Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Walking With Angels Part 3

Hi. Shadow here.

I watched Channel Five news last Friday night. They showed my friends Hudson and Murphy walking across the Purple People Bridge in Cincinnati. It looked like there were forty or fifty people, many with dogs, walking with them. Of course Luke was with them too.

I wish I could have been with them, but after taking them to Rabbit Hash to meet Mayor Lucy Lou (a red and white Border Collie) on Wednesday, I thought it was time for others to “walk with the angels.”

Our trip to Rabbit Hash was fun. Both Hudson and Murphy seemed excited to meet Lucy Lou. When we got to Rabbit Hash, Mike and I got out of the car and were immediately greeted by the Mayor. She seemed glad to see us, but seemed to know that Hudson and Murphy were the honored guests.

Lucy Lou looked at me, wagged her tail a couple of times, growled (I think because I was in her way) and headed for Luke and Hudson. I was a little disappointed that she didn’t want to talk to me, but I understood.

When Hudson and Murphy got out, Lucy Lou went to them, checked them out, and took off. She had other Mayor duties to do. Apparently one of her duties is to pick up sticks in the picnic area next to the General Store.

I thought she wanted to play “fetch” so I told Mike to throw a stick for her.

He did.

Lucy Lou caught the stick in mid-air – and took it to the other side of the picnic area and dropped it. She then brought Mike another stick, dropped it, and took off to find more sticks. I still don’t understand that move.

Meanwhile, Mike decided he wanted to take pictures of Murphy, Hudson, Lucy Lou, and me. It was a good idea - I guess – but Lucy Lou didn’t think so. She told her people person Dave that she had too much to do to be wasting time taking pictures. Besides, she said she was having a “bad hair day” – whatever that is.

Anyway, Dave had to hold her while Luke and Murphy checked her out. I just sat there like I was asked. I must have been too far away though since all the pictures left me out.

I did get Mike to take a few pictures of me with Hudson and Murphy (and Luke). They turned out real good.

We got to Rabbit Hash about an hour before the General Store was scheduled to open. Luke wanted to see the store so I had plenty of time to talk with Hudson.

He told me more about his adventure. He said most of the time the walk is fun and that most people and dogs they see are very friendly. But not all.

He said that two weeks ago they were almost attacked by a dog pack. The pack circled them and made threatening growls. Luke and Murphy explained what they were doing and the dogs backed off, but Hudson says it was scary for a few minutes.

Almost as scary were the nights that they slept outside and had a bunch of snakes try to get in their sleeping blankets with them. Hudson doesn’t like snakes.

He doesn’t like spiders either. He told me one of the places they slept had so many spiders that he thought they were having a convention. Still, Hudson says it is fun.

While they sleep outside much of the time, more and more they have been offered a place to sleep indoors. A lot of times these people who as Murphy says “take in strays – us” will pick Luke and the guys up and take them home for a nice meal and a warm, inside, bed.

Then, the next morning their new people friends will take them back to the exact place they stopped walking the day before. In fact, a lot of times, the same people person will give them shelter and drive them back and forth several days in a row.

Luke calls these new friends “Trail Magic Friends.”

Hudson just says “wow” - or “bow wow” in dog-speak. He told me the people in Southern Indiana were great. They were able to stay almost a week worth of nights with Mike and Jan near Madison. Jan had seen them sleeping along the side of the road one really cold and nasty morning. When she found out what they were doing she invited them to stay with Mike (not my Mike) and her the next night – and the next – and the next.

As their journey took them to Vevay and beyond a new “Trail Magic Friend” (Marsha) took over. Each day, for several days, Marsha picked them up, took them home for a good meal and a warm place to sleep, and then took them back to resume their journey.

I met Marsha the day we went to Rabbit Hash. She was really nice.

Anyway – back to Hudson. He told me that while he really enjoys the people he meets along the way, the real “Trail Magic Friend” is Luke. He told me Luke has had several opportunities to sleep inside on a warm bed but has stayed outside and slept in the cold with Murphy and him.
Luke says they are a team. They all stay together. They all sleep together. If there is no room in the house for the dogs, there is no room in the house for Luke.

Hudson says it is this bond that he hopes will show people what can be done if you stick together. He said the while he, Murphy, and Luke are getting most of the publicity; he hopes everyone remembers the purpose is to make everyone aware of canine and feline cancer.

And – he wanted me to remind everyone that while he “walks with the angels,” in a very special way – we all have angels we can walk with – or for. -- Shadow

Thanks to Shadow and his person Mike Cooney. Mike writes the column "A Stones Throw" for the Switzerland County (Indiana) Newspapers. Mike has been writing a weekly column for the past four years. He lets Shadow write it for him once or twice every two months or so.

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