Friday, September 12, 2014

Shasta, Fence Posts and More

Early this past week Shasta's arrival at MuRefuge was celebrated. This very sweet and special BEing has been with us now for two years, adopted from the Marin Humane Society when she was six months old. To honor Shasta, she and I joined Sandy Lagno for a interspecies communication. I marvel how Sandy shares her gift!

Shasta in the past has shared with Sandy that she remembers when she was a Being who could fly and that BEing in this canine body is a big adjustment. "BEing here is good. Finding my way to BEing OK BEing here. Good steady humans (Cathie and Dwight) . . . I can function in this body." Clearly this simple communication indicates that Shasta has "acceptance of this body form" and she continued, "I now accept I stay with you."

Shasta was in a number of places before she arrived here at MuRefuge. During this time Shasta shares "It's confusing, humans no get dogs. They tried to dominate me in undog like way." Shasta developed guarding behavior particularly around food. We saw the remnants of this recently when she was given raw lamb bones. She growled, bared her teeth and looked like a wild dog rather than like our familiar Shasta. In communicating about this behavior with Sandy, Shasta shared that she gets scared, "the pictures" she carries with her of her earlier life pop up and fear takes hold, i.e survival behavior emerges. Sandy Worked with Shasta to "show her" that these pictures are behind her and that it is her responsibility to make different choices now as well as develop trust in her present pack leaders, i.e. Cathie and Dwight, who are consistent, steady and understand canine packness. Sandy stressed with Shasta that she can relax, BE in the now and build new memories.

a-a-a-a-a-a-ah, relaxing. Shasta has been visibly more relaxed,
 even right after the connection was broken with Sandy. And when she is given her raw,
organic chicken backs, she looks at me, "These are mine?" "Yes, just for you."
AND she proceeds to devour them without so much as a whimpering guarding growl.
In October, 1994, my now late stepfather, Stephen B. Howard, and Mom
were here to check out MuRefuge purchased the December before.
Steve is shown here  meticulously painting each fence post, not
with one but two coats of paint. The paint color was matched to
the two old oak trees just South of our South property line.
Steve was concerned about the posts rotting at the soil line
so he diligently and methodically gathered small rocks and nestled them around
each post to increase their life span.

Also, this week MuRefuge is getting a face lift of sorts. Some of the fence posts supporting the wide animal friendly fencing have rotted out at the soil line which is in most places well above the cement that was poured around each post in the very early 1990's. Dwight, along with a very strong, quarter of a century younger man than he, easily removed the barely standing fence posts and with more difficulty the cement in the ground. New redwood posts were repositioned in the holes which were then refilled with fresh fence post concrete. 

In the center of this picture you can see the newly installed fence post.
This view is taken from almost the identical spot as the previous one.
As you can see, what is flourishing is not what was originally planted
in this area, know now as MuRefuge's wild coastal prairie.

A recent visitor to one of our bird feeders. Squirrels cause Shasta to go ballistic.
On our walks she senses a squirrel long before her human companions do.

As those of you who have visited MuRefuge know our vegetable garden is
 comprised of basalt block raised beds. The year the Heirloom Italian Zucchini
was planted in the West most bed. These plants are very large and the vines always
lope over  the edge of the bed.  This year this zucchini nestled unnoticed on
the ground right next to the edge of its bed until its HUGENESS caused notice!
I could hardly hold this gigantic fruit for this picture! 
As you look at this zucchini picture may each of you, like Dwight and I did, enjoy a great belly


  1. Love the before and after shots! WOW!!!
    That "fruit" is HUGE!!!
    You are guys are the best. Laughing...

  2. Comment via email: "Nice italian pickle, Cathie. Whatcha gonna do with it?"