Silverwalk was blessed two mornings by the presence, work and joie de vivre of Notre Dame students as part of their community service hours (as I understand it). They were given choices of the type of service they wanted to do: outside, inside, clerical, and others I don't recall. Dogs were not specified but Silverwalk Sanctuary was an "outside" option. Thank you, God, Brother David, Mark Koehler and his wife, Jenifer as well as the students.
Tuesday morning, Katie, Nathan, Orry and Chelsea helped pull dead weeds which last year had grown so large and thick they could not be mowed nor pulled up; now, before they had a chance to get a good start, the students pulled them up by the roots and moved them out of the field. YESH! I now plan to take my gold weeder thing and get more roots. They then walked dogs and how. Oxford went twice, Farrah, Scout, Sassie all were walked; Danny was held and coddled just as he likes. Jack likes to fetch. Even Sheila Sheltie was walked, then carried home when she quit. I found out later one of the girls helping this day did not like dogs; I sure could not tell - good for you, Chelsea. Neither Scout nor Sassie are easy dogs to walk - both are strong, Scout can be fearful while Sassie wants things "her way." Those who walked them did wonderfully not only at walking but paying attention to my directions and concerns involving both.
Wednesday morning brought five different students: Will, Bill, Jason, Laura, and David. We pitched junk from the yard, filling up those huge yellow bags - old bedding the dogs remove from their crates, play with and virtually destroy; tossed out some old decrepit lawn furniture once useful but now fallen apart. Jason helped me fix the "hernia" in the tarp over the outside pen; after I dumped water on my shoes, it is now in a more serviceable condition. Again, dogs were walked; Oxford stranded Will in the garage as he rested after his third walk in two days on the cool concrete. David hung out with Bailey, the black and tan Coonhound. Margie leaped away from Bill when she had to see what Shiloh and Agnes were up to across the road - he got her quickly. We all laughed, wishing we had video, as Shiloh played a mouse in the road and neighbor's yard before eating him for "first breakfast." Towards the end of the morning, we adults decided the students were getting hungry: Margie's name changed to "McNugget," Annie's name became "DoubleCheeseburger." More dogs were pulled out to be walked. Finally, chairs from a truck were out, dogs and kids relaxed in the sunshine after a morning of hard work and walks. Another name change came from Laura, who fell in love with Seymour, renaming him "Phillip." When asked from where Phillip came, she replied "Phillip Seymour Hoffman." Wonderful actor - wonderful Seymour! What a great time!
One thing I heard both days was how multiple students really liked Agnes. What a nice tribute to a very nice old dog. Thank you. She is so special. And so are all of you who gave us such a wonderful start to spring, blessing the dogs, myself and Silverwalk with your gifts of time, enthusiasm and commitment. A joyous Easter to you all. THANK YOU, NOTRE DAME!