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Monthly Archives: November 2005

 

I will deeply miss the little black cat who decided I would be his human……it is an honor to be picked by an animal…… I am glad he chose me to care for him.

 

I am not sure what he endured prior to his life at my house, but the few years he was with us he made a huge impact on me.  From his first Vet visit I knew his life would be short so I indulged his every whim.  I spent a large part of time spoiling him and loving him…..  he soaked it up like a sponge, and I loved every minute of it.

 

Sierah gave me a hug last night and said, “Oh Mom I’m sorry, I know how much you loved that cat…..”  I did love that old Tom cat…..and he loved me too……

 

I will miss his constant presence in my life……  he was my little buddy.

 

Rest in peace “Him Black Cat”……….rest in peace my friend.

 

 

Laura 

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Sierah’s Dad and Grandpa are really hard on her.  I wish somehow I could change that but that is something obviously beyond my control.  They are the way they are….I dont think they will ever change.

 

It came to a boiling point after Sierah’s game Saturday night.  Sierah played a decent game, but I guess she didn’t have as good a game as usual…….not scoring any points but playing a good game otherwise. 

 

 Right after the game her Dad said something to the effect, “I thought you came to play….bla bla bla.”  (Failed to mention her team just beat the other team by 55 points, didn’t mention her blocks or rebounds she had…….)  Sierah got her feelings hurt and walked away crying. 

 

On her drive home her Grandpa called her on her cell and chewed into her too…….saying she was going to loose her starting position to a younger player if she doesn’t step it up, etc. 

 

She came home and balled.  It hurt my heart, but she knows how they both are.  Perfectionist.  The both of them.  It would seem her Father wouldn’t be so hard on her considering the cloak of perfectionism he grew up under…..but he still is.  I don’t understand it.

 

Last night one of her coaches took me aside and asked me to ask them to “quit being so hard on her.”  He said, “She is a good girl, and does the right thing all the time.  She always gives us 100% even in practice….we don’t want them to break her spirit.”  He was really angry when he found out (from another players Uncle) all that her Grandpa and Father had said (more than I mentioned here)……he even called me right after we had walked in the door that night and said, “Oh by the way…..tell them she was our leading re-bounder that game too.” 

 

It is hard on me to watch them be so hard on her.  I grew up with a Father who was a perfectionist who had a genius IQ and nothing I ever did was ever good enough for him.  I know how she feels……it makes you really hard on yourself too.

 

She told me this morning that she had the highest test scores on the last two tests in Micro-Biology…….I wanted her to call her Dad and tell him, but some part of me knows he would find something else negative to say.  That’s sad isnt it?

 

I just hope her skin will thicken and she will listen to me when I tell her nothing else matters than her being happy…….don’t worry about the dumb stuff.  At the end of the day, Dad and Grandpa are still going to be Dad and Grandpa…..she is the one who will have to learn to look over what they say when it is unnecessary, and know that doing the best she can do, is all she can do……

 

She will always be the best in my eyes! 

 

Laura

What a crazy couple of days.  I was blessed to have 5 days off in a row.  I needed them……I cant say I got much done, but I sure needed the rest.

 

After spending 5 days in the house with 7 dogs I have come to the realization that Stellar will need to be re-homed.  I made this decision after my friend Juan came over Thanks Giving Day and Stellar got right up on the couch next to him and laid his head on his lap.  This made me realize Stellar will adapt to a new house, I just have to find the right home.  A home where he will continue to be spoiled and the people will understand his eccentricities attached to his past.  He likes to be on the furniture, he sleeps in the bed with me at night, he doesn’t like to be behind a closed door unless someone is with him, he doesn’t like the crate, he is scared outside by himself, he wants me close to him when he eats and he is learning that all food on the counter does not belong to him. (Even though he can reach it all) He is an incredibly smart dog, loving and totally house trained.  His only issue is toy possession issues with dogs……not humans.  The kids and I can all take away food, toys or chew toys but if the dogs come near him he growls.  (We are working on it, but that is a rather simple issue) 

 

He is gaining weight like crazy, will sit for a treat and has made no attempt to jump my fence.  Although he does put his feet up there and stand up and wine when I take the trash out to the alley.  (I was a bit concerned about that due to his size.)  I am going to list him on my friend Kim’s rescue web page and see what happens.  I have already had a few people inquire about him, but neither was right……if the right one never comes along, he will remain with us.

 

“Him Black Cat” isn’t doing well….he has refused food for a couple days and he has reverted to laying on the heater all of the time. (Not getting up in any of his favorite windows, baskets or napping spots)  I know he has already outlived the Vet’s expectations by a year…..but I am not ready for him to go.  I cried like a baby last night thinking about having him put to sleep.  Even though we have only had a few years with him, he has made a huge impact on my life. 

 

Ironically the 3 legged cat that has been around since summer decided he was going to take up residency on our front porch about a week ago.  Meowing loudly to come in every time we pass by the window.  Going from the front door to the back when we came or left.  Sierah told me Wednesday night that he woke her up meowing so loudly. 

 

Finally Thanksgiving evening I decided to bring him in.  I put all of the dogs up, checked to see where “Him Black Cat” was sleeping (so not to upset him) and snuck him upstairs to the twins room.  There I had a bowl of food and water and a litter box.  Here I got a closer look at the 3 legged cat…….She is a he, rather plain looking tiger cat, missing a back leg and who has been neutered and de-clawed in all 4 paws.  (I am against de-clawing)  It is a miracle this cat survived outside that period of time.  He is totally defenseless and it was so wrong for someone to put him out.  This without question was someone’s cat due to all of the work that has been done to him.  No missing reports have been filed with Animal Care and Control or the ASPCA.  I really didn’t expect there to be because he has been lurking around the house for months. 

 

I did see the neighbor girl and ask her if she knew who’s cat it was and she said “No” but it’s real friendly.  (That he is)  I think the outdoor cat food I have been leaving out was primarily being eaten by the 3 legged cat because since he has been in the house, the food has not been touched.  I do randomly see other cats eating it, but I have not refilled the bowl in 5 days……previously I was filling it twice a day.

 

Life at my house is crazy as normal…….I think I need another 5 days off.

 

Laura

 

Well, all dogs have now been introduced and everyone gets along perfectly.  Not one growl, nothing…….just like Stellar has always been there. 

 

He did wonderfully yesterday in the house while I was at work. (No potty accidents) When I went home for lunch he was really excited to see me.  He actually behaves like a puppy still…jumping around acting silly….of coarse he had the big polar bear in his mouth and that only creates a big goofy look.

 

At 1:00AM this morning my dogs decided they wanted to go out, so as I was getting up Taryn stuck Stellar in my room so they all went out to go potty.  Once I got them all back in and I got back in the bed Stellar jumped up in the bed with me.  Jenna was already in there, so it was me, Stellar, Jenna and Murphy in my Queen size bed and I think I had the smallest slice of the bed.  He laid on his side and was eventually snoring, sound asleep…..He kept his foot on his bear to keep track of it.

 

Stellar did snag Taryn’s chicken sandwich off the kitchen counter this morning.  He didn’t know he did anything wrong….he stood right there eating wagging his tail it looking at her like, “Thanks.”  We all have to get use to how tall he is.  He wants to be right in the middle of all the action all the time and when someone goes upstairs, he goes up behind them to see where they went, then he goes back downstairs.  It’s like he has to keep track of everyone.

 

He is eating….A LOT……and I swear I can visibly see he is gaining weight already.  Maybe him being in a warm house has made a huge difference….burning less energy.  He is now eating whenever he wants to, but I give him a can of food mixed in with his dry food twice a day….other than that he goes downstairs and gets food whenever he wants.  I keep water for him in this large spaghetti pot…..it was the only thing I had big enough.

 

This morning I drove thru the Burger King right next to the woods where Stellar once lived……I stared up into the woods.  I am not sure what I expected to see but I still just sat there and looked.  Knowing Stellar is safe and warm in my house, holding his woobie.  Thinking about him just a few days ago living like a wild, frightened animal and the 360-degree change he has made in just a few days is amazing. 

 

I cant imagine what he is thinking….He is lucky and I am too…

 

Laura

 

PS……I will have photos by tomorrow or the next day I imagine.  I took them in today.  I cant wait for you guys to see him.  My girlfriend saw him today….she is the one who seen him with me the first day and she said he looks great!!  She said, "I cant see all of his bones…."

 

Sierah’s basketball team won their game this weekend (Now 3 and 0) but her school’s football team lost at Semi-State.  I sure hate that, but at least they made it that far.  Taryn road the fan bus to the game and didn’t return until 1:00AM Saturday morning…….she had fun and I sent her dressed like it was going to be sub zero outside.  Arms sticking almost straight out in my goose down coat with all the stuff she had on under it…oh, and a blanket…..I guess some kid that just had on a thin jacket used the blanket.

 

From the paper on Sierah’s game:

 

SOUTH SIDE 63, CARROLL 50


South Side

9

20

6

28-63

Carroll

11

13

16

10-50

South Side: Katie Ball 0 0-0 0, Zaquanna Braden 4 5-6 13, Demetria Eley 4 2-12 10, Sha`la Jackson 7 2-4 16, Marcyea Mingo 2 6-8 11, Sierah ****** 1 2-2 4, Normalyn Smith 2 3-4 9, team 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 20-36 63.

 

Stellar:

Stellar has proved to be a big baby.  He carries around the stuffed polar bear non-stop.  He had it so full of drool and stinky stuff that I decided to wash it last night.  He wined the entire time it was washing and drying…..He leans on you when he stands next to you and he wants you to touch him all the time.

He has now been introduced to Murphy, Cheyenne, Tonka and Franny.  Only the two boys left.  Once we get that taken care of, we can leave them all out together.  Stellar seems fine with all of them. 

I took lots of photos of him with a 35 mm camera so I will get them developed within the next few days.  He looks so cute curled up on the couch with is “Woobie.”  (That’s what we call Murphy’s stuffed animal, so that is what Stellar’s is called too.) 

He is eating really well but wants someone with him when he eats.  He follows me everywhere.  When I drove away this morning he was standing in the doorway looking at me.  I will return home in 3 hours and I pray he is okay during that time.  He will have free roam of the house so I hope that eases his tension.  I think he is going to have separation anxiety. 

He is so darn big.  When standing next to my table or counter, he is eye level with them.  Even the stove.  We have to keep stuff pushed back and tell him no…..he almost had a chicken leg last night…….he stands in the kitchen and drools when you cook, licking his chops.

He loved his big bone, the stuffed bear, the fake stuffed bone that squeaks and the Kong with peanut butter, but was not interested in the ball.  He is still frightened outside and will not go further than about 10 feet into the yard.  I can’t imagine how the poor guy felt in those woods all that time.  He is such a big ole baby.  He is really doing well.  Much better than any expectations I could of ever had for him.

A 3 legged cat:

Over the summer this 3 legged cat kept appearing at my house.  Not unusual because I leave food out since I started feeding black cat long ago…..even when he moved into the house because there are so many neighborhood strays.  The 3 legged cat did look healthier than most of the others and has always had a good body weight.  Just the missing leg.  I assumed he was someone’s cat, just out roaming.

The kids think he belongs to the Frat house behind us, but I just think he has lived in a small patch of trees right next door.  Those boys have always had a dog and have always taken really good care of it; I just don’t think they would let this cat roam if it did belong to them.

I am going to ask them tonight after work because the cat now is wanting in my house.  I know “Him Black Cat” would not have it and I am not sure about the dogs……but I did set up a little shelter for him on my porch.  He is super friendly and really vocal.  Looks in my window and meows to come inside.  He tries to slip in the house every time we come in or out.  I guess he decided the porch will do for now. 

Bach Flower Remedies:

Check out: http://www.metta.org.uk/therap/Bach.htm     This is not the best place, for the best understanding of the remedies, but it will give you an idea.  They do work, for people and dogs.  The best way to administer it is a few drops under the tongue but you can ad it to water or rub it into the skin.  The bottles will range in price from $6 to $16 depending on where you get them.  Most large Pet chains are starting to carry them.  If not, ordering on line is easy enough….lots of places have it. 

I would say, if you have a dog frightened by storms or that has separation anxiety or any other phobia the “Rescue Remedy” would be of help to them and you both.  It is all natural and non-habit forming.

 A good book:

This morning I was thinking of a book…well, two books you guys should read.  I know my blog friends who have followed Stellar’s story would love these books.  They are called “Found Dogs” and “Second Chances” by Elise Lufkin .  I would recommend anyone reading them….They are short stories, with beautiful back and white photos of each dog who is written about and they are both an easy read.  I have checked them both out over and over from my library.  http://www.founddogs.com/  (Please check them out and read them, I promise you will love them…..)  If you read those and love them, then check out “Dog is my co-pilot” printed by the publishers of BARK magazine.  (Another favorite of mine.)

Once you read them, let me know what you think!

Laura

 

Friday I stopped by my house to check on Stellar twice.  The second time he was much more with it for sure, and he seemed much more unsure about me being close to him. I warmed a blanket in the dryer and laid it on him to help keep him warm.  I noticed this time he had eaten a little bit of food.  I talked to him for about 10 minutes then went back to work.

 

By the time I got home from work he was still lying down, but had his upper body more upright.  He cowered down when I came near him or looked away when I offered him food from my hand.  He was so scared and confused, wide awake and looking around my basement like, “Where the h*ll am I?”….looking up with his head tipped sideways when the dogs toe nails would click on the hard wood floors above him. 

 

I sat down there for hours, as I had the days prior and then finally while I was reading (out loud) to him, he started grooming himself and then when he rested his head, he let out this big sigh.  I yawned and then he yawned…..I laughed out loud and I thought he wagged his tail.  I kept reading……He just looked at me with those big baby blues.

 

I eventually fell asleep down there and when I woke up his had rested his head right next to mine, when I woke up, he did too and stood up…..he towered over me standing and he was still wobbly.  I helped him steady himself and he went to get a drink of water. 

 

He is still rail thin and it is painfully obvious when you are so close to him and feel his bones.  My Vet said Saturday that he is almost at half his body weight right now.  He should weigh between 170 and 200lbs.

 

Saturday morning was a turning point for Stellar…..When I was petting him, and would stop….. he would then nudge my hand for me to keep petting him….he began to follow me around the basement as I did laundry, etc…. he also decided he wanted to get up and meet all of the kids as they came down to see him……I had Sierah buy him some treats from the store and when she gave him one I said, “ask him to sit.”  He sat as requested.  Obviously he had had some training at one point.

 

He was pacing around the basement and I said, “Ya wanna go outside?”  I could tell he knew that too….the only problem was between him and the outside were about 10 open stairs.  (He finally mastered them after me trying to lift him twice, us placing his feet on the stairs for him and 1 adult and 4 kids helping him……)  Outside he relived himself for so long he actually had to put his foot back down.  (I swear he went pee for about 5 minutes)  He is housetrained……knows sit and is not only friendly, he is a love sponge.  A big baby.

 

This WAS someone’s dog once…….what happened?  How did he end up there?  I may never know. 

 

I do know that once he mastered the stairs he didn’t want to be in the basement….he wanted to be upstairs, so upstairs he went……straight up another flight of stairs, to my room and jumped right in the middle of my bed. 

 

I have only introduced him to “Him Black Cat” and “Murphy” and they are okay…..the other dogs will soon follow.  So far, so good.  He has shown no real signs of dog aggression, just interest in the other dogs.

 

He is a good dog, today stretched out on the couch head lying on Jenna’s lap.  It is hard to believe that just a few days ago he was running from me in the woods and gulping down his food like it was his last meal.  He isn’t even doing that any more.  He eats normally.  I just keep food down for him all of the time.

 

Today I saw the first signs of him wanting to play…..he got Taryn’s stuffed Polar Bear and has carried it all over the house.  When I threw it for him, he galloped to get it….tail wagging.

 

He is scared outside especially in the dark.  I cant imagine how he felt in those woods.  He ran back to the basement and the first sign of another human’s voice.  He comes back when I tell him it is okay.

 

His heart is already mending though…..he once knew love and being a house dog….and it has all came back to him rather quickly.  He has attached himself to the kids and me even faster.  He slept with Taryn last night and now wines if put in the basement for a “Dog change around.” 

 

Today we bought him big bones and toys and he is for sure on the road to being a spoiled house dog again……..He got a new beautiful red collar and leash and will have a matching red coat to keep him warm while outside. 

 

He is happy when we return home, wagging his tail and jumping around….he is such a different dog than I watched standing in the woods shaking a few days ago and that wouldnt let me near him for weeks.  It’s hard to believe it is the same dog.  I hate to imagine what happened to him to make him so scared.  I just know, nothing like that will ever happened to him again.

 

I am so happy an he is doing so well…….he is truly a gentle soul.

 

Laura

 

I went home at lunch to check on him and he is still a bit groggy.  He had gotten up, used the rest room and lay back down and curled up. 

 

I covered him back up and offered him some water and canned food.  He wasn’t interested…..maybe some warm chicken broth tonight will interest him. 

 

I have a few things to tend to tonight and then I will go down stairs and just be close to him while I read a book.  Just to let him get use to being so close to me. 

 

I was so worried……our weather was nice for so long, but quickly turned ugly….he wouldn’t of lasted much longer out there.  That I know for sure.  They are calling for a couple inches of snow this week. 

 

Thanks to all who left a comment……I do appreciate it.  I cant tell you how happy I am to have finally gotten him home.  I feel so relieved….Life is good!

 

Laura 

 

An angel smiled down on me yesterday and I was able to bring home my buddy Stellar.  5 hours and two types of medications later…….he was knocked out and Kim, Acacia and I hauled him out of the woods on a blanket.

 

Kim, bless your heart for helping me……I couldn’t of done it without you.  Thank you!!

 

Once we got him in the Van we went straight to the Vet’s office.  We ran tests for Heartworm, intestinal parasites, etc and he was negative for everything. (That is a blessing) His low body weight was due only to starvation.  We trimmed his over grown nails and weighed him while he slept.  He weighed 99 lbs yesterday after a month of me feeding him…..can you imagine what he looked like 4 weeks ago when I first saw him? 

 

The Vet thought he was in remarkably good shape for what he has been thru……everyone thought he was so beautiful. 

 

Last night at my house, I went down stairs and looked him over really closely.  He had lots of little cuts and scrapes that I put antibiotic ointment on and I put some Vaseline on his foot pads….they are really ruff from the woods. 

 

The Vet thought he was about 1.5 years old by his teeth, he already has one bad tooth that the Doctor contributed to poor diet. 

 

He is currently sound asleep on a bed of blankets and covered with a warm blanket to keep his body temperature high enough. 

 

He looked at me, tried to raise his head, and stretched his legs when I came down at 3:00AM to check on him, but he is still knocked out.  That’s okay though, I guess it is the first time in a long time he has been able to sleep sound and be warm…..I put a call into the Vet’s office this morning and he is going to call me back if he is alarmed that he is still asleep.  The Vet Tech didn’t think so, with all those meds.  She thought it was normal.

 

I have no idea what the days following will bring, but I pray he can learn to trust again. 

 

While we were trying to catch him Kim said, “It is obvious he wants to be with you, he comes to the edge of the woods behind you….but he just cant bring himself to come out…”  I imagine it will take a long time to heal those wounds.   That’s okay though….I have plenty of time.

 

Thanks to all who said a prayer and kept us in your thought yesterday……it worked!  He’s finally home.

 

Laura

My friend Kim and I are going to try again today to catch the Dane.  We are running out of time.  It is 20 degrees here today and it feels like 6 degrees with the wind chill.  Way too cold for a short-coated dog to sustain long.

 

Kim got a different medicine from a Vet yesterday called ACE, and we are going to give it a try.  I pray it works. 

 

I went to feed him this morning and I was so worried he wouldn’t emerge from the woods, but he did…..standing there shaking.  I thought I would cry looking at him.  I told him that he would be coming home with me later!    I fed him only a can of canned food, no dry food….so the sedative can work quickly when we give it to him.  We will give it to him in about half a can of food, maybe less. 

 

I got my basement ready for him.  I got a dog bed ready, a Great Dane size crate so he can go in there and feel secure and his food bowls.  I think the basement will be the best place for him to make the transition….he will be able to hear and smell us, but still have a distance between us.  My basement is dry and warm and also has natural lighting from 4 windows. 

 

I ordered the “BACH flower rescue remedy” to help him stay calm.  (It does work)  I just pray we can catch him this morning.  If she is able to, she will also bring a catch pole.  I just hope the medicine knocks him all the way out.  I think that will be easier.

 

Lets hope for the best….

 

Laura

 

During a nasty storm last night Acacia and Jenna and I built a shelter out of 9 bails of straw and a tarp.  Sounds simple enough but do to the fact it gets dark so early and it was pouring down rain and lightening we had to build it about 15 feet off of the clearing where he comes out to eat.  A place where I am sure he wouldn’t feel too secure, but we couldn’t go further into the woods in the dark.  We will return Saturday to move the shelter deeper into the woods or try again to catch him.

 

Everyone is right about his association of the dart gun and me.  I have worried about that since the Vet first mentioned it.  The only problem is he wouldn’t come out in the open for anyone other than me.  I am lucky my friend Kim is brainstorming with me too and we are trying to figure something out.  She also has a catch pole and had I had one that day he was sedated, I would have been able to catch him.

 

One of the businesses near his patch of woods where he lives is a Lowes.  That is where we got the straw last night.  Due to the sheer volume of 9 bails of straw we had to pile 6 up on top of the van.  (To transport it across the parking lot)  Take those down, drag them into the woods and go for more.  We also went and got stakes for the tarp…to hold it down in the wind.  This morning I had frozen pieces of straw stuck to my Van everywhere….

 

It was pouring so hard last night we were all drenched to our under clothes by the time we got finished.  I still had on dress clothes from work and my beautiful pink sweater with the “L” on it I think has seen its last day……it’s okay though.  We did get the shelter built.

 

I moved his food bowl inside of the shelter, threw an entire bag of dog treats inside the area where he could lay down and then filled the food bowl up with dry and canned food.  I stood there in the pouring down rain and called and called him, but he didn’t come.  I imagine he was scared of how the big contraption looked….kind of like a brown igloo.  I must say the tarp covered it perfectly and I couldn’t of planned it better myself.

 

The kids and I all held hands and prayed before we left that spot……it must of helped because when I got there this morning the food was gone.  I was sorry to say I didn’t find him inside, but I was happy that he was brave enough to stick his head in to eat.  That is step # 1.

 

Last night brought a mixed bag of foul weather.  First the thunderstorm while we were trying to build the shelter, then while coming home from basketball practice they interrupted the radio program to say there was a tornado warning……Sierah was riding with her friend Autumn and I called and said to get the h*ll home!  Once we got everyone home we located the flashlight, lit a fire in the fireplace and some candles and got prepared for the lights to go out.  Winds were gusting up to 70 MPH.  Then the tornado sires went off down town.  There was an eerie calm while I stood on the porch and looked for swirling black clouds…..anyone who has witnessed a tornado knows that calm before the storm.  The sky was so pitch black I couldn’t see a thing……I thought of Stellar.    Was he in his shelter?  I could only hope so.

 

Once the tornado warning, then tornado watch passed we realized the temperature had dropped almost 30 degrees in less than an hour.  Now a different weather element moved it…….wind, high winds.  It was a cold, cutting wind and it blew so hard and so long that I was up half of the night…..listening to the wind howl.  It made my dogs nervous.  Bear was so nervous in fact he threw up.  He was wining and pacing and finally jumped up on top of me and laid down……I laid on my bed looking out the window, thinking of Stellar.   I wished he was inside my house with the rest of us.  Where he would be safe.

 

I have this fear…….a terrible fear that one day when I go to feed him, he doesn’t come out of he woods, so I go into the woods looking for him.  When I find him, he is curled up in a tight little ball, froze to death.  That thought haunts me….I will NOT let that happen.  I just wish he would cooperate.  What terrible things has this dog been thru to distrust humans so?……It hurts me to even think about it.

 

Thinking about and caring for this dog has consumed a large part of my daily thoughts and activities…..I may need to start feeding him 3 times a day due to the colder weather…..it seems his care may consume my lunch hour too. 

 

There is a Vet’s office near by and I may be able to get someone there to help me in some way, then again…..so many people are funny.  Not sure I could trust someone that they are going to show up every day when they say they are….sure maybe the first few days, but after that most people don’t have staying power. 

 

I guess the right answers will come to me in time……I just hope it is sooner rather than later.

 

 

Laura

 

PS….here is a link to a story about the Shelter where I got Bear, Oreo and Franny from.  Please read it, this is why I adopted 3 dogs from there.  If anyone reading this, lives near Indiana and would like to adopt a dog…please check into this shelter.  It is so over crowded.  I would be happy to help you in any way I can.

http://www.chronicle-tribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051114/NEWS01/511140306/1002