Susan Steele, guest columnist in the 6-9-2017 issue of “Keepers of Our Culture” in the Cedar Street Times, entertains us with stories about two of our PG fur people. Susan is the president of the Friends of the Pacific Grove Library and a member of the Library Foundation. The PGPL is the beneficiary of all book sales. Thank you, Susan, for contributing.
I am pleased to announce that we have met our goal of the number of personal PG stories needed to fill the 444 pages of “Life in Pacific Grove,” our new—and first—Community Book. The staggering depth and breadth of stories is eye-opening and mind-blowing. I am committed to print them all – including late entries that arrive between now and June 25. You will be treated to a sampling of these PG stories in this column—right up to the book launch planned for October 6, when the Monarchs return and our children march in the annual Butterfly Parade to welcome them back to Butterfly Town USA.
With three non-profit organizations and three secondhand stores devoted to saving animals at risk, Pacific Grove is ground zero for animal rescue. My three cats and two dogs testify to my having drunk the local Kool-Aid®. It’s important to remember, though, when you fall for a rescue animal, you take on their history.
The black Lab, Clementine, has separation anxiety. There may be good reason for her affliction, since she was found as a nine-month-old puppy wandering the streets of Hayward. In any case, when I work on the computer, Clementine is at my feet. When I sit on the patio, Clementine is next to me. When I fix something to eat, Clementine follows me to the kitchen. The three cats and the other dog find her neediness a little silly, but Clementine doesn’t care. She can’t help it.
The Lab-chow mix, Lola, is independent to a fault. She is also territorial. Again, she may have acquired this trait by necessity when she had to fend for herself in Stanislaus County. Whatever the reason, nobody walks by our house or steps on our porch without Lola letting them know that they are on her turf. She especially dislikes people wearing hats.
Dog, Dormer and Danger
One day, I was working in the garden, tracked from the window by a very unhappy pair of brown eyes. After a time, the eyes disappeared and I thought Clementine had adjusted to the distance between us. How much I had misjudged the situation became clear when a neighbor appeared, shouting, ‘There’s a dog on your roof!’ Clementine had climbed through an open dormer window and out onto the roof.
I looked up at Clementine; Clementine looked down at me. Clementine’s tongue was hanging out. Her eyes were very big. I ran upstairs to try to coax her back inside, but by the time I got to the offending window, Clementine had jumped from the roof of the house to the slightly lower—and much steeper—roof of an outbuilding. She couldn’t go back and as she scrambled to keep from falling, Clementine’s eyes got bigger and her tongue hung out even more.
Lola Goes to Work
I put a ladder against the shed and climbed up. But I wasn’t strong enough to carry 60-lb Clementine down the ladder. The ladder started to shake. Another neighbor, working in his garden, offered his help and I enthusiastically accepted. I forgot about Lola. When this neighbor tried to enter the back yard, Lola was on the job, defending me and her territory.
Finally, in desperation, I grabbed Clementine’s collar and lowered her as far as I could. She slipped out of her collar and fell the last few feet to the ground. But she wasn’t hurt. She was very happy to be off the roof. I was very happy to be off the ladder. And Lola was very happy that she had done her job.
—Susan Steele, Retired Academic
Submit Your Stories by June 25
Our 444-page community book is overflowing but I still want your PG stories—June 25 is the extended deadline to submit, which you can do right on our website: lifeinpacificgrove.com. Also submit by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or snail mail your stories to Life in Pacific Grove, P.O. Box 722, Pacific Grove, CA 93950. Professional editors will correct anything amiss and your story will shine! Complete details are at lifeinpacificgrove.com. You retain the copyright; Park Place Publications has the right to publish and promote your story in print and on-line to benefit the PG Library.
Thank you for expressing your community spirit! All proceeds benefit the PG Public Library. Book launch in October when the Monarchs return to Pacific Grove.