River Bottom Beagles


Ghost in this house

I don’t live here anymore. This house is a cold and empty place. I keep the doors closed and heat shut off in the kids bedrooms. Spider webs and dust in places there never used to be. The kitchen range rarely gets used and the table hasn’t seen a family in a long time. It’s just a place to sleep and eat and leave to go back to work. The kennel is a busy place full of life. The house, not so much. Sometimes when I’m downstairs I hear noise upstairs, but there’s no one here. Ghosts and memories don’t make very good company.

Molly and Irene came down to stay this weekend. Opened up the bedrooms and turned up the heat. Books and dinosaurs and stuffed animals all over. Horses and toys making it hard to walk through the living room. Puppies running around and kids laughing and noise. Had to go shopping for chocolate milk.

Molly watched the same dinosaur movie three times. Irene fell asleep in the recliner with her arm around the library book she got Saturday, she woke up and finished it Sunday morning. We had pancakes for breakfast and the table was full. Hurts to think how much you missed all this.

Now the girls have gone home and the ghosts come crowding back.




Good name for this puppy.

What you do

I’ve spent the last few days and weekends putting families and beagle puppies together and it’s made me think of something Lisa once said. Lisa had a way of saying things that made me rethink what I thought I knew. I wish I had written them all down.

I have the deepest respect for doctors and nurses. I have spent many days watching them work. No one works harder or puts in more hours and days on the job than these people. I’ve seen them come in at seven in the morning and again at midnight, and again on weekends and holidays. Time and time again I watched them pull Lisa back from the brink and give her more time to be here with us.

I can’t imagine a more meaningful way to spend your time. Kind of makes how I spend my days seem pretty unimportant.

So it stopped me in my tracks one day when Lisa said “I love what I do, raising beagles. I get to make people happy and see little kids smile. I would hate to be some doctor that has to tell people that their child is sick and may not make it.”






Sundae and Law were trailing a rabbit just down the hill from where Lisa’s lives now. Lisa would have loved the sound. She loved Law, he was her pride and joy. The day we buried Lisa’s ashes here, Law attached himself to Lisa’s mom’s side. He barely knew Lisa’s mom, but must have sensed the relationship and was looking for something he had been missing. Sundae has his picture on Lisa’s headstone. I hope someday, when I am laid to rest next to Lisa that someone will let some of my old dogs trail rabbits close by.


I am afraid of wolves. You should have a healthy respect for a predator that weighs as much as you do and likes to kill. I’m not afraid for myself, but for my dogs and the little girls that spend time out here with those dogs I worry a lot.

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Wolves were taken off the endangered list long ago by the people that are trained to manage wildlife. But politics and some judge from New York City or some place put them back on the list. Well meaning but misguided people that have no idea of the blood they have on their hands.

This is mostly farm land. Wolves have moved in because there are so many in this state they have no where else to go.

New Years day, as Law and Sundae were singing their song to Lisa and all the dogs buried near her, two wolves heard and came to eliminate the competition. I found Sundae not 20 yards from the cemetery. Lisa would have cried at the sound.

Law made it back to the house. His blood soaked my jeans and my tears soaked his fur as he died in my arms. I still can’t understand why.

Sundae and Law will have their own headstone near Lisa’s.




Hope all of you have a great Christmas!


Here’s your sign


Our house is the only one on a dead end road. More deer than cars travel this road. This week somebody put up the sign above. I can see it from the kitchen table. Here’s your sign.

There’s been some days lately it seems like the best part of this life is over. Not much to look forward to.

Lisa always said I’m never going to grow up. She lived each day like it was new and exciting. What kind of trouble can we get into today? She always decorated the whole house for Christmas. I put up the tree and strung the lights and then stayed out of the way. We have totes and totes full of decorations.

I wasn’t going to decorate this year, why bother? Just brings back memories. But Irene and Molly had different ideas. They couldn’t wait for Thanksgiving to get over with so they could get out the Christmas decorations.

Now the tree is up and the whole house is decorated. Irene knew where everything went and couldn’t wait to get it there. Those two both loved granny Lisa a lot and they both miss her, but they don’t let that stop them from laughing and screaming and having fun and saying I Can’t Wait For CHRISTMAS To Get Here!

Lisa loved those two to the top of the sky and back and she would fight like a bulldog to keep them from getting hurt. She couldn’t stand the thought of causing them pain and she hasn’t.

I’ve been busy acting like an adult. Screw that! Time to do like the sign says!