010 Shinecast: Farm Update & The Wildwood Ruminators

Episode 010 of the Shine Springs Farm Shinecast features live music from The Wildwood Ruminators, a newish band from the Shoals area of Northwest Alabama. You also hear an update about what's growing at Shine Springs Farm and more on Koda. A new stray dog—a yellow Lab, maybe full-blooded—has arrived at the farm and it looks like he'll get a forever home. My dad came up with Shine as his name. … [Read more...]

Welcome, Nicholas: The Dog Who Came On Christmas Eve

  December 24, 2006: Dusk. Mom went out to do some chore a few minutes before my brother and his family were scheduled to arrive for our family Christmas Eve "Breakfast" Dinner. "Sheree, come here. Hurry," Mom called. The urgency in her voice indicated this wasn't simply a call for my general attention. I dashed outside. "It's a puppy," Mom cried out. "A Golden Retriever, I … [Read more...]

Bumble & Me

Eight years ago, Bumble chose me. I'm the lucky one. On December 5, 2003, I welcomed a mostly-grey-colored fur ball into my home. She invited herself, actually. I was looking for a dog. But this little cat picked me. This cat knew I needed something. This cat knew I needed her.   In late July 2003, I moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma to join the faculty in the School of Journalism and … [Read more...]

Dali’s Phone Chat

Dali is a cat I rescued when I lived in Oklahoma. He lives with my parents now. Everyone who meets Dali says he's the coolest cat they've ever known. He is amazing. Today, I was talking with my mom by phone. She had to leave the phone for a couple of minutes to look something up for me. I switched my phone to "speaker" mode so I could type while I waited. Suddenly, I heard what sounded like … [Read more...]

Willow the Cat

Willow the Cat's story is another amazing example of why animal rescue stories always fascinate me. I first learned about Willow's story via this Huffington Post share of Jim Fitzgerald's story for AP. I tweeted it and my tweet was retweeted by several of my friends. At the time, I was the second or third "tweet" via the HuffPo Twitter-sharing tool (that's not to say I was the second person to … [Read more...]

Humpback Whale Rescue

On Valentine's Day 2011, Michael Fishbach and his family encountered a young humpback whale trapped in a fishing net. Michael, his family and a couple of fellow scientists were boating in the Sea of Cortez, partly for pleasure and partly to monitor whale activity. They weren't prepared for a major rescue effort and the whale was so near death there wasn't time to wait for help. This is a story … [Read more...]

My final hours with Bama: Part 2

Bama and I left Birmingham shortly after 9 a.m., Wednesday, August 3. She was resting comfortably on a rug in the back area of my Explorer. I'd left the car running and air conditioner going full out during the 10 minutes or so it took for me to change clothes and grab a few things for the trip to the Shoals. I talked to Bama almost nonstop during the entire trip. No music, no sounds other than … [Read more...]

My final hours with Bama: Part 1

I woke up around 2 and couldn't go back to sleep, so I got up at 3 a.m. and made coffee. Bama had started to stir a bit. I could tell she was uncomfortable. I sat by her side, talked with her, stroked her head. A few times, she put her head in my lap. Bumble slept nearby. I gave Bama four sedative tablets at 5:30 a.m., August 3. They were hidden in some baked fish, which I made especially for her … [Read more...]

Bama: 1999? – August 3, 2011

Farewell my precious, sweet Bama. Your spirit will always be with me and your footsteps in my path. I know you're busy romping in the snow now, or paddling in the water, so I'll leave  you to play for a while, where it's cool and pleasant. See you soon over the Rainbow Bridge. Say hello to Sparky dog. Related Posts: Saying Farewell to Bama From Kosoma to Bama: Happy Forever Home … [Read more...]

Saying farewell to Bama

It is 5:45 pm, Tuesday, August 2, 2011. My heart is broken. It's the end of the line for my Bama. I thought we were at this point in late February but--on the eve of our vet appointment for euthanasia--she made a miraculous turnaround. This time, it's for certain and it's for real. And it hurts so bad. It doesn't hurt any less knowing it's the right thing, the necessary thing. I will miss … [Read more...]