Trash cans in the night


Trash can photo by Aaron H Warren     CC-BY-2.0

I was about three years old and sound asleep on a summer night when my father woke me up and said, “Lorrie, come on.  I want to show you something.”   I climbed out of bed and followed him out to the back porch.   He sat down on the porch steps, sat me on his lap and whispered in my ear, “Be quiet and watch over there.”  He pointed  to the corner of the garage.  I sat there quietly staring at the corner of the garage where the metal trash cans were kept, just outside of the range of the light that shone from the corner of our house. Continue reading

The Great 6th Grade Frog Jumping Contest

When I was a little girl, every spring and early summer I would fall asleep to the sound of peep toads.  In addition to the peepers, we had many other types of frogs in the area and I would look for them in the local ponds and play with them for a while before setting them free.   To me, frogs were nature’s toys that did it all, they sang, swam, jumped, ate bugs and made me laugh. Continue reading

There’s a turtle in the tub

No one was there when I arrived home from work one summer day but I did find a note on the kitchen table.  It was written on the inside of a torn open Chun King Chicken Chow Mein box that had been taken out of the trash can.  The letter, written in cursive, read:

Dear Jayson,

There’s a turtle in the tub.

Continue reading

What’s in a name?


Whiskey was the first puppy Lainey and I found, but he wasn’t the last.   In October, 1975 during one of our regular walks, we found a 5 or 6 month old Beagle puppy on the lower dirt road that led to the lake.  Just like Whiskey, he was not wearing a collar.  That time of year, the summer cottages at the lake were deserted but because of our previous experience with Whiskey, we knew the drill; try to find his family and if his family could not be found, find him a new one.   Continue reading


“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them.”  – Thom Jones

I grew up near a lake with mountains, woods and fields all nearby ready to explore.  It was a great place to be a kid.  But the best part about where I lived was that my best friend Lainey lived right up the dirt road that ran past my house.   We were inseparable.  We rode the bus to school together, went to the same church, went to Girl Scouts together, were cheerleaders on the same squads….we did everything together. Continue reading



I awoke to a beautiful summer day made even better by the fact that unlike my husband Steve, I didn’t have to go to work.   I got out of bed and headed downstairs and saw that the kids were already awake and playing a video game in the back room. We lived in an old two-story home and the back room was actually what had been the home’s summer kitchen, once upon a time. Continue reading

Cross My Path

Several years ago I heard a story on National Public Radio about a man named Leo Grillo.   Like many before him, Mr. Grillo moved to Los Angeles to work in the movie industry. Unlike many others however, in addition to acting, he ended up rescuing dogs.  A lot of dogs.  Over the years, he’s rescued hundreds of them which are cared for at an animal sanctuary he created, D.E.L.T.A. Rescue.   What struck me about his story was not the fact that he does such work, nor the fact that he does it on such an epic scale – D.E.L.T.A. Rescue currently provides care for more than 800 dogs – what struck me was the way in which he finds the animals in need.

It began in the 70’s when he kept having a dream about a black Doberman.   After several such dreams he saw the dog he had  been dreaming about, skinny and alone, walking on the side of the road.  He stopped the car and rescued the dog, who he named Delta, meaning “New Beginning”.   In the radio story, Mr. Grillo spoke about how it was easy for him to find dogs in need.   He said to find them, he would just send a message out to the universe, “Cross my path”.  He and Delta would go for hikes or walks and he would think, “Cross my path and I will help you”.

Throughout my life, I’ve had many animals cross my path.   While a fair share of them were dogs, I’ve had a variety of other animals as well, both domestic and wild, wander into my yard and life.  I never realized that this was unusual, in fact for many years I thought such things happened to people all the time.  When I would share a story about the latest animal to show up and people would act like it was odd, I assumed it was happening because of where I lived.  I thought that maybe I just lived in an area where people did not control their animals well.   In 1997 when my husband and children and I moved to a new home I remember telling them, “Well, this should put an end to our strange animal adventures”.   Three weeks later there was an ostrich in my front yard.

It was at that point that I re-evaluated the whole this thing only happens because of where I live theory and realized that this type of thing has been happening to me my whole life, regardless of where I live.   Animals show up in my yard or cross my path often, even though I’ve never put the thought “cross my path” out to the universe.  In fact, to be blunt, given the amount of animals that have already crossed my path, I’d be a bit fearful to put such a thought out to the universe because I don’t know that I could manage as successfully as Mr. Grillo.   Although  I’ve helped those I could and most of them have left my care for the better, there were a few instances where I could not help.  My friends, who have listened to the stories about the various animals that have come and gone, have encouraged me to write the stories down and share them with others.  Some of the stories are heartwarming, some are funny and some are heartbreaking.   It is through this blog that I hope to share them all with you.

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