Friday, September 2, 2011

The City of White Squirrels

We’ve traveled through some pretty magical places but there’s always been something a little different about Bowling Green, KY, that I’ve never been able to quite define. Even though it's a smallish town of less than a 100,000 people I suspect it is home to more dog lovers per capita than anywhere else we’ve been.

But then, during our most recent trip to Bowling Green, it became apparent why it's so special.  I was on an early morning walk with Hudson when I began to think about Buddy. The Crestmoor suburb we were staying in was loaded with squirrels and seeing all those insolent rodents running amok and unchecked reminded me of just how much I missed him.

You see, if the Bud Man was there with us he would tree every single one of them but he had passed away a few weeks earlier from end stage lung cancer and congestive heart failure.  But even in his final days squirrels remained his singular obsession.  He never met one he didn’t want to chase making him the anti-Will Rogers of squirrels I suppose.

He was much on my mind that morning when Hudson and I rounded the next corner and I saw something that sent chills down my spine: a white one. The short span of time between thinking about Buddy and then seeing an albino squirrel was spooky and surreal, but we are no strangers to seemingly impossible coincidences. Trail magic has always followed us on our travels and I wasn't surprised to feel Buddy's presence.   

Shortly after our morning constitutional, I put Hudson up at our host home and headed to Lost River Cave to help the BG Humane Society setup for an event later that day. Arriving early, I walked the grounds studying the geology and history of the place and then I spotted another white squirrel.  WTF?

I didn’t have my iPhone with me for my first sighting but I did this time. Though hard to see in the photo nearby it’s high left on the main tree trunk. I had never seen one before so twice in a few hours seemed particularly peculiar. Once Lorri Hare, the head of the Humane Society, got to the Cave I asked her about this strange occurrence and she said for some odd reason albino squirrels were common in that part of Kentucky.

And then it all made sense.

Bowling Green, the City of White Squirrels, is to dogs what Mecca is to Muslims.  It's a Holy place that Hudson, Murphy, and I were drawn to on our walk back in the winter of 2008 while on our own pilgrimage. 

And though the reason was not apparent to me back then, today as I adopted a Great Pyrenees puppy from them, I finally understood why. 

The circle is now complete.  One journey has ended and another has begun. 

Behold, Hudson’s new Brudda….


Megs said...

Aw such an expressive face! Let us know the name you choose!

Jean Secrest said...

He is so cute! I knew BG would have to be the home of your new baby! Glad you have gotten to see our White Squirrels! Lots of them here, someone has even started a White Squirrel line of products here! So glad you have found your new boy!

cinrich said...

love your blog entry about bowling green, white squirrels and your new pup, he sure is beautiful, did you name him yet? all the best, you remain an inspiration....

Jaelocin said...

He is extremely cute! I'm so happy for you. I know you guys will bring great joy to each other.

Solitude.Peace said...

Welcome - Puppy Up!

Memphis Muttley Crew Mom said...

Welcome little fuzzy one! Your life has just taken on a whole new extended family who already love you to pieces!

Lorri said...

Although Luke talks about BG being special for him, Murphy, and Hudson.... Bowling Green found them VERY special too!

I remember the day that Ginger called me telling me about Luke and the boys walking across the country, the mission, etc and asking if we could help find hosts through this area. I really could NOT believe that I had not heard of this, especially in my consumed animal world. I didn't think much about it at first, as I get calls all the time about helping people/animals/etc. A few nights later, I was telling my husband about the phone call, and his response to me was...."I saw that guy and his dogs, to be honest, I thought he was homeless". lol.... Little did I know what would walk into our lives that very next day.

After meeting Luke and the boys, our entire circle of friends were drawn to them. They had a certain aura to them you might say. It was as if they had been here all along...they just FIT! It just so happened that they were here during TERRIBLE weather, and we were blessed with their presence much longer than most of the other cities. Mother Nature knew we wanted them here a little longer. Even after they left, they were always a part of our little town and especially with the Humane Society. I always tease that place knows how to suck you in and not let go. We even made Malcolm the logo mascot for one of our 5K walk fundraisers, it just seemed appropriate even though Luke and the boys had been gone for several months.

Since then, these three boys stayed in our thoughts and planning. We went to their events, and they came back to ours. We consider Luke a true friend, not just an aquaintance. It hurt our heart seeing Murphy go through this awful disease knowing there was nothing we could do to make it go away. It also hurt our heart seeing Luke, Hudson, and Ginger hurt along with him. Murphy was just special!! Everytime I think of him, I think of the picture that was taken of him walking in the field at Pam & Angela's house. Even though he was SO sick, he looked regal and angelic! To me, that picture captured his spirit.

A few months later when Luke announced he was looking for another "fuzzybutt".....I hoped we could find the perfect fit for the boys, but I just wasn't sure it would happen. I kept waiting for a Pyr puppy to walk through our doors, but deep down...I didn't really mind where the puppy came from. I just wanted him to save a shelter puppy, and I knew that he would. I was walking through our intake facility a couple of weeks later and there sat "Aint Frank" (lol). I immediately pulled him out of that cage and took him down to my office. I sent pictures and texted Luke about him. I still wasn't 100% sure this was the "one", but I KNEW he was SO SO SO darned cute! Well, after taking him home with me for a weekend, deep down I KNEW he was the one. He was super sweet but it was the other characteristics that were so evident. He was so independent, so stubborn, so curious, so fearless, and seemed to be a little cantankerous. We all patiently waited for Luke to decide, and we knew regardless of where his new pup came from, it would be a VERY lucky puppy!!

When Luke called and said he wanted to adopt "Ain't Frank", we were all ecstatic! We were happy for the puppy, for Luke, for Hudson, and for Ginger. But deep down, we have to admit a little bit of selfishness ~~~ This would be another tie in for Bowling Green!

True friends are very hard to find, and Luke has become a TRUE friend! We love those boys like they have always been part of us, and we pray that we will always have them in our lives :O)

Lorri Hare
Director / BGWC Humane Society

David said...

Congrats on your new puppy, sure many happy days lie ahead!! Squirrels were always a focal point of Erin's life so I can certainly relate to this post. Take care!!

Kathryn Levy Feldman (Kit) said...

Tell us all about him--a pure Pyr? Name? Age?

Rebecca said...

I'm so happy for you Luke he's a sweet pea.

Anonymous said...

AWWWW he's cute.
I'm sure you found each other where & when you were supposed to.
Maybe Ain't Frank is his name or maybe another is but either way he's cute.
HUGS to you, Hudson & Ain't Frank


Farmer Wiediger said...

Ah Luke, Bowling Green is a wonderful place and I am so happy you found hudson's new brother here. But the next time, look closer at those white squirrels. They are not albino. They have black eyes!

Alison Wiediger, Au Naturel Farm

Solitude.Peace said...

@ Lorri Hare, If you should read this then know that your story above was written beautifully and was heartfelt. He sure is a cutie (the puppy that is, lol) and I for one and happy that you 'just knew.'

Anonymous said...

What a face! He has that pyr-fect little brother mischief look about him. :) Much joy to the three of you.

Crystal said...

I also agree ... the story from Lorri Hare was touching and beautiful.

Luke, I am so happy for you and Hudson. As I read down your entry and got to the end where you said you adopted a new baby,I smiled for you. Then, I saw the picture of the new addition, my eyes teared up. He is adorable and lucky! He has no clue how famous he already is and what an amazing family he just became a part of!

I still hope to meet you and the fuzzybutts one day, maybe in Memphis. I am from there and visit my parents who still live there.

Until your next blog ...

Crystal Davis