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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pooch Park: One Giant Step for Dog-Kind Part 1

I found a new website about a month ago.  I shouldn't refer to it as a "new" website, as it is not new in and of itself.  It is just new to me.  Google Earth is it's name. Perhaps you have heard of it or visited it.  On Google Earth you can search for any physical address such as your home or business, and zoom into a photograph of that address that was taken by a satellite.  If you are concerned about "Big Brother" watching you on such a grand scale, you can relax.  The image is not a live image.  In more remote areas, such as Jewell, Iowa, the photograph is updated only every three years or so.  In rural areas, I believe it is updated more frequently.  It is an amazing concept.   

On Google Earth, you can create a tour in which you zoom down to and "fly" over your house or business.  You can go back in time and look at previous satellite images.  This is called a historical tour, but all of the previous satellite images of my clinic were too out of focus to really zoom in.  My most current satellite image was taken in April of 2008.

I am so excited about Google Earth, because I spent some time landscaping this weekend, with a little help from my friend, Missy...and her spouse! 

I recently hired a woman that I know from animal rescue.  Her name is Missy.  I am slightly nervous about the new circumstance, because as a boss you hate to lose a friend or rescue contact because you are suddenly in a boss/employee position. It benefits me and the clinic to hire someone that is knowledgable about animals, so I took the chance.  We are still in the honeymoon phase of the arrangement, but I do have high hopes for the match.

I was telling Missy how I have wanted to put a rock garden in Pooch Park, but just have not taken the time to make it happen.  The next thing I know, she and I have shovels in our hands, and we are out in Pooch Park attempting to dig through what used to be a gravel parking lot. 

When I bought the property, the area that is now Pooch Park was a mixture of grass, weeds, and gravel.  There was a house somewhere in this yard at some point, but I am not sure where it actually was, or when it was removed.  It is obviously gone now. The fence was put in for the safety of the dogs.  I decided it would be nice to make a park-like area for people to sit while walking their dogs or ours.  It is a nice spot for potential adopters to sit in while meeting an adoptable dog for the first time, weather permitting.  It has slowly evolved... and it is still unfinished, but it is oh so close to completion after this weekend.

A few years back, I planted two trees in Pooch Park with the dedicated assistance of Miguel and his red truck.  I turned the entire run along the fence lines into a large garden.  Two volunteers that I need to thank are Melissa D. and Rachelle W.  for "rock hunting" to provide Pooch Park with the larger stones that border all the gardens and the base of the trees. They scoured ditches for miles picking up suitable stones for the park.  Miguel and I did a lot of digging, and his truck hauled a lot of mulch to that garden.  We dug three holes for two trees.  We called Digsafe, and had the property marked for power and water lines.  Somehow, we still ran into a wire of some sort at the base of our first hole.  it was so tempting to just throw the tree in at that point and bury it all.  But concern about the roots and their affect on the wire scared me.  I decided to move the tree over after hours of hard work, and Miguel and I made it happen.  Trees were planted.  Stones were placed.  Shrubs were planted.  Mulch was spread.  The task was over, for now.  It looked wonderful, but was not yet done.

This past Friday, Miguel, Missy, and I began digging, again, to place that rock garden that kept getting away from me.  Getting through the layer of gravel is a nightmare in pooch park and anywhere on this piece of property.  Arnold Schwarzenegger would submit to these tiny stones that in number can whoop anyone's behind!  It is ironic that these stones were preventing us from putting in a rock garden! 

We were sweaty and tired when Missy suddenly announces, "My husband does landscaping for a living.  He can use his skidloader to get through this gravel."  Miguel and I stared at her in disbelief as she dialed the phone, had a brief conversation with her husband, then barks, "He will be here tomorrow."  Miguel and I looked at each other.  We were unsure whether we should hug her for getting him to help, or strangle her for waiting until now to brainstorm this wonderful idea!

The next morning, we anxiously await the arrival of our "landscaper".  Saturday mornings pass very quickly because it is often busy with appointments and with adoptions.  It seemed to pass relatively slowly this week as my excitement about finally getting this chore done got the best of me.  We had no idea what time to expect our skidloading friends.  We finally receive a phone call from Missy in the late morning.  "We are just outside of Ellsworth (only 4 miles away or so), but we might not make it there!" 

Oh, brother.  I just cannot let this project get away from me.  I am ready to grab the shovel again and go finish it myself, one piece of gravel at a time!  Just as I am wondering, "why on earth would they get this close to the clinic, and then not come here to get it done?!"  Missy blurts out, "We got stopped for speeding, and my husband may be getting arrested.  Gotta go!"  She hangs up the phone, and we were left to sit and wonder, "What the?" 

To be continued...

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Elizabeth said...

Left hanging again.. hehe..
Love your blog and the work you do!

Erich said...

That is going to be great.

And eagerness is understandable, but waiting for the right tools makes soooo much sense.