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Readers have been hearing about our family reunions, but there was one part missing in all of the excitement.

 

Our family suffered the loss of a beloved friend. Mixer, a Australian shepherd stray, died on Aug. 4, after living with Jim’s family for five years.

 

When first seeing Mixer, I thought, “What an ugly dog,” but it didn’t take long to realize that beauty is really just skin deep in dogs, as well as humans. Mixer adapted to family life quickly and loved playing with the three grandchildren, racing around the hilltop or traveling to the lake or mountains. He was also a regular at the Creston shop and in company trucks.

 

We have had many dogs, mostly big fluffy dogs, like Collies, which means we have many good dog stories. I will relate a few of these.

 

A few years ago on Mother’s Day, I received a phone call from Sally. She said, “I am coming over to go to church with you. My Dad will watch me to the top of the hill and you can watch on the way down.” I saw a little girl in a pretty sun dress, big pink straw hat, and high-heeled shoes. She was followed by Rig (a shaggy collie), Brute (big black lab) and one-eyed Romie (another adopted stray). They stayed with her until we left the house.

 

If any children were out on the hills, the dogs were with them.

 

Prince went even further! He was a townie! He would go to the after-school football games, and stay with our boys’ teams, even if they were not there. He seemed to like the girls on Southside too. One time, a mother called and said that Prince was in town. I went to pick him up, and he was getting hugs from Chrissie Stull and Paige Johnson. They told him, “That’s OK, Prince, you go home now, but you can come back later.”

 

Lassie was a dog who loved the river. When she was old and feeble, the other dogs were running the river banks, but she was right in the river (or boat) with the swimmers. She was not much help with fishing, because she thought their bait of bread and cheese was her snack. When little girls came to play, she might end up playing the part of a baby, with bonnet and sweater. She also attended Girl Scout Day Camp, and was the guardian when they camped out on the carport.

 

Now, back to Mixer. She slept by the bed every night. She didn’t like it when the children would dance. She was taught to howl like a wolf, and loved a howling contest. She had a stubby tail that always wiggled.

 

She was buried with full honors in the family cemetery, along side my husband, Carl, and her other dog buddies. Levi, Sally and Philine helped with the traditional ritual of digging the grave and tucking her in with sleep pad, blanket and dog food. A devotion was read and everyone related a memory of their beloved dog. She was buried, with everyone in the family thanking God for the part that she had played in their lives. We will all remember her as a loyal friend.

 

*          *          *          *          *

Lynn and I were planning to take Levi to the Ox Roast at Mt. Zion on Saturday, but at the last minute, he had some stomach problems.

 

She said, “I can make some calls and get someone to go with you,” but I knew that I would be overwhelmed with help when needed.

 

There was a nice parking spot near the building and I knew I could handle the walk, but just as I was getting out of the car, Lew Craddock came to walk me over, then he turned me over to Doug Stull, who was helping as I went through the line.

 

As we approached Duane Poling, he called David Weaver to carry my orders to the car. It is a blessing that my needs were met before I needed help.

 

The beef was tender and juicy and the beans, slaw and tomatoes rounded out the meal. I visited the kitchen to find out how many different kinds of cake had been donated. Can you believe there were at least 25 varieties? The serving line was well organized and the hungry customers were soon joining friends at the picnic tables or getting their carryout dinners.

 

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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