been running cause Mommy watches me from the back porch, but at least I can walk where I want!!!!

Mommy said she will never forget that first day she met you Daddy, and me! She said I was a little wild fella, but sooo handsome, she fell in love right away!

I heard Mommy and Daddy talking about how they are worried about how Addie will be when I go to heaven. I am not sure where heaven is, but Mommy said it is beautiful, and I will be running figure eights again!!!!!
(Addie will probably love being the center of attention! Every time Mommy calls my name, for me to go to her for cuddles, Sissy butts right in every time!!! )

With much love, and slobbers,
Your handsomest son ever
Ernest Dexter Archer
Aka Ernie, Ernest T Bass, Ernest Hemingway, Ernest Borgnine

PS I hope I can stay here until my 12th birthday in May! I get great toys and lots of attention on my birthdays!

Ernies, letters are always precious to me and always full of life. He always spoke the truth, and sometimes he slanted his adventures his way as we all sometimes do. As his letter stated, it appears he was shot along with a broken shoulder according to the Xrays. It also appears he will visit Dairy Queen as he has before with his brothers and sisters when that "time" comes. This hit me pretty hard, but I know his real and Mom and Dad will give him the best days he has left. He is undoubtedly loved. Ken