Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Day With Elk, and Dogs...Sunday Journal #1

It seemed appropriate this holiday weekend to escape the hordes of shoppers at the spririt-numbing suburban malls, and spend some soothing and reflective time in the company of some of our animal friends.

On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, we decided to visit the Elk Preserve.  We live in Elk Grove Township, near a Chicago suburb called Elk Grove Village:

"Elk Grove was mainly settled by German immigrant farmers......(The) Busse family owns and operates the last farm in Elk Grove..... This land was once considered for a new Chicago Bears stadium, but the idea was withdrawn. .....A herd of elk is also kept in the Busse Woods (Ned Brown) Forest Preserve at the intersection of Arlington Heights Road and Higgins Road."

These elk were brought over from Montana by the Busse family in the 1920's.  As very small children my sister and I were taken to see them occasionally in their large fenced area on the edge of the woods.  As they have developed through the years, the elk have become comforatble with their human visitors, and on Friday they were very cooperative.  The late-afternoon light was wonderful, and we got some nice photographs.....

Immediately after our visit to the Preserve, we drove an additional 2 miles to visit the new Shelter for a dog and cat rescue organization called The Buddy FoundationMark and I were there for each other to give emotional support, for we both knew how much we miss having a dog, and we were there to help prevent each other from entering into a hasty adoption. 

We looked at all of the adoptable dogs, and played with a room filled with sibling puppies.... It was an afternoon of nostalgia and quiet emotion, of many laughs, and soothing words, of barking and wagging tails, and face licks....

The Foundation was selling Christmas Tree Ornaments to raise money for the facility, and for every purchase, a star is devoted to a pet, living or dead, to hang on their tree.  There were no Basset Hounds, so as a way to commemorate last Summer's trip to Boston, we chose a Boston Terrier Ornament.

We both sobbed a bit upon leaving....missing our girl, wishing we could take all of the homeless dogs with us, yet grateful that this energetic group of people cared for them all so well.  In the meantime, I am going back to fill out the papers to become a volunteer.  It should be a new adventure, and might result in our eventually taking a needy creature home with us.  I should have some stories about the experience.  In the meantime, here are some pictures of the dogs ready to be adopted:


  1. You know I'm a sucker for posts about animals and this one hit the nail on the head. Great shots of the Elk and pooches too! I too understand the "soothing and reflective time" found amongst animals and especially your close attachment to dogs. My son visits the shelters and pet stores just to spend some time playing and snuggling with dogs and puppies too. It's great therapy! I think volunteering there is a terrific idea and I applaud you for your decision. Great job!

  2. Tom,
    Your son sounds like a sensitive and caring person. I wonder how many dogs he has brought home! It is difficult to leave a shelter empty-handed. Once I begin receiving assignments, I will write more about the experience. Always glad to share animal stories with like-minded friends.