Tag Archives: animals

On the Horizon: Devastating Drought

Few times in my life have I experienced something where I was moved to tears. When I traveled to Southwestern Oklahoma and saw the devastation brought on by the severe drought, my tears were some of the only water around. The temperature was so brutal; my equipment was too hot to touch at times. My hands were blistered from grabbing my tripod and camera.

This area has not seen any rain since October of 2010. Their grass is dried up, if it has not been burned by fire, and most of their ponds are history. Livestock and equine producers are forced to sell out because they simply cannot feed or water them. We stopped by the sale yard in Apache, OK, and the sight there was almost unbearable. The average number of cattle that runs through there is about 3,000 head of bulls and steers on Thursdays. Because of circumstances beyond control, there were over 6,000 head already there and trailers kept rolling in. When it was all said and done, auctioneers sold until 4:00 the next morning.

Growing up in Washington State, I never knew drought. I did grow up on the “dry side” of the state but we have a wonderful irrigation system that has made Eastern Washington a prime agricultural area. I never dreamed I would see the day where Americans are restricted in their water use. It was a wakeup call for me as I drove through Cement, OK, and saw very few people watering their lawns. Even when the time came to where people could water, many forfeited their chance to save water for the firemen.

A lot of times, stories like these create awareness and people take a stand to change things. Unfortunately, in this case, the change that needs to be made is RAIN. So say an extra prayer, do a rain dance, or whatever it is you may do. Because the people, the livestock and the land in Southwestern Oklahoma are drying up and are running out of options.

~Andy Barth

On the Horizon: Devastating Drought from Alisa Hines on Vimeo.

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch: Pay it Forward

By Julie Allgyer

Julie and Mae
Julie & Mae

It has happened more than once.  A cold, wet, tweenage dog shivering on a stranger’s front porch. Who knows what goes through people’s minds as they toss the last of the litter out of their vehicle?

But what if it really isn’t that way?  What if the puppy owner is deliberately placing a dog on the porch of a stranger to Pay It Forward?

Mae joined our team as a walk-on in May of 2008.

Early one morning, I noticed something odd through the satellite windows at the front door … a scary feeling out in the middle of the country at 6AM.  I calmed my fears, smoothed my linen skirt, and opened the door.  A muddy puppy.  Hmmm.

Pay it Forward.

With three indoor cats already on the roster, we decided that Mae needed to be an outside dog.  However, she quickly worked her way into our hearts and into our home.

Over the past three years my “free” dog has cost me countless holes in blankets, a door, the window trim (she broke out of a locked kennel) and most recently a car radio.  But even as I sit here wearing shorts with part of the back pocket torn off, preparing to put on pajamas with one strap chewed in half, I can’t help but love this dog.

"Mom look at the SPIDER DOG!"

Mae went through a ten-week obedience class and barely passed…but she passed and she has the certificate to prove it.  She proudly donned a tarantula costume during the March of Dogs to benefit the Hardeman County Humane Society.  She performed flawlessly in the Christmas parade with eleven other rescued dogs.

A complete stranger gifted me the best dog anyone could ever hope to own.  I hope that I prove to her daily that my life has been changed for the better since her arrival.

Pay it Forward.

Last Friday my husband brought home two three-week old kittens that had lost their mother.  Within twenty-four hours they had a new mom…and it wasn’t me.

(Click photo below to see video of Mae mothering our baby kittens.)

Pay it Forward.